Things come to a head for the residents of the zone as Mathews plans for property redevelopment clash with 50,000 years of history and culture

The series finale lands right in the middle of National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week and fittingly it doesnt tread lightly around big issues that remain relevant for First Nations people and many other minority groups. At the Zones checkpoint, the CA border force are setting up for some nasty business. The guards are itching for action, livestock panels are being constructed, and Mathews is telling the world that the Zone is nothing more than a haven for those who refuse to assimilate. Its all resembling a familiar form of dispersal. Alinta and Latani are among a crowd of anxious residents looking on.

They attract the attention of a couple of surveillance drones and also several nearby guards who attempt to entice the girls closer, but they know a sly CA ruse when they see one and retreat back inside the Hairy sector, where Maliyan continues to add to his cache of makeshift weapons. An announcement soon blasts through a PA directing all humans to evacuate the Zone within 24 hours. This signals very bad things for our hairy brethren. Consequently, the Hairy sector bristles with anticipation. Alinta vows to remain and fight alongside Latani (of course she would), but Latani calls her on it. (This isnt some bullshit political rally. This is my life.)

Elsewhere inside the Zone, Aunty Linda has helped Koen reconcile with his heritage and now hes ready to return Kora to her supernatural realm. They leave a despondent Blair with Aunty and drive to an ancient, sacred fig tree with the whisky box containing Ash in tow. Once there, Koen and Kora communicate telepathically about place, being and spiritual kinship. She is then absorbed (with Ash) back into the Dreaming. Next door, Nerida has punted Waruu to the couch, but hes not as bothered about his collapsing marriage as he is about missing out on the Cleverman gig. He tries to impress Alinta and Latani at the breakfast table with his big plans for the Zone. Nerida recognises it for the self-grandeur and bluster it is and seeks the solace of her wise neighbour. Aunty Lindas had enough of Waruus egotism too and confronts her son in the Hairy sector. At first, all big-man Waruu can manage is to flash his newfound folding stuff. Thats enough confirmation for Linda. Waruu has lived up to the nature of his namesake, the crow.

But Waruu returns serve, revealing that Linda contributed to the death of his father and spitefully remarks: Im glad youve got cancer. Aunt, the boy just aint no good. Outside the Zone, the Slades are still euphoric about their pregnancy, and Charlotte is keen to start shopping for all the baby things, but there is one minor matter of the rapid development of the foetus. Sure enough, the good doctor suffers a bout of cramps while shopping and desperately tries to contact the Ilythia fertility clinic, but the clinics number is inexplicably disconnected.

In fact, theres no physical evidence whatsoever that the clinic ever existed, which is possibly the most fiendish example of gaslighting ever. Meanwhile, her husband is reassuring Waruu that he has the frothy Minister Mathews in his pocket. The whole invasion of the Zone and dispersal operation is actually about acquiring lucrative inner-city real estate for redevelopment. Weve noticed all the cranes crowding the urban skyline throughout the series, right? Mathews is tight with powerful international consortia and they want to build a casino on the land, or something. But Slade says no. Hes pitting Waruu against Mathews.

Koen
Koen West isnt best pleased Photograph: Lisa Tomasetti/SundanceTV

Waruu takes the compromising footage of the minister straight to Belinda and she informs him that hes being played. The CA belongs to Slade, dimwit! Slade always gets what he wants, she says, so ask yourself what he wants from you. Outraged, Waruu decides to roll up on Slade with half-bro and stick it to the man. He tells Koen about Slades involvement in Ashs death (among other things) and thats enough to incite Koen to seek out immediate retribution.

But when the united force of the two brothers confront Slade at yet another secret laboratory, he uses his Hairy Juice strength to knock Cleverman out cold. Then he deploys his silver-tongue to win Waruu back to Plan Immortality. Its the Hairy Juice. Just a smidgen is all it takes, but he offers Waruu carte blanche to the entire supply. Simply in exchange for helping him unlock the mysteries of 50,000 years worth of stories and knowledge. For Waruu it means sacrificing his brother and selling out his culture and heritage. Next second, Waruu is banging-up an armful of Hairy Juice.

It really is curtains for Mathews though. Araluen finally throttles the life out of him after he remarks (drunk on French champagne) that she will be the last survivor of her species. He really couldnt have made a more inappropriate comment at the precise moment Araluen recognises her daughter Latani on the news facing the impending CA invasion of the Zone.

Araluen escapes and hurries towards the Zone. In the Hairy sector, Djukara and the crew are twisting war braids and tooling up. Humans are streaming out in droves. Hairies are being gunned down attempting to escape. Aunty Linda is razing her past, trying to assuage her guilt over the accident that killed Waruus father.

Finally we see our beastie (and, well, I would have been happier if more was left to the imagination), all teeth and talons and terror. But appearing out of nowhere, Koen steps up his Cleverman game and takes our beastie out by plunging the nulla nulla through the beasties chest. Brutal. But its no finale. Its really just the start. Waruu, now juiced up with his own importance, is half-mad. Slade is regaining consciousness in his shattered laboratory. Charlotte is birthing something surely abominable. The CA is approaching. And a united resistance is spoiling for war.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/jul/06/cleverman-recap-season-one-episode-six-terra-nullius

Cleverman recap: season one, episode six Terra Nullius