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On 1/2/2018 at 12:05 PM, iMonrey said:

Narratively, that felt like it was building to something but led nowhere. 

There was a lot of that in this series, a lot of building to something that went nowhere. The Buffalo Soldiers’ storyline for one, as many others have mentioned. The show invested a lot of time setting up the idea of some sort of reconciliation between them and the townsfolk in service of getting to see some serious badassery on their part. It was fun to see ladies who had never so much as shot a gun before kick some ass, but not very realistic. The folks from Blackdom were billed as being more than a match for Frank and his gang, the only real countervailing force against the seemingly unstoppable bad guys . I submit that it would have been more realistic AND more satisfying for the Buffalo Soldiers to have substantially reduced Frank’s forces, with some of their own people surviving to help the women of La Belle in the final showdown.

And also as others have mentioned, Bill’s trek served absolutely no narrative purpose whatsoever. It seemed like it was going to, but it sure didn’t. The dude with the dog following Bill around was definitely built up to have some sort of significance – enough so that for some reason we were given the scene where his mere presence was enough to cause Frank to let Bill go (only so Bill could go back to tracking him all the way back to where Bill started – a literally circular storyline). And this happened because... Magical Indian who might also be a ghost? With a ghost dog? Who wants to look out for him for some reason? And inexplicably deters Frank from being Frank for a minute?

And these are simply the worst of several abortive narrative threads that all seemed to be leading somewhere but were suddenly cut in the last two episodes, trailing off like so many roads to nowhere.

Subverting expectations can be an excellent narrative tool. This was used to great effect in the first few moments of one of the greatest gun battles ever in the now classic western Open Range, where the character played by Kim Coates (Ed Logan in Godless) meets a fate very different from the one he does in this series. But oftentimes, as in this case, subverting expectations is just bad storytelling. So much so that I really do wonder if they just ran out of money, leading them cripple or compress storylines that were originally written to take the series to two or three more episodes.

That’s a series I would have loved to have seen. As it was, I really, really, enjoyed this one up through episode four or five. A lot of missed opportunities here.

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Jeff Daniels has been nominated for a Tony!

Best Leading Actor in a Play
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

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