Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 4: “The Mill”
Directed by Tony Krawitz
Written by Louise Fox
* For a review of Episode 3, “The Search” – click here
* For a review of Episode 5, “The Forest” – click here.
With the body of Chloe Holloway found right underneath her father Max’s (Damien Garvey) nose at the mill, things are looking bleak for Kettering. Most certainly for Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki). Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) and Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) are on the scene. They go to let Max and Barb (Sacha Horler) know, as well as inform everybody, anybody who was at the big party recently in the woods needs to come in, get themselves cleared, help out.
Now the investigation is on, and I feel we’re about to start seeing more of that ugly underbelly of Kettering, Tasmania. Just you wait.
You can see that Dt. Dutch is reticent towards Fergus. He doesn’t, obviously, reveal his dealings with Chloe, nor Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young). So we’ll eventually begin to discover more about Dutch. Surely his secrets will also start to unravel. Liza (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) tips the cops off to Chloe and Anna having a physical fight of some sort up in the forest. Here, we further discover Dutch is continually harbouring ill will towards his fellow lawman for his willingness to defend Anna, or at the very least give her the benefit of the doubt. And speaking of Dane, he’s devastated at home when he hears about Chloe on the radio. Terrible to see him impacted so deeply. They were clearly close.
Finally, Fergus has to take Anna in. Bit of questioning. He does so reluctantly, though Dutch is much more happy to do so. Back at the station, Anna reveals the drug “packets” that Chloe had on her that night. The discussion is getting a bit too close for the detective’s own comfort, so he veers the conversation elsewhere. Smart man. Bad man, too. At the same time, Roy (Anthony Phelan) shows up. He’s much more concerned about her now than last we saw them together. He doesn’t like that Anna’s being questioned. Begging further questions: who is Roy, really, as in who is he to the town, and what sort of secrets is he hiding? Most interesting is the almost hook up between Dutch and Anna, as he’s more threatened with the knowledge she has, that necklace she found.
A bombshell some may have seen coming – Gillian Baxter is a half-sister to Anna. Well, remember: Roy and Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) had an affair. One thing leads to another, you’ve got two girls very close, close as sisters, but never officially. “Guess it wasn‘t something he was very proud of,” Anna says of her father’s little secret. But is that the only thing Roy is masking?
Then there’s Renae, whose life has all but been obliterated by the disappearance of Gillian. She continues on trying her best. You can just see that sadness sitting right below her skin. In other news, everyone in Kettering is out to the bar, drinking. In mourning collectively. Liza and her mother Sharon sit together, even her ex Craig (Ben Oxenbould) shows up for a moment. A really awkward one. At the bar, Renae worries for Barb; now we know this is her sister, that’s their connection. Wow. Two kids that went missing in the same family tree. Sad. Tragic. However, I feel that Renae has a much different perspective, as we’ve already seen her interest in… otherworldly ideas.
Fergus goes over to talk with Dane. He wants to figure out more about Chloe, the drugs, and obviously this is the young man with whom he needs a chat. Eventually, Dane lets a bit slip. Yet the big fish is still swimming around. That’ll be a tougher bit of information to figure out for Constable McFadden.
Chloe has broken bones, a burn, possibly poisoned or completely blitzed on drugs. She died just after the witching hour. Some blunt force. Then Fergus notices the strange marks on her arm. The same type Anna had seen on the little boy at the hospital. Hmm. Curiouser and curiouser, down the rabbit hole.
The Holloway family is a fractured one. “Do you want a hug?” Max asks his son Adam (Brad Kannegiesser) out of the blue, feeling inadequate as a father because of his own boy finding solace in Craig’s arms after the body of Chloe was discovered. There’s a lot more to the family. Hopefully we’ll see more about Max come out in the coming episodes, maybe it’ll unravel some much needed backstory.
