After last week’s heartbreaking episode, it was nice for this episode to be on a slightly lighter side.
I did appreciate the focus on Elena and Martha this week rather than having Joan front and centre. I did appreciate that Joan’s grief was touched upon but kept in the background, especially as it’s not very often that the show has episodes revolve around secondary major players.
The A story of the father of Elena’s child, Ed (Travis Jeffery) appearing was solid and inevitable. Generally the boys/men who get the Stanton House girls pregnant are immature or just plain jerks, so it was refreshing to see Ed genuinely care about Elena and their baby. Not to mention it was nice to see Elena’s happier side after the stress she has endured.
Ed’s effort to win a fight to pay off Elena’s family’s “debt” was a bit of cliche, of course he was going to win and of course him and Elena weren’t going to get their happily ever after, but I’ll get to that.
I actually felt that the B story of Martha and Simon’s dinner party was stronger than the A story. Martha’s efforts to be the perfect housewife were adorable, not to mention it shows how far she has progressed as a character. I found Katrina Retallick’s cameo as Margaret Fulton hilarious, but also a little odd, especially as it was Love Child‘s first attempt at incorporating a fantasy element into their plots.
Just like with Ed’s fight, I found Martha telling Simon that she’s on the pill just as the dinner party starts and the subsequent tension that follows to be quite cliche, however the tension was played beautifully and Andrew Ryan portrays a drunk and wronged husband, alternating between being cringeworthy and funny, perfectly.
This episode took a little bit of a dark turn towards the end from the moment that the dinner party ended. I’m interested to see how the consequences of the fight between Martha and Simon, especially on Simon’s end, play out in further episodes, or whether it will be forgotten completely with the added drama of Simon hitting Ed with his car. I felt that moment perfectly tied both the stories together and will be a great, dramatic story arc for the remainder of the season.
On smaller notes, I found Joan’s breakdown with Andrew assisting her and Joan kissing him in return, to be reminiscent of when Patrick helped Joan into bed after getting drunk at a work party back in season 1. While I do appreciate these subtle moments, I also think it’s best to leave past plots in the past and focus on improving the continuity in the present plots. For anyone keeping score on the sloppy timeline of this season, two weeks have passed since baby Laura’s death, and Simon and Martha have been married for almost a year therefore the season 3 finale was set almost a year ago.
I also loved seeing inside Simon and Martha’s house, which I’m sure will provide a nice dose nostalgia to viewers who grew up in the 70s. I also appreciated the subtle moments which displayed character development such as Elena’s English clearly improving, Elena giving Martha an apron, and Debbie comforting Elena in the middle of the night when Ed didn’t show up.
The episode ending with the ambulance arriving to treat Ed was a great underplayed cliffhanger as his fate hasn’t been revealed. I personally thought Simon killed him but I hope I’m wrong, especially as the season has already had two deaths, another one isn’t necessary as the season is dark enough already.
Overall it was a great episode and it will be a great spring board for the remainder of the season.