My final assessment of Godless is its effect is greater than its parts, which are uneven and too often rely on obvious tropes. I liked the questions it raised about kinship, survival, faith and madness — any one of which might have carried the series. But add to that gender roles, race, predatory capitalism and fake news and you have quite a stew.
Though I really liked the way the characters talked, the series did not serve its audience well by not translating the German and Paiute. It seemed lazy.
I was saddened more than ticked off by the side story of the Buffalo Soldiers. Their fateful encounter with Griffin and his marauders felt more like a device than anything. It was truly puzzling why the show's creators handled their story so peripherally. The “barely there” love story between the white deputy and the mulatto daughter of a Buffalo Soldier was clunky and peculiar. Why was she biracial when every other member of her family was dark-skinned. And why was the mixed white/Paiute boy so clearly full-blooded native? Setting aside these matters I do embrace Godless’ message of determination and sacrifice.