When Liza goes to see her father, Craig is surprisingly tender. At first, anyway. She needs a place to stay after Chloe’s death. Unfortunately, she’s on her own. And sadly it’s as if Craig actually cares more about her than Sharon does. Afterwards, Liza tries to go to her mother’s and only gets driven away into the darkening, ready-to-rain sky. So she only has sleeping in a car to which she can look forward. Hers is one of the more sad character arcs in the series, as she literally has no one else except for Chloe, and now she’s gone.
Renae goes to help and be with her sister Barb. They talk of death, grief, the “vampires” who feed off that sort of thing. “There‘s nothing, there‘s just shit,” Barb explains to her sister. Like the fact Chloe is dead, headed for the grave is worse than never knowing where she is really. Not sure if that’s true, but she does make a good case.
When Anna listens to an old tape of her and Gillian singing, she finds her mother yelling, kicking her friend out. At this point we all know exactly why. That’s a heartbreaking kind of thing.
Simultaneously, Anna finds out more information re: the boy with the strange marks on him at the hospital. This leads her out into the forest to a lot of land where she soon comes across a bit ofa shanty house and its inhabitants. When she meets the boy Anna asks if he ever loses time, if he wakes up in strange places, all those things. The boy even says he wakes up at the Sullivan place, where the lights are. Then he leans in and tells Anna: “They‘re looking for you, you know.” She’s got a blood sample to boot.
Dutch and Fergus try figuring out more with the Holloways, to find out if there were any enemies, any family fights, threats to Max, et cetera. Their son makes a point to mention the “Greenie” group always poised to try making life hell for the mill. Max goes on to reveal the letters he received. Are these really the letters, or did Max replace them with others to suggest the environmentalists have a part in it? I’m inclined to believe there’s a little foul play.
Over the radio, Anna hears strange broadcasts as she gets further to Mother Sullivan’s place. She hears about a “military aircraft” and then other strange readings come up on her odometer. Adam Holloway also sees lights in the sky while he drives someplace else along the road before slamming into a bunch of trees off the side. Anna then hears “Crimson and Clover” hum through the radio. And horror strikes Adam at the same moment – a piece of wood he chainsaws away from his vehicle hits him in the eye, prompting him to slice a part of his thigh open. While he lies there a hooded figure appears above him, obscured slightly. Anna hears Adam’s cries from the trees and soon gets to him, as he bleeds out more onto the road. She strips her shirt to make a tourniquet. The doctor is a great one, that’s for sure. She ties off the wound, washes his eye out, but Adam soon passes out. This will be great, won’t it? Another Holloway in a terrible predicament and here she is, as usual, right in the midst of trouble. Luckily, Jens Jorgensson (Damon Gameau) comes along to help cart them out of the wilderness.
In the hospital, Anna gets thanks from Barb. The grieving mother wants to know more, too. She wonders why Anna was curious about Chloe having nosebleeds, and this begins to play on Barb’s imagination. Right now it’s grief. Pretty soon it may be more, as the secrets and lies of Kettering, of which she is a part don’t forget, slowly come out, piece by piece.
“Why are we being punished like this?” Barb asks her husband, as they stand over their wounded but alive son. He has no answers. Or does he? I’m starting to believe, more and more, that he has some devious skeletons hiding in his closet. Bigger ones that Barb and her affair with Dutch.
Not long later Max goes to see Roy, saying that somebody “knows what happened,” about what “they‘ve done.” He believes it’s Craig, though Roy isn’t so sure. What are they hiding together?
And Anna, she goes to see her mother Wendy (Sarah Wood); she’s deaf and blind, hasn’t moved in years sitting in a psychiatric nursing home. Been quite a long time certainly. Even a Mother’s Day card there despite Anna’s insistence she did not make it. Intriguing. Regardless, she talks briefly with her mother, even if the woman can’t hear. A whisper of ANNA comes out; from her mother, or something else we don’t know. Strange noises emanate from the hallway, from out the window. More than that we see Wendy isn’t as catatonic as she lets on. So eerie.
What a fabulous episode! One of my favourites yet, and it continues the deepening mystery with each step of the way. Next episode is titled “The Forest” and I hope we’ll start finding further clues to lead us down the path.