It’s amazing how far the Western genre can go when the excellent materials fall into the hands of the right person. Scott Frank who has masterminded the plot of “Godless” series, as well as directed it, takes the viewer to the land of La Belle, where the majority of the population are women. The series is extremely violent, with bullets reaching any given target, yet, Scott Frank’s piece is so attractive that I could not drop watching it until I had finished the entire season at once. The production design is simply outstanding; the set decoration and costumes are so good that they simply turn these Netflix’s series into an addiction for film lovers.
The story is set in the 1880s. Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) is an outlaw and footpad. He gets outraged when his partner Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), whom he treats as a son, turns against him. Frank hunts Roy down. Wounded and weak, Roy hides at a ranch where he is nursed by Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), while Griffin continues terrorizing everyone he finds on his way until he reaches La Belle, New Mexico – a town almost entirely occupied by women.
La Belle is an interesting city, to begin with. The town’s history is marked by a tragedy, where around sixty men have lost their lives while extracting coal. Alice Fletcher is considered the cause of La Belle’s troubles. However, all of that will be forgotten when the true villain appears in the town. Frank Griffin unleashed true devastation from the moment he enters the town. Roy Goode used to be a gangster as well. He has killed people and assisted in every crime committed by Griffin. Due to flashbacks, we get to Goode’s real story and we get to understand why all of a sudden he has decided to become a saviour.
Frank Griffin is another rich character in “Godless”. He is pure evil – a violent killer, who treats people as if they are a flies. At the same time, we get a chance to see another side of him, where he is a compassionate and kind human being – the exact opposite of what he usually is. The cat-and-mouse game he plays with Roy claims countless lives. Roy, on the other hand, tries to get back to normal life when the bonds he develops with Fletcher become stronger by every minute. Bill McNue (Scoot McNairy) is the respectable Sheriff of the town. He is only months away from losing his eyesight and turning completely blind. But what he does is truly admirable and heroic. He decides to hunt down Griffin down before the light of his eyes turns into darkness.
From the executive producer Steven Soderbergh, “Godless” captures life in a godless land with no law or justice. While the story unfolds slowly, it is amazingly engaging, wicked and smart. It is not a rocket science to know that one cannot get close to a genre like this if they are not able to present the final outcome to the viewer in the best way. “Godless” captures their viewer from the start and won’t let them go until they reach the most epic finale episode of the season. It was truly mind-blowing. And, as in all good series, it is the penultimate episode that creates the right atmosphere in order for you to hold your breath during the final episode.
In conclusion, “Godless” is an outstanding Western TV show. I wish there were more series like this. The stellar performance delivered by the entire cast, and especially Jeff Daniels as a hateful, heartbroken villain, was shocking and pleasant at the same time. Daniels captures Griffin in a way that it is hard to believe anyone would love his character. But, of course, the viewer knows it’s all due to Daniel’s superb performance, which will not go down to history unnoticed. And finally, “Godless” is a straightforward Western with no fooling around. It begins on the bold note and ends with a bang. Having that said, what else does one need other than to enjoy the show that was made for an appreciating viewer?!