OUTSIDERS Review: “Banishment”


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In Episode 3 of , Big Foster has escaped death (first by Asa’s shotgun, then by depraved household featuring horny homemaker0 to arrive back on Shay Mountain, where he finds his former home occupied by Morgan aka Hillbilly Xena, and her Amazonesque tribeswomen, the Kinnah. They let him have it; I can only assume for now. There’s a shock for all concerned as the Farrells convene their tribal circle as requested by Big Fos in Episode 2 – Big confesses to killing former Bren’in Lady Ray and thus ‘taking the oak in a manner impure when he assumed the role. Contrite, if bitter; Big Fos declares that G’win is the rightful Bren’in, and that he ought to be banished, as is the time-honored punishment for mountain tribespeople who transgress as he has. G’win agrees to think on it.

Big Fos is repentent, which is a surprise, and one to be suspicious of (as I was with Little Fos’ display of being beaten by the law of the land in Episode 2). His repentance appears to be a weapon against banishment, as G’win is concerned that she will look too harsh if she banishes him. (We know this because she says so while speaking with Hillbilly Xena, who counsels her about it, sexily; and demonstrates a suspicion of Big Foster’s motives that looks unlikely to shift).

While G’win is wavering on Big Fos’ punishment, our troubled deputy sheriff Wade Houghton is desperately seeking some relief from the blow delivered to him in the form of his sister Abby’s pancreatic cancer. They can’t afford the prescribed treatment, so Wade is trying to raise revenue. After a fruitless and frustrating appointment with the health insurance company he turns to his natural enemy Haley, the PR chick who likes to override him in matters concerning Shay Mountain, as it’s her company that wants to evict the Farrells and mine it for coal. As Abby’s deceased (by reason of entanglement with the Farrells) husband worked for the company, Wade asks Haley if Abby might have access to her husband’s company insurance. Haley checks the dates of the insurance coverage period…. AND THEN CHANGES IT SO THAT ABBY CAN ACCESS IT. Whilst this is obviously a magnificent act that could save the life of one of Wade’s few remaining reasons to live, I kept thinking about the times in Season 1 when Haley tried to get Wade on her side using neoliberal soft power. What will he end up doing for her in return? And given that Abby is refusing treatment “because God has a plan for her”, will it really do Wade any good?

As per usual Wade has other problems too. Down in the jail cells the ostensibly cowed Little Foster has not, as it appears, knocked himself out banging his head on the doors but was acting up so that he could tear into the guards who come to shunt him off to the infirmary. After much bloody bruising he is caught and restrained. Like father, like son…. back on Shay Mountain Big Foster’s contrition is revealed for the hoax it is. While G’win is treating his wounds and wavering on his punishment Big Fos is stockpiling guns with the help of old loyalties within the tribe. Given her suspicion of the hairy ex-overlord it’s hard to imagine Hillybilly Xena and her women aren’t watching Big Fos do this, but there’s no sign of them in this scene. Perhaps there’s no need for them to be, as, while G’win does decide not to banish Big Fos, we see her packing a weapons store too. It’s good to see her playing a long game.

Anyway, #SASIL IS BACK. Or penultimately-back, as we are treated to a close-up of Sally-Ann’s post-positive-pregnancy-test trajectory. She is on the phone making an appointment. Who is she calling? I figure Hasil isn’t easily reachable by such modern technology, and also that she would have good reason to seek a termination of a blastocyst sired by a man who she never wants to see again.

It turns out that the Sass in #Sasil is not seeking professional counsel about what to do about the pregnancy, and, as she drives back from the rather-far-away clinic, she’s intercepted by her notoriously protective father, who has unfortunately found her pregnancy test package in the trash and demands to know where she has been with his car. Sally-Ann steps on it and drives away! Go girl! at a time like this no lady needs pressure from the patriarchs, though it does seem to reinforce how alone she is with her possible motherhood. As she motors off into the foresty mountain, it looks like she might be about to end it all. But she’s just hit a tree, and guess who’s there to rescue her? The women of Hillbilly Xena’s tribe. I will be one happy feminist fantasist if Sally-Ann joins them and has her baby in cross-cultural, biracial, matriarchal bliss; but as usual I’m getting ahead of myself and must be content to wait for Episode 4, screening next Tuesday night.


Season 2, Episode 3 (S02E03)
Outsiders airs Tuesdays at 9PM on WGN America

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is a writer from Sydney, Australia. She has degrees in sociology and gender studies, which makes her very annoying to watch TV with.
Follow Ann on Twitter: @Ann_dLandes
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