This week’s episode is crammed with about thirty different and not visibly interwoven plot-lines, but let’s put all that aside for now and focus on the most sensational moment in the show: Fuzz (Keegan Joyce) has come home from Africa and he has turned into his dad! A scotch swilling, Tin Tin coif-sporting, loosened skinny tie-wearing, fresh-faced version of Cleaver Greene. Christ on a bike.
Of course, he’s come home with a new lady love (Janeth Mayo) who is, as always, of a more mature vintage, but they’re in love and the future looks bright until the police storm the place and reveal that she has been smuggling blood diamonds in Fuzz’s toothpaste. Poor Fuzz. He has all the luck of, well, Cleaver Greene. This new twist is fun and it’ll be great to see what they do with it.
To the other 900 plotlines: In happy news, Barney has gone into remission and is physically on the up and up, so to speak. His return to health signifies the natural conclusion of Scarlet and Barney’s torturous marriage, which has interesting implications for their relationships with David Potter and Nicole respectively.
In politics, Cal McGregor has hit his stride again as Bullying Asshole, this time using television to wield new political power. At the moment, that power is focused on Tikki Wendon’s casino project, which in the meantime looks set to crush the budding career of James Horner, who last week got pulled into the commission for creating that $120 million slush fund. You’ve got to love Cal for being so good at being so very, very bad.
Meanwhile in legal news, Craig Goodham, (Ben Lawson) the gay NRL player in Wendy’s care, finally comes clean about his sexuality and drug use, which threatens to ‘out’ several other important ‘players’ in the organization. Cleaver is enlisted as legal counsel. Goodham gets hit by a car.
It’s fair to say that, if the last few weeks have been largely about laying the groundwork for some big season twists and turns, then this week, the volume gets turned up tenfold. And where last week was all business, this week is 90% personal, or at least, non law-related. It’s fun, it keeps you on your toes, and if you’ve been watching the show religiously, then you will appreciate the short-hand that has been established which allows the episode to ricochet from story to story without skipping a causality beat.
This week does jump back into ‘farce’ mode again, which can be a bit of a distraction. The domestic violence spoof storyline with Felicity does make you laugh out loud, but I’m still not sure how funny it is. The moment where Roger flies off the handle also leaves you scratching your head. It seems they’ve foregone plausibility of character for sensationalism. That’s ok, I suppose. This season has been riddled with moments like this. It’s also been riddled with moments of melodrama. Being unconscious makes Craig Goodham an ideal candidate for a deep and meaningful talk from Cleaver, who, in a moment of frustrated introspection, admits that his love life is a cycle of missed opportunities.
‘I’m stuck!’ he cries. No kidding, Cleave. But at least it’s obvious that the show wants to give you a shot at redemption.
As I said, the best bit about this episode is Fuzz’s morph into Cleaver. It has huge promise for all sorts of twisted future scenarios. After all, the only thing better than one Cleaver Greene, is two. I will miss the tortured, painfully earnest Fuzz of days gone by, but not as much as I think I’m going to like this new version.
Review Score: THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Rake screens Sunday nights at 8.30pm on ABC1 and is also available on iView.