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Doctor Doctor—Season 4 Finale (Ring of Fire)

The job of a season finale is to wrap up the season’s story arcs and establish new ones for the next season. I felt that this finale did three-quarters of the job.

Penny & Hugh—I’ll start my review with them as the finale kicked off with them. The finale picks up where the previous episode left off—Penny’s car accident, with Penny, blood pouring down her face, getting out of the car, calling an ambulance, and going to assist the other driver. She manages to pull three kids out of the other driver’s car as the ambulance and Hugh arrive. She collapses and loses consciousness in Hugh’s arms, shortly after the other driver’s car explodes.

After Penny, the other driver and the other driver’s kids are taken to the hospital, Jarrod arrives from his trip to Melbourne to see Penny, and informs her that he has been offered a job in Broome, which he seems to have accepted without consulting her. He asks her to leave her job and go with him straight away, as he has to start on Monday. Although she is initially reluctant, she agrees.

While Penny is getting ready to move with Jarrod, Hugh discovers that Phoenix, one of the other driver’s kids, has compartment syndrome in his arm and has to perform surgery. Penny goes back to the hospital when she finds this out and Hugh informs her that he has agreed to sign a three-year contract and replace her as hospital administrator, which horrifies her. She later sees Jarrod and tells him about the fact that she was on the phone to Hugh discussing his declaration of love for her prior to the car accident. Jarrod asks her flat out if she wants him to end their marriage, Penny says no and that she loves him, he tells her that he’s leaving and he’s not coming back, whether she comes with him or not.

Later, while she is packing her desk, she debates her conflicted feelings with Betty. When she finishes up, Hugh offers to drive her to the airport, while she initially refuses, she relents due to a lack of time.

When they get to the airport they have a heart-to-heart, their first true one throughout the show’s run on their complex dynamic and feelings. Penny asks Hugh if he meant what he said or whether he was just drunk, he admits it was both. She then asks him why he couldn’t keep his feelings to himself, he admits that he does but sometimes he gets drunk and they slip out. She then asks why she would spend her life with him when he’s not going to change. He admits he won’t. Hugh then calls Penny out by asking her how she feels, and she finally admits that she loves him too. She then asks Hugh why he leaves discussions like this with her until the last minute, his answer isn’t seen and then she leaves.

In the final moments of the episode, we see Hugh sitting at Penny’s empty desk, ready to take the helm as hospital administrator.

I wasn’t that surprised by Jarrod’s job offer in Broome as it provides yet another obstacle for Hugh and Penny, although I felt the progression was a little rushed. However I am happy that Hugh and Penny finally admitted to their feelings for each other and truly put their cards on the table for the first time. I’m also looking forward to seeing Hugh as the hospital administrator next season.

Meryl, Ajax and Hayley—At the beginning of the episode, both Ajax and Hayley admit to each other that they don’t want to split up, however Hayley tells Ajax that they need to make major changes for their marriage to work. Ajax still wants Hayley to give up her job, which she still refuses to do. Hayley reminds him that they are living in a paddock as he got upset with Meryl, and he needs to take a breath and think through his decisions more. Later, when Hayley is praying with the girls at work, the girls, through revealing their own bad experiences, tell Hayley how lucky she is to have Ajax.

Meanwhile Meryl has to deal with Rod’s desire to get a 24-hour operating licence for the Pretty Titty. She has a coffee with him in town, telling him that she has become a pariah in Whyhope because of it and she actually doesn’t want him to have a 24-hour licence. Rod tells her that he made her Mayor of Whyhope and he can take it away from her. Meryl then goes to see Hayley, planting the idea in her head that a 24-hour licence will mean the girls will be providing “special services” to the Pretty Titty’s customers, which unsettles Hayley.

Later, Ajax asks Matt and Charlie to look after Jimmy and Eliza while he goes camping to think things through. Meanwhile, Hayley’s religious ways are alienating her girls, with things coming to a head when Cherry is given $50 by a miner and Hayley, jumping to conclusions, takes it away from her. Cherry and the other girls call her out on her “holier than thou” attitude and walk away from her.

Later the Pretty Titty is seen burning to the ground by half the town, during the fire, Ajax comes to see Hayley. They go to a nearby café, where Hayley makes Ajax swear that he had nothing to do with the fire. He didn’t as he explains he was camping and “talking to Jim”. He tells her that talking to him led to him realising he wants to be a farmer and a dad, and that he has decided to go to Ag College.

