Into the West Part 6: Ghost Dance

This is the final episode of Into the West and I must say that it has been so much fun writing these reviews! I hope you enjoy this last review, and I am also hopeful that my posts have inspired you to see this phenomenal series.

In Into the West Part 6: Ghost Dance the Lakota people are filled with hope that a messiah will come and deliver them out of the hands of the white men. Because of this hope they start a dance of prayer…a dance that became known as the Ghost Dance.

Robert and Clara Wheeler have gone where they’re needed. Robert transports supplies to the Indian reservation by wagon and Clara has started a small school to teach the Indian children without taking them from their families. It’s been ten years since they left Captain Pratt’s school, and not long after they left there Clara gave birth to a son, Jedediah.

Voices That Carry, now known as George the name given him when he went to the white man’s school, now a young man, has decided to return to the reservation and find his family. He has great hopes to help his people, and to learn from them. He knows that the more he learns from them, the more he can help them. But things are very different from what he remembers…and expects.

Margaret Light Shines has remained on the reservation, taking in children whose parents can’t feed them and tending to them herself. She doesn’t take the white man’s charity. She has made a life among these people and she despises the reporters who come in telling lies about the Indians. They make up stories of attempted attacks against the people who run the reservations, which only stir up trouble and unease in the white mens hearts.

Robert disapproves of the lies the reporters tell as well and, when the Indians take hope that a messiah will come and save their people, Robert knows that trouble is coming. The Ghost Dance frightens the white men and the reporters create fictional stories surrounding innocent events. And always, the Indians are the savages.

Voices That Carry is reunited with his brother, Red Lance. But their relationship soon becomes strained when Red Lance sees just how much his brother has changed. Voices That Carry soon starts to realize that he doesn’t belong anywhere…he’s changed so much. He didn’t belong in the white man’s world…but because of the changes made, will he ever belong in the Indian’s world again?

Jacob and Thunder Heart Woman have come to be near the people they care about…Robert and Clara. They settle in like family, also holding onto the hope that they will find their daughter and be reunited with her once again. It’s been many years since they’ve seen Margaret and they don’t know whether or not she’s alive…or dead.

Spoilers below!

When the Ghost Dance continues, the fear of the white men increases. Unnecessary actions are taken, and an army is called to the reservation. Upon arrival Colonel Forsyth looks around the realizes that his cavalry wasn’t needed at all. If the Indian Agent, Daniel Royer, hadn’t been so jumpy and fearful, he would not have been needed. Now some Indians have run off because they were afraid the white men would kill them. They’ve fled to Big Foot’s camp in the Black Hills.

In the meantime, Margaret has skilfully acquired a camera. The reporters, wanting one of the many ghost shirts that supposedly stop bullets, traded her for it not realizing she could speak English and knew how to use it. Margaret is now creating her own history with pictures…a history of what was really going on on the reservation.

But during one of her walks, recording the events on the reservation, she comes across a poster…with her face on it. And she suddenly realizes that her parents are close by.

In the meantime Sitting Bull has been confronted and arrested. But, during the arrest, he is shot and killed, causing an uproar among the Indians. Red Lance and Voices That Carry flee to Big Foot…but not before Voices That Carry raises a weapon in defense of his brother, and ends up killing one of the Indian police.  Later, when reunited with Dog Star, he shares the event with him and tells him that he’s lost his center. And Dog Star replies, just as sadly, that the world has lost its center.

Now the seventh cavalry is headed out to find Big Foot and bring him back…to Wounded Knee Creek.

This last episode of Into the West was just as fantastic and heartbreaking as the previous ones. The story is finally coming to a close with one last massacre, one more attack…one last blow against the Indians who have desired nothing but peace for a very long time. Loved By the Buffalo has wandered all these years, hoping to find a way to stop Growling Bear’s vision…and he found no answers.

He has now realized that stopping Growling Bear’s vision was impossible. Love By the Buffalo has lost so much…the question is, in coming to the Pine Ridge Reservation, will he finally find his sister, Thunder Heart Woman, again after so many years?

Into the West was the best series I have ever seen. It was so full of history, the facts laid right before your eyes. It broke my heart right in two, to see what our history truly was. The taming of the west, as they call it, was a brutal and terrible thing. That part of our history I am not proud of. It was all about taking, stealing from the people who were here first.

It was all about greed. It was all about what the white men wanted. They stole land from the people who rightfully owned it. From the people who had laid claimed to it, lived on it and loved it. They stole that peoples’ way of survival by killing the buffalo.

This series opened my eyes to the history of how the west was settled…and I’ll be honest. I didn’t like what I learned. This series was taken completely from historical facts and while I didn’t like what I learned, I still learned a lot and am glad that I have this knowledge now. It opens up a whole new perspective of our history for me.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if it did the same for you too. So yes, I definitely think you should watch this series. It was amazing.

Coming Soon: Ellen never thought that anyone could, or would bother to, care about her…but then she met Buck and everything changed. Look for my review of Jamie Carie’s novella, The Snowflake, soon!!


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