Ethan and Hecate ride through the desert toward the ranch of Ethan's father. They pause for a rest and Ethan says that they still have two days' hard ride to reach their destination. He points out a river bed where they can rest for a few hours and let the horses drink, and turns to see the marshals riding after them.
Malcolm and Kaetenay track the marshals, and Kaetenay says that he intends to acquire new horses. He cuts himself a spear and tells Malcolm that plans to kill the men who stand between them and the demon who intends to corrupt Ethan's soul. When Kaetenay says that he would give up his life to save Ethan, Malcolm asks if Ethan would do the same. The Apache says that Ethan will kill him the first chance he gets.
Ethan and Hecate stop at the river bed and realize that the water has dried up. Thinking back, Ethan remembers when he washed the blood from his hands in the same river. He tells Hecate that there's no other water for days, and she asks him what happened between him and his father. Ethan explains that his father wants him to answer for what he's done, and admits that his sin was that grave. When Ethan says that his shame is the only thing decent about him, Hecate questions a God that would make Ethan a glorious monster and yet tortures Ethan with guilt. Ethan says that God gives him forgiveness, and Hecate says that the only way to free himself of guilt is to embrace his sins.
At Bedlam, Henry straps in the now-sane Balfour and hooks him up to Victor's generator. Victor boasts that his method is superior and he has purified the serum and increased its effectiveness. He assures Balfour that he will be cured, and explains that he's going to inject an electrified dosage into his prefrontal cortex. Once Henry gags Balfour, Victor turns on the generator and tells Balfour that he'll have no memory of his sins and he will be reborn an innocent lamb. With that, he injects the needle through Balfour's eye socket into his brain.
The marshals make camp for the night, and Rusk sits with Ostow and has tea. Ostow asks the inspector how he lost his arm, and Rusk explains that his regiment was in pursuit of an assassin. He lured them into an ambush, and only four of them survived. Rusk cauterized the wound and left the others behind, and continued tracking the assassin. When he caught him, he dragged him to Cape Town and then reported to the infirmary.
Ethan and Hecate watch the marshals' campfire and Hecate questions whether they have the numbers. She comforts one of the horses, and Ethan says that it's dying of thirst just like they will. Hecate brushes the horse and says that she adores all the honest creatures of the world. It's humans that she hates. Hecate explains that she competed in horseracing, and Ethan tells her that his father taught him to ride. She says that her mother enlisted her and let Lucifer rake his claws across Hecate's body when she was 5. Ethan says that his father enlisted him in the Army to make a man of him, and he accepted to make him proud. The command officer was a Senator's son, and one day they came across an Apache band. They attacked while the Indians were sleeping, and the first one Ethan killed was just standing there. She didn't run and Ethan shot her down and then killed more. Once it was over, he tried to wash the blood from his hands and the officer dumped the body of an Indian boy into the river to poison it. He looked at Ethan and smiled, and said that they'd give them medals for what they did. Ethan shot him in the head and then rode into the last Apache stronghold and begged them to take his scalp.
At their camp, Kaetenay tells Malcolm that Ethan come to him wanting to die so he could atone for his sins. Kaetenay thought it was crueler to make him live, so he made Ethan fight the army that he once served. Ethan took to it and the Army sent thousands of men to hunt down the last 39 free Apaches. Kaetenay's tribe died man by man, and they did monstrous things.
Hecate tells Ethan that God watched everything Ethan did and laughed, and says that they can create a world of their own. She offers to kill the creatures of the night to kill the marshals, and Ethan accepts.
Kaetenay tells Malcolm to get the marshals' horses while he kills anyone in their way.
Hecate draws an inscription in the sand and asks Ethan for his hand. She cuts it and catches the blood in her hands.
Rusk's junior inspector wakes up and sees Malcolm approaching the horses.
Hecate pours Ethan's blood into the inscription and chants, digging her hands into the earth.
In the marshals' camp, Kaetenay cuts one man's throat. He then moves on to the next man.
The junior inspector draws his gun and approaches Malcolm, and tells him not to move.
In the camp, rattlesnakes emerge from the ground. Kaetenay sees them and cuts his target's throat and the lunging snake at the same time. Another one bites his arm and he throws it away, while the surviving marshals wake up and start shooting at the snakes. When the junior inspector turns at the noise, Malcolm shoots him and then rides toward the camp with a second horse. Rusk and Ostow fire at him, but Kaetenay mounts the second horse and the two men ride off.
As they watch the chaos, Hecate takes Ethan's hand and tells him to listen to the music of the screams.
Rusk and Ostow go to the camp and confirm that everyone else is dead.
In Bedlam, Victor and Henry watch Balfour. Henry points out that it's been 24 hours and Balfour hasn't woken up. They argue about their time in Cambridge and how Henry was cast out after he assault a professor. Victor advises him to keep his rage in check, and checks on Balfour. Henry asks if Victor would give up his memories and could feel like a lamb rather than a beast, and Victor says that he wouldn't. His friend asks if Victor could go through with bring Lily there and see it through, and Victor tells Henry that after he created Lily, for a few days in his life the two of them were perfect.
Balfour wakes up, gasping, and has no memory of Henry and Victor or where he is. They explain why he's there, and Balfour insists that he would never harm anyone. Victor is satisfied that he's telling the truth.
Come morning, Rusk and Ostow find the dead junior inspector. Ostow asks Rusk if he still intends to take Ethan alive, and Rusk disavows his code and says that he will shoot Ethan in the back and butcher all his kind.
Ethan and Hecate ride off until Ethan's horse gives out. He gently strokes it and then shoots it dead, and tells Hecate that when her horse dies then so will they.
Victor returns to his lab and holds Lily's dress to his face. He then cleans the place up.
