Tin Star – Season 1, Episode 2: “The Kid”

Sky Atlantic’s Tin Star
Season 1, Episode 1: “The Kid”
Directed by Marc Jobst
Written by Rowan Joffe

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Fun and (S)Laughter” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Comfort of Strangers” – click here
Pic 1With Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly) unconscious and in the hospital, Jim (Tim Roth) and his daughter Anna (Abigail Lawrie) are stuck waiting, wondering if she’ll make it through. The boy’s dead. His mother took a portion of the bullet, lodging in her brain.
At the same time, the men who tried setting up Chief Worth’s death are worried about the fallout, after “the kid” – Simon (Oliver Coopersmith) – has botched the job. These guys came from out of the past to take Jim out for good. One of whom is Frank Keane (Ian Puleston-Davies). They’re all relatively stressed, wondering how best to move on from here. Their answer may lie in going to work for North Stream Oil, to blend in, or else they’ll stick out like “cocks at a cuntfest.” Meanwhile, North Stream is burrowing its way into Little Big Bear, recruiting workers from all over to come and help them erect the refinery, get business pumping.
And in the wreckage are Jim and Anna, both rocked by their loss. That other side of him is threatening to come out, almost inescapable. Will he fall back to who he was before in order to find a way to revenge? Or will he stay strictly within the boundaries of the law?
Pic 1AMrs. Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks) is more sensitive to the death of a child than is the head of security, the forceful and slightly creepy Louis Gagnon (Christopher Heyerdahl). He is ALL business. He oversees the workers coming onto site, making sure things move along promptly. This whole time we’re also inundated with the bullshit commercials they use for recruitment, all that foolish rhetoric; I know it all too well, having worked on the oil sands for a couple years. Love the way this is setting up to be an excellent thriller with overtones of the socioeconomic troubles that often find their way into small towns after the oil industry seizes its grip on their natural resources.
What Bradshaw does, for her part, is to offer a reward for those who killed Jim’s son. His response? “Fuck off.” He doesn’t want any part of her pity, as it’s mostly predicated by worry for her business, getting the road clear. The Chief has bigger fish to fry.
He and Constable Denise Minahik (Sarah Podemski) begin digging into Dr. Bouchard’s death, partly for justice, partly to keep his mind occupied during this tumultuous period of time. Worse still, he’s asking for anxiety drugs. Not a good road to head down for an alcoholic.
And what’s up with the kid, Simon? He has serious issues, but there’s no telling yet exactly what they are, though I’m sure we’ll soon discover more. It’s obvious he has a connection to Jim, some sort of past, as he’s there with the men from the UK who’ve tracked the Chief to his new post. The lads nearly wind up in police custody after a bit of a scuff in the bar. This winds up putting Anna, accompanied by an officer, in the bar where Jim comes to find her, and she looks almost infatuated with Simon.
Pic 2That night, Simon sneaks into the Worth home. He sniffs the pillows on the bed. I’m already wondering, is there a possibility this young man is an illegitimate son? There’s this eerie quality to him, yet when he sees Jim at the bar, he turns away. Not wanting to be seen. Here, looking at the pictures of Peter, whom he killed, the family, there’s this sweetness inside him; a lonely sweetness. Just blocked by his creepiness.
Anna makes her father promise never to drink again, he’s also quick to remind her there were “lots of drugs” involved. Her mother talked about Jim becoming a whole other nasty person when he’s intoxicated. His daughter doesn’t want that to happen now, they need each other. Problem is, the memories. Memory is like an alcoholic’s ultimate kryptonite, apart from the actual booze itself.
While hiding in the house, barely escaping the notice of the Worths as they pack things to take for a while, Simon notices a cigarette butt. Left by Johnny (Stephen Walters), one of Frank’s lads. Shitty part for them is that Anna took the butt. Now, they’ve got to figure out how to get it back. But Simon insists: do not touch the girl. In addition, Anna’s already wondering about the cig, how it got there, and she’s suspicious after her father denies having started smoking again. Wonderfully labyrinthine.
Pic 3Right on the edge, Jim is almost back to alcoholism. Although a call from the hospital takes him away before he can dive in: Angela is awake. However, she’s unaware of what happened to their son. Thus he has to break the news to her, so devastating.
In the meantime, Anna’s experimenting with alcohol, a bag full of those mini hotel bottles she helped dad clear out. One after another she downs them until she’s got a handful gone. But after that she hears a whistle nearby. She follows it and the sound of a bell into the woods, until she reaches a vehicle she flags down; inside is Simon.
Oh, and dad’s back on the bottle. Yes, sir. He’s had enough. Because he needs that other side of himself, to do whatever comes next. Whatever that may be.
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 7.13.40 PMGood follow-up to the premiere, adding bigger mystery, deeper issues to the story, the various plots, and the well-acted characters. Tim Roth continually fascinates. There’s so much more to uncover.
“Comfort of Strangers” is the next episode, sure to pack a mean punch.


Tin Star – Season 1, Episode 1: “Fun and (S)Laughter”

Sky Atlantic’s Tin Star
Season 1, Episode 1: “Fun and (S)Laughter”
Directed by Rowan Joffe
Written by Rowan Joffe

* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Kid” – click here
Pic 1We open on Jim Worth (Tim Roth), wife Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly), their teenage daughter Anna (Abigail Lawrie) and young boy Peter (Rupert Turnbull) are floating down a wooded road. They pass a gas station. Heading for Calgary. Soon, Jim realises he needs gas. They turn back. Peter needs to wee, so Angela insists they take a second. But father insists, they have to go. He’s tense. We see his gun, his police badge. When he hops back in the car, a masked gunman points a pistol through the windshield and blasts a hole in him, splashing the daughter with blood.
Flashback. This is Chief Jim Worth, former Metro Police in the UK, now the head of the Little Big Bear Police Service up in the Canadian Rockies. Their family’s come to Canada, though not all of them are thrilled. The Chief has a regular sort of life, it seems. Nothing too far out of the ordinary. He’s a nice English family man. Loves his kids and his Irish wife. Takes his duty to the law and the citizens in that small town seriously. Angela tries ingratiating herself to the community, meeting another newcomer, Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks).
We do discover he’s “two years sober.” He still keeps going to the AA meetings at the church. He’s very honest, speaking of how he “grew up frightened.” Drinking helped him cope, obviously leading into a spiral of alcoholism. There’s also a sense that he’s almost an entirely different person, wholly other to himself when he was drinking.
Pic 1AOther things are happening around Little Big Bear. North Stream Oil are looking to use the small town to push tar sands oil into America. However, townsfolk worry about “migrant oil workers” and crime coming with all that money. Bradshaw is there to ease the transition. Trying to sucker the people in, to make big dollars off the back of their land, their community. She’s ushered around by a sort of uneasy fella, Louis Gagnon (Christopher Heyerdahl), a head of security for the company, looking after their interests.
Already we can see the conflict, as is the case nowadays in many small places that don’t necessarily want the outside world corrupting their quaint lives. Understandable, to a degree. Modernity is inevitable. Far as Chief Worth’s concerned, he’s merely there to protect, to serve, concerned only with whether the crime rate will go up.
On the street, Jim finds an eighteen-wheeler blocking traffic. He heads into the diner to find Mrs. Bradshaw meeting with a guy named Daniel Lyle (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos), who’s clearly got addiction issues, hoping he’ll sign papers. Of course when the Chief injects himself into the situation, the other Lyle, Wallace (Nicholas Campbell), shows up. This cowboy hat wearing jerk already doesn’t like the British cop. Doesn’t help things when Danny gets wild, punching Jim in the nose. Instead of using guns, the cop takes him down quick with a kick in the balls.
Later, Chief Worth gets a visit from Gagnon, who seems to plant a device under the desk. All the while warning: cooperate fully with North Stream, or else. Likewise we see Jim is close with Dr. Susan Bouchard (Rachael Crawford), perhaps a bit too close seeing as how he’s married. She has her own troubles, discredited by fellow colleagues for complaining about environmental concerns with the oil companies. She tells him she’s being followed.
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.34.31 PMThings are already rough. The Lyles have filed an “undue force” complaint against the Chief, so he’s a local celebrity. The tribal elders of the local Native community don’t like him, either. They need the refinery to help fund their casino. Shit. Not to mention, Worth is called out to a crime scene just off a dirt road. A car, inside is Dr. Bouchard with blood everywhere, a hole in her head. Supposedly suicide. He doubts that, as should we. Too many suspicious circumstances. All of this prompts the Chief to start digging into North Stream. But it’s not helpful having Gagnon listening in behind the scenes.
Already there are people lurking near the Worth house. Anna sees a man across the lake staring. That night, a briefcase shows up on their doorstep. Young Peter goes down to see what’s inside, where he finds a snake coiled. He tells his dad about the “monster.” And there are noises outside, as well. Jim prepares his family, calls Constable Denise Minahik (Sarah Podemski), right before a shot flies through the window, a molotov cocktail comes in the bathroom window lighting a fire.
The family get away, out onto the road.
This is exactly where the episode begins. Jim gets a call from Denise, as officers clear the scene. But then the gas light comes calling, they turn back. We relive those moments leading up to Jim being shot brutally in the front seat of his car, Anna covered in blood.
Only it isn’t him who’s shot. It’s his wife, Angela, and his son, Peter. The bullet caught them both as she was taking out of the car. Leaving father and daughter alive, and likely broken.
Expect that other side of Jim to emerge. He’ll most certainly fall back in the bottle. As evidenced by him seeing that other Jim in the mirror, bloody face, juxtaposed with a snake tattoo from his past still taking up the whole of his back.
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.41.07 PMScreen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.53.15 PMWhat an amazing opener to this series. I didn’t even realise this was coming out, heard nothing of it. All of a sudden, BAM! What a wild beginning, love how they tricked us from the opener to the finale.
I’m Canadian, so it’s also fun to see a series set in Canada that involves the oil industry, hopefully some First Nations issues (with actual Indigenous people in roles), plus more. Dark, exciting, wild. Give me more.
“The Kid” is next.

The Sinner – Part 7

USA’s The Sinner
Part 7
Directed by Tucker Gates
Written by Liz W. Garcia

* For a recap & review of Part 6, click here.
* For a recap & review of the finale, Part 8, click here.
Pic 1Cora (Jessica Biel) remembers one of Phoebe’s (Nadia Alexander) birthdays, the big 19! At the dinner table, after blowing out the candles, the birthday girl has to listen to a depressing story from her mother Elizabeth (Enid Graham) about when she was born. Then Phoebe opens her present from Cora, a beautiful sun dress for the beach. Only the girl doesn’t want to hear about her being “a miracle” or anything else. She’s sure she’ll die soon. And it’s as if she’s starting to resent her older sister, rather than being her close confidant.
That night, Cora is going out. She and J.D. (Jacob Pitts) have plans to run off. Phoebe wants to go out. She effectively blackmails her way into Cora taking her. So she puts her nice dress on, sneaking out quietly while their parents are sleeping. They go to a bar together. Music plays (“We Live Underground” by Lights On), people are swarming around them. Of course J.D. is there, greasy as ever. Then he offers the girls a couple pills. Cora declines, but her sister swallows one back before anything can be done. Holy fuck. That ain’t good.
Pic 1AIn the bathroom, Maddie (Danielle Burgess) starts getting into Cora’s head more. She talks about J.D’s previous girl, a pregnancy. Apparently Mr. Grease didn’t want any part of it, so the woman committed suicide, killing herself and the baby. That is some ugly shit. Things go haywire later when they’re leaving the bar. Phoebe pees herself, so they have to pull over. She’s peaking on the ecstasy, that doesn’t help. Then she figures out her sister was going to take off with J.D. and live together.
Back in the vehicle, they wind up at that big estate out in the woods, the Beverwyck Club. And who’s inside waiting in the dark? Frankie Belmont (Eric Todd). Looks like the place is deserted, he’s broken into the place. Everyone’s drinking, still taking pills. Frankie takes Phoebe on a tour while Cora trails behind. But J.D. hauls her off, to help with business, leaving her sister upstairs. Although for now Frankie seems like a nice guy. For now. Downstairs, Cora meets Tod Richter (Gary Hilborn), a prospective business partner to whom J.D. sells drugs.
Phoebe: “Lifes too short to be good, said the dying girl who has barely lived.”
When Tod shoots up he starts groping on Cora. Luckily, Maddie shows up. But that’s when J.D. tells her to get lost, very abruptly. The darker side of his personality, though we knew it existed, begins coming out for all to see. Plus, we can tell there’s something far more sinister happening in that room. I worry, a lot. We also figure out the story Maddie told earlier about the pregnant woman? That was about her, trying to kill herself. Everything starts getting scarier when J.D. becomes forceful.
So Cora heads to look for Phoebe, whom she finds slow dancing with Frankie in the small cabin nearby on the club’s grounds. It’s a sweet moment. Little sister doesn’t want to go home. Maybe ever again. When J.D. gets there they all head to the basement. Down that staircase we saw Cora remember last episode with Dt. Ambrose (Bill Pullman).
Pic 2They relax, they drink. Creepy Tod’s there. More drugs, a bit of music. Cora lets loose a bit when her sister urges. Things get a bit freaky once the sisters kiss, then Frankie and Cora kiss. And it seems like everyone’s having a bit of youthful fun together.
Then, we hear it. The song, “Huggin and Kissin” by Big Black Delta that’s become the signifier of some trauma. On the floor, high as hell, J.D. and Cora start to nasty. On the couch, Frankie and Phoebe lay together, kissing. Everything’s getting hot and heavy, all around. Little sister finally loses her virginity. A veritable sex party going on.
Frankie: “Theres nothing bad about this heart
That all changes when Frankie’s no longer thrusting. He’s trying to give Phoebe CPR. He pushes so hard that he cracks her chest. This prompts those familiar movements, the same ones Cora did while stabbing Frankie on the beach that day. After a moment J.D. cracks the older sister with an ashtray, knocking her out.
What happens next, we can already begin piecing together. Just never saw THIS coming, exactly.
Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 1.52.54 PMWHOA. The craziest, most intense, nerve wracking episode of The Sinner! Can’t get any better than that. Really looking forward to the finale, I wonder how it’ll all play out. Surely going to be another intense chapter. I won’t get over this episode for a while.

