If you're a fan of Kin, you're going to love getting this insight into the series' most compelling characters -- Amanda Kinsella.
All season long, Amanda has been running her own plays and standing up against the family for a myriad of reasons. After Kin Season 1 Episode 6, her attempts to steer the family in a direction they didn't like cannot be overlooked.
We had the chance to chat with Clare Dunne with a specific emphasis on everything that led to the stunning final moments of the latest episode.
Do you think it was Jamie's death that pushed her to kind of carve her own path away from the male dominance of the family?
Like, if you think about it, her main aim in life before he was killed was to get them out of this world of gangs and give them an education. Give them the chance to not have to live under that kind of stress and be part of that world. And it's a point of tension, obviously, between her and Jimmy.
When he goes, it's like everything changes because she's now like, 'is my other son under stress? I can't lose another son.' I mean, that's the survival thing in her. And then the other thing is the grief and the rage. It's like, now it's at a point where I have to fight for my place in this; otherwise, my other son might get killed.
But also, 'what have I built this family for? What have I made these kids for? What have I spent 36 years of my life doing this for?' Do you know what I mean? It's almost like do or die. It's almost like in her head, at that point, it's like, 'what option do I have?'
I guess there's maybe an ounce of, 'oh, I could run away and go into hiding.' But I think she thinks that wouldn't even be able to happen. I think she'd be found. I think they'd find her. They'd use her as a pawn at some point or use Anthony as a pawn at some point.
So I think the warrior comes out in her, and she's like, 'right. I'm not going down. I'm not going down easy.' And I don't even know if she's conscious of taking over the patriarchy, so to speak.
I think she just looks at it all with great clarity now. Maria's character also has her hand in on some level. So I don't think it's as simple as that. I think it's more to do with like, 'oh, yous all the pure, blood kin, and I'm not, and you've always made me aware of that, but now I have lost my blood.'
I think there's an element of, 'I'll show you what I made of,' as well. But most of it definitely comes from that huge thing of the grief of losing her son.
Right. I mean, it's almost like she's not going to listen to everybody else anymore because if they couldn't keep her son safe, then what good were they?
She's been proven right.
In a way. You know, the whole time that she's bringing up these kids with Jimmy, she's like, 'I don't want to fecking lose my sons.' You know what I mean? She's so concerned about their safety, and the minute one of them is gone, it's almost like this moment of told you, told you.
'I told you this could happen.' You know? And therefore, now I'm going to act at a new level, and I'm going to jump in and say things now. And I don't care about the consequences because I've been proven right. I just mean the consequences within the family.
The tensions, of course. She ends dealing with the consequences of so many other things, you know.
It's kind of surprised me in, I think, Episode 6 when Michael lashed out at Amanda for what happened with him and Anna as if she somehow was behind pulling the trigger when it was actually the opposite. She only found out what was happening and could warn anybody because she was being the investigator.
Of course. Yeah.
Is it the Kinsella male dominance that's painting her in this negative light within the family?
I think that's a really interesting point in the story. Cause I remember the day playing that scene, I was going, okay, it's true. She knew somebody was a rat, but she just didn't know who.
I think it's one of those moments where both people feel absolutely justified in their arguments because he's coming from an adrenalized like, 'I just nearly lost my life, and I nearly lost my daughter's life,' which I get because I lost my son. So I understand him on some level as Amanda, but on the other hand, I'm like fecking, hang on a second.
I was actually trying to find out on your behalf what was going on. But what she is learning as she goes is things happen fast. When information travels, it travels fast, and actually, your job is to try and know what to do with the information as you find out about it.
It's not as simple as like, 'oh, I can sit on this for three days.' You can probably sit on it for two hours, but not for a whole 24 hours. It's like she's learning these things as she goes. And I think this is where she earns her stripes.
But that moment is really frustrating cause it's like they act before they thought it through sometimes. And I think she gets frustrated with that because she's like, we could actually think ahead a few steps. And I think that's where she comes into play then.
And I know you haven't seen the final two episodes, but you start to see her cleverness because she's like, 'no, no, no, this is how we're going to do it.' Because she thinks ahead, you know, the way women think ten things at once, and men are more like one thing at a time.
But they go right through, and both are needed to exist. We all have a male side and a female side, but I feel like that's what she brings. She's able to think of the ten things at once and what might happen from each action.
And nobody else knew that Eamon had already confronted her and said, hey, you either do this, or this is going to happen. But she didn't just fall in line because he said that -- instead, she kind of went in a different direction trying to protect everybody.
Yeah, exactly. She's kind of like, I'm actually trying to protect her.
She's trying to jump five steps ahead. So what she does with Eamon, very cleverly at that moment, is at least buy herself some time. That's what she was trying to do. To find out who the fecking rat was.
