Previously on Cleverman, “A Free Ranger”
Cleverman – S1E4 – Sun and Moon | Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Iain Glen, Frances O’Connor, Tasma Walton, Tysan Towney, Rarriwuy Hick, Ryan Corr, Stef Dawson, Jada Alberts | Writer: Michael Miller | Director: Leah Purcell
In Cleverman’s most emotionally charged episode yet, “Sun and Moon” gave the series’ supporting characters greater purpose in the grand scheme of things. The safety of the zone is faltering with the public increasing thirst for justice. Coupled with the government’s hostile agenda and Jarrod Slade’s desperation to improve humankind, the Hairypeople are a breath away from elimination. With so much at risk for everyone that lives in the zone, Koen and Waruu must look past their rivalry and restore the balance between our reality and The Dreaming.
Essentially, “Sun and Moon” – an exceptionally scripted episode by Michael Miller – burns the spotlight on the darker nature of nearly every player in this complex world. Not one person is above the base need for power, the call for vengeance.
In the last two episodes, the integrity of Waruu West was put under the test and failed miserably. Everyone has expected him to lead the zone for some time but Waruu has only folded under the increased pressure brought on by Minister Matthews and the sinister machinations of Jarrod Slade. His frustrations in not becoming the cleverman have only diminished his influence, An ironic turn of events, as Waruu could have accomplished his task of creating a union between humans and hairies without the powers of the cleverman.
There’s also the unyielding support of Nerida and his mother, despite Waruu’s cheating ways with Belinda Frosche (Leeanna Walsman). Now that everyone within the family let West know they knew about his infidelity all along, they can focus on the pressing matter of the CA gaining a strong cause for storming the zone and detaining its Hairy residents.
In the meantime, Koen went about his usual business and never showed an ounce of interest in learning his powers. Aside from giving Jane Doe (Alexis Lane) a name – Kora – the younger West was more concerned with his bar and its overhead than the Hairies he occasionally cheats out of their hard earned money. It’s gotten to the point that Blair and Ash appeared to be more of a couple than however the three of them designate their friendship. Signs appear that they’ve polyamorous relationship of sorts, if it were to have some kind of label.
Out of desperation, Waruu visits Koen for his help in getting rid of the Namorrodor, the beast Uncle Jimmy summoned in the first episode. The death toll is now 10 as this otherworldly predator has removed the hearts of eight seniors at a retirement community. Rather than take another beating from his half-brother, Koen targeted his frustrations on a drunken louse and used the club Jimmy bestowed on him in a dishonorable manner. Waruu left in disgust but it’s almost assured the two will have to eventually have work together. If not for the Hairies or restoring order to The Dreaming, the oncoming threat to their family by the CA and Slade should be sufficient motivation.
In any case, Koen is more distant than he’s ever been thanks to his hyper-sensitive abilities. Attuned to receive flash-forwards from the slightest touch, West is keen on not seeing what’s ahead for anyone, especially after witnessing Ash’s alleged death. Unfortunately for her and Koen, her demise occurred much sooner than later as Ash attempted to save Kora from Slade’s lieutenant McIntyre (Marcus Graham). Koen was able access another facet of his powers with Kora’s assistance in the hopes of saving Ash, but it didn’t appear to do the trick. As we all know, however, appearances can be deceiving.
Speaking of duplicity, Jarrod Slade and his doctor Everick (Aileen Huynh) have been experimenting with a compound that’s been nicknamed ‘hairy juice’. Extracted and refined to become the ultimate performance enhancement drug, the latest batch initially showed promise… until the test subject’s heart exploded in his chest. Finally we’re given insight into what Slade has in mind for the future of humanity: an artificial acceleration in the humankind’s evolution. At least that’s one facet in the multitude of applications Jarrod has in store. The potential medical benefits alone from his illegal and highly immoral operation would be worth billions, yet Slade appears singularly motivated to create a child with his wife Charlotte.
After everything that occurred in “Sun and Moon” the most heartfelt moment was Rarriwuy Hick spilling all the rage, frustration and anguish Latani has experienced since her family was arrested by the Containment Authority. Poor Belinda was a lightning rod for the Hairypeople because of her biased reporting – which they wouldn’t know was due to Slade’s domineering agenda. Still, Belinda is partly to blame for going along and perpetuating the unfounded fear and hate towards Hairies. Whatever faint echoes of regret she may feel are moot; like Waruu and his little brother, they share the same unenviable space of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t.’ Meanwhile, the elder Hairies Boondee (Tony Briggs) and Araluen (Tasma Walton) are subjugated to the callous, exploitative nature of humans who’ve fetishized them as medical marvels or objects of desire.
Relations between the humans and Hairies appear to be breaking apart in the zone while Jarrod aligns everything for a massive play that could lay the foundation for his ‘ark’ of the future in “A Man of Vision”, next Wednesday at 10/9c on SundanceTV!
Cleverman S1E4 = 9.3/10