Another solid episode. however for an episode that is marking the halfway point of the first season, it seemed a little flat, like a filler.
The performances between Jonathon LaPaglia, Maya Stange and Jessica Marais, throughout the Rose subplot were brilliant. Jonathon LaPaglia’s performance as the new father trying to reassure Eva that she was a good mother was sweet and interesting, considering their parenthood circumstances. Maya Stange’s performance as the terrified new mother to an adopted child was realistic and well done and Jessica Marais’ performance as the sympathetic midwife was also spot on. I felt that the scene not only played out the situation almost-realistically (minus a few points for Patrick’s absence to find out family history from Annie), but also subtlely referenced rather than stating outright, the clear love triangle they are all in. The revelation that Eva and Patrick had a baby who died was surprising and also partially explains Patrick’s motives.
The Martha and Mr Wilder subplot was the best plot in the episode. The plot was intense, expanded on Martha’s character by establishing her background and the circumstances of her pregnancy. The revelation of Martha’s rape wasn’t a surprise as it was fairly obvious, but the tension between Martha, Matron and Wilder was played out incredibly well and redeemed the lack of surprise from the rape revelation.
I did enjoy the Viv and Bernie subplot. It was interesting to see the reveal of another one of her family members. Her parents drugged her and sent her away, her brother is on her side, albeit unsympathetic at first, sweet and ultimately hypocritical when his own secret comes out. However the clear difference between her brother and their parents is her brother’s ability to take responsibility for his actions and family and inevitably leave. I loved the irony of their childish plan to run away together and equally loved when they changed their minds and took responsibility for their actions. Their final and brief scene together at the end of the episode was incredibly sweet.
Brief highlights of the episode that also need to be mentioned are signs of Matron’s humanity in the way she dealt with both Viv and Martha, Matron’s mysterious outings and the cocktail party. These brief highlights balance out the seriousness of the subplots perfectly.
Overall a solid episode and while it is clearly a filler, it’s still a good set up for the second half of the season.