Ever since Deadwood ended over ten long years ago, we have been waiting for the next great western TV series and we think we may have found it in the Netflix limited series Godless. Yeah, there have been some fun Western styles shows over the years like Justified and Longmire (which we are big fans of both), but the feel of Godless is really giving us the Deadwood feels that we have been desperately missing.
So what is this show all about? Well the first episode gives us an overall view of our main players and how they all connect with each other. First off we have two outlaws: Frank Griffin and Roy Goode. Roy is one heck of a gunslinger and Frank raised him in his gang from a young age. At some point these two split ways and now Roy is looking to change his life around. Roy is in some hot water with Frank after shooting Frank’s arm so badly during a train robbery that it has to be severed. Needless to say, Frank is going to want some vengeance for losing his arm (and his money!) and has made it clear that if anyone is found to be harboring Roy… well let’s just say that it’s not going to be good for anyone. Even with one arm, Frank is a man that should be feared and Jeff Daniel’s portrayal of him is spot on. We see an Emmy nomination in his future for this role – you heard it here first.
Enter Alice, a widow twice over who ends up taking Roy in after he shows up at her door bleeding out. He is nursed back to health, but it’s probably not going to end well for anyone involved once Frank finds out that he’s there (and we suspect that he will). There’s some nice chemistry here, so we won’t be too surprised to see these two together at some point during these 7 episodes. She tells Roy that once he’s healed that she wants him gone from her home, but it doesn’t quite work out that way as he helps out a bit around her ranch and they bond. We see later that he can use a gun in a way that we haven’t seen many gunslingers use it – by blowing a rattle snake clean in half. This brings up some questions since Franks arm was gunned almost completely off as well.
Then we also have the sheriff – Bill McNue, who is also a widow (widower to be exact) and lives in a town called La Belle that’s made up primarily of women… oh and they all hate him and think he’s a coward. Although he is still wallowing in pain over the loss his wife, he is also interested in Alice (love triangle!) and has a young daughter that he blames for his wife’s death (we will likely learn more about that as the story unfolds). What we do know is that he may have a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the townsfolk – Marshall John Cook has come to La Belle to warn him that Frank is headed their way looking for Roy Goode and after what his posse did to the last mining town he came across… it’s going to be hard to stop Frank from burning them all to the ground. Bill heads up to Alice’s farm and after telling her all about Frank and Roy he then confesses his feelings for her. Before Alice can respond, Roy comes into the room telling the sheriff that he wants to turn himself in.
Oh and did we mention that there is a character that reminds us of Calamity Jane from Deadwood, but minus the constant inebriation? Her name is Mary Agnes, she’s Bill’s sister and she goes against all the social norms of that time, like wearing pants and shooting guns. We suspect she’s going to be a favorite of many (like she is for us!). That being said, all of the women in the town of La Belle are pretty bad ass and know how to take care of business.
CarterMatt’s overall thoughts
While the pacing started out a little slow at first, it picked up by the end… and the cast is outstanding! Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, Merritt Wever and Sam Waterston are some big ticket names and they don’t disappoint. If you love westerns, this show has it all – cowboys, gun fights, train robberies, horses and breathtaking dusty landscapes. If you’re on the fence about Godless, we are here to tell you to to take the leap of faith – you won’t be disappointed.
What did you think of the first episode of Godless and are you hungry for more? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts. We will be reviewing the entire limited series, so if you want to keep up with our reviews just click the link here. Another great way to keep up with all of our Godless coverage is to join our CarterMatt Facebook page. (Photo: Netflix)