I emphasised in my review of last week’s episode that the episode revolved around character development, this week’s episode revolved around plot/story arc development.
This week’s episode was split into A, B and C stories. The A story being Ajax’s work experience at the hospital, the B story being the recount of the council election ballots, and the C story being who would inherit the Knight family farm after Jim passes.
The A story provided solid hospital drama starting with the fatal plane crash, which lead to revelation of how the hospital handles dead bodies when it lacks a morgue, to Brian’s death. The most interesting part about this story was the fact that we are seeing the hospital from a different perspective, we are seeing it from Ajax’s eyes–a sweet, innocent and idealistic teenager. I also enjoyed the character development between Ajax and Hugh, as Ajax’s experiences with death at the hospital led to his unresolved issues with Hugh and his mother’s death coming to the surface. The ending of this story and the episode with Betty helping Ajax spiritually deal with his issues regarding death was perfect and incredibly sweet.
The B story of the recount of the council election ballots added much needed comic relief and balance to the episode. While there were some serious moments with Rod’s ill health, it was mostly comic with “Why Throat” revealed to be Rod’s own wife, and Rod and Meryl’s chuckling encounter on the street. This story arc is clearly far from over despite the fact that Meryl legitimately won, as Tugger shows the footage of Hayley tipping off the police to Meryl and subsequently reveals she is leaving, and that a tough city cop will be replacing her and investigating Meryl. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story arc will progress.
The C story of the conflict between Matt, Charlie, Meryl and Jim, over who will inherit the farm when Jim passes away was understated but also underwhelming. The promos made it out to be this big drama, when in reality it was a brief conflict that was glazed over. The reveal of the “tradition” being the “eldest son of the eldest son” inheriting the farm, which means that it will go to Hugh, so it goes to Ajax and Hayley, so they have a secure future, was unexpected but also made sense. While the glamping scenery was interesting and aesthetically pleasing, I didn’t really feel it added all that much to the episode, and the reveal of Jac having ulterior journalistic motives was predictable.
On smaller notes, the Hugh-Penny-Toke love triangle was subtly addressed with a hilarious fight scene and a solid hospital scene. Despite the tension, the three of them actually make a great medical team, and I loved that Penny would prefer to see them fighting than fawning over each other.
Overall this was a solid episode with concise and well-paced writing, and superb performances by the entire cast, especially Matt Castley (Ajax) and Patrick Wilson (Rod).
–Hospital Drama: The plane crash, the death of Brian, and Rod’s emergency heart surgery.
–Dora sighting: At the glamping site when Matt and Jim are talking about who inherits the farm.
–Throwbacks to season one: Penny’s and Hugh’s mutual fear of flying.
-Penny and Hugh sedating each other to get through the flight back to Whyhope was hilariously cute.
-The Whyhope Hospital lacking a morgue and the subsequent fridge jokes and moments, provides another glimpse into the realities of rural medicine.
-Mia finally kissed Ken.
-Apparently Charlie’s maiden name was Priera.
-Charlie’s book has another fan in Jac.
–Best one liners:
- “Hey, that’s my badminton arm!” (Floyd to Hugh)