Ending last week’s episode with a literal bang, The Straits picks up with the Montebello’s avenging the attack on Harry (Brian Cox). As a result of Noel’s (Aaron Fa’aoso) blowing up Bikie HQ, further consequences are caused with the death of a bikie in the explosion. Amongst the blasts, Sissi (Suzannah Bayes-Morton) confronts Natasha (Rachael Blake) in the hospital. My suspicions were correct in assuming that Natasha’s son was Harry’s child. The next question is whether Kitty knows about the paternity.
As the dangerous crocodiles come out to play, so does the manipulative Lola (Emma Lung) and her attempts to cast Gary (Firass Dirani) under her sexual spell. The placement of the crocodiles alongside the scene showed an interesting comparison, highlighting Lola’s predatory nature. Interestingly, Lola’s encounter with some crocodiles near her car shows her loss of control and potential for a downfall. Lung is very fun to watch in all her conniving ways, and even more fun to see when breaking down. Dirani continues in his comical performance, but with many moments giving his character a lot more meat to chew on. It’s very likely that Gary will dramatically grow up as the drama heats up in the remaining five episodes.
Rachel Ward’s direction truly highlights the changes in the family’s dynamics. As the family eats at the table, several different medium shots feature several of the characters in the same frame. However, only Sissi is featured solely in one shot that emphasises her dominance and rising authority over the family. Bayes-Morton plays Sissi with continuing disappointment in her family, but increasing confidence and unassuming control.
Expanding the family business, Noel decides to traffic women from Papua New Guinea to Australia, instead of the usual drug business. His actions prove to be in opposition to the moral standpoint of nearly every member of the family except for Kitty (Rena Owen) who supports Noel’s leadership regardless. Fa’aoso plays Noel with steadfastness, and yet still focuses on the troubling distance growing between his ex-wife and children. Owen once again revels in establishing Kitty’s power without even a raising her voice. Her power lies in her deadly facial expressions instilling terrifying fear.
Trust surrounds the episode, with the theme factoring in the interactions of all of the characters and writer Nick Parsons has shown how one family member’s immoral actions can lead to disintegration. Ending in yet another cliffhanger, Marou’s (Jim Bani) virtuous nature leads to his own momentary downfall amongst the dog-eat-dog setting of the dangerous and beautiful Far North Queensland. With each episode that passes, The Straits becomes even more complex and that much more fascinating to follow.
The Straits airs Thursdays at 8.30pm on ABC1. It also airs on ABC2 and iView.