Mr. Mercedes – Season 1, Episode 5: “The Suicide Hour”

AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Season 1, Episode 5: “The Suicide Hour”
Directed by Jack Bender
Written by Bryan Goluboff

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Gods Who Fall” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “People in the Rain” – click here
Pic 1Another day, another hard wake to the world for Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson). Repetition, this is Bill’s life in retirement. He wakes up, washes off the booze of the night before, tries to eat something sensible. Meanwhile, Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) is around the neighbourhood in his ice cream truck, hacking into everything the former detective owns.
Then Brady takes the time to over to where he ran all those people down. He listens to soft music. Afterwards, he decides to have a quick stroke because the memory’s leaving him horny. To the thought of running those people over, the blood, the screams, the cracking of bones, mixed with moments of him and his mother Deborah (Kelly Lynch) in their incestuous relationship, he brings himself to orgasm, and quick. Yuck.
There’s a lot of tension between Bill and Ida (Holland Taylor), now that she’s seen him cosy with Janey (Mary-Louise Parker). And even though he has bigger, more pressing issues on his mind, he could’ve at least talked to her before moving on to Janey. Later when he gets home it’s as if someone has been there. The needle is down on a finished record. A cut up apple with cinnamon sits on the cutting board in the kitchen. Hmm. On his computer he looks at surveillance video, noticing time missing. “In my fucking house,” he mutters. Things are gradually getting more suspenseful. There’s a big, ugly payoff down the road.
Pic 1AFlashback to when Brady came across Olivia Trelawney (Ann Cusack). He was taking items out to her car for her, a good employee. This is when he casually imprinted the codes for the locks using his little universal remote. The meagre beginnings of a vehicular serial killer.
When Brady gets to work Lou (Breeda Wool) shows him the story about Ryan the Nazi being killed on the road by a truck. She also says she had “fantasies that he was dead.” Clearly she didn’t cause it; we know who did. What he’s doing, his murderous impulse, is causing real life anxiety for those around him, let alone the deaths of others. Oh, and Robi (Robert Stanton) wants to groom Brady to be the new manager after he moves on up the corporate ladder. Can you imagine him in a managerial position?
Bill’s trying to figure out his computer troubles with Mr. Mercedes, so naturally he talks with Jerome (Jharrel Jerome) who tells him about all sorts of other technological things. For a guy like former Dt. Hodges, one step away from Luddite, this is all nonsense jargon. But still he does listen. He’s also got his old pay Marlo Everett (Bill Kelly) digging into things, mentioning that whoever’s moving things around at Bill’s place is working similar to Charles Manson, whose favourite pastime was “creepy crawling.”
Back at the Hartsfield home, Deborah laments not getting to see her son more. Like they used to, y’know. He’s busy working so much, and making rat poison burgers for a supposed BBQ. I would not go anywhere he invited me. Fuck that.
Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 12.51.06 PMJaney’s mother Elizabeth (Katharine Houghton) is having a lucid day, so Bill goes to the home where she lives to speak with her about Olivia, her death. She tells him about her friend “Gerald” who was her pen pal, saying he and Olivia had the “same demons.” Of course mom knows better, she knew Gerald was Mr. Mercedes. Then her daughter went off the deep end, saying she must “go with him.” Only he didn’t go. When Elizabeth figures out it was Bill who hounded Olivia for the police, she drives him out. This also puts him and Janey at odds a bit, as she too believes he was part of her sister’s guilt.
So now we’re figuring out what those rat poison burgers are for: that sweet, sweet Golden Retriever. As Brady prepares to lay it out for the pup, he’s just barely spotted by Jerome before he can take off. That kid is TOO smart not to, eventually, piece things together more. You just wait.
Once Brady gets home he finds firetrucks, smoke billowing out of the place, fire alarms ringing. Things are fucked up. They’ve had a few false calls to their place, resulting in a fine. Or else they go to court. Drunk and likely pilled up Deb didn’t hear anybody knocking, or even the alarm.
The split with Janey has Bill deep in the bottle. Across the way Ida’s still keeping an eye out, occasionally. Jerome got a digital camera for him, though. Something he can mount. He also mentions to Bill about the strange car, the guy who drove away. And just like everyone else Bill pushes away he does the same with the young kid. Sadly, everyone’s only trying to help. He seems intent on self-destruction.
Bill: “What does it look like Im doin‘? Im drinkina whiskey, pacinup and down. Reflectinon being a total fuckup, ‘cause thats what fuckups do.”
During the evening, having a drink, Bill gets on the Blue Umbrella to chat with Mr. Mercedes. They do chat. Very antagonistic, very venomous on both sides. Although our former detective has a casual, nonchalant disposition. Until the killer begins poking at personal details, such as his daughter, who’s changed her last name to her mother’s maiden name, who is a drinker like him. He wants Bill to kill himself. Except our man battles back with taunts about his sexual abuse, his likely past. This gets further under the killer’s skin than he gets under the cop’s.
Was it mommy?” asks Bill: “Is it still mommy?” The jabs get harder, deeper. The old detective gets more confidence by the minute, particularly after he discovers how bad it hurts Mr. Mercedes to talk about his mother. I wonder, though… will this provoke Brady one step too far?
Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 1.18.26 PMWell, the situation at the Hartsfield home isn’t exactly any better. Both mother and son are equally scarred, traumatised by the past, by their relationship. Mom being rejected by her boy sends her into a tailspin.
And neither is Bill’s life a dream. He wakes to the same recurring nightmare every single day, destined to just keep chasing after the killer, unsure if he’ll ever catch him or if he’ll die trying.
Great series, and every single episode finds some new aspect of King’s story to bring out, as well as add to, deepen, expand. So many solid episodes that are building to a wild, unhinged, surely bloody confrontation. Just no telling how many others will suffer first. “People in the Rain” comes to us next week. Vroom, vroom!

