Something rich and strange...
written by Andrew Knight and Sue
directed by Mandy Smith
This was a really good episode. I'd say it was as good as the first season. Bob Jelly, oddly enough, is contemplating suicide and mulling over his errors in a videotape to his family.
He has discovered that Katrina Fennessy, the woman behind the setting up of a Community Bank in Pearl Bay, to whom he was sexually attracted, has vanished, taking with her the savings of the whole town.
In a subsequent scene, Kevin ambles along pushing a wheelbarrow and passes Bob who is standing at the bridge's edge, about to leap to an indecisive and slightly muddy death.
Max is doing everything in his power to defer writing the first chapter of his novel. The slightly scolding manner that Elena adopts towards him is very sweet and they're a very endearing couple in the sense that she's the more responsible and level-headed of the two. Even though she's clearly exasperated by his recalcitrance, she sums up her feelings neatly when in a later scene she tells Laura how Max's faults are what she loves best about him.
Max enlists the help of Sergeant Grey to investigate the matter and eventually, Katrina is caught red-handed and remanded in custody. The scene between Angus and Karen is an absolute classic in which she tells him that she is not permitted to tell him anything and somehow manages to tell him everything. The only thing funnier perhaps is their exchange in which she refuses to lend him money and Angus thinks that she says that she doesn't want their relationship to be a purely physical relationship.
"I haven't touched you since Brabey Point," he protested in bewilderment.
"I said fiscal," Karen hisses back at him. I can well believe that Karen divides her money up into 27 different categories including wedding dress and money for a rainy day.
When the town finds out about the fraud, they want to lynch Bob and oddly enough, it is a laconic, slightly slow and dopey Kevin who saves Bob's dignity. Reminding me a little of Scout from To Kill a Mocking Bird, he stares everyone down, defusing the scene and they all go home, leaving a devastated Bob to weep alone, without even Heather for comfort.
Laura is left in a difficult situation when she is compelled to grant Katrina bail as Bob posts bail for her. It is an unpopular decision and the residents, led by Meredith decide to watch Katrina like a hawk. Phrani, who is not ordinarily one of my favourite characters comes out with some absolute corkers in this episode. When Kev tries to defend Bob, Phrani exclaims in exasperation,"He's just a man, not the Dalai Lama!"
I was also laughing aloud when Phrani goes cruising by in her mini-van and describes Katrina loitering around the bus-stop like a "ten dollar hooker". I think she also describes her as the "undernourished thing with legs". *laugh*
Rupert, whom I personally find a very annoying character, decides that lack of money is the cause of his parents dysfunctional relationship. He decides to remedy the situation by exploiting his friendship with the rather sweet, simple Trevor who has a paper delivery round. I find Rupert to be a weak, not very honourable and irritating character. Did I mention that I find him annoying? *grin* In the end, Miranda rescues the day and the friendship with Trevor is able to continue.
Katrina uses her feminine wiles on a very susceptible Bob who is deeply, deeply tempted to help her organise a plane ticket and a false passport and run away with her to Vanuatu.....
On a pleasant note, Laura and Elena appear to be developing a good friendship. It's only after you see Laura and Elena together that you realise that Laura hasn't had a "friend" in town. Diver was a lover, Angus is her clerk, Meredith isn't so much a friend as her source of information for town goings on. All in all, Laura is a very lonely woman and it was nice to see her having a friend at least.
Elena invites Laura and Jack to dinner and it is awkward to say the least as Laura can see how deeply in love her friend is with Max and she can see how dysfunctional her own relationships have been.
Max saves the day but elects to let Bob receive the credit for it. Bob's smug joy and gloating was a little difficult to stomach but obviously Max has his own reasons for doing what he did.
When Laura confronts Max over his interference in Katrina's case, she discovers a devastated and very different Max.
Elena's death was sad. Even though she was only on the show for two episodes, she made a deep impact and she was a very likeable and happy sort of person. You could see that in Max and Elena's relationship that she was the anchor, the practical one and he was the cynical dreamer, if that makes any sense.
I've had quite a few discussions with friends at work about this episode. One friend whose boyfriend was channel-surfing at the end, missed the revelation that Elena had died and was quite shocked. Another friend said that if it had been Hollywood - Elena would have been lying, dying in hospital for months and months.
I'll be really interested to see how the show progresses from here. There have been some good developments and the final exchange between Trevor and Kevin was poignant and sweet. Max is hysterical. I loved the scene between Sergeant Grey and Max:
[bad band music plays in the background]
|Sergeant Grey||She changed her name five days ago. Kept the Katrina but it's no longer Fennessy it's not Bradshaw|
|Max||Well she's not going to get away with that for very long. Do we know if she's still in the country|
|Sergeant Grey||Well we
do have a record of one Bradshaw who left Australia last week.
[pauses and stares at Max, Max stares back at him tensely as he continues casually]
But he was a 63 year old Australian lawn bowling team member.
[Max starts to half-smile as he realises that Sergeant Grey is enjoying this]
And there is a Katrina Bradshaw taking a short term lease on a flat in the city
|Max||Well are you going to check it out?|
|Sergeant Grey||No - it's
my day off
[Sergeant Grey stares at Max who stares back at him]
Plus there are 3 blokes from the city watching the place
clarify one more thing for me?
[Max looks at him very seriously]
You can't seriously like this music
[Sergeant Grey considers the question for a long moment in deadly earnest.]
Yes. [pause] I do very much.
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