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Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 9 (Octopus Trap Heart)

After a repetitive and predictable season so far, I’ve finally watched the best episode of this season.

As this is the penultimate episode, with the season finale set to air next week, this episode provided some springboards.

Hayley and Ajax—I’ll kick off my review of this episode with them as a good chunk of the episode focused on Hayley. Hayley’s first appearance in the episode is the moment she walks out of the trailer to face Ajax, who wants her to stop pole dancing, which she refuses to do. Later as she is practising her moves in the pole dancing studio, Rod comes in. While I thought he may have offered her a pole dancing job at the Pretty Titty, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him offer her a management role, which she accepts due to the money and her negotiations with him.

Hayley starts the job straight away, which results in Meryl, Matt and Charlie finding out before Ajax does. Once Ajax does find out, he goes to the bar, picks Hayley up and takes her home, much to her (and her girls’) chagrin. Hayley points out to him again that he needs to grow up and that she is making a lot of money for their family.

When Hayley eventually returns home, Ajax has packed a bag and has left her with the kids. She ends up taking the kids to work with her, with Rod looking after them in the back.

Later in the episode you see Hayley showing the miners the specific technique and moves involved in pole dancing, much to their chagrin, and she tries to get Hugh to find some spiritual peace by praying in the girls’ prayer circle that she makes them participate in before work. Meanwhile, Ajax wanders around the farm, before deciding to sleep on the couch in Matt’s house. The next day, at Ajax’s request, Hugh tries to help him get Hayley back, only to give him convoluted advice, which Ajax misinterprets and he ends up splitting with Hayley. Ajax ends up going to the Homestead, upset and seeks comfort from Meryl.

Overall I enjoyed the Hayley-Ajax subplot. I especially enjoyed seeing a different side to Hayley in her managerial role at the bar, standing up for herself to both Rod and Ajax, and I enjoyed how her personality, specifically her religious beliefs, seamlessly integrated with her management style. I didn’t enjoy Ajax behaving like a caveman, as it was out of character.

Hugh—The episode kicks off with Hugh waking up in Penny’s house, having no memory of his behaviour the night before. Jarrod angrily kicks him out of the house, which leads to him walking down the roads of Whyhope to try and get home. Penny finds him, picks him up and takes him to Betty’s house.

When he eventually comes to, he finds himself handcuffed to Betty’s bed, where she warns him that he will damage his relationship with his family and the community if he doesn’t change his ways. Hugh refuses to take her advice on board.

Later when he goes to see Meryl, she tells him in no uncertain terms that he is wasting his life and potential. He leaves, only to come back into the house to find Meryl collapsed on the veranda. He takes her to the hospital, believing she is having a heart attack, and on the drive there, Meryl makes him promise to bring the family back together if anything happens to her. While Meryl wasn’t having a heart attack (which I’ll get to), she makes him stick to his promise and he sets out to make amends with everyone.

While he is reluctant, he is eventually successful. When he tries to make amends with Hayley, he seems to have a moment of clarity while part of the prayer circle, when he admits to blaming everyone else for everything and he is tired of feeling like a failure. However this is short-lived when he asks one of the girls out moments after he finishes his prayer. Whether he is lying to Hayley or really did have a moment of clarity wasn’t made clear.

Overall it was nice to see Hugh not go on a bender for once and actually see him face the ramifications of having a bender. It was also nice to see him finally face the consequences of his actions over the course of the season, even if he was reluctant, and if his intentions and honesty in his amends were questionable. I also appreciated the writers having Betty use her alcoholism as a way to reach out to Hugh.

Meryl—This episode has Meryl deal with the ramifications of approving the opening of the Pretty Titty. First, she is kicked out of the CWA by Helen and then believing she is having a heart attack, only to find out she is suffering from Octopus Trap Heart (or Broken Heart Syndrome), a temporary heart condition. When Hugh tells her it’s a condition that is usually caused by stress, she admits that since Jim died that she doesn’t feel as tough as she use to be, and that the recent family troubles have taken a toll on her.

