Firstly, apologies as this recap doesn’t include the names of the actors in Thursday night’s episode of Redfern Now. At the time of writing the preview disc was unavailable. (Gasp! I had to watch it on television!!)
The third installment of the ABC’s Redfern Now began with two happy parents arriving home with their unnamed baby. Then the crying started. The first 20 minutes almost drove me insane with a screaming baby. Janine struggled to cope without sleep and with the constant noise of an upset child. Justin’s life didn’t seem to change much when he became a father, he went back to work and couldn’t seem to understand why Janine was at her wits end. Then, the child goes missing in suspicious circumstances, Janine lies to the police and says she was at home when she was, in fact, at the bottle shop having left her son at home alone.
It doesn’t look good for Janine. She looks guilty of murdering her son. She talks about him in past tense to the police. It is only when Justin finally breaks down and screams this at her that the police arrive with their son, safe and sound. I don’t know how one can ever recover from that accusation from a partner. That’s what Redfern Now does, it makes us think of the characters after the credits roll. It makes us contemplate who is in the right and who has done wrong.
These are not just tales from Redfern, they are tales from humanity. Human stories that make us all question out values and morals in times of struggle.
It’s almost as if the audience must wait until it’s too late for things to be alright. When it doesn’t matter anymore. Then, boom, they kick us in the guts and we love them for it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Redfern Now is by far the greatest Australian drama ever to have graced our screens. The performances of the two main characters, Justin and Janine, were gripping and never once let us off the hook. We travelled with them all the way until the police knocked at the door with their son in the final seconds of the episode. An audience travelling with the characters, watching it as unfold as they do, never a step in front or behind. Just perfectly present in the moment.
We are halfway through the season already. I can’t wait to watch.
Redfern Now airs on ABC1 Thursday 8.30pm