The Sinner – Part 6

USA’s The Sinner
Part 6
Directed by Jody Lee Lipes
Written by Tom Pabst

* For a recap & review of Part 5, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 7, click here.
Pic 1Last we left Mason (Christopher Abbott), he was heading up to see ole J.D. with a gun in his hand. We find him there now, as a couple people leave the house. Afterwards, he heads in slow. There he finds the guy dead already. Further in the baby’s crying. Then Mason calls the cops, even using the cellphone from the corpse’s pocket. He wipes his prints off and leaves.
Elsewhere by the water he thinks back to an earlier time with Cora (Jessica Biel), a happier time when they were enjoying each other, enjoying the relationship. A lifetime of happiness ahead of them. A far cry from where they are at this point.
Dt. Ambrose (Bill Pullman) has stepped over the line with his masochism. His mistress cuts him off, understanding something’s changed with him after she chokes him out. Something that she says is “a whole different game.” Just another rough patch for Harry to get through. There’s a lot of ’em. Meanwhile, he has Detective Farmer (Joanna Adler) taunting him over the “spider in [his] brain” that is Cora Tannetti.
Speaking of our lady, she’s talking with her lawyer who’s advising to take a deal. The woman’s back is against the legal wall. But Cora wants to stick with Harry. The guy is fighting for her, too. He truly is, it’s just hard when he’s up against a major mystery and Dt. Farmer’s disinterest in his theories. He knows, though. He’s gradually finding out more about the private club out in the woods. The key to all the trauma.
Pic 1AGlimpses of Phoebe (Nadia Alexander), perpetually ill, and a slightly younger Cora, who’s now got a “sex life” after so much repression. She sneaks out to be with J.D. who also has Maddie (Danielle Burgess) around, jealous of him being with another woman obviously. He has the talk of a pimp, of a man who exploits women. A patronising misogynist.
Poor Mason was in the wrong place, wrong time. Now he’s got Dt. Farmer asking him questions. To his favour, hopefully, he tells the truth. Honest about carrying a weapon when he went to visit J.D. Best of all is that he saw the car the men left in, leading to the cops tracking it down. At least they’ve got clues that help Mason.
And when he goes to see his wife in prison, he admits that in part all of this is his fault, as well. He knew there was “something wrong” a long while ago. He couldn’t bring himself to find out what it was, in turn, essentially, allowing the suffering in the person he pledged his life to be with, in sickness and in health.
This renews Cora. But can she push Harry away from self-destruction? The only thing he has left just about, with his estranged wife Faye (Kathryn Erbe) done seemingly for good, is his job.
More flashes back to Phoebe in the hospital, not doing well at all. Cora goes to her sister and lays in bed with her. The only two people in the world when they’re together.
Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 1.27.55 AMHarry needs to convince the rest of the department, and a judge, that he needs to take Cora back to that club. To try dredging up repressed memories, to crack the case. Lucky for our detective he once busted the judge when she had a drink too many while driving, back in the day. So, permission granted!
Again we flashback. The slick talking pimp feeds bullshit into Cora’s head, trying to convince her that Phoebe is a “vampire” feeding of her, living vicariously through her. That they need to leave and get away. This is one of the worst things he’s done that we’ve seen so far, driving a wedge between the two sisters. I can see much more tragedy growing out of this act.
Up at the club in the forest, Harry takes Cora down to the basement. Past the staircase, into those unfinished rooms where ski masks hang on the walls, stray taxidermy left gathering dust, a little room with a computer. Yet she doesn’t feel anything’s familiar down there. A bust.
Another flashback to Cora coming home late, Phoebe upset. She wants to know everything about how J.D. touches her, kisses her. So much so she wants her sister to actually do it to her, as she’ll never experience it herself. The incest goes further than just a kiss or a fleeting touch. Fuck, that’s disturbing.
Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 1.35.39 AMOn their way back, Harry takes Cora for a pit stop. Then she wants to go back to the club, even though they’re getting late for their return. If they’re not back in time a warrant goes out automatically. Uh oh.
Up at the club he takes her in one last time. She goes into the library on her own while Harry takes a call. After that he can’t find her. She’s gone. He finally finds her at a house a little ways off from the club. She’s stuck, gazing at staircase leading down into the basement. It makes her feel physically ill.
What lies at the bottom of those stairs, in the back of her mind? She speaks the words we all want to hear: “I remember now.”
Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 1.43.29 AMHOLY JESUS, CORA! I’m blown away, I need more. Now.
Yet, Part 7 is a week away. Dying to find out the next piece of the mysterious puzzle.

