2018 was a great year to love films— just like every year!
Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 8: “The Homecoming”
Directed by Tony Krawitz
Written by Victoria Madden
* For a review of Episode 7, “Madness” – click here
Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) is now a patient. She recognises the world around her, but continues having visions of Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, of Gillian Baxter in her red coat, of lights in the forest. The devious Dr. Fiona McKenzie (Kris McQuade) tells Anna she has lesions on her brain, and that her blood is changing. Just like her mother experienced. “I think I know who killed Chloe,” Anna tells the doctor. Although nothing she says is heeded. McKenzie reveals that someone or “something” tried running her off the road recently. She may not seem devious, but she is, certainly.
When Anna opens her little notebook, THEY’RE LOOKING FOR YOU is scrawled across it in bold lettering. Naturally, Anna’s breaking out of the hospital, not content with resting in bed while something strange and terrifying still lurks in their little Tasmanian town.
Can’t forget about Liza Grayson (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). She and Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) were up at the ridge, last we saw them. She wallows in a big, dark hole below. Eventually, Dane is able to haul her out of a hole after searching all night to find her. “I think there are people down there,” she tells him in a state of shock. You can be sure with everything going on – secret tunnels below the ridge or not – you wouldn’t want to be around, now that state authorities are there, as well as Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) and Max Holloway (Damien Garvey), and to a lesser extent Roy Macy (Anthony Phelan), trying to cover up whatever nastiness they buried there once upon a time.
Kettering, Tasmania is in a bad spot. Forget all the oddities, there’s a serious socioeconomic shift happening because of the quarantine. All sorts of work shut down, plus the mill’s being sold off. So the depth of what’s been going on becomes greater, simply for the human factor.
We start to see maybe Dr. McKenzie isn’t so bad after all. I guess she’s more so worried about Anna, and still in the dark as to anything Roy, for instance, might know. She further believes Roy is hiding something from his daughter.
Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) and Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) are still trying to get everything straight on their own heads. Fergus manages to actually impress Dutch, a little. He’s managed to figure out that Craig sent letters to Max, the threatening ones. Turns out he was trying to “teach him a lesson” for getting too close with the Greenies. I find it hard to believe Craig had anything to do with Chloe’s death, though. You can’t be sure. Not yet.
Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) goes to her sister Barb Holloway’s (Sacha Horler) place. She lets her know that she’ll likely leave Kettering soon, what with her daughter never turning up and now Travis (Kevin MacIsaac) supposedly running away; except we know the difference in the latter. “I know my grief drives people away, no one can understand the pain,” says Renae. Then she reveals knowing about Barb and Dutch, even Chloe knew. Most of the town does, it seems. Yikes.
At home, Craig finds her daughter carving a moth tattoo into her arm. He’s also not pleased to know she has Chloe’s camera. Maybe I was wrong about him. He definitely has a temper. Just not so positive that correlates to murder.
Everyone is a bit on edge now. Anna’s looking for Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) and finds him dead, what looks like a gunshot to the face. Whatever’s happening, it is starting to get treacherous. She gathers up whatever information she can find in Dominic’s camper before heading off.
So Craig didn’t write those letters. It was his daughter. She freaks out on her father, Dutch, and Fergus. Following their altercation, Dutch notices strange markings on the girl’s shoulders. She almost has a strange strength. Afterwards, Dutch and Fergus flick through the pictures on Chloe’s camera. This leads to the detective confessing to his relationship with Barb; that’s where he was the night of Chloe’s death, having sex with her mother.
Anna has Dutch meet her. She tells him about Dominic’s death. She shows him the pictures of the Dyatlov Pass Incident-related deaths, a picture of a strange orb with markings like those over the skin of people in Kettering. Worse, Dutch reveals the murder weapon used on Chloe found in Anna’s car. “Someone‘s setting me up,” she tells Dutch. The detective further explains to Anna that her father Roy took money in the ’90s from a company dealing in radioactive waste.
Up at Harrold’s camper, Fergus and Dutch investigate. Turns out Fergus used to talk with the man about his own father’s disappearance, the tides; I suppose that’s why he’s always out kayaking in that one area. Could Fergus’ father still be somewhere out there? Maybe up at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge? Either way, they may be getting somewhere.
In a big warehouse owned by Amber Arrow Industries, source of that triangle we keep seeing, Anna makes her way illegally down into the bowels of the structure. There, she comes in contact with one of those spiked orbs, like from the picture Dominic had and the same type of one Jens Jorgenssen (Damon Gameau) was seen burying last episode. It sits behind a pane of glass, surrounded by little glowing orbs. She also finds Lofty Sullivan (Nathan Spencer), along with Jens. She confronts him about being David Owen, the fingerprint. A moment later Jens offers up some information. He found Chloe dead, so he moved her. In order to “protect” people; like himself and Anna, so Jens claims.
The mysteries deepen.
Jens, a.k.a David, shows Anna bits of what he studies. There are x-rays of lesions on the brain. Many more things. Then, Anna sees a woman she believes to be a grown up Gillian who disappears quickly. “I want to know who I am,” Anna explains desperately, but only gets more cryptic answers.
Meanwhile, Fergus finds a clue at Renae’s place: a lipstick. It was the last photo on Chloe’s camera the night of her death, laying in the grass. There’s a letter left behind signed by Renae, describing the pain and torture she suffered after the disappearance of Gillian.
Oh, my. “Chloe had to pay the price for you all,” writes Renae in her letter.
