Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4 Review: The Day of the Dead

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The Lincoln County War has begun in earnest now.

But becoming wanted men didn't slow down Billy and the Regulators on Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4.

It's helpful to have an experienced outlaw in your ranks.

Making Plans - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

All the ranchers and farmers that make up the Regulators wanted to lay low until the heat died down.

But there's a problem with that logic. They're up against the corrupt forces of the justice system in New Mexico in the form of the Santa Fe Ring. The heat was never going to die down.

Aggressive Strategy - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

It soon became evident how true that was as Alexander McSween, the lawyer who switched sides from Major Murphy to Tunstall, became a target of The House.

McSween informed Billy and the Regulators they were all now wanted men thanks to Billy's execution of Baker and Morton, two of the posse members who had killed Tunstall.

That wasn't surprising since Thomas Catron, the district attorney, pulled the strings behind what was happening in Lincoln to protect his investment in The House.

Sadly, McSween was naive. He still believed in the law and felt safe going to court to fight the trumped-up financial charges against him.

Lawyer Under Siege - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

That would depend on him landing in front of one of the few judges who weren't under the Ring's influence.

But Murphy and Riley didn't want to take that chance. Instead, Catron was able to fabricate a warrant charging McSween as an accessory to murder.

The plan was to have Sheriff Brady arrest him, take him in front of a corrupt judge, and then hang him. McSween knew too much and was too good at his job.

To further complicate things, Riley decided to throw a festival so the streets would be crammed with people to slow down Billy and the Regulators should they choose to intercede.

House Schemer - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

Charlie decided to tail McSween in case he got intercepted en route to town.

Also, a deputy whom Brewer had worked with tipped him off about the scheme. Somehow, the Regulators made it to Lincoln before the McSweens leisurely riding in their carriage.

Billy opted to fight guerrilla-style against The House's forces. They left their horses outside town and snuck in, with the noisy festival covering their approach.

Most importantly, Billy and company just opened fire on Brady and his deputies before they could serve the spurious warrant on McSween, whom Charlie stopped before he ever got to town.

Brady's Bunch - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

Billy snatched up the warrant, getting grazed in the process, but Tom, whom Billy didn't want to be involved in the mission, got shot and badly injured.

This took Billy out of the fight as he had to get Tom to safety while the Regulators had to tie up Jesse's gang, who finally woke up to the surprise attack. Charlie showed up just in time to stem the tide.

Billy was clever to hide the injured Tom under the floorboards. Mrs. McSween showed steely nerves, convincing Jesse she had no idea where Tom was.

Tom may have survived this wound. But the way the inexperienced Regulator keeps throwing himself into battle, it's just a matter of time before he's killed.

Surprise Attack - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

After Billy returned to collect Tom, the McSweens drove away into the night. But history suggests that won't be the last we see of Alexander.

Infighting is already slowing down The House's response. It has to become more of a factor in this war.

Already, both Murphy and Riley are convinced they're in charge of The House. The truth is that neither of them are, even if they can't recognize that fact.

The House belongs to Catron, as his representative, Edgar Walz, continually reminds Riley. Gunfighting in the streets is bad for business.

Conflicted Jesse - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

It's little wonder that Catron has appointed a significant new sheriff for Lincoln County to replace Brady.

Finally, there's the fundamental difference between Riley and Jesse over how to handle Billy.

Riley thinks Billy (and, by extension, Jesse) is just another young punk with no battlefield skills.

Jesse has been with Billy too long not to understand that Billy has a unique quality that will help the Regulators in the ongoing war. That downtown showdown should have been enough to prove that to Riley.

Stepping Up Their Attack - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

The Regulators have another advantage. They're fighting for Tunstall's ideals. The House's forces are battling for a paycheck, nothing more.

Riley blamed Jesse for letting the Regulators get away. It was just as much his fault as his festival caused the chaos that made their escape easier.

There was dissent in the ranks of Jesse's gang, with Bob Olinger bragging that he could hunt down Billy, to Riley's delight.

Rather than taking the win, Billy wanted the Regulators to keep taking the fight to Jesse's gang, which was bound to be hunting for them anyway.

Saying Farewell - Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4

The first full-fledged battle in the war was a draw, although Billy succeeded in driving off half of Jesse's gang with his daring to take the high ground.

He also saved Charlie as he had a staredown with Jesse, again urging Jesse to leave Lincoln County.

Catron's choice for sheriff was Pat Garrett, which, as anyone aware of Billy's history knows, isn't a great development for Billy.

Unfortunately, we'll be waiting until 2024 to find out what happens, as MGM+ is rationing the final four episodes because of the ongoing actors' strike. It's yet another thing to blame on greedy entertainment studios.

What did you think about Billy's strategies?

How can the Regulators battle back against the corrupt establishment?

Were you surprised more characters weren't killed off?

Comment below.

The Day of the Dead Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

I joined you because I believe in you, Billy.

Tom [to Billy]

George: We should quit Lincoln County for a while.
Billy: No. I'm not finished here yet.