Sky Atlantic’s Tin Star
Season 2, Episode 6: “The Bagman Cometh”
Directed by Sue Tully
Written by Rowan Joffe
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Consequences” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Metanoia” – click here
Last we left the Worths and Nickels, all the lights in the Prairie Field Colony were shut down, the little power they use is cut. Jack (Tim Roth) makes a run for it, drawing a sniper’s fire. Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly) keeps everybody inside on the floor. The sniper moves position to get an eye on Jack. A contact on the phone explains the cop’s “with Liverpool.” Their whole operation’s over. He goes for the trailer, turning the lights off and on as a signal. He strips to his underwear, lays down his gun, and offers to talk with Jack, who finds the guy sitting on his bed. He wants to know about Liverpool, drawing an emotional, semi-frightened reaction from the copper. For now, this cartel member chooses to kill himself outside the trailer. And Jack’s left only with questions. If a Mexican cartel knows who he is then his history’s even wilder than we already knew.
At home, Elizabeth (Christina Hendricks) gets herself out of the basement cabinet. She sees the place is empty. Soon Constable Denise Minahik (Sarah Podemski) pulls up to the house, looking for any info on Jaclyn— sad irony being her body’s not far. Things are moving down to the station and Liz can barely mask her nervousness.
Other Ammonites aren’t pleased with what’s going on at the Nickel place, regardless if they don’t know the full extent of the madness. In the meantime, Angela sees what her husband’s been up to, as he prepares to remove the body with a shot-off head sitting outside his temporary home. She doesn’t know why he’s acting so sombre. She’s also got to deal with Anna (Abigail Lawrie) wanting to be part of the family’s macabre secrets. It IS probably easier not to lie and just let her know about their crazy shit. Poor Johan (John Lynch) is brought in on the nastiness, too. He gets to chop the body into “bite–sized chunks” for his pigs to eat.
Angela, Anna, and Jack go to see Elizabeth, finding nobody home. While mom and daughter make up a little for lost time, dad makes a call about Liverpool. He’s told plainly: “We‘re coming for all of you.” He knows, sooner or later, the past is going to catch up with him. Like a ghostly symbol of the inevitable, Simon a.k.a Whitey (Oliver Coopersmith) stands in the distance staring at Jack. More trouble on the colony: the cattle have been poisoned, all of them dead in the fields. Johan’s family is terrified. His wife wants him to take responsibility, knowing it’s connected to his drug smuggling.
At the station, Jack goes to see Denise asking for bulletproof vests. He’s genuinely scared. He hugs Denise tight telling her to “stay away” from him. She gives him three vests, then he heads off to face the storm. He keeps a drink handy to steady the nerves. He sees Whitey next to him— the ghost that simply won’t leave. Elsewhere, Frank Keane (Ian Puleston-Davies) is experiencing his own troubles paying for muscle to help him nab his nemesis. Won’t stop him from trying to do it anyway.
Back at the station, Denise and Cst. Mcgillen (Ryan Kennedy) talk with Elizabeth, asking her about any relationship she has with Jaclyn. The former North Stream Oil employee acts like a white saviour for the Indigenous community when the hard truth is she murdered an Indigenous woman she couldn’t pay as promised. Typical colonial horrorshow. She’s not convincing enough for Denise and her timeline of events. Problem is there’s CCTV footage showing Elizabeth was at the Worth house and not where she said she was at the time. She then blames Jack and Angela for the murder of Jaclyn. Holy. Shit. And Denise is led straight to the body.
A bit of hilariously twisted family bonding sees the Worths shooting each other – mostly father on daughter, daughter on father – to test the police vests. They work! The family teaches Rosa to use a gun by offering up Jack as target practice. Up in the barn, Johan’s realising there’s only one solution for the body: get it gone and wash his hands clean, both literally and figuratively. Once that’s done the cattle are all burned, too.
Cst. Minahik finds Jack and Angela to tell them about the story Elizabeth told her. She doesn’t believe it. She also needs Jack’s help, and of course he’ll do whatever it is he can to repay the favours she’s done for him since he blew into Little Big Bear. Jack also comes clean to Angela about the blow back from Liverpool. She only has to hear the city’s name and she all but has a panic attack.
For the time being, Jack heads down to the station, puts another bullet in Cst. McGillen, and takes Elizabeth out of there while Cst. Minahik watches from the street. Daaamn.
Lord, is Tim Roth ever good in this series! He’s rivalled by the ever amazing Genevieve O’Reilly. The women are some of the best parts of Tin Star.
“Metanoia” is next.
3 thoughts on “Tin Star – Season 2, Episode 6: “The Bagman Cometh””
I really enjoyed this series, but I didn’t understand how the cartel bagman knew about Liverpool – or why, after waiting 18 years, the Liverpudlian baddies finally showed up when they did…it made for an exciting finale, with virtually the whole Ammonite community as collateral damage, but I didn’t feel it bore too close an examination as a “plot”….
Well, Jack and Angela ran from Liverpool. Nobody knew where they went, aside from Frank, who’d finally tracked him down in the first season after all that time, and so this is just an extension of what was happening in the first season anyway. To me, it’s a massive part of the plot.
The cartel bagman knew about Liverpool because Liverpool’s reach is clearly vast. To find Jack they would’ve had to look far and wide, and they were looking for nearly two decades, which means getting in contact with other criminal organisations.