Meryl is eventually discharged, and her and Hugh organise a family dinner, which everyone except Hayley attends.

Overall I felt this was a good subplot as it showed a human side to Meryl.

Matt and Charlie—I felt that the Matt and Charlie subplot was a little silly. They spent most of the episode trying to figure out how to bring more business to The Brewery, now that they are competing with the Pretty Titty. First, they disguised themselves as miners and went to the bar on a reconnaissance mission, only to discover to their shock that Hayley works there. They also come up with the idea of hot, topless, male waiters.

Their idea seems to be working as they manage to hire some miners, only to be foiled by Rod. This forces them to have Matt, Hugh and Ken work as the hot, topless, male waiters. It eventually leads to success as the rumours of their waiters have spread across town, and the miners from the Pretty Titty eventually show up as Hayley’s demonstration of the pole dancer’s techniques are boring them.

As I said I felt this subplot was a little silly, however it redeemed itself a little by having minor connections to other subplots, such as their reconnaissance mission leading them to discover that Hayley is working at the bar, hiring Ken as a waiter due to his pole dancing skills, and their rowdy night turning the troubled Penny and Jarrod away.

Penny—In this episode, Penny struggles with her feelings towards Jarrod and Hugh. She struggles with Jarrod’s decision and aggressive action in throwing Hugh out of their house, and Hugh’s reluctance and insincerity to make amends for his actions the previous night. Meryl points out to Penny that marriage is hard work and that she found a good husband in Jarrod, as well as her conflicted feelings as a parent towards Hugh, which proves to Penny that Hugh has never changed as a person.

Before Penny and Jarrod go out to The Brewery, Penny comes home to see Jarrod packing a bag. I thought he was leaving and she actually says “please don’t tell me you’re leaving”. He says no, informing her that his superiors at the mine’s head office want to see him. He wants them to pretend nothing is wrong so they can have a nice dinner together before he has to leave, Penny agrees to this, Jarrod tells her he loves her, but she doesn’t say it back. This is another clue that they are clearly not meant to be.

After Jarrod leaves, while she is on the road, Hugh calls her as he hasn’t managed to make amends with her. She says she forgives him, but he echos a statement she made back to her, about not being able to apologise properly if you don’t know what you have to apologise for. This leads her to tell him about his declaration of love he made to her in the previous episode.

This episode ends with Penny’s car being hit by another car, as she questions Hugh on whether he meant his declaration of love for her.

 

Overall I felt this was the best episode of the season as it showed major character development in Hayley, provided springboards for the finale in the form of Hayley and Ajax’s relationship problems and Penny’s car accident, and ended in an exciting cliffhanger to keep the viewers intrigued enough to watch next week’s finale. This was also a solid episode with some of the funniest one liners and interactions the show has ever delivered.

I’m looking forward to watching the finale next week.

 

 

Stray Observations:

Running gag—Hugh constantly asking people “Do I need to apologise to you?”

-Betty lives in an old, converted church.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “What are you doing here?” “Hugh, you’re in my house.” “What am I doing here?” (Hugh-Penny-Hugh when he wakes up at the beginning of the episode)
  • “You have a lot of apologising to do…to every single person in your life.” (Penny to Hugh)
  • “Where did you get handcuffs?” “They were Darren’s.” “Betty, you naughty little girl.” (Hugh-Betty-Hugh when he finds himself handcuffed to Betty’s bed)
  • “I thought ‘she’s handled Meryl all these years, she can handle anything!'” (Rod to Meryl on hiring Hayley as the Pretty Titty manager)
  • “This kitty’s about to kick you in the nuts.” (Charlie to Rod)
  • “You have a beautiful heart, literally speaking not metaphorically.” (Hugh to Meryl on her heart after her suspected heart attack)
  • “Dying epiphanies are supposed to be about yourself, that’s the rule.” (Hugh to Meryl)
  • “You need a cellmate, marriage is a life sentence.” (Meryl to Penny)
  • “We love you too Hugh, you’re just an idiot.” (Charlie to Hugh)
  • “I know where you are, I’ve been there, and if you’re not careful, you’re going to suddenly sober up, and you’re going to find yourself on a private jet to Papua New Guinea, engaged to a rapper called Lazy Eye, and you’ll have not idea how you got there.” (Betty to Hugh on his drinking)

