One of the things about Hap and Leonard that makes it so indistinguishable as a series is that it doesn’t belong to a specific genre. There were moments in tonight’s season 2 episode 4 that felt like a comedy; then, there were others where things transformed into an old-fashioned whodunnit.
In the closing minutes of this episode, though, one thing started to become clear through all of the rubble: This was a tragedy more so than it was anything else. This was the story of how young black children disappeared like a slow drip, and nobody seemed to have the mind to do enough about it. The police were there investigating, but never the right thing or the right time.
Were it not for Leonard bringing what lied underneath Uncle Chester’s house to the police, and in turn making himself a suspect, who knows where the town would be? This was devastatingly sad, as was the truth as it started to trickle in for Hap and Leonard in this episode. They discovered a ceremonious place seemingly used by the killer, and further evidence that these disappearances / murders were happening once a year, every October. The led Hap and Leonard to the biggest revelation to date: A fall festival. There were children disappearing from this event every year, and the responsible party was obviously involved in some shape or form with that.
As for how and some of the finer details, this is the mystery for next week to unfold.
In terms of pacing, is this season doing anything that is better, worse, or the same to season 1? In some of our own discussions with viewers, we’ve had this discussion. Viewership in the end is subjective, and there are fewer fine examples than this show. If you’re watching Hap and Leonard for action and people about to get their heads blown in, odds are you preferred the Soldier / Angel saga from last season. Personally, our preference lies more with season 2 with its broader character arcs, new characters (MeMaw is classic, and Florida seems like a love interest Hap can trust far more than Trudy), and also stories that impact more on a political and social level. This case speaks to something far greater than just Hap and Leonard’s survival.
The problem for the two guys is this: If they want to get justice for these kids, they have to get out of their own way. This means to stop burning down crackhouses and stop threatening judges. Florida is only going to be able to help them for so long.
In the end…
Hap and Leonard season 2 episode 4 was another great episode of the show, especially when you got to the second half and you started to see everything from Hap boxing a preacher to that chilling scene with the unidentified ashes in the closing minutes. We knew these crimes were horrific before, but that one moment changed our own outlook and sense of urgency on this story as a viewer. Episode Grade: B+.
For some further news regarding Hap and Leonard season 2, be sure to head over to the link here right away. (Photo: SundanceTV.)