This episode was solid with a lot of revelations and twists.
A highlight for me was the subplot revolving around Patricia and her mother. Both Harriet Dyer’s and Lucy Bell’s performances were spectacular. From the awkwardness of first seeing each other, to Patricia getting her hopes up only to have them taken away, to the inevitable but powerful confrontation between them at the end of the episode. I especially loved the first glimpse of Patricia as a fiery and strong character. I believe she’s one of those people who’s soft on the outside but tough on the inside, I hope this isn’t the only glimpse of this quality within her. I also appreciated Bell’s performance of the concerned mother, showing an insight into what some of the parents, particularly mothers, must have felt when they sent their daughters off to these homes in this era.
I’m loving the slow build up of Joan’s rebellion against the system. So far Joan has voiced her disgust at the system, in this episode she has finally stated outright that she believes the system needs to change. Despite the fact that I agree with her, she does the step over the line several times by snooping in Carol’s office and by blackmailing Carol into giving Annie a fair go (interesting and brilliant choice).
The revelation of the reason behind Joan’s relationship breakdown and her return to Sydney was subtle and well-done. Jessica Marais plays the shocked and subsequently drunk wronged woman well, I also found Patrick’s reaction to her revelation interesting, considering his actions re Annie’s baby.
Another highlight of the episode was Johnny getting high, painted and streaking in the beginning and Matron chasing him away with a broom.
Gracie Gilbert’s performance was spectacular again with her finding happiness while taking action to turn her life around, as well as portraying realistic devastation at the news of her baby’s “death.” I wonder how many mothers in the real world were told this news during the forced adoption era?
Overall a solid episode with a hell of a twist at the end.