Harrow – Season 3 Finale (Ab Initio)

The job of a season finale is to conclude the story arcs and subplots of the season, and establish possible story arcs and subplots for the next season (if there is one). This finale closed off this season perfectly but didn’t establish anything for the next season, which makes me wonder if this was the series’ swan song.

The episode kicks off at a shipping yard, much like the season premiere did (although possibly not the same shipping yard), where a shipping container with antique furniture inside is being opened for a routine Customs inspection. The Customs Officer remarks that antique furniture shouldn’t smell bad, when the Customs Officer and the yard’s employees go inside, they find the body of a dead man.

After the opening credits, we are brought back to Fern inside the trashed house. She hears footsteps and arms herself, only for the reveal that Callan has just walked in. Fern tells him that Mila has James and seconds later, Mila’s henchmen (which includes the ‘delivery woman’ seen in previous episodes) show up and break into the house, but Fern and Callan manage to escape by the skin of their teeth.

Callan asks Fern what’s going on, Fern tells him that she and James used Harrow’s email to get James’ phone back. Mila calls Callan using Fern’s phone, he asks her if she has James, she says she does. Callan asks Fern to show him James’ phone and he takes it out of her hand. After Fern refuses to go to the police and Harrow, Callan takes a taxi to find Harrow taking James’ phone with him.

We then see Harrow lying in bed, ignoring a call from Callan, and discovering that Tanya has disappeared. Harrow’s phone rings again, this time the Institute has called him in. When he gets to the Institute, he tells Fairley about Tanya, but is stopped from divulging further details as the Institute’s alarm bells ring to let them know a body has come in. Nichols informs them that the dead man was found in a shipping container that came from Africa.

Before Harrow can join Grace and Fairley in doing the post-mortem, Renae asks Harrow to come to her office. She asks Louie to go to the tea room and Harrow to close the door. Renae hands him an envelope with his severance package, informing him that he is fired. When Grace sees him leave, she confronts Renae, telling her she’s making a big mistake. Renae tells her to get back to work unless she wants to follow suit.

Grace goes to the exam room and informs Fairley that Renae has fired Harrow. Fairley tells her that they’ll do their job and talk to the Deputy Coroner later. They start the post-mortem, with Fairley finding puncture wounds on the man’s left hand. Fairley starts to open up the man, only to discover that Louie has snuck in, announcing his appearance as fluids from the man fall into his eyes. Grace calls Fairley over and he looks into his body. Fairley then presses an emergency button, sending the Institute into lockdown. Grace informs Renae that the man found in the shipping container appears to have died from a virulent haemorrhagic fever and his organs were all but dissolved, Louie snuck in and some of the fluids got in his face. Renae tells her that Louie needs to get to hospital, but Fairley tells her that they need to follow emergency protocol until they figure out the cause of the man’s death, so they can’t let anyone in or out. Louie is immediately starting to show symptoms.

Meanwhile, Callan tracks Harrow down at a bar, showing him James’ phone and tells him the truth about Fern and James getting the phone. Harrow tells Callan to look after Fern and that he’ll deal with Mila and James. Harrow gets into his car and calls Mila. When Harrow asks for proof that she has James, she FaceTimes him, showing James bound and bloody. Mila tells him to come to her place in an hour.

Back at the Institute, Harrow calls Grace back, she informs him about the dead body, the Institute lockdown and Louie. Harrow asks Grace to describe the man’s body. Harrow tells her that based on the symptoms, he couldn’t have been infected before he embarked on the ship, which means something inside the container infected him with the disease. Grace tells him Biosecurity are an hour or two away, but she thinks Louie doesn’t have that long. Harrow says he’ll get on to it. Harrow calls Mila back asking for more time, but she refuses.

Meanwhile at police headquarters, an officer informs Nichols that the evidence box with James’ phone has been switched. He shows Nichols the surveillance footage showing Fern pick up the evidence box with James’ phone. Harrow arrives at the shipping yard and examines the container.

While Grace and Fairley are tending to Louie. Ben FaceTimes Grace, she asks him if he can come to the Institute and he says yes, while Fairley instructs the paramedics where to take Louie’s blood as soon as Biosecurity allows them to, and what viruses to test for. After Fairley finishes speaking with the paramedics, Renae begs him to let her in but he refuses. She threatens to fire him but he tells her he doesn’t care if she does. She admits that Louie needs her, and he apologises to her and walks back to Louie. Harrow calls Grace back and asks if the man had any bite marks, as he thinks the man was smuggling more than birds into the country.

Harrow then views the surveillance footage of the shipping container being opened, where it’s revealed a monkey escaped from the container. When Harrow informs them about the monkey, Fairley says it doesn’t make any sense as primates are just as susceptible to fever as humans, so Harrow rules out Zaire Ebola and Marburg. He suspects an aggressive new strain of an RNA virus. Harrow asks Grace if Ben can access Cyanovirin, but Fairley says that they can’t give it to Louie as it’s too allergenic and if it’s an RNA virus, it won’t work anyway. Harrow counters that it could buy them time. Harrow also says that if Louie’s brain swells, which is one of the symptoms, Grace will have to open his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain. She tells him that Fairley is right about the Cyanovirin, but to have it ready, while he checks the animal for symptoms. When Harrow sees one of the shipping yard’s employees leave, he confronts him and literally twists his arm to get the other employee, Andy Spiro’s, address.

Back at the Institute, Renae again begs to be let in and Ben arrives. Grace relays Louie’s condition to him and informs him and Renae that she needs to perform a craniotomy on Louie. While Harrow is making his way to Andy’s house, Nichols calls him and tells him the call is being recorded. Nichols informs him about Fern taking the evidence box, and that he is at the end of his tether and asks for the truth. Harrow tells him the truth about James and his involvement in Max Zoric’s death, and apologises for lying to him.

When Harrow arrives at Andy’s house, he breaks in to find a pet carrier and other stolen items. He then sees Andy run out of the house, with the body of the dead monkey in a sack. Harrow chases Andy to a nearby park, Andy knocks him down and tries to dispose of the body. Harrow tells Andy that the monkey is diseased, that Louie has been contaminated by the dead man, and he too has the disease. Harrow tells him he needs to know how it died so Louie can be saved. Back at the Institute, Grace performs the craniotomy, and Lyle has to perform CPR on Louie when he stops breathing. Harrow calls Grace and tells her to give Louie the Cyanovirin shot as the monkey was a carrier but didn’t die from the disease. Ben gives her the Cyanovirin, she gives Louie the shot, and he wakes up.

Meanwhile Harrow goes to see Mila. Despite her timeline well and truly passing, James is still alive. Harrow tells the henchmen to let him go, but they dangle him over Mila’s balcony. When he says he has the phone, he shows it to her but dangles it off the balcony. He points out that if she wanted revenge, she would have killed James already, she wants James’ phone as the money is on there. The henchmen put James down.

Harrow asks James for his phone pin so he can show Mila the footage from the night of Max’s death. He sends the footage to Mila’s phone and it’s revealed that Max tried to kill James, and when Max took another swing at James, he fell off the ship. Meanwhile, Nichols is informing the Police Superintendent about the situation, when Brookes shows them the surveillance footage that Harrow sent them and a message, “MIKKS”, which Nichols deciphers as “Mila’s.”

Back at Mila’s, James tells Mila he diverted the shipping yard’s surveillance footage to his phone as an insurance policy, as he thought Max might turn on him. Max attacked James, tried to kill him and fell off the ship, but he lost his phone as the police towed his car, so he put Harrow’s name and the note in Max’s fake passport. Harrow deduces that James was also planning on leaving that night. When Mila threatens to dangle James off the balcony again, James tells him that Mila will take the money and kill them both. Harrow manages to figure out James’ pin and transfer the money. When Mila and James try to unlock the phone they can’t as Harrow locked it, and Mila tells her henchmen to throw both Harrow and James over, but Mila and the henchmen hear the police sirens and run. Just as they make it out of the car park, the police arrive and arrest them.

Back at the Institute, Louie is taken to the hospital for treatment, and the DNA results from James’ comb have come in. While Nichols reveals to Harrow that Fern gave him the access card that Callan found, which allowed Nichols and the police to search her warehouse. Harrow asks Nichols to let James go as he didn’t murder Max. Nichols asks Harrow if Grace has called him, when he says no, Nichols informs Harrow that Callan brought in the comb with James’ hair to be DNA tested, and James isn’t his son.

Later in his car, Harrow checks his voicemail and Tanya has left him a message telling him the truth about James. She tells him that she should have told him the truth earlier, but was scared that if he knew James wasn’t his son, he wouldn’t help him. Harrow goes back to the Institute and runs into Renae. Renae hugs him and thanks him for helping save Louie, when he asks if he’s still fired, she says yes but she’ll fix it. He then goes to talk to Grace, she tells him he could have told her about James at any point. He tells her that she deserves so much more than him, and that he can’t change, Grace tells him that she doesn’t want him too. Fern texts him, asking him to meet her at The Bettie.

When Harrow returns to the pier, he finds Nichols and Fern arriving at the same time. Nichols tells Fern that he needs to talk to her about her actions, she says she knows and she’s not going anywhere. When they get to the pier, they find The Bettie gone. Harrow shows them the note that James left him. James says Tanya told him the truth and he took The Bettie as Harrow took away his money, and encourages him to make a change without it. Nichols offers to inform the Coast Guard but Harrow tells him to let James go. After Nichols leaves, Fern thanks Harrow for the money, revealing that he transferred Mila’s millions to her. Fern suggests giving it back, but Harrow suggests using the money to buy a boat and go to Bora Bora (a callback to the pilot when they planned on going to Bora Bora together), making travel plans as they walk by the river. The season ends with a shot of the city before fading to black.

So, what do I think of this episode as a finale?

Overall I felt this was a solid finale as the James story arc came to what I felt was a satisfying conclusion. We finally found out what happened to Max Zoric and it was revealed that James was telling the truth about not killing James and needing his phone to prove his innocence (at least his innocence in regards to his death). James wasn’t an innocent character by any means, but I felt him murdering Max was too simple as this case was always complex. Callan’s assessment of both Mila and James was accurate as they both turned out to be as greedy as each other. While James certainly wasn’t likeable, he wasn’t a murderer, while Mila ordered her henchmen to kill both James and Harrow without hesitation, so I appreciated that she got her comeuppance with not getting the money but getting arrested.

While James didn’t get the money either, he did get away with Harrow’s boat. While stealing Harrow’s boat is in line with James’ nature, I still didn’t see it coming. While a few viewers on Twitter guessed that James wasn’t his son, a part of me didn’t see it coming. I honestly have mixed feelings about this reveal, as I commented in my review of the season premiere that it seemed out of character for Harrow to know about having a son and never mentioning him in the previous seasons, and it is in character for Harrow to help James whether he was his son or not, a part of me felt that this reveal meant that the story arc was a bit of a waste because he wasn’t Harrow’s son.

