Sky Atlantic’s Tin Star
Season 2, Episode 5: “Consequences”
Directed by Chris Baugh
Written by Rowan Joffe
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Jack and Coke” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Bagman Cometh” – click here
Some time ago in Chihuahua, Northern Mexico, Pastor Johan Nickel (John Lynch) finds his boy Thomas (Brenden Sunderland) terrified outside their house. A human head’s stuck on a post in their yard. Surely a sign from the cartel, which is why the family couldn’t stay. In the Prairie Field Colony today, Johan attempts to live a new life. His recent mishap with the drugs he left in the well have turned things completely upside down. Sarah (Anamaria Marinca) works in dentistry, so she’s teaching Rosa (Jenessa Grant), encouraging her daughter to keep up with the horses, too. All the while dad harbours his secrets, continuously trying to shield them from the other part of his life and only bringing danger into their lives at every turn.
In the night, someone comes to the Nickel home. It’s Jack (Tim Roth), along with Anna (Abigail Lawrie) and Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly). The parents sit the pastor down with a gun to his head. They aren’t happy the pastor willingly let their daughter stay there when he was trafficking cocaine. Jack and Angela want the rundown on his business arrangements, to know what they’re up against, realising Johan’s a genuine “drug smuggler.” Now the deal the pastor had is over and it’s past midnight.
“I don’t make deals with the Devil”
“Good— the Devil’s a fucking fairy tale. I’m your worst fucking nightmare and I’m in your fucking kitchen.”
When Anna guilts her dad over Whitey, it’s then Jack figures the damage has gone far enough. He starts trying to figure out what’s next. He thinks of killing the “cartel bagman” inevitably coming to murder Johan’s family. Jack tries to get the pastor to hold a gun and the guy can barely lift it. Anna says she’ll protect them instead. Her parents aren’t going to just let her try fighting a cartel. Jack calls Rosa and Sarah out to tell them the truth about Johan’s side hustle that could land him a lifetime in prison talking to his family from behind “shatterproof plastic.” The pastor gives up his lies when the chief threatens to shoot him, and the Nickels are devastated by the news. The family tries working out their problems. Rosa’s betrayed by both parents— her mother for ignoring her father’s clear troubles, and her father for not coming to his own daughter, instead confiding in Anna. Sarah’s likewise upset her daughter wants to run away from Prairie Field. Who can blame the girl for not wanting to be controlled by “hateful old men“?
Meanwhile, Jack and Angela haven’t forgotten the family could be killed. It’s then Johan tells everyone how he got sucked into the cartel’s world. He was in a bad spot with a man who gave him a loan for the colony. This got his brother killed, Thomas’s actual father— it was his head they found in Mexico. After everything, the Nickel family comes back together in tragedy, refusing to let their bond shatter irreparably. This gives Anna hope maybe she and her own family can stop the cycles of pain plaguing them, so long as they’re honest and open with one another.
Suddenly all the power in the colony goes out. Everybody’s in the dark. Jack takes a call on the cell from a cartel man threatening them. But our man’s not backing down, letting the bagman know he’s the one likely in trouble.
“Look where your rules have gotten you”
Goddamn! Loved this one. John Lynch is a huge talent, he’s doing great stuff here. And there’s some wild shit about to go down now, too.
“The Bagman Cometh” is next. Nice play on this classic play by Eugene O’Neill.