Stan’s Romper Stomper
Episode 6: “Anabasis”
Directed by Daina Reid
Written by Geoffrey Wright
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Chaos” – click here
There are very dangerous things coming into effect now. A bomb is being made, lined into a vest by Stix (Kaden Hartcher). Vic (Dan Wyllie) has everything all set, ready to go, along with the aid of weaponry – C4, specifically – from Magoo (John Brumpton). This is a nasty piece of work. All prepared for George Anabasis (Simon Palomares) meeting with Antifasc and Laila (Nicole Chamoun) on Boathouse Drive.
Elsewhere, Kane (Toby Wallace) is unravelling after his mother Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie) told him the truth, that he’s a product of incest due to grandpa raping his mother. Horrifying; even more so than having a neo-Nazi like Hando for a father. On top of it all, Kane believes he’s being followed, and Zoe (Sophie Lowe) has figured out her former husband was killed by the man she’s now with – not that it bothers her. Whatever’s best for the white power movement, it seems. She’s almost a scarier figure than Kane. She’s ruthless, and her racism is backed by dangerous religious faith; she’s the very sort of person against whom she believes she’s fighting.
“He was a beginning, but not an end. You‘re that end.”
Vic’s really reverted to his youth, or rather, he hasn’t changed: Cackles, through and through. He goes to meet Magoo in a hotel room, who’s received the money for his daughter already. He’s ready to do this suicide assassination for Patriot Blue.
And good Christian Zoe is gearing up a silenced 9mm pistol for herself. ‘Cause that’s the word of the Lord, apparently – go forth and carry a gun. She must be into American Jesus. I can almost guarantee she’s going looking for her so-called agent of King Herod.
Everyone has eyes on everybody else. The cops are watching Antifasc, and Marco (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) is kept in the loop. However, there’s nobody watching Vic or Magoo. Their plan is being unveiled slowly. All the while the Melbourne’s packed for a football game and a Katy Perry show. Petra (Lily Sullivan), Thomas (Louis Corbett), and Cindi (Markella Kavenagh) are stuck in traffic, as Farid (Julian Maroun) and Laila get to Boathouse.
It’s notable that the, despite Kane’s violent racism, the ones connected to Patriot Blue who are bringing the major, possibly devastating level of violence to the larger picture are the older generation, the old men unwilling to relinquish their strangling grip on the sociopolitical world. So much so they manipulate the younger ones into their awful world. Not saying these lads wouldn’t be shit without the old guys like Vic and Magoo, but they might’ve stood a chance had they not been indoctrinated by the previous generation. Similar to how racist parents infect their kids with racism, these old chicken-hawk neo-Nazis find young minds to corrupt into mentally deformed racist adults.
At the big party on Boathouse, the Antifasc crew are kicking around, and they see ailing Magoo enter, as well. Zoe can’t find Marco, who’s trying to get to the event, and so she’s headed down to Boathouse Drive. It’s a bunch of paths headed straight for explosive danger; in more ways than one.
The first path to come to a close is Marco’s, at the end of gun barrel in Zoe’s hands.
Over at the care home, Kane is looking for his grandfather Martin. But he discovers the old man is dead already. He’s still getting calls from his sister. Unfortunately her phone dies, and she’ll have no way to know that a plan to blow the place sky high is underway. Makes it all worse she stands right next to the man strapped with a C4 vest outside on the balcony. Grim, cruel fate. This is an exercise in Alfred Hitchcock’s bomb-under-the-table filmmaking, where we have to sweat it out until the inevitable does or does not happen. The parent in Magoo tries warning the young girl, to no avail. With no way to reach Magoo without his cellphone, nobody can stop “Operation Blue Star.” And Kane’s scrambling to try stopping the bombing, in order to save his sister if anything.
“We outcasts gotta stick together”
A big message in Romper Stomper: all too often, these racists don’t see that by hurting others, they’re only hurting themselves. They don’t allot for the fact that, someday, somewhere, their violence is going to come full circle. Maybe not today or tomorrow; someday. Hate only breeds more hate, it’s that simple. Just the same as, on a broader scale, how the American government continues bombing countries, trying to fight terrorism, and they’re left with more terrorists of their own creation. Because hate and violence lead nowhere, only to a perpetual, cyclical loop of hatefully violent events.
At the event, Anabasis arrives and he meets with Laila and Farid, as well as the Antifasc members. They tell the politician about what actually occurred in Jago’s place the night the man died. Simultaneously, Magoo is waiting for the perfect time to blow himself, and Anabasis, to pieces.
When the politician gets up to give his speech, Magoo, the “Jurassic–era Nazi,” inches closer to the stage every second. Petra confronts him, and Magoo punches her. He goes straight to the stage, hugs Anabasis, and tries to detonate his vest. Farid and others grab hold of him, wrestling to stop the explosion.
Nobody can stop the carnage. The place explodes, and people are killed immediately, some are set on fire, others lie half dead in the parking lot. Kane arrives just as the flames rockets into the sky. There looks to be little to no survivors whatsoever.
This came to a shocking, brutal close. Not sure if there’s an intent to take the series further than a miniseries, though it was only announced as a 6-episode run. I’d love to see a Season 2, honestly. There could be a truly excellent examination of post-tragedy racism in Kane, the after effects of the bombing, how Antifasc and the police each react, + a bunch of other stuff. We’ll see.
Some weren’t happy to see this made into a series, after the uber violent film. This isn’t sanitised, but the series is far less violent and crude than the film; not that the original didn’t have things to say. There’s a danger in saying things like this can’t be discussed through art. I, for one, believe that, while examining all sides of these issues in certain forms, Geoffrey Wright points out many of the (endless)oversights of white nationalism (+ how the older generations pervert the past to brainwash the young into the racist ideologies), problems in the media (how they enable a lot of types of behaviour), and the far-left aren’t left untouched, either. So, watch it, give it a chance; there are important statements within Romper Stomper. Give us another 6 episodes, would you?