Refreshingly, this episode had three subplots and didn’t put the Quinn subplot front and centre.
The episode kicks off with a rower discovering the body of a young fellow rower, Rhys Weir (Earl John) who has seemingly slipped and hit his head on the pier, but of course it’s not that easy. We are given the all-too obvious red herring of Rhys being on the receiving end of a nasty comment on Instagram after unintentionally breaking his school’s 8-year winning streak in the scull, just before the reveal that Rhys was openly gay. While the case feels garden variety at first with obvious red herrings being dealt with, the discovery of Rhys’ seminal plasma hypersensitivity, or semen allergy, made it interesting.
While it was clear that one of his best mates, Ash (Jon Prasida), Luke (Jack Stratton-Smith) who wrote the nasty comment on Instagram, or Sean (Joe Klocek) was involved in his murder, there was still the matter of finding out who. While Luke seemed like the obvious choice due to his nasty comment and reluctance to co-operate when Saroya and Harrow questioned them, it became clear from the moment his father, Julian (Ben Wood) nastily shut them down that it became obvious that was Sean was involved somehow.
When Simon and Harrow discover that Rhys didn’t hit his head at the pier, but at the water feature at the Paulson’s home, Sean folds and tells the truth. The tension between Sean and Julian as Sean confessed and Julian tried to stop him, looking as though he was about to blow at any moment, was played out beautifully, especially by Klocek, he has a bright future ahead of him.
However the highlight of the episode comes when Julian tries to attack Sean when he confesses that Julian was ultimately responsible, and Simon defends him. In this moment, a major amount of character development with Simon is shown in a brief and subtle moment and Hii’s performance in it was brilliant. We find out that Simon can defend himself because he had to and he laments that the world hasn’t changed all that much in regards to accepting homosexuality. I’m hoping in the remaining two episodes there is a little more character development with Simon as he spends most of his time alternating between being Harrow’s and Fairley’s sidekick.
Meanwhile, there was a lot of action on the Robert Quinn front. Quinn’s skull was found at the bottom of the river, Nichols had Stephanie under surveillance, Stephanie’s home was searched after Saroya admits to seeing her with Quinn’s wedding ring, and Saroya asked Fern questions when they ran into each other on Harrow’s yacht, which also marks their first interaction. Just when I thought this episode actually wouldn’t be giving the viewers any cookie crumbs, especially when Harrow managed to prevent Saroya from discovering his missing surgical pliers, we are given one at the end of the episode when it’s revealed that Stephanie was in hospital on the day Quinn disappeared, and that Fern slashed the right side tyres on Quinn’s car. Although the Quinn subplot was dispersed well throughout the episode, I felt that these reveals were rushed due to the fact that there are only two episodes of the season remaining.
Another highlight of the episode was the Maxine subplot. At the beginning of the episode we see her autopsy skills on display and she herself reveals to Harrow that it’s the first one she has done in 7 years, and we also see her managerial backbone in play as she puts Fairley in his place. We also see Nichols’ romantic side when he leaves Maxine a message and proposes to her at the end of the episode. Sadly, I see their romance ending as Maxine didn’t inform Nichols of her job offer to begin with and laughed at his proposal, that being said I’m hoping I’m wrong.
Overall this was one of the best episodes of Harrow with a strong and heartbreaking case of the week, strong emotional performances by Klocek and Hii, and plenty of reveals in the Quinn subplot to keep the viewers in suspense for the upcoming penultimate and finale episodes.