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 8 (Cursed)

In all honesty, to me this felt like nothing more than a filler episode.

Tara—I’ll kick off this review by focusing on the character the episode mostly revolved around. This episode kicks off with Hugh arriving at work to discover that Tara is yet to arrive. He goes to her house and finds her unconscious on the floor and takes her to the hospital. When she arrives at the hospital, Hugh tells Penny about her PTSD and she realises that Tara cheated on her drug test.

As Tara is being treated her parents arrive and we are provided with an insight into her life. Her parents are oblivious to her lifestyle and her probation, and her GP mother has clearly pressured her, her entire life. Hugh later goes to Tara’s house to hide the alcohol and drugs, only for her mother to catch him in the act, and he ends up telling her and Tara’s father about her probation. While this is happening, Betty interrupts their discussion to tell them Tara’s condition has worsened, and Hugh and Penny realises she has Serotonin Syndrome.

Tara eventually recovers and decides to leave her job as she can’t cope with the trauma that comes with it.

Overall while I didn’t find it surprising that she overdosed, her decision to quit and leave did surprise me a little. I didn’t expect it to happen straight after her overdose, however I can see why she made this decision: the whole season so far has shown that her mental health issues and her ways of coping are unhealthy, which has ultimately led to this near-death experience, which has given her a much-needed and overdue wake up call.

It will be interesting to see where the remainder of the season goes without her.

Hugh—This episode provided Hugh’s birthday as bookends. The opening moments of the episode show Hugh running to work, which according to Penny, is a tradition on his birthday, and going into an exam room to see Ken and Betty surprising him with decorations and a birthday cupcake.

Hugh spends most of the episode treating Tara and after she leaves, he goes on yet another bender, before his family birthday party. After Hayley drives him to the party, he manages to insult and alienate his entire family, plus Ken, Jarrod and Penny. At the end of the night, Penny takes him to her and Jarrod’s house to sleep his drinking off, much to Jarrod’s anger. After she puts Hugh in bed, he declares his love for her.

Overall it was nice to see Hugh’s medical skills at work, however I am growing tired of his benders. I feel the writers have done Hugh a disservice this season, essentially unravelling the character development made over the last four years, by basically having him revert back to the man he was in season one. I’m hoping that the writers will focus on another part of Hugh’s character now that Tara has departed.

Ken, Ajax and Hayley—I honestly didn’t enjoy this subplot. While I am enjoying the unlikely friendship between Ken and Hayley, and another aspect of Hayley’s character being developed with the pole dancing, I felt Ajax suspecting her of having an affair and later outright accusing her of having one to be completely out of character.

When Ajax’s suspicions arise at the beginning of the episode, he asks Hugh for advice, which is to go through her phone, which Ajax at first refuses to do, as it is wrong. He later calls Matt, who advises him to talk to Hayley. Things come to a head at Hugh’s family birthday party, when he sees Ken and Hayley talking and giggling, and he confronts Ken and admits to looking through Hayley’s phone. Ken and Hayley tell him about the pole dancing class.

Matt and Charlie—They didn’t get much screen time in this episode, however it was crucial as they officially got back together. Ultimately while this outcome was predictable, I appreciate that it didn’t happen straight away. It will be interesting to see where their renewed relationship goes from here.