Later when Meryl, Ajax and Rod meet Glen in his office, it’s revealed that the Pretty Titty fire was caused by a sandwich grill and a faulty electrical socket. Meryl then proposes that Rod and Glen jointly purchase Ajax’s cemetery business, so he has the money to go to Ag College, which they accept.

At the end of the episode, Hayley is seen running The Brewery in Matt and Charlie’s absence (which I’ll get to) with her girls working there, and Ajax is seen making plans to build a house for himself, Hayley and Jimmy.

Overall I felt that Ajax and Hayley resolving their problems was an obvious outcome, however how they got there was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. They didn’t compromise on their dreams, rather they found new ones that work well together.

Matt and Charlie—Matt and Charlie got little screen time in this finale. Ajax comes to see them to ask them to look after Jimmy and Eliza while he goes camping. While they are looking after them, they address their past issues (including having children), with Charlie saying she wants things to be different this time. Later, when they are at a café, Matt proposes the idea of their marriage being a life of adventure and to travel, dubbing the opportunity “a post-divorce honeymoon.”

At the end of the episode, they are seen leaving Whyhope to go on their “post-divorce honeymoon.”

Overall while their screen time was short it was used well. They finally addressed their issues and put them to rest and set on a new chapter in their marriage, which will ultimately lead to much-needed and overdue character growth.

 

Season 4 as a whole:

Overall I feel that this season was Doctor Doctor’s worst. I feel that making Hugh a “bad boy” again in the first half of the season, unraveled years of writing and character development, and if I didn’t know any better, made it look like the writers had run out of ideas of what to do with him (at least at first). While I didn’t enjoy Hugh reverting back to being a bad boy, I did enjoy him being put in the role as Tara’s supervisor and seeing himself in Tara, when Tara was presented as “Hugh 2.0” to the viewers. However there were only improvements in the writing for Hugh once Tara left. I am happy that the writers decided to make Hugh the replacement hospital administrator as it’s a natural progression from him being on probation, to Tara’s supervisor and from next season, running the hospital.

I also haven’t enjoyed the Penny-Jarrod relationship, mainly as we all know that Penny and Hugh will eventually end up together (or at least I hope so, we know they love each other) and with the time jump at the beginning of the season, it was revealed that Penny and Jarrod had already been together for eight months. So the viewers weren’t given a proper introduction to Jarrod and didn’t see their relationship begin and evolve to get to the point where it was at the beginning of the season. I personally found it hard to be invested in or care about their relationship as, due to the time jump at the beginning of the season, it feels like their relationship is a book I started reading in the middle. I felt their elopement was rushed and out of character for Penny, and that Jarrod slowly became a more unlikeable character as the season progressed. I was hoping that their relationship would end in the finale, however Penny leaving provides the perfect opportunity for Hugh to step into her role.

On a positive note, with Matt and Charlie, I felt that their reunion was predictable, however the way their reunion came about wasn’t predictable and was in fact played out beautifully and realistically. Although Charlie was actively trying to sabotage Matt and April’s relationship at first, when that relationship ended, Matt and Charlie didn’t rush things and they actually addressed and resolved their past issues in their marriage. They also allowed themselves to explore and expand their marriage by leaving Whyhope to travel.

While I felt the addition of the Pretty Titty bar was a little unrealistic for a town like Whyhope, it did provide opportunities for character development in Ajax and Hayley. Hayley had already experienced character development through learning how to pole dance and do something for herself for once, the addition of the bar and Hayley getting the manager position tested their marriage. While I felt it was out of character for Ajax to act like a caveman about Hayley’s job, I felt that the testing of their marriage was good for their characters as it matured them. They are childhood sweethearts who married and had their first child young, with the relationship sailing smoothly for the most part, without any real challenges. They came out of it stronger, developed and ready to embrace a new chapter with running The Brewery in Matt and Charlie’s absence, with Ajax going to Ag College, and building their own home.

While Meryl wouldn’t be Meryl without her pursuing her political ambitions, especially aiming for the Mayor role, which she eventually gets again, I felt her selfish ways to pursue these ambitions made her an unlikeable character. This is shown perfectly when she plans and cooks a celebratory dinner that she invites the family to and no-one attends. I actually enjoyed seeing that her tenure as Mayor was bumpy, and she becomes more selfless as the season progresses, especially with offering to raise Eliza like she raised Ajax so Hugh can pursue career ambitions outside of Whyhope, and proposing that Rod and Glen buy Ajax’s cemetery business so he can go to Ag College.

