I came to this episode of OUTSIDERS with one serious question on my heart: IS G’WIN DEAD???!!!! I was not to get this one answered before being presented with the Kinnah mourning the undeniable death of their leader, Morgan. These silent, stylized Amazon types are now the prisoners of the Farrells. In fact, the presence of the recently bereaved Kinnah in this episode makes me wonder – is there going to be a new Hillbilly Xena for the Farrells to reckon with?
At any rate, eventually it is clear – G’win lives! She speaks with Big Fos! He’s making her a poultice! He can’t believe she let him live! And the Bren’in is already demanding that the Kinnah be freed, rueing their domination by Morgan and trusting that they are no longer a threat. It really is all over between the two women leaders, and it seems clear that G’win and Big Foster’s relationship can really mend now that Morgan is out of the way. Big still has a long way to go though. He was presumed dead and then returned to confess to the killing of his own mother in order to become Bren’in, after all. And there’s the matter of what he got up to when he was missing from the mountain, such as his bloody tussle with the family who ‘rescued’ him.
Ledda is feeling bolder and bolder in her role as leader of the grassroots defence of Shay Mountain against Big Coal, and her manscaped new Environmental Activist ™ boyfriend is daring said grassroots to bigger and more controversial action – specifically intervening in the Coal Day parade, Blackburn’s annual celebration of the centrality of coal to their town’s life.
Ledda and the crew stage a dramatic takeover of the parade, jumping into the pageantry dressed in skeleton costumes and spreading coal dust around along with the chant “COAL KILLS!”. Go Ledda!!! But how is she going to keep this momentum (and her manarchist) up as her terminal condition declines? Notwithstanding her coal-funded health insurance, Ledda is clearly getting sicker.
Remember how Li’l Foster was all under pressure to join the white supremacist prison gang? Well, in a scrap over the question of his membership, he killed one of them. So now even if he didn’t do the murd on Wade’s brother-in-law he’s unlikely to get out of the big house any time soon. In fact, he’s getting transferred to solitary in a whole other penitentiary.
Li’l Foster’s prison career has been very demonstrative of the way of life on Shay Mountain. The governmental prison rules and the culture among the prisoners are particularly alien to the son of Big Foster and the former lover of G’win. We learn a lot about how he is taking the whole thing in his interactions with the prison doctor, who is attentive to Lil’s out-of-step-ness with the modern world, and helps him to keep his centre by encouraging drawings of home and asking him about the people and things most dear to him – until, that is, Li’l kills another inmate and has to be transferred. Even in this, though, the doctor is, touchingly, trying to be as much on Li’l’s side as possible. For a Farrell, this guy sure has some friends in the Blackburn prison industrial complex, and their concern for him helps the viewer to understand the sheer separateness of tribal life on Shay Mountain.
#Sasil are settling into their new life – apartment, baby on the way, job beating people up for money – but Hasil finds himself being chased down by Wade after the sheriff responds to a complaint from residents about the fight club. Wade needs Hasil so he can get a clear picture of Li’l Fos’ culpability or non-culpability for the murder of the sheriff’s brother-in-law, and he manages to convince Hasil to lead him up Shay Mountain and tell his tribespeople what’s happened to their missing cousin, Li’l Foster.
Led into an audience with the Bren’in, Wade tells her what’s in Li’l Foster’s future. His personal, transcendent, A+++++ Decent Dude sense of justice has driven him to advise the Farrells on how they might set their tribesman free while he is being transferred to a new prison. It doesn’t fail them. As the prison van heads onto the highway, the Farrell men are ready with their trail bikes, blazing onto the road, demons-of-dirt style, and surrounding the van to overturn and hold it while the inmates clamber out. Li’l Foster’s release goes off without a hitch!! It’s an odd way for Deputy Sherriff Wade to finally get a personal victory, but I’m glad for him. With Li’l back on the mountain, though, there’s a new series of conflicts to negotiate for the 8th Foster. At least he’ll know how to navigate the norms of these ones.
Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
Outsiders airs Tuesdays at 9PM on WGN America
Ann Deslandes is a writer from Sydney, Australia. She has degrees in sociology and gender studies, which makes her very annoying to watch TV with.
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Ann Deslandes | Contributor