Tulsa King Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Happy Trails

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Do you know who is no longer welcome? Stacy, that’s who.

What a hair-brained move to make on her part.

Does she even like working for the ATF? She’s never given the impression it was her passion.

Tulsa King Season 1 Episode 9 (we all thought there were ten, right?) found Dwight ensuring that he didn’t repeat past mistakes, creating his own family, and wiping away the sins of the past.

To do that successfully, Dwight had to commit a few more sins.

Instead of locking him up, the ATF and the FBI should be thanking Dwight Manfredi. He and his people ended a reign of terror they’d been aching to squash but never managed to achieve.

Stacy couldn’t do much of anything, but she had no problem at all tossing the only person who wouldn’t have ever betrayed her under the bus.

Now, I kind of wish her injuries had been more severe. Who’s with me?

It feels awkward rooting for the bad guys, but in this case, the bad guys are the good guys. Well, as good as bad guys get, for sure.

Dwight’s original sin was implied on Tulsa King Season 1 Episode 8, and “Happy Trails” revealed it fully.

Chickie and Vince have been unmanageable cretins for a very long time. They cornered one of their guys in an abandoned house, cuffed him to the radiator, and promptly lost the key.

It looked like a comedy routine by the time Dwight arrived at Armand’s request. If Armand was scared to death to see Dwight in Tulsa, there was a time when he looked up to and trusted him.

Armand took a huge risk calling Dwight to that scene. Chickie, still the son of the Don, wouldn’t have taken kindly to the overreach. Dwight was then and remains a menacing-looking guy.

When he arrived in that room, Stallone built Dwight up to a cross between Rocky and Rambo, part hero, part avenging angel.

Fire is brutal, and nobody deserves to burn to death. Still, when Dwight shot Ripple, Ripple remained hopeful that he could be freed and get out of there. As it turned out, he might not have been wrong.

There were first responders on the scene by the time Dwight walked out the front door. Sure, the stairs were ablaze, but one cop considered wading in.

Would they have prosecuted him if he had been significantly burned before they arrived? Dwight was a member of the mob, and the government looks for all kinds of reasons to take them down. It wouldn’t be a stretch that Dwight would go down for it, even if it were a mercy killing.

It must have eaten away at him all those years in prison, though. Of course, Ripple was frightened of the fire, but even more of Dwight, with his gun aimed directly at him. If Dwight had hesitated and the fire spread, he would have also been tormented by allowing Ripple to suffer such a terrible death.

And all of that was, ostensibly, to protect Chickie, Vince, and by connection, Pete. What a waste.

Since getting out, Dwight has made the most of his second chance. His speech to his new family about walking alone versus finding another family and how treating each other as such was quite rousing.

Fuck fear! You can never go back. You can only move forward to face your fears and to come out stronger, together on the other side. It moved me.

It was also quite moving that Dwight worried again about bringing Tyson into his line of work. He knows enough about what he does to realize that bringing an innocent into the life isn’t ideal, especially when they have other options.

Overall, Dwight made sure only to include like-minded people who shared a similar past. They might have done time or barely skirted around the law. From everything he’d seen, Tyson was a good kid who only needed direction.

From Tyson’s perspective, until he met Dwight, he was unmoored and adrift, unable to focus. He was alive, but he certainly wasn’t living. All of that has changed since that fateful meeting at the airport.

By the time all was said and done, Tyson had been shot. It seemed like an initiation. Three months later, he had a girl on his side and was in some swanky duds.

Waltrip needed to die. It wouldn’t surprise me if Dwight weren’t able to pull some of his men, those who, like Goody, were too scared to make a move away from their leader to his team. The poor bastard who got shot between the eyes would have been a good ally.

Dwight: Do you still think I overplayed my hand?
Waltrip: Will ya fuck off. [Dwight kills him]

He was much like the man Dwight shot in the fire, Armand, or the fella who stuck up for Dwight during Episode 8 and was struck down by Chickie. These men were misguided and ruled by fear. Nobody thrives under those circumstances.

Dwight severed his ties with the family. It seems unlikely they’ll abide by his demand never to return, but the show will be better for it if it holds true. Dwight can’t be put upon by every level of society, from fellow gangs to law enforcement. It gets old.

Still, what Stacy did is unforgivable. She was reinstated only on the condition that she betrayed Dwight. Who wants to work with someone like that? Who will she betray next? At this point, she’s toxic.

Tina’s visit was too sweet to last. She’s put her heart into her dad’s hands again. They were sharing a dance before Stacy reappeared. It’s going to be hard for her to consider she might lose him again.

Tina: Tell me this isn’t happening again.
Dwight: I’m sorry, Tina.

Well, we know what she doesn’t. Tulsa King isn’t a show without The General at the helm. He’ll be fine.

But he’ll also have to be more careful who he trusts, which could lead him to reconsider his current approach. God, I hope not. His approach is why the show works. No doubt Taylor Sheridan and Terence Winter are well aware of that.

This season absolutely flew by. Will there be another time jump before Tulsa King Season 2 kicks off? They can’t jump that far ahead, as age does become a factor.

Oh well, at least Dwight got to see the reopening of the Bred2Buck, Mitch dedicated Never Been to Spain, and he got to dance with Tina. I’m feeling pretty good about his prospects for the future.

Oklahoma isn’t heaven, but it’s not too far off, either.

What’s next for Dwight? How does he come back from a charge of bribing a federal official who he happened to sleep with? He’s a gentleman and won’t be likely to use anything against her. I sure hope that makes her squirm.

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and keep following TV Fanatic and me for all the excitement the Taylor Sheridan universe has to offer!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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