In regards to the case of the week, this perhaps had to be the most unique one of the series due to its execution. It wasn’t a murder, it involved an animal, and put a recurring but important character in danger. Gilshenan’s (Fairley), Anderson’s (Grace) and Smith’s (Renae) performances were outstanding throughout the case of the week subplot and lockdown scenes. I also felt that the characters were at their best, especially Grace, who put her neurosurgeon skills to use for the first time in the series, and not only that, but on another child, a throwback to the previous series where it was revealed a bad outcome on a child’s surgery stopped her neurosurgeon career in its tracks. I felt that this case of the week was an appropriate one for a finale as it was fascinating and raised the stakes for all of the lead characters. On a smaller note, I’m also curious as to why Edwina didn’t appear.

In regards to Season 3 as a whole, I felt that this season was the show’s weakest. While I feel the case of the week in each episode was always well written and fascinating, for me what made this season weak was the execution of the James story arc. I stated in my reviews of previous episodes in this season that the pace of the story arc was too slow, and the arc only gained momentum in the last three episodes. While each season’s story arc has always revolved around Harrow’s past, and this one indeed did as well, I felt the reveal of James not actually being Harrow’s son completely undermined the story arc itself. Whereas the previous season’s story arcs didn’t undermine themselves.

On smaller notes, I felt that the camping trip episode was the highlight of the season as it enabled the show to explore its comedic side, and that Callan as a character really came into his own as he took a much-needed stand against James’ inappropriate behaviour when Fern and Harrow refused to, due to their blind faith in him. I also felt that Gruffudd made a solid directorial debut in the second episode.

In regards to Harrow’s future, it’s obvious that it is uncertain. Generally, when the writers know there is going to be another season, they will write possible story arcs and subplots for the upcoming season. With this season finale, no possible story arcs or subplots were provided, and the final moments of the episode provided a “happily ever after” of sorts with Fern and Harrow happily planning a sailing trip to Bora Bora – a trip that they planned on taking in the show’s pilot episode when their relationship was at its most strained – with Mila’s money, which technically wasn’t hers. I honestly feel that if Harrow isn’t renewed, these final moments provide the perfect ending, as the circle from the show’s beginning to the season’s final moments is complete.

While I don’t know for sure if Harrow is being renewed or cancelled, I would like to thank Ioan Gruffudd, Darren Gilshenan, Jolene Anderson, Ella Newton, Damien Garvey, Hunter Page-Lochard, Faustina Agolley, Miriama Smith, Harrison Gilbertson, and Diana Glenn for their fantastic performances this season.

 

Stray Observations:

Episode title translation: Ab Initio – From the Beginning

-I thought the title ‘Ab Initio’ seemed familiar. Season 2, Episode 5, had the same title.

-Steph didn’t make an appearance at all this season.

-Harrow refers to Renae as ‘Lizzie Borden.’

-Continuity error: Grace speaks to Renae through an intercom, but throughout the rest of the episode, she just speaks through the doors.

-Factual error: Fairley removed his mask to give Louie mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As he and Grace thought Louie was infected with an Ebola-like disease, a doctor in this situation most likely wouldn’t remove their mask and give mouth-to-mouth. They most likely would have just given chest compressions.

-Possible factual error: Was Louie given anaesthetic for the craniotomy, or did Fairley and Grace just hope that Louie stayed unconscious the whole time? I’m just wondering as Louie came to, seconds after being given the Cyanovirin shot.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Is this about my use of departmental sugar? I am trying to cut back.” (Harrow to Renae on why she has called him into her office)
  • “James Reed is a liar and a sneak and a charmer, so he certainly fits the bill as Harrow’s son.” (Nichols to Fern on James)
  • “What people deserve and what they want are not always the same thing.” (Grace to Harrow)
  • “Dear Dad, well mum told me the truth, so I guess Dr. Harrow. It’s a shame, I think you’d have been if not a good dad, a very interesting one. Except for the phone thing. So, with that in mind, I hope you understand why I’ve done what I’ve done. Maybe it will be good for you too, change can be good right? Take care of Fern. James.” (Fern reading out James’ letter to Harrow and Nichols)

 

Amazing Grace – Season 1, Episode 6

I’ve decided to do something different and review this episode character-by-character.

Bonnie, Jim and Grace – In the early moments of the episode, Bonnie and Grace run into each other at the Birthing Centre. Bonnie gives Grace the contract for the house sale for her to sign, as she and Jim have found a house they want to live in. Bonnie also tells Grace that she needs to let Jim go and to stop calling him. Grace dismisses her by reminding her that she and Jim are divorced and that there is nothing to worry about. When Grace vents to Laney about her interaction with Bonnie, Laney makes it clear that she agrees with Bonnie.

Later, Grace gets a phone call from Bonnie, who is in labour pains in the hospital car park. Grace and Max go to get her, but the labour progresses too quickly for them to get Bonnie into the hospital. Grace manages to FaceTime Max during the birth, where Bonnie confides in him that she is scared that her birth will be the same as Grace’s birth to Henry. He manages to reassure her and she gives birth to a healthy baby boy. Just as she is being wheeled away by paramedics into the hospital, Grace discovers she is experiencing a post-partum haemorrhage. Dr. Sebastian performs surgery on Bonnie and removes the retained placenta causing the haemorrhage. Bonnie makes a full recovery, and Grace goes to see her and Jim, giving them the signed house contract and tells Jim that she has hired a handy man to fix a dripping tap, symbolising that she is letting him go and moving on.

Throughout this subplot, the trauma of losing Henry came back to both Jim and Grace. I honestly thought for a moment that Bonnie was going to die from the haemorrhage, but thankfully she didn’t, as I felt that would be taking it too far. I felt that the trauma was addressed in a realistic manner for the context of this subplot.

Grace, Sophia, Kirk and Jeremy – This episode deals with Jeremy wanting custody of Eady. Sophia takes Jeremy to the adoption counselling session and tries to force his hand so it goes her way, but the counsellor sees through this and offers to have a session with him alone.

After the session, Sophia goes to see Diane for help. Diane asks for Jeremy’s phone number and gives Sophia the keys to her house, telling her to let herself in. Later, Grace gets a phone call from Kirk, who tells her that apparently Diane bribed Jeremy’s parents so Jeremy would stop fighting for custody. When Grace confronts Diane, she denies that she bribed them and tells Grace that she believes Sophia is right and Jeremy’s parents are the driving force behind the custody battle. Diane also tells Grace to come over to her house for dinner.

Later, Jeremy’s parents, Kirk, Grace, Diane, Sophia and Jeremy meet at Diane’s house. When Jeremy is asked if he really wants custody of Eady and what his plans are to look after her, and Jeremy’s parents tell Sophia that Eady is their blood, she reveals that Jeremy is not Eady’s father, she had him pretend to be the father so the adoption papers could be signed. However, Jeremy did want to raise Eady with Sophia.

After Jeremy and his parents leave, Grace and Kirk ask Sophia why she lied and kept secrets, Sophia then asks Grace why she won’t tell her who her father is.

When Kirk and Grace leave Diane’s house, they discuss their disbelief that Sophia is about to turn 18, and Kirks shows appreciation for Grace’s handling of the situation. Later, Sophia agrees to having the girl’s night that Grace suggested they have earlier in the episode.

Overall I didn’t see the twist of Jeremy not being Eady’s father coming, however it was clever writing as it was a genius plan to get the adoption finalised. I also appreciated this twist as it prevented a long and drawn-out custody battle story arc. I’m looking forward to seeing where the adoption story arc goes from here.

Sasha and Dr. Tiffany Adams – While attending to her client, Bree, Dr. Tiffany Adams come into the birthing suite, providing advice to Bree much to Sasha’s chagrin, as Sasha feels Dr. Adams is stepping on her toes. When Bree’s birth doesn’t go to plan, Sasha gets Dr. Adams to step in and help, she agrees to help, and asks Sasha out.

After Bree manages to successfully give birth to a healthy baby after a few hiccups, Dr. Adams asks Sasha where she would like to go on their date. Sasha tells her that she only agreed so Bree could get the help that she needed, however she tells her that they can go to a sushi restaurant nearby (despite Dr. Adams hating sushi).

Overall I could see Dr. Adams asking Sasha out from a mile away, and when she first appeared I thought Sasha’s antagonism towards her was because she had already dated her. I’m hoping that Dr. Adams will continue to be a part of the show as Sasha’s love interest.

Laney – Laney only had brief appearances in this episode, in comparison to the other characters, but they certainly weren’t wasted.

Laney has another run in with Paul’s wife, Christina, in her baby swaddling class. This time, Christina is more direct with Laney, asking her outright if she knows that Christina knows about her affair with Paul. Laney admits that she is aware of Christina’s knowledge of it and apologises to her, telling her that she thought that her and Paul were no longer intimate (and admits that is no excuse). Christina surprisingly handles this news well but this is due to the fact that Laney is not Paul’s first or last mistress, and that Paul is having a new affair with someone else. I honestly wasn’t expecting this confrontation, however I appreciated that it wasn’t one with the angry, wronged wife cliché, rather a wife who has resigned herself to being regularly cheated on, for some unknown reason. While I appreciated this insight into Christina and her relationship with Paul, as Laney is no longer having an affair with Paul, I felt this reveal would have had more weight if it came in the same episode where she made her first appearance.

Laney’s other subplot involved contemplating using a sperm donor and asking Max if he regretted being a sperm donor for his sister and her partner, which he doesn’t. Laney seems to asks Max if he would consider being her donor, however she insists she isn’t, and they awkwardly laugh off their exchange. Whether Laney does actually ask Max to be a sperm donor for her remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she does.

Max and Grace – As mentioned earlier, Max and Grace assist Bonnie in giving birth to her baby boy. Afterwards Max tries to comfort Grace when she has to face her grief for both losing Henry and her lost life as Jim’s wife and Henry’s mother, and they end up kissing. Later, Grace tells Max that she wants to pretend that the kiss didn’t happen, but judging by Max’s reaction, he obviously doesn’t want to, but respects Grace’s wishes anyway. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, especially with only two episodes left in the season.

 

Overall this was a solid episode with a clever twist in the custody battle, a new love interest for Sasha, and the sexual tension between Max and Grace finally addressed.

 

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Dick pics are out, good to know.” (Max to Laney after she tells Grace that she went out with a guy that won’t stop sending her dick pics)
  • “Seriously do you know any normal guys?” “Plenty.” “Who want to have a baby?” “Is that the first question?” (Laney-Max going back-and-forth on dating)
  • “I didn’t bribe them, I incentivised them to see things differently.” (Diane to Grace on Jeremy’s parents)
  • “It’s 90 percent front.” “And 10 percent bullshit!” (Tiffany-Sasha on Tiffany’s personality)
  • “I can sing your favourite song, ‘Hit Me One More Time’.” “Classic Britney.” (Travis to Bree and then Max to Travis)

 

Fisk – Season 1, Episode 4 (Dead Man Texting)

The episode kicks off with May and Helen having breakfast, where it’s revealed that Helen has an upcoming court case and she’s nervous as she hasn’t argued a case in court before. Graham and May have also got a new smart hub, Veloxa, and are trying to figure out how to use it.

