AMC: Dark Winds season 2 finale: Beauty is Restored

"Beauty is Restored" is a tale that will leave your heart swelling with joy in the closing minutes
Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn and Joseph Runningfox as Henry Leaphorn - Dark Winds _ Season 2,
Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn and Joseph Runningfox as Henry Leaphorn - Dark Winds _ Season 2, /

In "Beauty is Restored" the evidence is starting to pile up against B.J. Vines and all the money in the world may not be able to get him out of this one. Colton the “blond man” is still on the run and his days are thankfully numbered. AMC’s Dark Winds has been a stellar season of ups and downs with incredible acting to boot.

Zahn McClarnon’s (Joe Leaphorn) portrayal of Joe Leaphorn has been hands down the best on television currently. Deanna Allison’s (Emma Leaphorn) role of Emma has been just as beautiful as she is. The outpouring of anguish and pain that comes off the screen as a mother in turmoil who doesn’t know how to channel the heartbreak of her loss speaks to so many mothers out there.

It’s such a natural human experience watching what Emma and Joe Leaphorn have had to go through this season. Especially for people who have had the misfortune of losing a child in such a brutal way. Whether that is from violence or accidental tragedy. And to those who have had to seek justice for the biggest joy in their life. Or even those who are on the journey of that justice. The season finale shows the uphill battle it took for the Leaphorns. From their breaking points to their moment of perseverance. 

Dark Winds: Does the escape artist get lucky one last time?

In the episode prior, we saw Colton escape from Sena’s custody. It really seems the man has nine lives. Colton nearly breaks free and escapes to New Mexico. Colton comes upon B.J. Vines’ home and it’s clear to see he needs some refuge. He does admit that he is the one who destroyed the box that links Vines to the Drumco murders. Tomas Charley didn’t do it after all.

Vines offers to give the infamous escape artist five grand and his jeep to get out of dodge. After Vines gives him the key to his freedom, he begins to walk away and I think we all saw what was going to play out next. Like a coward will always do, Vines shoots him in the back. It wasn’t the slow death that Colton deserved but Vines did put a stop to his killing spree.

Vines didn’t do it out of good intentions. He only murdered the man to save himself. Colton may have used his information as evidence to get a lighter sentence. Now he won’t have that chance. This will go a long way at giving Joe Leaphorn some peace but there’s one more part to the puzzle that must be put in place.

Dark Winds: Does Gordo survive?

Gordo survives his battle wounds but he does not come out unscathed. He has realized that it’s time for him to pack it in. Not many can blame him after all his run-ins in the Navajo Nation. He was not built for the life of catching serial killers and this has taken a toll on him. Though his personal life may have a part to blame as well. He is going through a divorce and with his near-death experience, he may need some time to gather himself. He’s going through an early retirement now but I don’t think it’s the last time we will see Sena.

Is there enough evidence to bring in B.J. Vines?

Joe Leaphorn is more than convinced Vines is behind this. All the evidence he has combined leads straight to him, but Henry knows it’s not enough. This is a white man they are talking about. It is going to have to be foolproof if they’ve got any shot at bringing him down.

Joe talks with Henry because he knows more about bombs than anyone else. He also knows that they’ll have to get evidence from the drill site that also connects to the bomb evidence they already have from Emerson Charley’s death at the hospital. It would also connect the same device that was used on the doll that was given to Benny.

Joseph Runningfox as Henry Leaphorn - Dark Winds _ Season 2, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Michael /

Joe has every intention of bringing B.J. Vines in, but his father doesn’t think it will do much good. He will be out on bail by the end of the night. There is white justice and there is Indian justice. Those are two very different things. And just because B.J. Vines deserves it doesn’t mean he’ll get it.

Bernie doesn’t think that’s true, she still believes justice can prevail. Joe feels a little stuck in the middle. Deep down he knows it could go both ways. Henry believes he’s right, and he usually is.

Dark Winds: Rosemary and Tomas

Jim Chee came across some film from Tomas Charley’s bag and our suspicions were correct. Rosemary and Tomas were having an affair. One photo from the roll showed a picture that helped tremendously in the case against Vines. He doctored the information as a way to get the Drumco site for cheap. The lives that it cost were of no importance to a man like Vines. With that information, Joe goes to the Vines’ home and makes the arrest.

