The time for justice has come on Dark Winds. In “Hózhó náhásdlii (Beauty Is Restored),” Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) and Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) find the connection between the two cases and Bernadette (Jessica Matten) makes a life changing decision.
Last week, Joe caught Colton Wolf (Nicholas Logan), the blonde man who shot Chee and has something to do with the oil well explosion that killed Joe’s son. At the end of the episode, Joe got a call that Sheriff Sena (A. Martinez) never showed up with their suspect. Joe found Sena’s police vehicle turned over in the desert. Sena is fine, but the blonde man is gone.
The blonde man goes to BJ Vines (John Henry Diehl) for help. He says Leaphorn suspects that he’s working for Vines and it’s all tied to the oil well explosion. Vines gives him clothes, a car and money to leave town. As the blonde man walks away, Vines shoots him in the back.
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Joe visits Sena in the hospital and Sena feels compelled to tell him what happened. It appears that the blonde man used a pen to unlock the handcuffs. He jumped on Sena before he knew what was happening. Sena was scared and kept his eyes closed until Joe showed up. He says he didn’t want the blonde man to be the last thing he saw before he died.
Chee goes to the Vines ranch to look for Rosemary (Jeri Ryan). Vines is there and Chee tells him that he was at the People of Darkness meeting. Vines says his spiritual adventures are none of Chee’s business. Chee warns Vines about messing around with spirituality he doesn’t understand. Vines pays Chee for his services and tells him not to worry about Rosemary. She already dug her grave. Chee doesn’t take the money, so Vines drops it on the ground and goes into his house.
Joe talks to his father Henry (Joseph Runningfox) about the case. Based on what they found, Joe believes Vines hired the blonde man to blow up the well, kill everyone who knew about it and destroy his box to cover it up. And the Charleys are involved because Vines funded Dillon’s group, People of Darkness. Dillon helped Vines get the geology report. Emerson knew about the report. When he found out he had cancer he asked Tomas to steal the report so they could turn it into the police.
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Joe asks Henry to look at the well site. It’s been untouched since the explosion. Joe’s hoping to find something that connects the blonde man to the explosion. He knows the blonde man uses clocks and blue wires in his devices. They look around everywhere and find exactly what they are looking for. A blue wire and part of a clock. They go back to the station and Henry says if they arrest Vines, he will be out of jail in no time. Joe says Emerson, Tomas Charley and his grandson all deserve some justice; some Indian justice.
Chee found a camera in Tomas Charley’s things and developed the pictures. Tomas was having an affair with Rosemary. He also took photos of the geological report from the well. Joe compares the photos to the letter in their evidence box and finds that they are different. The original letter says there was uranium found at the oil well. The doctored letter says there was no uranium found. Dillon filed the doctored letter. That means that Vines blew up the well so he could buy it at a cheaper price. They have what they need to arrest Vines.
Emma Leaphorn (Deanna Allison) meets with Mary Landon (Jacqueline Byers). Mary finished her article and asked Emma to read it. Emma talks about her experience. She was sterilized after giving birth to her son. She says it was supposed to be her choice to decide when it was time to stop having kids, not the state. The state did that to them because they were afraid there would be too many Indians. Emma tells Mary to publish her story. Mary warns that publishing is risky, but Emma says staying quiet is more risky.
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Rosemary finds Chee and they talk about BJ’s arrest. Chee is pretty sure Rosemary knew about the contents of the box, including the geology reports. She also knew if found, the report could put BJ away for good. And Rosemary would be free. Rosemary gets agitated and needs her oxygen. They race to her car to get her hooked up to the tank. Rosemary says Chee reminds her of herself. They are both looking for a place to belong and never find it. She prepares to leave and says no one will believe his theory about her. Rosemary says goodbye and drives away.
Later that night at the Leaphorn house, Sally’s (Elva Guerra) baby giggles at Joe. This means the baby is a real person now. They have to have a first laugh ceremony. Joe says they can have the ceremony at the house, making Emma happy. In the distance, joe can hear the news on the TV. He gives the baby to Sally and walks into the living room. The news reports that BJ Vines posted bail and is free.
BJ is at home and goes to his study to find Joe sitting across from him. Joe asks why BJ bombed the well during the day so all of those men didn’t have to die. Vines denies knowing anything about the explosion and says six ‘injuns’ died in an accident. That’s the way it looks and that’s the way it is. Joe hits BJ, handcuffs him and puts him in his car. Joe starts driving and says that over 100 Navajos died in the Long Walk because they were forced to walk across the desert barefoot, with no food or water. He hopes the last thing that BJ sees is their spirits.
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Joe drives deep into the desert. He stops and makes BJ get out of the vehicle in only his pajamas and barefoot. BJ says killing him won’t bring back Joe’s son. He offers Joe a lot of money to let him go. Joe tells him to get on his knees. He holds a gun to his head and removes the handcuffs. Joe begins to cry. He holds the gun to BJ’s head but decides not to shoot. Instead he gets in the truck and drives away. It starts to snow as BJ stands up and watches Joe drive away. Joe goes home and melts Joe Jr.’s belt bucket. He etches a feather into a molding stone and pours the silver inside. Meanwhile Vines is sitting in the desert. His eyes are closed and he is covered in snow.
On the day of the laughing ceremony, Sheriff Sena stops by. He informs Joe that he’s retiring. And Vines is missing. And Joe should run for his office. Joe knew Sena would retire soon. He acts surprised that Vines skipped bail. And he’s fine at the Navajo tribal police.
The Navajo believe that when a baby laughs for the first time it means they’ve transitioned from the spirit world to this one. During the ceremony, the person who makes the baby laugh helps the child hand out salt to all of the guests who show up to the ceremony. Why? That’s not for us to know. Emma says a prayer, declaring that everything is back in balance. Beauty is restored.
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Bernadette tells Joe that she’s taking the border patrol job. She says the fact that BJ Vines can just walk away played a part of her decision. There are two sets of rules. One for the rich and one for everyone else. She can’t pretend it’s alright anymore. Joe is sad that she’s leaving. He calls her daughter and tries to say he loves her, but she already knows.
Early the next morning, Sally leaves the Leaphorn house with her son. She leaves a note for Joe and Emma with her keys. Chee goes to see Bernadette before she leaves. He rejoined the Navajo police force, saying Joe is going to need help now that Bernadette is gone. He returns the medicine pouch that she gave to him and kisses her. She wishes he had come by sooner, but he runs on Indian time. Bernadette smiles and says goodbye. As Bernadette drives away, we see the silver feather that Joe made hanging from her rear view mirror. Joe finally got the motorcycle running. He and Emma take a joy ride around the desert.
You can stream Dark Winds on AMC+.
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