We then cut to a staff meeting at the firm, where Roz informs everyone that the firm is taking on a large load of executor work and she has brought in ‘Fun Peggy’, a former clerk of the firm, to help them out. Helen also tries unsuccessfully to pawn off her court case to Roz and then Ray. Fun Peggy then arrives and greets everyone in her unique, loud and fun-based manner.

Later, Helen meets with another client, Carole, who is receiving texts from Leonard, her husband who died six months ago. Carole has come to see Helen as she thought there might be a reason in the will as to why she’s receiving these messages. Helen tells her that the only thing that stands out in the will is a trust account making payments to a business by the name of BTG Holdings and asks Carole if that means anything to her. Carole says no, but Helen says she’ll look into it for her, asking George to look into the business online. Meanwhile throughout the day, Fun Peggy is hitting Helen with ping-pong balls, telling her that she has to “always be ready.” At the end of the day, Helen leaves and goes to see Viktor and Tony.

While Helen, Viktor and Tony are having drinks, they are discussing the fact that Helen has never argued a case in court before. Tony suggests that he, Viktor and Helen hold a mock trial to get her to practice her court skills. They end up practising for hours, which ends with Helen getting upset in frustration. She leaves telling them that she’ll come back tomorrow for dinner.

The next morning, May and Graham are continuing to learn how to use Veloxa, sending Helen a text and dancing to music in their kitchen. Helen goes to the address that George gave to her the day before, where BTG Holdings are. BTG Holdings is revealed to be Beyond the Grave Messaging, where automated texts are sent to people on the request of BTG’s clients. The owner tells her that Leonard purchased their gold package, which sends certain messages to Carole based on her location. Helen asks the owner to close the account but is unable to as Leonard would have to close the account.

When Helen arrives at the office, she sees Fun Peggy, Roz and George working in the conference room and hits them with ping pong balls, only for Fun Peggy to inform her, with her personalised clock, that it’s “time to work” and they are in work mode. At the end of the day, Helen goes back to Viktor and Tony’s house for dinner, and they tell her that they’re going to help her organise her court documents. We see Viktor sort Helen’s documents by colour and with post-it notes, and times how long it takes her to find documents once he’s done. She then practices this again in another mock court with them.

The next day, Helen is working away when Fun Peggy hits her with a ping-pong ball, but this time Helen is prepared with her own racquet, hitting the ball away, and pointing at one of Fun Peggy’s clocks silently, telling her she’s in work mode. Fun Peggy respectfully nods in response. While Helen tries to leave the office, telling Roz and Ray how pumped she is for court, they tell her that the client has called and agreed to settle. Helen tells them how hard she has worked and thinks she can get more money for the client, admitting to them that she has never argued a case in court in the process.

Despite not being able to use her new found organisation skills in court, Helen is able to put these skills to work to get BTG Holdings to close Leonard’s account so Carole no longer receives texts from him. However the owner tells Helen they could have just blocked the number, however Helen counters that even if Carole did this, he would still be taking money from Carole.

Later back at the office, George informs Helen that Fun Peggy is leaving and that she has to say goodbye. Fun Peggy charges her for the merchandise (her personalised clock and ping-pong racquet).

The episode ends with a credits scene, showing Helen asking Veloxa how to block a phone number, so she can stop getting messages from Graham via Veloxa. She also asks Veloxa how to search the dark web, only for Veloxa to activate an alert for illegal activity and notifying authorities of her request. Helen throws Veloxa in the fridge and police sirens can be heard in the background.

Overall I felt this was a slightly weaker episode then the previous ones, mainly due to the appearance of Fun Peggy. I personally found Fun Peggy annoying, but I also felt that she was given too much focus for a guest character and didn’t really add anything to the episode. While she did have a valid point in that Helen should always be prepared, it was actually Viktor and Tony who brought this point home and helped Helen prepare herself for court.

Speaking of Viktor and Tony, I felt that their interactions with Helen, specifically helping her prepare for her court case were the highlight and strongest parts of the episode. Their scenes together provided insight into Viktor and Tony’s personal and professional relationships, as well as insight into their relationship with Helen. I also appreciated that while Helen wasn’t able to put her new skills to use in court, she was able to transfer these skills in getting a good outcome for another client, not to mention it helped her build her confidence, to the point that she was disappointed in not being able to go to court.

I also felt that the running gag of May and Graham learning how to use Veloxa broke up the episode when needed, however a part of me felt it got a little old towards the end of the episode (with the exception of the credits scene).

 

Stray Observations:

Running gag: Helen’s customised motivational wall art continuing to be mistaken for a menu.

-Fun Peggy refers to Helen as ‘Hell-Bear’.

-The office has new signage reflecting their name change to ‘Gruber & Associates’.

-Fun Peggy has a Diploma in Communication Therapy.

-Why would Helen need to take a taxi to the BTG Holdings office when she has her own car?

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Pinkerton, was he the hoarder?” “Don’t say that Raymond, it’s pejorative.” “Sorry, was he the guy that was rubbish bin challenged?” (Ray-Roz-Ray)
  • “I’m sorry since when did we apportion work in the office by bagsing?” “We don’t, that said, bags not.” (Roz-Ray on work being assigned in the office)
  • “I hope you’ve got some of those old lady nappy things Helen, because you are going to wet your pants. She’s the funniest woman ever.” (George to Helen on Fun Peggy)
  • “Question for you Helen. Are you ready to board the fun train?” “A bit busy this morning, but if there’s a fun bus later, maybe I can get on that.” (Fun Peggy-Helen)
  • “I do regret not putting it about more when I was younger.” (Carole to Helen on her sex life)
  • “Normally I just type ‘search the dark web’.” “Does that work?” “Not so far, but one day, who knows. I might catch them with their guard down, suddenly I’m in and I’m dark webbing.” (George-Helen-George on the dark web)
  • “Ray doesn’t want this, he says he can’t be arsed going to court. And this is the address you wanted.” “Ooh, where did you find that, the dark web?” “The light one.” (George-Helen-George)
  • “See how much easier life is when you make an appointment?” “Yes, appointments are the heart of every family.” (Viktor-Helen)
  • “Let’s assume my client needs to eat occasionally, how does she get her groceries without being haunted by her dead husband?” (Helen to BTG owner about Carole receiving texts from Leonard)
  • “You’re like a pair of geriatric car jackers who don’t know what they’re doing.” (Helen to Viktor and Tony when they’re trying to open her car doors)
  • “Don’t tease her Helen, it’s not a toy.” “It’s not a Tamagotchi either, you don’t have to walk it.” (Graham-Helen on Veloxa)
  • “He’s my lover.” “Carole, I thought we agreed you weren’t going to use that word anymore? We said ‘paramour’, remember? Richard is Carole’s paramour.” (Carole, Helen to Carole, then Helen to the BTG owner)

 

Fisk – Season 1, Episode 3 (Taken)

This is episode is all about stealing.

The episode kicks off with Helen waking up to the sound of Graham nosily going about his morning in the kitchen, as she is sleeping on the sofa bed in an adjacent room.

We then cut to Helen going into work with Roz attempting to make small talk with her. Later when she’s working in her office, Ray tells Helen he wants her to take on a ‘Popovitch’ and warns Helen to hide her ‘purse’ while Roz comes in asking Ray to hide her own purse. It’s later revealed that the client, Eileen Popovitch, is a kleptomaniac, starting with stealing the teaspoon that came with her tea, then escalating with trying to steal Helen’s diary, whilst she is requesting that she be given power of attorney over her mother.

Later, Roz attempts friendly chitchat with Helen again while she is heating up her leftover soup at lunch. Helen’s ex-husband, William Ford, turns up to the office to see her, as he’s in town for the Yarra Literary Festival. Helen takes him outside and he gives her a customised phone cover with a photo of Artie on it. He asks her to get a coffee with him, however due to her ban at Artisan, he gets them takeaway coffees with her money. William tells Helen he wants shared custody of Artie, even though Artie is her dog.

Meanwhile Roz wants to make a promotional video for Gruber & Gruber, and Ray informs her that the firm can’t operate under the name ‘Gruber & Gruber’ while Roz is suspended. This leads to Roz asking George to take the second ‘Gruber’ off the firm’s signage. When Helen goes home, she asks May and Graham why she has to engaged in small talk with Roz, May tells her to do so, as it’s polite.

When Helen goes into work the next day, she finds Roz trying to shoot the promotional video for the firm, now operating under the name ‘Gruber & Associates’. She then meets with Eileen Popovitch and her mother, Mrs. Popovitch, who is also a kleptomaniac. During the meeting both mother and daughter are stealing items off the desk, including the conference phone. Helen has a hard time getting both ladies to cooperate and giver her the facts of their situation.

Meanwhile Roz shows Ray the promotional video she has made but he tells her she can’t be the face of the firm due to her suspension, and tells her to get Fisk to be in the video. Later, when the Popovitch ladies try to leave without paying, they also attempt to take the paintings on the wall, furniture and other items from the reception area, as well as Helen’s glasses. Later, Roz tries to get Fisk to do the promotional video.

Later while Helen is working at her desk, she gets a call from Graham panicking and informing her that William has taken Artie. When she tries to leave the office and sees Roz in the reception area with the others, she tries to practice all of her chitchat topics that May suggested to her, at once.

Helen drives to the Yarra Literary Festival, where she also finds Eileen and Mrs. Popovitch in attendance at William’s panel as they stole the festival pamphlets from Helen’s office. During the panel, Helen asks William where Artie is, only to be thrown out by security.

The next day, Helen does the video for Roz and due to her sadness over losing Artie, she is able to perform the way Roz wants her to.

The episode ends with Mrs. Popovitch coming to see Helen, taking her downstairs where it’s revealed she stole Artie (and a stool) from the Literary Festival. Helen thanks her and gets her glasses back from her, while upstairs, George takes the stuff Mrs. Popovitch stole from the firm out of her bag. In the end credits scene, we see Roz’s completed promotional video for the firm, and Mrs. Popovitch stealing another stool from Artisan.

Overall this was a solid episode with the first appearance of Helen’s ex-husband, William, comedic moments with the Popovitch ladies, and the exploration of Helen’s emotional side with the Artie subplot. I also appreciated the exploration of the consequences of Roz’s suspension with the name of the firm and her promotional video.

 

Stray Observations:

Running gag: Helen’s efforts to make small talk/friendly chitchat with Roz.

-Helen believes there should be a limit of three takeaway coffees per customer at cafes during peak times.