Chee didn’t come back with any further information regarding any affair that Rosemary had. Vines still tries to give him a little money anyway. He doesn’t believe in not paying for service. This was after Jim told him he should back off his spiritual adventures. Witches are nothing to play with and he has no idea what he is unleashing.

It became evident why Rosemary hired Chee. She did not want her husband to find out about her affair so she planted a trail that led to evidence that would take B.J. Vines down. In the end, it blew up in her face with the death of her lover. But it still won her her freedom.

She was on her way to Acapulco and asked Chee if he wanted to tag along. He doesn’t want to be another one of her Indian play things so he turns her down. It is unfortunate what happened to the Charley family but I think a lot of factors were in play. Yes, the affair played a big part. But Emerson’s crusade to right all of his brother's wrongs before his death led to the events.

Just as Henry predicted, Vines was bailed out of jail within hours. White man justice. Joe hates that his father is right and thinks maybe it’s time to take the law into his own hands. Indian justice.

In the evening, Joe appears at the house of Mr. Vines. He knows Vines has no guilt over his son or the other lives he had a hand in taking. He gives B.J. the death that he so richly deserves. Years ago Native Americans were forced to walk barefoot with no food, or water, and march to their deaths. Since B.J. Vines was so into the Navajo culture he would go out as some of them had. Most likely he was frozen or died of starvation. Or maybe he was eaten. It’s not Joe Leaphorn’s style to go rogue but when it comes to his family, nothing stands in his way. The law would have never given what the Leaphorn’s deserve.

Dark Winds: Emma’s shining moment

It took a while for Emma Leaphorn to warm up to Mary Landon but she finally did. She allows Mary to publish her story. These women's voices need to be heard. They know the risk that will come with that for what Emma is doing.

I think it’s remarkable that Emma is bringing so many lives into the world for these women so they aren’t forced to go to a place that will end their future of motherhood. Emma gives them a chance to have hope for the future that she wasn’t allowed. The government wants to keep the Native American culture from growing. Which is the reason why they sterilize these women.

Emma admits that after having Joe, they didn’t have any more children, but it was not by choice. As much love and joy that little Joe gave them they were never afforded the opportunity to grow their family because that choice was taken from her. Just like so many other women on reservations.

A the end of Dark Winds, we see a celebration of Sally’s son who is transitioning to personhood. Joe seems at peace for the first time and is all smiles as he holds the boy. The one thing I love about Joe and Emma is she knows exactly what he is feeling and thinking just by touching his hand. They have of course been married for years but it’s refreshing to see such a deep emotional connection the two share. Gordo popped in during the event and let Joe know that they might go after Vines’ death. But with no evidence to link him, it’s going to be hard to prove.

Zahn McClarnon as Joe Leaphorn, Deanna Allison as Emma Leaphorn and Elva Guerra as Sally Growing /

Sally decides that her time with the Leaphorn’s is over. There is never any turn of events that leads to any reason why. She leaves a note and takes her son. Maybe she has learned enough from Joe and Emma to be on her own now. Emma may have rubbed off on her just enough. Bernie does decide to take the job with the border patrol.

Chee comes to tell her goodbye and they share a romantic kiss. Well, I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s about time. They’ve always remained the will they won’t they couple. The feelings have always been there for the two but the timing has always been off. They each part ways and go down opposite roads. It is a reflection of where both their lives are going right now. Chee is also no longer a private investigator. Because Bernie is leaving he decides to go back to the station and help Leaphorn out. They are huge shoes to fill but Chee is ready to carry his weight again.

In the closing seconds, Joe has finally gotten his bike road-ready. Joe is riding down the road with Emma on the back. Riding off into the sunset together. It was the perfect way to end with the elegant beauty of New Mexico. Though I’m sure they will miss Sally and the baby this is a new beginning for them. To put the painful memories of the past behind them and look to a future that’s full of possibilities. There is a light at the end of Dark Winds.

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