One upbeat (enough) “Miss Fisher’s” was apparently all they could take because this one is a very, very sad one. It’s all about a boxing troupe and the damage done on the community because of it. The community in question is the young poor men who spend their time in street gangs. Constable Hugo Johnstone-Burt is trying to teach the boys to box to get them out off the street. And does it without much encouragement. It ends up being a pretty good episode for Johnstone-Burt, who’s always around, always likable and often funny, but rarely charged with much on his own.
Not supportive comrades include boss Nathan Page and girlfriend Ashleigh Cummings; Essie Davis is a boxing fan and presumably not just because it involves sweaty fit men. She has a great flirtation throughout the episode with potential Phryne Fellow Chris Asimos, a Greek boxer who knows just how to treat a lady… or so Davis thinks. Funny not dangerous (which is weird, actually; everyone’s a suspect except Asimos).
Johnstone-Burt’s prize student, Mark Coles Smith, comes under investigation when one of the other gang is killed and it seems to also tie into the case of a dead police officer. Coles Smith is boxing at the exhibition to make money for mom Rachael Maza, who Davis tries to befriend and help but Maza’s got her secrets. The other gang is led by shitty little racist Scott Smart, who just hires bigger guys to fight Coles Smith.
Brett Swain and Glenda Linscott run the boxing exhibition; they’re both excellent. Maza’s excellent. Coles Smith is pretty good and you’d never guess he’s twenty-six playing seventeen or whatever. Some great material for butler Richard Bligh this episode and a nice little cameo from Tammy Macintosh.
Page gets very little to do—at least until the (momentarily) joyous epilogue—other than tell Johnstone-Burt the boxing is a bad idea and Davis he doesn’t want to investigate any cops. So it’s nice when he’s got the epilogue scene; especially since Davis has had Asimos distracting her most episode. “Miss Fisher’s” needs its Phryne and Jack, after all.