Archive | July 2019

Harrow–Season 2, Episode 10 (Pater Familias)

The job of a season finale is to wrap up the season’s story arcs and establish new ones for the next season (if there is one). I felt this episode did this perfectly.

With Harrow there has only been one major story arc for the entire season—Chester coming after Harrow.

The episode uniquely starts off in the past, going back one year to Louise’s house with her serving tea to her husband, Maurice, who is also Chester’s father. Maurice tells Louise that Chester lost his last appeal and it’s obvious that Louise has poisoned Maurice. From then on, the question is put in the reader’s minds on whether Louise is just as much as a psycho as Chester and whether this is where and who he learnt his behaviour off, a fact that Harrow mentioned when buried in the coffin.

The episode then goes back to the present day where Nichols is questioning Harrow’s behaviour after saving Callan, with the circumstances making it look like Harrow tried to hurt him. This frustrated me as it isn’t true to Harrow’s character and the other characters should know better. Throughout Nichol’s questioning, Harrow has noticed Fern has left and leaves the hospital to find her. He instead finds Stephanie outside, who tells him that she hasn’t seen her. He sets off to find her and asks Stephanie to stay and talk to Nichols.

Meanwhile, Grace shows the succinic acid reports on Chester’s victims to Maxine, however she is dismissive of them and tells Grace that a psychiatrist and a judge have ruled Harrow a threat to himself and others and that he be committed to a hospital on site.

Harrow impersonates Fairley to get access the name of Chester’s family dentist from when he was a child, who reveals that one of Chester’s adult pre-molars are gone, knocked out by his father when he was a child. The dentist also noticed that Louise had bruising around her neck and Chester begged him not to send him home. This reveal added to my initial theory that Louise was abusive towards Chester. Meanwhile Stephanie talks to Nichols, calling him out on his behaviour and tells him to speak to Louise again. Nichols goes to speak to Louise but she doesn’t answer the door—she’s hiding from Nichols and the camera pans to reveal that Chester is there and keeping Fern hostage.

Meanwhile the Deputy Coroner’s tribunal is underway, Fairley adamantly defends Harrow, while he is hiding out in Grace’s office. Their co-worker, Louise, sees him, however when she reports him to the guard, Glen, he tells Grace that Harrow resuscitated his cat and therefore doesn’t end up reporting Harrow’s presence. This gives Harrow the chance to meet with Chester outside when he calls demanding to see him, as he leaves, he gives Grace the copy of the films from Chester’s family dentist.

Harrow gets in a car with Chester, who asks him how he found the propofol in the female victims as he never used it. They then arrive at Louise’s house, where Chester brings Harrow to a bound and gagged Fern and he injects him with propofol. Meanwhile Grace waits for Maxine in her office, where she reveals to Maxine and the audience that she knows that Maxine destroyed the brain tissue histology slides of Chester’s victims, as it would prove that Maxine manufactured the evidence needed for Chester’s conviction. Maxine admits that she only did this as Chester was a monster and would have killed again. Grace tells her that she needs to own up to what she did.

Meanwhile after Harrow comes too, he finds himself tied to a chair, when Chester injects him with succinylcholine. He begs Louise and Chester to let Fern go. When this fails, he tries to get into his head by talking about Maurice’s abuse towards Louise and Maurice’s death when he realises Louise killed him. Chester confronts Louise, asking why she didn’t kill him when he was a child and protect him, whilst choking her. Harrow jumps out of his chair to tackle Chester away from Louise and she grabs Chester’s gun after she’s free. When Chester asks her why again, she admits that he wouldn’t do it and that he’s still scared of Maurice, even though he’s dead. Harrow warns Louise not to let Chester get too close but she doesn’t listen and he manages to shoot her dead. Chester also realises that Harrow took something to counteract the succinylcholine, Harrow admits he took butyrlcholinesterase.

While Harrow and Fern are being held hostage, Nichols discovers footage of Chester on the firefighters’ webcam at the hospital, and Edwina and Grace confirm that the DNA samples from Chester and the burnt body don’t match. After knocking out Harrow, Chester tries to strangle Fern, only for her to get inside his head by telling her story of being abused by her stepfather. Fern distracts Chester long enough to defend herself, get out of the chair and get the gun. Fern wants to kill Chester but Harrow convinces her otherwise, instead deciding to call the police while Harrow aims the gun at Chester in the meantime to keep him at bay.

