Like with the previous reviews, I’ll be going character by character.
Ken, Darren and Betty—The most standout aspect of this episode was finally having a somewhat major focus on the supporting characters. Ken’s jealously of Darren as he was appearing to be flirting with Mia was hilarious and showed some great character development. While I wasn’t surprised that Darren was attracted to Betty and not Mia, it wasn’t until my second viewing of the episode that it was more obvious as Betty was always with Darren and Mia in every scene, which was a fantastic, subtle way of providing the viewer with hints. While Ken’s jealousy was hilarious and showed great development, the writers still managed to keep him in character, especially when he confronts Darren and admits he has no ownership over Mia.
Hugh, Penny and Ron—Their subplot started off on a few hilarious notes with Penny having to deal with a hangover and a perceptive Floyd, and her and Hugh walking in the office in their respective pains. Hugh going about his daily routine with Ron wheeling him around on a gurney was hilarious. The contrast between Hugh having to deal with “Ginger the whinger” and her constant complaining and Ron keeping his silence on his own health issue was remarkable. Ginger’s complaint to APRA was mentioned once and Ron’s amputation stole the show towards the end of the episode and illustrated a low point for Penny as she vomited during the surgery.
Meanwhile Penny’s drinking to get over her heartache has reached such a low point that not only is she vomiting during Ron’s surgery, it is affecting her parenting skills and professionalism. Penny herself points this out to Hugh and says she can’t do it anymore, however she never explicitly stated that she was quitting. I feel Penny trying to drink away her heartache is completely out of character, especially when it affects her work.
While all of this is going on, Hugh and Harriet are dealing with a crisis when Harriet is diagnosed with Listeria. Luckily, the baby wasn’t affected and after Hugh finds this out, he reveals to her that he is leaving Whyhope and putting the farm on the market. Putting the farm on the market will inevitably be the major focus in the remaining episodes of the season, and I would like to know whether he made this decision for Penny, Harriet and the baby, or himself, as this wasn’t made clear.
Charlie and Matt—Charlie and Matt were more in the background in this episode, but now that they have finally admitted that they’re in trouble and Charlie has finally admitted that she doesn’t want kids, knowing that Matt does, they will certainly be in the foreground in the next episode at least. In all honesty, nothing about their subplot really surprised me, but it will be interesting to see where it goes, especially as Matt’s attraction to April for wanting children as much as he does, is becoming more obvious.
Meryl, Hayley and Ajax—Meryl’s dating service well and truly took off with the success of the Country Connections speed dating night. It was nice to see Meryl keep herself busy, trying to help others find the same love that she found with Jim, without forgetting or suppressing her grief. While Chloe and Ajax only appeared briefly, their appearance didn’t go to waste as they were shown as a couple becoming more comfortable with their parental responsibilities, especially Ajax as he figured out how to comfort Jimmy on his own and enjoyed bonding with him.
Overall this was an enjoyable episode, but I’m a little worried about what’s going to happen next now that Hugh has decided to put the farm on the market, and Matt and Charlie have admitted that they’re unhappy and want different things.
-Dora didn’t appear in this episode although she was mentioned.
-The driver that Hugh hired after Ron needed testing on his knee never said a word throughout the episode.
-Meryl was very inclusive with Country Connections as she thought of a “rainbow table” for the speed dating event.
-Betty almost drinking after Darren expresses interest in her and Hayley taking the drink for her was adorable and hilarious.
Best one liners and interactions:
- “Oh shit!”, “Language!” (Penny-Floyd)
- “You know what they say about drinking alone!” (Floyd to Penny)
- “Ginger the whinger look out!” (Ron to Hugh)
- “He looks like a sex pest!” (Ginger on Ken)
- “Beware of jealously Ken, it can make you look like an insecure douchebag.” (Hugh to Ken)
- “Three words: A.V.O.” (Meryl to Rod)
- “Anywhere I can wheel you? Off a cliff perhaps?” (Penny to Hugh)