Recap: Peace Goes Up In Flames In ‘Billy the Kid’ Season 2 Episode 7

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: June 16, 2024 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
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Billy the Kid Season 2 Episode 7 Recap - Peace Goes Up In Flames
Billly the Kid Season 2 Episode 7 | Image via MGM+




Any remaining chance of a peaceful ending goes up in flames with the McSween home, and a bloody climax seems closer than ever.

With Lincoln under military lockdown and a strict, permanent curfew imposed, Billy and the Regulators are confined to their HQ in the McSween house in Billy the Kid Season 2, Episode 7, which they fortify like a Wild West version of Home Alone. But that doesn’t mean they’re not still recruiting, since the kerfuffle in town in Episode 6 has earned them some sympathizers, including Dr. Clay and his wife, Alice, a nurse who thinks (probably correctly) that the Regulators might be in need of their expertise sooner rather than later.

Some would still prefer peace. Pat, despite having warrants for the arrest of Billy and his men for assassinating his predecessor, would prefer Colonel Dudley to deliver the paperwork rather than Jesse and his gang. But Dudley, who is still adamant about his neutrality, refuses to take sides even on that level. Everything continues to exist on a precarious knife edge, and for some, especially Riley, things aren’t moving quickly enough.

The McSween House Goes Up In Flames

When a mishap with a Regulator lookout results in the death of a soldier, Riley sees his opportunity immediately. He pushes Dudley to authorize him to burn down the McSween house, and in his anger, Dudley gives the go-ahead. Within a single scene, the McSween house is ablaze, with Billy and the Regulators inside, and the Seven Rivers Gang outside, taking potshots to ensure they can’t flee.

The options are few — they either get shot, burn to death, or surrender.

It’s Susan McSween who comes up with a more outside-the-box solution. Under a white flag, she leaves the house and goes to petition Dudley for an intervention. She appeals to the responsibilities of his position, his mercy — whatever she thinks will work. But nothing does, and she’s forced to return to her burning home.

Keeping the Peace

Despite Dudley’s claims of impartiality, the position of the military is made clear in the scene above. You could argue that Dudley’s hand was forced because of his soldier’s death, but his men were imposing a curfew on a civilian population. Something had to give.

Likewise, the military pulled no punches when Dulcinea and some of the other Mexicans peacefully marched through Lincoln. Despite Dudley’s claims, the U.S. Army did not keep itself out of the dispute. Their efforts to maintain the peace created more division and, ultimately, bloodshed.

Alex McSween’s Death

Stuck in a raging inferno with no realistic options, the only exit for the Regulators is the back door, which is under guard. Some of the noncombatants are allowed to leave, but McSween isn’t so lucky. He surrenders himself at the front of the property with his bible in hand and is immediately gunned down by Jesse’s man, Beckwith.

This proves the point that Billy and his men would have never been safe, even if they surrendered without violence, but there’s nobody left who needs convincing of that fact. Dudley made his bed by acting out of anger. And Pat has had enough, too. He just wants the situation to be over, and he’s being pressured by Dudley to make it so. Billy isn’t going to come quietly, especially not after this, so the only option the Sheriff has is to hunt him down and kill him.

Billy Kills Beckwith

Billy and a couple of the remaining Regulators are able to escape from the house, gunning down a few of the Seven Rivers Gang on the way. Framed against the backdrop of McSween’s burning house, Billy cuts a cool-looking figure as he gets his revenge on Beckwith.

But the most interesting thing about this is how much Jesse doesn’t care. Even when he’s pressed about it, he says outright that he has no feelings for the rest of the gang. They’re all in it for the money, not each other, and he doesn’t believe in the idea of camaraderie as some of the others do.

In fact, the only person he seems to care about is Billy himself. But they’re on a collision course either way, with Pat Garrett racing to get between them. History tells us this story doesn’t have a happy ending and despite some earlier allusions to the contrary, it certainly seems like we’re racing towards a bloody conclusion.

Read More: Billy the Kid Season 2 Ending Explained

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