Something rich and strange...
updated 5 September 1999
written by Andrew Knight
directed by Paul Moloney
Mark Lee as Brent Cauchi
Marion Heathfield as Cynthia Fitzwalter
Reg Evans as Lewis Murphy
A slightly lightweight episode as far as episodes go. I knew it was going to be a Jack II episode so steeled myself for the irritation. Sure enough, there he was in a position that should have invited my sympathy, but somehow he managed to annoy me nonetheless.
As is the SeaChange way, there were parallels. Cynthia and her neighbour were fighting for custody of the cat, meanwhile, Laura is fighting for "custody" of her children, afraid that she is going to lose them to Trudi and Jack. There were a few lines thrown out that were quite cruel and I think that they were quite devastating for Laura. One of them was laying down the rules for Jack, one of them was not being able to control everything.
I liked the Vika and Linda song at the end. Unfortunately it's not on the soundtrack. What a cute ending, though, to have Max fall asleep on Laura's bed. It's quite dangerous that he took antihistamines with alcohol though. I'm taking antihistamines now and they have a very severe reaction on me to the extent that after I take them, I go out like a light and when I do wake up, I'm completely groggy and cannot even move. To combine that with alcohol would be disastrous.
Did anyone else find the lack of sympathy for Max very cruel? He was clearly very allergic to the cat and those sorts of allergies aren't a laughing matter. My younger brother for instance has very severe asthmatic reactions to cats. If he isn't hospitalised, his asthma attacks are potentially fatal. As for me, as someone who is allergic to cats and suffers from very bad hayfever which is quite crippling, I think it's very callous that people would have imposed the cat on Max after that knew he was allergic. I know I was supposed to be laughing at his red eyes, swollen nose and sneezing face, but as the hayfever season has well and truly commenced and I'm caught between tissues and antihistamines, I couldn't bring myself to laugh - only wince in sympathy!
Miranda suddenly decides she doesn't want to stay at her father's house any more and Laura is horrified to learn a very pregnant Trudi is now living there with Jack. Rupert is also upset when his mother forbids him from going to Jack's while Trudi is there. From now on Jack must visit them at her house, on her terms. Jack is furious with her ultimatum and Rupert's left with only Max for consolation when his parents' bitter squabbling leaves him on the outer. Unused to children, Max's advice to Rupert only makes matters worse. It takes a long while for Laura to realise what pressure she is putting on her children and admit to herself that she is worried about being replaced as their mother.
In court Laura is faced with another case of divided loyalties and ownership disputes. Cynthia, Harold's estranged wife, is charged with assaulting her neighbour - but the case appears to be more about ownership of a mangy cat. Harold represents Cynthia in court and is surprised at the twinges of jealousy he feels as the evidence suggests a possible romantic connection between Cynthia and her neighbour. Spurred on by his new-found family ties with the Jelly family, Harold decides it's time he and Meredith married. But Cynthia - to Meredith's secret relief - has other ideas.
The cat in the middle of the ownership
dispute is confiscated by Laura and somehow ends up with Max. He's allergic
to the thing and despises the affection it shows towards him. Another arrival
in Max's life causes more upheaval. An old television journo mate, Brent Cauchi,
arrives in town. Good looking and charming, Brent
may be a bit past it but still has a certain something. When he turns his attentions to Laura and she agrees to a date, Max experiences more than a hint of jealousy. As Laura and Brent spend a night together, Max is left sneezing and sniffling with the cat. Worse still, the page one article he's prepared for "The Oyster" has been relegated to page four by Carmen who is certain no one in the town will understand what he's written. She's
replaced it with one of Kevin's 'witty' anecdotes and the town loves it.
Laura tries to employ the wisdom of Solomon in an attempt to solve the cat ownership dispute between Cynthia and her neighbour. But her plan backfires and Max realises he could be stuck with the cat for life. He heads over to Laura's to rid himself of it. He's loaded to the eyeballs with antihistamines and when Laura offers him a drink is quick to scoff it. The combination is lethal and when the cat disappears and a chase ensues Max ends up collapsed on Laura's bed.
I can't even recall last week's properly. I suspect it was a bit, well, boring. Hang on, let me check the ep guide.
Ah yes... "Not Such Great Expectations" about Craig and the haunted house. That *was* a crappy episode. It wasn't as offensively crappy as "Playing With Fire", just dull crappy. That and the "mystery" was so bloody obvious. We worked it out about 20 mins before it was revealed.
So... putting that behind us, on with "Kitty Litter". This, to me, was more or less returning to form. The thing about the cat representing Rupert and Miranda was nice, although I wish they didn't have to make it *so* obvious with Rupert's little naive-but-insightful speech.
And also, since Pearl Bay is such a small town with such a strong "Bush Telegraph" in operation - does it not seem a bit unlikely that Trudi's arrival would be kept secret for long? I know SeaChange has very fluid time frames, but it seemed to me that she had been around for more than a few moments.
Laura nicking off with the reporter also seemed a tad unlikely. Max also continued being unlikely all 'round - especially as he was forced to explain what he was doing in Pearl Bay.
Max is no Dan - so why is he more or less going along with all the people walking all over his lounge room? Also - the last bit of Laura telling him she liked the article despite the rest of the town panning it was a bit cliched.
The whole Bob not accepting Harold and Meredith is also starting to get on my nerves too. I'm sure it would take awhile for him to ease up, but it's all just a bit overdone so far. Oh and Meredith was really annoying me this ep for making a lot of the facial expressions Brooke Satchwell does so cutely and that was freaking me out a little. :)
So overall it's getting back there, but still has some problems. Biggest laugh of the night for us came in the promo for next week's show though.
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