What I find most interesting is how there’s all this nasty business going on Kettering, and the death of Chloe in particular has dredged the swampy hearts of the residents, brought out the secrets, turned over many stones that might have gone un-turned otherwise. So while Chloe’s murder might have been this big mystery that felt connected to a larger mystery, it was a mere catalyst for all the dirt to be uncovered in their little town.
At Chloe’s funeral, the word gets out about Renae, even though Fergus and Dutch try keeping things quiet. When Barb finds out she nearly collapses, as one would. Then the constable and detective receive word of gunshots up on Mother Sullivan’s Ridge.
But still, the mystery of Gillian Baxter’s not been solved. Despite now understanding who killed Chloe, that old disappearance has yet to be figured out.
In the forest, Dutch takes a bullet from Dane. Surrounding them are a bunch of people with guns, including Adam Holloway. Up at the ridge, Jens is taking Anna down below. To find her answers. Amongst the dark Anna meets: herself. It is a frail, pale, emaciated version of herself. But her, nonetheless. Has someone been cloning up on the ridge? Lots of instances of doubles. Even Jens, a moment earlier, references the King’s lomatia, which is a self-cloning species of plant. The two moons in the sky.
However, does this mean Gillian’s still out there? Obviously Chloe died. But maybe the weird behaviour from Adam and others can explain the concept of clones wandering around Kettering.
Wow! I understood this was a mini-series, but now we need a second series. Come on! This was fucking brilliant. It kept me guessing until the very end, even while I had so many theories bouncing around my noodle. What a great instance of writing throughout, always keeping people on their toes.
Could the Greek goddess of duality, Nephele, have inspired parts of this series? Or maybe Lamia, the mistress of Zeus, whose grief and envy of others turned her into a literal child-eating demon (similar to what Renae has become)? There are plenty of ways to tie this into Greek mythology. At least we do know that the clones are roaming Kettering. So it’s now plausible how Jens could be David, among other mysteries. No wonder Anna can barely remember anything, as she’s been cloned, and the effects are untold.
Let’s hope there’s a second season. If not, that’s fine, too. I just dig that we were given eight amazing episodes. Anybody who finds themselves let down at the end, you should go back and look through everything that’s already been given. Plenty of clues to add up and lots of mysteries are unravelled through their information.
Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 7: “Madness”
Directed by Tony Krawitz
Written by Victoria Madden
* For a review of Episode 6, “Roy” – click here
* For a review of Episode 8, “The Homecoming” – click here
Kettering, Tasmania has become a disaster area. The recent nasty shellfish has led to the discovery of toxic waste flooding into the water all over.
Simultaneously, Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) is stuck in questioning with Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) and Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez). Although she is not well. She slips into a daydream or a vision of sorts. They’re worried about her fingerprint up at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, at the crime scene. Outside, Roy Macy (Anthony Phelan) tries to find out more information on what’s going on, as well as shows concern for his daughter for once. At the same time, Fergus is starting to see how Anna’s changed over the years: “She isn‘t the Anna I used to know,” he tells Dutch.
Anna’s all mixed up. Her mother is dead, she’s been hauled into questioning, everyone is suspicious of her for what happened to Gillian and now Chloe. There is too much going on in her head. But she forges on. She also doesn’t know about Dr. McKenzie flying off the road, either.
Out at the quarantine area they’re taking peoples blood, checking the water, starting to shut down the supply for the town. This means they’ve got to get up past the ridge. Ahhh.
At the mill, Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) is giving his employees the harsh news over the place being sold. Everyone’s out of a job. Then when his son Adam (Brad Kannegiesser) arrives, they have a bit of a scuff. I’m worried about the young man. He is having serious troubles after his time in the woods.
Dutch and Fergus keep on piecing together the murder of Chloe, the events surrounding it. They whittle down a number of people that don’t have an alibi for the night of Chloe’s death. They come down to a fingerprint of a man that supposedly died in ’98; a fingerprint on Chloe. That can’t be any good, can it?
There’s something quite wrong with Adam. He goes home and starts weirding out his mother Barb (Sacha Horler). He doesn’t speak, he only lurches toward her silently. That’s fucking unsettling, even if it isn’t sinister. He’s full of strange marks, moss growing from cuts in his skin.
Fergus keeps trying to nail Dutch, although Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) isn’t keen on giving information. He’s getting cold feet. And that’s going to throw a wrench into the whole mix.
Anna searches for Dr. McKenzie at her office and lab. All she finds are pictures, a few reports. Then a tape concerning her mother Wendy made by the doctor – the doctor speaks about a “pathogen of unknown origin” among other things. When Anna puts her own blood under the microscope, it looks odd and gives her more to go on.
Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) gets a visit from the State Health Authority working on the quarantine. They’ve requested to go up on Mother Sullivan’s Ridge. Now what’ll happen?
And what about Jens Jorgenssen (Damon Gameau) up in his high perch? He sees many things. Many people. I’d like to know what purpose he plays. It doesn’t frustrate me, the mystery. It intrigues me to no end. He knows there’s something different, or special about the forest out there. I’m eager to find out his secrets.
A confrontation between Fergus and Dutch occurs out in the woods after the former brings his accusations forward. Dutch plays it cool, but there’s no denying he has it in for the detective. So he should. The guy is out of control and a criminal. Worse than that they find themselves stranded on the road once their vehicle refuses to start. Overhead, a strange noise emanates from the sky and starts shaking everything underneath. Afterwards the engine starts fine. Strange, no? Oh, the things that go on in Kettering.
