But can you just imagine what could have happened if we’d gotten as many seasons as Gunsmoke?? We meet Vin’s dad, there’s a whole arc about it. Hannah gets better or worse and Josiah has to deal with it. We see Nathan’s dad and get to know him over a season and he gets to meet Raine and see how much his son loves her. We watch Obediah decline until he eventually dies with his son by his side. Buck tells stories about growing up in a whorehouse and about running wild with Chris when they were younger. Chris heals more, and he or Buck tells stories about meeting Sarah, about the stuff Adam got into, about when Adam was born.
Ezra tells us stories about growing up - true ones, not the ones his mother tells because it’s ‘adorable’ even if it isn’t true. We hear about relatives who cared about him and those that didn’t, what he had to do, the cons he’s run, the names he’s used, the deeds he’s done, good and bad. Nathan tells us about the War, about learning to amputate a leg to the sound of cannon fire. JD gets homesick and tells us about back East, about how hard his mom worked, about teaching himself to ride and how many times he fell off and the horses he knew.
Vin tells us about the time he accidentally got turned around and followed his own trail in a circle in the snow, about living with the Kiowa and Comanche. Chanu heals, physically and emotionally, and becomes good friends with Vin and Josiah and Nathan, who all spend the most time out at the Reservation. The townsfolk get used to him and like him too. Maybe we meet more of Nathan’s surviving family - an uncle, aunt, cousin, maybe sibling or niece or nephew. Nathan and Raine get married.
At one point Billy calls Chris Dad and there is Angst and crap. Someone grows a beard and there is mocking.
Ezra inherits something from a relative and has to go back South to deal with it, potentially dispose of it, and it’s either ROAD TRIP or ‘omg is he coming back?? we’re FINE without him, REALLY! no nvm we’re really not come home Ezra we miss you’
At least one of the boys has War memories reawoken that have to be dealt with. A school for the local kids is opened and there is Romance in the air between the school teacher and (at least) one of the boys.
Vin adopts a dog. Ezra may or may not be feeding a local cat.
Nathan gets the chance to shout down Local Racism. Inez becomes a successful businesswoman who may or may not buy the Saloon from Maude and is definitely a force to be reckoned with in town.
Vin learns to read. Mary’s newspaper wins awards. JD and Casey continue to fumble their way through a relationship. NETTIE IS AROUND. It becomes clear that Gloria Potter, Inez and Mary rule this town and Nettie is not one of them only because she doesn’t want to be. We kick Cartwright Syndrome in the head because the girls are always around, always badass, and always come back stronger than before if something bad happens to them.
The horses get canonical names and personalities. Chaucer the Wonder Horse becomes a real thing.
The church gets finished and Josiah nearly busts the buttons on his shirt with pride the first time they have a service inside, and the whole town attends and shakes his hand and congratulates him even though half the episode is three of the boys waffling about coming.
I just really want to see everything.