Season three’s Jack (Nathan Page) jealousy is a lot less morose than previously. He’s jealous for Essie Davis’s history with Royal Australian Air Force captain Rodger Corser but it takes a while before Page lets it hinder he and Davis’s working relationship. Even when Corser’s withholding evidence in a murder case—a woman’s body is found outside the fence and the RAAF’s official position is it can’t have anything to do with them.
The mystery is a very complicated one, involving White Russians and Red Russians and the local communists and Fisher agent Travis McMahon’s potential girlfriend, Kasia Kaczmarek, and a missing pilot. Turns out the missing pilot was knocking boots with not missing pilot Tom Hobbs and the rest of the base—Corser aside, apparently—suffered a mass wave of homophobia.
Meanwhile, Hugo Johnstone-Burt wants to set the date for the wedding with Ashleigh Cummings but he also doesn’t want her to keep her job, which isn’t cool with her.
Also this episode—for the first time, I think—Davis refers to Cummings as her assistant, not her companion, suggesting Cummings becoming a detective in her own right. Very cool.
Shame the year is 1929 and Black Tuesday is imminent.
Davis does an excellent job with the Corser subplot; it takes most of the episode for their full history to come out and even Page can’t fret about it once he hears the whole story. Corser’s… fine, though a little less compelling a Phryne fellow than usual. He’s a bland flyboy type, which makes sense since they knew each other during the war, but he hasn’t got any of the burning internal passion. Maybe because he’s a bit too much of a dick to Page in the RAAF vs. coppers peeing contest.
But it all works out, with a very well-executed final action sequence—Tony Tilse’s direction is quite good—as well as a lovely finish.
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