Monday 16 November 2015

TV review: The Beautiful Lie, episode 5, ABC (2015)

Peter's destiny lies at the centre of this episode as it is in this episode that he gets married and that his brother, Nick, dies in the aftermath of a stroke following years of heavy drinking.

As always, Peter is an interesting character because his destiny is in the balance even as Anna's life comes tumbling down around her. What kind of future will Peter have if Anna has these things happening in her life right now? How heavily can Peter rely on the institution of marriage if Anna's ends up being so fragile, a thing derailed by a simple extramarital affair?

So Anna in her red dress takes her new baby along to Peter's wedding, where everyone is obtusely dressed in white. She didn't know. Of course she finds herself absolutely unwelcome. Kitty rebels and storms out of the room. Peter stumbles around. Kingsley - Anna's brother and Dolly's husband - tries to mend the wound but is completely not up to the task. Nick's crisis at the wedding - expectorating gouts of bloody liquid from his throat all over Kitty's white dress - represents a kind of crisis in all of their lives. All of the people taking part in the wedding are facing different kinds of difficulty in their relationships, but the answer to their problems is nowhere to be found.

Nick finally dies in a spare bedroom in Peter's large house, surrounded by the grieving women. Peter finds it hard to face mortality, and no wonder when his future has in a real sense been cursed by Anna's infidelity. He finally finds his way to Nick's room. Peter weeps in the end for his profligate brother, but at least he doesn't have to split his estate in order to satisfy Nick's appetite for cash.

Casper meanwhile has turned against his mother and Xander does nothing to mend the impasse. Anna is well and truly on the way toward complete dissolution when she uncovers Skeet's sexual feelings for the new female singer in the band. The occasional cutaways to shots of rail crossing signs takes on new meaning. We know how the novel ends: Anna tumbled under the wheels of a train.

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