On smaller notes, I felt that Betty and Ken weren’t utilised as much as they could and should have been this season. They barely got any screen time in comparison to previous seasons and at the beginning of this season, Ken came across as a bit of a whinger as his relationship with Mia ended.

Overall I feel that this season was the show’s worst due to the inconsistent and bumpy writing, and inconsistent character development. I’m hoping that Jarrod and Bad Boy Hugh is gone next season.

 

Final thoughts on the Season 4 Finale

Despite my criticisms of this season, I felt that the finale was good. The Pretty Titty subplot was brought to a close and there are many story arcs with potential for next season with Hugh being the new hospital administrator, Ajax going to Ag College, Matt and Charlie travelling, and Hayley and Ajax running The Brewery in Matt and Charlie’s absence. I’m also intrigued to see how Penny and Jarrod’s move and relationship will play out in Broome, when she eventually and inevitably returns.

I’m looking forward to seeing improvements and reviewing season 5 when it eventually airs.

 

Stray Observations

-Jarrod bought Penny overalls to go home from the hospital in, apparently in consideration for her busted rib.

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You know I’m rubbish with kids.” “A school teacher, yeah right!” (Charlie-Ajax on babysitting Jimmy and Eliza)
  • “Apparently I’m turning Whyhope into the red light district of the Central West.” (Meryl to Hugh on the Pretty Titty)
  • “Was she just too much an angel to survive in this ugly world?” (Rod to Meryl on the Pretty Titty burning down)
  • “Ajax, swear to me you had nothing to do with setting fire to the Pretty Titty.” “Hails, this is a menu.” (Hayley-Ajax)

 

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)

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 6 (Oh Baby)

This episode showed major improvement in a season that is proving to be repetitive and predictable.

Matt and April—I’ll start with them as the episode mostly revolves around them. The episode kicks off with Matt preparing a romantic evening for him and April, only for April to reveal that she is pregnant, much to their joy. Despite April asking Matt not to tell anyone about it, he tells Ajax and Charlie about it anyway, which leads to Meryl and Hayley finding out and putting a “Congratulations!” banner out for them at the Homestead when they go over for dinner.

When April finally gets the chance to see Hugh to confirm the home test, he does a blood test and ultrasound and confirms that she had an early miscarriage. April goes home and tells Matt the news, hugging him but not facing him.

Throughout the episode Charlie is present and indirectly causing issues. First, with being at the hospital after April finds out she has miscarried and again at the netball game. At the netball game, things only get worse when Matt fills in on the FIFO netball team and starts a fight with Hugh. When April calls him out when they are back home, he tells her he’s mad at Hugh for being fertile.

After the miscarriage and Matt sleeping alone in the bathtub, April and Matt talk about their relationship. April admits she knows that Matt is confused about his feelings for Charlie, but asks him to pick her so they can have a life together. Matt tells April he loves her and can see their future together but he can’t pick her because he’s still in love with Charlie. April leaves, telling him to go hell.

Overall I felt their subplot concluded their story arc perfectly. They got what they wanted at first, however their relationship ending was inevitable. That being said, now that both April and Charlie have left, it’s hard to know where Matt goes from here. In all honesty, it’s been difficult to be fully invested in both Matt and April’s & Matt and Charlie’s relationships. Last season, Charlie was written as an unlikeable character who walked out on Matt, and when she returned she went out of her way to sabotage Matt and April’s relationship, and now she has left again. Meanwhile, Matt and April’s relationship was rushed last season and even more so with the twelve month time jump at the beginning of this season, and the question of whether Matt accepted April’s proposal going unanswered.

It’ll be interesting to see where Matt goes from here on the romance front.

Meryl and Hayley—Meryl spends this episode working harder on becoming Mayor by going to the Council meetings and helping organise the charity netball game between the clinic and the FIFOs, an idea that Hayley came up with to both raise money for the clinic and introduce the FIFOs to town. This comes after Nancy reveals findings in a report that the town doesn’t like the idea of having 300 FIFOs wandering the streets at night. Meryl eventually finds out from Jarrod that he has 100 not 300 FIFOs, which leads to Meryl discovering that Nancy forged the figures on the report that her brother-in-law wrote, and just stops short of blackmailing her into resigning. The netball match is a success, raising at least $15,000 for the clinic, even though both Matt and Jarrod tackled Hugh throughout the game.

