Lawmen Bass Reeves: Who is Mr Sundown? Who is Cinco Peso?

Ever since becoming a deputy marshal, Bass Reeves has listened to the myths and songs about Mr. Sundown in Paramount+’s Western series ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves.’ According to a criminal named Ramsey, Mr. Sundown is someone who hunts down black people at night, making sure that his victims do not open their eyes when the sun rises. Bass must have found the same just an imaginary creation but his encounter with Edwin Jones makes him think otherwise. In the sixth episode of the period drama, Bass’ investigation into Mr. Sundown leads him to the cryptic finding that he is a Cinco peso! SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Predator With a Cinco Peso Badge

Bass Reeves comes across Mr. Sundown for the first time through Ramsey, a homicidal maniac who mimics the mythical figure and tries to kill the deputy marshal. Since Ramsey presents himself as a psychopath, Bass must have believed that Mr. Sundown, a killer of black people, is the creation of the former’s twisted fantasy. His belief, however, changes when Edwin Jones talks to the deputy marshal about the disappearances of black people throughout the country. The entrepreneur informs Bass that men from their community are vanishing and getting killed while he puts his life on the line to execute the law of the white people.

Even though Bass doesn’t encourage Edwin’s proposal to team up and fight the atrocities against their community, the deputy marshal eventually connects what he learns from the businessman to Ramsey’s myths, only to realize that Mr. Sundown and his vicious actions are real. When Bass presses Ramsey to reveal who really is Mr. Sundown, the latter tells the officer that he is a Cinco peso. It is the material used to make the badges of the Texas Rangers, which is something Bass learns from Esau Pierce, a former Confederate soldier who became a Texas Ranger after the end of the Civil War.

Bass then connects the dots and figures out that Pierce is Mr. Sundown. As a Confederate who has been treating black people as an inferior community with a Cinco peso badge, Pierce has a lot of similarities with Mr. Sundown. When Bass hands Jackson Cole over to Pierce for the killer to receive a fair trial in Texas, the former soldier makes it clear that the criminal would only receive what he seems suitable for the captive. Mr. Sundown’s lawlessness while kidnapping and killing black people can be seen in Pierce as well. That’s the reason why only Jackson’s boots reach the court where he was supposed to get tried.

Jackson’s disappearance after Bass hands him over to Pierce in flesh and blood, alive, can be paralleled with the disappearances of Mr. Sundown’s victims. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that Pierce is the mysterious killer.

The Murderous Lawmen

Having said that, Pierce may not be the only Mr. Sundown. There can be several racist Texas Rangers with Cinco peso badges who hunt down black people in the state of Texas. Pierce can be just a representative of the same, which explains the startling number of victims of the enigmatic murderer. These kidnappers/killers can be targeting the black community, individually or as a group, as a reaction to their defeat in the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

Furthermore, Mr. Sundowns must exist in several states throughout the country, especially considering Edwin’s revelations concerning the disappearances of black people nationwide. Most of them must be lawmen like Pierce, taking advantage of their authority to harm the African-American community. That can be why Edwin asks Bass to relinquish the law that not only doesn’t protect their community but also hurts them. Bass’ realization that the same group of individuals who are supposed to safeguard people regardless of one’s race are hunting down his community severely disturbs him.

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