And I think that's really clever because you know when you're under threat or in a panic state of mind and somebody is putting you under pressure that the best thing you can do is probably buy some time because in that moment, you're not going to be able to think of the ultimate solution to this. Or the answer.
If you buy yourself some time and calm the hell down, you might get some time to figure it out, and I think that's the cleverest tactic she does at that point. And to be honest, even though it's thrown back in her face later.
I also loved how the mother in her didn't want the killing to continue despite the threat on their lives. So, Michael was like, well is he dead now, pretty much? And she's said, no, no, I don't want killing. That's not the way she wants to do business if you will.
Yeah. I think she wants to definitely reduce the number of fatalities, especially once she's had her revenge moment. Yeah, there's an element in her that is just a mother that wishes all of it to be over, but the truth of it is that she knows it's at a point of, which direction do you put your love?
And which direction do you try and funnel this energy and go like, okay, what's the least amount of collateral damage that can happen here and how do we survive. She's always just trying to make the best decision for the family anyway, despite all the crap they give her.
It's just the family is something that is attached to her second son. So she has to think of everything around him.
It seems like Amanda's approach is more levelheaded than the way that the family has been run.
Do you think that even though she isn't setting out to do it, that she's probably going to come into her own and have a much more prominent role in the family, despite what everybody else cares about? And do you think she has what it takes to run the family?
From playing her, I feel like she's got a bigger determination than I do, maybe. And I feel like she does have the possibility to do that, but I don't think it will be easy to get there. You know what I mean?
If you've got somebody like Frank up against you and then your own husband sometimes not supporting you in those moments because he's afraid to step out of line with Frank. There's still a lot of respect for the old way and him. And so I think she could.
She's run a car dealership at bloody 15 years. I think she could do this, but she's learning on the go. Because she's a fresh head to it and has a fresh perspective, it's like she's only learning the rules, and she's not afraid to break them.
When you're a fresh mind on something, there's an element of like, well, 'I'm willing to throw it all out the door and try different methods.' So I think she would have what it takes but definitely anticipate some backlash.
Well, also in Episode 6, Frank's proclivities get him in a lot of trouble.
But he's not thinking. He's not thinking with safety in mind. He's more concerned with his own feelings and satisfying his own urges than he is thinking about the whole family.
I mean, with so many people out to get them right now, to go out and just try to pick somebody off the street is nuts.
It is. It is.
Is there going to be some blowback for that?
Yeah, maybe. I feel like everybody's trying to cope with everything. And I actually think Frank's coping stuff is drugs and sex. It just is something that weirdly gets him back into his body or something. It's like, he doesn't want to be with himself and be with his head, so this is his form of, you know.
And I know Amanda likes to drink or whatever, but she's probably not going to go out and do what Frank is doing. But, yeah, I think he's playing with degrees of danger and safety there, and he cracks. He cracks. I think that's why Amanda is able to swoop in because she does, you're right, have a bit of level head in this that maybe he doesn't.
But also, there's that thing of him maybe not knowing as much as her. He doesn't realize that, but it's like, she gets more information by meeting Eamon head-on. She learns from Ahmed, and she sees Frank as... I don't know if Frank is cool-headed as Eamon, actually.
That's just an element of his coping mechanism, and he thinks he can do it safely. And of course, you know...
And I also loved at the end of that episode, everything that she had warned about, everything that she had said, 'not only is this what we need to do, and this is what you're going to have to do with your son because the alternative is not worth it. And yes, the dealership's going to be shut down.' She knew everything.
Where is that going to lead? How is everybody going to look at her? I mean, she's almost like a prophet when it comes to that. And nobody believed her warnings.
I don't know. It was funny when I was playing that scene where she kind of says, 'I told you this was going to happen.' They've been into me, and now I've got my own lawyer and all that kind of thing. I feel like it's just a great told-you-so moment in life, but it's an epic level of it.
But, I think that's proving everyone something. I think it's like, 'you all think this thing about me?' And it's like, 'no, no, no. I knew.' So there's an element of, not satisfaction, but just kind of like, yeah, and I said this would happen.
And it's also, though, sadly, like, cause she goes up on the roof after and gets out of her face because she's like, 'it's over for me.'
And there's an element of giving up there for a second. And because I think she just feels like she's been talking to a wall. Like they all just don't want to know. And it's like, 'I am telling you the truth of what could happen here. I'm not telling you to annoy you. I'm telling you because you have a chance to sort it out.'
Like, I feel like she's ironically always trying to show them that she's doing it for their benefit. For this family's benefit. And they keep going, 'but, you're not really family.' Like on some sort of subconscious level.
It's like, 'well, okay, but I'm choosing you as my family over my own family. So could you just listen for a second?' I feel like underneath it all is all this family talk.
It's just ironic.
Kin drops new episodes on AMC+ every Thursday.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.