When the police arrives, Nichols apologises to Harrow for not believing him and Harrow speaks to Chester in the police van, who has no remorse. Harrow picked one of the roses from Louise’s garden to give to Chester, stabbing him with the thorns, saying it’s for Simon. In the van, en route to jail, Chester dies in the van, when it’s reveal that the sting he felt wasn’t the rose thorns but Harrow’s injection of a lethal amount of succinylcholine.

The next morning, Harrow shows up at Maxine’s office as she is packing it up. Maxine apologises for her actions and not believing him, and he forgives her. While Callan wakes up in hospital, happy and relatively healthy. Harrow has to take leave, however he is called to a crime scene by Nichols where a young man has been found dead. When Harrow asks what the young man has to do with him, Nichols reveals the man’s passport was found in his pocked listing Harrow as an emergency contact with a note he wrote claiming to be Harrow’s son, which is where the finale and season ends.

Overall this was a solid finale as the season’s story arc was wrapped up perfectly with stellar performances by Gruffudd, Newton and Bowler, with a great balance of tension and high stakes. The twist of Harrow killing Chester with his own medicinal weapon was utter perfection.

Overall this was a stellar season with the writers making a completely different story arc to the previous season play out slowly but perfectly. I’m looking forward to reviewing the next season (assuming there is one).

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Maxine’s middle name is Alexandra.

-Fairley’s full name is Lyle Ridgewell Livingston Fairley.

-Harrow resuscitated QIFM’s guard, Glen’s, cat Fuzznuts.

-Maxine graduated from the University of Hobart.

-The translation of the episode’s title, “Pater Familias” is “a man who is the head of a household, family or tribe.” Due to the focus on fathers, specifically Maurice and Chester, this title definitely applies.

 

 

Harrow–Season 2, Episode 9 (Facilis Descensus)

This episode is the penultimate episode of the second season and as such, its job is to provide a springboard for the finale. I felt this episode did this perfectly.

The episode picks up right where we were left off with Harrow telling Nichols what happened between he and Chester when he was inside the coffin. Nichols is struggling to believe him, which leads to Harrow prying open the coffin to find the burnt body back in there. This doesn’t help Harrow and getting Nichols to believe him, especially when Harrow admits that Chester injected him and he passed out before he could see if there was a body in the coffin to begin with. Harrow also realises that the only reason Chester would have dug him back up is because he didn’t kill Fern. Harrow asks him to call Fern, only for Nichols to tell him that Fern is already at CIB, meanwhile Callan is being taken to hospital.

When Harrow and Nichols get to CIB, Fern tells Nichols that Chester tried to kill her. When Fern tells her side of the story, Nichols also struggles to believe her, however unlike Harrow, Fern is more aggressive with Nichols, telling him to go the Bettie so she can show him what happened. As Fern is describing what happened, Nichols finds syringes and drugs on the Bettie, which makes both Fern and Harrow look even more delusional. After Fern leaves the boat when Nichols makes it clear he doesn’t believe her and she insists that she didn’t make it up, she gets a phone call from St Catherine’s Hospital informing her about Callan’s accident.

Meanwhile Grace takes Harrow’s blood for testing and Maxine tells Harrow about Callan’s accident. When Harrow gets there, Fern tells him that Callan is in surgery as he is bleeding on the brain, and as they hug, she whispers in his ear that Nichol found drugs on the Bettie. While Fern and Harrow are at the hospital, Nichols makes the decision to have the burnt body examined again for once-and-for-all confirmation if the body is in fact Chester’s.

As Grace, Fairley and Edwina are re-examining the burnt body, Fairley informs Grace and Edwina that Harrow and Maxine were on the Chester case and a key piece of evidence in the case was traces of succinic acid found in the male victims. Fairley says Harrow claimed that it proved Chester injected them with succinylcholine but the defence argued that succinic acid naturally occurs in the body, so the evidence was dismissed. However Harrow found traces of propofyl in the female victims, a substance that doesn’t naturally occur in the body, at the eleventh hour and it ultimately led to Chester being convicted.