Meryl—Meryl is continuing to become a more unlikeable character, as she views the family abandoning her at her family dinner last week as her children being ungrateful, rather than a reflection of her own bad behaviour. She spends most of the episode dealing with the ramifications of Rod’s titty bar opening in town and complaints of the mine blasts from Whyhope’s residents. She later has a meeting with Jarrod at the titty bar and tells him to stop the mine blasting.

 

As I said at the beginning of my review, I felt that this was a filler episode. I feel this way as there was no real action, however Tara’s departure, and Matt and Charlie’s reunion are potential springboards for the remaining episodes of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

Dora sighting—At the farm nearby Matt and Charlie when they are on their date.

-Hugh apparently keeps his birthday “fluid” to prevent identity theft.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You want to take this outside!?” “You mean more outside?” (Ajax-Ken when Ajax angrily confronts Ken believing he and Hayley have been having an affair)
  • “I’m hoping it becomes an Olympic sport.” (Ken to Ajax on pole dancing)

 

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 7 (The Sum of All Our Choices)

After four weeks of delays due to Nine News Bulletins revolving around COVID-19 and at an earlier time slot, this episode finally aired and it was worth the wait.

The title of this episode fit it perfectly as it explored the consequences of certain choices.

Hugh and Tara—At the start of the episode it’s revealed that they have hooked up and Penny asks Tara to complete a drug test to her and Hugh’s chagrin, as it’s also revealed that they drank and took drugs during their hook up. They end up using Eliza’s urine for the test and she gets away with her latest bender. Later, Ken catches Hugh and Tara kissing at the hospital, which results in Penny talking to them in her office and Hugh stepping down as Tara’s supervisor.

Later on they attend to a medical drama, heavily pregnant farmer, Maggie, has cut her leg deeply with a saw at her farm. Tara arrives at the scene first to treat her, then Hugh arrives minutes later. Tara’s PTSD is returning and Hugh realises that Maggie is haemorrhaging so Tara has to perform an emergency c-section to save her life. Despite her reluctance due to her previous experience, she manages to successfully perform the c-section, and Hugh and the paramedics successfully save Maggie’s life. Hugh later reveals that he and Penny had to perform a hysterectomy on Maggie as she developed a blood clotting condition from the incident.

When the day ends, Hugh offers to comfort Tara but she turns him down. At the end of the episode, she spirals out of control by going on another alcohol and drug fuelled bender.

Overall I didn’t enjoy the ongoing cliche of Hugh and Tara going on benders and hooking up, however I felt they redeemed themselves by showing their competence as doctors when treating Maggie. In regards to the medical drama, I felt seeing one play out was long overdue and it was portrayed quite well as it was realistic to the circumstances and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Matt and Charlie—Throughout the episode, Hugh and Charlie are trying to get Matt back in the dating game. Matt runs into Charlie at the beginning of the episode at a petrol station, where he tells her about the break-up and she offers to work at the Brewery to help out. Later, Matt is seen signing up on a dating app and even matching with another woman, however it doesn’t pan out. At the end of the episode, both of them are matched on the dating app by indicating their mutual interest.

Overall I liked this subplot, however I would have liked to have seen more of Matt as a single man. Yes it is highly likely that Matt and Charlie will get back together, but it still would have been good to have Matt as a single man for a while as it would be an opportunity for character development. That being said, if the writers are working towards them getting back together, it looks like it will be a slow burn. Considering how much time has passed in the Doctor Doctor universe and everything that has happened between them and when they have been apart, a slow burn is the best approach to take.

Hayley and Ken—Hayley spends most of the episode job hunting in town and Ken spends most of the episode lamenting how invisible he is to those around him, so it’s only natural that they would eventually stumble upon each other. This is the first episode we’ve seen Hayley and Ken interact and in all honesty it was worth the wait. Ken asks her when was the last time she ever did anything for herself and according to Hayley, she hasn’t since her childhood. Ken then takes her to a pole dancing studio where he reveals that he takes a class every week. Hayley is reluctant to participate due to her religious beliefs, however she changes her mind at the end of the episode as she feels the need to have control over her life and ends up enjoying herself. This also makes Ken happy as someone has finally noticed and listened to him.

