In all honesty, I made my mind up about this episode about halfway through, I wasn’t a fan and the writers have dropped the ball and I’ll tell you why.
First and foremost is the reveal that Hugh’s ex-wife, Harriet (Genevieve Hegney), is pregnant with his child. When the promos said this would be the biggest baby drama they really oversold it as it didn’t surprise me and it wasn’t as serious a drama as Hayley’s.
It’s obvious the writers have brought Harriet back, complete with a pregnancy, as an obstacle to keep Penny and Hugh apart as their sexual tension has broken. Harriet giving Hugh the option of being a part of the child’s life or having nothing to do with them and only being referred to as a sperm donor, was both ridiculous and true to her character. While Hugh was clearly struggling with the moral dilemma, it was obvious that he was going to pick the easy option, tell Penny who would then break up with him, and then change his mind, While inserting Harriet and her unborn baby as an obstacle may be necessary to keep the Hugh and Penny story arc interesting, I feel it was an unrealistic one.
Adding on to this point, the second way the writers dropped the ball was by having Hugh having casual sex again with the pharmaceutical sales rep that has appeared at least once in both seasons. Considering the fact that the writers decided to break the sexual tension between Hugh and Penny, and how devoted Hugh has been to Penny, it actually seemed out of character for him to hookup with the rep for the first time in a while.
As casting is not on the writers, I feel the producers dropped the ball by casting Vince Colosimo as Charlie’s father, Carlito, not because of his acting but because of his age. Colosimo is only fifteen years older then da Silva so I personally didn’t find it believable that he could be Charlie’s father. Despite this, Colosimo performed brilliantly as his character provided much needed comic relief. His character is a disaster magnet, which I loved, however I felt that Ivy and his issues with Ivy’s mother, Vanessa, didn’t add anything to the episode. However considering the father-daughter chemistry between Colosimo and da Silva, and the fact that Colosimo would steal every scene he was in, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Carlito and the trouble he’ll cause.
Despite my criticisms of the writing of this episode, the writers definitely didn’t go wrong with the Hayley subplot. While it seemed obvious that Hayley was suffering from post-natal depression, it’s later revealed that she fears God is punishing her and the baby, as her pregnancy is the result one of hers and Ajax’s pre-marital sex sessions. The scene where Hugh gently sets her straight was subtle and fantastic, not to mention I always enjoy their interactions as father-in-law and daughter-in-law, especially as they are both similar in their approach with Ajax, albeit Hayley is more gentle.
On smaller notes, Meryl’s grief has extended to donating Jim’s clothes to charity, only to have to painfully deal with the ramifications of seeing men who look like Jim all over town wearing his clothes. I felt this was very realistic and handled with a great amount of sensitivity. Also the Knight Cartwright Cardiac Research Clinic finally opened, which was only briefly touched on, but I’m hoping will be present and used in later episodes.
Overall I felt this episode was a hit-and-miss and took a left turn from the previous two episodes, I’m hoping the writers got back on track with the rest of the season.
-Dora sighting: At the glamping site again.
Hospital drama: Hugh and Penny attending to a man impaled on a fence after falling off a horse. This is also the first hospital drama of the season.
-Charlie is now principal of the school she works at.
-It has been two years since Charlie saw Carlito.
-Apparently Charlie has Portuguese ancestry on her father’s side.
-Betty is still leading the Whyhope AA meetings and is the first to find out about Harriet’s pregnancy and finds herself in a moral dilemma.
Best one liners and interactions:
Like last week’s episode, this one also had some great interactions as well as one liners.
- “What if it’s porn?” “Better still” (Hugh-Betty on the USB Hugh received in the mail from Harriet)
- “Needy Hugh….weird, but okay.” (The pharmaceutical sales rep to Hugh)
- “From the moment they’re born we start to fail” (Meryl to Carlito)
- “You’re Hugh Knight, why would you change?” (Harriet)
- “I don’t know whether to congratulate you for getting out of bed or tell you off for scaring us all afternoon” (Mia to Hayley)