Playing For Keeps–Season 2, Episode 4

Tahlia–I felt it was best to start my character-by-character review of this episode by focusing on the star character. This episode revolves around the nude photo scandal, which happened due to Connor losing his phone and not deleting the photos remotely quickly enough.

The scandal is first bought to life when Rusty and Liam notice the boys fighting over a phone at Liam’s casino party, and Rusty demands they hand the phone over to find out what’s going on, and he in turn hands the phone to Connor. Connor tries to warn Tahlia by calling her, however she ignores his call and finds out for herself via her phone notifications.

The girls immediately support her, and Tahlia reveals to Kath that she sent the photos to Connor during a dry spell, which her and Connor were experiencing due to Connor and Kath’s affair. Tahlia warns Kath that he may have stuff on his phone about her too, however nothing in that regard eventuates.

Meanwhile, Diane suggests to Tahlia that she maintain a “dignified silence” on the matter, bluntly telling her “my money, my rules”. However this solution doesn’t work, so Diane’s Plan B is to issue an apology. Tahlia rightfully points out that she’s done nothing wrong, however Diane reminds her that her major retail deal is at stake. When the media attention on the scandal turns nasty, Tahlia asks Diane to issue the apology.

Later, when Tahlia is launching the swimwear range, she is wearing one of her signature outfits which is showing off her shoulders, only to be told by Diane (acting on behalf of the big guns) to cover up. When she gets a leading question from the MC who is supposed to be asking softball questions, Tahlia finally and firmly stands up for herself. Later Connor properly apologises to her.

Towards the end of the episode, Liam approaches Tahlia and asks her to admit that they have chemistry. However Tahlia firmly stands up to him, finally making it clear there needs to be boundaries between them and that she doesn’t want to have a relationship with him.

Overall I felt this was a strong subplot as it touched on the issues of consent and double standards. It also touched upon control, especially when Diane took control over the situation, and she later told Tahlia to cover up at the launch and she sleeked her hair back, only to remove her jacket and loosen her hair when she finally stood up for herself.

Maddy, Kath and Oliver–Maddy is struggling with balancing her role of coach’s wife with her legal career, which is further complicated when the club’s Integrity Operations Manager informs Kath of someone betting against the team. The Integrity Operations Manager tells Kath that the plunge in the team’s odds happened before the announcement of Dan’s injury, and the investigation will focus on the plunge in odds, and major bets placed during that time and anyone who may have game sensitive information.

It’s eventually revealed that Oliver placed a large bet against the team. Maddy informs Trav of this, revealing that he was able to do so due to gaining sensitive information from her talking about what was happening and attending the President’s lunch. Trav is angry and storms off, later refusing to talk to her when they are in bed. Maddy later confronts Oliver, and he reveals he needed the money as he is in debt from his divorce. She tells him to get himself together and not to use her to do it, she also tells him he’s off the case they are working on and she’ll make sure the firm won’t work with him.

Overall I felt this subplot was predictable, but it mostly addressed what Oliver was up to in previous episodes. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out in future episodes.

Jessie—At the end of the previous episode, Jessie decided that she would launch the Jets’ women’s team instead of joining the Eastern Dragons women’s team. To do this, Jessie has asked tabloid reporter, Hayley Faulkner, to do a profile on her to provide publicity for the team to be launched. During the profile, Jessie does a photo shoot, where it’s revealed her personal fashion style is more “sporty chic” than glam, which was refreshing.

Prior to publication, Hayley sends Jessie proofs where Hayley brings Georgie’s paternity into question in the article. Jessie asks Hayley to remove it from the article and she does, however when the article is published and after Kath happily sees it, she tells Kath it’s time for the truth to come out and isn’t afraid of it coming out anymore. Kath also tells Jessie that she won, as the article has led to the Board deciding to hold a membership vote on the establishment of the women’s team.