Overall I enjoyed the somewhat odd pairing between these two and the fact that they ended up helping each other. I hope we see them in the class together again at some point.

Penny and Jarrod—At the start of the episode, Jarrod tells Penny that his FIFO accommodation got Council approval, which she is happy about, only for that happiness to be quickly squashed when Betty tells her that something is going on at the mine. According to Betty’s online sources, the mine expansion is unsustainable, and Jarrod and his staff are burying environmental statements about the work being done. Penny doesn’t believe her, at least not at first. When Hugh comes into her office while she is reading the online forum that Betty told her about, she tells him about what Betty said and whether it may be true or not.

Betty later tells Penny that the mining company is actually donating a C-Scanner to the Cardiac Wing. Penny thinks it’s generous, until Betty points out something to her. When Penny confronts Jarrod about it, she questions the timing of his donation and accuses him of trying to get a “one-up” on Hugh. Jarrod gets angry and leaves, pointing out to her that she’s pushing him away. Penny calls Hugh to tell him about it.

Overall I found this subplot to be a little rushed and not fully fleshed out, however conflict between Penny and Jarrod regarding Hugh is long overdue. I feel that there should have been more build up to this conflict.

Meryl—The focus on Meryl was relatively minor in this episode but it also spoke volumes. Meryl wants to celebrate becoming Mayor of Whyhope by having a dinner with the family. However as usual, she ends up alienating Hugh, Matt and Ajax by her own selfishness, especially as she doesn’t listen to any of them when she invites them to dinner and makes it all about her, something Matt points out to her. The consequences of this hit her when none of them show up to her dinner.

I enjoyed this minor subplot as on a small level, Meryl finally got what she deserved. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the remaining episodes, especially as there were subtle hints that Matt’s words to her and the fact that no-one showed up clearly hurt her deeply.

 

Overall this episode was an improvement on the previous episodes as there was finally a worthwhile medical emergency to watch, minor character development with Hayley and Ken, the possibility of Matt and Charlie getting back together not being shoved in the viewers’ face as much as it usually is, and Meryl finally experiencing some consequences to her selfish actions.

It will be interesting to see where the remaining episodes go from here.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Penny’s got a nose for bullshit, it’s quite discerning actually.” (Hugh to Tara)
  • “I can’t read anything under that dopey smile, I think it’s stuck there.” (Jarrod to Meryl on Rod)
  • The Pretty Titty—my long, cherished dream.” (Rod on his topless bar dream)
  • “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but you’re doing a good job.” (Penny to Hugh)
  • “You should rule your life like you ruled that pole.” (Ken to Hayley)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2 Finale

This season finale was ultimately all about love.

The episode kicks off with Greg greeting Sophie and Chloe but not Em at breakfast. Sophie and Chloe comment on Greg ignoring Em, with Chloe remarking it has been days and they’re clearly getting a divorce.

Throughout the episode, Greg continues to ignore Em and slowly read her book. They eventually discuss it, Greg doesn’t want the book to be published as it, of course, portrays him as a shit husband, however he does acknowledge that the book is Em’s dream and worked hard on it, but it’s still his face on the cover, and if the “team don’t work, the dream don’t work.” Later, when talking to Marlo, Em admits to her that she understands where Greg is coming from but doesn’t want to give up her dream, so she invites Audrey over to talk to him.

Meanwhile Brad and Nadia are preparing for their impending wedding in Greg and Em’s backyard. When Brad tells Greg he wants his and Nadia’s relationship to be just like Greg and Em’s relationship, Greg tells him not to put his relationship with Em on a pedestal, and that Nadia agrees with him on everything and that’s not normal. This comment throws Brad through a loop and he keeps trying to start a fight with her. He eventually sits down and tells her this, Nadia reveals Greg’s right and that in her previous marriages she would fight with her then-husbands and it led to her divorces, so she feels it’s better to have a passionless, conflict-free marriage with someone she likes. Brad ends up breaking up with her as he wants to marry someone who loves him. While Nadia’s intentions are good, they are misguided and Brad was right to break up with her.