-George views 40 as an old age.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “What was that about?” “Maybe she wanted some of your soup.” “Maybe, it is good soup.” (Helen-George-Helen on Roz’s attempt to engage in small talk with her)
  • “Don’t look, but I think there’s a clown in reception.” (Helen to George on Eileen Popovitch)
  • “You might want to hide your purse.” “Purse? I’m not an old woman, who says ‘purse’?” “Raymond, I need you to hide my purse, there’s a Popovitch coming in.” (Ray-Helen-Roz)
  • “Is she circus folk? Fun.” (Helen to George on Eileen Popovitch)
  • “There’s no statute of limitations on friendly chitchat, Helen.” (Roz to Helen)
  • “Handsome black guy?” “I don’t know.” “You don’t know if he’s black or you don’t know if he’s handsome?” “Both, I don’t see colour or handsome.” (Helen-George going back-and-forth on William)
  • “Could you frisk Mrs. Popovitch, I think she’s got the lucky waving cat in her pocket.” “No, I’m not going to cavity search an old woman.” (George-Helen)
  • “Do you make many conference calls Mrs. Popovitch?” (Helen to Mrs. Popovitch as she is taking the conference phone)
  • “You look constipated.” “Well, I eat a lot of cheese Roz, that’s what happens.” (Roz-Helen on Helen’s face)
  • “Disruption. Thunder-faced woman. Shouting, crazy, ‘Where’s my dog?’, Lady, please. Get out.” (Akiko’s improvised haiku about Helen at the Literary Festival)

 

 

Fisk – Season 1, Episode 2 (Cremains of the Day)

Now that the pilot has established the premise and characters of the show, the fun can really begin.

The episode kicks off with Helen coming home to find Minh asleep on her couch and having to shout at her to wake her up. We then cut to Helen still trying to get coffee from Artisan to no avail.

When Roz gets to work, she finds George hanging up the portrait that Dean had painted of Roz at the end of the previous episode. George informs Helen that he has found an office for her, an old storage room. Roz tells Helen to consult with George about decorating her new office, whilst she is labelling everything from the stuff in the kitchen, to the door, and a mysterious switch, in the office.

Later we see Roz chat with Bob Stanley, who asks her if the rumours regarding Helen’s father and his tipstaff are true. Helen walks in and informs him that the rumours regarding her father are true and that he entered a relationship with his male tipstaff and came out, after her mother died.

Bob enters the conference room with Helen, where her next client is Gina Munster. Gina’s father, Alan, died and his will states that his ashes or cremains, are to be divided between his family and his younger girlfriend, Kellie-Joy.  Throughout the meeting Bob is asking for snacks, and it’s revealed later when Ray and Roz are in the kitchen that Bob will agree to anything if he gets snacks. Roz then gives Bob hummus and crackers at Ray’s suggestion. Helen then gets Bob to agree that Kellie-Joy gets five grams of Alan’s cremains based on an equation that Helen created based on the amount of time Alan spent with his family and Kellie-Joy, and the weight of his cremains.

Later Helen goes to see her father, only to be greeted by his partner, Viktor. Helen wants to borrow a grill from him and her father as the cooktop at her Airbnb is broken, Viktor wants her to come to lunch on the weekend. After she has left, Viktor calls her and asks her to call May and Graham, her aunt and uncle, to invite them to the lunch.

When Helen returns to the office, she finds George has decorated her office with a beanbag, a custom motivational wall poster he had made for Helen, and other items from Kmart. Ray walks past and also tries to figure out what the mysterious switch is for. Later Helen asks Joanna not to have Minh come into the house and watch TV, only for Joanna to passive-aggressively take the TV out of the house.

The next morning, Helen is eating breakfast and scribbles all over a book by William G.H. Ford. She spots Minh burning rubbish in the backyard and asks her to throw the book in the fire. Later she arrives at her father’s house with May and Graham for lunch. Viktor announces at the table that he and Tony got married at a registry office last week. Helen asks Tony why he didn’t tell her or invite her to the service. He said that he didn’t want to bother her with it. Later, Tony spots a possum in the yard and ends up killing it with a slingshot. Viktor asks Helen to pick up the corpse and put it in the bin, then gives her the corpse in an esky for her to take away. When Helen gets home, she tries to put the possum in the bin, but the bins are full, so she leaves it in the esky by the bins.

Later, Juliana confronts Helen about the possum thinking it was a cat, and Minh has burned it. Joanna kicks her out of the house. Helen tries to drop her dog, Artie, off at Viktor and Tony’s house, but Viktor refuses to take care of him due to his allergies. She then drives to May and Graham’s and drops Artie off there, and thanks them for letting her stay with them.

Later Gina comes to see Helen and tells her she doesn’t want Kellie-Joy to have the five grams of Alan’s cremains. When Roz sees Helen trying to give Gina toilet paper for tissues, Roz reassures her that’s not going to happen. After Gina leaves, Helen leaves to collect her stuff from Joanna’s house and collects something else that is not shown onscreen. When Helen returns to the office, George has bought her a coffee from Artisan and has Alan’s cremains ready. We then see George measure out the five grams of cremains for Kellie-Joy, after she leaves, Helen informs an angry Gina and Roz, that the cremains Kellie-Joy were given weren’t Alan’s.

Later Ray asks Helen about the cremains, guessing what animal they were from. The episode ends with Helen’s office table collapsing, and the reveal that the mysterious switch is connected to a neon sign in Artisan.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode as Helen’s intellect was put on display even more in this episode, especially with her equation to determine how many cremains Kellie-Joy would get, and giving her possum cremains so Gina and her family could keep all of Alan’s cremains. I’m also happy that Helen’s not staying at the Airbnb house anymore as Joanna would be unbearable to watch for a whole season. I also enjoyed the interactions between Helen, her aunt and uncle, and her father and Viktor, providing insight into the Fisk family dynamic.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I believe the expression is ‘why go out for a hamburger when you’re getting steak at home’” “Right, sorry but I still don’t understand what you’re saying.” “I’m saying I’m the steak.” “Yeah nah, I think in that scenario, you’re the hamburger.” “I’m not the hamburger! I’m fillet steak!” “You’re really not, you’re more like a kebab.” (Bob to Kellie-Joy, then Helen to Kellie-Joy, and then Kellie-Joy and Helen going back-and-forth)
  • “You sound like my grandmother.” “Yeah I do like big pants.” (George-Helen)
  • “I thought a tramp stamp would be more suitable.” “I’ve already got one Gina, so joke’s on you.” (Gina-Kellie-Joy about using Alan’s cremains as part of a tattoo)
  • “Make sure I get a good five grams, like from his heart you know? I don’t want foot ashes or anything.” (Kellie-Joy to Bob)
  • “All this for $80 at Kmart, can you believe it?” “Yes I can.” (George-Helen)
  • “That’s a fun top, looks like you joined a mime school, I love it!” (Viktor to Helen on her black-and-white horizontally striped top)
  • “Ooh Christ, you look like shit!” “That’s what I said!” (Ray-George on Helen’s appearance)
  • “Thank you George.” “Taste the deception.” (Helen-George on George getting Helen a coffee from the Artisan café)
  • “There’s your dad, every last gram of him, you’re welcome!” (Helen to Gina)
  • “Animal? Oh no Fisk, you didn’t kill a cat?” “I don’t have a cat.” “Anymore.” (Ray-Helen-Ray on the cremains)

 

Fisk – Pilot (Portrait of a Lady)

The job of a pilot is to establish a show’s premise and characters, and set up any story arcs and subplots for the season. This pilot did its job perfectly.

The episode kicks off with Helen Tudor-Fisk (Kitty Flanagan) going to Vedette Legal Recruitment to find work. During her session with the recruiter, Annabelle, we find out that Helen was from Melbourne, moved to Sydney when she got married, worked at a prestigious law firm for 10 years, and her husband has recently left her for an older woman, which is why she’s back in Melbourne. While Helen says she’ll take anything, she turns down an offer to work in family law, Annabelle then tells her about a position at Gruber & Gruber, a suburban firm specialising in probates and wills.

After Annabelle tells Helen to lose the “festival of brown” and polish herself up for the interview, Helen buys herself a bright yellow suit and goes to her interview at Gruber & Gruber.  Ray Gruber (Marty Sheargold) interviews her, where it’s reveal that Helen’s father, Anthony, is a retired Supreme Court judge.

We then cut to Helen in the Airbnb house she is renting. While she is having breakfast, the host, Juliana, comes over. Helen tells Joanna that her grandmother, Minh, is in her bedroom again and keeps coming in to clean up. When Joanna tells Helen that Minh told her that she is really messy, Helen reminds her that she is renting the house. Joanna dismisses her, saying she should be grateful.

We then see Helen going into a café, Artisan, on her way to work (back in her brown suit). When she has a go at a man sitting at a table, talking on his phone loudly, she is asked to leave by the staff for “talking aggressively”. Helen goes to work, with George (Aaron Chen) (aka Webmaster) taking Helen’s photo for the firm’s website (he is also revealed to be the firm’s probate clerk). Roz (Julia Zemiro) then introduces herself to Helen, where she is revealed to be Ray’s sister, and she is the office manager as she has been temporarily suspended from practising.

Roz gives her Helen an office tour, which Ray interrupts to give her files, and Roz tells Helen that the toilet is locked despite it being inside. When Roz finishes, Ray tells Helen that she’ll be working in the conference room until an office is sorted out for her. Later, Roz assigns Helen a client, Ruth O’Malley. Helen tries to get out of it, but Roz dismisses her. Ruth has come to the firm as her mother has recently died and she wants a ‘vasectomy clause’ in the will – a clause that Ruth’s brother will only get his inheritance if he has a vasectomy – enforced. Helen tells her this clause can’t be enforced.

Meanwhile, Roz goes into see Ray and informs him that Helen was fired from her previous firm for ‘attacking’ a client. Roz tells Ray that she should be supervised but he counters that Roz can’t supervise Helen due to her suspension, so she tells Ray he has to. They go out into the firm’s foyer to wait for Helen to finish her meeting with Ruth, which isn’t going well.

Helen asks Ruth what her brother thinks about the clause, he’s worried that the vasectomy will affect his work as a professional penis painter (he paints with penis). Helen’s meeting with Ruth ends with her yelling at Ruth by using a piece of paper as a megaphone. Roz and Ray come in, with Ray telling Helen to step out and Roz taking Ruth out of the room. Ray takes Helen into his office and questions her about being fired. Helen tells Ray that she didn’t ‘attack’ the client, she shouted at her and called her a ‘silly old whore’ as she had an affair with her husband. Ray tells her that she may have just lost the firm a client, Roz walks in and tells them she’s managed to get Ruth to come back, making up an excuse that Helen behaved the way she did because she took too many painkillers. Ray later tells Roz the full story of Helen’s firing, and asks Roz to mentor her.

The next day, Helen tries to buy coffees from Artisan, only to discover she is banned as the man she insulted the previous day is the owner. Helen ends up buying $1 coffees from the local convenience store. Roz then tells Helen she needs to work on her people skills and to make a connection with the clients. Helen then has another meeting with Ruth, this time with George in attendance. Again the meeting doesn’t go well, with Helen making matters worse by using the sausage rolls she got with the convenience store coffees to make her point, at one point accidentally using the order of service for Ruth’s mother’s funeral as a piece of paper, to put the sausage rolls on.  Ruth leaves saying that she’ll get another solicitor.

Later, Helen realises that Ruth left the order of service behind and tries to find Ruth. Ruth is next door at Artisan, unable to get the scalding hot coffee she wants. Helen finds her and apologises for putting the sausage roll on the order of service, and takes her to the convenience store to buy her a cup of coffee. They sit at the back of the store and bond, with Ruth showing her a video of her brother at work, Ruth agrees to let Helen be her solicitor.