Overall while this subplot was relatively minor, it does provide a good first puzzle piece of the women’s team starting, not to mention it had an element of fun with the photo shoot, and it came to an unexpected end when it leads to Georgie’s paternity being focused on.

Paige and Dan—Their subplot was minor as Paige finally revealed to Dan that her and Brody have hooked up. Dan is clearly upset and tries to hastily exit from their hang out session, only to run into a skateboarder and be knocked down. His ribs are fractured due to the incident and he is forced out for six weeks. From then on, things are awkward between them, even more so when Paige brings in Brody’s student, Samira, for work experience at the club.

At the end of the episode, Dan asks Paige for space so he can deal with their changed dynamic. This request upsets Paige, the next morning against Tahlia’s advice, she goes to his place to see him, only to see Samira leave and Dan call out to her as she left her jacket behind, implying that they have slept together.

Overall I felt that their subplot needed to happen, as their dynamic change is finally addressed, however more complications are added when it appears Samira and Dan have hooked up. Whether they did, and if so, if he hooked up with her out of revenge remains to be seen.

Kath and Brian—When the scandal breaks, Kath calls Brian and says “it’s time and people are starting to ask questions”, however what she is referring to isn’t touched upon. At the end of the episode, Brian has returned home and Kath tearfully embraces him. Where their relationship goes from here and what Kath was referring to during their phone call remains to be seen.

 

Overall I felt this was a solid episode, especially with the Tahlia subplot as it touched on timely and important issues, and provided important and necessary character development with her. While the other subplots were minor in comparison, they each provided important puzzle pieces for them to develop in future episodes.

 

Stray Observations:

-Tahlia buys Diane a copy of “Post Feminism for Dummies” after she finally and publicly stands up for herself.

-Up until their loss, the Jets were undefeated. In the game featured in this episode, the Jets lost by 48 points. Rusty and Liam played well, Connor didn’t.

-Jessie hates the press and up until now, hasn’t done press in years.

-I like how Trav voices his concerns of how into weaponry the kids are when he picks up their toy guns, but then later dismisses his own concerns by pointing out the toy guns have foam ammo.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Do you like my home casino?” “I’m surprised you didn’t make them wear bunny ears.” (Liam to Connor, and Connor’s response to him regarding the women hired to work at the party)
  • “Remember the house always wins.” “Good thing he lives here.” (Connor to Dan and Liam’s response to him)
  • “I could kill him, I could actually kill him.” (Tahlia to the girls on the photos being released due to Connor losing his phone and not deleting the photos quickly enough)
  • “I could kill him, I could actually kill him.” “No jury in the world would convict you.” “It’s my professional opinion to tell you that isn’t remotely true.” (Tahlia-Paige-Maddy)
  • “For a silent partner, she’s being pretty bloody loud.” (Tahlia to Paige on Diane)
  • “I realise dignity and silence are two concepts you are unfamiliar with.” (Diane to Tahlia)
  • “You know how you get a bikini body, Mike? You get a bikini and put it on your body.” (Tahlia to Mike, the MC, interviewing her when he makes a jibe about her body)
  • “I’m not sorry, because I’ve got nothing to be sorry for. Those photos were stolen and published without my consent, something I’m still entitled to no matter how famous I or the people I use to sleep with am. The saddest part is there’s literally thousands of photos out there, taken with my full permission, so whoever’s getting off on these photos, it says a lot more about them then it does about me. I may not be every mother’s dream role model for their daughter, but I will not be anyone’s punching bag, I deserve better, we all deserve better.” (Tahlia to Mike)
  • “I see congratulations are in order.” “I also accept champagne and expensive gifts.” (Liam-Tahlia)
  • “I’m just a guy sitting in front of a girl, asking her to dinner.” (Liam to Tahlia)
  • “Sort your shit out, but don’t use me to do it!” (Maddy to Oliver)
  • “I broke a lot of hearts, closed a lot of doors, but all in all they’re both really happy for me.” (Brody to Paige on telling his exes about their hook up)

 

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