The Kettering Incident – Episode 5: “The Forest”

Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 5: “The Forest”
Directed by  Rowan Woods
Written by Andrew Knight

* For a review of Episode 4, “The Mill” – click here
* For a review of Episode 6, “Roy” – click here
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We hear blasts from the past. Roy Macy (Anthony Phelan) consoling his young daughter. Furthermore, he screams at someone: “What the fuck have you done with Gillian?” It isn’t to Anna (Elizabeth Debicki) he says that. But someone else entirely. But to whom is the mystery. In the present, Roy finds his dog growling harshly before taking a chomp out of his hand. Things are most certainly out of whack.
At the hospital, grown up Anna goes to see Adam Holloway (Brad Kannegiesser). Also there is Jens Jorgenssen (Damon Gameau). The keen doctor takes a look at Adam and his injuries, though the man’s doing all right for someone that almost bled out recently. Afterwards, she finds that the young boy Cade’s blood is missing from the hospital. Someone’s gone and taken it out. Or the sample was never recorded to begin with, likely the possibility. More treachery in Kettering, Tasmania. From every direction. Who took the blood? What is Roy hiding, what knowledge of that fateful night a decade and a half ago does he hold tight?
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Roy heads to the bar, where Deb Russell (Alison Whyte) is helping out. He isn’t exactly running the place into the upper echelons of Australian nightlife. At the same time, poor Deb is dealing with her cancer. Interesting how six people got cancer all at the same time. More of the strangeness in their little corner of the world? Or just a red herring? Who knows.
A little while later Anna sends photos and information to her colleague back in London. Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) shows up to grill Anna about her father. He’s beginning to feel as if there is something sketchy about Roy. Join the club, Dutch.
Anna receives a call from the psychiatric care facility where her mother Wendy (Sarah Wood) stays. She’s up and about. Trashing the place. When a typical bureaucratic suit comes in to assuage all the worries. Only Anna guesses spot on what turned up in the scans of her mother’s brain. She knows there are further things going on. On her way back in the car Anna hears more odd things over the radio on one of the frequencies.
Down at the bar, Deb and Sharon Grayson find a bunch of moss growing into the cooler. “Bloody forest is creepinin,” Sharon gasps at the sight. In other news, Jens is still collecting things, studying moths, taking notes. I’m eager to know more about him, too.
That isn’t the only madness. Roy’s dog attacking him was not a singular event. Tons of people suddenly show up with bites from their own pets. An eerie phenomena. At the very same time that moss is popping up everywhere, growing anyplace it can manage.

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Constable Fergus (Henry Nixon) goes out to look for Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young). He’s not around, and hasn’t been for a little while, says his father. “Its the lights, they always bring trouble,” the old man tells Fergus. Now THAT is fucking creepy. Old people don’t mess around with that stuff.
The medical examiner determined there was a high amount of drugs and radiation in Chloe’s body at the time of death. Plenty further mystery for Mother Sullivan’s Ridge. That place is where the otherworldly events surrounding Kettering emanate. Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) and his wife Barb (Sacha Horler) are informed about the blunt force trauma involved in their daughter’s death, as well as the fact of the radiation. I’m still waiting to see what it is Max is hiding, in conjunction with Roy and his lies. Simultaneously, Fergus starts to figure out more and more that Dutch is likely hiding something, too.
Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) runs into Anna, or he goes to find her. He starts talking about magnetic radiation, the sort that’s being found right in Kettering. Although she does not respond well. She also believes she sees Jens, the little boy Cade, and a military officer together on the street. The next minute, they’re gone. Disappeared. What an odd, brief little shot. Real? Or her imagination? There’s no assurance for us as the viewer that everything Anna sees is real, not all the time.

Dutch and Fergus interview a man whose picture keeps cropping up on Chloe’s computer. He’s had some… issues, with young girls. Now, a suspect. Yet there’s nothing too credible there really. But anything Dutch can do to lead Fergus in any other direction other than himself he’ll do.
Over at the mill, Max starts swinging haymakers at Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) and accusing him of murdering Chloe, all because he was up in the woods around that party. After they calm down there’s a bit of talk, trying to figure out what’s happened. “I just wanna know who killed my little girl,” Max nearly weeps to his friend. More of that mystery, the intrigue, as they talk about what’s up in that forest in vague terms.
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Max (to Craig): “What the hell did we bury up there, anyway?”