Helen goes home to find Ruth’s brother, Dean, waiting for her. Dean tells her that he rang her office, George gave him her address, and Minh let him in. Dean offers to paint her portrait, but instead Helen has Dean paint Ray’s portrait, based off a photo.

The episode ends with Helen bringing Ray’s portrait into the office the next day, and Roz says she’ll have hers done. During the end credits, we see Dean painting Roz’s portrait, talking away to her as he paints.

Overall this was a great pilot with intelligent and witty dialogue, fantastic one-liners, and it perfectly established the show’s premise and characters, as well as showed the chemistry between the cast. No major story arcs or subplots were presented, so I’m guessing that each episode will be self-contained, writing wise.

I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

Running gags:

  • Helen’s lack of references on her job application.
  • Helen’s choice of a brown, then a bright yellow suit.
  • Ray and George referring to Roz as being ‘struck off’ despite the fact that she’s been temporarily suspended.

-Roz’s middle name is Joanne.

-How exactly did paint end up across Dean’s arse cheeks?

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “My husband recently ran off with an older woman so I thought the best way to deal with trauma was to run away.” (Helen to Annabelle)
  • “I’m not really a dead people person either.” (Helen to Annabelle on working at a probate law firm)
  • “I’ve got three suits all the same, saves time. Never have to make a decision about what to wear, it’s great!” “Is it?” (Helen-Annabelle)
  • “May I suggest that you polish yourself up for the interview.” “I think this is beyond polishing don’t you?” “Could you at least lose the festival of brown? You are blending into the chair like some sort of furniture chameleon.” (Annabelle-Helen-Annabelle)
  • “I like your suit, it reminds me of cheese.” (George to Helen)
  • “I like your face.” “This one?” “A lot of experience in that face.” “Mm hm.” “It says ‘I’ve been around the block, I know what I’m doing.’ Yeah? ‘I’m a workhorse, plain and simple I get the job done.’ Am I right?” “Yeah that’s me, plain and simple…and like a horse.” (Ray-Helen going back-and-forth)
  • “When someone dies it’s sad and then kind of boring.” (Ray to Helen)
  • “What are you, 50, 55?” “47.” “You look older, which works for me.” (Ray-Helen-Ray)
  • “I’ll see you Monday, no high-vis.” (Ray to Helen on her bright yellow suit)
  • “Who’s the walking banana?” “That is your replacement, the new you.” “Is she afraid of being hit by a car?” (Roz-Ray-Roz on Helen)
  • “I just don’t like the word ‘hubby’, for some people it’s ‘moist’, for me it’s ‘hubby’.” (Helen to Ruth)
  • “I didn’t attack her. I did shout and I might have called her a ‘silly old whore’…” (Helen to Ray on why she was fired by her previous firm)
  • “Do you know what a client is?” “Yes, a friend you haven’t met yet.” “It’s money, Fisk.” (Ray-Helen-Ray)
  • “If they’re a farmer, you could talk about…” “Hay, cows, manure? Wanting a wife?” “The weather.” (Roz-Helen-Roz on building up Helen’s people skills)
  • “Can I get a couple of bits of legal fee?” (George asking Helen for some of the sausage roll she used to demonstrate legal fees to Ruth)
  • “Why is there a knife in here?” (Roz to George on a knife on the conference room table)
  • “I don’t mind if you want to hang out here, pretend it’s a café, and drink this shitty coffee but you can’t watch porn in here, shut it down.” (Michael, the convenience store employee to Helen on watching a video of Ruth’s brother painting with his penis)

 

Harrow – Season 3, Episode 9 (Quam Innocentum Damnari)

The job of a penultimate episode of a season is to provide a springboard for the impending finale. I felt that this episode only really did its job in its final moments.

Before I get to that, let’s start with the recap of the episode.

The episode kicks off with two women, Pat and Naomi, going to Naomi’s brother, Aaron’s, house. When the two women walk in, they find Jade’s dead body on the couch.

After the opening credits, we find Grace doing some before-work morning yoga when she gets a phone call from Nichols. He asks her to go to the Bettie to find Harrow as he can’t get a hold of him. While reluctant, Grace complies, and goes to the Bettie to find Harrow’s and Tanya’s clothes on the floor, Harrow half-naked and Tanya in the shower. She tells him about the crime scene and hastily leaves.

We cut to Fern and Callan walking through a park, with Callan telling her what he found at the SWM office in the previous episode. Fern reminds Callan of their past homelessness and committing crimes to get by, she also tells him that if he doesn’t want to help James that’s fine, but he’s her brother and she is going to help him.

We then cut to Harrow and Grace arriving at the crime scene, with Harrow trying to explain himself to Grace, but she dismisses it as none of her business. Nichols tells them that the body is that of Jade Freeman, 35, found by her neighbour (Pat) and her boyfriend’s sister (Naomi), and it looks like she was strangled. Nichols thinks that she was killed around 4am and there were no signs of forced entry, and the neighbours said it was unusually quiet in the home, as Jade and her boyfriend, Aaron, used to fight loudly often. Another officer informs Nichols that Aaron is outside waiting, and Nichols tells the officer to bring Aaron in. When Aaron walks in, he doesn’t blink or say a word. Nichols asks Aaron to confirm that the woman is Jade, but the only thing he says is that “she smashed my boat.”

When Nichols, Grace and Harrow are outside, Grace asks if Aaron has said anything else, but Nichols says no and he’s taking him to the station for further questioning. Grace remarks Aaron seems completely unaffected, while Harrow comments that some people react to death differently. When they get back to the Institute, Harrow looks up Jade’s details and finds that she used to work as a hairdresser, but hasn’t worked in nearly a year, she has also been living with Aaron for almost two years, just bought a house and about to become engaged.

When Grace brings up scans of Jade’s body, she informs Harrow that Jade’s thyroid and larynx cartilage, as well as her hyoid bone were broken, suggesting death by strangulation. Harrow and Grace swab Jade’s wounds and scrape under her fingernails. Grace finds dirt under Jade’s fingernails but no skin or other kind of DNA, Harrow suggests she didn’t fight back. Grace also finds unusual bruises on the inside of her hands, and Harrow finds a large bruise on her abdomen, suggesting her killer pinned Jade down. Grace also informs Harrow that Jade had unprotected sex at some point within the last 24 hours. Harrow informs her that Aaron Sharp has no criminal convictions to his name. Grace suggests Aaron abused her, however there is no physical evidence of this.

Harrow then goes to see Nichols, and Nichols informs him that Aaron still hasn’t said a word to him or anyone else. Nichols informs Harrow that Aaron only partially completed his deliveries at his night job, and some of the female staff recently complained about him as his quietness freaked them out. Nichols also informs Harrow that Aaron has three jobs and works 18-hours straight, per day, and Jade was chasing a compensation payment for a neck injury she suffered in a car accident. Harrow asks if he can have a go at getting Aaron to talk.

Harrow goes into the room and talks to Aaron about French fleet ships. Harrow asks Aaron if Jade liked his model ships, Aaron tells him that Jade thought he didn’t have time to work on them. Harrow then asks him how he felt working 18 hours a day, seven days a week. Aaron says he did it by choice. Harrow then asks why Jade didn’t work, Aaron says she couldn’t due to her injury. Harrow asks Aaron if he was at the house when Jade broke his ship, and asks him if he hurt Jade. Aaron says he loved her but doesn’t actually answer the question.

Later, we see Renae angrily on the phone with the Deputy Coroner. After she ends the call, she goes to see Fairley and asks him to give her his reports on Harrow, as his supervisor. Meanwhile Grace goes to Harrow’s office to give him the scans he asked for, while he is looking through Aaron’s case file. He tells Grace he was wondering if Aaron had been diagnosed with some form of autism. Harrow wants to know why Aaron is not talking to the police, Edwina then comes in and tells them that the lab has found contact DNA in the neck wounds which matches the semen found in Jade’s body. The DNA was run in the national database and it’s not Aaron’s.

We then cut to Harrow, as well as Nichols and other police officers going to the house of Tony Palladino. Nichols and the other police officers are trying to apprehend Tony as a suspect in Jade’s murder, and he is doing so with back-up as, according to Harrow, Palladino has multiple convictions for GBH and assault. Before Nichols gets a chance to knock on Palladino’s door, Detective Brookes stops him, as Palladino’s dead body is in his garage, pinned under his car. Nichols and Harrow surmise that the car jack failed as he was trying to reach for a bottle of whiskey, and the car crushed him. Harrow finds a maggot in the corner of one of Palladino’s eyes, specifically newborn larvae of the green bottle fly, which take precisely 19 hours to hatch after the female has laid her eggs. This means that Palladino was dead before Jade was strangled.

We then cut to Nichols and Harrow back at the police station, they show Aaron a photograph of him with Naomi, Pat, Jade and Palladino together. Nichols asks Aaron to confirm that the other man in the photograph is Palladino, but he says nothing. Nichols then asks him if he knew that Palladino and Jade were having an affair, as the police found messages on Palladino’s phone showing the affair took place. Aaron asks why it matters if he did know. Nichols informs him that Palladino is dead and died several hours before Jade was strangled. Harrow then tells Aaron that they’re trying to find out what happened to Jade, but they can’t do that unless he tells them what he knows. Aaron tells them he knew about the affair. Nichols asks him if he confronted Palladino and then strangled Jade. Afterwards Harrow says to Nichols he doesn’t understand how Palladino’s DNA ended up in Jade’s neck wounds when he was dead hours before she was strangled. Nichols suggests he check the swabs again, and points out that Aaron knew about the affair, had no alibi at the time of the murder, and hasn’t denied killing her.

Later, as Grace is leaving the Institute for the day, she runs into Sage at the elevator. Sage gives Grace a bag of Ben’s stuff indicating that she and Ben have broken up. Grace meets Ben at a restaurant to give him the bag and asks him for an explanation. Ben tells her that he has never stopped loving Grace, despite his best efforts to move on with his life. Meanwhile, James informs Fern that the evidence box containing his phone (which has been switched with another, Fern’s idea from the previous episode) is ready to be picked up, and that he has made a fake ID for Fern to use, to claim to be the relative of the person whose name the box is under. Fern tearfully asks James if he is going to leave once he gets his phone back, James gives Fern his real passport for her to hold onto. He then receives a phone call from Tanya.

James meets with Tanya, she wants to know why he’s in Brisbane. He asks her why his reasons matter to her and scolds her for lying to him about Harrow. James admits he likes having a dad and half-sister as it feels right. He apologises for not telling her where he was going and what he was doing, and remarks that he guess he learnt that from somewhere.

Back at the Institute, Fairley is releasing Max Zoric’s body. Harrow asks why, Fairley informs him that he received the authorisation to do so. Harrow points out that the police are still investigating his death, but Fairley counters that they have collected the evidence they were required to. Harrow says he doesn’t understand, Fairley says that he doesn’t understand either, and asks Harrow why this matters so much to him. Harrow admits that he thinks his son has something to do with Zoric’s death. Fairley asks him if he thinks his son killed Max Zoric, Harrow says he hopes not and apologises to Fairley for not telling him about James sooner. Fairley says his hands are tied as Mila Zoric requested to have Max’s remains and the Institute had no reason to keep them.