Hugh—Hugh is still in exile, staying at the old ward with Charlie. However Penny has returned from her honeymoon and discovers this, evicting him and Charlie. He keeps himself busy in the meantime by being on the clinic’s netball team, treating a little boy, and finally making up with Meryl and getting Eliza back. At the end of the episode, he moves in with Matt after April leaves. Although the focus on Hugh was minor and sporadic, he made a lot of progress and I’m looking forward to seeing where the writers take Matt and Hugh living together.

Charlie—The focus on Charlie was minor, showing her at the hospital staying with Hugh, running into Matt and hearing the news of the pregnancy, running into April after she finds out about her miscarriage, being on the clinic’s netball team, and eventually leaving town at the end of the episode.

Tara—Tara tries her best to deal with this week’s medical drama. Amelia, an ex-nurse, brings her son, Xavier, in. It is clear she has a crush on Hugh and as a result is antagonistic towards Tara. Because of Amelia’s antagonism, Tara dismisses Amelia’s desire to have Xavier checked out again as her wanting to see Hugh again, however it’s later revealed that Xavier had Giardia and needed antibiotics. Penny chastises her for the error and Tara is seen getting drunk at the pub at the end of the episode. I enjoyed this subplot as it showed Tara as a doctor without any Hugh or drug dramas attached.

 

Overall this episode was an improvement as it brought the Matt-April story arc to a close, opened up story arc possibilities with Matt and Hugh living together and Meryl possibly becoming Mayor, and showed a minor medical drama. It was also refreshing not to see Hugh and Tara on a drug bender, or Hugh be the main focus of the episode.

 

 

Stray Observations:

Dora sighting: At the front of Matt’s house at the beginning of the episode.

-Matt was on a tractor by six months.

-Hayley, Ajax and Jimmy are still living in the caravan but they are clearly getting use to it and have made it more of a home now.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “There are bubbles, Tim-Tams within easy reach…” (Matt to April on preparing for their romantic night)
  • “Is it yours?” “It’s definitely not yours.” (Matt-April on the positive pregnancy test)
  • “Can someone please remove that disgusting brown brick from the fridge?” “Also known as my banana bread, and it’s gone.” (Tara-Betty)
  • “If intervention was easy I’d do it more often.” (Meryl to Hayley)
  • “It would be an honour.” “Against the FIFOs” “A terrifying and unsafe honour.” (Ken-Penny-Ken on the netball game)
  • “I’m not wearing a skirt or pivoting.” (Hugh to Penny on the netball game)
  • “That woman has had as many farewell tours as John Farnham.” (April to Matt on Charlie)
  • “It’s alright who needs a spleen anyway.” (Hugh on Jarrod tackling him)
  • “You’re an arsehole with too many flannelette shirts, you needed to hear that!” (April to Matt)

 

Doctor Doctor—Season 4, Episode 5 (The Getaway)

This episode has Hugh reach a turning point.

Penny and Jarrod—Penny and Jarrod are trying to go on their honeymoon only for obstacles to get in their way. Jarrod asks Hugh to perform pre-medical exams on his miners and Penny asks Tara to run the clinic while they are away. After one setback, and Penny admitting to Betty that she and Hugh kissed, she eventually tells Jarrod about the kiss. After an initial reschedule, Penny and Jarrod miss their flights again, and Penny comes back from the hospital after treating Robbo (who I’ll get to in a minute) to find Jarrod waiting for her. Jarrod tells her he’s not a jealous bloke but also questions her choice to kiss Hugh. Penny admits that she loves her independence and that Jarrod doesn’t play games, and she wants him. They try to go on their honeymoon again, only for Jarrod and Matt to stop their charter flight in search of a kidnapped Eliza.

Overall I was surprised that Penny fessed up to the kiss so quickly and I honestly thought Jarrod would end the marriage, so it will be interesting to see where they are at in next week’s episode.

Hugh, Meryl and Dinah—The main plot for this episode was Dinah kidnapping Eliza, however a series of events leads to this. It starts with Dinah deliberately waking Hugh and Eliza in the morning, then Dinah going to see Meryl where both of them share and admit to their parenting failures. When Hugh comes home from partying with Charlie, Tara and Robbo, and Dinah witnesses him drunk and drugs falling out of his pocket, this leads her to kidnap Eliza the next day.