Meanwhile, Harrow asks Badcoe to come to town and he does. Badcoe tells Harrow that six months ago, a homeless man came into the morgue and he thought that the body had been sent to the crematorium, but he later found paperwork that cancelled the transfer, which he doesn’t recall doing, and the prison fire happened the same day. Badcoe tells Harrow that Rhonda transferred the bodies. Harrow asks Badcoe to tell the police this, however he refuses as it will mean convictions will be overturned and his career will be ruined. Harrow then kicks him off the Bettie.

Meanwhile Fern goes to the restaurant where Callan works and tries to find out more about what happened, however his boss refuses to help, on her way out, she finds Frank’s/Francis’ address only to discover that it is a vacant lot. While this is going on, Grace, Fairley and Edwina match the burnt body to Francis Chester, and Grace finds propofyl in Harrow’s blood. Maxine goes to the hospital to tell him this and asks if he’s self medicating, which he denies, she also tells him that the Deputy Coroner is holding an emergency meeting to determine his fate the next day and demands that he attends.

While Harrow is using the hospital’s bathroom, Chester sneaks into the hospital and sets off an evacuation alarm. As he is leaving he sees Chester in Callan’s room injecting him with something. Harrow tackles Chester away from him and Chester tells him he injected Callan with succinylcholine. Chester gives Harrow the choice of stopping him or saving Callan. Harrow ultimately chooses to save Callan, which he manages to do, however Chester leaves the hospital, sneaks up on Fern as she gets to the hospital, injects her with something (most likely succinylcholine) and kidnaps her.

Overall this was a solid penultimate episode as Chester successfully managed to make Fern and Harrow out to be crazy so they wouldn’t be believed, which provided Chester with more opportunities to hurt Harrow, which ultimately lead to kidnapping Fern, which the finale will ultimately focus on. I’m looking forward to seeing how this all plays out in the finale.

 

Stray Observations:

-The partial translation of the episode’s title, “Facilis Descensus” is “descent to hell”. This would definitely apply to this episode due to Chester setting Fern and Harrow up to look delusional so no-one will believe their stories.

-Francis Chester’s alias is Frank Webb.

 

Best interaction:

  • “That’s not his usual look right?” “I’ve seen worse.” (Edwina-Fairley on how Harrow looks after being buried alive)

 

 

 

Five Bedrooms–Season 1 Finale (One Bid)

The job of a season finale is to tie up the season’s story arcs and loose ends, and set up story arcs for the next season (if there is one). I feel that this finale did a good, but not great job.

I will be reviewing this episode character by character.

Ainsley and Lachlan—As Ainsley realised that she might be pregnant in the final minutes of the previous episode, and the fact that she narrated the pilot, it was only natural that she would narrate the finale and that the episode’s focus would start on them.

The episode kicks off with Ainsley telling Lachlan she’s pregnant, revealing that since the previous episode, she took multiple home pregnancy tests and went to her doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Lachlan’s at the house as he is the agent for the sale, and at first he seems mad, however it turns out he’s apparently happy about it.

Ainsley eventually tells the housemates that she’s pregnant, and Lachlan leaves, ignoring Ainsley’s messages. When he eventually comes back, he reveals that Mel is also pregnant. This reveal honestly wasn’t that surprising as it was typical to Lachlan’s character and Ainsley was never going to get her happily ever after with him.

After Ainsley tells Heather about Lachlan also impregnating Mel, Lachlan is confronted by the housemates for his behaviour. The final nail in the “Lachlan is an arsehole” coffin comes when Lachlan feels threatened by Ben and shields himself behind Ainsley.

Afterwards, Ainsley finally stands up to Lachlan, telling him that she is keeping the baby but she can’t have him in her life as she needs to be surrounded by people that love her and that she can rely on. I was happy to see Ainsley finally stand up for herself and I’m looking forward to seeing her on the journey to motherhood next season (if there is another season).

Heather—The Heather subplot kicks off with her having dinner at the house with Col, Rhonda and the boys to inform them that she is leaving to go overseas and has considered Iceland due to its remote location. She unsurprisingly changes her mind, or rather, admits to Ainsley when the latter calls her out, that she was never getting on the plane to leave. When Lachlan attempts to deflect the housemates’ anger towards him back onto them, specifically having a go at her for the way she is apparently treating Ainsley, Ben stands up for her and she in turns stands up for him and finally admits she adores him.

When Ainsley calls Heather out on her behaviour, she admits that she wouldn’t miss Ainsley’s journey to motherhood for the world.

