Tom Blythe on a horse in a scene from 'Billy the Kid'
Chris Large/Chris Large/Epix

'Billy the Kid' Episode 3 Recap: Why Billy Turned to a Life of Crime


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Warning, spoilers ahead for season 1 of Billy the Kid.

The Epix series Billy the Kid is providing a really gritty look at the difficulties of life out in the Wild West. For a young man named Billy McCarty, tragedy after tragedy would end up sending him to a life of crime and eventually turning him into one of the most legendary outlaws of his time.

In episode 3 of the new western series, "Antrim" shows Billy, now taking on his stepfather's surname Antrim, living with his family in Santa Fe. The teenager loses everything which ends up sending him down a dark path and aligning himself with a new rough crowd.

Here are the 5 main takeaways from episode 3 of Billy the Kid.

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Times are tough in Silver City

Billy's family is now living in Silver City, New Mexico. His step-father is working in the mines and nearly dies during an explosion that claims his co-worker Norm. An injured Antrim returns back to the family home but he doesn't want to work anymore after nearly losing his life. Kathleen explains that they were only able to get a loan for their house because of his job as well as the fact that she had a job as a waitress. They couldn't afford for him to sit around not working but Antrim isn't wild about her suggestion to look for a new job. Billy, wanting to help, heads out to try to win some money gambling but loses to a young man named Jesse Evans.

Mr. Upson tries to help Billy get a job

Billy doesn't want their family to depend on Henry Antrim and wants to get a job. The journalist Mr. Upson, also living in Silver City, connects him with a local rancher named Billy Matthews who is hiring ranch hands. Matthews has Billy do a cowboy trial to see if he's capable of roping cattle. Though he initially misses, Billy finally gets it right but doesn't get the job.

Turns out Matthews is part of the Santa Fe Ring and wants to send Mr. Upson a clear message that he wants him to stop the investigation. Billy notes that it seems he's sending him a pretty clear message as well.

Billy forms a friendship with Jesse Evans

The two go out for target practice and to Jesse's surprise, Billy is a crack shot. After winning all his money gambling, Jesse gifts Billy his rifles and even offers him a side gig of "cattle rustling" for some extra money. Initially Billy isn't interested, but after his younger brother Joe gets consumption, he knows his family needs money for a doctor. It also didn't hurt that the herd Jesse's gang planned on stealing from was Matthews.

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Billy loses his family

Billy loses his brother to consumption and shortly after, the disease claims his mother. It's an absolutely heartbreaking scene watching Billy care for his mother on her deathbed, listing to her explaining that he's got to let her go. Billy sings to his mother as she fades away, the last person from his family leaving him behind. He's also officially left with nothing because he caught Antrim stealing all of the money from their savings his mother had set aside for safekeeping.

Billy officially becomes a criminal

After stealing cattle together, Billy and Jesse reunite to attempt to rob a Chinese laundry. Jesse gets shot in the process but he escapes, and Billy gets taken into custody. He is sentenced to 3 years in jail despite having no evidence that anything was actually stolen or anyone injured. Mr. Upson, present at the hearing, says that it was another instance of the Ring punishing others for his investigation since it's known he's close to Billy.

That night in his cell, Billy pretends to hang himself. When a lawman comes in to help, Billy grabs his gun and locks him in the cell. He walks out of the police station a young man on the run.

READ MORE: Did Billy the Kid Really Die in a Shootout? He May Have Actually Lived to 90

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