While Hugh and Matt chase after her, initially thinking her flight is taking off early, Meryl finds her at the airport, waiting for her delayed flight. Meryl peacefully confronts her by reminding her that if Harriet wanted to be with Eliza she would be, and that Dinah kidnapping her and Harriet’s drug problems won’t help her with any custody battle. Dinah says goodbye to Eliza and leaves. When Hugh and Meryl return home, Meryl admits that Dinah was right about Hugh being an unfit parent and orders him to leave and not to return until he has his head screwed on straight. He leaves and goes to stay at an unused wing of the Hospital with Charlie.

Overall I felt this was a strong subplot as there was empathy for all of the characters involved and Meryl kicking Hugh out might possibly bring him back to his senses (eventually). This might also shake up the whole Hugh-constantly-on-benders story arc.

Matt and April—The focus on them was minor with the subplot purely being about trying to conceive, only to be seemingly reluctant when they are unable to give up their vices that will ultimately prevent them from conceiving, and Matt’s inability to perform doesn’t help matters. Although it seems like Charlie is trying to sabotage their relationship again, she only wants her desk back and Charlie never interacts with April.

Considering the promo for next week’s episode being all about Matt making a choice between April and Charlie, I feel their subplot was deliberately showing the cracks to make way for what happens next.

Hugh and Tara—Hugh and Tara’s subplot was minor as they partied briefly with Charlie and FIFO, Robbo, who was given a pre-employment medical which showed positive results for cocaine and marijuana. When their party abruptly ends due to the police busting them, Robbo collapses and it is then discovered that he has a heart infection. He is later sent off for treatment once he is stabilised. On a minor note, Charlie questions whether he screwed up with Tara, which seems to be confirmed when she rejects his kiss during the night.

Overall I found their subplot a little predictable as the outcome of the bender and Robbo’s heart condition being discovered didn’t surprise me.

Meryl, Hayley and Ajax—Ajax’s decision to move out in the previous episode was briefly touched upon in this episode. At the beginning, Ajax and Hayley bid farewell to the Homestead, with Hayley later confronting Meryl about being underpaid when working for her. Hayley admits to her that renting is more expensive than expected, and that she and Ajax are more capable than Meryl gives them credit for. At the end of the episode, Ajax gets a caravan which he parks on the property, not far away from the Homestead, which clearly makes Hayley unhappy.

Overall I found this minor subplot a little boring as it didn’t resolve the issue or progress it all that much, maybe in next week’s or a later episode it will be dealt with more.

Charlie—The focus on Charlie was also minor, with her taking her writing desk with her and staying at an unused wing at the hospital when she goes to say goodbye to Hugh and admits she has nowhere to go. She also parties with Hugh, Tara and Robbo, kissing Robbo at the end of the night. At the end of the episode she is seen sleeping in the bed in the wing, as Hugh comes in after being kicked out by Meryl.

Ken—Ken’s subplot started out silly but ended up becoming crucial. Ken’s subplot mainly revolved around his over-the-top efforts to find his missing, favourite pen. Ken wants to up security and even buys a go-pro camera after being inspired by a miner’s go-pro camera on their bike helmet, which leads to him recording footage of Dinah kidnapping Eliza from the Hospital. Betty ultimately ends up finding Ken’s pen under the photocopier. Overall I found this subplot ridiculous but I feel it redeemed its place in the episode by leading to a crucial moment in the main story.

 

Overall I felt this episode was a little all over the place with too many minor subplots with the supporting characters, however the Hugh subplot was well executed.

 

Stray Observations:

-Betty has apparently been married four times.

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Wakey wakey! Hands off snakey!” (Dinah to Hugh after waking him up in the morning)
  • “You should put one of those in the staff room, it would end lunch theft forever.” (Betty to Ken on his Go-Pro camera)

 

Doctor Doctor–Season 4, Episode 4 (A House Divided)

This episode was all about playing dirty.

Ajax, Meryl, Hayley and Betty—Ajax and Meryl upped the ante with their election campaigns, which kicked off with them going on about their slogans on trucks, running into each other and causing a traffic jam, later culminating in Meryl revealing Ajax didn’t finish high school and Ajax almost revealing Meryl faked a heart attack.

Throughout the subplot, Hayley is stuck in the middle and struggling with her loyalties, when she asks for guidance from God, Betty ultimately plays dirty by having Hayley admit the truth by swearing on a “Bible” (which turned out to be The Da Vinci Code). However it doesn’t pay off as Ajax decides not to reveal to the community that Meryl faked the heart attack.

