Reel Thoughts: Season two of Kin shows off star-studded ensemble but leaves viewers wanting more


Illustration by Lily Ogburn

Kin’s second season brings viewers to the crime ridden streets of Dublin.

Katie Chen, Assistant Photo Editor

Caution warning for mentions of drug use, violence and miscarriage. This article may contain spoilers. 

The shocking season finale of Kin aired earlier this month, concluding a riveting sophomore season.

The show follows the exploits of the Kinsella crime family as they sell cocaine and other drugs to suppliers across Ireland whilst fending off their rivals. Co-created by Peter McKenna and Ciaran Donnelly, the story is told through different members of the convoluted family, with powerful characters like fresh-out-of-prison Michael (Charlie Cox), and his sister-in-law Amanda (Clare Dunne), fighting for her place among the Kinsella men. 

Season one ended with the shocking assassination of a key enemy and tormentor – crime boss Eamon Cunningham (Ciarán Hinds), who was determined to hunt down every member of the Kinsella family. The opening scene of season two – which shows Eric (Sam Keeley) –– also referred to as “Viking,” getting off of a murder charge due to the murder of the sole witness, suggests the family is heading in the right direction after a tough year in the drug industry.

Amanda, who was instrumental in leading the charge, assumes her position as the new head of the family –– to the disdain of some of the Kinsella men, as they felt she was still an outsider. Their feelings are only strengthened by the return of Bren (Francis Magee), the former head of the family, after he is released from prison. Challenges are furthered when a Turkish cartel claims the Kinsellas have inherited a 70 million debt from Cunningham, threatening their lives if the money is not paid back. 

The season follows the attempts of the Kinsellas to pay back their debt, juggling family relationships, while Bren’s devious actions sow seeds of conflict in the family. 

The cast performances are riveting to watch, and some members of the family are finally given their time to shine –– especially Birdy (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Bren’s sister. She is portrayed as the glue of the family, with many family members seeking her advice. Her character has a relatively small role in the first season. She helps pick up the pieces of others’ messes by convincing witnesses to not testify, demonstrating her wit and ruthless side. 

Michael and his estranged daughter Anna’s (Hannah Adeogun) relationship is expanded from season one. He attempts to keep her away from the family’s illegal activity, opposing Bren’s attempts to welcome her into the family which is later revealed to be of sinister intention. 

Amanda and her husband Jimmy (Emmett J. Scanlan) also deal with pregnancy, miscarriage and the aftermath of losing their 18-year-old son — both portrayed in heartbreaking and realistic manners. And Frank (Aidan Gillen), the brother of Birdy and Bren, struggles with religion after years of drug abuse led him to an overdose and other health issues. 

Still, despite these successes, season two of Kin is not without its rough patches. 

The lack of continuity sticks out–– especially when portraying issues like Michael’s epilepsy. Coming off of season one, doctors told him he needs to reduce stress in his life to avoid further episodes, but this is barely touched upon in season two. 

Season two also flies by, jumping from character to character, storyline to storyline. While attempting to give all members of the family their time to shine, it ends up feeling rushed and patchy, and often confusing in terms of the sheer amount of characters present in the season. 

However, it’s still an enjoyable watch. Cox’s and Dunne’s performances are incredible to watch, and Magee’s character brings a sense of foreboding and family drama that isn’t present in the first season. The story as a whole is imaginative, and it will be thrilling to see what the third season has in store.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @katieyachen

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