This episode was purely about Mark’s parents visiting to build up to the impending reveal that Mark is apparently adopted or not his “father”, Bernie’s, son. Although the reveal didn’t happen in this episode, thanks to the ads, we know it’s coming. I wasn’t really sympathetic towards Liz, although I feel she was the most honest and interesting character in the episode. I’m not supposed to feel sympathetic towards her as that’s how she’s written, but nevertheless it was interesting to see someone point out Abi’s selfish behaviour and flaws, especially by someone who is exactly like that themselves. It was even more interesting for her to point out how much of a pushover Mark is and that of all people, the domineering Lewis was the one to defend Mark and told him to stand up for himself.
I saw Bernie’s death coming, at first glance during the dance scene I thought Liz was going to die but Bernie dying is more dramatic and logical (writing wise), as he is the more sympathetic character. The reveal of Bernie having been a cross dresser was unexpected, I didn’t really understand the purpose of this reveal or to make it a part of Bernie’s character, but maybe it will be addressed when Mark tries to find out who his father is in future episodes.
The mystery and apparent dubiousness of Sheridan’s character, Nick, was only briefly touched upon in this episode but was mainly pushed aside for the A story of Mark’s parents showing up. I did enjoy the contrast between Nick’s unconditional encouragement towards Justin’s career goals and Lewis’ domineering and jealous nature. The truth of Nick’s character, including his arrangement with his “friend” and his gambling are yet to be revealed and I’m looking forward to it all being explained and revealed, I’m just hoping the writers don’t drag it out. I also enjoyed the glimpses of Rachel’s humanity when she was dealing with her inadvertent self-inflicted food poisoning and Nick’s caring behaviour towards her. I hope the writers show more of her softer side, I know the bitchiness is a staple of her character but since they’ve made her a regular but not leading cast member, they need to develop her character more, and slowly but surely showing her softer side is a solid way to do it.
Overall I felt that this episode was a bit clunky–it was overfilled with drama and the transitions and interweaving of the A and B story was off-putting instead of seamless. Having the arrival of new characters with the death of one of them, a birthday party, conflict and dubious characters, was a bit too much drama for one episode. That being said I have the feeling the episode was written like this, as a filler, to provide a foundation for the next few episodes.
Delta Goodrem’s character still hasn’t been introduced, considering the heavy promotion of her addition to the cast, I hope the writers don’t drag out her introduction either.