Jens chops a triangle into a tree. We’ve seen this before. Both in the visions of Anna, as well as the van Jens drives. The symbol is a curious one.
For whom or what is that symbol?
Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) has the police come question her about the whereabouts of Travis (Kevin MacIsaac), still missing after being tied naked to a tree and left by himself. Dutch pockets a wallet from the shed before Fergus can have a look. Sneaky, sneaky.
That triangle turns up once more amongst the medical equipment and vials of blood at the quarantine. Curiouser and curiouser, Alice. That’s because Sandra (Katie Robertson) brings it all up to a clandestine meeting with Jens. Y’know, for his little experiments. Oh, my. The triangle is most likely a communication device for the drop offs. Been going on a long time, if so.
At the bar, Dutch questions a few of the old mill workers about Travis. They, of course, do not give up much. Only cocky statements about what they actually did.
The electrical anomalies are raging in Kettering. Lights are flickering everywhere. Some shut down. A tawny frogmouth perches looking into the darkness.
Dutch has weird dreams of night vision goggles before being woken up by Anna. Their relationship, tenuous as it may be, isn’t something I understand quite yet. Dutch maybe tries keeping her close to see what her deal is, but I still can’t tell for sure. She tells Dutch about being sick, possibly even “dying.” Again, they embrace. Dancing together, Roy and Renae listen to “Crimson and Clover” while Dutch and Anna get more physical.
Meanwhile, Barb takes a handful of pills in her daughter’s old bedroom before going to sleep. This is devastating. I hope she’s not doing herself in, even if that’s what it looks like. Max finds her and makes her throw the pills up, saving her. She blames herself for Chloe dying. It’s clear both Barb and Max need each other to keep surviving, despite all their own personal demons.
After sex, Dutch asks Anna about the night vision goggles. He can’t rid himself of those images. When Dutch gives up the info about a fingerprint from a scientist, the one who died in ’98, this seems to catch Anna’s attention intently.
Something we’ve seen before – Fergus out in kayak. This time, he sits above an aeroplane sunk to the ocean floor. A bit of an unnerving moment. I’m still waiting to figure out the connection, those broadcasts on the radio, and so on.
Anna tracks down Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) to find out about the scientist, David Owen. There’s “no chance” he is alive. What I enjoy most is that the infamously unsolved Dyatlov Pass Incident is brought into the plot (see here if you’ve not heard of it before). Dominic says that what happened to those people is the same fate which Owen met.
Grayson and Max are out near Mother Sullivan’s Ridge trying to determine how to deal with the State Health Authority. They find bubbling, nasty stuff seeping out of the ground. Craig thinks they should bury it further. However, I don’t think they appreciate the magnitude of whatever it is they’ve done all those years ago. When they stumble on the moss covered body of Travis, all bets are off.
Even though Dutch is a piece of shit, I still worry about him sometimes. Like when he decides going up on the ridge by himself is a good idea.
Out amongst the trees, Roy finds Jens. They struck a deal when toxic waste was piled into the ground out there. But I guess Jens wasn’t totally forthcoming about the effects. Still, the old man worries for his daughter, he doesn’t want her involved any further. He thinks about exposing Jens, what’s he doing up there making people ill and so forth. That would mean putting himself in the line of fire, as well.
Dutch discovers Max and Craig trying to deal with Travis’ body. They’ve uprooted him and haul his corpse off in a tarp, hoping to get it buried.
The new theory of Anna is that Jens is actually David Owen. She brings this to Fergus. Is it too crazy to be taken seriously? Anything’s possible after seeing this episode’s events. Well, Fergus comes back with Roy, who says he has something to show her.
In the farmhouse at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, Dane and Liza (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) start hearing strange noises. They end up finding a room below the floor. Slipping down, Liza hears an echo of her voice come back when she calls out. An image in the dark looks similar to one of the visions from Anna’s daydream earlier.
Roy was, at one point, trying to help his daughter. At this point, he’s committing her to the psychiatric hospital where her mother was confined. Seems Dr. McKenzie is there, too. She’s a part of it.
Whaaat? Poor Anna. Although I saw that coming a mile away. Dirty bastard, that Roy.
This was a weird and wild, awesome episode. I’m very curious what the final episode of this fantastic mini-series holds for us.
What surprises will see in “The Homecoming” I wonder?
Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 6: “Roy”
Directed by Rowan Woods
Written by Victoria Madden
* For a review of Episode 5, “The Forest” – click here
* For a review of Episode 7, “Madness” – click here
Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) only continues having more visions of her childhood friend Gillian, that red jacket running through the woods. We see the yellow triangle carved into a tree. Gillian appears in a chair with the military night-vision goggles on.
But it’s only visions. Anna’s not really seeing it, her mind is simply fractured a bit. Has been a long time. Out at Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, she searches for more answers. Although she doesn’t notice there are terrible things lurking up there to this day.
In a nearby crater, she finds a red truck sitting abandoned in the wilderness. Inside it’s torn up a good deal.
Constable Fergus McFadden (Henry Dixon) is bringing the charges against Detective Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) to his superiors. However, not everyone is exactly pleased. Even if the evidence against Dutch is pretty suggestive, suspicious. Speaking of suspicious, Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) is trying to juggle both his secrets and his business. The mill’s in danger of being sold to who knows what sort of outside business. In the meantime, that moss is growing all over Kettering, and not everybody’s paying attention.
Still out searching Anna makes her way to a barn where a red ribbon is tied on a door latch. There, she finds a long, thick streak of blood: “Chloe,” she whispers to herself.
