Stan’s Romper Stomper
Episode 5: “Chaos”
Directed by Daina Reid
Written by James Napier Robertson
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Dark Heart of Things” – click here
* For a recap & review of the finale, “Anabasis” – click here
After what happened at Jago’s (David Wenham) place, Laila (Nicole Chamoun) feesl the horror and the terror of guilt weigh on her mind. All the Antifasc members are scattered following the mess. McKew (Philip Hayden) is pretty rough with Laila, making clear that should she talk to anybody about what happened he’ll send everyone after her. Cold as fucking ice.
Vic (Dan Wyllie) leads a relatively unassuming life for a neo-Nazi. He gets a visit from Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie) after all these years, and she’s trying to pressure him into letting go of his grip on her son, Kane (Toby Wallace). He keeps making it look like the young man some sort of white power “birthright.” In between it all, he goes to grab her, so Gabe plants a knife in his arm.
“We might‘ve lost Hando, but we still got his blood.”
The cops are on the scene after what happened to Jago. Antifasc and Muslims are implicated. George Anabasis (Simon Palmores) is on TV talking about changing his vote on the upcoming immigration legislation should foreign terrorism be involved. Zoe (Sophie Lowe) hears this and sees some twisted religious madness in it, which has her excited. She believes her husband’s death was part of the prophesies in the Book of Revelations, and the government’s killing people. She calls Marco (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) the “agent of King Herod.”
Oh, lord. This is turning into a truly chaotic state of affairs. Not to mention Kane knows that the former Patriot Blue leader talked to a cop. Later, Marco shows up to talk to Kane privately. He wants to make the same deal with the new leader of Patriot Blue that he had with the old one.
Perhaps the worst is that Laila looks guilty to the other Antifasc members, as if she’s betrayed them somehow. Really, it’s just the fact she feels terrible, and she knows she won’t get a fair trial as a woman of colour, not to mention Muslim, versus the “rich white kids.” At least she has Farid (Julian Maroun), who’s going to try and help her out with Antifasc by meeting Petra (Lily Sullivan).
This is something I never expected – Magoo (John Brumpton) has an Asian daughter. He goes to see her when she’s playing basketball on her local court. He’s got an Asian daughter + he’s a white nationalist. Strange dissonance to reconcile. There’s also a bit of business with Magoo and Vic; the former’s trying to set his girl up with some money, to help her anonymously. Really weird stuff, considering the type of people we’re dealing with here. It’ll all become clearer later.
That night, Farid meets Petra. She advises it’ll all fade away like a “sick dream” if everybody sticks to a story together and gets through this situation. She wants Laila to meet her face to face, so they can be on the same page for whatever comes next. There are already raids of the Antifasc HQ and other related homes. Except Antifasc are following Farid, and this prompts him to call Laila, telling her to leave the house. Can’t be too safe.
At the Farron house, Noddy (Sam Parsonson) is dropped off, bloody and fucked up, by the black men who took him hostage. This has Kane livid, calling Lyno (Fletcher Humphrys) and more of the Patriot Blue lads. They’re all prepping for war.
And Gabe, she’s preparing herself, as well. She knows the danger of being surrounded with the people living this lifestyle. She saw what happened 25 years ago, the brutality and the danger of Hando and the other neo-Nazis. She also heads to the care home where she’s planning on putting ole dad out of his misery, only her plans are interrupted. Maybe next time.
At the gym, Malik (Jamie Abdallah) is still stuck in a pit of despair. Lucky for him, the man he punched has pulled through, and so this has given him a pass. However, now he’s got Farid and Laila at his doorstep. He tries to tell them to go to the police. Only Farid knows that won’t ultimately help. Laila mentions that Petra is related to Anabasis, and that’s a way to solve their problems. When they get in touch with the politician he then contacts Petra. Everything’s getting very explosive.
Instead of telling her brother, Cindi (Markella Kavenagh) tells Vic what she knows about Anabasis and Antifasc; all for a bit of cash. This will set into motion a definite bout of chaos – “Operation Blue Star.” Like things aren’t already bad enough. Because Magoo’s been given word, and with Magoo inherently comes weapons, and with weapons comes violence. Even Kane doesn’t necessarily think killing a politician is their best option. Extremely, darkly funny for the young guy to see “we‘re not fucking terrorists” when everything they do is, in fact, terrorism on a level. They commit violence in the streets against people of colour, and Kane himself recently tried implicating Muslims in what was actually the accidental death of a man to incite racial hate. Everything Patriot Blue does is based in/on fear.
Gabe shows up to try and get Kane to leave with her, fly away, start a new life. She wants to change, genuinely. She wants to take him away from that white power lifestyle. He refuses, naturally. He believes the movement gives him a purpose in life. This is the moment when Kane is told by his mother that Hando was not his father. It was actually her own rapist father, Martin. A sad and shattering revelation. Either way, Hando or Martin, young Kane never stood a chance in this world, born out of ugliness.
This episode was just crushing, in several ways. A devastating series all around, anyway. But “Chaos” was a hammer blow, especially that final scene. Ms. McKenzie is an amazing actress; to see her return after 25 years is a treat.
“Anabasis” is next, the finale.