Later, Harrow goes to visit Fern, Callan and James, but only Callan is home. Harrow asks Callan to tell James that Max Zoric’s body has been released to Mila. Callan says that Mila is into “dodgy shit” and that Max was involved in it. Callan tells Harrow he loves him but James is playing him, and he’s worried James is going to cause major problems for him and Fern. Callan tells Harrow he and Fern have to cut James off and he won’t have Fern go to jail for James. Harrow leaves with the mysterious delivery woman seen in previous episodes watching him in her van.

When Harrow goes back to the Institute, Naomi Sharpe is there waiting for him. Naomi asks him to check Jade’s body again as Aaron wouldn’t kill her and had no reason to hurt her or Palladino. Harrow tells her about the affair, Naomi suggests that maybe Palladino killed her, but Harrow informs her he died hours before Jade. Naomi says Aaron was shy and not a violent person, and tells Harrow that Jade was always on Aaron’s back, she liked not working and Aaron doing everything for her. Naomi tells Harrow that there must be some sort of mistake and to check everything again.

Harrow then goes in to see Fairley examining Palladino’s body. Fairley confirms Harrow’s findings on Palladino’s time of death. Fairley also tells Harrow that Aaron Sharpe’s fingerprints were found on the car jack that Palladino was using when he died. Fairley points out the inconsistencies in the forensic evidence, such as Tony Palladino’s DNA in Jade’s neck wounds and Aaron Sharpe’s fingerprints on the car jack.

Later, Harrow goes back to Jade’s house and finds Pat putting wine glasses back in one of the kitchen cupboards. He asks her about the yelling she heard from Jade’s house, and tells her that Naomi told him that the yelling was mainly from Jade. Pat tells him Jade was always going on about his work and model boats. Harrow asks him who lent her the wine glasses, Pat says Aaron did and would often lend anything to anyone who asked him. This leads to Harrow searching Aaron’s car for a car jack to find it missing, revealing that Palladino was using Aaron’s car jack the night he died, which explains the fingerprints that were found. Harrow informs Nichols of this, but he is still not convinced that Aaron didn’t kill her.

Harrow then goes to the Palladino crime scene and looks through his house, finding Palladino’s toothbrush missing from the bathroom. He asks the forensic team if they collected it as evidence, they tell him that they didn’t. Harrow then goes back to the Institute to re-swab Jade’s wounds to look for toothpaste in them. Harrow tells Grace he believes that Jade’s killer took Palladino’s toothbrush from his house to frame him for her murder, however the killer didn’t know that Palladino was already dead. This means that the killer knew where Tony lived and knew both victims.

Harrow goes back to the Jade crime scene and finds a bead on the floor, he realises that one of the bruises on Jade’s hand was from the bead, and realises that Naomi’s necklace was made of beads.

Harrow goes to confront Naomi, who has a bruise on the back of her neck, at a beachside café. He informs her about what he found. He asks her why she killed Jade – was it the fact that Aaron worked three jobs and it drove her mad, and the affair pushed her over the edge? Did she threaten to tell Aaron about the affair? Naomi tells him that she told Jade she was going to tell Aaron about the affair but Jade told her it was none of her business. Jade got angry and shoved her, and she lost it, strangling Jade on her couch, and Jade grabbed and broke her bead necklace when she tried to fight back. Harrow points out that she could have called the police and confessed, but she chose to frame Palladino, sneaking into his house to steal his toothbrush to replace her DNA with his. Harrow says she would have gotten away with it if Palladino hadn’t died before Jade.

Naomi tells Harrow he doesn’t understand, Jade didn’t love him, she was using him, taking his money, and sleeping with Palladino behind Aaron’s back. Harrow says that Aaron knew and encouraged the affair as he was treated for testicular cancer two years ago and the treatment made him impotent. Harrow asks Naomi if she knew about this, she didn’t. Naomi tells Harrow she was just trying to protect Aaron, Harrow tells her she took away the one thing Aaron truly loved. Nichols tells Harrow that all charges against Aaron will be dropped but he doesn’t understand why Aaron didn’t tell him anything if he didn’t kill Jade. We then cut to Aaron talking to Harrow and standing beside Jade’s body. Harrow tells him he doesn’t understand why he and Jade argued. Aaron informs him that Jade was worried about him and was worried that he was doing too much for her. She wanted him to spend less time working at his job and more time working on the boats he loved. He just wanted to take care of her, Naomi looked after him his whole life, for the first time he could look after someone else and he wanted Jade to be happy, even if that meant having an affair.

Later, Fairley goes to Renae’s office (with Louie in attendance) to give her his reports. Renae asks him why he has given Harrow excellent scores in his reports and if he finds no fault in Harrow’s work. Fairley tells her there’s plenty of fault in Harrow’s process, but he doesn’t want to be the one to decide the fate of Harrow’s career. He tells her Harrow is one of the best pathologists in the state, and while he breaks the rules and is difficult to work with, he gets results. Fairley tells her that if she wants to get rid of Harrow, she’ll have to do it herself. Renae accepts this and thanks him. On his way out, Fairley tells Louie that he is the President of the Science Squad Cosplay Society, a fan club of the anime series Louie is watching on his iPad.

We then see Fern going to the police station to collect the evidence box, calling James because she is nervous. He encourages her but Callan catches him in the act and asks him what he has gotten Fern into. Callan angrily grabs James and nearly hits him, but walks away.

Fern manages to get the evidence box without being caught by the police officer at the front desk and opens the box before going back to her bike. Mila Zoric’s henchmen surround her and force her to give them the box. She does without saying a word or fighting back. However when Mila gets the phone out, she discovers it’s Fern’s phone, not James’ – Fern switched the phones after opening the box. Meanwhile Callan goes to the Institute and asks Grace to run a DNA test on the hair on James’ comb.

The episode ends with Fern coming home yelling out to James that she got his phone back but they can’t stay at the house anymore. She walks in to find the house trashed and blood on the floor.

Overall I felt that the case of the week was a little predictable, I could see Naomi being the killer from a mile away as she, Aaron, Pat and Palladino, were the only suspects. Aaron was too obvious a suspect so he was clearly the red herring, Palladino was ruled out through his own death, and while Pat looked suspicious when she broke into the crime scene to return the wine glasses she borrowed, none of the evidence pointed to her, which leaves Naomi. In all honesty, as the case of the week in previous episodes have touched upon subcultures and other dramatic elements such as espionage and assassination, I found this suburban case of the week, although realistic, to be a little dull in comparison.

As the case of the week is different in every episode, the only springboard that this episode could provide for the finale was purely in the James story arc. A strong theme that was present throughout the episode was finding the truth. Although this was mainly a theme in the case of the week, it was also present in the James story arc. As I mentioned in my review of the previous episode, both Mila and James are not innocent, but one of them may be the lesser of two evils. Who this is remains to be seen, especially as James is still using Fern, and it appears that Mila’s henchmen have also kidnapped James, harming him in the process. I found the reveal of Fern switching out the phones to be predictable, but I appreciated that this showed her intelligence at work in that she had the foresight to do this before Mila Zoric’s henchmen ambushed her. I would rather see this side of Fern more often than her blind faith in James.

On smaller notes, I’m still not a fan of Harrow and Tanya hooking up and the way in which Grace was forced to find out about this, but as I said in my review of the previous episode, the writing of Harrow and Grace’s “relationship” has been so inconsistent that I have lost interest. That being said, I hope that the writers finally make a choice as to whether Harrow ends up with Tanya or Grace by the end of next week’s finale. I also appreciated Callan finally taking a stand against James by requesting Grace to do a DNA test on the hair on James’ comb, as he clearly can’t go to Harrow as he also has blind faith in James – like father, like daughter – and I’m guessing in next week’s finale this will prove to be to their detriment. I also appreciated Fairley standing up for both Harrow and himself to Renae.

Overall this was a good but not great episode, with the case of the week being predictable but the James story arc finally gaining much needed momentum, that being said this was only in the final moments of the episode.

I’m looking forward to finding the truth and resolution of the James story arc in next week’s finale.

 

Stray Observations:

Episode title translation: Quam Innocentum Damnari – An Innocent Man Is Punished

-Fairley casually warms up his vocal cords for a rehearsal in some kind of unnamed production, whilst he is scrubbing in.

-Fairley is the President of the Science Squad Cosplay Society – Australasian branch.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “He hasn’t even touched his sandwich! Mind you those vending machine sandwiches can be a bit iffy.” (Nichols to Harrow on Aaron Sharp not talking or moving)
  • “What the hell are you doing here?” “I was passing by and spotted my favourite surly detective and thought, ‘I must stop by and say hi!’” (Nichols-Harrow)
  • “Harrow! I didn’t know you had such a keen interest in maggots.” “Oh yes – maggots, slugs, cockroaches, bedbugs…my father didn’t let me have a dog.” (Fairley-Harrow)
  • “Daniel Harrow is one of the finest pathologists in the state if not the country, but mainly the state.” (Fairley to Renae)

 

Harrow – Season 3, Episode 8 (Alea lacta Est)

This episode explores a historical society, duels and greed.

The episode kicks off with a bang or rather shots, with two men in historical costume dueling, killing each other, with the seconds and referee running away from the scene.

After the opening credits, we are brought back to Harrow’s boat with Tanya informing him that her cancer is in remission and that she changed her surname to Hain, which was her grandmother’s surname and the name she exhibits her art under, which explains why the police had trouble tracking her down. She also informs him that she still ‘runs a check-out’ or rather manages a boutique in Trowbridge, as her art doesn’t pay the bills.  She also apologises for not letting him find her after she left him, he asks her why she hid from him, and she replies that he would have talked her into coming back. She then asks him if James is in trouble.

We don’t hear Harrow’s answer as the episode cuts to Fern and James in the nightclub. James tells Fern that he didn’t steal Mila Zoric’s money but he thinks Max did, and that’s why he needed a fake passport and to escape from Australia. Fern asks James if Mila is after him because of Max or her missing money, James says he doesn’t know anything about either. Fern asks him what Mila would do to him if she thinks he does know something about it, he says that she would kill him.

We then cut back to Harrow’s boat where he tells Tanya about Max, the shipping yard, the DNA results and James showing up. Harrow admits that he’s not sure he can believe a word James has told him, and that he wasn’t involved in Max’s death, which is why he believes James has stopped talking to him. Tanya tells him that James can’t avoid talking to her.

We are then brought to Nichols’ office where he and Detective Brookes are working when Steve, another police officer, comes to see them. Steve informs them that the surveillance team has just uploaded photos from Harrow’s boat, which shows Tanya on board and Nichols recognises her immediately. Brookes asks Nichol if they should be brought in, but Nichols refuses, saying they should see where this takes them. The next morning, Harrow and Tanya get into his car, and Harrow instantly notices two police officers following them. He gets a phone call which brings him into the Institute.

When Harrow arrives, he scolds Nichols for having him followed and Nichols scolds him for not informing him about Tanya. Nichols tells Harrow that he knows James is in the country, Harrow tells him he doesn’t know where James is and neither does Tanya, and to leave them alone. Harrow greets Grace, where she informs him that he stood her up last night, he apologises but Grace dismisses him.