Overall, I enjoyed that Heather finally made up with Ainsley and Ben. If there is a season two, I’m looking forward to seeing Heather assist Ainsley on her journey to motherhood, and her and Ben finally enter into a relationship.

Ben—In all honesty, other than standing up for Heather and making up with her, not that much was going on with Ben.

Liz—Liz spends most of the episode in hot water with the gang after Edwina tells them how Liz described the situation they are in as a “debacle”. When she tells Edwina that the “commune” is being sold, Edwina offers Liz her house to live in while her divorce proceedings are underway. Liz calls Harry to describe the house to him and tempt him to move in as it will mean he would be able to afford care for Manju as they would live there rent free.

When the others find out about it and discuss it at the auction, Liz is in even more trouble, however she reveals that despite its perks, she hated it as none of the gang were there with her.

Overall not that much was going on with Liz, but I felt that the revelation of her hating a fancy house, the kind that she would normally like, because none of the gang were there, proved how much progression her character made over the season.

Harry—This episode shows Harry living with Manju and how much of a strain it has been on their relationship, especially the way that Manju has been treating him, as well as his struggle to balance looking after Manju with his heavy workload and the impending auction. After Liz calls him to tell him about Edwina’s house and that living there could help him rekindle his romance with Pete, he calls Pete asking to see him. He meets him at a restaurant, declaring his feelings for him, only to find out Pete now has a new boyfriend.

The strongest point of Harry’s subplot and the finale was Manju finally coming around to accepting Harry for who he is. Manju asks for Marty for information on Pete, before getting Pete to come over under the ruse of security at the house. She then calls Harry and tells him and Pete that his paternal grandfather was also gay and that she wants him to be happy. Overall while I appreciated that Manju finally came around, I felt that this happened too quickly, nevertheless Manju’s words were hilarious.

Overall I enjoyed Harry’s subplot as it provided surprising comic relief. I also felt that Harry got his happily ever after, just not the one he wanted or expected—while he didn’t get the guy he loved, he is out and his mother has finally accepted him.

 

The episode ended with the housemates agreeing to stay together whilst the auction is underway. By the time they’ve finally finished spilling their guts and revealing how much they love each other, the house has been sold. This didn’t surprise me and it actually frustrated me a little, as I kept thinking “stop talking and go out and stop the auction!”

Overall I felt that the finale did it’s job, however it was predictable. I could see Lachlan revealing he also impregnated his now ex-wife and the house being sold from a mile away. That being said, I’ve enjoyed watching Five Bedrooms and I hope it’s renewed for another season.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Lachlan’s last name is Best.

-Ainsley deliberately picked the bedroom by the front door.

-The grey haired woman at the auction was also at the auction in the pilot.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “May I ask?” “Romantic complications mostly.” “I want to find a better place for my daughter.” “And romantic complications.” (Marty-Simmo-Ben-Simmo on why Ben is leaving the house)
  • “You hate flying how are you going to get there?” “I’ll be heavily sedated and probably have to be stretchered off at the other end.” (Col-Heather on the latter’s plans to move to Iceland)
  • “The last time you entered this kitchen, everyone ended up shitting themselves literally!” (Heather to Ben)
  • “I’m pregnant!” “To the dipshit?” (Ainsley-Heather)
  • “Could you hold on for a minute while I body slam your luxury linen?” (Liz on the phone to Harry on one of the beds in Edwina’s house)
  • “Can I give you a little something to calm your nerves?” “What are we talking about? Liquid? Plant?” “How strong do you want to go?” (Val-Heather-Val while the auction is underway)
  • “As long as you’re healthy and don’t wear the hot pants, I will welcome you into the family.” (Manju to Pete)
  • “Marty and mum have moved on from Pete and are workshopping my love life!” (Harry to the gang)

 

Harrow–Season 2, Episode 8 (Sub Silentio)

This episode picks up right from where we left off with Harrow digging up Chester’s grave.

Just as he hits the coffin, Chester sneaks up behind him and injects him with the paralytic agent he’s known for. Next time we see Harrow, as he comes to, both him and the audience discover that he is in the coffin. Harrow spends most of the episode in there, both trying to get out and being mentally tortured by Chester.