The election outcome is finally revealed and Meryl wins. She starts to make a grand speech, only to stop herself and simply say thank you. She goes to see Ajax and he tells her that exposing the truth about her “heart attack” would make him no better than her and he doesn’t want to be like her. Moments later he makes up with Hayley and asks her to support him by moving out and getting their own place, an idea she clearly isn’t happy with. Meryl and Betty also made up at the end of the episode.

Overall I enjoyed this subplot as it exposed elements in Betty that we have never seen before and it truly showed what kind of people Ajax and Meryl are.

Hugh and Penny—This episode also dealt with Hugh and Penny’s suppressed feelings for each other with Penny’s impending wedding. Betty and Ken are the first to ask Hugh whether he is still in love with Penny and he denies it, only to lie to her about the need to quarantine the hospital when a sick patient comes in, to prevent her wedding from going ahead.

While they are in lockdown, Penny finds out about Jarrod’s fertility test, which she didn’t know about, contrary to what Jarrod stated in the previous episode. She reveals to Hugh she doesn’t want any more kids and assumed that they were on the same page about it.

Meanwhile Penny’s sister, Celia (Ella Scott Lynch) returns to Whyhope for the wedding. While Hugh and Penny are in lockdown, Celia gets everything ready for Penny, however it’s not what Penny wants. When Penny goes to The Brewery and sees Celia’s over-the-top reception decorations, her and Hugh have shots and he kisses her. She storms off, in denial of her own feelings and overwhelmed from Celia’s “help” and suggests to Jarrod that they elope, which they do that night.

Just as Hugh finally admits to himself, after a heart-to-heart with Charlie, how he feels about Penny and tells her not to marry Jarrod, she reveals he’s too late.

Overall I found their subplot to be a little all over the place. At the beginning of the episode they are in denial, Penny’s reaction to discovering Jarrod had a fertility test (freaking out than seemingly forgetting about it) was unrealistic, as was the eloping, and Hugh rushing to her door to beg her not to get married was a cliché. However I’m looking forward to seeing how the marriage changes the love triangle dynamic.

Matt, April and Charlie—The love triangle between Matt, April and Charlie continues to intensify as Matt struggles to keep Charlie sticking around and writing at her desk a secret from April.

At the start of the episode we see Charlie wandering around her and Matt’s house, putting the framed photo of Matt and April down and stealing a detailed box, which was later revealed to be the box that Matt presented her engagement ring in when he proposed. The tension escalates when Charlie joins the family for dinner, sitting next to April at the dining table.

Ultimately and unsurprisingly, April discovers Charlie in the house and angrily tells her to leave not only the house but Whyhope. When April asks where Charlie got the house key, she covers for Matt by saying she still had a spare. When Matt agrees with April that Charlie needs to leave, she is shocked and he tells her April was right and she needs to leave, and they need to move on.

Charlie still hasn’t left Whyhope by the end of the episode, so it will be interesting to see where the love triangle goes from here. Overall I found their subplot to be a little predictable.

Dinah and Meryl—The focus on them was minor but I have a feeling the tension between them will play out in later episodes. Dinah is caught by Meryl snooping around the Homestead, which leads to Meryl “firing” her, which Hugh finds out about when Dinah comes to see him during the hospital lockdown.  At the end of the episode, Dinah tells Meryl she’s staying, much to Meryl’s chagrin. I’m looking forward to seeing how their tension and dynamic plays out.

 

Overall this was a solid episode, however I felt the Hugh and Penny subplot wasn’t well executed.

 

Stray Observations:

-An explanation for Floyd’s absence is finally provided when Penny tells Celia he is still at boarding school.

-What Rod did to get a restraining order placed on him from Meryl was finally revealed: he stood on her front lawn with a boom box in his underpants.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “We ran out of books at book club, the last three weeks have been about you.” (Ken to Hugh regarding his and Penny’s suppressed feelings for each other)
  • “I thought you liked Jarrod?” “We do, more than you.” (Hugh-Ken)
  • “I have big ideas for your entrance; can you ride side-saddle?” (Celia to Penny)
  • “Nothing says occasion like riding in on a Shetland!” (Celia to Penny)
  • “Can I paint a moustache on it?” “That’s not how we’re going to win this.” (Ajax-Betty on Meryl’s campaign poster)
  • “What’s happening? Did somebody throw a punch?” (Hugh on the phone to the family)
  • “You can’t get married now, I’m wearing ugg boots!” (Celia to Penny)
  • “Did somebody call for a witness?” (Ken to Penny and Jarrod)