The Son season 2 episode 9 review: Eli’s bear story + power of narratives

The SonTonight, The Son offered us the penultimate episode of the season and, despite us being so close to the end, we still spent a considerable amount of time in the past.

For Young Eli, he’s become fully immersed into the Commanche at this point. He felt more of a bond to them and when some soldiers showed up, he was not so inclined to go with them. We know that eventually, Eli did leave, and we saw him explain to Jeannie in his present precisely how he traded himself down the road in order to keep the Commanche band safe.

Eli’s not always the most open to talk a little bit about his past, but he dropped one of the most important revelations that we’ve seen so far just past the halfway point in the episode. As it turns out, he wants to eventually leave everything to his daughter — Jeannie could someday have control over everything. There were clear parallels between what we saw there and then what we saw in the future, as the older version of Jeannie told her story of Eli the tracker.

What was with the story of the Bear? It’s really quite simple: This is Jeannie picking up on a valuable lesson that her father told her, one that revolved around her choosing to be in control of your own narrative. She could shape her grandfather’s legacy, and that’s why she chose to tell that story at a speech. Here’s the problem: There are still family secrets that are out there, ones that prove that the McCullough family up at night.

The message of the bear story keeps ringing true

As it turns out, Eli did embellish his story of how he left the Commanche, as in reality, it was so much more anticlimactic. He was just the master of becoming a larger-than-life figure. Once again, Eli controls the narrative. He understood the story that everyone would want to hear. On the other side of leaving the Commanche, though, Eli did show some of his value. His ability to understand some of the local tribes, plus also his understanding of life outside of them, put him in a unique position.

One thing that was interesting is that when Eli actually did make it to the real soldiers, he lied about his last name. That was still something that he wanted for himself.

The showdown near the end of the episode…

The stand-off between Eli and his own family started to turn crazy. Pete’s relationship with Maria led to a family stand-off, which in turn led to Standard Oil siding with Pete and offering him and Miss Garcia protection. This would enable them to become valuable parts of what is an ongoing war, one that clearly has the potential to shape the entire McCullough legacy for decades to come.

Given where Jeannie is in the future, we have at least some sense that he is looked at heroically — nonetheless, the picture still feels somewhat incomplete.

CarterMatt Verdict

This episode was a study of humanity and a chance to see more of defining Eli McCullough’s past and present. We’ve learned to separate some of the truth from the lies, but there are still so many more details that we still have to learn. Take, for example, what happens on the other side of the Maria story.

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