Chester leaves Harrow with a locked phone, where he can call Harrow but Harrow can’t call for help. Chester’s calls consist of sarcastic interactions and video calls of Chester informing Harrow that he is following Fern, which culminates in him filming his attempt to kill her, only for Fern to get away via the top hatch of the Bettie. The subplot ends with Harrow believing the coffin has given way and he is going to be suffocated by the soil, only to find that Chester has dug him out and left him beside the grave, just as Nichols finds him at the grave.

Meanwhile, while Harrow is stuck in the coffin, life goes on with the others albeit they are curious as to Harrow’s whereabouts. At Brisbane airport, an Egyptian sarcophagus is scanned at Customs where a mummy is expected to show on the x-ray, however it’s revealed a modern mummified body is inside as a titanium hip joint was shown on the x-ray.

The mummy is revealed to be Howard Hobson, a mining magnate who was donating the sarcophagus and the mummy that was supposed to be inside it, which is now missing. As no-one knows Hobson is dead, Maxine and Nichols want the case to be solved as quickly and quietly as possible.

As Harrow has been suspended, Edwina arrives to help out and work with Fairley and Grace. They find that Hobson was overdosed with Viagara so his heart would give out, however he was only unconscious when he was mummified and placed in the sarcophagus and he eventually suffocated once he was placed in there. Although Hobson’s current and former wives are naturally suspected due to his wealth, it turns out one of the Eygptian Government’s employees, Nenet, who was constantly asking about Hobson’s will being released, was the person who dosed him up. She promised him sex, in exchange for his will being changed so the artefacts would be donated to the opposing political party in Egypt, in an effort to humiliate the current Government as revenge for its lack of women’s rights. Although Nenet dosed him up, it was actually Hobson’s lawyer, Clayton Pike, who placed him in the sarcophagus.

Overall I felt this was an interesting case of the week and I appreciated that the perpetrator wasn’t an obvious one.

When Hobson’s grandson asks Grace how Hobson died as no-one will tell him, she tells him in a cold medicinal manner, only for Edwina to jump in and tell him that Hobson was old, his heart gave out and that he loved him. When Edwina asks Hobson’s grandson his name, he reveals it’s Will, the same word that Hobson licked into the sarcophagus. As Edwina points out whether Hobson wrote that referencing his legal will or his grandson will never be known. After their encounter with Will, Edwina calls Grace out on her lack of bedside manner, a quality that has been present in previous episodes and Grace finally reveals why she stopped working as a neurosurgeon. She bonded with a young patient, Christopher, who had an apparently inoperable tumour, which she removed, however she also had to remove healthy brain tissue in the process. Christopher lived but lost vital brain function and his personality, and Grace ended up losing all confidence, so she left the profession. Overall I enjoyed this character development and was happy that this revelation finally came out.

The episode ends with Fern and Steph running away and Fern texting Chester’s photos to Callan, who realises his workmate is a killer. Unfortunately for Callan, Chester sees the message and chases him out of the kitchen with a knife into the street where Callan is hit by a scooter. Callan is badly injured on the pavement and Chester walks away.

Overall this was a compelling episode with raised stakes in the Chester subplot, character development with Grace, and an interesting case of the week. This episode was also unique as, due to Harrow being in the coffin; Grace, Fairley and Edwina were given the opportunity to be centre stage for once and their investigative skills and competency in their respective jobs were put in the spotlight.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next episode and how the consequences of Chester’s actions in both leading Callan to his accident and digging Harrow out of the coffin play out, in the penultimate episode of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

-The episode’s title, translated from Latin, means “under silence” or “in silence”. This would definitely apply to Harrow being stuck in the coffin, Hobson being mummified and Nichols being pressured by Fern to tell her who Harrow thinks is after him.

-Nichols once forged Maxine’s signature when signing for a parcel that contained lingerie.

-Edwina refers to Fairley as “Dr Fez”.

-One of the reasons why Nichols loves Maxine is because she doesn’t do anything without good reason.

-Callan would like to have a dog one day.

-Harrow asked Callan to take Fern to his uncle’s house for protection.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You’ve seen Howard’s body, it’s like an over baked radish that’s rolled under the fridge for a month.” (Alice, Hobson’s former wife, to Grace)
  • “I haven’t heard that many lies since my ex-wife’s wedding vows.” (Nichols to Grace on Alice and Isabella [Hobson’s current wife])

 

 

 

Harrow–Season 2, Episode 7 (Parce Sepulto)

The episode and the case of the week kicks off with a man being seen over the body of a woman at the bottom of a staircase.