When Greg goes to the treehouse to talk to Brad about the cancelled wedding, Brad explains his needs to him and Greg talks about the book. Brad makes Greg see that Em loves him so much she was able to write an entire book on him, whereas Nadia wouldn’t be able to write an entire post-it on him. Brad also makes Greg see the humorous side to the book. Afterwards Em apologies to Greg for not telling him about the book, and Greg says it deserves to be published.

While the family manages to turn Brad and Nadia’s wedding reception into a party for Em, Audrey reveals she contacted Reese Witherspoon about the book and she wants to buy the rights to it, which means Em gets a payout of $20,000. Greg and Em use the money to pay for the cruise they’ve dreamed on and the episode ends with photos of them having fun on it.

Meanwhile Sophie has been missing Ravi and ignoring his calls, however he turns up to her house at the end of the episode as his flight was delayed and his grandmother’s health has improved, so he managed to convince his parents to let him stay until the end of term. On a smaller note, Terry keeps avoiding Marlo, eventually telling her that he thinks they should have sex less often than they do and he knew she wouldn’t like that idea. They do eventually end up having sex in Greg and Em’s bed, shower and closet, and Marlo ends up agreeing with Terry’s idea.

Overall this was a good but not great season finale. The story arc of Brad and Nadia, Sophie and Ravi, the family cruise, and Em’s book have come to a neat close. However no potential story arcs were set up for next season (if there is another one).

Overall this season has been a huge improvement to the previous season. Although there were still over-the-top, unrealistic, zany moments and subplots I didn’t enjoy, there seemed to be less of them this season. The writing has also improved, with good foreshadowing and pacing, however there were some subplots and moments that were predictable.

It will be interesting to see if it’s renewed for another season.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Brad and Nadia’s wedding makes it Nadia’s third wedding.

-Chloe still has Hannibal, the class turtle.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “It would be nice to cry myself to sleep in my own bed for a change.” (Sophie to Brad)
  • “If the team don’t work, the dream don’t work, that’s why it rhymes.” (Greg to Em)
  • “It’s a draw, so we asked Audrey to adopt us.” “It could be handy to have someone at the residence to sign for packages.” (Chloe-Audrey on Chloe making a list of whether Greg or Em would be better to live with if they got divorced)
  • “You swore!” “If you’re coming to live with me kiddo, it’s the tip of the iceberg.” (Chloe-Audrey)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 7

The penultimate episode of the season focuses on Greg finally finding out that Em has written her book about him.

The episode kicks off with Marlo reading the preview copy of My Sh*t Husband, Marlo encourages Em to tell Greg about it. Em hides the book in a beach bag in their bedroom and asks Greg to have dinner so she can’t talk to him about it. However her plans are hijacked when Greg meets a new stay-at-home dad at school, Carlos, who invites him and Em over for dinner, after spending the day together.

Greg and Em go over to Carlo’s house, where they meet his wife, Martina, with the beach bag. Em at first tries to take it from Greg without success, as he hands it to Martina to put it away. She then puts the bag down on the floor and Em tries to put it elsewhere, only for Martina to see the book and ask her about it. Em lies, saying it’s a surprise for Greg’s birthday the next day.

Em thinks she’s home free only for Martina and Carlos to surprise Greg with a birthday tart and song nearby the pool. As Martina is just about to spill the beans, Em pushes her into the pool. Later, the episode cuts to Greg and Em coming home, with Greg clearly pissed off at Em. Em goes over to see Marlo, and reveals that despite those events, Greg still doesn’t know about the book. As they are talking, in the background, the viewers can see Greg doesn’t have the house keys and goes back to the car to get the beach bag to get them, and goes inside in the house. When Em and Marlo finish talking, Em finds the car boot empty and desperately searches for the beach bag. When she goes inside, she discovers that Greg has found the book and he is understandably upset, grabbing a pillow and choosing to sleep on the couch and read it.

