As the series begins, Marshal John Cook (Sam Waterston) and his men investigate a train accident. They also discover that someone has been hung from the neck nearby. Seconds later, Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) approaches a house in the middle of the night. He is shot by Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery). The women inspects Goode and discover that he has already been shot. Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) visits Dr. Elijah Graham (Patrick Carlyle). He gets his arm removed. He also curses Roy Goode. Bill McNue (Scoot McNairy) gets fed up with the Indian rituals. He leaves after cursing their witchcraft. Bill rides on. He travels to a graveyard and speaks with his former wife, Anna. Bill is harassed by the locals, as he rides into town. They call him coward and other names. Goode wakes up and steps outside of the barn. He soon collapses to the ground.
After a brief chat with Alice, he falls again. Bill returns home and learns about a recent incident. He is scolded for not being around. Frank Griffin and his men enter a church. He threatens to burn it down, if Goode ever returns. That night, Roy watches through the window as Alice tries to teach Truckee (Samuel Marty) how to read. Then, Ivoyi (Tantoo Cardinal) tells Alice that Roy is bad news. She tells her to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Alice heads to the barn and rummages through Roy’s belongings. He finds a letter with the name Lucy Cole Moses on it. Jim Goode is written on the back. Roy enters. Alice tells him that she wants to know who is sleeping in her barn. Then, she tells him that he will need to leave soon. In the morning, Frank and his men continue following Goode’s trail. They hit a dead end and are forced to take a gamble.
Alice watches as Goode tries to tame a wild horse. It winds up knocking him down. Later, Truckee invites him in for food. Iyovi makes it clear that she doesn’t like him. A little later, a young girl arrives with her baby. She believes the toddler has scarlet fever. The baby is taken inside and set on the ground. It nearly gets killed by a rattlesnake. However, Goode grabs a nearby pistol and shoots it dead. We soon learn that Goode is a good gunslinger. Alice speaks with Goode outside. He apologizes and agrees to leave. Then, she tells him how she wound up in her current situation. Marshall Cook arrives in town. He speaks with the teacher briefly and then visits Bill. Cook reveals that he is on the hunt for Griffin. Cook admits he is going to try to recruit the army to help. Then, he tells Bill all about Roy Goode.
They reveal that Goode stole money from Griffin. We see Griffin and his men stop and rob a train. Jimmy Sloan is shot and killed without hesitation. Roy interrupts and confronts Griffin. Frank asks why Roy is so angry, after he raised him and all. Roy shoots the horse carrying the money and makes a run for it. After a lynching of two of Griffin’s men, he turned around and returned. During the chaos, Roy shot Frank in the arm. Meanwhile, Roy continues working with the horses. He manages to calm them all and lay them down. The Marshall hits the pub. Marshall learns about Bill and his cowardly ways. Bill heads out to the Fletcher farm. He speaks with Alice about Frank. At this point, Alice learns about Roy and the true trouble he is in. Bill tries to convince Alice to bury the hatchet with the women that shot and killed her husband.
Bill wants to know where he stands with Alice. Roy enters and introduces himself to Bill. Bill seems to believe Roy has a relationship with Alice. Goode explains that he wanted Griffin to chase him, so he could kill him. His horse gave out and his plan fell apart. Goode insists he lost everything while crossing the river. Goode is told that they’ll hang him for sure. Bill and Goode prepare to head back to town.
Godless has received good reviews from critics and viewers alike. Unfortunately, I just cannot get into it at this point. I didn’t like the opener much at all. I felt that it was simply too cliché and slightly unbelievable. I couldn’t connect with the characters, because the acting and dialogue were so bad. Jeff Daniels simply doesn’t do it for me. I couldn’t tell whether the show was trying to be funny or serious. It seems that I am the only one, but Godless isn’t for me. It seemed to get a little better in the end, so that gives me a little hope.
I’ll stick with it a little longer. The opener scores a low 5 out of 10.