Meanwhile, Fern runs from Markides’ house to tell Harrow that everything that has been happening over the season is connected, before she is arrested for arson and murder of Markides, this forces Harrow to tell Steph everything. Markides’ body is then sent to QIFM and Maxine assigns it to Fairley and assigns Harrow and Grace to the case of the week.

The woman at the bottom of the stairs is revealed to be Taylor Ford, a popular health and wellness vlogger who is famous for her claim that natural supplements that she takes and sells cured her of a brain tumour. They also discover that the man seen with her was Connor Harris, a man who was active on her site and making death threats as his girlfriend, Rebecca, was a fan of Taylor’s and stopped using conventional medicine to treat her terminal illness after watching Taylor’s vlog posts.

As Harrow and Grace are autopsying Taylor, they not only discover her organs are impaired but there is no evidence that she had a brain tumour. Grace’s oncologist, Dr Sally Peterson, fills Harrow in on Taylor’s medical past, that Taylor came to see her about symptoms she was experiencing, however there was no tumour present on her MRIs. It’s later revealed that Dr Peterson sent her a letter to confirm this, however Taylor didn’t see the letter because her manager, Danica, hid it from her. Although Danica admits to this, she says that she didn’t kill her.

After Connor confesses to killing her, Harrow eventually figures out that Rebecca came to see Taylor and overheard her making her vlog confessing that she had no brain tumour. Rebecca than confronted Taylor about this and the fact that the supplements don’t work and that Taylor fell down the stairs, however she did suffocate her out of anger.

Overall I felt that this was an interesting but partly predictable case of the week.

Meanwhile, Fern is stuck at the Women’s Remand Centre on the arson and murder charge, where it’s revealed that she has been assaulted. Callan calls Steph out for not believing her, and Harrow asks Badcoe about his autopsy on “Francis Chester”. When he wasn’t investigating the case of the week, Harrow spent his time arguing for “Chester’s” body to be exhumed. When the Deputy Coroner finally returns Harrow’s call, he encourages him to get the permission of Chester’s mother, Louise.

It’s revealed that Louise became a criminology professor in an effort to understand why Francis became the murderer that he is. When Louise refuses to give Harrow permission to exhume his remains, Harrow resorts to forging Maxine’s signature on the exhumation request form. Shortly after this, Fairley tells Harrow that he ruled Markides’ cause of death as smoke inhalation from a lit cigarette, so the arson and subsequent murder charge against Fern is dropped and she will be released.

The episode ends with Maxine storming into Harrow’s office to tell him that the Coroner won’t be proceeding in exhuming “Chester’s” remains as she has discovered that Harrow forged her signature on the exhumation request form, and she fires him. Later that evening, Harrow goes to the cemetery armed with a shovel to dig up “Chester’s” remains.

Overall I found the progress of the Fern-Chester subplot to be slow, steady and necessary. My only bugbear about it was how Harrow didn’t see Maxine finding out and firing him coming. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-The title of the episode, Parce Sepulto, is Latin for “forgive the interred” or “it is ungenerous to hold resentment toward the dead”. You could argue this title could apply to Louise’s guilt about how Chester turned out and Taylor being unaware that she didn’t have a brain tumour as she wasn’t told by her manager.

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Harrow, the cleaners are complaining about you again!” (Fairley to Harrow)
  • “I think I’m the one she wants babysat.” “Makes sense.” (Harrow-Nichols on Maxine)
  • “My interests are broader than what you give me credit for.” (Nichols to Harrow)
  • “Mercury, even I know that’s crook, that’s why I gave up eating fish and chips!” “Not because Maxine wanted less of you to love?” (Nichols-Harrow)
  • “Personal congratulations for letting the cleaners in?” (Harrow to Maxine when she storms into his office)

 

Five Bedrooms–Season 1, Episode 7 (Four Meats)

Considering the surprise party disaster was caused by Ben and was the climax of the previous episode, as well as the fact that Ben’s actions at the end of this episode lead to a surprising domino effect and twist ending, it’s only fitting that he is the narrator of this episode, the penultimate one of the season.