Dutch is stuck on Mother Sullivan’s place, as Fergus wonders where Travis Kingston (Kevin MacIsaac) has been; nobody’s heard from him in a couple days. All the same, they both keep on discussing Chloe. And we’re left to wonder if Dutch knows yet what Fergus has been discussing with the bosses. I’m betting he does.
Out in the crater, Fergus meets Anna. She also shows him the barn, the blood. This certainly doesn’t bode well having her be the one to have found all this, but she forges on trying to help discover the mystery of Chloe and her death. Moreover, she tells Fergus about what Roy did those years ago, blaming Lofty (Nathan Spencer) and covering it all up. Only the poor constable has seen enough deviousness in his department, it’s likely almost too much for him to handle.
Suddenly, Anna sees someone in the woods. Then her mother Wendy (Sarah Wood) appears in the window. When Anna finds her she’s covered in blood, talking again: “And someone called me by my name. It had become a glimmering girl. With apple blossom in her hair. Who called me by my name and ran and faded through the brightening air.” Whoa. She talks and now she’s reciting Yeats’ “The Song of Wandering Aengus” to her daughter.
All this now makes Dutch suspicious, as well as leaves Fergus in the dark, too. While he does care about Anna, at least supporting her when nobody else wants to, he’s still a lawman. Through and through. He wants to know for sure what’s happening. Afterwards, Dutch does his best to search the truck and find the stash of drugs left behind. He does, and only deepens the deceit. To make it look good he also finds an e-mail suggesting Chloe was tipping people off about the logging plans at the mill. Hmm, curious.
Barb Holloway (Sacha Horler) argues with her sister Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty), distraught over the murder of her daughter. Both have lost plenty. Barb wants to talk with Travis, yet even Renae’s got no clue where he is, though we do. Not sure what sort of state he’s in at the moment. The situation with Barb and Renae is deteriorating, as the latter tries to tell her: “You just have to have faith.” Barb wants none of that bullshit.
Meanwhile, Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) and Liza Grayson (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) walk together before he heads off to work. She clearly is lost completely without Chloe in her life. She reaches out to him, only wanting a hug: “So that I don’t disappear,” she almost weeps. He’s good enough of a man to give her one, to assure her she’s not going anywhere.
The craziest yet happens when Anna stops the doctors from giving her mother AB blood. Not the right type. But the hospital says she has a different type than she did previously; it’s AB now. Roy arrives to try and get more information out of Anna. We also find out that Roy reads his wife Yeats, so that’s something else.
Things get troublesome when Barb won’t back up Max’s alibi. Dutch and Fergus know he owns Mother Sullivan’s Ridge, they know about the radiation poisoning. Nonetheless, Max won’t give up any kind of information. What exactly is up there giving off radiation? A pile of waste? Or is it something more disturbing?
Everybody’s talking about Fergus and Anna, saying he’s “rooting” a murderer. They all want to judge her, and him, before any real evidence.
Over with Dr. Fiona McKenzie (Kris McQuade), Anna examines her mother’s ‘new’ blood. Fiona worries about something “happening again” that’s become clear with all the cancers, the personality changes, even blood now. But when Anna wants to know more, Dr. McKenzie won’t say much.
Furthermore, we discover a young girl is making calls to Renae. Those aren’t real transmissions coming through. Only a little bitch giving Renae false hope.
Again, Anna sees the van with a triangle on it. She sees Jens Jorgensson (Damon Gameau) getting in, a woman with red hair walking away. Before she can reach it, once more, it’s gone. She goes to see Dr. Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) giving a speech on magnetic force and other related subjects. All in regards to Kettering, things happening there for so long, and picking up recently: “Science doesn‘t have all the answers,” he tells them.
While Fergus is talking to Lofty, Dt. Dutch goes out to the man’s boat for an illegal search. It’s messy, filled with a bunch of crap. However, there are also a bunch of pictures of Chloe; alone and with Lofty. In the back of his truck, there’s blood streaks. But he helps with injured animals, nursing them back to health, so on. Fergus tries to make a case for him. You can be sure Dutch isn’t keen on that.
Once Fergus talks to Dane, he starts believing it’s possible the lying detective may have had a hand in Chloe’s death. We still cannot be sure, in the slightest, what happened to her, either way. Especially with Roy always seeming to be rushing around and hushing things up.
Sadly it’s clear Wendy is dying. Both Anna and Roy are by her side, as she drifts off into a permanent sleep. Simultaneously, Dr. McKenzie is out driving, heading for more answers. She ends up seeing lights behind her, chasing. This sends her out off the road in a vicious crash. Another knock in Anna’s hopes.
There’s also Barb discovering a bunch of drugs in one of her dead daughter’s stuffed animals. Up in his treetop hideout, Jens shoots something into his veins and spaces out. And Roy, he’s still a mystery, spending time with his birds instead of staying with his daughter.
Then, Fergus takes Anna in to be fingerprinted. She’s finally going into custody, to likely be formally charged with having some part in Chloe’s disappearance and death.
Very exciting episode. Lots of dark intrigue, as usual. More mystery, and some opening up. Next episode is “Madness” and I hope to see, leading into the finale of this fine mini-series, a few creepy bits start to blossom.
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
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?
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 creepin‘ in,” 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.
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. “It‘s 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.
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.
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 can‘t figure out whether he‘s 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.
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 wasn‘t 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.
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.
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.
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.
Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 3: “The Search”
Directed by Steve Krawitz
Written by Cate Shortland
* For a review of Episode 2, “The Lights” – click here
* For a review of Episode 4, “The Mill” – click here
Out among the forest surrounding Kettering, moths float about, and at home Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) feels as if she can literally see the air around her. She continues to record everything in her notebook. She’s in the bed of Fergus Mcfadden (Henry Nixon). Meanwhile, Fergus has found the cellphone of missing Chloe (Sianoa Smit-McPhee). He brings it to Max and Barbara Holloway (Damien Garvey/Sacha Horler), the parents, and her brother Adam (Brad Kannegiesser) is there to hear the news, too. They have somewhere to begin now. Although they hvae no idea where the road is headed.
Anna has to contend with Dt. Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) asking all sorts of questions re: Chloe. We know his intentions. However, even without knowing everything Anna has a sixth sense about guys like him.
On the cell, Fergus listens to the voicemail from Chloe, the terrifying message. He questions Eliza Grayson (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) about whether it’s a joke. She is a good pretender. A faker, really. She doesn’t realise that tihs time, Chloe isn’t faking. What we’re seeing is the hysteria in Kettering: “I guess I just wanted to be a part of it,” says Eliza. All a sham.
Bad boy Dutch is over to see Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) about the rest of his drugs. Now the young guy is on the hook for $10K, and the dirty cop’s not exactly the forgiving kind. He has jobs to do that need a hand. Just great.
Anna heads back to her father Roy’s (Anthony Phelan) place. She finds a map marked with spots in the Kettering forest. Out there people are searching for Chloe. A base camp is setup, all sorts of operations. When Anna winds up there nobody is exactly welcoming. Not after all that’s happened. Although she manages to muscle her way into Deb Russell’s (Alison Whyte) vehicle for a ride up to where the search parties are moving. On the way they hit a small kangaroo. Deb watches on as Anna puts the creature out of its misery with a rock to the head. Chilling, though only because Deb sees this as creepy herself. We know Anna’s probably the least capable of murder in ole Kettering.
Nobody at the search is pleased to have Anna there, not even Papa Roy. Doesn’t help she has blood all over her hands, literally. She gets the cold welcome from Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) and others, as well as the semi-longing star of activist Jens Jorgensson (Damon Gameau). Nevertheless, everyone heads into the woods, protective gear on, police with their dogs alongside.
Between the trees Anna sees something red. She starts hearing noises, seeing lights in the woods. She gets stuck in the mud, calling out for “Gillian” but it’s only Adam there to comfort her surprisingly.
Dutch is at the Holloway place. Of all people to be leading that side of the investigation. Not only is he dirty, he and Barbara have an affair going on. He gathers up a piece of clothing, talks about combing through Chloe’s social media accounts. Then once he gets a moment to himself in her room he finds the package for which he’s looking so frantically. All the while Eliza has her eye on Barb and Dutch.
Husband Max is just numb. And perhaps there’s a bigger worry behind all that. We know there is a lot more to Max. Likely something sinister down the pipes.
When Adam takes Anna back to the search site, Roy shoos his daughter away. Typical. There’s only more suspicion and paranoia for Ms. Macy. Even her own father doesn’t know what to think of her innocence, or guilt. The whole town is leaning her way mostly. In some way. For Roy’s part he seems to have something to hide, too. He was a cop, sure. There are further skeletons, though.
Anna secretly discovers Deb’s cancer, seeing the chemo implant on her chest. She also suggests Anna’s attitude “sucks” and that changing it may help her fit in. But further than that Anna finds out more about the Dr. Fiona McKenzie (Kris McQuade) with whom she was trying to speak at the hospital recently. Turns out she works as a tour guide at a prison nearby.
Over at the mill, Roy lets Max know the search is over for the day. He also talks about the Sullivan place. There’s more to that land than just the UFO sightings. Something else happened out there.
Dutch goes through Chloe’s computer. He finds videos on the presence of alien life, et cetera. Also there are pictures of him, all over Kettering. She kept a nice visual log of his comings and goings. At least for a little while. Smart girl. Now, the detective heads things off with his access to her things. Sketchy, dude.
Finally, Anna goes to see Dr. McKenzie and finds out lots more. “Things started happening,” she tells Anna. “Strange cancers” and all sorts of other things. One of those cases includes Deb. All of Kettering both threatened Dr. McKenzie, plus labelled her crazy. She knew Chloe had nosebleeds. She knows more than she even lets on to Anna, only warning she ought to leave. Now. Afterwards, Anna winds up talking with Fergus across the bar, as Dutch keeps his eagle eye trained on them. She tries getting to Gillian’s files, to dive deeper into the investigation herself. Sadly, Fergus can’t understand the greater significance of what’s been happening in their quaint town all these years.
Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) continues believing her daughter Gillian is out there. Her man Travis (Kevin MacIsaac) is not at all interested in entertaining those thoughts, to the detriment of their relationship. When she calls him “simple minded” and a “leech” this is more than his fragile masculinity can take. He beats her. A real piece of shit. We see a better side to Dutch, as he responds to a call that brings him to Renae’s place. His mother was a battered woman. Well, Renae is tragically typical, not wanting anyone to know. Especially not the police. Travis doesn’t respond too kind to Dutch, as he knows about the detective and his drug dealing. But Dutch isn’t a pushover. He threatens the guy, fatally, if there are any more domestic abuse calls.
