Dark Winds

Watch Dark Winds

  • TV-MA
  • 2022
  • 2 Seasons
  • 7.7  (16,097)

Dark Winds is an enthralling TV show brought to you by AMC. Based on the striking 'Leaphorn & Chee' novel series by Tony Hillerman, a celebrated author known for his unique South-Western setting, Dark Winds paints an intricate image of the Navajo Tribal Police in the gripping 1970s South-West.

Zahn McClarnon stars as Joe Leaphorn, a stoic and unyielding detective with a shrewd mind for the investigative pursuit. His phenomenal performances as various, complex indigenous characters in award-winning productions such as 'Fargo' and 'Westworld' have garnered him acclaim, and he manages to bring those skills here too, creating a character as riveting as it is unflinching.

Kiowa Gordon stars equally as captivating as Jim Chee, the young, idealistic recruit eager to preserve the cultural sovereignty of the Navajo Nation while maintaining law and order. Gordon’s natural and endearing performance breathes life to the character.

Jessica Matten is equally unforgettable as Emma Leaphorn, the steadfast and loving wife of Joe Leaphorn. Her presence and performance provide an emotional anchor for the narrative, fostering deep-rooted relations with the fellow characters.

Adding further flair to the show’s ensemble cast are Rainn Wilson, Jeremiah Bitsui, Eugene Brave Rock, Noah Emmerich, and Jonathan Adams. Wilson, previously known for his comedic roles, steps into the boots of an archeologist who has a deep fascination with the Navajo culture. Bitsui and Brave Rock are cast as distinctive Native characters who provide additional depth and breadth to the story.

Emmerich holds a unique position as a FBI agent who often crosses paths with Leaphorn during investigations. His performance is subtly nuanced, blending the required tension with a dimension of respect for the culture of the Navajo Nation, which he is navigating while solving the crimes.

Set in the 1970s, Dark Winds breathes an air of uniqueness, authenticity, and intrigue. This is reflected not only in the complex dynamics of the Characters but also portrayed through the stunning cinematography that captures the vastness and beauty of the Southwest.

What makes Dark Winds stands out is the incorporation of Tribal and regional ethos, setting the series apart from a run-of-the-mill crime drama. It delves deep into the culture and traditions of the Navajo community, with much respect to their rituals, customs, and belief systems. The result is a layered narrative crafted expertly enough to engross viewers in an immersive experience.

The creators, steeped in authenticity, have created vivid yet relatable indigenous characters and have managed to portray the cultural interactions of the tribal community and the larger American society. Dark Winds is significant in its representation of Native American culture, which has been often underrepresented or stereotypically depicted in mainstream narratives.

Suspenseful, immersive, and deeply human, Dark Winds is not just about the mysterious crimes that keep cropping up on the Navajo Nation land. It is as much about the mysticism and the spirituality rooted in the culture. It is about how the characters navigate their personal lives while upholding their shared heritages in a rapidly modernizing world.

Leaphorn's cold, procedural approach towards his work contrasts with Chee's emphasis on spiritualism and symbolism. This dichotomy provides an unexplored layer of complexity, resulting in interesting, sometimes tense dynamics.

The series is dark, dramatic, and atmospheric with scenic desert landscapes sprawled across the screen and unique tribal elements bejeweling the storyline. The show is complemented with a-score that blends traditional tribal music with contemporary rhythm, enhancing the tone set by the characterization.

On the technical aspect, the show impresses with its artistic blending of naturalistic cinematography and meticulous production design representative of the era. It provides authentic visual treats, capturing the beauty and starkness of the southwestern landscape.

Dark Winds masterfully weaves a web of intrigue and mystery under the vast Southwest sky, grounding the narrative in the cultural facets of the Navajo Tribe. What stands out in this production is the seamless infusion of tribal culture and mystery-thriller genres, creating a riveting viewing experience for audiences. The series is a standout not just for its gripping story and compelling performances but also for its respectful, empathetic depiction of Native American life.

Dark Winds is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (15 episodes). The series first aired on June 12, 2022.

Dark Winds
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Season 2
71. Season 2
September 4, 2023
Cast and show creators give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Dark Winds Season 2, featuring interviews with Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten and more.
6. H
September 3, 2023
Leaphorn and Chee discover evidence that connects their cases, only for Leaphorn to realize justice won't be easily served; Manuelito prepares for a big life change.
Black Hole Sun
5. Black Hole Sun
August 27, 2023
With his suspect in custody, Leaphorn races against the clock to get a confession, while Chee goes under cover at the cult that ties their investigations together. Meanwhile, Manuelito counsels a teenager nervous about the draft.
The March
4. The March
August 17, 2023
Leaphorn risks his life in pursuit of a suspect, while Manuelito stands up to the sheriff in a bid to rescue her boss. Seeking answers on a case, Chee considers a dangerous proposition.
3. Antigonish
August 10, 2023
After facing off with a dangerous man, Chee strikes out on his own. Meanwhile, Leaphorn and Manuelito partner with the sheriff's department, leading Leaphorn to identify a vital clue.
Wonders of the Unknown
2. Wonders of the Unknown
August 6, 2023
Leaphorn explores personal ties to an increasingly mysterious case, while Chee is questioned by a reluctant Sgt. Manuelito. The discovery of a body sends Leaphorn and Manuelito in pursuit of a child in danger.
1. Na'ni?kaadii
July 30, 2023
Navajo Tribal Policeman Joe Leaphorn investigates the death of a man involved in a mysterious cult. While Jim Chee, moonlighting as a PI, works a case of his own. When their investigations collide Leaphorn and Chee find themselves in grave danger.
Where to Watch Dark Winds
Dark Winds is available for streaming on the AMC website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Dark Winds on demand at Apple TV Channels, Amazon Prime, Amazon, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Sling, Hoopla and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    June 12, 2022
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (16,097)