The episode kicks off with Rebecca calling Ben asking him to pick Mia up from camp as she is apparently sick and Rebecca is stuck in Sydney for work. Ben picks her up and decides to cook dinner for everyone to tell them that Mia will be staying over. At the dinner, tensions are high, with Ainsley ignoring Heather’s messages and Harry announcing to everyone that he is moving out to care for Manju. Things get even worse when Liz tells Heather that the latter is planning on leaving to travel, and then to top it all off, Mia throws up on Ben.

Mia’s vomiting leads to a chain reaction of Ainsley, Harry and Ben also getting sick, with Harry quickly deducing that Ben’s paella is the cause. Liz goes over to Manju’s to help her, however when she arrives, she is also struck down with food poisoning.

Mia eventually reveals to Ben that she wasn’t sick at camp, her “friends” locked her out of her cabin for a couple of hours during the night and laughed at her, and she has been bullied at school as well for quite some time. When he tells the gang this, they reveal that they were also bullied during their teen years, however Harry reveals Liz was bullied horrendously, which surprises Ben. When Harry calls Liz for her advice on the situation, it’s revealed how sick she is as Manju is looking after her. Ben also asks the housemates for advice on what to tell Mia, both about how to handle the bullying and about his experiences in jail, as Mia has figured out that’s where he was.

Meanwhile Lachlan comes to the house after Ainsley texts him with “supplies” (Immodium, Gastrolyte, disposable wipes) and it’s revealed Ainsley has spending nights with Lachlan since the surprise party disaster.

The next morning, Manju gives Liz a sari to wear to go home in and Liz tries to get Manju to accept Harry to no avail. Edwina also calls Liz asking to meet up with her, and Lachlan comes into the kitchen, revealing he spent the night. He also asks to replace Heather in the house when she leaves to go travelling. Heather doesn’t like this idea, to the point where she says she’ll cancel her trip. After a brief argument, Liz suggests they think about it and at 5pm, they all give their answer–yes or no–on the gang’s message thread. Rebecca also comes to pick Mia up, angry that Ben told Mia about his time in jail and says that he can’t see her until his life is more stable.

Meanwhile, Edwina tells Liz she wanted to meet up with her as she is also getting divorced and asks Liz to keep her tryst with The Fridge at the housewarming party a secret. Liz agrees and uses Edwina’s request as an opportunity to blackmail her into getting her job back and representing her in the divorce.

The episode ends with Ben telling the group he is neither a yes nor a no for Lachlan but he thinks they should sell altogether ASAP. He reveals in his narration that everyone (except Liz) agreed within minutes, but her opinion wasn’t relevant due to the fact that she technically doesn’t get a say as she is bankrupt. However what he doesn’t know is that Edwina has hired her, which would mean she could build up her savings to reinvest.

The final minutes of the episode involve Harry revealing to everyone that the food poisoning was caused by the prawns in the paella, and Ainsley revealing to Harry that she has been feeling queasy all week. He tells her to follow it up with her GP unless she’s pregnant. She laughs this idea off initially and then realises she could be, which she reveals to Harry via her facial expression. His facial expression also changes when he realises what she’s thinking.

Overall this was another solid episode, with comedic moments provided throughout with the food poisoning episode, character development with the Mia subplot, and a twist ending which is the perfect spring board for the season finale.

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Ben, the gang have been living together for four months.

-According to Harry, Manju has gone through three stages of coping with his sexuality:

Stage 1: Developed a plan (i.e. marriage of convenience)

Stage 2: Rewriting history (i.e. his outing caused her stroke)

Stage 3:  Cries alone

-Harry informs Manju that her stroke was in fact three weeks before Ben outed him not after.

-When Mia is sick, he goes to grab Ainsley’s slow cooker instead of a bucket.

-The order of everyone coming down with food poisoning:

  1. Mia
  2. Ainsley
  3. Harry
  4. Ben
  5. Liz

-Heather doesn’t get sick, I’m guessing due to her years as simultaneously a mother and a nursing home carer.

-The traumatised look on Liz’s face when Harry relieves himself in the laundry sink where she’s soaking her white dresses, and her walk through the house with the garbage bag filled with the soiled dresses moments later was hilarious.

-Harry can’t afford home care for Manju as he is bailing Liz out.

-Mia’s excitement over doing a poo sample and her subsequent disappointment over not being able to do it as Rebecca picked her up was hilarious.

