Last night saw an important shift in Christos Tsiolkas’ ABC adaptation of The Slap. Finally, an insight into Rosie was gained. This shift displays an important arc in the series. So far, Rosie has been portrayed as a fairly aggressive antagonist to almost every character so far (Hector, Anouk and Harry). The biggest lesson that can be learned from this incident is that life is beyond complicated. Every step of the way another obstacle arises, and in Rosie’s life it comes in the form of her husband Garry. Not that Rosie is completely innocent in the matter. She still breastfeeds her four-year-old child, even after having a few wines. She even drives after having more than a few too many drinks.
It is Garry though that provides Rosie’s life with undue stress. She is a loving mother, and it is the love of her child that propels her into taking action against Harry. Despite this, her relationship with Garry is what is causing the most damage in her life. One can only imagine what would be revealed if an episode on Garry was written and made. If only Tsiolkas had written a chapter on him.
Melissa George is a completely broken woman as Rosie. Previously she has appeared extremely hard-edged and stubborn. Here, we see a very vulnerable and flawed (in a completely different way) woman. George does not hold back and gives a performance reminiscent of her performance on the HBO series In Treatment.
Anthony Hayes is terrifically troubling as Garry. The relationship that exists between the couple pins Garry as the main aggressor, casting Rosie as the victim. We see a parallel to Sandy and Harry’s life, where the dominant aggressor is male, but also of questionable morals.
Gillian Jones appears once again as Anouk’s mother Rachel and makes such presence in her short screen time. Julian Mineo also gives a strong performance as Hugo, and the relationship that he has with both George and Hayes sheds a completely different light on the formerly wayward acting child. Peta Brady and Tony Briggs are also wonderful and appear as Shamira and Bilal, a Muslim couple that helps Rosie and both cause up racial tensions between the characters.
Director Rob Connolly and screenwriter Cate Shortland have made an important episode that needed to be made with the proper strength and vulnerability that was displayed. The Slap just keeps getting better and the first episode where the actual slap occurred not only seems like a distant dream but a tame one at that. Rosie’s episode picked up an extra 100,000 viewers on the previous week’s ratings. It’s no wonder why.
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The Slap screens at 8.30pm Thursday nights on ABC. It also screens on ABC2 and is available on iView.