Previously on Cleverman, “Bindawu”
Throughout “Dark Clouds”, every lead was tested in some capacity to prove their mettle in fulfilling their respective goal. Be it dastardly Jarrod Slade seeking immortality, Waruu West fulfilling the cultural erasure of the Hairy people, Nerida protecting her daughter and Latani from the merciless CA, and most importantly, Koen learning how to accept the pain of his past to acquire the strength necessary for the future.
In the beginning when we attempted to get a feel for every lead, we presumed that Waruu was simply a well-intended yet highly problematic individual with intense sibling rivalry. Our concerns about his character became more as what we believed were correctable slights turned out to be his true self: a bitter, preening, egotistical, misanthropic opportunist who never gave a damn about his family, his community and certainly not his half-brother.
Now fully aligned with Jarrod, Waruu has total operational control over his Inclusion Initiative and for the all intents and purposes, has been a roaring success. Once processed and medicated, newly converted Hairies are relocated to Bennelong House, an Inclusion Initiative Housing center that’s more of a glorified prison than public complex. Boondee (Tony Briggs) – the government’s prime example of their effective conversion process – lives a meager existence among humans, constantly harassed by his intolerant co-workers and the media who prowl at his doorstep for the latest scoop. If it wasn’t for their persistent badgering, Araluen (Tasma Walton) wouldn’t have known that her husband was still alive.
After everything the two have suffered from the series premiere on, it was a bittersweet moment to finally see Boondee and Araluen reunite. In the initial moments of seeing his wife again, one wasn’t certain if Boondee or “Trevor” would interact as we didn’t know the full extent of the Initiative’s modifications on Hairypeople. Thankfully, Boondee remains himself and deeply despondent knowing he now lost his eldest child Djukara in “Revival”. What they plan to do next is anyone’s guess. Araluen likely won’t return to the sanctuary; Boondee has no alternative but to continue with the business at hand and feign impotence in front of humans. No doubt the couple will search for Latani, despite the considerable risk.
The danger is rising for all within the city limits as Hairies and their sympathizers are meant with swift and harsh detainment. Latani and Alinta have remained vigilant of their captive Tim Dolan (Luke Ford) and rightfully, as the latter discovered later in the episode that he works for the Containment Authority. It’s a startling revelation for all, especially Nerida after she became thoroughly “acquainted” with Dolan. He may come off as a calm, rational person while held hostage in his own home, which is very odd in itself. Tim went even further to claim he’s sympathetic to their cause, and despite Alinta finding his CA contract, Dolan hasn’t broken his silence about their occupation. Although Tim disclosed to Nerida that he and his co-workers were pressed into service for the CA or else their pensions would be void, Dolan’s motivations still remain unclear.
Unlike the seemingly honorable CA officer, Slade continues to weave a web of lies that his wife Charlotte can no longer. After the horrifying revelation that her child is a Hairy and it’s altering her DNA, Dr. Cleary finally mustered enough nerve to confront her bastard of a husband with all the fury and indignation that one should unleash on a person who utterly betrayed their trust. Jerrod claimed he was willing to reveal everything to Charlotte to prove their child is the next stage in human development, until an incensed Jarli (Clarence John Ryan) ambushed Slade, beat him unconscious, then turned his sights on Charlotte… only to be spared when she cried out that her child is a Hairy.
“Dark Clouds” reached its jarring conclusion when Koen made a house call to his brother’s home and confront him about Aunt Linda’s road rage. Waruu confirmed that Linda intentionally killed Koen’s parents, and hoped to have ended his life as well. No longer filled with disdain for his older abusive brother, Koen exhibited a scant amount of pity and intended to leave Waruu’s house and leave him to wallow in his disgrace. The older West had other plans, thanks to Uncle Jimmy’s journal and set them in motion: in reading old folklore about one brother acquiring power over the other, Waruu cut Koen’s throat and applied the sap of the tree into his wound, potentially neutralizing the cleverman’s burgeoning powers.
It’ll be intriguing to watch how each lead struggles with their respective complications as their worlds are smaller and more vicious at every passing turn. While few have embraced the evil they’ve committed (and continue to wreak), others like Jarli, Araluen and Boondee still have a chance to overcome the malevolence that surrounds their lives and find a path that leave As for Koen… who knows? Though currently incapacitated and distressed by recent unveilings, the cleverman would be best suited to allow his powers come forth on their own, as Uncle Jimmy suggested.
As the dark clouds engulfed his world, Koen must accept his past misdeeds and those of his family, in the hopes he can gain the focus and inner strength necessary to save Hairykind.