Jeez, it’s almost the Christmas cliffhanger, as this very website handily reminded me as I logged in to type this. I mean, with so many devastatingly great storylines going on right now, you just know the cliffhanger’s gonna be something good.
But all I want for Christmas … is you.
Last time on Shortland Street, wise Rachel advised Sophie to bone Daniel. So she did.
Tonight’s episode opens with Isaac moonlighting in another hospital (you can tell because it’s weirdly shot with different extras than usual). Turns out Isaac’s telling some sneaky lies in order to do the surgery, and this guy’s not happy about it:
He actually tells Isaac that if he screws up, he’ll “never work in this town again”, because Shortland Street never met a cliche it didn’t love
God I love hand-washing scenes.
Bella, who is so unbelievably great she completely transcends this show, is real down in the dumps because Sophie wants to sell the IV, meaning her sweet Christmas party won’t be going ahead.
Look at her furrowed little brow! And how her head seems to have retracted into her body, like a turtle? Delightful.
Then Tracey actually says this: “Another year almost gone, can you believe it?”. Ula comes in and just kind of brings everyone down because she’s real bored. Probably she should lock someone in a closet or steal some alcohol, or something. I don’t know.
Murray’s gone over the figures, and he wants to buy the IV. They’re real poor, from what I remember, so really the ideal thing for them to do is buy a bar in the midst of a recession. Wendy’s not happy, but Murray kind of croaks at her encouragingly as she walks off. God, I bet he eats cigarettes.
Then we get another real good handwashing scene, while Isaac and that other doctor talk about Isaac’s surgery prowess. This scene isn’t very interesting, it’s basically just Isaac being real obnoxious and childish and pissing off everyone around him:
but jeez, two handwashes in like five minutes? They must have the cleanest hand in all of New Zealand. Anyway, Isaac’s all “ho ho no time for a break I’m gonna do all my surgery real fast and there’s nothing you can do about it you dick”
Then a medical jargon scene. Maxwell wants to go outside, but inconsiderate people keep getting injured and all hospitalled up. Then TK, who I guess is out of ladies to get real smooth with, takes his womanising to its logical extreme, and starts hitting on Maxwell’s 14-year-old daughter. He’s all “hey babe u wanna go shoot some hoops” and really who could say no to this face?
but oh no! Just as TK has asked Ula out on a hot basketball date, Maxwell has finished his doctoring for the day. But it’s too late, probably TK is boning her as we speak
oh what the hell, Murray’s friend asked him to go pig hunting, but Murray’s all “nah” so he’s sending Evan along instead? Jesus. If I knew someone who went pig hunting, I certainly wouldn’t want my child to be around them. But I guess me and Murray are pretty different guys, right? Evan’s hipster sister is all “can I come too?” but Wendy cockblocks her and is all “naw we’ll have our own fun”. OK actually I’d probably rather be in the hands of a pig hunter than “having my own fun” with god damn Wendy.
Then Brodie stumbles in yapping about buying the IV himself. Murray, who is on the other side of the room, but listening to their conversation nonetheless, is very interested. Probably he can hear them talk because while there are a lot of people in the bar, none of them are talking. That’s quite weird, isn’t it?
Then Murray gets real suave with Brodie and offers to invest in the bar with him. And it’s definitely a really good idea to go into business with your girlfriend’s croaky voiced poverty line father.
OK as if to really drive the weird notes of this whole affair home, we see that TK and Ula have stripped some of their clothes for their smouldering basketball game:
That’s a very artistic shot, isn’t it? Way to go, David Lynch
Maxwell is real desperate to get hold of Ula, her phone’s got this real obnoxious buzzing sound or something. Are we meant to feel sorry for him? Maybe he’ll beat up Christmas again.
Then Brodie and Murray combine to make Sophie an offer she can’t refuse on the bar:
and I mean they look kind of good cop bad cop there. Except, I think they’re both the bad cop.
Sophie’s like “yeah your deal sounds good” but like all the best businesswoman, she’s gotta talk it through with her dad first. Then things get homoerotic:
and I kind of wish I could sample the video here, because Murray lets out this ghastly laugh that sends a brittle chill through my very bones.
I’d like to think the Shortland Street producers had a focus group, and the results were in – people want more of two things: talking about going camping, and the Cooper children. Because that’s the only explanation I can think of for this new and exhilarating storyline in which Jasmine’s looking forward to going camping and so is Evan.
