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Lawmen: Bass Reeves Season 1 Ending’s Deeper Meaning Explained By David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo as Bass Reeves holding a gun in Lawmen: Bass Reeves


  • Lawmen: Bass Reeves‘ ending highlights the importance of a Black family at the center of the story, reflecting the reality of being African American in the US.
  • Star David Oyelowo says that, despite the challenges they face, the Reeves family finds joy and love, symbolizing the resilience and excellence of the Black community.
  • The ending showcases the strength needed to be an African American in America, as the alternative is a brokenness that can’t be recovered from.

Lawmen: Bass Reeves star David Oyelowo has opened up about the season 1 ending, explaining the deeper meaning behind the show’s conclusive moments. The series’ star portrays Bass Reeves, the first Black Deputy US Marshal in the West. The final episode of season 1 ends with him reuniting with his family after several harrowing experiences, a much quieter moment than the finale had presented up to that point.

Speaking with Variety, Oyelowo – who also serves as an executive producer on the series – revealed the deeper meaning behind Lawmen: Bass Reeves‘ ending. The actor explained the importance of highlighting a Black family reflective of what that means in the US. Check out what Oyelowo had to say below:

Platforming and celebrating this Black family at the center of this story was incredibly important to us. Despite all of that degradation and all of the challenges they come back together — it’s them and their kids, and there’s joy and love. That’s not just an attempt at a happy ending. That’s what it is, in my opinion, to be African American in this country. There is a resilience that you must have to have Black excellence, to have “Black boy joy,” to own the reality of being an American citizen. Because the alternative to that is a brokenness that’s impossible to come back from.

Will Lawmen: Bass Reeves Return For Season 2?

Lawmen: Bass Reeves Season 1 Ending’s Deeper Meaning Explained By David Oyelowo

The final moments of Lawmen: Bass Reeves see Bass sitting beside Jennie at the piano, reflecting on everything he’s been through since the series first began. However, the finale takes place in 1877, 30 years before he would hang up his lawman hat in favor of a uniform with the Muskogee Police Department. These tender final moments resonate by providing bookends, but also because it’s still the start of his journey rounding up criminals.

Due to how long and decorated his career was, Lawmen: Bass Reeves season 2 could continue exploring the later years of his time in law enforcement. Season 1 is based on the first two books of The Bass Reeves Trilogy by Sidney Thompson, meaning the final book could also be adapted into a follow-up season. A new batch of episodes could also delve into other parts of his life from the first two books that didn’t get highlighted in season 1.





10 Real Western Heroes Who Can Replace Bass Reeves In Taylor Sheridan’s Lawmen Season 2

If Taylor Sheridan’s Lawmen becomes an anthological series in its future seasons, there are a handful of great American lawmen it could chronicle.

Another entry in the series may also be about a different historical figure, with Lawmen season 2 featuring another Western hero from the period. Even if the show does become an anthology, Lawmen: Bass Reeves‘ importance will be remembered for its potent portrayal of its main character’s life. For now, it’s up in the air if season 1 will conclude his story, or if more of his life will be explored in the near future.

All episodes of Lawmen: Bass Reeves are available on Paramount+.


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