“#Kin Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Rats”
The Kinsellas have got themselves in a mess that’s proving impossible to clean up.
On Kin Season 1 Episode 6, egos and loyalties clash, leading to rash decisions and fatal mistakes.
Is there any way this can end without a great deal of bloodshed?
This certainly felt like the most action-packed episode so far.
There’s so much that happens here that will affect the endgame, and it’s filled with suspense, tension, thrills, and catharsis.
Amanda is making a stand, but she’s also isolating herself. She’s finding her footing and anticipating the future, trying to do damage control while at the same time protect her surviving son.
Did she have Eric arrested or was that just an inevitability? Regardless, this will not exactly endear her to Frank — how is she going to find out where the drugs are now? How will this serve to protect Anthony? Or could it be pure revenge for Eric’s part in Jamie’s death?
Amanda fills the trope of the “crime wife” in certain aspects, but by making her essentially our protagonist (despite this being an ensemble drama) it forces us to look at how women are portrayed in these types of shows. Though at times frustrating, her arc is the most dynamic.
Jimmy clearly does not like Amanda overstepping her bounds, nor does Michael, but they were quick enough to do her bidding when it meant they could avenge Jamie’s death.
Amanda has not been thinking with a clear head this whole time, which is why it may be harder for Frank and Birdy to take her seriously when she does start talking sense. There is a subtle but important push-and-pull between Birdy and Amanda here, with Nikki backing up Birdy.
Birdy and Nikki have provided moral support and manipulated the trajectory of the family’s actions from behind the scenes. Providing advice and being confidantes has helped them build up a sense of loyalty and righteousness in Frank and Eric, respectively.
Are you not listening? Frank’s told you what he’s decided.
By contrast, Amanda is putting herself out there in a big way, wielding her power over Jimmy and Michael, which has now put a target on her back from Eamon’s side.
Amanda is gaining confidence AND perception. Her scene with Kem (Ryan Lincoln) was intense.
Their body language conveyed so much. She stands tall, he hunches. Watch how Amanda barely moves, except for her arm to knock on the glass door. while Kem paces like a caged animal. When he lunges at he, she barely flinches. It’s a powerful display of dominance. When she calls Jimmy and uses his presence to subdue Kem even further, Kem realizes that he’s underestimated her and that she has the means to destroy him.
Amanda relishes her newfound power. What she is doing has value, but the rest of the family doesn’t see it that way.
Michael tears into Amanda for pursuing her rat theory without telling him and Jimmy. Except she did, earlier in the episode, and Jimmy told her to stay in her place. So Michael’s anger towards Amanda isn’t justified.
If Amanda hadn’t found out about Glen stalking Anna, Michael might not have had that split second to save himself and his daughter. Michael is understandably working through the emotions of having almost been clipped, as well as Anna, but he shouldn’t have taken it out on Amanda. We’ve never seen him this volatile.
Charlie Cox and Clare Dunne play this scene so well. It’s easy to have sympathy for both of them in this high-stakes situation. But Michael needs to stop pinning the blame on anyone but himself. It was his decision to go see Anna dance and he agreed to meet her for coffee. Amanda saved them both and he should be grateful.
It’s clear Michael adores Anna — she’s the only good thing in his life. It’s apparent that she wants a connection with him, too. His full-faced smile at their simplest interaction is genuinely moving. When he feels a seizure potentially coming on, just having her there beside him keeps him calm and stable.
Michael: I take it she doesn’t know you’re meeting me.
Anna: Are you joking? She thinks you’re the Devil.
But after the events at the diner, Anna cuts off contact. It’s heartbreaking for Michael, but it’s Anna’s safest and most sensible option.
The short scene between Michael and Jimmy (and the snakes) was a telling one.
Jimmy insists that they immediately go out and get the ones who did this. Michael has never been angrier, which we’ve just seen in the scene before, but he feels the need to gather himself and try to see the situation from the outside. At last, someone in the Kinsella family is trying to look at the big picture.
Michael: No, not now. Let’s wait.
Jimmy: Wait for fucking what?
Michael: ‘Til I’m not angry.
Michael realizes that following emotions and not logic might be what’s gotten them into this mess – from Eric’s first shooting to the Caolan Moore hit, and the robbery.
He had previously warned Amanda that it might be worth waiting to get revenge, but they still took action where they could. His anger at frustration at her probably stems not just from her “playing detective,” but how her insistent need to avenge Jamie’s death has led them down this bloody path.
A good section of this episode focused on the personal and psychedelic journey of Eamon Cunningham.
Despite being a drug lord, Eamon seems a little reticent to indulge. Ayahuasca is no joke, though. It’s a powerful psychoactive with mind-bending properties as well as gastrointestinal effects.
The scene is extremely evocative and suitably trippy. Ciaran Hinds looks completely strung out of his mind. David Holmes’s music elevated the whole sequence, driving relentlessly and insistently. That wide shot of the star-filled sky was eerily expansive.
The whole sequence is masterfully done — its purpose remains to be seen.
Eamon has not been a sympathetic character at all — Angela certainly is, but right now she seems more his vessel for change than a complex individual in her own right. I suspect that more of her and Eamon’s storyline was left on the cutting-room floor because it’s odd to devote this much screen time to their relationship.
As for the swimming pool hallucination, the meaning is still muddled. Is the girl in the water meant to be Angela, and Eamon can’t save her? Or is it more literal and he’s remembering a time he tried to rescue a girl in a pool?
Is it as simple as being a metaphor to illustrate that he created an empire in order to provide for his family? Now his ex-wife is dying and he can’t save her, and his empire is crumbling because of the Kinsellas. Is he somehow coming to terms with the fact that he’s become a soulless shell of a man?
Angela: I have a question you can ask: “Show me who I’ve become.”
And why is Amanda there in his dream to comfort him? Is he finally gaining sympathy for what she is trying to do, to protect her boy? Will this be his change of heart?
A final adrenaline-charged sequence leaves Frank’s closest friend and bodyguard dead.
You just knew Frank’s need for a hook-up would end up costing him. It was a poorly thought-out choice with fatal consequences.
At least Dotser had the sensibility to use caution on Frank’s behalf. His final actions saved Frank’s life.
Frank has understandably had a lot of his mind, but there was no reason to put himself or Dotser at risk like. At least he was coked-up enough to be on alert and get out of the situation fast, driving into the shooter and home as fast as he could.
All Amanda has now is the satisfaction of being right in the face of everyone denying and undermining her. She’s lost the dealership and her family’s trust — but hopefully, Anthony will somehow be safe.
The Kinsellas are totally fractured. Will they reconnect or continue to divide? Will we ever see Michael and Jimmy’s father? Will we ever know what happened to Birdy’s husband and child(ren)?
What do you think is the deeper meaning behind Eamon’s water-logged hallucination?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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