Previously on Cleverman, “Muya”
It took a bit of time but Koen is now fully engrossed in his responsibilities as cleverman, even though he is not at full health. The call is too great to ignore as life for Hairypeople within city limits has become all the more lethal. There’s no difference between Hairies and Baldies in the eyes of bigots, no matter how the government attempts to spin things. Regardless of their violent reprisals, hairyfolk continue to visit the Inclusion Center to begin the conversion process to appease their human brethren.
First, the good news: Boondee reconnected not only with some of his tribesmen thanks to Jarli (Clarence John Ryan) but his daughter Latani also responded to his call in the woods. It was a bittersweet reunion considering how much both of them endured from the moment the youngest member of their family was gunned down way back in the series premiere. Only Araluen is missing, unaware that her daughter is safe. Distraught from the mounting antagonism towards Hairies – and still reeling from her captivity inside a brothel last season – Araluen is willing to play the humans’ game and chemically and culturally erase her heritage, for the sake of finding Latani.
Koen intervened but for many Hairyfolk the damage has already been done. After years of constant subjugation and discrimination, many Hairies within the city acceded to the government’s demands. For all intents and purposes they’ve successfully began the process of a complete erasure of a rich, ancient culture. Even Minister Frith (Rachael Blake) showed remorse after personally witnessing a mother and daughter go through conversion. Nevertheless, the order stands despite its growing criticism among humans.
Unsurprisingly, Waruu proved once again how much of a treacherous bastard he always was, and worst of all, finally accepted as his true self. Just when we believed he couldn’t get any more despicable, Waruu is wildly grasping for any scrap of power over everyone in his personal and professional life. The Inclusion Initiative that he supposedly created is now falling to the wayside, as Minister Frith is ready to acquire full authority over the project. Between that, Slade’s unyielding hold on everything involving cleverman lore and his contentious relationship with Alinta and Nerida, Waruu is a man who cannot allow anything to flourish within or around his life without first catering to his tumescent ego.
The same could also be written about Jarrod Slade, who unlike his younger counterpart, wielded his unscrupulous talents to their maximum effect. Granted, Waruu lacks the vision and aptitude to bend the world to his will, hence the overtly violent response towards Hairies and their sympathizers. Nevertheless, both men share disdain for the Hairypeople, for distinct reasons. Slade briefly alluded that the earth is dying and what he’s attempting to accomplish is for the sake of humanity, although it wouldn’t hurt to make ludicrous amounts of money in the process. Everything seemed to be in Slade’s favor as he made progress in synthesizing a substance from Waruu’s sap that effectively neutralizes the powers of a cleverman’s nulla nulla. Couple that with Charlotte’s return from the wilderness and everything Jarrod schemed for the past year and a half may after all.
However, Slade didn’t take into account one crucial variable: the highly protective nature of an expectant mother.
Of all the people who are justified in taking Jarrod down, I guarantee there wasn’t a single viewer that suspected Charlotte would be the one to kill Slade. It was terrible enough that Jarrod implanted a Hairy child into his wife after a number of failed attempts. Once the shock subsided, Dr. Cleary finally accepted the depths of her husband’s depravity and how in the scope of things, she meant next to nothing. After Charlotte glanced over Jarrod’s shoulder and saw child’s vital stats, she knew returning home was a grave mistake. The man she loved was replaced by vile sociopath who strove for immortality, be it through Hairy-inspired biotech or his company’s legacy.
After years of heartache and dejection, Charlotte finally has a child. Not exactly in the manner or species she preferred, but it’s hers nonetheless. And no one, especially Slade, was going to take it from her.
Regrettably, the one person who benefits from Jarrod’s demise is Waruu, who will assuredly bring forth chaos to both sides of the war. The Dreaming has some sort of plans for Waruu with his turning into a Hairy as Frith suspected – and Jarrod confirmed but revealed. Yet it may be too late for all involved to broker some kind of accord to prevent further bloodshed: a likely response to Koen’s assault at the Inclusion Center, the Containment Authority now has kill orders against any Hairy they encounter. In their hunt across the city, they discovered the hideout where Aunty Linda and the others have called home and potentially terminated every outcast present. No doubt Koen’s response will be swift… but will it even leave a mark on an overwhelming threat like the Department of Human Safety?
Cleverman – S2E5 – Skin | Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Iain Glen, Deborah Mailman, Frances O’Connor, Rarriwuy Hick, Jada Alberts | Writer: Jade Allen & Jada Alberts | Director: Leah Purcell