Sky Atlantic’s Tin Star
Season 1, Episode 5: “Bait”
Directed by Alice Troughton
Written by Rowan Joffe
Constables Nick McGillen (Ryan Kennedy) and Denise Minahik (Sarah Podemski) are heading to check out the distress call from North Stream Oil. The truck is on the side of the road, deserted. Except in the distance is Whitey (Oliver Coopersmith), looking for Chief Jim Worth (Tim Roth) and realising he isn’t there. Frank (Ian Puleston-Davies), Reginald (Tobi Bamtefa), and Whitey wait in the woods, to see what happens. The two cops find the knocked out, bleeding driver, right before Denise takes a sniper round to the side.
Soon enough, Jim gets a call over the radio about what’s happened to her from an angry Constable McGillen. Chief’s busy falling into a pit of despair, bottle of booze in the passenger seat next to him. At home, Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly) plans on looking after herself, teaching her daughter Anna (Abigail Lawrie) to do the same. They don’t need a man around, especially not an unstable one.
Louis Gagnon (Christopher Heyerdahl) shows up at the crime scene, treading around like he owns the place, asking questions of Constable McGillen. He wants to know about “biker” involvement after seeing tracks, looking for the truck’s manifest. Poor Nick doesn’t know when to keep his emotion in check, though.
Back on the bend is Chief Worth, busted knuckles uncleaned, whiskey in a coffee cup. He’s truly not giving a fuck. “You are beyond unfit for duty,” says Nick when he arrives wanting to take his boss’ badge. But Jim only responds he’ll burn the whole town “to the ground” after he finds out who tried to kill him, who devastated his family. Only natural he’d be a bit messed up. However, he’s pushing it.
Randy (Lynda Boyd) has Frank sniffing around again, asking about how much the bar makes, so on. He offers to invest in her business, to help out. Of course she’s sceptical. Although in a small town you take what you can get. Not just money, but a lay, as well. Regardless if Frank is into licking her armpits.
At the house, Angela receives a visit from Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks). The North Stream shill wants to talk about Jim possibly losing his job, says that she wants to look out for the wife’s best interests. At the very same time, the husband is at the bar, nonchalant in front of a crowd of bikers pissed he put one of their members in the hospital. Don’t fuck with the Chief, ’cause a bunch of angry bikers don’t mean a hill of beans when our man’s not only quick witted, he’s quick on the draw.
“I‘m bait, you‘re small fry, now fuck off.”
In the midst of a shower, Frank discovers Gagnon creeping around. The lads are all connected. Until the tall, eerie oil security man gets what he requires, he’s taken the gangster’s passport; safekeeping, all that jazz. Simultaneously, Whitey’s got Reginald posing as Elijah, a member of the NewHope Clinic, a rehabilitation centre.
Fake Elijah goes to meet Jim at the bar, saying his wife called them. Copper’s got to go peacefully, or in the trunk, apparently. Jim is far too smart for that. Or is he? He goes along with the man, behind them Whitey follows on the road. Oh, the Chief certainly IS smart. He pulls a fast one on Elijah – “Elaine,” as he so cheekily calls him – strapping his arms down, knocking the wind out of him. Jim takes control of the vehicle. When Reginald finally cuts himself free, Jim buckles himself up before crashing them, sending his captor flying head first through the windshield. Jesus Christ.
Afterwards, our copper attempts forcing a bit of information out while Reginald barely hangs on. What does he find? Reginald calls him “Jack Devlin” and willingly takes credit for the murder of little Petey, nearby in the woods Whitey watches. Then Jim puts the man out of his misery, setting a fire to burn the vehicle, the body. Beautifully, morbidly set over “I Salute You Christopher” by Iamx. Worst of all, Whitey is left behind gunning for the whole Worth family in search of revenge.
A shot rings out from the house, so Jim goes charging inside, keeping an eye on the place not far off. There’s a snake on the floor, coiling; Angela blasted it. Mother and daughter both see him spattered with blood. When Angela goes to clean him off, they get close again, if only physically. She knows he’s covered in the blood of another. Part of her likes the dark side of her husband, even though she understands it’s dangerous. Nice parallel from the snake on the floor to the tattoo on Jim’s body of a coiling serpent.
In the morning, Whitey is headed straight for the Worth house, gun at the ready.
Will the unthinkable happen? Will Jim lose someone else?
“Cuckoo” comes next. Prepare yourself.