OUTSIDERS Review: “Kill or Be Killed”


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So, we knew The Kinnah were a bit special and different, and it was pretty clear that Morgan was gaining a li’l power over G’win. But holding the entire Farrell tribe and their Bren’in hostage is something else. As Episode 6 opens we see G’win under heavy guard. By now it’s clear that the Kinnah’s beef with the Farrells is all about a kind of premodern purity, the kind that they are sure could be maintained if only G’win would surrender to their plan and work together with Morgan (in this, Hillbilly Xena is appearing more and more like an out of work Shakespearean actor).

Here is also the point where we get the backstory as to why the Farrells and the Kinnah have Scottish and Irish accents and apparently speak some variation of Elvish. As Morgan puts it: “when our people [the shared descendants of the Farrells and the Kinnah]came to this continent we bought with us all these ancient rites, the ones the Christians tried to kill. We held fast to them, and when we settled up here, safe from the so-called Americans, we began to lose hold of them. That is why the Kinnah left. Only blood can save blood, so that is why the strongest of you must die.” Yep – Hillbilly Xena and her pals want to make a human sacrifice (of “the strongest” among the Farrells), in order to purify the mountain. By this they mean: it’s time to go, Big Foster.

Meanwhile Li’l Fos’ pre-modern purity and innocence is holding strong in the face of pressure to join what has turned out to be the white supremacist gang in prison. But how long can he hold against it? Wade is increasingly convinced that Li’l was not responsible for the death of his brother-in-law, Breece. and is making all sorts of racket about this to his higher-ups at the station. Wade’s burden continues to grow in other places, too, when little Sam tells him what happened at his former family home of horrors; and when he discovers what Abby has been up to now that she’s gone full civil disobedience on the coal company. But more on that shortly.

What are #Sasil gonna do? Once Sally-Ann has explained to Hasil what rent and utilities are they agree they gotta get out of the pot-heavy place they’re staying (for a start, “bongs and babies don’t mix”). Sally-Ann finds an apartment for #Sasil. Hasil has never seen so much indoor space before, but is also not used to sleeping surrounded by so many walls. In a touching scene under the full moon, Sally-Ann wakes to find her Appalachian bae stretched out outside, and joins him for the night.

Furthermore Hasil, the good provider, is determined to find work. Day labouring has turned out not to be quite worth it. Coming in on his buddy’s pot business doesn’t feel right either. But he has seen people fighting for cash and reckons he can cut it. And cut it he does – landing blows for entertainment and cash turns out to be his paid vocation. #Sasil’s gonna be just fine if he can keep this up!

Meanwhile Abby’s campaign against the coal company has attracted a professional anti-fracking campaigner (who, by the way, is perfectly cast, all white-boy dreds and affable sanctimony). He was so “inspired” and “energised” by the fight he saw on the news that he had to get down to Blackburn and see how he could help. Vegan, atheist (but “spiritual”, or maybe, “God curious”), he has the beard and piercing eyes of the mountain people but the general facial sculpting is pure manarchist. As he plies Abby for the story of her burgeoning activism, she starts to tell him things like, “it felt right to feel wrong”, as even her own brother was forced to arrest her – which gives our brocialist the opportunity to get her into the shower with him. Steamy! This doesn’t go down so well with Wade, who decides her kids shouldn’t be around the house if she’s gonna be the type to get arrested at protests and take random macktivists into the shower. (I am rather rooting for the dying Abby to decide to live out her final days with her manscaped Earth Beard traveling the anti-fracking trail in some kind of all-terrain four-wheel Rainbow Warrior but as usual I’m getting ahead of myself).

The full moon made a pretty scene for #Sasil on their first night in the apartment, but it has a more sinister meaning up on Shay. The Kinnah have decided not only that Big Foster must die to save the pure culture of the mountain (“tonight, one of us must die so that all of us may live”), but that G’win must kill him.  Morgan hands G’win a knife. G’win goes to slash Big Foster’s throat, then TURNS THE KNIFE ON HERSELF. Morgan takes G’win, bleeding profusely, in her arms and I think maybe I will see the two women kiss after all, but I am foiled again as Morgan turns to kill Big Fos herself, and Big Fos KICKS MORGAN RIGHT ONTO G’WIN’S KNIFE, killing Hillbilly Xena right in the stomach. The strongest of the mountain indeed! The Kinnah have been vanquished at the eleventh hour! Did G’win, now looking decidedly unmoving in the arms of Big Fos, make the ultimate sacrifice? Whoever exercises leadership at the next juncture has certainly got some cleaning up to do.


Season 2, Episode 6 (S02E06)
Outsiders airs Tuesday at 9PM on WGN America

Read all of our reviews of Outsiders here. 
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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
Keep up with all of Ann’s reviews here.

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