To the Holloways goes Anna. She brings a bottle of wine, looking to know if Chloe had any strange marks on her skin anywhere. Barb doesn’t remember anything specific, eventually wanting her out. Although Max is a little more reasonable, it’s probably best for them all. Upstairs, Eliza is dressed in Chloe’s pyjamas, and there’s an odd moment between her and Max. An almost eerie look from him, though that could just be my eye.
Then Anna makes a big mistake. She has sex with Dutch. Or at least begins the lead into it before getting a nosebleed. In the couch, Anna finds a necklace; you know which one. This gets her quite suspicious. Immediately that puts Dutch in aggressive mode, defensive. The questions from Anna start to shed light on his shady behaviour. Glad she didn’t fall into bed with this guy.
Dutch: “Why did you come back?”
Anna: “It‘s my home”
Dutch: “You don‘t have a home”
The reoccurring “Crimson and Clover” interest comes from Anna and Gillian having loved the song, recording their own version on a tape she carries with her. Roy isn’t pleased with his daughter’s attitude or behaviour. He doesn’t like that Anna went to talk to Dr. McKenzie. You just know there is something more to it all, that Roy knows more than he leads on. He tries to push his daughter away from home, but she is not leaving. We discover more about how Renae and Roy had an affair, which is a sore spot for him. He drives Anna out his house after she brings it up.
Next day the search continues on. Roy finds Anna gone, elsewhere. Anywhere. Barb and Max spend their days apart staring out separate windows; her at home, him busy over at the mill trying to keep his mind occupied. In a pile of logs, the body of Chloe is found. Right under the nose of her father. So god damn sad.
One truly intense episode. A great chapter in this mini-series. Love this show! Great drama, lots of mystery. I dig when a show can draw things out properly, and the writers are doing a fantastic job. Next episode is titled “The Mill” and it looks extremely intense.
Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 2: “The Lights”
Directed by Rowan Woods
Written by Victoria Madden
* For a review of Episode 1, “Anna” – click here
* For a review of Episode 3, “The Search” – click here
Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon) is out in kayak. He comes across a bunch of dead birds in the water. Then, a piece of wood with writing on it; a part of a boat? Who knows.
We cut to Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki). In the background it sounds like a plane going down over the radio. When she comes to Anna only hears reports on the radio about lights in the forest. Her hands look like they’ve been digging in the dirt out there, too. Her boots on the porch are full of mud, clumps of earth. Worse, she has no pills left.
But worse than that even? Chloe Holloway (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) isn’t home. Her mother Barbara (Sacha Horler) finds her room empty. Nowhere to be found. In the middle of the woods sits Chloe’s abandoned cellphone.
At home, Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) gets phone calls filled with static, the sound of someone saying “Mommy” over and over. Pranks, laughter at the end before they hang up. That is awful. Moreover, Renae worries over the lights in the forest. It’s becoming clear she believes there might have been something strange happening on those woods; last night, and 16 years ago, as well.
Last episode we saw Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) briefly. Now, Renae goes to him: “It‘s happening again,” she says. Ah, they’re kindred spirits believing in the existence of alien life out there, UFOs, and whatever else. Looking forward to seeing more of this relationship.
Anna talks with Barbara briefly saying that Chloe talked about getting out of Kettering. But we get more of the idea that not everyone in Kettering is so pleased with Anna being back. Not in the slightest. Not long afterwards, Anna has another episode. Flashes of strange images. She sees herself in that security footage tap dancing. Then she finds herself spaced out, watching a bunch of tap dancing young girls. The instructor calls out to her, surprised to see Anna – is this her mother? I’d bet a good lot on that one. Because Anna runs off in a frenzy.
Max Holloway (Damien Garvey) is having more and more trouble. The fact things with the Greenies hasn’t been solved puts a bunch of the hardline thugs in Kettering out in a mood to rage. They trash the protesters camp, as Max and his buddy Jack discuss how things might go from here on in.
At the same time, Fergus is out looking for Chloe. He checks in with Liza (Tilda Cobham-Hervey), who reports the reluctant truth. She also tells Fergus about Anna and Chloe spending time together. This naturally is leading to more suspicion to be thrown Anna’s way. We find out more concerning her, as Liza’s mother Sharon says Anna threw her through a window. But Fergus sheds light on it, calling that incident an accident. Probably just more prejudiced fear about Anna when something far more sinister is going on around Kettering.
Dt. Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez) is up to no good. Turns out the stuff Chloe and Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) were picking up, the drugs, belong to Dutch. Or at least he’s a part of it all, near the top. I knew immediately when we saw him last episode there was something off. I didn’t expect the corruption. With missing stash, Dutch puts the screws to Dane: find the drugs, or else. And the plot of the little town of Kettering thickens. One of the many plots.
Out to try and get more pills, Anna stirs up trouble. She sees a boy with a possible serious illness in the waiting room. Then she manages to slip out a prescription pad from the belongings of a Dr. McKenzie, who has obviously been let go, fired, something from the hospital. This is a nice, weird little scene. Fits right in perfectly, as well as adds more and more intrigue by the spoonful. When Anna gets to the pharmacy, though, the gig on the pills is up.
Fergus is still searching for Chloe, from land to ferry. Papa Max is out doing the same while also getting word from his men: further measures need to be taken. In town, the fear of Chloe disappearing is becoming more real. Barbara starts wondering about the influence of Anna, as do others. This can only mean bad things for Ms. Macy.
