As the series gets started, Jim Worth (Tim Roth) travels down the road with his family. His wife, Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly), asks where they’re headed. Jim tells her Calgary. Moments later, they turn around and stop at a gas station. The son, Petey (Rupert Turnbull), gets out to use the bathroom. A masked gunman shows up and shoots into the car. Blood sprays everywhere. We jump back a year in time. Jim says something about his alcohol struggle, before climbing out of bed. He gets Petey ready for school and gives him breakfast. He also ridicules Anna’s (Abigail Lawrie) wardrobe choice. Anna makes it clear that she doesn’t like their new residence. Seconds later, Anna drives everyone to school. The car approaches an elk. They wait it out, until the animal moves away from the road. Then, they continue onward.
During their wait, they chat about the green city or something another. Anna also discusses her desire to be an agent for change. Eventually, they arrive at the school. Next, Jim heads to the police station. He finds his two comrades lounging around playing video games. He learns about a woman being chased by a grizzly. He is told that they cannot shoot it, unless it launches an unprovoked attack. Jim decides to go finish instead. Angela makes cookies or something similar at home. Next, Jim attends a sobriety meeting. He has managed to remain sober for two years. He thanks the Reverend (Kevin Hanchard) and Suzy (Rachael Crawford) for the cake, before giving a brief speech. At the town fair, Angela meets Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks).
Gagnon (Christopher Heyerdahl) watches the group from a distance. We are introduced to North Stream Oil. Elizabeth gives a presentation about the company. It seems that they want to move into Little Big Bear and begin drilling for oil. Jim doesn’t like the idea. He suggests that it’ll bring crime to the area. Afterwards, Gagnon speaks with Elizabeth about the need to get someone to sign over their land to the company. He details his solution, if the locals refuse to cooperate. Anna collects a dead duck in a plastic bag and tries to inspire social change. It doesn’t seem to work. Jim finds a North Stream Oil truck blocking the street. He heads into the local restaurant and speaks with Elizabeth about having it removed.
We see that Elizabeth is chatting with Dan Lyle Jr (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos). It seems that Elizabeth is trying to convince him to sign over his land. Lyle Sr. (Nicholas Campbell) arrives seconds later. Jim remains hostile with Elizabeth. She immediately drops the price for Lyle, due to Jim’s hostility. Dan attacks Jim outside. He is subsequently knocked to the ground. Gagnon visits Jim at the office. He tries to cooperate and insists he can keep the oil workers under control. During the conversation, he plants a listening device under Jim’s desk. Later that night, Jim speaks with Suzy about her experience with North Stream Oil. She admits she reported them and they ruined her. She pleads with Jim to stay and protect her. She suggests that someone is following her. Jim’s assault ends up in the newspaper.
Then, the rubber duck race begins. Jim and Angela speak with another officer. She tells them about the Casino on the edge of town. She explains that her father helped raise money to get the casino built. Without the refinery, they’ll be unable to get people to the casino. Later, Jim is alerted to a dead body in a car. It turns out to be Suzy. Later that night, Anna tells Petey about the elves that live outside and only show themselves at night. The following day, Jim speaks with the Reverend about Suzy. Jim doesn’t believe she committed suicide. Later, he looks through the documents and speaks with another officer about the possibility that she was murdered. Gagnon hears the conversation through the listening device. In the morning, Anna sees a strange man watching their home. She also finds a cigarette on their property.
That night, Petey heads outside and finds a box on the porch. He opens it and a snake pops out. The rest of the family is stirred awake. Then, shots ring out. The family is forced to flee the home. After getting the broken garage door open, they flee the city. Then, we wind up at the beginning of the episode. The family fills up at the gas station and the shot rings out. We’re transported to the hospital. Apparently, Petey and Angela have both been shot. Jim sits with and comforts Anna. Jim heads to the bathroom to clean off the blood. He stares at himself through the mirror.
Tin Star Review
Well, Tin Star started off pretty good. The scenery is great and the casting is definitely all star. You’ve got Tim Roth, Genevieve O’Reilly and Christopher Heyerdahl. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, the story is very cheesy and a little too politically correct. In fact, it is probably a lefty’s wet dream. The big bad oil company wants to kill all of the fish and ruin the entire town. Haven’t we seen this a million times before?
Since it is only 45 minutes long, it is worth sticking with at this point. As long as it doesn’t get too ludicrous, it may turn out to be pretty good. The first episode hit a few speedbumps, but it still scores a 7 out of 10.