Meanwhile, Sophie encourages Greg and Em to go out for dinner so she and Ravi can spend time together alone. When Sophie calls Ravi to invite him over, Chloe overhears their conversation, and blackmails Sophie into giving the TV to herself without parental controls and her Humpty Dumpty Easter egg. Sophie agrees, however when Ravi comes over, he chooses to play in a fort with Chloe. When Sophie expresses her frustration to Chloe, Chloe reminds her that playing together was Ravi’s idea. When Sophie goes to her  room in frustration to do her homework, Ravi tells her that his grandmother is sick and his mother wants him to come home, and it didn’t feel right for him to start a relationship with her if he has to leave.

On a smaller note, Terry finally comes home from his walk and Marlo is keen for them to hook up, only for Terry to turn her down as he is knackered.

Overall I felt this was a solid episode as the tension of when Greg would find out about the book and Em trying (but not really) to tell him about it was played out beautifully. I also liked the writers’ choice to make Em an unlikeable character in this episode, as she is really just making excuses as to why she hasn’t told him yet, when she has had plenty of time and opportunities to. I also enjoyed the Sophie and Ravi subplot, which I felt was sweet and realistic.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Ravi’s unexplained fascination of police horses is present throughout the episode.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “It’s my experience that difficult and soul destroying news is best delivered hard and fast.” (Marlo to Em)
  • “You’ve got to do this before Tez gets home as well, because once that glorious beast pikes through that door, I’m going to be immersed in a cocoon of love making so passionately intense, that I’m not going to have a spare second to be giving you this excellent advice.” (Marlo to Em)
  • “I can’t wait to kiss your pomegranate lips and touch your almost golden hair.” (Ravi to Sophie)
  • “You’re not allowed to leave this couch for anything.” “If a serial killer comes in, am I allowed to knock on the door to warn you?” “Sure, but wouldn’t he kill you first?” “No, depends on his M.O.” (Sophie-Chloe interaction on the latter staying out of the bedroom)
  • “We’re building a serial killer’s house, Ravi wants Detective Horse to capture him.” (Chloe describing the game her and Ravi are playing to Sophie)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 6

This was one of the best episodes of the series so far.

The episode kicks off with Greg and Em going to a cyber-safety information night, with Em deciding afterwards to install the “ICU app”—a secret surveillance app on Sophie’s phone.

Once Em installs the app, she stays up all night reading Sophie’s texts. Things eventually go pear-shaped when Em sees that Ravi and Sophie have been sending each other flirty messages and then sext each other. Ravi sent Sophie a picture of his butt crack, and Sophie a picture of her breasts in a bra that Em bought for her.

Greg and Em plan to ambush Sophie about the sexts, only to be surprised when she brings Ravi home with her after school, hinting that they are together. Em decides to have Greg talk to Ravi, and she’ll talk to Sophie. When Em talks to Sophie, they discuss sexting rationally and in great detail. Em discusses the real-world ramifications of sexting, while Sophie counters that she didn’t show her face and even if she were to face the consequences that Em described, it was her choice to send the sext to begin with. Sophie eventually reveals that she didn’t sext Ravi, rather she sent a picture of her bra on her knees, which look like breasts. Ravi also reveals to Greg that his photo was a picture of his elbow crease. Sophie reveals that both of them did this as she was aware that Em was spying on her, and that even if she had sexted Ravi, Em had no right to invade her privacy.

Ravi and Sophie joke about their plan and actually end up becoming a couple, with Sophie making the first move by kissing him.

Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it explored parental fears around mobile phone technology in a realistic manner, and focused on the issue of sexting in a realistic and thought-out manner, especially through Em and Sophie’s discussion.

