Previously on Cleverman, “Terra Nullius”
Since the last time we saw Koen, the world as we knew it in this intrepid Australian production has descended precipitously into dark territory. The resistance never had any chance as the Cleverman was gunned down and they were hastily corralled into shipping containers for parts unknown. The humans are no longer giving the residents of the Zone any quarter as paranoia within the city has reached frenzied levels. Dead for only a moment, Koen is restored to life and more determined than ever to save what few Hairypeople remain and restore the balance between both worlds.
For most of “Revival” Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard) was attempting to piece together the last twelve hours of his life after his soul departed for The Dreaming. Virtually everything he knew has gone to ruin. Save for Aunty Linda, no one in his family could be accounted for and what few Hairy folk managed to hide away were in dire shape. After losing Djukara to the CA, then Mungo at the hands of thugs, the survivors are desperate for Koen to wholly assume his role as Cleverman not only for their sake, but their entire species.
The most intriguing addition to the overall narrative is the mysterious Hairy named Jarli (Clarence John Ryan). Little is seen of this new figure, save for his brutal assault on the Containment Authority in the opening minutes of the premiere. Jarli is certainly a force the CA and its supporters do not want to confront nor be known to the media, as he single-handed neutralized a convoy of troops. If a single hairyman was able to dispatch a dozen humans so easily, fear would spread like wildfire among the city knowing the refugees once isolated in the Zone are now hiding among them.
Hoping to prematurely quash any concerns about the treatment of Hairypeople and their subsequent disappearance, the government appointed Marion Frith (Rachael Blake) as the new Minister of Human Safety, a shrewd politician that obviously knows how to have things go her way – as evidenced by her handling of the Chief of Staff, who just gave her the posting. Due to the negative press surrounding the draconian practices of the CA – and the humiliating revelation that former Minister Geoff Matthews consorted with a Hairy in an exclusive brothel – Frith now has the unenviable task of restoring the image of the government while ensuring their brutal tactics remain covert.
While the more things change, the more they stay the same for a few characters, namely Jerrod Slade and Waruu West. The two are reluctantly linked by their need for hairypeople; Slade continues to torture subjects in secret to achieve medical advances whereas Waruu has forsaken his obsession to become the guardian of the dreaming but wrath incarnate. The pair attempt to keep their influence within the government by catering to Minister Frith’s needs for better technology. The foot was all but kicked out of the door, which gave Slade greater motivation to complete his research. Regrettably for Jerrod’s “partner”, the dismissal by Firth only stoked the flames of hate inside Waruu even more intensely.
At this point, no one cares for the older West sibling, and rightfully so. He betrayed everyone in the Zone, cheated on his wife, abandoned his daughter and attempted multiple times to have his brothers tortured and/or murdered. With nothing to live for but Jerrod’s “charity” and their shared desire to exploit the powers of the Hairypeople, Waruu has essentially sold his soul for a mere pittance. However it appears he’ll pay for his indignity as it appears West is physically transforming into the very thing he hates.
In this intense opener to Cleverman’s sophomore season, no one was safe from the vitriol of the intolerant and small-minded. If the systemic “liberation” of the Zone didn’t give the CA tighter control over the Hairy population, pockets of the citizenry appeared eager to unleash their animosity, an ironic twist of sorts. What was once a desire to be seen as equal has become a race for survival and Koen will most certainly face his greatest challenge yet.
Cleverman – S2E1 – Revival | Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Iain Glen, Deborah Mailman, Frances O’Connor, Rarriwuy Hick, Jada Alberts | Writer: Stuart Page | Director: Wayne Blair