The final episode of The Straits culminated in an action packed episode filled with drama. The episode begins with Harry (Brian Cox) aimlessly wandering around his empty house. A rare voiceover briefly appears. It is Harry’s voice. After enjoying a few beers, Harry stumbles into Sissi’s (Suzannah Bayes-Morton) room.Sissi is secretly packing her bags after decides that she will flee the Montebello clan. The plan is that Sissi and her Irish boyfriend Joel (James Mackay) will leave and start a new life abroad together. Bayes-Morton allows Sissi to be vulnerable and impresses as the most innocent member of the Montebello family.
Meanwhile, back on the island, Marou (Jim Bani) arrives disoriented and angry. Right before he killed her, Lola (Emma Lung) aired her past indiscretion with Gary (Firass Dirani) to Marou. With vengeance on the mind, Marou is a mess. Bani is a revelation as Marou, especially in this episode. When we first met him, Marou was soft spoken, unambitious and kind. In the final episode, tortured by guild, grief and anger, he snaps. Mentally scarred, he still sees Lola’s image, dressed in an innocent girly white dress. Bani’s character transformation is remarkable, and he plays scenes with primal urgency and emotional sensitivity.
Notions of family and tradition surround this last episode. Kitty makes a deal with Quay Lin (Sri Sacdpraseuth) in order to extrapolate money for Noel’s (Aaron Fa’aoso) escape from prison. Harry’s reticence about Kitty’s (Rena Owen) deal is founded and a major revelation sees the end of the episode in a bloody battle. The last few scenes of The Straits, are exciting and suspenseful and see the family work together as an unstoppable team.
Blake Ayshford’s words continue to satisfy, especially when coming out of the indelible Rena Owen. Kitty’s speech to Harry regarding his infidelity is delivered with grace, restraint and emotional pain. Without wasting time, Kitty summons the inner strength and protector mentality and is a force to be reckoned with (especially when given a butcher’s knife and a gun.) Rowan Woods’ directing is at best when displaying Marou’s disorienting stupor and adds a sense of urgency to the carnage filled battle.
With one of the most impressive cast and creative team currently on Australian screens, The Straits, is nothing short of pure drama and excitement every step of the way. Interestingly, the series ends on a cliffhanger, leaving the viewer with the anxious and hopeful feelings of network renewal. Our fingers will remain crossed as we sit on the edge of our seats and await further news.
The Straits aired Thursdays at 8.30pm on ABC1. The DVD will be out on 14 April. Click here to view other episode reviews.