Out on a wharf, Anna goes to see Lewis ‘Lofty’ Sullivan (Nathan Spencer). He went to jail for supposedly hurting Anna, something he claims she said herself. Seems he found her up at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, near the old house. He carried her back home. He took the blame for all that happened, though he says that Roy blamed him due to being scared. Of what? Of his own daughter, so says Lofty.
In the woods, Dutch comes across the strange bubbling pools of water, weird smells. Like there’s something alive below the surface. He comes across some of the flowers, similar to those stuck on Chloe’s clothes after she was found dead. Moreover, he stumbles across military night vision goggles. After putting them on he’s startled to see strange figures, hooded with white faces, standing off in the forest. Except when the goggles are off again, they’re nowhere to be found. Holy. Shit. A favourite scene so far. one of the man. But damn, that was intense!
We keep seeing the Sullivan family, Dane particularly, connected to the moths. As if they’re drawn to them. Once Dane returns home after being gone ages, another moth flutters around their living room lamp.
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Liza (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) goes to see Fergus. She says that Travis Kingston (Kevin MacIsaac), Renae’s (Suzi Dougherty) abusive man. “He kind of raped me,” Liza admits to the constable. Whoa. That’s incredibly heavy. Now Dutch wants to bring Travis in for questioning. Although he’s primarily concerned with the oddness of what he saw up near Mother Sullivan’s place. When Kevin comes in he’s pissed to have questions being thrown at him about both Chloe and Liza. Fergus gets booted from the room, so that Dutch and his sketchy buddy Kev can have a more private conversation. This sends Fergus to talk with Roy about what Dutch is concealing: “I cant figure out whether hes trying to solve it, or cover it up.”
As if it weren’t bad enough, Liza finds a moss-like substance growing over her legs. That is nasty.
The dirty tactics of Dutch show clearly. He needs to get rid of the problems Kev may bring his way. So down to the pub goes Dt. Dutch, spreading word that the guy may have raped Liza, then the men infer on their own this could mean he did something to Chloe, as well. That is lowdown nastiness on Dutch’s part. Back at the station, Fergus starts finding out more on his own.
And Kev, he gets tied to a tree out in the forest somewhere, stripped almost naked. Left alone. A possibly terrifying fate, seeing as how those ties are bound well, and the forest holds untold terrors.
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Roy gets a visit from Dutch, asking about Gillian Baxter’s father. Well, the detective starts wondering about why Roy sent Anna off, in such fine style. He prods around about Roy’s daughter, “why a sweet little girl might kill another” and so on. He thinks maybe Anna killed Gillian in jealousy, over sharing a father. In return for not prying further, Dutch wants Roy to call Fergus off. So question is, are the secrets Roy holds onto worth keeping?
Renae gets another call with her daughter’s voice calling “Mommy” to her. Simultaneously, Kevin lies tied to that tree and hears noises coming nearer, nearer. Voices, barely audible. Lights between the trees. What is coming for him?
With more knowledge now, Anna confronts Roy about being in an asylum for ten days. She doesn’t get much other than a bit of nonsense. She wants to know about why Lofty took the fall for what went on. Anna’s become very curious, though Roy is convinced his own daughter likely killed Gillian. She ran away, for 8 hours with Gillian, after finding out they were sisters. And so Roy covered the whole thing up, best he could. “I wasnt gonna lose both of you,” her father admits. Side note: anyone notice that the living room ceiling light looks like a UFO in the reflection behind Roy as he sits with Anna? Go back and check it out, or look at the picture below.
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Worried for himself, Roy tells Fergus not to proceed any further with Dutch. The younger of the two understands Dutch is holding something over Roy’s head. Just doesn’t know what. Yet.
At the big celebration for Roy, everybody’s having a grand ole time. Everyone except for Roy, Craig, Max, Dutch, and most of those directly involved with all the events in their little town. Anna meets Dutch outside and they talk a bit about the flower found on Chloe, where she may have been killed. They also vaguely understand what they know about Roy.
Everyone talks about how honourable, honest, upright Roy is, whereas Anna, Dutch, Fergus, they’ve all got different ideas now.
Over in the psychiatric care home, Wendy Macy has escaped, smashing through the glass. Gone mad like the animals around Kettering.
Anna finally tracks down someone who gives her the test results on Cade’s blood. The other doctor tells her: “It does not appear to be human blood.” That is not what I’d been expecting, though still not surprising all the same. We end on a tawny frogmouth making noises, sitting on a car. Doesn’t even look real, though likely is. So odd, I love it.

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Another impressive chapter. This mini-series is beyond wonderful! As I’ve said, the Twin Peaks feel is absolutely present, even given homage through a couple plot point. However, The Kettering Incident is its own show, by far. Can’t wait for the next episode titled “Roy” – you know there’s something meaty for us there. Only a few more episodes left, too. Tragic.


  1. Steve says:

    It was a tawny frogmouth (not an owl, but a nocturnal bird nonetheless) on the car at the end, and it was real (I presume). Cool birds – there’s one in the opening credits too.

    I love this show! So eerie…


    1. Thank you, Steve! I was so curious about the bird. Had to rewind it a few times to look at it. Appreciate the info.
      And yes, loving the show, too. Eerie is the right word indeed.


  2. Is it really radioactive waste buried up there? what are you thinking it is? Surely the show being set up like this can’t be that logical. I want something spectacular to happen.


    1. I’m thinking it’s either radioactive waste, or they buried something for the government (maybe a piece of an unidentified flying object, who knows). Either way, I’m also hoping something WILD happens. Very excited to find out more.


  3. Love those tawny frog mouths, they actually are like that I have taken photos of them,in daylight they look like a piece of old fence post, very wonderful birds.


    1. They are fascinating! One of these days I hope to see one up close. Such interesting creatures.


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