Early Review: THE CLEANER “Pilot” Episode (S01E01)

The Cleaner - Benjamin Bratt as William Banks and Esteban Powell as Arnie Swenton

A&E’s new original series, THE CLEANER, premieres tomorrow, July 15, at 10pm.

The story follows, William “The Cleaner” Banks (Benjmain Bratt) and his team, as they try to get people clean by any means necessary (really, any means).

When I first heard about The Cleaner I was intrigued. Then I saw a promo and I was really excited to check out the first episode. I finally sat down to watch the first episode, and although it didn’t live up to all my expectations, I think it is worth checking out.

To me the story could have spent a little more time making us care about the team. Unfortunately, I think
they tried to focus on too many different characters from the team, instead of focusing on more William and less on the people from his crew, at least for the first episode.

However, even though the episode wasn’t all that I wanted it to be, I totally got hooked because of what happens at the end of the episode. I just wasn’t expecting it at all and it just changed the tone of the show at least for the next few episodes and I am really looking forward to more.

Now on to the actors. I totally believe that Benjamin Bratt is William. He has the look and attitude that makes this guy believable. And I think that’s the most important thing, especially if we’re going to believe that the team respects and trusts him.

The Cleaner - Esteban Powell as Arnie Swenton and Grace Park as Akani Cuesta

William’s crew includes:

Akani Cuesta, played by Grace Park, who plays a really different part than in Battlestar Galactica. Kind of fun to see her doing something different. We don’t see her that much in the pilot, so I’m waiting for future episodes to find out more about her character.

Arnie Swenton, played by Esteban Powell. I am really curious to see this character gets developed because I just loved his storyline in the premiere. And of course Esteban Powell is really, really good.

Darnell McDowell, played by Kevin Michael Richardson. I don’t want to say too much about this character because his storyline is sort of intertwined with things that happen towards the end of the episode.

Mickey Efros, played by Gil Bellows. I loved this character and he is probably my favorite from the crew. I don’t want to say to much about his storyline either, because I want you to discover it as you watch the episode. So I’ll leave it t that.

Then there’s William’s family, but to be honest, I didn’t really care that much for this part of the show. If I tune into The Cleaner it’s to see people get cleaned, not to see William’s home life, so if they keep it to a minimum, then I’m fine with that.

Overall, the pilot of The Cleaner will definitely leave you wanting for more. I was actually really shocked, in a good way and I just cannot wait to see more episodes.

Don’t forget to watch the premiere of The Cleaner on Tuesday, July 15, at 10pm on A&E.

Read all our coverage from The Cleaner here.

The Cleaner - Gil Bellows as Mickey Efros and Benjamin Bratt as William Banks

(Photos: Danny Feld/A&E)