Warning: This recap contains spoilers.
In the season 1 finale of Tulsa King, “Happy Trails,” the final showdown with Caolan Waltrip and Black Macadam awaits, and Dwight’s crew is prepared to do what needs to be done.
The episode opens with a flashback to Brooklyn in 1997, where we finally see what sent Dwight to prison 25 years ago. Chickie, Vince, and Armand are torturing a guy, although the latter wants nothing to do with what’s happening. He steps away and calls Dwight, hurriedly telling him where they are. Dwight shows up, and he makes them stop, but then the room catches fire from the burning hot tool Chickie was branding Ripple’s face with. Ripple’s handcuffed to the radiator, and they can’t find the keys. Dwight tries shooting them off, but they’re made of reinforced steel. He kills him, because he doesn’t want him to burn to death. The cops are waiting for Dwight when he walks out of the building.
After the shooting
Given that Dwight was suspiciously at the scene when Stacy was shot, he’s brought in for questioning, but Bodhi gets his real estate lawyer buddy, Elliot, to walk in and act like his legal counsel to get him out of there. Afterward, Dwight brings Stacy flowers at the hospital, where he makes it clear that he’s going to find Waltrip. She’s not hopeful, because she believes that with all that money he has, he’s likely long gone by now. And as for her, she’s likely going to lose her job. Dwight tells her he’s going to make it up to her.
The Invernizzi Family comes to Tulsa
Armand tells Dwight that Chickie, Vince, and Goodie are all in Tulsa. Dwight asks him if he wants to lay low, but that’s the last thing he wants to do. Back in early 1998, a few months after Dwight went to jail, Chickie reached out to Armand and told him that he wanted to talk to him. Armand arrived for the meeting armed, ready to finally stand up to Chickie, but when he got there, he couldn’t get out of the car. Instead, he drove for 24 hours until he arrived in Tulsa. He doesn’t want to run anymore.
Tyson comes along when they go to confront them, at which point Dwight finally stands up to Chickie — he knows that they sent him out to Tulsa to basically die, and he’s done. Although he extends the invitation to Goodie to stay, he tells Chickie and Vince to get out of his town. Surprisingly, and much to Chickie’s dismay, Goodie opts to side with Dwight. The new head of the Invernizzi family, enraged by the fact that two of his men are now going against him, threatens to take them out on the spot. However, Dwight’s extra muscle from Jimmy and Mitch’s guys comes in handy, because Chickie backs down when he sees them waiting on the sidelines, armed to the teeth.
Goodie is officially a part of the crew when they gather at Bred 2 Buck — where he shares that his real name is apparently Dennis. Grace arrives just in time for Dwight’s rousing speech to prepare his new family for what’s to come in the fight against Black Macadam.
Dwight and Tyson go to Bodhi’s house — where they’re met with his distaste for normal chairs — and they ask Bodhi if he can hack Waltrip’s laptop, which is currently in possession of the ATF, to steal his money. Despite the fact that Bodhi says his chances are a very strong maybe, he manages to get in and immediately drains his account. Unfortunately, both the ATF and Waltrip take immediate notice of this. Afterward, Dwight makes a bold choice in sending Stacy a card at the hospital with a flash drive that shows her he put a million dollars in an offshore account for her.
Closed until further notice
We get a glimpse into Mitch’s life outside of the bar as he sits in his living room with his dad, where he tells him that the bar is going to be shut down for a while to do renovations. Babe brings up the fact that the bar was shot up by a biker gang, and he asks him if he trusts Dwight — to which Mitch explains exactly why he does.
Dwight and the gang await the arrival of Black Macadam at Bred 2 Buck, which is signalled by the sound of motorcycles outside in the parking lot. “In the Air Tonight” plays in the background as Waltrip and his men enter the bar, only to immediately be met with bullets and explosions (just as the drum beat drops in, of course). It’s a ruthless shootout, but Dwight ultimately pins Waltrip against a wall and shoots him.
Three months later
As the episode comes to a close, we fast forward to three months later. Tina is in town with her kids visiting, and Dwight brings them to Fennario Ranch to ride Pilot — it’s a real family bonding moment.
Elsewhere, Stacy is shocked to find that she’s being reinstated with the ATF … on one condition.
That evening, the bar is back in business and looking better than ever, as it will now be known as the Bred 2 Buck Cabaret and Casino. As promised, Mitch indeed takes his place as the house band, performing covers of “Ramblin’ Man” and “Never Been To Spain” (Garrett Hedlund is also a musician as well as an actor in real life — check out his music here).
In the final moments, Stacy’s “condition” is revealed: she gave the police the flash drive. The cops surround Dwight, arresting him for attempted bribery of a federal agent.
All nine episodes of Tulsa King are now streaming exclusively on Paramount+. If you need a refresher, take a look back at our weekly episodic recaps, and stick around, because the show has already been renewed for a second season.