This episode felt completely different to the previous two and I think it was due to the amount of character development.
This episode provided major character development with Hayley and Charlie. With Hayley we learn that she was adopted like Ajax, meet her parents, and see where her religious beliefs and pressures come from. With Charlie, we learn that she wrote a book years ago about the Knight family hidden in sci-fi metaphors.
What I loved about these developments is the fact that they enabled Hayley and Charlie to become more rounded characters. There is finally more to them than being love interests of the Knight men. In this episode we get an insight into Hayley’s life as she grew up and why she is struggling with both the electoral fraud and losing her virginity to Ajax. The fact that Meryl knows she has lost her virginity but her own mother doesn’t, provides a subtle but strong contrast, between the two mothers and families. Hayley confiding in her mother that as she’s getting older it’s harder to know what the right thing to do is, perfectly sums up Hayley’s character at this point in time and the situations she’s in. Her breakdown over the electoral fraud was well performed by Bayliss, with a great pay off of Tugger catching her and Meryl in the act of trying to hide the ballots again. I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of the electoral fraud story arc in future episodes.
I loved the writers’ choice to have Charlie’s book appear to be badly written because Matt didn’t enjoy it, when in reality it was good and Matt thought it was bad as he didn’t grasp the metaphors. The running gag of the book making its way to each Knight family member (with the exception of Hugh) was hilarious. I felt Matt publishing the book online was the perfect outcome as it was true to his character and I hope it’s not the last we hear or see of it.
Meanwhile Penny has returned but surprisingly Nora hasn’t actually left yet. I honestly thought her departure was in the previous episode but I was wrong. I loved the writers’ choice to throw in another plot twist through the reveal that Nora was dealing Oxycodone to Gus, as he would be the last person you’d suspect of being addicted to drugs. I would have liked the reasons behind his addiction to have been addressed, but considering the reason for this twist was to provide another obstacle, to eventually finding another way to get rid of Nora, I’ll give it a small pass. I found the outcome of getting rid of Nora by scaring her into thinking that Gus died of an overdose unsatisfying, but as she’s finally gone, I’ll eventually forgive it.
On smaller notes, Hugh is living in the unused section of the hospital and even buys a sauna for his own use, which perfectly leads to the hospital blackout. The pay off of the sauna at the end of the episode by Ken using it to help the Lupus patient was hilarious and perfectly executed. Hugh has also come up with the idea of designing a stent in the shape of helix as another project for him and Trevor, after their artificial heart transplant failed, during another hook up with Kimberley of all times. That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing the stent development in future episodes.
Overall this episode was a big improvement over the previous two and provided interesting, as well as much needed character development.
–Hospital Drama: The Lupus patient, the crush syndrome patient, the blackout and Nora dealing Oxycodone to Gus.
–Dora sighting: I think in the background at Matt and Charlie’s place when they were discussing Charlie’s book.
–Throwbacks to season one: The running gag of Penny following Floyd while he was on his way to school, and the reappearance of Gus.
–Best one liners:
- “Can it be the right decision and still be a mistake?” (Penny to Betty on moving back to Whyhope) (N.B. I haven’t quoted this line exactly right)
- “We should have just let her die, hey?” (Mia on Nora upon discovering that the latter has given the hospital a new set of problems)
-Ajax is smarter than he lets on as he was capable of clearly explaining the metaphors in Charlie’s book to an oblivious Matt.
-Apparently Betty had a long-distance relationship with a man in Bulgaria.
-Apparently Ajax wants to have three children with Hayley.
-Hugh’s LED display clock counting down the end of his probation is hilarious.