The minor subplots of the episode were Chloe’s last-minute costume for Book Week, a clown from a picture book that was shown in an earlier episode, which wins her the “Best Costume Award”. Brad also turns to Marlo for advice on how to spice up his and Nadia’s sex life, which she assists him with by going to a lingerie store. Brad ends up buying underwear with Animal the Muppet on them, which says “Wild Thing.”

Overall I felt these minor subplots added a nice comedic balance to the Sophie subplot. I especially enjoyed the scenes with Marlo and Brad in lingerie store, and Chloe scaring Brad with her clown costume at the end of the episode.

 

 

Stray Observations:

-According to the texts Em read on Sophie’s phone, Lindsay and Georgia are on the rocks and Greg didn’t think Georgia was the right person for Lindsay. The fact that Em and Greg can casually have a conversation about Sophie’s gay friend, and actually support the relationship and Lindsay, shows how far television has come in its portrayal of LGBTIQ+ characters and relationships.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Sergeant Cynical”, “Corporal Clueless” (The names that the host of the cyber-security information night calls Greg)
  • “I thought meditation was suppose to help you relax, you look awful.” (Chloe to Em)
  • “He’s kind, compassionate, a Star Wars fan.” (Greg describing Ravi’s good qualities to Em)
  • “Which culture celebrates the arse crack?” (Greg to Em on Ravi’s sext)
  • “For the record, I never thought Sophie would become a drug dealer or anything, Chloe on the other hand should be microchipped.” (Greg to Em)

 

How to Stay Married—Season 2, Episode 5

This episode was all about the internet.

This episode kicks off with Chloe expressing frustration at the internet cutting in and out, leaving her unable to watch Terry’s interview on a morning show about his walking. Em also expresses her frustration by informing Greg she has been unable to download important work emails. Greg tells them that he has managed to get an NBN technician to come out and he has to stay home all day to wait for them to show up.

However Greg abandons this task when Brad informs him of an Aldi special buy he can’t refuse—an electric blanket.

Greg manages to get the blanket, however problems arise for both him and Em when he helps a trolley man control his trolleys, as his own trolley rolls down the car park, hitting another car and he drops his phone, which is subsequently run over.

While Chloe is looking forward to an excursion at the aquarium, she later finds out that due to their internet issues, neither Em nor Greg have signed the online permission slip. Due to the owner of the car trying to blackmail Greg into fixing his ute, Greg is stuck at Aldi with the owner and the trolley man watching the surveillance footage of the incident. Greg uses the trolley man’s phone to contact Sophie and ask her to go home at lunch to meet the technician.

While all of this is going on, Em is in a meeting to decide on a cover for her book, with her phone constantly going off. Things come to a head when Chloe vomits on a school receptionist and Sophie informs Em that Greg is at Aldi.

After Em takes Chloe home, Greg comes home himself where she argues with him about the whole day. They hear a knock at the door and think it’s the NBN technician, only to discover the man at the door was a Jehovah’s Witness.

On a smaller note, Sophie has a huge pimple on her nose throughout the episode, which Lindsay tries to help cover up with make-up, only to be caught by a teacher. She is worried about what Ben will think of it, only to discover him hooking up with another girl at school.

Overall I felt this episode was as mediocre as the previous episode as the outcome was predictable. However I appreciated the continuation of the book story arc and progression of the “Cool Ben” subplot.

 

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I’m completely socially irrelevant, I might as well be on MySpace.” (Sophie to Greg)
  • “Em’s feet are so cold at night and then she puts them on mine like a Dementor.” (Greg to Brad)
  • “This is a place of learning not casting for Married at First Sight.” (A teacher to Sophie on her make-up)
  • “I’d rather motorboat Boris Johnson’s back fat than have our name associated with that cover.” (Audrey to Em)
  • “But Mummy, my heart’s broken!” (Chloe to Em)