Nichols then identifies the two dead duelists in front of Harrow and Grace as Martin Peek and George Ilic, who were members of a historical society. Harrow asks Nichols why they were dueling, Nichols tells him that Ilic said something to which Peek took offence. Harrow asks Nichols about the men’s seconds, Nichols tells him that the police are interviewing two people now but both of them are claiming that they thought Ilic and Peek were shooting blanks, and the referee has disappeared.

When Harrow and Fairley begin the autopsies, Grace asks if the men had any underlying conditions, Edwina tells her that Peek had restless leg syndrome and heartburn, but other than that both men were healthy. Edwina also informs them that both men were long-term members of the Brisbane Faro Society. Harrow explains to them (and the viewers) that Faro is a card game derived from Basset and a precursor to poker that was very popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. When Harrow asks if there are any other wounds, Grace points out that Peek has what looks like a faded lipstick mark on his cheek. When Harrow and Fairley inspect the guns the men used on each other, Edwina informs them that both the guns belonged to Peek.  Harrow and Fairley extract lead fishing sinkers from the men that were used as bullets.

Harrow and Nichols go to the Brisbane Faro Society headquarters and speak with the Society’s marketing manager, Emeline Mellis, and the Society’s treasurer, Ms. Yancy. According to Mellis, Ilic and Peek were Faro experts. When Nichols asks Mellis and Yancy what the argument that lead to the duel was about, Mellis reveals that Ilic insulted Peek’s wife, although Nichols points out that the insult was really just mild trash talk. Harrow asks Yancy if there have been duels at the club before, and Yancy says yes but they were usually settled by a card game or fencing bout, sometimes with pistols or paintballs but not lead bullets or fishing sinkers. Nichols asks Yancy and Mellis if they have seen Mr. Hogarth, the duel referee, and both of them say no. Harrow asks Mellis why she isn’t participating in the Faro tournament, she says that she thought she was too new to the club to play.

Harrow and Nichols then go to see Mrs. Peek at her home, where it’s revealed she was her husband’s second and handed him his pistol but didn’t load it. When Nichols sees a jet ski and a sports car in the Peek’s garage, Mrs. Peek tells them he was going through a midlife crisis, but it wasn’t like him to spend money on things like that as he was a responsible man, but the last few months he changed, becoming secretive and deceptive. Harrow asks Mrs. Peek if her husband had restless leg syndrome, she confirms he did but recently it developed to the rest of his body, and he had been gambling more. When Nichols asks Mrs. Peek where her husband kept his guns, she brings them to a safe where they find his guns and paintballs. Another officer finds Peek’s fishing kit which contains the lead fishing sinkers used as bullets that Harrow and Fairley extracted from both men.

Nichols gets a phone call and we cut to the police station where Hogarth is being interviewed. Nichols reveals that Hogarth run away from the duel as he was upset at seeing his two friends die unexpectedly in front of him. Harrow asks Nichols if Hogarth could have tampered with the guns, Nichols tells him that Hogarth didn’t have a key to the safe, he had a solid alibi, and has a severe allergy to seafood meaning, that he couldn’t touch the fishing kit without having a seizure. Nichols also tells him that Mrs. Peek has means but no motive. Nichols informs Harrow that the case appears open and shut, and he would rather continue the Zoric murder investigation.

While Harrow is in the freezer, examining the bodies, Edwina comes in and passes on a phone message to him. We then see Tanya talking to Nichols in his office and Harrow coming in. Tanya tells Nichols that James is in Australia, and that James told her he had been accepted into computer studies at the University of Adelaide. She then got an email from the university about overdue fees, she rang the uni and apparently James didn’t attend his lectures. She made more phone calls to find out if something had happened to him, once she found out James was alive, she came out to Australia. She says she started to try and find James by contacting Harrow, and informs Nichols that Harrow told her that James was nowhere to be found. Nichols then reveals the recording of the voicemail Harrow left for Fern about James, but Harrow manages to lie his way out of this conundrum. When Harrow sees Tanya out of the police station, she tells him that their “explanations” should get the police off their backs.

We then go to Fern and James at their home, with Fern logging into the QIFM database with Harrow’s login, so James can swap the case code attached to his phone with another, so his phone can be released. When James hears the doorbell, he comes to the door to see Harrow and Tanya. After they come in, Tanya asks James why he told Harrow she was dead and he counters by asking why she told him she never knew his father’s name. Tanya tells James she didn’t want him to find Harrow, she didn’t want James falling in love with Harrow as a father and what he does for a living, and she didn’t want to lose him. Tanya also calls out James for lying to her about uni, he says he wanted to find his father, and Tanya asks him what his plans are now that he has found Harrow. James tells them that he needs his phone back as it will prove he didn’t kill Max, however Harrow tells him that the only way he’ll get his phone back is if he turns himself in, which James refuses to do. Tanya asks James what he plans are if he does get his phone back, however he refuses to answer her.

Harrow and Tanya go back to his boat and Harrow asks her why she didn’t tell James about him. Tanya tells him she didn’t want her baby being raised around the dead. When Tanya falls asleep, Harrow goes back to work and Renae, who is also working late, comes to see him. Harrow asks her about Louie, she tells him that Louie is with his father this weekend, so she came into work so she wouldn’t be sitting at home missing him. She in turn asks Harrow why he’s working late and he says that he was sitting at home missing work. Renae then asks him about the duelists, Harrow tells her that he knows what killed them but not why they were killed. He also tells her about Peek’s restless leg syndrome and he was prescribed a medication called Pramipexole, which has reported side effects of a heightened sex drive, increased recklessness and an exaggerated desire to gamble, which explains his recent behaviour. When Renae looks at the screen and asks Harrow what Phenidone is, he tells her it’s a darkroom chemical but Peek didn’t have a darkroom at his house.

With this revelation, Harrow goes back to the Society’s headquarters and finds Yancy there working late for the upcoming final and unsealing of the time capsule. Harrow finds out that Mellis is playing, Yancy informs him that there is a clause in the Society’s charter which states that if there are an insufficient number of players in the final, the treasurer can nominate a stand in. When Harrow asks her if the Society has a dark room, Yancy takes him to it and informs him that Mellis uses it all the time. Harrow finds negatives from the laying of the time capsule, with a frame missing. When Harrow asks Yancy if she has any idea where Mellis may have put the missing frame, Mellis announces her appearance by saying Yancy wouldn’t know. After a passive-aggressive exchange between them and Mellis kissing Harrow on the cheek, Harrow leaves, swabbing Mellis’ lipstick to compare it to the lipstick on Peek’s cheek.

Harrow tells Nichols about the lipstick and he asks Harrow whether he could prove that the lipstick on his cheek matches the one found on Peek, Harrow says no but that Peek had dark room chemicals on him, and there was a dark room at the Society’s headquarters. Harrow informs Nichols about the time capsule being the prize for the game and Nichols asks Harrow what he wants him to do about it. The episode then cuts to Harrow and Nichols in period costume to play in the Faro final. When they walk into the Society’s headquarters and Mellis sees them, she asks them what they’re doing here. Mellis says they’re not even members, however Harrow informs her they are members now, thanks to her establishing the website they were able to join the Society online. Harrow also informs her that there is a clause in the Society’s charter that in the event of the passing of permanent members, new members can take their place in the final. Yancy tells Mellis he is right and that they can play with her and Hogarth.

Although they initially lose to Mellis at first, Nichols wins a couple of rounds much to her chagrin. While the game is paused, Mellis gets herself and the others drinks, which includes Harrow who refused her offer. Harrow tells Nichols not to drink the beer she gave him, but he already has, and unsurprisingly it’s revealed that Mellis spiked the men’s beers. Because of this Hogarth and Nichols are out, leaving Harrow to play against Mellis.

During the final rounds, Harrow asks Mellis why she would kill over the time capsule, but she says he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Harrow tells Yancy that he believes he can bet on the order the last three cards appear and if he’s right he wins four times the bet (he read the rule book). If he’s right he’ll win the game. Harrow was right and he wins the game.

After the game ends, Mellis runs off and Harrow runs after her. He asks her again what was in the time capsule that was worth killing for. She tells him that she only wanted to win for the attention and to get the antique playing cards from the time capsule as they are collector’s items. She also tells him that she agreed that Yancy could have everything else in the time capsule and she didn’t kiss Peek. When Harrow looks at the photo of the time capsule he realises who the killer is.

He goes back into the Society’s headquarters to find Yancy staring at the time capsule. He tells her that it was her that recognised what Mellis found in the photo – an old envelope stamped with a plate 77 penny red. Harrow asks her what it’s worth, Yancy says over half-a-million. Yancy then takes a sabre from the wall and forces Harrow into a duel.

Yancy tells him that Ilic and Peek were the best players of the club so they had to go, so she baited them into a duel. She went to Peek’s basement and put the sinkers in the pistols, and all she had to worry about was Hogarth but Harrow and Nichols ruined her plans. When Harrow points out that he’s the only loose end, she tries to kill him and almost succeeds, only for Nichols to wake up and tackle her to the ground.

Yancy is arrested and before an ambulance takes Nichols to the hospital, Harrow has the time capsule unsealed, only to find the contents destroyed as the area under the concrete slab where the time capsule was placed wasn’t properly waterproofed. Nichols tells Harrow that he’s glad he didn’t lie about James, as it meant he would have had to look into other cases involving him, such as Quinn (Season 1) and Chester (Season 2).

Later, Callan catches James looking through Harrow’s work emails. After a brief and verbally aggressive confrontation, Callan goes through James’ backpack and finds an access card for a company called, SWM, with the name ‘John Rann’ on it. Meanwhile Harrow finds Tanya on his boat, Tanya somewhat apologises for keeping James from him and they kiss.

The episode ends with Callan using the SWM access card to sneak into the SWM office, where he finds a call centre of ‘employees’ remotely accessing customer computers and transferring data. Mila Zoric gets a phone call from one of her employees saying that there’s a problem, she goes onto her laptop and watches the surveillance footage of Callan sneaking into the office, slamming her laptop screen down in frustration and anger.

Overall I felt that the case of the week was interesting, with another look and lesson into a subculture, in this case, Faro. I felt that the time capsule motive and an allergy being the reason why a suspect was eliminated was brilliant writing and personally elements I’ve never seen before in a crime drama.

In regards to the James story arc, I did appreciate the explanation of Tanya being alive and well, and the interactions between her and Harrow with the exception of their kiss, which I felt was out of character for Harrow, as he hasn’t seen her for 20 years and wasn’t too far away from hooking up with Grace in the previous episode. That being said, the writers have been inconsistent with the progression of a romance between Grace and Harrow this season, to the point that I have lost interest in the possibility of a relationship between them. I also felt that Callan going to the SWM office was stupid, he should have gone to the police, especially as he was caught. Interestingly the reveal of the SWM office and what’s going on there, as well as Mila’s reaction to seeing Callan on the surveillance footage, shows that Mila isn’t innocent in this whole situation either, but whether she is the lesser of two evils remains to be seen.