The Sinner – Part 5

USA’s The Sinner
Part 5
Directed by Cherien Dabis
Written by Jesse McKeown

* For a recap & review of Part 4, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 6, click here.
Pic 1Flashback to Mason (Christopher Abbott) and Cora (Jessica Biel), when little Laine was just a baby. “Slept through the night” for the first time. The typical things parents experience together. Just as quick, we’re back to the present with Mason, his parents Ron (Robert Funaro) and Lorna (Patti D’Arbanville) helping around the house. Then comes a call.
Another flashback shows a slightly younger Cora, an older Phoebe (Nadia Alexander), as they were planning a getaway from the ruthless religious household in which they existed with their mother Elizabeth (Enid Graham). They were saving up cash, looking for apartments, trying to find Cora a man. All under their parents’ nose.
Back out at the bus in the woods, Dt. Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) looks over the human bones found nearby in the ground. Things are getting more tense in the case. He’s also got state police involved now, like it or not. He and Detective Farmer (Joanna Adler) go to question Cora together about recent developments. Only it’s all hard to explain, to anyone outside of her and Ambrose. Even he isn’t entirely sure what’s going on just yet.
Cora: “I didnt kill anybody
Farmer: “Else. You didnt kill anybody else.”
Pic 1ALooking around a ways off from the body site, Ambrose stumbles onto a piece of private property. He walks in to the gate, around it, and finds a massive estate sprawling over the land. Quite the place. He gets inside, finding a staff member at the place, getting a few answers and hopefully more to come. Wandering around he sees a bit of wallpaper that might just be the kind Cora spoke of before.
A strange twist of fate, as Cora winds up at a religious group in jail. Listening to their prayers she flashes back to being in that place, with the masked man, the wallpaper. She’s under the bed, an I.V. tipped over on the floor. “Howd you get all the way down there?” asks the masked man.
This is the theory I’ve had for some time – she was drugged, forced into prostitution. When she and Maddy escaped from that place, the latter was killed, buried out in the woods. Guaranteed. Or perhaps there are more twists and turns yet.
The Tannetti family are being ripped apart. People are spray painting their vehicles with KILLER BITCH, dumping garbage all over their lawn. Mason’s parents are fed up. He’s barely hanging on by a thread.
There’s also more going on in Ambrose’s life, too. He and Faye (Kathryn Erbe) have a marriage in a death spiral. She regrets their bit of reconciliation, feeling he’s not there even when he is physically. Back at the station, he’s being chastised for “barging in” on the club at the estate, a high profile guy there representing the place and its interests. Oh, you know some shady, fucked up shit is going on up there. YOU KNOW.
Pic 2Dt. Farmer is barging on ahead herself, without consulting Ambrose. She busts J.D’s girlfriend on the drugs, hauling her in for questioning. She’s already pursuing charges against Cora for the dead body. Well, we see that she’s also accusing our detective of being sweet on the accused. I don’t think it’s that, at all. I feel like he genuinely cares and wants to find out what happened to her, to know the truth. He’s got his issues, no doubt. He’s a brutal masochist. But a cop in love with a suspect, no sir.
They do have a connection. It’s one of trust. She calls him, wondering if she ought to take the latest offer. However, he wants her to hold on, so he can chase down his lead on the club.
On the street, Mason’s father is beaten by J.D. with a baseball bat. Holy shit. Then we cut back to see Cora when she first meets J.D. on a dark road, ironically helping her out of a bad jam with a potentially creepy dude. After that it’s off to a house party together. Immediately he’s working his charm, pretending he wants to get to know her. A very Manson-esque personality. All brings us to her losing her virginity to him.
That night when she got home there’s a scene. Mom calls her a “whore” while Phoebe is hyperventilating, worrying over her big sister. Quick cut back to the present, as Dt. Farmer grills Cora about J.D. and the found skeleton. Meanwhile, Ambrose is back up at the club poking around, he finds a staircase leading to the basement; looks familiar, only without the wallpaper. Further in are masks hung on the wall in the dark, ones we can recognise easily.
But can Harry break the case wide open before Farmer uses her fake sympathy on Cora to make a deal? Our girl’s not having any of it. What’s worse is that Mason is heading for J.D. with a gun in hand. Both of Laine’s parents might be in jail soon. Uh oh.
Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 1.56.49 AMEvery episode of The Sinner is heavy as hell. New things come to light with each chapter, the darkness gets deeper and scarier, the emotions more intense. Part 6 is next week, and I don’t know how they’ll top this one. Although I say this every week.

Animal Kingdom – Season 2, Episode 13: “Betrayal”

TNT’s Animal Kingdom
Season 2, Episode 13: “Betrayal”
Directed & Written
by John Wells

* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “You Will Be Gutted” – click here
Pic 1Baz (Scott Speedman) is feeling disconnected, from a lot. Even Lena (Aamya Deva Keroles) wants to spend more time with Uncle Pope (Shawn Hatosy). Meanwhile, Lucy (Carolina Guerra) keeps feeding the discontent, the disconnect, trying to move him away and get him to take over the empire, to take back the money. Although I’m not so sure it’s all in his better interest. Feels like she might be more in it for herself.
Poor mama Smurf (Ellen Barkin) is still on the inside. Mean muggin’ and acting like she’s as hard as the rest of them. She sits by herself in the cafeteria and a bunch of Latina ladies take a seat next to her. “J sent us,” one of them tells her. Wow, looks like J (Finn Cole) really is taking care of grandma from the outside.
What about Pope? Sure, he’s got Lena. But that little girl is essentially the only connection he has left to the world. He’s like a ghost, sort of walking through the lives o everyone around him. Haunting them, haunting himself. But at the same time we can see how a life of shit has crushed him into submission. He’s a responsible adult, yet around him are his brothers, irresponsible and half crazy. Not to say Pope ain’t crazy. He’s been forced into being an adult, all those mental health issues left festering in the dark. Ready to explode.
Then there’s J, ready to graduate. Our boy is growing up! Nicky (Molly Gordon) insists he’s going to the ceremony, that they’ll have a party with everyone at the house afterwards.
Pic 1AAt the bar, Deran (Jake Weary) and Craig (Ben Robson) mull over how things will be with the kid in charge of power of attorney. They’d much rather it that way than Baz, the distrust is strong against him, exacerbated by their mother pulling strings.
Baz and J head-to-head is the worst of it all. The older of the two, after all this time, starts bringing up J’s mom. He tells a story about Smurf not wanting to send her to rehab. One night a guy broke in, raped her as she was in a stoned coma. Smurf only cared because she lost a condo deal. 9 months later? Baby J. Hoooooly fuck.
However, stay with me… could Barry have told that story on purpose to light a fire? And maybe that story isn’t true.
Smurf isn’t overly thrilled about the legal situation, her lawyers are telling her she could be in there 6 months. Later, she gets a visit from an old face, a detective. He’s there about a string of bank robberies lately. Says the robber from the footage, “how he walks” reminds him of somebody: Pope. Of course mom doesn’t know the truth about her son, that he’s been out pulling jobs by himself. Six banks in a single day, then nothing at all.
All the rest of the gang are meeting at the house. Baz called a meeting, so everyone’s heading in packing heat. Just in case, y’know. The man wants to talk about the power of attorney, he’d like to talk about things. Except he’s confrontational, angry. Not everyone’s on his side, either. He says they weren’t “strong enough” to know what he was planning on doing to Smurf. Shiiiiiit, there’s some bad stuff brewing.
Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 12.25.30 AMContinually, we see Baz shirk the responsibility of his daughter. He’s going to Mexico now, looking for a place. He’s leaving her with Pope. Again. “Youve gotta step up and be more of a father to her,” Pope tells him. All he gets in return is lecturing bullshit. Sad when I agree more with the guy who killed Catherine than her own husband.
You know what finally struck me is that Lena’s the single innocent light in the midst of all the darkness. Even J, he’s done some shit being involved with his uncles, same with Nicky. That little girl is the only good thing that’s sprung from the Cody tree; even then, not by blood.
Graduation day isn’t exactly going as planned. Nicky’s parents didn’t make it, J’s late. So they decide to say fuck it. Another sad, symbolic moment. Seeing their innocence tossed aside with Nicky’s corsage in the pool.
Baz goes to see Smurf finally. Face-to-face. She talks about the offer from the detective. They chat about her being framed for killing Javi. And Baz just plays it all off. BUT NOW WE’RE SEEING IT COME OUT. NOW. Smurf says that “Pope knows” what happened to Catherine. Oh, my, fucking, GOD! I can’t believe she’s doing this, she’s actually going to put Pope in the line of fire – not that he doesn’t deserve it – and if things go sideways, there’s no more loyalty. Not if he finds out mom gave him up.
Smurf: “Pope loves you, and he loved Catherine. But Pope will always love me more.”
And goddamn if she doesn’t actually call to tell her son that Baz knows, that he’ll be coming soon. Christ almighty. That woman’s cold. So then Pope heads out, gun ready. Scares the shit out of Deran and Craig when he shows up crazy, asking if they’ll take care of Lena should anything happen to him.

