I’m honestly not sure if this is the first part of the finale or Channel 9 is saying it is to justify their choice to squeeze out the last four episodes of this season over two weeks rather than the usual four weeks, for some unknown reason (presumably to cater to yet another tired ‘reality show’). For the sake of the review, I will go with it and I believe that this was a good first part to what looks like another gripping season finale.
I say good, but not brilliant, to me it felt like a filler to lead up to the dramatic finale, but it was well done. The writers’ have eased up on the quantity of plots by focusing on three big ones: The birth of Annie and Chris’ baby, Bowditch buying a house and Eva’s pregnancy.
I honestly didn’t see the birth of Annie and Chris’ baby coming, which was a nice surprise. Due to reading a TV Guide blurb, I saw the complications from the protest coming, which again was a direct response of Annie being irresponsible (seriously enough already!). That being said it lead to great moments between Matron, Chris and Annie. I’ve enjoyed watching Matron and Chris bond throughout the season, even more so in this episode now that the baby boy has been born. I thought it was a nice touch for Matron to give Chris his father’s stuff to pass on to his son (I actually thought she was giving him a family engagement ring for Annie) and Chris is clearly taking fatherhood seriously. I hope that Annie becomes more responsible now that she has two children, despite McNaughton’s drunken comment being inappropriate, he definitely wasn’t wrong. I loved Matron assisting in the birth and the ending with the Polaroid photo, which tied in nicely with Martha’s wedding subplot.
Bowditch’s choice to buy a house wasn’t that surprising, it’s a natural progression in his relationship with Martha, that being said I enjoyed this subplot. I enjoyed Bowditch having to face reality of housing affordability and found his complaint on housing affordability hilarious, considering today’s property prices. I saw his dilemma of being suspended and his mortgage coming, however I’m glad that it was resolved and loved the ending with Martha excitedly running around the house like a hyperactive kid. Martha having another driving lesson to end up in front of the house was a nice touch and a nice continuation of a great running gag.
Eva’s pregnancy subplot was quite complex and frustrated me in a lot of ways. They’ve had Eva experience joy, complications and now the mixed blessing of triplets that she may never have. I’m not sure of the writers’ purpose of this added curveball in this subplot, whether it’s to increase the tension between McNaughton and Joan or to open up the subplot for next season, I’m just not sure. I thoroughly enjoyed the argument between Joan and McNaughton purely because it was ugly, filled with tension and yet they both made valid points, so it was hard to know who to side with. I felt that Joan inadvertently revealing to McNaughton that he’s the father of the babies was a little too convenient, Joan is much smarter than that, I think it’s purely because of the impending finale. I didn’t see the point of having Bowditch and Joan suspended for any other reason other than to be a springboard for Joan and McNaughton’s argument and Bowditch’s dilemma. I was definitely glad that the suspension was eventually and inevitably lifted, especially by none other than Love Child‘s resident blackmailer, Matron, although like the last time she blackmailed someone, it is forgivable. By the way, I’m also happy that the writers’ finally cleared up whether Matron stayed on the Hospital Board (of course she did!). This subplot is yet to be resolved, so it will be interesting to see if it is for the finale or if the writers’ are leaving it open.
On another note, another piece of the Shirley and Maggie jigsaw has fallen into place, with Shirley making the lovely but unsurprising decision to become Maggie’s guardian, she’s almost come full circle with her. I also thoroughly enjoyed Matron’s softer side showing with the birth of her grandson, subtly telling Bowditch to tell Martha the truth about his suspension, recommending a priest for Martha and Bowditch’s wedding therefore giving her approval of their impending marriage and her joking about Shirley becoming a grandmother at 30 (interestingly Chris being Matron’s son seems to be common knowledge now).
This week’s running gag was the Polaroid camera/wedding present and this week’s historical reference was the news of tenants moving into the World Trade Center, which places the timeline of Love Child in mid-December 1970.
Overall, this episode was a great filler for what I’m sure will be a greater finale. I’m yet to hear or see confirmation of a fourth season, fingers crossed, we need more Australian dramas rather than ‘reality shows’.