Packed to the Rafters: S04E02 Review
The episode begins in a fairly conventional way- Rachel decides to clean up Jake and Coby’s pad- because, you know, men are messy and women love to clean. However, she does discover that Coby is actually a
– gasp! – closet painter. Obviously an attempt to add another layer to his character. Not a bad one, but I’d rather see layers added by actions (such as Rachel’s boyfriend’s quite noble ones).
Nathan is also back from wherever he was.
Carbo’s mother is also living with Carbo and Retta, so it’ll be awkward situations ahoy. The kind not seen since Seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Rafters.
It’s always interesting to see a bit of tension between siblings, particularly between Nathan and Ben.
There’s also the added edge of having Ben with a beard, and the intrigue of Ben having spent a month away from Nathan.
It is clear to everyone that there is lingering resentment between the pair, and scars that still haven’t healed. It then becomes clear that Ben still hasn’t recovered from Mel’s death- and why wouldn’t he have? It turns out he had put his own life in danger by jumping off a cliff into water and needing to be brought into hospital.
It is a novel way to structure an episode, with the main focus being on the aftermath of the event, with only a quick flashback to the precarious moment. Normally, Ben jumping off a cliff would be the climax of an episode (and the promos certainly framed it that way), yet the climax was instead Ben almost being hit by a car trying to run away from ‘fessing up. It was a nice little metaphor which still proves that Ben still has a bit to work through.
I wonder how the show’s writers will resolve his grief, as opposed to his father’s depression issues. After all, this was meant to be a happier season.
Well, at least we’re guaranteed to see at least a few different plot-lines involving Ben chasing tail of various kinds, with a fling with a mystery woman signalling a new “beginning” for him.
But certainly the best storyline involved Coby and. After a boozy night in which Coby loses a girl he was interested in to another group of blokes, Jake then wakes up in the middle of the night to them “partying” quite hard with this girl.
There are some obvious signs of these guys taking advantage of this obviously liquored-up girl.
This is where Rafters really comes into its own- putting real societal issues on screen. And this week it’s obviously the question: Would you intervene if you saw someone who was off their face being taken advantage of? Even if they said “yes” to going back to the room?
Especially if you are putting yourself in harm’s way, or, in this episode’s case, make the girl think it is you who is indeed the perpetrator.
In the end, it was certainly a more enriching plotline, and one which will have dramatic ramifications in the coming weeks, than the Ben-Nathan one, which was seemingly resolved with some cardboard-box jumping.
At least for the moment, it doesn’t quite seem that the show is shark-jumping.