Now that the pilot has established the premise and characters, we can get into subplots and story arcs.
Again the episode kicks off with another 90s-ish furniture ad featuring Sando, Don and the kids when they were younger. The ad is about a “don’t be sorry sale”, which fits the episode’s name and main theme, which I’ll get to.
Another theme of the episode is the mother-son relationship between Sando and Eric, especially with the first appearance of Vic Junior (Zane Ciarma), her son with Kevin. In the first few minutes of the episode, Eric is clinging to Sando in an unhealthy and creepy way, to the point where Sando kicks him out of the pool house, and the contrast between both Eric and Vic Junior, and the relationships that Sando has with the two of them are made explicitly clear when Vic Junior shows up at the house.
When Vic Junior shows up to the house, he comes across as obnoxious as he refers to his parents by their names, however he shows his intelligence as he points out to Susie that he didn’t do anything wrong and neither did she and that they were two innocent bystanders in the Sando-Kevin situation. Interestingly, after this interaction it is revealed to the viewers that Susie felt hostility towards Vic Junior and she herself admits that now she has met him she not only likes him, but likes him more than Eric. While Eric is immediately jealous of Vic Junior and Sando’s bond from the moment he shows up, especially when he witnesses their weekly ritual of watching Canterbury Bulldogs games whilst wearing personalised Bulldogs shirts.
Vic Junior is not the only character from the past that makes an appearance, Kevin makes a reappearance as well. With his reappearance it is revealed that he and Sando are not together and unlike Sando, he sincerely apologises to Susie and she in turn forgives him. Now that Susie has forgiven him and has met and likes Vic Junior, and she is starting to show some selfish qualities similar to Sando’s, it will be interesting to see where her character development goes over the course of the season.
I felt that the kidnapping jokes after Eric left Vic Junior at the movies fell a little flat, but was nevertheless written well as Eric’s decision to leave and then change his mind, and Vic Junior’s choice to call an Uber home and mess with Eric’s head was true to both their characters. Vic Junior said Eric would pay for his actions but doesn’t specify how, I’m looking forward to seeing their bond grow and if it doesn’t, how Vic Junior will get his revenge.
The end of the episode provided not slapstick comedy so much, but more of an outlandish joke with Sando making a film starring Sigrid Thornton to apologise to Susie. While I love Sigrid Thornton, I felt that this joke fell flat. That being said the film led to a significant moment between Susie and Sando, as Sando calls Susie out on her unwillingness to forgive her for her actions, especially as while they were unacceptable, they did provide Susie with the opportunity to find a man better suited to her. After this, there seems to be hope at the end of the episode of the start of a reconciliation only for Sando’s selfishness to get the better of her again, which brings her back to square one.
Overall this episode was an improvement on the pilot with increased character development and decreased slapstick comedic moments and outlandish jokes.
Running gags: “belt broken” as a reason/excuse to have sex, Don and Nicky having sex in confined spaces, and Don and Nicky using peanut butter while they have sex.
-Sando’s son is named Vic Junior, yet his father’s name is Kevin.
-Sando’s and Vic Junior’s laughs are identical.
Best one liners:
- “I’m allergic to confrontation” (Gary).
- “Not bad, I definitely heard some regret” (Gary to Susie on Sando’s attempt at apologising).
- “I’ve got to do everything in this house! Answer the door, drink all the wine…” (Sando).
- “Rivers, oceans, Don’s throbbing….” (Nicky to herself, trying to keep calm and focused).