“Now there’s two kinds of folks in there. Too evil to be trusted or two brainwashed to betray Cormac.”
A new character issues this warning to the protagonist, Winston, as they strategize their battle plan. Titled “Loyalty to the Master,” episode two focuses on Winston Scott’s (Colin Woodell) efforts to mobilize arms and numbers to take on Cormac O’Connor (Mel Gibson), the man responsible for his brother Frankie’s (Ben Robson) murder and the manager of Continental. Arms dealer Miles (Hubert Point-Du Jour) is a 100% onboard Winston’s suicide mission to destroy The Continental, while his sister Lou (Jessica Allain) is a lot more reluctant to go along with their plan. Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on Cormac to recover the coin-press that Frankie stole from right under his nose.
Much like episode 1 of “The Continental”, the second one too begins with a black-and-white flashback to 1955, which finally reveals the crime for which the Scott brothers were arrested as children. These little windows to the past help us understand the bond between the brothers, despite them living apart for most of their adult lives. This edition also includes a tense Vietnam flashback depicting how Frankie met Yen (Nhung Kate) during his military service. Thus, solid groundwork is laid for crucial characters, enabling the audience to develop a stronger connection with them.
The cinematography remains intentionally noir and retro, although the deliberately dark and foggy scenes that dominate the runtime can sometimes feel too gloomy. Some more light and a touch of color here and there wouldn’t have hurt anybody. For instance, there’s a thrilling action sequence where Lou takes on a group of Chinese-American men for targeting her Dojo. While the Kung-fu style kicks and punches were a delight to watch, the excessively somber color palette diminishes the entertainment factor. Chinatown looks like a dead locality in a Tim Burton horror movie.
It’s the background music that really makes “The Continental” click for me. This edition also features some fun hits from the 60s and 70s, like ‘Homicide’ by the British punk rock band ‘999’ and Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’. Harry Nilsson’s version of “Without You” ironically plays as two assassins ransack a camper-van in search of the coin-press. However, it continues to play during a scene where Lou mourns Frankie’s death, and it blends poignantly with that moment.
The last few minutes of the episode are daunting, with Mel Gibson finally displaying the bloodthirsty, ruthless wrath of his character, Cormac O’Connor. Ayomide Adegun, portraying Charon, Cormac’s current protege, serves as an interesting contrast to his boss’s personality. Charon is young, hopeful, appreciative of the arts, and genuinely believes in the power of family, unlike his psychotic superiors. Overall, “Loyalty to the Master” was a gripping episode that sheds new light on existing characters and introduces some intriguing new personalities into the mix.
You can stream “The Continental” on Amazon Prime Video.
Read Next: Jaane Jaan Review – Math, Murder & Aftermath