Well my Turkey Day binging didn’t go quite as comprehensively as planned, though I did make it all the way through The Punisher and all the episodes of Runaways so far. I found myself actually grateful to Hulu that they don’t follow the Netflix model and only dumped three installments on the public with the rest to be parceled out weekly. I just don’t binge well, after three or four episodes at most I need a break!

All that’s a long-winded way of saying I didn’t get nearly as far into Godless as I hoped I might when I brought it up last week, though what I’ve seen so far certainly hasn’t turned me off from continuing. It’s got a very classic Western pacing to it, that “slow burn” feeling that at least one person has also said of Zombie Ranch during its first arc (and I felt it a great compliment).

It’s not the same as nothing happening, though there are certainly people who see it that way and tune out in favor of more immediately rewarding fare. The slow burn is never just churning its wheels — there’s some over-arching tension, like a storm cloud on the horizon, which even if the characters aren’t aware of the audience most certainly is. In High Noon for example it’s the clock ticking down to the imminent arrival of Frank Miller. Unforgiven is interspersed with periods of quiet and violence but everything finally comes to a bloody head in Big Whiskey’s saloon as a vicious storm breaks both literally and figuratively.

Godless has its own storm on the horizon in the form of outlaw gangleader Frank Griffin (sheesh, between this and High Noon and Once Upon a Time in the West the Franks really get a bad rap!), who is portrayed as a force as deadly and destructive as one of the plagues from the Bible he’s obsessed with. You learn why he’s so obsessed with religion by the end of Episode 2 and it’s a bone chilling twist where he discusses his past and agrees with the accusation of his latest victims that he is a godless man after all, but that’s because the West is a godless country.

It’s a hell of a speech, and obviously of enough significance that the showrunners decided to title the whole series for it. In any case, I still have five episodes to go. Then I can share more of my thoughts on how this particular storm plays out.