OUTSIDERS Review: “We Are Kinnah”

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Well, this episode ended EXPLOSIVELY. It began innocently enough: the Kinnah and Big Foster at loggerheads; Big Fos being convinced that they set the smokehouse fire that turned the winter meat harvest to ashes, and the smokehouse keeper with it.

And, despite deputy sheriff Wade’s doubts about his culpability, Li’l Fos is still in jail, and is getting hassled in prison by a gang who wants them to join him. Thing is, in Li’l’s words, “I already got a family”, so what would he want with this gang? They want him to beat up the Black guy who called him a hillbilly hick, but Prison Li’l Fos has manners.

#SASIL have found themselves a couch to crash on at the home of Butch, a fella Hasil knows from town, and Butch’s long-suffering girlfriend. But what are they going to do long-term? Hasil has no social security number and has never heard of insurance. And Sally-Ann needs pre-natal vitamins.

Oh, and remember that time Big Foster narrowly escaped the household that rescued him and then turned out to be headed by a nymphomaniac and her homicidal husband and son? There was another, less homicidal, younger, son; and Big Fos, seeing potential for the boy to have a life without quite so much depraved death going on, told the boy to run before Big Fos made meat of the rest of his family. Anyway, the kid’s name is Sam, and he turned up under the house of a woman in the town of Blackburn who catches him stealing from her. When Wade turns up he sees that Sam is more troubled than criminal, but cannot get words out of him that might help the sheriff find the kid’s family.

Back on the mountain Big Fos is pretty sure he’s cracked the jackpot when he finds some of the Kinnah’s beads in the ashes of the smokehouse. He presents them to G’win as proof that Morgan and her band were responsible for the ruinous fire. G’win is unmoved, which leads Big Fos to claim she is under some kind of spell from Hillbilly Xena, with whom she admittedly has been spending a lot of time lately.

Morgan has gotten between a man and his wife all right, but of course there’s more to it for G’win – why should she listen to a man who killed his own mother and indeed tried to kill her? As Big Fos advances, G’win bitterly recalls how “those loving hands once to squeeze the life out of her”, and he, equally bitter, declares his withdrawal of all guidance and counsel. Considering their generally murdery dynamic, it’s hard to see what G’win is missing here.

Meanwhile our hapless (deputy) Sheriff is driving around in a fruitless search for little Sam’s family. He ends up taking Sam out for a meal and a meeting with Social Services. That night, we see him in a beautiful scene, comforting his own son, Caleb, after a nightmare. Aw Wade. He’s the nicest guy in the show. He somehow retains this no matter what he’s exposed to, like when he does eventually find Sam’s rekt family home; his parents and brother in the state Big Foster left them in, albeit decomposing.

Having been abandoned (if welcomely) by Big Foster, G’win turns to Hillbilly Xena for the counsel she sorely needs as Bren’in in figuring out how to deal with the smokehouse fire. She presents Morgan with the beads that Big Foster found and wearily notes that Big Fos has used this as flimsy evidence that the Kinnah were the ones who set the fire. To which Morgan replies, YES IT WAS THE KINNAH.

Whhaaaaaa??!! Morgan up to now has been G’win’s sexy emerging confidante, clearly protective of the Bren’in and committed to the future of Shay Mountain’s tribal people. What’s more, she and her Kinnah appeared in the Farrells’ midst as supplicants, desperate to be taken in as their water supply had run out on the other side of the mountain. WHY TEH HELL WOULD THEY SET FIRE TO THE CLAN’S ENTIRE WINTER MEAT STORE?!

The answer reveals the Kinnah to be even more separatist-fundamentalist than they initially appeared, tipping them over into Dangerous Fanatic territory. The meat in the now-smoked smokehouse was “ill-gotten”, says Morgan – by “modern tools of destruction” (i.e. guns) instead of the Kinnah’s “pure” ways (lecturing the deer and wild boar about the importance of pure ancestral ways till their hearts stop?).

I’m very sad that this appears to be the end of the Morgan-G’win alliance, and all before we got to see them kiss. At least G’win appears to be having a long night of the soul on this question, as we see her light candles and gaze miserably on the murder beads found by Big Fos. Still, she knows she has to ask Big Foster to come back to her side, as the clan can’t have random purists going around setting fire to the winter stores, let alone the harmless storekeeper. Big Fos can hardly contain his glee as he and G’win approach Morgan to ask her to leave. But he gets more than he bargains for as Hillbilly Xena calls to her crew, they surround the camp, AND LITERALLY OPEN FIRE, shooting one Farrell straight up in the face. Girls gone wild, indeed. WTF to expect next?!

TB-TV-Grade-B

Season 2, Episode 5 (S02E05)
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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