So Brooke’s got her obligatory scene, in which she may or may not get a line, but she’s really making the most of it by running her face through every emotion she can think of while she’s onscreen. She’s the only real competiton Bella has for “best character on the show” but I guess I’m all about the babes, so you know.
Nicole pitches the staff Christmas party to an arbitrary collection of characters, and it sounds like a real doozy – a “cross between a pub quiz and an obstacle course”. Yeah or everyone could just go shoot themselves in the faces, I don’t know. God, I’m glad I don’t for some reason live in the Shortland Street world.
OK so in the handwashing scene earlier in the episode, Isaac got a phone call from Chris. For reasons far too stupid to go into, Isaac didn’t want Chris to know he was doing extra surgery so he told Chris he was going shopping with Brooke. Then Chris is all “CHRISTMAS SHOPPING” to Brooke, who reacts with inexplicable anger:
and Isaac is thus caught in a lie. Exciting, isn’t it? This better amount to something, otherwise I’m gonna be real pissed off I typed all that out. Anyway, Isaac throws Chris off the trail by saying they were shopping for lingerie, crisis averted! God, I hate myself.
Anyway, then Maxwell comes out and spies TK and Ula playing basketball, and they kind of argue over her a bit, and this scene is eerily, creepily reminiscent of a similar scenewhere they argued over Sarah. I mean, I was kidding before when I said TK was hitting on Ula, but honestly these undertones are getting pretty undeniable. Shortland Street is fast becoming New Zealand’s #1 psychodrama, I guess.
Wendy’s not happy about Brodie and Murray’s poorly thought-through bar plan, but Bella’s crazy eyes are aflame with happiness:
Anyway, Brodie basically says “OK now I’m gonna just go bone your daughter, see you later” and Wendy and Murray have their second conversation of the evening about the bad idea that is buying the bar. Oh man, Murray is such a god damned emotionally abusive prick. He says, completely unprompted, “you don’t want me to buy the bar because you don’t think I can do it, thanks for the vote of confidence” and just strolls off? What a total dick.
That guy Isaac was doing surgery with comes in to Isaac’s office and gets angry with him for being reckless or something. Isaac demands him to “think of the opportunities” but he won’t have a bar of it. I hope that’s the lid put firmly on this stupid storyline. Then Nicole comes in and talks about Jennifer. I don’t know, I wasn’t really listening.
Uh a very crudely written conversation with Bella later, and Wendy is now pro-buying the bar. Another plot settled. I’m so happy! OH NO Murray needs to spend the $2000 the family saved to go camping on the bar deposit. Does camping really cost $2000? Where the hell are they camping? Evan’s gonna be so angry, he’s been thinking about nothing but killing pigs all episode
OK so TK’s playing some serious psychological games with Maxwell. He and Ula are ganging up on Maxwell, all making fun of him because he sucks at basketball and stuff. Basically, he’s simultaneously alienating Maxwell from his only family and also ridiculing and shaming him. What a jerk. And, well, Maxwell ain’t taking it so well:
Then Nicole comes in and pitches her god damned obstacle course plan again. Maxwell and TK get awful competitivethe winner gets Ula’s heart? This is fundamentally wrong.
Murray attempts to butter up Evan for the crushing disappointment of losing his camping trip with pancakes and a fruity cocktail:
god Wendy put it away
Uh Isaac manufactures a meeting between Jennifer and that surgery guy, who is Jennifer’s ex-husband, and let me tell you, it gets real awkward when he abandons them to have breakfast together. OK, so basically, Isaac is using Jennifer as currency to win favour with her ex-husband, who weilds money making power or something. Once again, rather than solve his problems like a normal person, Isaac instead decides to make ends meet via emotional manipulation and psychological warfare. He is a psychopath, I’m calling it right now.
Bella busts in on Evan and Jasmine’s pancake party and clumsily starts eating pancakes with her hands. Totally the best character on the show.
this screengrab is basically da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, in every conceivable way.
Sophie’s put on a delightful blazer, so you know she means serious business, and the forms are all signed. Murray and Brodie are business partners. Probably they’re gonna make out immediately after this scene ends.
Anyway, Evan finds out he’s not going pig hunting after all, and he has a total bitch fit right in the middle of the bar, elbows Wendy in the stomach (which is actually pretty sweet) and bolts out the door. Hell yes. Violence against Wendy and Evan out of the picture. Best episode ending yet. Well done, Shortland Street!