OUTSIDERS Review: “Unbroken chain”


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The end of Episode 11 was too hardcore for this reviewer. It’s taken me a week to process it! But there’s no review of Episode 12 without discussing, well, the fact that the last one ended with Wade finding Haylie hanging from her hotel bathrobe in the shower. WTF happened? The coroner is convinced it’s suicide but that Deputy Sherriff Wade Houghton sense of justice won’t let him be sure. In trying to figure out what happened to Haylie, Wade searches her hotel room again. He finds the water samples, and the images she took of the Farrell’s poisoned fields.

Wade has the samples tested, and it turns out the stuff Haylie brought back from the mountain is toxic as heck – indeed, an enhanced version of Agent Orange!

Meanwhile after everything else that’s happened – unsuccessful fences, successful protesters, security breaches – the demise of their PR chick puts the coal company manager Scott under significant pressure from his overlords. He needs a final solution for the company’s plans to mine Shay Mountain.

Enter Gordon, Ledda’s manarchist. Scott and his cronies haul the beardy troublemaker before them so they can extort his services as a magnetic activist type. Under threat of exposure of something from his deeper, darker past, Gordon treks up the mountain to tell the Farrells the coal company has the National Guard and a load of dynamite on its way to destroy the people of Shay Mountain once and for all. The latter is true – it seems the coal company is trying to provoke the Farrells into doing something drastic by way of Gordon, who is trying to earn the mountain people’s trust and hatch a plan with them for some kind of mutually assured destruction.

Gordon’s not convincing Fosters Big or Li’l that he’s totally on their side. He pleads with the mountain men to work with him to save the mountain by stealing the dynamite being stockpiled in the town. They don’t like it, but, given the stakes, they will think about it. G’winn does not support any such move, remaining firmly of the view that a more nonviolent approach will win their fight against displacement. She and Big Foster fight dramatically, which ends with G’winn unbinding Big Fos from their marriage (apparently a Farrell divorce ritual, which seems to respect the autonomy of the individual to end a relationship they do not wish to be in any more).

Over at camp #Sasil the lovebirds are worried, because with so much uniform in town the fight club has had to shut down. Just in time, Butch calls around to apologise for his previous misdemeanours, and he helps Hasil to take his skills to a fight club further afield. The one they call #AppalachianBae on Twitter is, unfortunately, not able to get the final strike against his fly-fisted opponent, and he suffers a rare loss. But fortunately, Butch in his fight club wisdom has collected bets for the other guy and made #Sasil a good few thousand dollars. This isn’t enough to cheer Hasil up after the loss, though. Knocked out and bleeding on the floor of the ring, Hasil has sensed that his kin need him; something that, as ever, threatens to end the #Sasil union. Digging deep, Sally-Ann tells him to go to them and that shell be waiting. He leaves, dragging her heavy heart behind him.

The dynamite heist is on. In a union of hillbilly and hipster beard, Big Foster, Li’l Foster, and Gordon are on the case. Gordon tricks a guard into giving up his gun, and, temporarily his consciousness; as he is also apparently trying valiantly to trick the Farrells into believing he is on their side. Back before the coal company stooges, Gordon proposes that they aim to catch the Farrells in an act of terrorism, namely, the use of the stolen dynamite against company property. Back before his now ex wife G’winn, Big Fos declares that they are going to do just that.

It’s not looking good for Shay Mountain – Big Fos gone rogue, Gordon fomenting terrorism to save his own skin, the coal company sure they’ve got the destruction of the mountain community in the bag, this time. With G’winn’s convictions of nonviolence flailing against the might of a tonne of stolen dynamite and a furious Big Fos, it must be down to Wade if there’s to be any intervention in this explosive set of affairs. Methinks he will play an important role in next week’s episode, at least, as long as the coal company doesn’t find out what he knows and makes sure he meets a similar fate to the PR chick.

Season 2, Episode 12 (S02E12)TB-TV-Grade-B
Outsiders airs Tuesdays 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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