This is a Western.
That thought occurred to me, granted belatedly, during Pure Season 1 Episode 3.
Well, that certainly explains all those establishing vista shots of Southern Ontario.
Think about it: A mild, good-hearted farmer gets thrust into a position of authority to defend his community against a band of ruthless outlaws.
The Mennonites' simple way of life would have fit in in the Old West.
If still in doubt, what should cinch it was that shot of Eli in all-black garb bookended by the two brightly-dressed twins.
If he's not a stereotypical Western villain, who is?
Of course, this analogy goes off the rails when Pure moves to the world of the Auslanders, especially Bronco.
Then again, maybe not Bronco. After all, weren't disgraced lawmen trying to redeem themselves a recurring theme in classic Westerns?
And Bronco does genuinely want to turn around his career.
I mean, he's even set up a crime board outlining the ties of the drug running to the Mennonites in his own home so that he can work on this case after hours.
At least that's removed slightly from the drunk we got introduced to when he was ripping off a hooker on Pure Season 1 Episode 1.
Besides being a cop on probation, Bronco is divorced and estranged from his son Ben. His fellow cops are turning on him.
Bronco is his own worst enemy, as he has years of bad reputation and worse habits to overcome. But it also seemed all someone inside his department is working against him as well, as there are few other ways to explain the missing cell phone.
And without that, the whole investigation falls apart.
Bronco wants to be a better man. He yearns to be worthy of Anna, with whom he had a brief relationship while in high school.
That's why he'll do what she asks, such as getting names of the wives of the Road Demons.
That was also why he kept plaintively asking her if she was happy.
Happiness isn't a concept that Anna frequently ponders. Her days are split between service to the Lord and taking care of her family.
Anna knows she made the right choice in Noah. He's kind, pure-hearted, reverent ... and dangerously naive.
That's why she decided that she had to go inside Eli's operation with Noah. As she explained to gang wife Courtney, sometimes wives have to save their husbands from their own bad decisions.
And Noah, poor faith-driven Noah, is bound to make more of those in the near future.
That's because Noah is in way over his head in his simple plan to entrap Eli. He can't even lie well. Within minutes on Pure Season 1 Episode 2, he was spilling about his forced alliance with Eli's mob, although he did spend most of that episode trying to keep Anna in the dark after his mob activities.
Noah's face says everything, but it's impossible to tell what's going on in Anna's head.
But there's a fire within her and a take-no-shit attitude. That became evident when she would spit out soft-spoken but hard-edged directives to those around her.
I can't see Noah going head to head with Eli. But Eli against someone who would push back, such as Anna? That could be interesting to see.
After all, she was the one that set in motion the change in the leadership of the Road Demons, although it surely went further than she anticipated.
So for Noah's hairbrained scheme to have any chance of working, Anna had to come in to run the business. As she pointed out, the accounting isn't any different than what she does on the farm. And she can silence any doubters with a glance.
What's to lose? To protect their family, they had to work as one.
I've got a bad feeling that Tina is going to get involved as well, after overseeing Noah show his secret hymnal to Anna. She's too curious and concerned for her father to let that lie.
It was a sweet scene to watch Tina and Ben complain that, basically, parents just don't understand, before he slipped his arm around her and she didn't resist. I could see her leaving the community for the right guy.
Then there's son Isaac. What a clueless block of wood! He wants to be baptized to make his parents proud, although I'm sure the cute blonde newcomer is a factor.
Even Ezekiel, the boy the Funks are hiding from the mob, is making better use of his screentime. This episode, he helped his adoptive "father" Abel by dumping his stash. Abel raged at first, but later hugged the boy.
He really seems to want to make an honest life for himself and Ezekiel. I hope he gets a chance to, but I'm skeptical, as Abel would be the simplest to remove from the family unit.
How long can Anna and Noah keep up their deception? If that's just fooling Joey, they're safe. But Eli must have more spies in town.
To catch up on this gripping crime drama, watch Pure online.
Does Noah stand a better chance with Anna at his side?
Will Bronco get his shit together? How about Joey?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.