Playing For Keeps—Season 2 Premiere

The job of a season premiere is to establish new story arcs for the season, as well as address the loose ends left in the previous season’s finale. I felt that this premiere did its job.

Because it’s been about a year since the season 1 finale aired, I had to re-read the review I wrote on the finale to remind myself of what happened, so I was able to review this premiere.

Like the finale’s review, I’ll be reviewing the season 2 premiere character by character:

Brian and Kath—Kath is now working on the Southern Jets Board, a fact that is revealed in the first few minutes of the episode, at the Jets’ season launch party. It’s also revealed that Brian has stepped down as the Jets’ coach. Throughout the episode, it’s clear that Brian and Kath are struggling in their relationship, but not because of Kath’s affair with Connor last season, rather Brian’s struggle to move on from Jack’s death. The new club president and Kath are encouraging him to take a job with the club and Brian is clearly not keen. He ultimately turns down the job and tells Kath that he is considering a job opportunity in the outback, and Kath tells him that she can’t go anywhere as she’s on the Board; he tells her he knows this. I’m looking forward to seeing whether Brian takes the job and leaves Kath.

Maddie and Trav—Towards the end of the previous season, Trav had re-signed as a player without consulting Maddie, just after she had been promoted at work, only to be benched. Now Trav is the coach as Brian has stepped down. With Trav being the coach, Maddie is filling the role Kath had in the previous season of welcoming the new player and his partner to the club. While Maddie and Trav still struggle with maintaining their busy schedules and making time for each other as a couple, the love between them is still strong, especially when Trav is doubting his coaching abilities and Maddie already has a pep talk ready to go. Maddie also tries to reach out to the new player, Liam’s, girlfriend, Kendall, with little to no success until the end of the episode. The episode ends with Maddie and Trav being called by Kendall to help out with an incident her and Liam had.

Connor and Tahlia—In the season 1 finale, Connor and Tahlia part on friendly terms after initially breaking up acrimoniously. At Dan’s 21st birthday party, Connor seems to be flirting with a woman, and Tahlia swoops in and ends up going home with her. Connor later comes over to tell Tahlia he is seeing someone new, Annabelle. Tahlia immediately but somewhat politely asks him to leave. She is clearly struggling with this news and still has feelings for Connor. I’m looking forward to seeing Annabelle eventually (I’m sure we will), that being said from what I’ve seen in the season’s teasers, it looks like she may hook up with Liam, which will only cause trouble.

Paige and Dan—At the end of the season one finale, Paige was leaving to go back home and then off to the UK for a job, and Dan begged her to stay. In the premiere, Paige is returning after travelling through Europe and has found a full-time job back in Melbourne. Paige first lets Tahlia know she’s coming back, who then tells the girls. Paige goes to Dan’s 21st birthday party and they run into each other when Paige is trying to find his birthday present in the backseat of the car. Their interactions throughout the episode are awkward, to the point where Paige deliberately dresses in daggy clothes in order to repel Dan. They both tell each other that they don’t want to get back together, although Paige clearly doesn’t mean it. It will be interesting to see where their relationship goes from here.

Paige and Tahlia—The highlight of this episode for me was the emphasis on how far Paige and Tahlia’s friendship has come from the start of the previous season. In the finale, Paige moved in with Tahlia after Connor moved out. After Tahlia finishes a photo shoot, she goes to pick up Paige from the airport. Their slow motion run towards each other was hilariously sweet, as was Tahlia coming in to snuggle with Paige the morning after her hook-up with the other woman. After Tahlia’s conversation with Connor regarding his new girlfriend, Tahlia invites Paige to move in with her permanently.

Jessie and Rusty—The first thing I noticed at the start of the episode was Jessie’s missing pregnancy belly, which was addressed when it’s revealed she had a baby girl, Georgie. It’s also revealed Rusty is a big part of her life, as they are living together and have been for a while as Jack Jnr. calls him daddy. Both Jessie and Rusty are awkward about it, but dismiss discussing it with Jack Jnr. as they have to go to Dan’s birthday party.

After Jessie goes with Maddie to speak with Kendall, she sees Rusty parked outside of their apartment complex, and asks him again whether he feels comfortable with their situation. Jessie believes that her nanny may be making him uncomfortable and she firmly, but without aggression, tells her nanny that Rusty is not her boyfriend or the father of any of her children, and she is okay with it, making it clear she wasn’t making Rusty uncomfortable. Jessie thinks she has made it better, however it’s clear Rusty has some unresolved issues that haven’t really been made quite clear yet. I’m looking forward to seeing their dynamic more as the season progresses.

Liam and Kendall—Liam and Kendall are essentially this season’s Paige and Dan. Liam is the Jets’ new star forward and Kendall is his odd, aggressive girlfriend. Kendall is immediately off-putting to Maddie and Kath, and then gets off to a bad start with Jessie, when she asks her for cocaine and then becomes paranoid she has told the girls about their interaction. She continually accuses Jessie of talking about their interaction, eventually leading to her telling Maddie about it herself and realising that Jessie never said anything. After this, she breaks down and confides in the girls that the player’s wives and girlfriends in Perth never liked her, and she uses it to relieve her stress and anxiety. Kath finds out about her drug use through Liam, when Kath asks about the events at Dan’s 21st birthday party.

The episode ends with Kendall calling Maddie for help, both her and Trav go over and find Kendall hysterical and Liam holding a towel over a bleeding gash on his head caused by a wine glass. Although it seems obvious that Kendall hit him over the head with the wine glass, whether this actually happened is yet to be made clear.


Overall I felt that this was a solid season premiere as a new story arc was established, and any possible continuity errors from the previous season were taken care of, I honestly couldn’t fault it in regards to continuity errors. I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the season and seeing where it goes.



Stray Observations:

-The Southern Jets crashed out of the finals in the previous season.

-Maddie apparently got into a “fight” when she was in year 3. A girl named Celia Butler punched her in the arm and she cried until recess. Jessie points out to her that it wasn’t a real fight.


Best one liners and interactions:

  • “It’s like I’m watching them having sex and they’re not even touching.” (Jessie to the girls on Tahlia flirting with Liam)
  • “This stinks.” “Oh it’s my body in liquid form.” (Tahlia-Paige on Paige’s backpack)
  • “Shit!” “I know the shapewear’s tight but you have to wear it with that outfit.” (Paige-Tahlia)
  • “In my experience, an ex wants to have coffee with you for three reasons: 1. He has an STI, 2. he’s seeing someone, 3. he wants to get back together.” (Tahlia to Paige when Paige tells Tahlia she’s meeting Dan for coffee)
  • “I love the smell of a season launch.” “I don’t smell anything.” “It’s the raw power, testosterone…” “dubious cologne choices.” (Jessie-Maddie-Jessie-Kath)
  • “If her and Dan get back together: champagne, confetti, everyone goes home with a car!” (Maddie to Kath)
  • “Everything I own is in that bag and you felt it, so unless the dress code is moist…” (Paige to Tahlia when Tahlia asks Paige what she plans on wearing to the season launch)
  • “I’ve tried, I’ve left a lot of messages, at one point I thought ‘I’ve stepped over into stalker territory’.” (Maddie to Kath on getting a hold of Kendall)


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