Such is the delicate manias overpopulating the weird Western world of Perpetual Grace, LTD. Bad title, but what’s in a name? Pronounce the last bit “limited,” though this ridiculously fun new drama is anything but. It premieres with a Hitchcockian crisscross. A drifter named James (Jimmi Simpson) meets talkative Paul (Damon Herriman), who spins a big-money border crossing plot. With help from lovelorn Mexican sheriff Hector (Guzmán), they’ll fake the deaths of Paul’s church-owning parents to get a large inheritance.
Ma (Jacki Weaver) and Pa (Kingsley) sure look like good Christian suckers, wearing the kind of hats you imagine the colonists wore in Roanoke, Va. They take James in—and follow his directions south when he tells them their son’s death in Mexico. Not everyone is what they seem. Imprisoned, Pa kills a man with a shoe. He informs Hector casually, “I’m the pale horse of death, and hell follows me.” Meanwhile, James is impersonating Paul, which attracts the investigative eye of that Texas Ranger (Terry O’Quinn, looking like the face on a dollar bill you can’t afford).
All the cons overlapping in a bleached-beautiful desert landscape suggest the biblical phases of Breaking Bad. And co-creator Steven Conrad made Amazon’s Patriot, a kaleidoscopic spy drama I’m embarrassingly only now watching. Like Patriot, Conrad’s new series is a tense thriller and a whimsical