Previously on Billy the Kid, the titular character was nursed back to health after nearly dying while on the run. It wasn’t until the very end of the episode that we find out his savior is none other than Jesse Evans (Daniel Webber). How will the two welcome each other considering the foiled laundromat robbery in addition to both having feelings for Barbara Jones?
The first half of “A Little Bit of Paradise” does a good job developing the relationship between its protagonist and Evans. Historically, the pair will be on opposite sides of the Lincoln County War so the series is building up their rivalry. Webber portrays his character with deep feelings towards his old friend being over anxious to include him into the gang. However, there is also a resentment and jealousy growing as the legend of William H. Bonney begins taking off. Add in the Barbara love triangle and there is a tension in the air.
At least at this stage, Evans is the superior gunman and he doesn’t hesitate to humble his houseguest, but the competition is one sided. We gain some insight on Evans’ infatuation when Barbara reveals how he is in love with Billy the Kid. It’s peculiar if it’s a platonic love or something more but it could have definitely been cultivated better previously on the series. They seemed more as friends who got into youthful trouble than something more complex. Plus, I don’t think you leave a person that you love out to dry while you escape a crime scene. The mention of affection is a little out of place considering what we’ve seen from the two of them so far.
The second half of the episode is a nice little side adventure with Billy as he heads to Mexico to lie low. He meets Segura (Guillermo Alonso) and they become close in their short time together. Since his family’s passing, it’s nice that Billy forms a genuine bond with someone as opposed to an arrangement of convenience. Tom Blyth and Alonso have good chemistry with each other as their characters get into precarious situations, particularly when dealing with the opposite sex. Later, it’s silly and endearing as the pair duet with each other before heading their separate ways.
Unfortunately, they stir up too much trouble with a local gambler named Don Ortiz. We’re finally treated to an exciting shootout when Ortiz and his men ambush Billy the Kid. The action is a good way to close out “A Little Bit of Paradise” and see some gunslinging.
But the biggest development is Billy turning more towards the dark side. So far, he’s only killed in self defense but his final action is shooting someone in cold blood. He could be protecting those close to him but the look in his eyes implies a change in his moral compass. It will be interesting to see if this is an indication of things to come or moment of passion.
The fifth episode delivers two separate narratives growing the rivalry between Billy and Jesse while also doing a buddy story that teases its lead’s turn to the dark side.
New episodes of Billy the Kid are released Sundays on EPIX.
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