Titillating Mysteries About Booking • AIPT

The Leaphorn & Chee the book series by author Tony Hillerman has already been adapted with the films The black wind and skin walkers. AMC has another attempt to bring the fictional Navajo Tribal Police characters to live action with dark winds.

The series premiere begins with an outrageous and tense armored car heist that could feel right at home in a Michael Mann project. The action is a good way to draw in viewers while leading us to the Navajo Nation, where the escaping helicopter passes. This isn’t the only excitement on the reservation as some time later horrific murders occur at a hotel leaving only one witness: an elderly, blind medicine woman. Looks like the local authorities will have their hands full.


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Our first introduction to Officer Joe Leaphorn makes you believe he has his own justice. In a way, he does, but not like the first scene leads you to believe. He is very dedicated to his people and their traditions and will toe the moral line with the perpetrators of what he believes to be right.

In dark winds, Zahn McClarnon proves he can be a leading man in the role. Despite being soft and having a petite stature, there is an attractive presence about her. Plus, he can touch his character’s emotional beats as we touch the surface of his tragic past and his connection to the family of one of the murder victims. There is a bit of a tortured soul in him.

Photo: Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC

The other characters also have interesting aspects. Leaphorn’s wife, Emma, ​​is as intuitive a nurse as her husband. She is aware of the benefits of modern medicine but does not have as much confidence in the white doctors she works with. Bernadette Manuelito is the tough sergeant and second in command while Jim Chee is the team’s new young officer.

dark winds offers an intriguing insight into Navajo culture, from ceremonies and practices to daily life. Although the reservation is one of the largest in the United States, it has a very small town feel where everyone knows each other and a greater sense of community. There are also so many beautiful shots of the vastness of the country. With a writers room staffed entirely by Native Americans, they treat these elements with respect to ensure an accurate and authentic experience.

This is all the more important as the show incorporates a supernatural aspect. This is well perceived in the double homicide, but even more subtly afterwards during follow-ups of witnesses and social controls. The audible noises of buzzing flies create an unsettling effect. Leaphorn and Manuelito’s trinkets and protection rituals further play with this theme. It’s not the first time a psychological crime thriller has had a paranormal slant, but the indigenous spirituality offers something new.

Towards the end of the episode, there are a few revelations to shake things up and establish directions in which dark winds can go for the rest of the season. Chee’s secret isn’t too surprising given the timing of his appearance and his personality when we first meet him. The most curious revelation is the fate of the helicopter from the opening.

“Monster Slayer” kicks off an engaging black detective series with a gripping track and a focus on showcasing Native American culture.

Watch new episodes of dark winds on AMC+ or Sunday nights on AMC.

'Dark Winds' Episode 1 Review: Touching Mysteries About the Reserve

Dark Winds E 1 review: ‘Monster Slayer’

“Monster Slayer” kicks off an engaging black detective series with a gripping track and a focus on showcasing Native American culture.

Zahn McClarnon is an impressive leader with a magnetic presence and versatility.

Native American influences bring a different approach to the genre.

Jim Chee’s big reveal at the end isn’t all that surprising.


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