It's a fight to stay alive, now.
On Kin Season 1 Episode 7, the Kinsellas weigh their options for survival, potentially fracturing.
Amanda is determined to get what she wants at any price.
I'm your solicitor, not your therapist.Donal
Sam Keeley is an absolute beast throughout this entire episode. At last, we get the opportunity to see his remarkable range as he encompasses all the different sides of Eric.
His scene in the cell is a brilliant metaphor for the whole family's situation.
Eric is in a small room, with violent death threats coming at him from all sides -- but he can't see where they are coming from. He can only rage, pound the walls, and fight back. He doesn't know if his cries will do any good, but he knows he can't just sit there and take it.
In Kin Season 1 Episode 1, we see artwork of a lion in Eric's home. As part of a revered family, Eric sees himself as a regal animal but forgets that lions can be locked up easily enough. The so-called 'Viking' is no longer allowed to express his pent-up, violent nature.
Later, his scene with Nikki (Yasmin Seky) lays it all out on the line.
Nikki realizes that she doesn't want to wait around ten years while he's in prison. Eric seems to think it will be fine for her, since he'll be the one in prison, and never gives her a thought. She's finally speaking up about what she wants.
It would have been good to see more passion from Nikki, but maybe her measured tone is a way to keep things from escalating, as they so often do with Eric.
However, Nikki already seems resigned to her decision, as though she isn't even expecting him to fight for her. He doesn't, really, because it's almost as though he doesn't understand that that is the conversation they're having until it's too late. Eric's used to be called out, but not by Nikki, who has only ever been supportive and accomodating.
Alone, he seems to fully understand the ramifications of ALL his deeds. Keeley actually evokes sympathy, something unexpected from a character who's mostly been an obnoxious, entitled troublemaker up until now.
The other 'visit' scene is a telling one.
The dynamic between Frank (Aidan Gillen) and Bren (Francis Magee) is fascinating. Frank has always held an air of gravitas, but we find out here that this has not always been the case.
You're too busy sucking cock to run this family properly.Bren
Frank becomes a little boy again, cowering before his big brother. Bren is absolutely merciless on him as well. We haven't met Jimmy and Michael's father before now, but it's clear in his few minutes of screen time that he instills fear and commands respect. Jimmy is virtually silent for the entire exchange.
The fact that he just does not give them an inch, with no promises to help Eric, shows how little regard he actually has for screw-ups.
Bren is the Eamon Cunningham of the Kinsella family. We get the sense that they wouldn't be in this mess if Bren had been in charge. It's also interesting that he suggests Birdy should have been made head of the business in his absence. There's a show I'd love to see.
Speaking of Birdy, her interaction with Eamon shouldn't have gone the way it did. But, Eamon was on the rampage and therefore couldn't be reasoned with. If she had caught him sooner and he'd let her get a word in, there might actually have been a possibility for peace.
She dresses so beautifully for him, we have to wonder what their history is. It's clear she knows him so well. She is unafraid of him. Damn, let this woman be a crime boss! She'd get it all sorted.
Give me that gun. I'll show you how it's done. I'll blow your fucking face off.Birdy
The side of Birdy that comes out with Eamon is unlike we've ever seen her -- even when she slapped Eric, there was no hatred or contempt in it. There is real viciousness here, as though he had personally wronged her at some point.
Eamon is much more physical with Birdy than he was with Amanda. He gets closer to her as well, as though he knows she will be intimidated by his stature. If she is, she doesn't show it.
Amanda, what are you doing? Kissing Michael on the rooftop? Has she simply lost all inhibitions because she's sure she'll be going to prison? Or is she feeling some sort of zen-like state, since nothing could possibly get any worse (except it could and it does)?
Michael's response to the kiss is sweet and responsive, but otherwise calm. It's probably been many years since they share a moment this intimate in nature. Michael leaves once Jimmy arrives, leaving Amanda to deal with the emotional fallout.
Michael: Are you trying to blow everything up?
Amanda just feels confident now in taking what she wants. She's also exceptionally good at reading people (remember Kem?) so it's doubtful she'd come on to Michael if she didn't think he'd return her feelings.
Amanda tries to pay Jenny, Noel's window, to lie for the price of half a million, but Jenny is inexperienced. Amanda's layer berates them both. Jenny just wants what's best for her daughter, which Amanda insists upon.
The child-parent dynamic looms large here. Not only is there the suggestion of Jenny making a deal with Amanda "for her daughters," but we also see Frank pleading for his son's life to Bren. Kin means family, and children mean everything to a family.
We also see both Anna and Anthony have their lives threatened. Anna's attempted kidnapping is scary, but thank goodness her fighting instincts are strong. Poor Anthony looks more frozen when Con threatens him. Both are in danger of torture and death through no fault of their own, based on the sins of their parents.
Michael's scene with the social worker is important because it continues to illustrate how selfish Michael actually is. He wants to see Anna and he will -- unless his freedom is threatened with a court order. He loves her above her own safety.
Anna is right to call him out as well. He should have stayed out of her life. The social worker having at go at him was satisfying and just the right level of harsh.
It is surprising that at this point none of the Kinsellas have died -- other than, of course, Jamie as the instigating incident in Episode 1.
This indicates that there is a likelihood of survivors at the end of it all. Maybe they all will survive, but that somehow doesn't feel exactly thematically appropriate.
This is one more episode of Kin in Season 8. What's in store? If Amanda's idea is to get Eamon, how are they going to get him? What's the plan? And who will be the one to do it? My money's on Michael.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.