Baz goes to find Pope, who’s waiting. Pope quickly admits to it: “She didnt suffer.” He explains what he and mom thought, that she was ratting the family out. It was always about their brotherhood, about Smurf and her hold over the boys. About punishment. This all sends Pope into a rage, brokenhearted that the family never once gave him a thought. So he asks his adopted brother to kill him. Begging. Instead of doing it, Baz forgives him. “Ill take care of you, always,” he repeats, hugging him. He’s ready to believe that Smurf is the driving force. Which she was, though I find it hard to see how he can give Pope a pass.
Stupidly, J and Nicky break into a house. When an old guy shows up with a shotgun, they flee. Fast. But she gets hit with a bit of buckshot. This is more of their deteriorating youth, going to waste on madness and crime. They’re spiralling.
Craig is taking off for a bit, to let things cool down. He goes to see Renn (Christina Ochoa) in hopes she’ll go, too. Simultaneously, Lucy and Baz are getting ready for Mexico.
But in the car, Baz takes several shots to the chest through the windshield. Someone in a hoodie runs off while he gives chase before falling down. Then Lucy leaves him in the street as police sirens fly in the background. Heart of stone. She goes directly with Marco to take the rest of Baz’s shit and sell it off. Whoa.
So who did the shooting? My guess is J. He’s sitting by the pool, a similar hoodie on. But you never know, it could’ve been someone sent by Smurf. I’d still place a hefty wager on J.
Pic 4Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 12.50.51 AMThis was a WILD season! I cannot wait for Season 3. Simple as that. Give me more.
Will Baz survive? I think he will. And if he does, there’s gonna be some hell to pay. Paranoia will reign supreme.

Mr. Mercedes – Season 1, Episode 3: “Cloudy, With a Chance of Mayhem”

AT&T’s Mr. Mercedes
Season 1, Episode 3: “Cloudy, With a Chance of Mayhem”
Directed by John Coles
Written by A.M. Homes

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “On Your Mark” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Gods Who Fall” – click here
COVEROne thing I love about Mr. Mercedes is how it shows former Dt. Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) in a sort of static position. Many other stories might show us the defiant cop now retired coming back with force and gusto to finally solve the case that’s plagued him so long. Not this one, not something based off the work of Stephen King. No, Bill is stuck in a web of late drunk nights and obsession.
Flashback to Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway), but as a little boy. He sees mother Deborah (Kelly Lynch) having sex, loudly, on the couch. Instead of going to bed like he’s told, he perches on the top of the stairs watching, dissociating from reality. In present day, he’s still living with mom, still eating Froot Loops like a boy, still following mom around like a puppy. Underneath all that you can watch him seething, right below the surface. Wonder how much longer until he kills again. He already gave his boss a nice fright, some minor injuries to the face.
Pic 1ABut we know he’s capable of so much worse. We go for another flashback, to Dt. Hodges and Dt. Peter Dixon (Scott Lawrence) inspecting the Mercedes after the fateful night, covered in blood, that smiley face sticker on the steering wheel like a taunting glare. All this is still swirling in Bill’s mind while he continually claws after more evidence.
When Robi (Robert Stanton) gets back to work, nerve damage in his face, he’s not happy Brady or Lou (Breeda Wool) didn’t come to see him in the hospital. Furthermore, the boss suspects someone possibly messed with his laptop. Of course Brady plays it off, though maybe not well enough.
Former owner of the Mercedes, Olivia Trelawney’s sister Janey Patterson (Mary-Louise Parker) is trying her best to help Bill. They meet again, she reiterates that anyone who could run someone down with a car is a “sick fuck.” However, their Mercedes Killer is even nastier. She’s brought a letter the murderer wrote to Olivia, before she killed herself.
So we hear about Brady’s life, the incest sexual abuse, as the detective and Janey still don’t know his real identity. Our horror’s knowing, watching while hearing the terrifying details of his inner mind, simultaneously see him suit up for his job in the ice cream truck, going about his life. “I still hear their screams,” he wrote. He partly sees it as fate, finding the Mercedes that night, unlocked and keys inside. This is what drove Olivia to suicide. The letter’s also where the name Mr. Mercedes comes from, his eerie signature.
And there’s a degree of remaining procedure with Bill, he’s not the archetype renegade cop. He takes the letter to the cops, so things can go officially. He genuinely wants to catch this killer, rather than allow something to go bad in his hands. Yet when he goes to Pete, the enthusiasm isn’t exactly what he hoped. Nobody’s taking him seriously, believing that retirement and booze is pickling his brain.
Pic 2Flashback to Brady as a boy. He and his little brother Jerry sit together, eating. When he ignores Jerry too long, the kid starts choking. He calls his mother in, she screams to call 911. Seems like he most likely died. Probably around the time when things started going horribly bad for Brady and his mom.
Bill: “…and go and shittweet or facefuck or arsebook, or whatever you call it.”
We’re starting to see Bill collapse a bit. He goes on a rant – and rightly so, I might add – after a lackadaisical bartender serves him a drink in a bit too chill of a manner. After not long Pete arrives to take him home. Hilarious scene, but truthful, and Gleeson sells it SO DAMN WELL! Bless his talent.
When Bill gets home there’s another video message from Mr. Mercedes. The killer’s taunting again, getting nastier, too. Some people might hate the aggressively sexual nastiness in these videos. Remeber: Brady is a victim of incest abuse. And that’s also perhaps why Bill’s so damn sure that letter is authentic. Only a traumatised person would write and create things like that.
Later, Bill gets a visit from Jerome’s dad, who’s worried about his son helping with a police investigation. He simply wants to know that the retired detective won’t “fuck up” his boy. Although across the city is a really fucked up boy. Brady gets an e-mail that drives him mental. Bill’s decided on playing a dangerous game. He pretends that Mr. Davis, the long-sought wife killer Pete and Bill searched for ages ago, confessed to the Mercedes killing. This sets the real killer on fire. His dangerous obsession is about to get a whole lot more dangerous.
Pic 3Back at home, Brady finds the only place that makes sense. Even if it’s toxic. Between the mental stress, his migraine, he crawls back to mother. The one who always takes care of him. A bit too much. Seeing him juxtaposed with Bill and Janey dancing, a true romance, is ugly. While two get close on the dance floor, mom strokes one out of her boy; a small, telling gesture of shame sees him pull a blanket over them, so even they don’t have to see what’s happening.
LORD! This show is too good. Disturbing as hell, yet amazing. Can’t wait for “Gods Who Fall” next week. There’s one hell of a bad storm brewing. Afraid of who’ll get caught in its midst.

