This is the first episode that I’ve actually enjoyed this season.
While the previous three episodes weren’t bad, I feel that they have fallen flat and been a bit underwhelming.
Inevitably this episode was going to focus on the fallout of the revelation that Bernie wasn’t Mark’s biological father and that Mark would subsequently look for him. I felt that the door knocking was hilarious but a cliche. I also felt that it was a bit of a cliche to have Mark meet his biological father in bizarre and almost slapstick circumstances, that being said I liked that William turned out to be a kind man. Considering the circumstances, he could have gone either way. I felt that the plot overall was unrealistic, especially the ending, however they are times when you watch a TV show where you know certain plots would never happen in reality but it’s so good that you can live with that…this is one of those plots. Considering the heavy promotion of this plot and its dramatic reveal, I’m hoping this isn’t the end of it, otherwise it all would have been a total waste. I did appreciate the subtle reference to last season’s story arc of Justin discovering he’s not Angie’s biological father, as ridiculous as that arc was it’s good to know that the writers aren’t pretending that it doesn’t exist.
I felt that the Rafiq subplot was predictable, it was obvious that he’s wanting to become a professional AFL player for mostly the wrong reasons and that the outcome of him not being selected was inevitable. I felt that Justin constantly putting Rafiq in his place was getting tired due to the repetitive nature of having to do so, however I didn’t see him hitting Angie with his car coming until the last minute, which I appreciated. As soon as I saw it happen, I had flashbacks to Nicola’s death in season 2 and I questioned whether this “flashback” or sense of deja vu was a deliberate choice by the writers, or whether they chose to do this purely because a little girl being hit by a car by her uncle is dramatic. The outcome was obvious as this isn’t the kind of show that would kill off a child the same way that they killed her mother, nevertheless it was the necessary and cliche motivation for Justin to kick Rafiq out of his life, or at least for now, so Rafiq’s character (hopefully) develops further.
While I’m looking forward to seeing how Mark, Rachel, Lewis and Nick work as business partners, I wasn’t sold on kids jamming sessions as a business idea itself, as well as Mark and Rachel working together again. We’ve seen Mark and Rachel work together disastrously before, I feel that the only way that their working relationship won’t grow tired again is if their working relationship actually changes for the better, especially on Rachel’s end. That being said as the writers are developing Rachel more as a softer character, it’s definitely possible. It will certainly be interesting to watch over the next few episodes. On a smaller note, it’s good to see Nick and Lewis getting along and the reveal of why Nick is constantly looking after an unknown woman and her child.
I also enjoyed the smaller subplot of Gemma and Abi working together at the hospital. So far I’ve felt that this subplot has been underused but not necessarily in a bad way. Yes there needs to be more time devoted to it, however I like the writers choice to feed it to us viewers in small pieces. In this episode we are lead to believe that Abi is intimidated by and jealous of Gemma’s abilities and just when we think she is being bitchy, it turns out she couldn’t be further from it. I have mentioned in multiple reviews of the show that I view Abi as a selfish character and I’ve also acknowledged that there have been plenty of times where she has been selfless, but this is the first time I can recall where the writers make it look like she is being selfish where it turns out she’s actually being selfless. I think that this is a great move and further shows the evolution of Gemma and Abi’s relationship as colleagues and as friends, and the tightrope that they are currently walking on.
As I said the previous three episodes have fallen flat and have been a bit underwhelming, I feel that this episode was entirely different as the writing was solid, and all of the subplots interweaved well but also stood strong on their own. I hope that the writers utilise this strategy more often, especially as they managed to write such a strong episode without using their tired “go-to move” of using in media res.
On another note, Delta Goodrem’s character still hasn’t been introduced which is now starting to annoy me. The previous seasons of House Husbands have usually been either 10 or 13 episodes each, the fact that we are nearing the halfway point and a major cast addition still hasn’t be introduced is a little concerning, however I have feeling that she will be introduced for a major story arc for the second half of the season.
I may be wrong but I’m certainly looking forward to finding out.