Come nightfall, Ethan finds a cave and makes a fire against the cold. Hecate sees drawings on the walls and asks what they mean. Ethan explains that it's the story of the first Apache, created when Coyote unleashed the creatures of the night across the world. A boy, Apache, was born who grew up to face the creatures and defeated them, winning back the day. Hecate suggests that it's a prophecy of how the world ends.
Malcolm and Kaetenay make camp, and Kaetenay examines the snake bite. He tells Malcolm that if he does not survive the night, then Malcolm needs to know that after his son abandoned him, he came to his land. Kaetenay wanted only to die, but was not allowed to. He received a vision of a world cast into darkness and creatures of the night, and Ethan with blood on his mouth. Kaetenay warns Malcolm that darkness will soon be upon them if they lose Ethan to evil, and the night will never end.
Hecate asks Ethan if he is the savior that ends the night, or the wolf who loves it. Ethan says that they camped inside the cave for weeks when he was one of the tribe, and he knew that they could find food and guns at his father's ranch. He tells Hecate that he betrayed his tribe and slaughtered women and children, and he will send his father to Hell and laughs while he does it. Ethan says that he's done trying to be good, and kisses Hecate. As they have sex, Hecate tells Ethan to pledge his servitude to Lucifer when he kills his father, and he will never feel guilt again.
The next day, Ethan and Hecate go to their remaining horse and drink the last of their water.
Malcolm and a dying Kaetenay ride across the desert.
Rusk and Ostow ride after Ethan.
Once their horse dies, Ethan and Hecate continue on foot. Hecate finally collapses and Ethan carries her. He finally drops to his knees, gasping, and hears a horse whinny nearby. Malcolm and Kaetenay ride toward them, and Malcolm dismounts and comes over. He offers Ethan some water, and Ethan gives some to the unconscious Hecate. Malcolm draws his gun, and Ethan draws his and says that Malcolm shouldn't have come there. After a moment, Malcolm lowers the gun and then turns as a group of men ride up. Their leader, Rance, recognizes Ethan and says that the prodigal son has returned. Three of the men get Ethan and Hecate on to their horses, and the other surround Malcolm. He hands over his gun, while Rance tells Ethan that it's up to him what they do with Kaetenay. Ethan says to let the Apache die slow because he isn't worth a bullet, ignoring Malcolm's objections, and the cowboys drop Kaetenay on the ground.
Later, Ethan wakes up and finds his father Jared daubing him with water. Jared says that he loves Ethan and is glad that he's home.
In a guest room, Malcolm changes his clothing and looks at the photos of Ethan and another man with Jared. Rance escorts him to Jared's study and Jared knows who Malcolm is from his Pinkerton contacts. He welcomes Malcolm to his home and offers him a drink. Malcolm says that he'd like to see Hecate, and Jared says that he'd like to know why Ethan has been living in Malcolm's townhouse for the last year. The hunter says that his daughter went missing and he enlisted Malcolm's services to find him, but he was unable to save Mina. Jared offers his condolences.
Hecate wakes up and sees a dollhouse on a table nearby. There are dolls sitting at the foot of her bed.
Jared shows Malcolm a painting by Audubon of wolves, and says that it's a bloodthirsty land. He talks about how the Apache are beasts, not humans, and forged his empire by the glory of God. Malcolm points out that Jared's home is empty and his son hates him, and wonders what Jared wants from him. Jared wants to know why he was riding with Apache filth, and Malcolm says that he was riding alongside a man. The magnate asks how many men he slaughtered, and figures that they're the same. Jared admits that they're not the same: he still has one child to save. He promises that Ethan will live out his days on the land, and Malcolm will help Jared assure that. Malcolm asks what happens if he can't assist Jared, and Jared asks him what he would do if someone came between him and his child before leaving.
Hecate finds Ethan and thanks him for saving her. She promises that she will save his life again and again, and tells him that he knows what needs be done. Ethan says that the reckoning has been a long time coming and he intends to enjoy it.
Rance escorts Ethan to where Jared is waiting. Jared insists that Rance leave, sure that Ethan won't hurt him. Once the hired man goes, Jared says that they're not there to make amends. He's brought Ethan there to save his soul. Ethan reminds him that he slaughtered a train full of innocent people, and Jared admits that he'll ride in the fires of Hell. He doesn't know what innocence means, and he killed people that came between him and his son. Jared asks if Ethan's sister were innocent, and sees the guilt on Ethan's face that he has to atone. Ethan says that he doesn't intend on repenting, and Jared tells him that's because he wasn't there to see what happened. His son says that he was in Jared's stables stealing his horses when the Apaches attacked, and Jared tells him that he has kept everything as they left it.
Jared takes Ethan to a chapel and explains that they were having supper when the Apache attacked. The chapel is torn apart, and Jared says that Ethan's brother Paul was leading them in grave when the Apache struck. Paul took his mother and sister into the chapel, while Jared and the surviving men went to the store of ammunition. It had also been ransacked because the Apache knew exactly where to look. Ethan insists that they were only supposed to take the weapons. His father says that they barricaded themselves in the chapel and his wife knelt at the altar and prayed for mercy. The Apache made Jared watch as they killed Paul and scalped Jared's wife, and then forced Jared to watch as they cut out his daughter Mary's tongue. Then they cut out her eyes so she would wander blind and mute in the place of death. Kaetenay was the one who did it, but Jared was the one who let him and his men in.
Jared tells Ethan that he must get down on his knees and beg for God's mercy. He draws a revolver and tells Ethan that he must repent or he'll send him to Hell. Ethan says that he's done repenting and he belongs in Hell, and Jared cocks the hammer.
Written by Gadfly on May 30, 2016