The Sinner – Part 4

USA’s The Sinner
Part 4
Directed by Brad Anderson
Written by Liz W. Garcia

* For a recap & review of Part 3, click here.
* For a recap & review of Part 5, click here.
Pic 1Mason (Christopher Abbott) is in the box with Detectives Dan Leroy (Dohn Norwood) and Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman). Juxtaposed against the mysterious J.D. in there with them later. We go back and forth between the two men, as well as get a look at more sexual moments between J.D. and Cora (Jessica Biel), years before. Eerie stuff.
Flashback to younger Cora and Phoebe. They talk about boys, the “shameless harlot” across the street. All the while the older sister doesn’t want to even so much as sin in thought, let alone do anything physical in real life. Strange to see the sick little sister be more sexually aware than her big sister. They slowly dip into another world, one that’s been locked away from them a long time. They also discover the other world of their father, sneaking out at night to go sleep with another woman.
With Dt. Ambrose we watch Cora going back through old memories. Fourth of July, leaving with J.D. and going to someone else’s house, having sex, taking drugs. After that’s a blank spot. Two months later, she’s in a detox centre. The mystery is continually whipped into a new whirlwind.
Pic 1AHarry’s trying to figure out how to unlock the memories Cora is holding close, unconsciously. She can’t figure it out, either. So he’s trying anything and everything, including looking into recovered memory therapy in order to draw out the key to her secrets. At the same time, Mason’s watching his wife suffer, trying to be supportive while worrying she’ll do hard time in jail. He doesn’t like her talking to the cops, though Harry in particular might be the only hope she has left.
And of course the cop’s got his own personal shit going on, trying to reconnect with Faye (Kathryn Erbe), out eating together at a restaurant they’ve frequented before, in happier and more tragic times, too. Sort of bittersweet. They lost a child years ago, something which obviously impacted them both hard.
The recovered memory therapy commences. Cora goes into a deep mental state, guided along as she attempts to dive into her mind; this is visually represented as she closes her eyes, stepping into a vast lake. She goes back to a “hopeless” memory of her standing in a forest, disoriented, the night before July 4th. Then she goes through the other moments. She remembers J.D’s ex Maddy, who doesn’t like her. Maybe they planned on doing something to her. Simultaneously, she jumps to a memory of being a little girl, the bus barrelling past her as if she doesn’t even exist.
But she gets back to July 4th weekend. Cora and Maddy have words, the former seeming very unstable. The women hate each other, specifically Cora who has strong hatred for her. Violent hatred. Uh oh. Continually the plot gets thicker. Armed with the new memory, which includes J.D. siphoning gas to get home that night, Dt. Ambrose tries narrowing down the area where the trio went after the bar.
Pic 2Closer and closer Mason inches towards J.D. He goes to his place to buy coke, pretending to be an acquaintance. When the girlfriend figures out Mason isn’t who he claims, he leaves. I’m worried about him, he’s getting brazen. I know he wants to find out what happened to his wife, naturally. But to the detriment of his own health, maybe his life? Surely there’s more shady things happening behind the scenes we don’t yet know about. At least he’s got Caitlin (Abby Miller). That’s wearing thin, though. We get more of their history, they had sex and then he ignored her. He brings her the drugs he bought, and it pisses her off. “You use people,” she tells him.
Flashback to young Cora. She makes an eager move on a boy across the street, exploring her sexuality out in the shed with him. Later, she goes up to fill Phoebe in about her “two orgasms” and the rest of her sexual encounter. What we’re seeing is how a stuffy religious upbringing, so strict and medieval is a fast way to drive kids towards the things you’re trying to steer them away from.
Present day, Cora heads back into the waters of memory. Dancing with Maddy, stoned. Then later they’re in the woods, terrified. Search lights shine through the trees. A gunshot goes off. “Theyre hunting us,” Cora tells Dt. Ambrose and the doctor. Fragments of memories. Maddy calls her towards a basement. The song from the beach that day plays loud. Naked bodies everywhere. The black wallpaper imagery returns, as Cora goes down a set of stairs. Followed by a shocking moment that looks like Maddy being stabbed in the chest. The masked man from the end of Part 3.
A flashback shows young Cora beg her father not to go next door, knowing he’s heading there to cheat on his wife. Realising the fragility and weakness of men, that sex is all they consider.
On a walk together, Faye and Harry come to a significant place. One he’s been hoping to find. Using the water tower image from Cora’s memories, he likewise finds a school bus. Perhaps those fragmented memories might’ve been pointing to something subconscious. Near the bus is also what looks like a possible grave. Sure enough, below the dirt they find skeletal remains.
Pic 3Every episode makes the mystery more compelling, it’s hard to ever be sure of what’ll come next. Amazing to watch unfold. Never imagined the series would be playing out the way it is now.
Part 5 will surely give us something else shocking, wild, disturbing. So many elements locked together in one box.