Speaking of her, she sits in the Four Leaf Clover drinking coffee. Jens Jorgenssen (Damon Gameau) meets her, giving back the present from her patient she dropped at the party. He’s soon driven out by the loggers, as is Anna: “You should go too, little bird,” Craig Grayson (Ben Oxenbould) tells her.
Over to see Roy Macy (Anthony Phelan), Fergus meets up with Anna again. Everything is fairly awkward, tense. Outside, Anna asks Fergus if there was a Mayday earlier, that she heard on the radio. A brief mention. I want to know more about what she heard. For now, Anna dances around the truth. She talks of being home at 11, saying Chloe partied hard. She further mentions the girl wanted to leave town. This won’t do Anna any favours. But it’s probably best, as this is a mystery she ought to try solving herself. Her father, for his part, is worried. She wasn’t home until after midnight. Ah, the lies. There’s only so long she can fend them off. And being linked to another missing girl? Kettering might swallow her whole yet.
A picture of the old Sullivan house intrigues Anna, captivating her attention. So many various plots, events, images. They’ll all link up, soon enough. It’s fun to watch them pile high. Keeps me glued to the screen.
The Holloways are arguing. Max is heading out to do mill business, but Barb isn’t happy about that. They’re both still believing she’ll turn up. There’s more to Max that we’re still not seeing. Just yet. I’m highly interested in whatever creepiness he’s holding in that closet full of skeletons.
We’re back with Renae and Dominic. They have a meeting together with others who have experienced the lights, other strange events. There’s a mention of the old Sullivan place. Lots of others know there is something odd in those woods. Something otherworldly.
Liza listens to a message on her phone that seems to depict Chloe, terrified, trying to get away from someone. A harrowing call to hear.
And there’s more to Roy. He meets with Grayson and Max. They discuss what to do about the Greenies, what’s next. None of them wants to see the mill get sold or closed up. They each have their own ideas, but Grayson’s more inclined to blame Anna for stirring everybody up. Whatever they’re planning now seems drastic.
At the station, Dt. Dutch is starting to worry about how close Fergus is getting to the drug operation in which he’s involved. On top of that, Fergus found a piece of a fishing trawler that disappeared a decade ago. Further than that he finds out more about Anna stealing the prescription pad at the hospital, that she’s on anti-psychotics; just as her mother was once.
On her own personal investigation, Anna finds the sick boy from the hospital earlier in the middle of a dirt road. He runs into the forest somewhere, as she tries following. Except it’s up Mother Sullivan’s Ridge. She’s out near the old Sullivan place. Will she follow, or no?
At home, Barb looks through Chloe’s things. She finds a bunch of interesting stuff, such as a hidden flash drive, a picture of Dt. Dutch. On the drive is a video of Chloe talking about ghosts, of convicts and Aborigines. Of more secrets and dark, dirty things going on in Kettering. “I swear one day I‘m gonna tear off all their masks and disappear,” says Chloe in the unsettling clip. Even further, Barb discovers her daughter knew more about her than she let on.
Anna soon comes across the Sullivan house. She hopes to find Chloe, but no such luck. She does find her own lost jacket, along with her pills. That’s one good thing. In a nearby room there are sleeping bags, camping equipment. A fire’s embers still glow in the living room in a fireplace below almost ancient-looking photos. And then Anna spies the chair from her visions. Then she has more of them, descending into a savage fit.
She comes to looking out at the nearby mountains. Lights zip around strangely by its peaks. Down at the local diner Anna talks with Barb, saying there were lights in the forest and generally creeping her out. “You should never have come back,” her father scowls at her.
Liza then shares the message she got from Chloe with the Holloways – all the fear, the screaming. This only deepens things. Both the suspicions and paranoia of Anna, as well as Max wondering if something is coming back to bite him badly. Fergus has the phone Chloe used, but all he can do, or anyone can do, is think of Gillian Baxter. They all wonder if this is just another horrific event wrapped up in Anna’s return to Kettering.
Very good follow-up to the first episode. Love them both! Tasmanian Gothic is a great genre of literature, even better on film at times. There’s so much more to hope for, and to which we can look forward. Next episode is titled “The Search” and will, I assume, dive further into the workings of the town, Roy and Grayson and Holloway working together, among many more plots. This is a fantastic series. Stay with me and we’ll follow this through to a suspenseful conclusion! I’m sure of it.
Foxtel’s The Kettering Incident
Episode 1: “Anna”
Directed by Rowan Woods
Written by Victoria Madden
* For a review of Episode 2, “The Lights”, click here.
In August of 2000 we find ourselves in Tasmania, in the midst of the Kettering Forest. Young anna (Maddison Brown) rides a bike with her friend Gillian into the trees, down a quiet path. Soon the forest emanates odd sounds, not quite human or animal. Followed by lights flickering around the woods. When Jillian disappears, Anna is left alone and calling out into the darkness.
Cut to the present day and things have changed a good deal. Dr. Anna Macy (Elizabeth Debicki) is drunk and laying against a dumpster in London. Whatever happened sixteen years previous obviously shattered her proper.
Love the opener, as well as the title sequence and theme. Excellently eerie, subtle. Excited to see what’s in store.
Anna’s life isn’t too organised. Someone named Tim Edwards (Nathan Lovejoy) calls, leaving messages and waiting for her to show up at some meal that likely won’t be happening. She writes in her journal about all sorts of details. I assume those are related to maybe losing time, or something similar, all tying into that event back in 2000. Either way, Anna is an interesting character. She struggles privately with what appears as addiction, though she’s also the type to ride a bike to work. And then she spends her day trying to help others instead of helping herself. There’s a patient in treatment to whom Anna feels especially drawn, a little blond girl; she buys her things, reads her books.
