Tagged Elizabeth Debicki

The Kettering Incident – Episode 2: “The Lights”

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
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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.
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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: “Its 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.
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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 Im 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.

 

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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.
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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.

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The Kettering Incident – Episode 1: “Anna”

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.
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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.

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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 cominback 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.
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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.
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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.