Playing for Keeps–Season 1, Episode 3

Since a lot happened in this episode, I’m going to be reviewing it character by character.

Jessie and Rusty—The episode kicks off with Maddy going to see Jessie and discovering a positive pregnancy test in the trash. Although this isn’t touched on until later in the episode, the focus shifts to Rusty’s girlfriend, Carly, at Kath’s house during the next footy game. Carly reveals Rusty has dumped her whilst she’s drunk and hurling insults at Kath and the other WAGs, which leads to Paige taking her home and Carly tells her she thinks Rusty dated her to cover his affair with Jessie.

After Carly and Paige’s interactions, which included Rusty confronting Carly in front of Paige, the news of Jessie and Rusty’s affair becomes public, where Jessie proceeds to confront Paige and even leads to Dan questioning whether she’s trustworthy. After Kath brings up the “rumour” of the affair, Jessie admits Paige came to her as well.

Meanwhile in the middle of this, the inquest is started up again with Rusty having to testify where he lies on the stand, which adds another piece to the puzzle but also doesn’t solve the mystery completely as Connor is now becoming the prime suspect.

The episode ends with Jessie lying to Maddy and telling her the baby isn’t Rusty’s, only for her to call him on her way out of Maddy’s place to meet up with him and break the news.

Tahlia and Connor—Tahlia and Connor’s relationship drama comes second to Jessie and Rusty’s as Connor’s mother, Diane, is introduced. By introducing Diane, the viewers can finally get to know her as a character and see what the strained relationship between her and Tahlia is really like.

Diane is clearly very pretentious, or at least comes across that way, but in comparison to Tahlia is more cultured. Tahlia in return reveals that she comes from a working class family and comes up with the idea of “radical honesty” between them. Tahlia reveals to Diane that she doesn’t like the painting she bought for them and keeps it in the garage until she visits, while Diane reveals she doesn’t think Tahlia is suitable for Connor as she was unfaithful. It’s later revealed that Connor and Tahlia cheated on each other (whether this was during a break in the relationship isn’t made clear).

Connor leaves to see Brian but ends up hanging out with Kath where they end up having sex, which smashes my earlier theory that Kath is Connor’s biological mother. Connor later returns home where he apologies to Tahlia, tells her he will reveal the truth to Diane and offers to wreck the painting, only for Tahlia to stop him as the painting is worth a lot of money.

Kath and Brian—In this episode it’s revealed that Kath and Brian have an open marriage, or at least they know about the other cheating.

Kath goes to see Adam, where he tries to start a relationship with her again only for Kath to remind him that it’s a fantasy and that’s what she pays him for. Adam ends up calling her out, telling her that while being with him carries no obligations, walking away from Brian and the club also carries no obligations for her. On this note, Kath ends her arrangement with Adam, which clearly saddens her and she goes home to wait for Brian. This all while Brian spends the night, a good one, with Lauren which provides a great contrast to the end of Kath and Adam’s arrangement.

Before she hooks up with Connor, she reveals to him that cheating, or at least communicating to each other about it, has helped hers and Brian’s marriage.

Maddy and Trav—In this episode, Maddy has finally found an Au pair that she likes and does a good job in Joanna, which leads to Trav becoming the comic relief in this episode as he’s mad at the kids learning how to play soccer and then at her for washing his “lucky socks”. At the end of the episode he tells Maddy that he’ll apologise to Joanna for his behaviour and that it was never about the socks, but his grief, which Maddy tells him she knows already.

A highlight of their subplot for me was Trav comforting Jessie by opening up about his own grief through the video game he was playing as it shows there’s more to him than the man child that he appears to be.

Paige and Dan—The episode actually didn’t focus much on them, other than Dan finding out how much Paige spent on the high end clothes she purchased in the pilot, and Paige being accused of telling the story of Jessie and Rusty’s affair to the press.

Kath, Maddy and Tahlia question Paige and her honesty after the story breaks, which she obviously didn’t give, however other than Kath borderline threatening her, their questioning of her trust wasn’t explored in this episode, but I know it will be later.

 

Overall this was a solid episode as it was the first one to explore the cracks in each of the WAGs’ lives in a realistic manner, and another piece of the Jack puzzle was added through Rusty’s lies at the inquest.

 

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