This week I’m quite happy to eat my words from last week’s review–this episode was incredible.
Usually I write my reviews by plot, but for the second time, due to the intensity of the episode, I’m going to write this review by character.
Joan and Lawrence–Not a fan of their romance due to the speed at which it’s moving and the fact that it’s really undermining a season-and-a-half by pushing Jim out of the viewer’s minds completely. I did enjoy Lawrence slowly being revealed as a bit controlling of Joan and trying to decide what’s best for her, especially with Andrew calling him out on it. I’m relieved that Joan didn’t accept Lawrence’s proposal, not only because I’m not a fan of the plot but also because I believe it undermines her independent and progressive character. I did appreciate the continuity of Lawrence’s child with his former wife by revealing that he has a son, something I mentioned in my previous review.
Andrew and Jennifer–This subplot worried me a little at first, I was worried that Andrew would turn out to be the father of Jennifer’s (his best friend’s wife) baby, because how many times have we seen that cliche unfold. Thankfully I was wrong and Andrew’s feelings towards Jennifer were survivor guilt rather than unrequited love, which again would be another cliche. Jennifer naming Andrew as her baby’s godfather was a nice ending to this subplot.
Debbie, Alan, Elena and Rita–I didn’t see the twist of Alan and his wife (forgive me I can’t remember her name) adopting Debbie’s baby coming. It’s a slightly disturbing twist, but a genius one. Sophia Forrest’s acting was absolutely incredible and she has a hell of a range going from heartbroken, to drunk and heartbroken, to scared and to heartbroken again, in the space of a few scenes. The concern and love for Debbie from Elena and Rita was perfectly portrayed, and as much as my heart broke for Debbie, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next chapter of her life will bring.
Viv and Matron–I knew last week that Viv would be the character leaving, the people who do the promos make these kind of things too obvious. That being said, considering that the three girls are too new to leave, Matron and Joan are too crucial to the show to go without, Martha and Simon are settled in their lives, and most of the original cast have already departed, it only made sense if Viv left. It didn’t surprise me that Viv left to travel the world as it’s true to her character, a character that I feel lost her spark this season. I’m happy that like with Patty, the writers at least gave Viv a proper departure, especially as she was the first character the viewers ever saw. I enjoyed the subtle references to Matron’s sadness over Viv leaving, again as it’s true to her character and their relationship. I especially loved the moment Viv quit, as the sheets she was holding was a great metaphorical torch hand over to Rita, who was clearly being set up to be her replacement. With Viv now gone, Martha is the only remaining original Stanton House girl, something Martha points out herself. Martha pointing out that she’s the only remaining original Stanton House girl is probably the only closure that the viewers will get on Annie’s and Shirley’s departure.
Martha and Simon–Barely used in this episode, but considering that the previous two episodes were about them and as much as I love them, it’s only fair.
Overall this episode was incredible and a huge improvement on last week. I’m looking forward to reviewing the remaining two episodes of the season, especially as it finally re-addresses the baby switching story arc, which I thought had been completely abandoned. I can’t wait to find out how this season will wrap up and whether they’ll be another one.