Previously on Cleverman, “Containment”
Cleverman – S1E3 – A Free Ranger | Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Iain Glen, Frances O’Connor, Tysan Towney, Rarriwuy Hick, Tasma Walton, Deborah Mailman, Ryan Corr, Stef Dawson, Andrew McFarlane | Writer: Michael Miller | Director: Leah Purcell
In Cleverman‘s third episode keenly directed by Leah Purcell, “A Free Ranger” puts Koen on the back burner and focuses on the consequences of Waruu’s rash decisions that could ruin any chances for the Hairypeople to gain any sympathy from the masses. The more the older West fouls, the more ground Jarrod Slade gains in his quest to learn and master the secrets of The Dreaming.
In the city, Koen continues having a tough time acclimating to new abilities. After retrieving Jane Doe from the secluded lab, the dynamic between Koen, Blair, and Ash has shifted from a carefree companionship to a factious rapport among best pals. It’s understandable for viewers why Koen has kept to himself since becoming the cleverman: from the slightest touch, he can see flashes of that person’s future. Ever the inquisitive, Ash (Stef Dawson) can’t stand Koen turning away from her and she finally gets the answer she didn’t exactly want.
Let’s not forget about Ms. Jane Doe who hasn’t said a single word yet. Through the blank stares, Koen knows there’s plenty of life behind her eyes. In fact, the harder he looks, her face briefly changes to an older woman (the actual appearance of her soul?). Between his growing reclusive behavior, the growth of his powers and becoming acquainting with Jarrod Slade, Koen will have to accept his new role in the world for the sake of an entire race.
Once more, Waruu found himself waist deep in trouble and can’t find a way out of the quagmire. For a person who claims to speak for the residents of the zone and believes he is the rightful heir to become the cleverman, Waruu never wants to get his hands dirty for Hairy rights. Few like the perpetually cantankerous Maliyan (Adam Briggs) have never liked West from the start, however no one else appears to have a vested interest in being their leader. During his infiltration of the CA prison with Harry (Isaac Drandic), things go sideways quickly, and everyone but Waruu is prepared to face the negative outcomes of his actions.
It’s difficult to sympathize with a man who has been painted as self-centered, opportunistic, adultering former bully, yet Waruu actually appears to have some redeeming qualities. He does appear to have interest in the safety and survival of the Hairypeople however West wasn’t willing to put his own skin in the game, until it was revealed in the final minutes of “Ranger” what had Waruu so distraught in its opening. It turns out West killed Hickson (Josh McConville), the head guard at the CA facility. For some reason, he keeps the body cam recording of the incident and manages to subtly threaten Djukara (Tysan Towney) while he lies gutshot on Charlotte’s operating table.
Waruu West, ladies and gentlemen! What a mensch!
West’s mistake will likely have everyone in the zone pay dearly, thanks to Containment Authority Chief McIntyre (Marcus Graham) embellishing with the remains to frame the Hairies who escaped. If things looked bad for Hairies before, Waruu’s “leadership” is almost singlehandedly damning the community to its elimination. Of course this is all being played out beautifully for Jarrod Slade (Iain Glen), as the few who aren’t in his pocket will be soon enough. Thanks to McIntyre’s “creativity” in pinning the lead guard’s death on the escaped Hairies, Jerrod deduces the zone would be the sole haven for Djukara and the boys, and naturally, he is correct.
Once Slade entered his wife’s clinic, Jarrod knew yet again he had the upper hand. Waruu recognized him from his uncle’s funeral and after a few minutes of casual conversation (with a couple jabs at his ego), West knew Jarrod is a man who couldn’t be played. Slade would never do anything to foul up Charlotte (Frances O’Connor) and her work in the zone, but Waruu’s wound up too tight to not believe Jarrod would bring the CA down on him. There are few choices West can make that won’t damage his credibility with his supporters, the Hairies and his family. Working for Slade is at the top of the list but who knows how much blood he’ll demand in exchange.
As for the rest of Djukara’s family, his father Boondee’s location is currently unknown. However more was revealed about Araluen’s status and her captor. The sadistic Frankie (Rhondda Fiddleton) is a madam and Araluen is her crown jewel. Having no other alternative, the proud Hairy must acquiesce to Frankie’s demands considering how her fellow detainees were snuffed out last episode. Having no idea if her children or husband are still alive, Araluen must keep up appearances until the best opportunity arises for her escape. That may be fairly soon, as Frankie opened a live feed to a potential customer: Minister Matthews himself.
In the city, Latani (Rarriwuy Hick) was able to avoid the cops and vigilant citizens for the most part, until well… she was called out. It didn’t help that she was the only person wearing a hoodie in the middle of summer. Unfortunately, she chose the wrong store to hide from her pursuers. You knew this world was barely worth saving when a pair of hair stylists venture into the dark web to sell Latani’s hair to the highest bidder. It was terrible enough to watch humans act so callous to the perils of the Hairies, but viewing a man willing to break a kid’s skull then dream about creating the world’s most expensive weave from her hair is straight up heartless. Thankfully, Latani was able to cut her way out of her bonds and avoid the Containment Authority. For better or worse, she found herself in the arms of her brother Djukara, who she blames for all that happened (and rightfully so).
The window is closing on the Hairypeople with the Containment Authority more than ready to remove them from the zone for any reason. Between Waruu’s mistakes and Slade’s ambitiousness, they’ll have to rely on the very green and unprepared cleverman in “Sun and Moon”, Wednesday at 10/9c on SundanceTV!
Cleverman S1E3 = 8.3/10