The Cleaner

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Jul 15, 2008 on A&E
out of 10
User Rating
92 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

William Banks, an addict-turned-interventionist, is asked by a teenager to save his cousin who has been spiraling out of control since the death of his father. But a mother with blinders on, and a theft ring, complicate the rescue. Elsewhere, William's best friend and fellow addict deals with some devastating news that challenges his sobriety.moreless

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  • This episode had my attention right away

    Loved Ben. This episodes had my attention right away. I have always loved Ben Bratt in anything that he is in. He seems so sincere. I loved it that the supporting characters were unknowns. I am trying to figure out where they live that have the view of the ocean. It seems that that house would be very expensive and wonder how they afford it. The kids are great love when they interact with them. But hope they come around, but with teens that is not always easy and very hard to deal with.moreless
  • A realistic show about reality.

    After seeing several bad reviews about this show I almost did not watch it. I am glad I did not make that mistake. Just about any show you can find on TV tries to deal with realism but in trying to do so they do the exact opposite. The cleaner did not do that in this episode. A former drug addict decided that if he could get clean he was going to help others do that also. He enlists the help of some ex-addicts sets out to do what he said he was going to do. The effects and tolls it takes on his family life is much more than he thought it would be.

    This episode really hit home for me and I thought it deals with reality without all the Hollywood decorations. I would recommend you watch this show and make your own decision.moreless
  • William Banks signs on to help a meth addict.

    (This review contains spoilers.) You're an addict, your world is collapsing around you. In desperation you make a deal with God that if He gets you out of the mess you created, you'll commit your life to helping others like you. William Banks, played by Benjamin Bratt, makes just such a deal, and his prayer is answered. Now he must hold up his end of the bargain. This is the premise of "The Cleaner." In the pilot, William tries to help a teen who is addicted to meth. There are some very sad and compelling scenes here. In one of them, the meth addict has just stolen his mother's jewelry and is on his way out of the house when his little sister confronts him. In tears, she tells him how much she misses him and presses all of the money she has saved into his hand. William's crusade has strained his relationship with his wife and kids; his son, an agnostic, is especially bitter. Saddest of all is the subplot involving William's friend Mick, a recovered addict who has pinned all his hopes on reuniting with his own wife. Mick's wife tells him there will be no reconciliation, and Mick spirals out of control, overdosing. The final scene, with William mourning the death of his friend, is powerful. Some of the storylines here didn't click with me, and certain bits of dialogue seemed hard to follow, but the acting is very good and this series has promise.moreless
  • Not the best.

    I didn't really think I'd like this series and from the pilot I was correct. It just didn't click to me, everything felt a little weird. The acting was great, nothing really felt forced, it just didn't appeal to me. The only interesting thing that would keep my watching is the mystery of William's belief in God and unraveling all of that. It was a weird plot and how everything is set up. They try to find people who are addicted to drugs, sex and things and take them to rehab? It's a good idea but I found everything to be bland and stale. It's a depressing theme I know but it felt like it was trying to be dark but didn't pull it off very well. I don't know, I might tune in for a second episode might not. I think they should add commercials in there, it seems so long and stretched out. We'll see.

    Rating = C-moreless
Clare Carey

Clare Carey

Shari Giles

Guest Star

Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz


Guest Star

James Immekus

James Immekus

Zachary Giles

Guest Star

Dion Basco

Dion Basco


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (William forgot to take Lula to her dance class.)
      William: Baby, I am trying.
      Melissa: Trying? You know what, William? That shit doesn't work anymore. Trying is what you needed to be doing years ago, just to get to this point. Succeeding is what you need to be doing now, and succeeding is a million miles away from what you're doing.
      William: Whatever, right, you don't get it.
      Melissa: I don't get it?!
      William: No, you don't get it.
      Melissa: You know what? I get it, your children get it, we all get it: you help a lot of people. All you did was replace one fix for another!

    • Arnie: I think I got arrested.
      William: Swenton, that's one thing in life you actually don't have to think about. Either you did, or you didn't. Which is it?

    • (Banks has just arrived at a suspected addict's house.)
      Aaron: What do you think?
      William: I think we just pulled up.
      Aaron: Reverend Alsmith said that you zeroed in on his guy in, like, two seconds.
      William: That's because Reverend Alsmith's guy had a straw stuffed four inches up his nose in the middle of a meth lab.

    • Lula: Hey, how much is the new truck? Like, $30,000?
      William: Why, you gonna buy it for me?
      Lula: Lisa Robinson said Robby Camin's dad's truck was $70,000.
      William: (scoffs) That's not a truck, that's a… that's a condo.
      Lula: Anyways, I like this truck.
      William: You do? Why? It always stinks, it never starts.
      Lula: Yeah, but it stinks like you.

    • (Discussing scoring the winning point during a football game.)
      William: Son, you can nail this.
      Ben: I know.
      William: So nail it.
      Ben: Or I can miss…
      William: You're not gonna miss.
      Ben: Look, how do you know? Will you pray to "him" that I make it?
      William: I don't pray, all right? I talk.

    • (Talking to God.)
      William: I don't ask for a lot. (pause) Hell, come to think of it, I don't even think I've ever asked for anything for myself. You run your numbers and let me know, but I keep a tight book.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Special billing was given to Gil Bellows (and) for this episode.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic – January 4, 2009 on AXN

    • The first scripted drama series from A&E in more than six years.

    • Featured Music:
      "Angel from Montgomery" by Bonnie Raitt (Arnie complains about never getting the car)
      "On the Beat" by Electrocute (when Lula and William are in the truck)
      "Feelin' Alright" by Grand Funk Railroad (William calls Mick while he's working out)
      "Passenger Fever - Peggy Lee vs. Iggy Pop" Performed by Peggly Lee and Iggy Pop via a mash-up by Go Home Productions (Akani takes pictures of herself on the Lamborghini)
      "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin" by Colin Hay (throughout the closing scenes)


    • Melissa: (picking up a bill) T.S. Automotive again?
      William: Yeah, the tranny was slipping.
      Melissa: Okay, that truck is Old Yeller, William, just shoot her already!

      Melissa is referring to the eponymous dog found in the Fred Gipson novel, Old Yeller. Later made into a movie by Disney, both media end with the dog being shot after being bit by a rabid wolf while defending his human family from the wolf's attack.