On a smaller note, I wasn’t too sure what to make of Renae and Harrow briefly bonding when they were working late. As mentioned in a previous review, Renae’s appearances seem to be diminishing as the season goes on, and considering that she has been antagonistic towards Harrow in her previous interactions with him, this bonding moment seems forced, and it seems that the writers don’t know what to do with her anymore.

Overall this was a good episode, but not the season’s best.

 

Stray Observations:

Episode title translation: Alea lacta Est – The Die Has Been Cast

-Apparently Grace nearly “killed” a woman called Abigail Stock (in a verbal duel) – they were both running for debate captain.

-Apparently the autopsies of Ilic and Peek make it the first duel-related autopsies that Harrow has conducted.

-Both Harrow and Fairley know a lot about duels.

-Fairley was known as ‘Crack Shot Fairley’ in the Aldenham Secondary Air Rifle Brigade, but Harrow reminds him that was because he was shot in the arse.

-Nichols is the police precinct’s poker champion.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You’re like a failing Instagrammer, you need better followers.” (Harrow to Nichols on getting police to follow him and Tanya)
  • “You had a phone call earlier.” “You answered my phone?” “Your office has good Wi-Fi.” (Edwina-Harrow-Edwina)
  • “I feel like a chook in an oven bag.” (Nichols to Harrow on Faro attire)
  • “Well, well, the Marquis de Nichols.” (Harrow to Nichols)
  • “We’re interviewing two people at CIB now but both claim they thought they were shooting blanks. Like my ex-wife just before we had a daughter.” (Nichols on the dueling men’s’ seconds)
  • “I see satisfaction was had.” (Fairley on the duelists)
  • “I could shoot you at dawn if you like, or any time really.” (Harrow to Fairley)

 

 

Amazing Grace – Season 1, Episode 5

This episode explored stillbirth, grief and love lives.

The episode kicks off with Grace trying to bond with Eady, against Sophia’s wishes due to the impending adoption, when they hear a knock at the door. A teenage boy, Jeremy, is standing there and is revealed to be Eady’s father. Sophia invited Jeremy to meet Eady but he has arrived early.

When Grace leaves to go to work, she calls Kirk along the way, asking him if he knows Jeremy. Kirk tells her that Jeremy and Sophia have known each other since they were toddlers, and he is in disbelief over him being Eady’s father. While Kirk’s disbelief transitions into anger, Grace calms him down by pointing out the fact that they’ve already had sex and a baby, and to give them space and see what happens. Kirk decides to come up and visit them anyway.

When Grace gets to work she finds a client, Melitta, sitting on the Centre’s front steps. She is in labour but is avoiding going in as she will be hooked up to machines as she is diabetic, and is also waiting for her partner, Ferra, to arrive. She leaves Melitta to sit on the steps as she gets her some refreshments. When Grace walks into the Centre, she comes face-to-face with another client, Emily, who is due to give birth after experiencing a stillbirth 18 months earlier. As Grace was her midwife back then, she assigns Max to be her midwife with her second birth.

The arrival of Emily at the Centre leads to Grace not only torturing herself about Emily’s stillbirth but also reliving the grief of her own. While Max becomes invested in Emily’s impending birth, helping her through anxiety attacks, and staying with her while she sleeps and her estranged husband, who was unaware of the pregnancy, arrives. He is also there for her as her midwife when she gives birth to a healthy baby. While Jim is doing some minor repair work at the house on the request of a prospective buyer, he and Grace address their grief of losing Henry, and the lemon tree they buried in their backyard in his memory.

Meanwhile, Melitta eventually goes into the Centre once Ferra arrives, following a hilarious scene involving an over-the-top public display of affection between them, as well as Ferra encouraging Grace and Sasha to say things to Melitta to turn her on, as it is apparently helping her with the labour pain. Melitta goes on to have a healthy baby.

Meanwhile Sophia and Jeremy spend quality time with Eady, with Sophia revealing her adoption plans for Eady. Jeremy tells her that she can keep Eady and that they can parent her together, but Sophia says no, that she wants Eady to go to a good home. However when Sophia takes a nap, Jeremy takes Eady to meet his parents, which causes Sophia to panic and call Grace and Kirk for help. After visiting Jeremy’s cousin, Dale, who he was apparently staying with, Sophia, Grace and Kirk meet with Jeremy and his parents at the hotel where they are staying. Sophia scolds Jeremy, and Kirk and Grace awkwardly interact with Jeremy’s parents and exchange phone numbers with them.

On smaller notes, we got some comedic moments with Grace and Laney going out one night, with Laney aggressively flirting with a man (whom she eventually hooked up with at the end of the night), while his friend/wingman and Grace watch on. Another comedic highlight was Grace catching Diane and Dr. Sebastian kissing outside a nearby restaurant while she is waiting for an Uber, and playfully teasing her about it the next day. We also had a touching moment when Jonah comes to see Max at the Centre, after breaking his arm skateboarding, telling Max that he wants to live with him.

The episode ends with Grace, Kirk and Sophia at Grace’s house and Sophia receiving a text from Jeremy telling her that he wants custody of Eady.

Overall I felt that this was a solid episode. With the Max-Emily subplot the series again addresses a darker, heartbreaking and tragic aspect of pregnancy, birth and motherhood – stillbirth – with sensitivity and realism. We also see progression with the Sophia story arc – as the previous episode had Grace and Kirk finally respecting Sophia’s decision to put Eady up for adoption, another spanner had to be thrown in the works. Jeremy’s desire for custody is consistent with his behaviour throughout the episode when he told Sophia she could keep Eady and that they could parent her together, and his tenderness towards Eady.

I’m looking forwarding to see where the impending custody battle goes, especially now that we are past the halfway point of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

-There was a Love Child reunion of sorts between Sophie Bloom (Emily) and Ben O’Toole (Max), who played Viv and Pete in Love Child respectively.

-Kirk remarks that Jeremy punched above his weight with Sophia.

-Max was regarded as a “good luck charm” when he was deployed in Syria as he was tasked with looking after two badly wounded soldiers who weren’t expected to live, but went on to make a full recovery.

-Dr. Sebastian’s first name is Omar.

-Laney has a “party monster” mode.

-Apparently Max texted Sasha about an upcoming ‘sex talk’ between her, Grace and Laney, to talk about Laney’s hookup.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Ah, your cervix is so ripe.” (Grace to Melitta when Ferra asks her and Sasha to tell Melitta things that turn her on)
  • “You’ll concentrate on being nice to me and doing exactly what I say.” (Melitta to Ferra)
  • “Is he the penis father of the baby?” (Jim to Grace on Jeremy)
  • “That was the weirdest flirting I’ve ever seen.” (Grace to Laney on her argumentative flirting with a man they met when they went out the night before)
  • “My relationship skills are listening, fixing cars, I’m a great cook…I don’t mind furniture shopping actually.” (Max to Grace)
  • “If I had any news, do you think I would be desperate for yours?” (Sasha to Laney when Laney asks her if she has any ‘news’ on the hook-up front)
  • “I’m about to do a day of home visits, I don’t need sexual energy.” (Sasha to Grace on Laney giving them some of her ‘sexual energy’)

 

 

Amazing Grace – Season 1, Episode 4

This episode was all about choices.

We kick off with Kirk, Grace and Sophia going to another adoption counselling session, only for Sophia to kick them out as she intended on completing the session alone. When the counsellor tells Kirk they’ll discuss “that other matter” later, Grace asks him about it and Kirk tells her that he is looking into intra-family adoption. Grace then vents to Laney about it, telling her that if anyone should adopt Eady it should be her. Grace then tells Laney she’s going to fill out adoption paperwork herself.

Grace goes in to see one of her clients, Chloe, who is presumably with her partner, Tyrone. However when he uses the bathroom in the birthing suite Chloe’s husband, Brad, comes in. Chloe reveals that Tyrone is hers and Brad’s neighbour and she had a one night stand with Tyrone while Brad was away for work. After initially being told by Dr. Sebastian that she’d have to have a C-Section, despite wanting a natural birth, and after getting Diane’s opinion, which concurs with Grace’s, Chloe naturally gives birth to a healthy boy. While Chloe is giving birth, Tyrone is waiting outside the Birthing Centre, Max tells him that Chloe had a boy. Later, it’s revealed that the baby has a positive blood type while both Chloe and Brad have negative blood types, confirming that Tyrone is the baby’s father. Chloe tells Brad the truth and he angrily leaves the Birthing Centre, however he comes back when Chloe is being discharged, and all three of them go home together.

Meanwhile Sasha and Laney are attending to Jacinta, a walk-in apparently from Brisbane. When inconsistencies in her story appear, Laney has trouble finding her in the system, and Sasha finds an episiotomy scar (despite Jacinta stating she was having her first baby), it is eventually revealed that Jacinta is a drug addict with a High Risk Birth Alert to her name. Laney tells Sasha that Jacinta has been hopping from one hospital to another to prevent getting caught, and that she has already had two other children taken away from her. Jacinta tries to leave the Birthing Centre, however she can’t as she is in labour. When Sasha tries to comfort Jacinta, Jacinta reveals that she didn’t know her boyfriend was a drug dealer and that she’s ditched him for good. However when she does eventually give birth, she turns away from her baby, which leads to Sasha, Laney and Grace immediately turning the baby over to the authorities to be placed in foster care. Sasha breaks down in tears, with Laney comforting her, telling her that they can’t do this job alone.

In regards to the Sophia-adoption story arc, Sophia is informed by Diane of Grace’s adoption plans, as Grace asked Diane to be her reference, and Diane thought Sophia knew about her plans. When Sophia asks Grace for an explanation, Grace tells Sophia that she doesn’t want to lose her, however Sophia tells her this is the wrong way to go about it. Due to this interaction, Kirk also finds out the truth about Grace’s plans. At the end of the episode, Sophia confronts both Kirk and Grace together, pointing out the hypocrisy of both of their adoption plans, and the fact that they tried to execute their plans behind her back and without her consent. Sophia tells them that she wants Eady to grow up in a stable, loving home, with a family that wants her, and asks them to stay away from her until the adoption is finalised.

The episode ends with Kirk and Grace appearing to accept Sophia’s decision, with Kirk admitting to Grace that they weren’t their best selves, and deciding to go back to Goulburn.

Overall I felt this was a solid episode, specifically with a darker more heartbreaking look at motherhood with one mother having a baby as a result of an affair, and another giving up her baby due to her drug addiction history. Up until this episode, while birth complications have been shown, generally each baby born has been to a loving couple who wanted them, and has overall ended happily. The darker and more heartbreaking look provides an even more realistic and complex examination into pregnancy, birth and motherhood. I also appreciated the progression of the Sophia-adoption story arc, specifically Sophia putting Kirk and Grace in their place when they crossed the line without a second thought for both Sophia’s and Eady’s best interests.

 

Stray Observations:

-Diane had Grace when she was 25 years old and studying medicine.

-Sasha is from Brisbane.

-Sasha is gay.

-Grace’s and Jim’s son, Henry, would have been two years old this year.