We watch Anna suffer a nosebleed out of nowhere. She gets her head checked then reveals she’s lost 7 hours. Ah, yes, the lost time. This starts to bring us back to 2000, the last time she lost any time that way. Later, she meets with Tim and gets some bad news, on several fronts. Especially when he produces some security footage; the kind she ought to watch privately.
Then Anna sees herself, walking into the hospital, tap dancing in the hallway. It shocks her. Everything is disoriented and she flashes back and forth to various events of her life.
When Anna comes to again, she’s back in Tasmania. She has her passport, a board pass for a flight. A terrifying loss of time. All the way back home she is now lost in her own head and the place of all her old fears.
Out in a boat, Chloe Holloway (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) and Dane Sullivan (Dylan Young) are out meeting another boat crew for some drugs. They see lights on the horizon, curious ones. Then after they get the drugs, Chloe starts having a nosebleed.
Cut quick back to poor Anna. A man finds her stalled out in the middle of the road, acting strangely. He helps get her into the town of Kettering, the old stomping ground. As she stands in front of a place called the FOUR LEAF CLOVER, only the letters OVER blink on and off. Also, we begin to discover there’s lots of stuff going on concerning the Greenies, those dedicated to environmentalism, so that’s likely to play into the story and various plots in some way. Furthermore, Anna runs into people that know her, and the mood changes swiftly. She’s uncomfortable, thrown off. Some people are less than welcoming while others try their best to be nice, such as Chloe. “You got a bloody nerve comin‘ back here,” one man says ominously before Anna runs out of the diner.
We find that her father Roy (Anthony Phelan) is retiring. Anna goes back to the home of her father where relics of her old life sit around every room. Roy’s surprised to see her. Not exactly thrilled, but not altogether unhappy, at all. They embrace, albeit awkwardly. There’s so much history in their family and I’m looking forward to seeing all those little secrets and dark nooks to come to light.
Barbara Holloway (Sacha Horler) and her husband Max (Damien Garvey) have their own troubles. Mostly him. He receives a troubling letter suggesting he’s done something awful. Of course his wife has no idea.
Roy goes to see Renae Baxter (Suzi Dougherty) to tell her about Anna coming home, apologising for the sudden arrival. For her part, Renae says she’s happy for him. Is the mother of Gillian, the one who went missing nearly two decades ago? If so, there’s more to rear its head yet.
Anna begins trying to piece together bits of the past, in order to help her present unify and become more stable. In the garage of her father’s place she looks through Missing Persons cases, some of which involve strange lights. We also see a newspaper clipping that possibly relates to her own incident – a man arrested over a missing teenager in Kettering, is this perhaps some of what makes the town feel strangely about Anna? Well, she has another fit of sorts, flashes of events and weird images.
She loses more time, waking up in bed. Chloe’s there to pick her up. Again we hear “Crimson and Clover” playing, which Anna says reminds her of her mother. Moreover, she also doesn’t like to have her picture taken. We’ll see more of that, no doubt. For now Anna finds that her car is no longer where she left it. Chloe soon reveals she’s also seen the lights around their town. She has a tattoo of a moth because they go towards the light; similar to a moth Anna recently envisioned during one of her episodes. Such intriguing little threads all setup to pull apart and together eventually.
Now we meet Dt. Brian Dutch (Matthew Le Nevez). He receives Anna about the stolen car. She then comes across another familiar face, Fergus McFadden (Henry Nixon). They’ve not seen each other in many, many years. Simultaneously, the car turns up. Except not in the way Anna may have hoped. The Greenies are out protesting and her car’s ended up in the midst of it all, burning to bits. Max Holloway is out there – I expect he’s a logger, or something similar. The police are trying to get things under control, though the whole thing is gone pretty wild.
There’s a dark side to Mr. Holloway. He’s gotten more letters than just that one. For some reason, he keeps them. Although they’re hidden away nicely. What lurks in his closet with all the skeletons? Bits and pieces of the story come together in nice, slow burning methods. The exposition doesn’t slap us in the face, and in this way keeps things interesting. Many are comparing this to Twin Peaks, but it isn’t at all. Maybe echoes at times, but overall completely different. Though honestly, the level of storytelling so far is on par.
Max and Roy are close friends. The former acts strangely like a creep around his buddy’s daughter: “Remember me?” he asks eerily. But Anna’s off with a bottle of liquor, staring up into the sky. She meets up with Chloe afterwards, asking to be taken to where she those lights. Meanwhile, a man named Dominic Harrold (Neil Pigot) is tuning into radio frequencies, headphones on listening in the darkness. What’s he up to? Oh, and Dt. Dutch, he’s banging Mrs. Holloway. All those small town lives are heading for collision.
And Anna, she’s out with Chloe, taking drugs – not the smartest thing in her condition – and heading to where the lights were, supposedly. It mostly turns into a rave, which is what the place is anyway: a massive rave in the woods around a fire. Until Anna and Chloe wander out into the forest. Is this the beginning of an unfortunate event just like that one 16 years ago? The lights in the woods come out again. Anna watches as Chloe heads towards them. Just like Gillian. Just like before.
Wow. What an intense opening episode. This one aired together, so I’m finishing the recap/review here. I’ll continue Episode 2 shortly, so stay tund with me. I’m loving the show already, even in the first hour. What great suspense, mystery, tension. All the ingredients for a great 8-episode series.