During the episode’s opening, Harold Jensen (Martin Henderson) and Phillip Kopus (Jason Momoa) are interviewed regarding the incident from the previous season. Harold is told he’ll likely receive a promotion, while Phillip, as a repeat offender, may wind up facing hard time. Next, a year has passed and Phillip is forced to work on the highway. While working, he witnesses Harold passing by. Harold is forced to breakup a party, which is run by teenagers.
Next, Junior (Kiowa Gordon) speaks with Mac (Gary Farmer) about not wanting to go back to juvie and his distrust for Kopus. The pair discuss Junior’s father, who left his mother and never helped them at all. The pair swap rifles so Junior can rid himself of his father’s possession. Afterwards, Jean Jensen (Julianne Nicholson) is shown delivering a bike to a house. She rushes away, when the dog alerts everyone of her presence. Afterwards, Phillip returns to Marie’s (Tamara Tunie) place and discovers that Mike ran off and left his baby. He also learns that a lot of people are coming back. While Phillip makes a place to sleep, Junior and Mac camp out, before burying their dog.
In the middle of the night, Jean wakes up and takes some medication, before sitting on the toilet. Finally, the voices in her head stop, before she hits the spin bike. In the morning, she fills out her financial aid form for Brown University’s Department of Psychiatry. She freaks out and fills it out in an ineligible manner. Rachel (Allie Gonino) arrives and tests her mother’s patience. Harold enters and Jean insists she wants to switch medications and wants to do something useful. Harold leaves and pays a visit to Phillip.
Phillip and Harold argue over a little bit of everything, before Harold insists they go their own way. Harold is called to a house, where he is forced to deal with his Captain, who is drunk. The Captain has been getting deeper in alcohol, since his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He tells Harold to chill out and stop being such a loner. With that, Harold heads to work and attempts to connect with the other officers. An Indian man enters and returns the bike and other items, which Jean delivered to their house.
Phillip and his co-workers discuss stopping the newcomers, who are coming from Walpole. That night, block the road with 2x4s, which are wrapped with barbwire. At home, Harold speaks to Jean about her behavior and she insists she doesn’t know what happened. The pair embrace, before Jean insists his cop buddies should come over and she agrees to cook. Right from the start, it is obvious Harold is horrible at poker. The group discuss the Lenape tribe and the potential of their casinos. Harold receives a call, which informs him of the rookie’s vehicle breaking down on the mountain.
The group arrives and discovers the 2x4s that Phillip and his boys threw out. Mac emerges from the woods. A stand off ensues and one of the officers fires his gun. Nobody is shot, as the dog emerges from the woods. The next morning, Mac speaks to Chief Levi Gall (Wes Studi). Levi insists other groups will try to come in and take over, while he tries to encourage Mac to build casinos. Afterwards, Phillip returns to work and is reprimanded for the stunt on the mountain. Due to the situation and the knowledge of Mac kicking Phillip out of the tribe, his boss sends him packing.
Junior and Marie attend a tribe meeting. Phillip arrives and asks Charlie Meer (Timothy Douglas Perez) about Mac’s location. Phillip leaves angrily. As the fireworks start, Phillip heads to Mac’s house, but he finds him shot on the ground, with a bunch of money beside of him. Phillip takes the money, but is interrupted by Junior. Despite his attempts to keep him away, Junior discovers Mac’s body. Phillip calls 911. Harold arrives and instantly accuses Phillip, but Junior takes up for him. Harold insists the Feds will take over the case, since the land is now protected.
Phillip thanks Junior and insists he’ll find out who did it. Junior insists he’s already found out who did it and will kill them himself.
The second season of The Red Road’s opening episode, Gifts, certainly brought a little of everything to the table. Harold has been promoted to lieutenant, while Phillip served time, before getting out and getting a job. The Lenape tribe has finally received federal recognition, which will definitely set up all kinds of future action. Jean’s crazy antics have only worsened and it seems to be impacting Harold’s reputation.
With the new officers and the introduction of Chief Levi Gall and many new Lenape Indians, it makes one wonder, if a future showdown between the two groups is in the works. The episode delivered a little humor, some bleak moments and plenty of intrigue. I enjoyed it and will certainly watch the rest of the season. The opener deserves a 7 out of 10.