This episode was a breath of fresh air as Hugh didn’t go on a bender and the focus started to shift to the other characters.
Dinah—I thought I’d start this episode’s review by focusing on the newest arrival in Whyhope, Dinah, Harriet’s mother and Eliza’s grandmother. Dinah offers to babysit Eliza while Hugh is working, much to his relief as he is struggling with single fatherhood and finding day care for Eliza. However Dinah eventually but mostly unintentionally causes trouble for Hugh, Meryl and Ajax.
With Hugh, she decides to take Eliza for a walk in the bush, only to get lost and call him for help. This leads to Jarrod going down a ditch to rescue her, only to get a groin injury. She then causes trouble for Meryl as she suggests to her and Hayley to find a dummy candidate to increase her chances of winning the election. This leads to Meryl and Hayley picking Ajax, but they don’t tell him he’s a dummy candidate, which only makes the situation worse when he does find out and leads to unintended consequences (which I’ll get to).
Dinah doesn’t leave Whyhope at the end of the episode, so I’m assuming she’ll be around for a while. It’ll be interesting to see what other trouble she causes.
Meryl, Hayley, Ajax and Betty—As mentioned earlier, Dinah gives Meryl and Hayley the idea to have a dummy candidate run in the local election, they choose Ajax, convincing him to run, after discovering Eddie is running for Annie’s seat. Throughout the episode, Ajax plays along, letting Hayley speak for him in an interview and basically doing what Meryl and Hayley tell him to do, however this all changes when he discovers the truth, taking it as Meryl thinking he is dumb. He proves that he is not only intelligent but a solid and good candidate for Council, when he reveals his knowledge of the area, and his ideas are original and beneficial for the community. Ajax gets a note from someone to meet up at the cemetery, the mystery person is Betty, who convinces him to work with her to get revenge on Meryl, for her contribution to her and Darren’s break up. He agrees and they announce that he is a serious contender and Betty will be managing his campaign. Eddie withdraws from the election and ends up endorsing Ajax.
Overall I enjoyed this subplot, it shows once again there is more to Ajax than meets the eye, and the twist of Betty wanting revenge was a nice touch and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Matt, Charlie and April—Their subplot was relatively minor however was crucial in their overall story arc. April spends most of the episode out of town at a wedding expo, which leaves him alone with Charlie and struggling to deal with his feelings for her. The first sign of this struggle is his obvious jealously of the chemistry between her and Val. This leads him to snap at Val over his international chicken schnitzel idea for The Brewery, which leads to Val quitting, convinced by Charlie to do so. Matt tries to get him to come back, but he refuses.
This leaves Matt and Charlie having to cook the international schnitzels for the candidate forum by themselves, where their feelings for each other and sexual tension are demonstrated further. At the end of the day, they decide to have drinks and it appears that they have slept together, especially when Matt greets Charlie the next morning with a “good morning, babe” and a kiss, however Charlie reveals they didn’t. Charlie tells Matt that sitting at her desk has enabled her to write again and wants to stick around longer than promised.
Matt’s struggle is illustrated further when April is FaceTiming him throughout the episode, constantly passive-aggressively suggesting that they get married. I can’t help but feel this is due to Matt and Charlie’s obvious feelings and chemistry, which she can sense and therefore feels the issue will be fixed or go away if they get married.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this love triangle will go.
Hugh and Tara—They didn’t spend much time together until the second half of the episode when Tara has to deal with a pregnant patient who is experiencing complications. Tara is seen having panic attacks and gets Hugh to help her at the eleventh hour. Hugh calls her out and the dangers her anxiety posed, which leads to her revealing to Hugh where her anxiety originated—a pregnant patient with complications who died giving birth to her baby, who also died due to said complications. She also reveals that she hasn’t had counselling to deal with her anxiety and begs Hugh not to tell Penny about it. The episode ends with Hugh and Tara having a one night stand.
Overall I enjoyed the character development with Tara, however I felt the one night stand outcome was inevitable and predictable. It will be interesting to see if Tara’s anxiety has other unintended consequences throughout the season.
Penny and Jarrod—This episode was actually a little “Penny lite”, however we did find out from Jarrod that they are considering having a child together, with Jarrod choosing to get his sperm tested. Penny and Jarrod’s plans are almost blown when Jarrod slips while rescuing Dinah and injures his testicles, but Hugh manages to treat the injury.
At the end of the episode, Penny suggests that they get married on Sunday.
Overall this subplot didn’t really add anything to the episode other than the fact that Jarrod is aware of Hugh’s suppressed feelings for Penny.
Betty and Eddie—Throughout the episode, Betty is interacting with Tara’s pregnant patient. After talking to her, it is revealed that Eddie is the father of her child. At the end of the candidate forum, Betty tells Eddie everything by whispering in his ear. The fate of the patient and Eddie’s relationship is left unknown at the end of the episode, however this minor subplot was a nice twist on Eddie’s character.
Overall I enjoyed this episode and it is the most interesting one of the season to date.
Best one liners and interactions:
- “He still hasn’t arranged day care.” “I refuse to change any more nappies, I refuse!” (Penny-Ken on Hugh’s struggles with single fatherhood)
- “I’m Jarrod, I’m marrying the girl he likes.” (Jarrod introducing himself to Dinah)
- “Time is testicle!” (Hugh to Jarrod after Jarrod falls and injures himself)
- “This is like the elephant speech in year 9, only worse.” (Ajax to Meryl and Hayley on speaking at the candidate forum)
- “You can’t sell people down the river and not have karma sail back up for you Meryl!” (Betty to Meryl on helping Ajax with his election campaign)