Mr Black–Season 1, Episode 5

This episode explores Angela’s romantic past when her ex-boyfriend, Mark Strauss, comes to town.

Of course Mr Black talks him up and tells Angela he can’t believe they broke up in front of Finn, while watching him being interviewed on The Project. Angela reveals that Mark got the foreign correspondent job offer and she didn’t want a long distance relationship. Mr Black gives Finn a bit more of a ribbing before Angela asks him to be easy on Finn as it’s the anniversary of his father’s death.

Mr Black apologises about the impending anniversary and asks Finn to pick up his repaired scooter, after blackmailing him with footage of him accidentally destroying it. When they get to the garage they find it closed, however as Mr Black knows the mechanic, he guides Finn into opening the garage to get the scooter.  They find the scooter, however the propped open door closes, locking them in.

Mr Black and Finn spend most of the episode trading barbs and trying to escape, however they are forced to spend the night. During this time, Finn admits he was estranged from his dad towards the end of his life as his dad wanted him to take over the family farm, while Finn wanted to write. Mr Black then admits he cheated on Mrs Black, which is why they split up, and Mr Black believes that Mark plagiarised a quote from his own autobiography. The next morning, they are found by Gary and his staff, spooning on the garage floor, and they tell them that there is a green button next to the door that releases the lock.

Meanwhile, Mark comes to Angela’s to visit, where he bombards her with stories of his foreign correspondent adventures and tries to make a move on her. The entire time, Mark is coming across as self-centred, pretentious and one-dimensional, and Angela ultimately refuses his advances and makes him sleep on the couch. After a lot of tears and anxiety, Angela is relieved to see Mr Black and Finn return, with the scooter. Mark later comes out of the house, where Mr Black accuses him of plagiarism, only for Mark to correct him on the fact that the quote is in fact a Dr Seuss quote. Mr Black storms into the house, Mark then informs Finn that he tried to hit on Angela but she rejected him. This revelation angers Finn until Mark also informs him that Mr Black treated him the exact same way he is treating him, and now that he’s Angela’s ex he wants to be mates. Finn is relieved to find out that Mr Black’s behaviour towards him isn’t personal, which Mr Black himself admitted to earlier while they were in the garage.

The episode ends with Mark asking Finn and Angela to go out and get a beer with him, Angela asks Mr Black who initially refuses, however he gives in and ends up chatting to Mark.

Overall this was a good but not great episode. I found it to be a little predictable, but it was good to finally see Angela’s ex who Mr Black kept talking up.


Stray Observations:

-On the way to the garage, Mr Black is quizzing Finn like he did with him and Angela in the pilot, however this time, Finn is answering every question correctly.

-Mr Black admits his behaviour towards him isn’t personal, it’s him acting on fatherly instincts, which is something Mark confirms to Finn at the end of the episode.

-According to Mark, he played Truth or Dare with Wendy Deng and Tony Blair.

-Angela tells Mark her mother is living on the Gold Coast with a new man.

-According to Mark, he sent Kim Jong-un Swiss cheese. He found out he likes Swiss cheese by Googling him and confirming it with Dennis Rodman. He never found out how Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman became friends.

-Mark worked at The Post and Mr Black took him under his wing.

-Mr Black admits that Finn is a decent man, however he said this in spite of Mark, so whether he really believes this isn’t made clear.


Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Working at a hot desk does not constitute adventure.” (Mr Black to Angela on Finn)
  • “I don’t know if you’re joking or being an irredeemable soft cock.” (Mr Black to Finn)
  • “Have you ever considered working as a grief counsellor?” “No, it’s only a hobby.” (Finn-Mr Black after the latter makes an insensitive comment to the former about his father’s death)
  • “Be careful there’s barbed wire up there, I don’t want to take you back to Angela with a shredded ball sack.” (Mr Black to Finn while the latter is climbing over the garage gate)
  • “Gary’s way too much of a tight arse to spring for real dogs!” (Mr Black to Finn when Finn hears the sound of barking dogs)
  • “Is he still threatening to beat everyone up?” “Yes, but that’s now tempered by the fact that he has a degenerative bone disease.” (Mark-Angela on Mr Black)
  • “A poo is not a thing you decide to do, a poo has a mind of its own.” (Finn to Mr Black after coming out of the garage bathroom to see Mr Black hanging from the garage ceiling)



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