Poor Billy keeps learning the hard way about how the world works.
That challenging education continued on Billy the Kid Season 1 Episode 4.
Blame Kathleen. For much of Billy’s formative years, she filled his head with the idea that people are basically good, all evidence to the contrary.
The trip West should have purged such Pollyannish thoughts from her mind. Remember, another word for “people seeking a fresh start” is “opportunist.”
As Ash Upson learned, corruption wasn’t just an East Coast condition. And Billy was suffering because he was Ash’s associate, as many of those in power, including judges, were connected to the corrupt Santa Fe Ring.
So when Billy got caught for crimes, even when he wasn’t at fault, judges threw the book at him to punish Ash, who was sniffing around at their misdeeds.
Even as naive as Billy still was about how the world worked, he began to see the injustice in his situation.
So when he got a three-year sentence for what should have been a misdemeanor burglary, Billy faked hanging himself and broke out on Billy the Kid Season 1 Episode 3.
However, that was as far as he had planned. Now a fugitive, he didn’t know his next move.
That’s why he was primed when he met his next partner-in-crime, Alias, who managed to get the drop on Billy, (Too many people have gotten the drop on Billy. He was to become more aware of his surroundings.)
So while Billy could see that Alias was a little crazy, he didn’t have a better idea than to tag along with Alias to Texas to become cowboys.
Billy’s new employee, Mr. Hooker, was an arrogant ass. That became clear when Hooker made Billy sing an Irish song before he hired him and Alias, with whom he already had a contentious relationship.
There was an upside to Billy’s embarrassment as he impressed likely Irish barmaid Alice and they fell into a relationship.
If only Billy and Alias had been content to be cowboys. But no. Rancher Hooker had made himself rich partly as a rustler, and Alias wanted to cut himself in on that side hustle.
Billy allowed himself to be guilted by Alias into becoming a horse thief as they were part of a pack of rustlers stealing horses from Fort Grant.
Billy had never heard about not showing off what you’d stolen. He took the horse he had selected to steal into the local blacksmith for reshoeing.
The blacksmith, himself former Army, had heard about the theft and saw the brand on the horse and had doubts that Billy could have afforded such a strong horse.
Billy should have walked away then, even if there weren’t any other local blacksmiths. But instead, he had made an enemy, one who couldn’t hold his liquor.
Alias made things worse by killing the suspicious Hooker, whose murder made the townsfolk even angrier about horse thieves.
Maybe Billy was just keeping up his routine by going to the bar. Perhaps he just wanted to see Alice.
Either way, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the drunken blacksmith started shooting his mouth off about Billy being a horse thief.
After they struggled and Billy shot and killed him, he again rode out of town, even though it was self-defense.
It was heartwarming to have Billy wrestle with his conscience while speaking to his late parents. Then he made the mistake of following Kathleen’s optimistic lead by riding back into town to face the consequences.
What had Bill seen since the McCarty family started their journey west made him believe that he would get a fair shake from the corrupt local judge? Had he learned nothing from Silver City?
It was surprising that local law enforcement was able to connect William H. Bonney and Billy Antrim so that Billy had to answer for his previous crimes.
But Billy is learning as he was intelligent enough to hide a bobby pin in his mouth for future use. He tried doing the right thing, which bit him in the ass (again).
That’s why he sent that message to Alice with Ash. Billy knew he’d be hitting the road again this time.
If only Billy had heeded his horse’s warning … but once again, he was surprised, by Indians this time, and lost that horse. This development left him wandering through a country that he didn’t know.
Escaping town with no supplies, it was little wonder that Bily ended up shooting at tumbleweeds before collapsing.
The shocker was that someone found and recognized Billy and brought him home to recover from his injuries.
It must have been a shock for Billy to wake up and find out that he was regionally infamous.
Then he fell for Barbara, his outlaw nurse, and she also fell for him.
Too bad Billy had no idea what he’d gotten into with the Seven River Gang, as its leader was Jesse, his old partner in crime, and Barbara was Jesse’s woman. That reunion should be complicated.
To revisit Billy’s life on his own, watch Billy the Kid online.
Wasn’t it evident that Alias was a little off?
Why can’t Billy make better decisions?
Will he fall in with Jesse’s gang next?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.