-According to Heather when she was 15, she played “Spin the Bottle” at a sleepover, even though the bottle stopped at her several times, no boy would kiss her due to her big nose. She says she was 15 in 1984, which would make her birth year 1969–consistent with the fact that she celebrated her 50th birthday in the previous episode.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I focused on the things I loved…books, rom coms, sugar.” (Ainsley to Ben on how she coped with being bullied in school)
  • “You didn’t step away, you were expelled!” (Heather to Lachlan on the circumstances of him leaving the house)

 

 

Five Bedrooms–Season 1, Episode 6 (Fifty Years)

Now that all of the main characters have narrated at least one episode, I wondered whether the writers would continue with a rotating narrator, and if so, who they would go with? Would they keep the same rotation and start all over again with Ainsley? The answer to my two questions was yes and no. Yes, the rotating narrator would continue, but no it would not be Ainsley, it would be Heather.

This episode focused on Heather’s feelings around turning 50. She starts her day waking up to the sound of Ben singing outside, believing that he is singing away his broken heart over her “breaking up” with him. She then gets a call from Col wishing her a happy birthday, only for her to quickly remind him her birthday is in fact the next day and that she would be spending the last day of her forties assessing Manju’s home suitability for her wheelchair and interviewing receptionists for the nursing home she works for. Heather then goes downstairs and finds herself bombarded with a birthday song and dance from Ainsley and Harry, and a birthday cake with 50 lit candles on it before going to work.

At work, Heather’s colleague, Rhonda, informs Heather that she is dating Col after coming across him on a dating app. Whilst they are discussing it, Liz reveals her presence as she is there for a job interview for the relief receptionist. Heather at first refuses to hire her, however when Liz admits she’s overqualified but needs the money, Heather changes her mind. Later, Heather and Col have a minor tiff about the fact he’s dating Rhonda, and Col asks Heather to talk to her about it. After Heather is surprised with more birthday cake at work, she encourages Rhonda to pursue a relationship with Col.

Whilst Heather is going about her day, Ainsley is putting together a surprise birthday party for her, which includes inviting Col and Rhonda, Pete, and Manju. Whilst everyone is gathered by the front door waiting for Heather to arrive home, Heather and Liz are talking in the front yard about Heather’s inability to follow her dreams and do what she wants. Heather reveals loud enough for everyone to hear that she was doing what she wants by having sex with Ben. When she opens the door everyone yells “surprise!” with Col and Ainsley giving Heather looks making it clear they have heard everything.

While Col angrily calls out Heather for keeping the affair a secret, an upset Heather is trying to apologise to Ainsley, who is hiding in her bedroom. After Col accuses Heather of investing in the house because of Ben, Ben steps into defend her, only to admit his love for her and accidentally outs Harry to his mother in the process. Ainsley and Col eventually leave, the latter after Heather somewhat apologises, reminds Col that their marriage hadn’t been great for years, and encourages him to go after Rhonda. Ben and Liz go up to the loft to give Heather pizza and a birthday gift in the form of noise cancelling headphones, whilst Ben reveals to Heather that his birthday gift to her is a zen garden, which is the reason behind his digging up of the backyard over the previous day. Heather tearfully admits to Ben that she does have feelings for him but is scared of them, and needs to figure out what she wants for herself and who she is before she can date anyone.

Meanwhile, Harry is trying to assist Manju in her recovery, which hits a roadblock when Heather tells Harry that her home isn’t suitable for her needs and Manju refuses to go into care, and when Ben outs Harry to her.

The episode ends with Ainsley hiding out at her office after the surprise party disaster, calling Lachlan and kissing him.

Overall I felt this was a solid episode as Heather and Liz’s similar personalities and dynamic were explored, and now Ben and Heather’s affair, and Harry’s sexuality was brought out into the open. With the affair and Harry’s sexuality out in the open, opportunities for new subplots have presented themselves.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the fallout of the surprise party disaster and its affects on the gang will be in the next episode.

 

Stray Observations:

-The nursing home Heather and Liz work at is Dawes Court Aged Care.

-Liz is capable of doing yoga in the backyard whilst Ben is digging it up.

-Heather hates flying.

 

Best one liner:

  • “Have you thought about pouring your feelings into sex and alcohol like a normal person?” (Heather to Ben)