The American West wasn't the land of opportunity as advertised.
That's the hard lesson that Billy and his family continued to learn on Billy the Kid Season 1 Episode 3.
Making matters worse was Kathleen's refusal to cut loose her no-good second husband, Henry Antrim, after catching him cheating on her on Billy the Kid Season 1 Episode 2.
The opening scene showed why that choice was a mistake, as Antrim managed to blow up his partner Norm while they were attempting to mine silver.
Henry survived, unfortunately for Kathleen and his two stepsons. And he was all "poor me," swearing off mining, not surprisingly the prevailing occupation in Silver City.
Billy moved to the burgeoning Silver City looking for opportunity on Ash Upson's recommendation. He also went to protect Kathleen from Antrim.
The dynamic between Billy and Henry has changed on the last episode. This revision happened after Billy gave him a beatdown at the whorehouse. Then, on the road to Silver City, Billy used his shooting skills to blast a rattler's head.
In the months since then, it is evident that Antrim was treating Billy like that rattler, being careful around him, never knowing when he's going to strike next.
In the first couple of episodes, Billy appeared to grow to adulthood almost overnight. But poor Kathleen was aging even faster. The draining life of the West, being married to Henry, and refereeing between her husband and her older son was likely causing that.
Realizing that Kathleen was saddled with a useless husband, Billy attempted to find work without much success. So he fell back on gambling, not the steadiest of professions.
After his best friend Carlos got killed at a card game, you would think that Billy would avoid them.
But a young adult in the Old West didn't have many choices, especially if, like Billy, he's not willing to travel since he wanted to be there for Kathleen.
Billy faced a couple of problems. First, he could shoot and ride to a lesser degree for skills. That's about it.
Second, Billy was connected to journalist Ash Upson, who was investigating the corrupt Santa Fe Ring, made up of influential figures throughout the territory. That relationship would continue to haunt Billy.
That showed when Ash tried to get work for Billy as a cowboy at a local ranch. Granted, Billy's cowboying skills were rough. But rancher Matthews, a member of the secretive RIng, wouldn't give him the job just to hurt Upson.
Despite all the injustice around him, Billy had attempted to model the Christian way his mother exemplified. But he weakened after the cowboy debacle. It didn't help that his new best friend, Jesse, was morally flexible.
Billy rebuffed Jesse the first time he invited Billy to join him in cattle rustling. But when Jesse later told him the target would be Matthews, Billy became agreeable
Shockingly, Billy didn't get caught that time. But it was the first step made in anger down a slippery slope.
Billy had to take more body blows to set him on his eventual path. First, Joe came down with consumption, and Billy did the cattle rustling to pay the doctor's bill. Only Joe, despite being young, still died.
After that, Billy discovered that Kathleen was stashing away cash so that Antrim wouldn't waste it on his various vices.
Henry had the gall to arrive late to Joe's funeral and proclaim himself reformed. That held up until Billy caught him trying to steal Kathleen's hidden stash, and Billy drove him out into the rain at gunpoint and away from their lives.
And just when Billy got Kathleen free from Antrim, she too came down with consumption and died as well, leaving Billy with nobody and all this pent-up anger, without his mother there to temper it.
This development left Billy, typically a thoughtful young man, rife for Jesse's latest hair-brained scheme: to rob one of Silver City's newest businesses, a Chinese laundry.
Rustling Matthews' cattle had some moral justification for Billy. But robbing another immigrant, like himself, was reprehensible.
But it follows historical precedent, as one generation of immigrants turns up its nose to the next generation, much as earlier immigrants had done to the Irish such as Billy.
Billy should have known better than to follow Jesse's lead. Jesse didn't seem to be the type to research a heist thoroughly, and his lack of preparation led to how the burglary unfolded.
Jesse assumed the owners kept their receipts in a desk drawer. When that failed, instead of aborting as Billy had requested, Jesse decided to extract the money from a mattress in the family's sleeping quarters, again another guess on his part.
He paid for his misjudgment by taking a shotgun blast to the chest. But he wasn't the one that ended up paying, escaping into the night. Billy was the one left behind for the sheriff to arrest.
Because of his association with Upson, Billy got hit with an exorbitant sentence of three years. His fake hanging allowed him to escape from jail and for his legend to begin.
To revisit Billy's tragic youth, watch Billy the Kid online.
Do you understand how Billy ended up where he did?
Should Kathleen have dumped Antrim?
Does this show deglamorize the Old West?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.