The Son Season 1 Episode 1 Review: First Son of Texas

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Pierce Brosnan returns to the small screen, and we couldn't be more excited!

While he might not have the best Texas accent we've ever heard, Brosnan still delivers a powerful performance as the older Eli McCullough, who is at the center of this compelling new western drama.

The Son Season 1 Episode 1 and The Son Season 1 Episode 2 introduce us to McCullough in two separate timelines. In them, we learn how the young man who survived a Comanche Indian attack becomes a ruthless cattle baron later in life.

Cheers = The Son Season 1 Episode 1

Jacob Lofland is just as powerful as young Eli, as the two timelines converge to give us a clear picture of a man who only wants to protect what's rightfully his.

We are first introduced to Eli as a young man hunting for food for his family while his father is out of town. The family comes under attack by Comanche Indians and his mother and sister are killed.

Although he and his brother survive, the two are taken by the Comanches. Later, his brother is brutally killed by the tribe and there is nothing young Eli can do but watch.

It has to be strange for a boy who was just out hunting for food for his family one minute to be held captive by Indians the next.

Eli Being Beaten - The Son Season 1 Episode 2

But Eli shows that he is a survivor and a fighter. Under the guidance of the tribal chief, Toshaway, he learns to stand up for himself against Prairie Flower (Elizabeth Frances), a tribal woman who takes great pleasure in beating him with a stick whenever it seems he's not paying attention to his work.

The fight that follows paves the way for him to be finally accepted by the young Comanches. It also leads to his first sexual experience hours later with Prairie Flower who obviously found something extremely attractive in a white boy who can stand up for himself.

It's an odd twist to young Eli's story.

The intertwining of the two timelines is particularly effective as the story progresses, but the more interesting of the two at this point still remains with the older Eli.

Seeing how Eli turned out is fascinating.

It's clear you don't want to mess with Eli McCullough. Whatever compassion he may have had in his youth is dead. Except when it comes to his granddaughter.

Although we don't see a lot of Jeannie (Sydney Lucas) in the premiere, we are able to get a small glimpse into their relationship. The two are very close and it's clear that she takes after her grandfather. Or at the very least she's on her grandfather's side.

Eli and His Granddaughter - The Son Season 1 Episode 1

We're also introduced to Eli's two sons, Phineas (David Wilson Barnes) who handles the family's finances and Pete (Henry Garrett) who runs the ranch. 

Phineas willingly goes along with his father as they are trying to get bankers to invest in their land for oil, but Pete thinks it's dishonest as they aren't sure there actually is oil on the land.

Despite his reservations, Pete goes along with it mostly because he and his wife Sallly (Jess Weixler) are hosting a birthday party for Eli and all the bankers are already there.

Also at the party is Pedro Garcia (Carlos Bardem) who is a neighbor of the McCullough's and also a possible enemy of Eli as it's apparent that Eli isn't very fond of Pedro or his family as he believes they are part of the problem, that being the Mexican sedition movement.

He leaves it to Pete to interact with Pedro.

Pete isn't like his father at all. He's honest and compassionate, something that Pedro points out to him when they talk. 

What Pete doesn't realize is that Eli is the way Eli is because of experience. Eli has been there and done that. How else has he survived all these years?

During the party, someone sets fire to an oil rig the McCullough's are building. It turns out to be Cesar who is Pedro's son-in-law. Eli has no patience and wants to kill him immediately, but Pete talks him out of it claiming that by doing so will cause a civil war between the Garcias and McCulloughs.

Eli could care less, but he listens to his son. They keep Cesar prisoner while trying to find out information on when the seditionists are going to strike next. Eli leaves it to Pete to take care of business, but Pete's compassion doesn't get anywhere.

Eventually, Eli loses patience, takes charge and cuts off Cesar's ear to get the information he wants. Eli is direct and to the point. He's seen plenty in his life and knows what needs to be done to get what he wants.

He wants Pete to kill Cesar but leaves the decision up to him. Somehow, you get the feeling Eli knows his son won't do the deed. It's almost as if he wants Pete to defy him just so he can learn a lesson, which he does.

It's also when we realize how close to Eli, Jeannie really is. She's aghast when she sees her father taking Cesar away to set him free. 

Pete takes Cesar to the river, but instead of running free, Cesar attacks Pete and Pete has to kill him anyway in order to save himself. Pete kills him in such a brutal way you know the lesson's been learned.

At least for now.

Digging a Grave - The Son Season 1 Episode 2

There are other pieces to the story including Pedro's daughter Maria (Paolo Nunez) who goes to the sheriff to report her missing brother-in-law and who also seems to have a thing for Pete (the feeling might be mutual.)

It's sure to put a romantic wrinkle in all the drama already being put in place.

The premiere laid down a complex groundwork of compelling storylines for the rest of the 10-episode season. It's hard not to want to tune in to see what happens next.

What did you think of the series premiere of The Son? Are you happy to see Pierce Brosnan back on TV? Will you be tuning in again?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts.

If you need to catch up, you can watch The Son online right here via TV Fanatic!

First Son of Texas Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Son Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Sally: Should we cancel this party?
Pete: We can't. We gotta show the world south Texas is a great place to do business.

Great goddamned way to start a birthday party.

Eli