The Cleaner, episodes 4, 5 and 6

I’m finally back from holidays and I managed to watch episodes 4, 5 and 6 of The Cleaner – “Chaos Theory”, “Here Comes the Boom” and “To Catch a Fed” – this week. I thought I could share some thoughts about these episodes.

Chaos Theory

A mathematics professor uses cocaine to help him publish his research in time. His girlfriend and colleague asks for William’s help. William tries to stop the professor before he loses everything – his career, personal life, and even his immigrant parents’ diner. Meanwhile, William’s son discovers a used needle in their house after a dinner party. William realizes that the needle belongs to his former sponsor and must decide whether to cut his sponsor and friend from prison (Quinn) out of his life.

BTW, in mathematics, “Chaos Theory” describes systems whose state evolves with time and that appear to be disordered, and it is really about finding the underlying order in apparently random areas or actions.

Here Comes the Boom

A teenage boy needs William’s help with his father, who once went to prison because of William’s past efforts. The man is back on the streets and using meth again.William and his team go undercover in a biker gang and discover that their mark is part of a heavy-duty meth ring. As he deals with this fractured father-son relationship, William must cope with the reality that his own son is pulling away from him.

To Catch a Fed

An FBI agent strong-arms (the FBI has a file on Akani) William into searching for her former partner, who developed a drug addiction while undercover on a case. William and his crew infiltrate a tent city of meth manufacturers to find the man, who is delusional and dangerous. Only then does William realize that the FBI agent lied to him about the real reason why the she is looking for her old partner: the man is not only her ex-partner, but the father of her unborn child – and a pawn in a larger power struggle within the FBI.

As the series progresses, I think it is becoming increasingly clear how William is a man caught between an unwavering commitment to his work, deep love for his family, and the ghosts of his own addictions.

In a sense, William Banks is the one person you would want by your side in your darkest hour, someone who – in the face of tragedy and addiction – will risk everything to be “The Cleaner” and – together with his eclectic team – do his best to bring addicts of all kinds to the point where they are ready and willing to get help and begin the difficult process of recovery.

However, as a recovering addict, father of two, and husband to a family that has seen him the lowest of lows, Banks has a lot to pray about and deal with. One of the several conversations William has with God hit me harder than the rest… “The thing that doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… I don’t know about that ’cause, on the  other hand, if it doesn’t make us stronger, doesn’t it just kill us? So are you trying to make me stronger or are you trying to kill me?”

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