Animal Kingdom – Season 2, Episode 12: “You Will Be Gutted”

TNT’s Animal Kingdom
Season 2, Episode 12: “You Will Be Gutted”
Directed by Larry Teng
Written by Jonathan Lisco

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Leopard” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Betrayal” – click here
Pic 1Smurf (Ellen Barkin) is now in the custody of the police, processed, fingerprinted, the whole works. She does the whole bit as if it’s all old hand to her. I mean, she’s definitely done time before, right? At least a bit. Yet under the hard exterior is a softer side, one that’s terrified, never believing she’d find herself in this position.
So what’s her next move?
Well, at home the boys party like the kingdom is now theirs, and Baz (Scott Speedman), he’s king of the castle. He doesn’t tell Deran (Jake Weary) or the others why Smurf won’t be “coming back tonight.” J (Finn Cole) finds it strange grandma only told Baz she was leaving town. Kid is very perceptive, nothing much gets by him. At the same time, Lucy (Carolina Guerra) is kicking around, freaking Deran and Craig (Ben Robson) out after what went down with Marco; she’s a bad motherfucker. And she’s also pushing Baz further and further towards the throne.
What about Pope (Shawn Hatosy)? He’s not well. He has a gun, contemplating what looks to be suicide. Oh, my, lord.
Pic 1AThe wildest thing is that when Baz goes looking for Pope, he winds up at Amy’s (Jennifer Landon) place: the one who’s recently discovered the dark secret of what happened to Catherine. Certainly, she doesn’t know the name. But just seeing these two in one frame is enough to set off wild fireworks of imagination.
Then there’s poor little Lena (Aamya Deva Keroles). Dad forgot about her; again. She’s left at her uncles place with a party raging around her, orgies going on in Smurf’s bed. When she plays on her fake ATV, someone nearly runs her over in the driveway, before another quick thinker saves the day. Jesus. Of course uncle J is there to take care of her, along with Nicky (Molly Gordon). When he calls Pope, this is the thing that stops him from putting a bullet in his head. What a mess, the whole thing’s fucked up.
This sends Pope, pissed as hell, back home. Thing is, so much of this anger is self-righteous. He’s the one who killed Lena’s mom. Sure, Baz is a shit dad. But if mom didn’t get murdered the girl wouldn’t be in this situation. Shotgun in hand Pope sends everyone home, just as Baz arrives to break the news about Smurf.
In the light of day he shows the rest of the lads all the stashed cash, jewellery, et cetera, which Smurf filched on them. Likewise, he tells them about what he believes happened to Catherine, Javi getting shot in the head, so on. All out on the table. Outside, Lucy schools Nicky on being “more powerful” by remaining on the outside of the Cody brothers and Baz, rather than fighting to be within the inner circle.
What are the boys to do? They’ve got two decades of shit to sell off, to divide between them. Baz is moving to Mexico. He suggests they all do, together. Things are tense, tenuous. No telling exactly how everyone’s going to take things going forward.
Later on, J gets a call from Smurf in jail. Oh, shit. He plays along like a “good boy” for grandma. He gives her the scoop about who was and wasn’t in on everything. Now she wants him to get the surveillance footage of the house. Young man’s caught between a rock and a hard place. Only when he goes to get shit done he finds there’s no files where he’d hoped they’d be. Gonna be a bit tougher than that. And Baz is no slouch, he knows something’s wrong. Gets no better once he figures out he has no power of attorney anymore, either.
Pic 2We see that Pope doesn’t want to die until he’s taken care of Lena financially, for college and after that, to help her have a start in life. He cares, but it’s more so out of guilt for what he’s done. He has to make sure she’s okay before he can kill himself, maybe go out in a blaze of glory. Nicely set to “Less Than” by Nine Inch Nails, we’re privy to a montage of Pope going around stealing cars, robbing banks, stacking cash fast as he knows how.
Once he’s done he goes back to press his inside man from a former job, he works at a bank. He’s gonna have to deposit Mr. Cody’s cash. If he doesn’t they may have problems. Violent ones.
Smurf laments having taken Barry in all those years ago, though her lawyer (Laura San Giacomo) presses her on the more important issues. Like proving Baz is trying to frame her for murder. It’s either that, or she’s up shit’s creek. On the outside, Deran and Craig are wondering about the next step in their new lives; the former has other dreams in life than being a thief, the latter wonders if mom is “working an angle.” One thing’s for sure: they’ve gotta go visit her, if not she’ll believe they’re against her.
While Nicky’s falling down a rabbit hole of prescription pills and cocaine, J is trying to cope with his fragile position of power in the family, caught between Smurf and Baz. He goes to see grandma in jail. She has other things for him to do. Although he can’t help worrying about what Baz is gonna do now that he’s lost his own power. Smurf keeps playing the game when her other boys come to see her, sowing seeds of distrust against ole Barry. Making it seem like he’s out to fuck them all over. They’re not happy when they find out J’s got power of attorney, but they’ve also got to keep him safe for things to go well. HOLY SHIT! A tangle goddamn web.
Pic 3Lucy is still sniffing around, keeping an eye on Nicky, J, too. She also drops a bit of a hint, as if to say that Baz might in fact be J’s dad. That one’s still a mystery, officially. I’ve always thought it was the case. There’s never any sure bets, though. Not when the Codys are the subject of discussion.
When Pope takes Lena to see grandma, he says she won’t be around. For a long, long time. This, naturally, upsets the little girl. Her uncle says to say “goodbye” and she does. Most of all we see the heavy weight of guilt on Pope’s shoulders. Usually I’d say a parent isn’t fully to blame. Yet… in this case, I’m gonna say Smurf is very much to blame. She poisoned him from a young age.
Nothing’s right. The whole gang is more divided than ever before. Craig is depressed, feeling he’ll be left behind now because he has nothing except their life of crime; he can’t even have all his money around for fear he’ll blow it up his nose. Deran can buy his bar, try to live the proper life to some extent. At least they love each other.
Now Baz wants to go to the lawyer, settle things. J says he’ll play along. But will he?
Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 12.56.26 AMGreat penultimate episode for Season 2. God fucking damn I love this series! So much happening, especially now that things are twisted beyond repair. Many tragedies are perched, waiting to happen. Can’t help but wonder if we’ll see one of those happen in the finale. “Betrayal” is next week.