Squinters–Season 1, Episode 3 (King of the Road)

I mentioned in my previous review that once a pilot has aired and established the premise and characters, a show can move on to establishing subplots. The previous episode established a subplot for Ned, Macca and Lukas when Lukas hit Macca with his car and subsequently went to court. This episode established a subplot for Paul and Romi.

This time, the episode kicks off with Ned and Macca, with Macca revealing that his wife, Jess, loved the open marriage idea and ended up having a sexual rampage over the weekend while Macca didn’t. Their morning car ride pretty much consisted of Macca going over the ground rules he set for his open marriage, the most hilarious being that they can’t sleep with Roosters supporters. Lukas’ morning car ride wasn’t all that thrilling, as he was going to work on his own for the first time but did have interaction with the employee counsellor, Davis, over the phone. Interestingly the civil suit wasn’t mentioned in neither Lukas’ or Macca’s drive to work or throughout the episode. This made me wonder if the writers decided to abandon this subplot or revisit it in a later episode.

Simoni and Talia’s morning car ride pretty much just consisted of them briefly discussing Talia’s supervising skills. Whilst Bridget and Mia’s car ride marked the first appearance of Bridget’s love interest, Gary (Wayne Blair). I found Gary and Bridget’s banter natural and hilarious, if not slightly cringeworthy and I hope we see more of Gary. What I found interesting was Mia’s hostility towards Gary wasn’t entirely malicious and it will be interesting to see how their relationship, if you will, progresses. Interestingly, Vijay didn’t make an appearance in this episode.

Paul and Romi’s morning car ride followed up on Romi setting Paul up with her “friend of a friend of a friend”, Carly. While the date was awful, the drunken paralympian chaos sounded fun and hilarious.

The afternoon car rides mostly revolved around the reveal that the CEO of the Kosciuszko Distribution Centre was given a massive payout and has left the company. In Ned and Macca’s afternoon car ride, Macca reveals how he truly feels about his life and that he use to work for the SAS, showing that Macca is stronger and more intelligent than he makes out to be. Ned also reveals when Macca falls asleep that he seems to be having troubles in his own marriage, however he doesn’t make it clear exactly what these troubles are.

In Lukas’ afternoon car ride, he is once again on the phone with Davis, where Davis reveals to him that due to the CEO being paid out, the offer of redundancy can be retracted, which makes him reconsider. Another interesting element to Lukas’ car ride is that he actually opens up to Davis about his unhealthy friends with benefits relationship he has with the unseen Eric. Whether Lukas is in denial or completely oblivious of this unhealthy pattern, which Davis points out to him, hasn’t been made clear.

This episode also marks the first time that the after work car rides extend beyond the 5pm commute when Paul takes a drunken Romi home after their work drinks function. Romi reveals that she was once married and her husband cheated on her and she kisses Paul. After the kiss, thinking Romi has passed out, Paul reveals that he only gave her a flyer for the carpool and Romi admits that she knew it was a fake carpool, which is where the episode ends. It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this moment in the remaining episodes, I’m hoping they won’t go with the “I don’t remember because I was drunk” cliche.

Overall this was a solid episode, especially with the developing romantic subplot between Paul and Romi. It will be interesting to see where the rest of the season goes now that we’ve reached the halfway point.

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