Offspring The Return: Round Two is upon us and once again we are hit straight out of the gate with a Nina and Leo upheaval of epic emotional proportions.
Strap in, Offspring fans. This is going to be a bumpy one.
Within minutes of the episode starting, Nina learns that Leo is leaving St Francis. But she doesn’t hear about the huge life shuffle from him.
Apparently, everyone in the entire hospital knew of his impending departure, except for Nina. His supposedly trusted confidant, friend and former lover.
To me, this says more about the shoddy internal communication system of St Francis then it does about the actual characters in play here. Like maybe it’s the kind of hospital where you go in to get your stitches removed and come out sans liver and spleen. Not exactly inspiring a lot of confidence in their medical prowess.
Zara catches up with Nina in the hallway of the hospital, desperately seeking out some Ninaesque advice. The lady is deep into her medical studies at the moment, and probably needs help with her upcoming exams. Nina is about to be a fountain of superior knowledge and expertise.
Go ahead, Nina. This is your time to shine.
Except, it’s not. Zara has no interest in medical advice.
Instead, she wants to know how Nina has figured out how to stop fellow medico Angus from flirting with her. Zara puts on her serious face as she points out that he happily flirts with everyone in the hospital, EXCEPT Nina.
Zara hit’s that whole ‘everyone, but not you’ line one too many times and it’s just enough to make Nina’s eye twitch. But, in typical Zara fashion, she knows not what she does.
So, because she's desperate to prove that she’s the only one not being inappropriately sexually harassed in the workplace, Nina asks Cherie and Kim if they are also getting sexy vibes from Angus.
Kim confirms that it’s true, she’s even seen him “sex a Kit-Kat out of the vending machine”. Which, to be honest, sounds like an awesome life skill to have and just made it to the top of my “Things to achieve to 2016” list.
The team quickly gathers around Nina, asking her how she manages to “hide her sex” so well.They are quite eager to learn all about her non-sexy skills.
In the words of Kim, Nina “hides her sex like a poisonous spur” which to be honest sounds like a pretty rollicking country song, but not something you should be talking about in a hospital hallway lined with doors concealing sick or birthing people.
Angus shows up in the middle of this meeting of the minds and confirms that not only does he not flirt with Nina, he does not even know her name.
Jimmy and Nina are talking about Darcy’s death, and how Billie still cannot really connect to a feeling of grief now that he’s gone.
There’s been a lot of talk following last week’s episode around the idea that the Proudmans didn’t react the “right way” after Darcy’s sudden death.
Obviously, Billie feels like she’s not grieving in the right way, since she’s not on the floor in a heaving ball of grief, but you know what? I’m starting to feel like that’s ok. We all grieve differently and there’s a lot going on in Billie’s head. I’m sure there’s room for grief too, maybe it's just not bubbling to the surface yet.
Jimmy drops the bomb that his tacoria is failing financially. And, to make matters worse, he was missing so many repayments on his enormous bank loan that Darcy stepped in and bailed him out with a whole lot of cash.
Which makes things very awkward now that Darcy is dead and his estate is about to be divided up between a flock of children that appears to be growing bigger by the day. However, he seems less terrified of impending bankruptcy and much edgier about the prospect of Zara finding out about his hidden money woes.
Never change, Jimmy.
So Billie and Jimmy head off to see Will. Darcy’s estate lawyer and surprise brother extraordinaire, for those of you playing at home.
Is it just me or is Will taking this whole 'secret family of somewhat crazy people' thing rather well? He’s super-efficient and lawyery, talking through the estate options with Billie and Jimmy, and even optimistically suggests a family dinner so he can get to know them all better.
Oh, Will. Do you not own a TV? Estranged family member dinners never go well, especially for the new sibling who has just been brought in to spice up the show and provide some much-needed drama for the core cast. Who will always come out on top at the end of the day. You’re a brave man, Will.
In fact, we’re about to see firsthand exactly how bad these “clearing the air” family sit-downs can be. Geraldine and Margery, Will’s mother, are having a little chat about the deceased man they both fathered children with. I don't want to go out on a limb here, but I'm willing to bet Nina's entire scarf collection that this doesn't end with tea and hugs.
— Offspring (@OffspringTV) July 6, 2016
Nina is presiding over this mother's meet up and has a neatly typed list of questions in front of her. They include such gems as ‘where did she have sex with Darcy?’, ‘was anyone else there?’ ‘and ‘did she achieve sexual pleasure?’. Things quickly take a turn for the worst and Margery leaves, pulling with her a bewildered Will who had only just stepped into the fray.
And just like that all my happy, bubbly Will-induced feelings are doused with despair as Nina and Leo face off in the hospital.
Finally, finally we get an insight into how Leo and Nina broke-up and holy moly it was not pretty. In a heart-breaking flashback scene Nina reasons that Leo must have known the break up was coming. Clearly, Leo did not, judging by the way his face crumples like a poorly-erected tent.
Back in the present day, things get nasty pretty fast.
Leo says that there was never any consideration from Nina that he might be a father to Zoe as their relationship progressed. He says a break-up can never be mutual. He says Nina broke his heart, and how can she not see that? That’s why he can’t bear to be around her.
Oh GOD. Leo is crying. His face is all puckered up like those videos of babies where parents force feed them lemons for the first time.
He tells Nina she will never be happy.
Christ, this got very heavy, very fast. I’m waiting for some sort of comedic relief to break the tension but the writers are having none of that this week. You will sit here and you will be emotionally broken and you will like it, they jeer at me over the screen.
And then things get very, very bad.
— Offspring (@OffspringTV) July 6, 2016
Nina says that she was happy when she was with Patrick, which is an incredibly low blow, and Leo unleashes a level of pain you get the feeling he’s been holding onto for way too long.
He spits out that he can never live up to the perfect Patrick. He says that Patrick died before reality could catch up to him and now he lives on in Nina’s fantasy world. No one will ever be able to match up to him.
He says that Patrick must be happy he died, because know he’ll always be unmatched and unchallenged in Nina’s eyes.
Oh. Hell. No.
Leo, I know you’re hurting but those are words that Nina/I are just not ready to hear.
As brutal as your words were, I was kind of with you right up until the point you said Patrick was glad he was dead.
Buddy, you just crossed the line, why don’t you take about ten steps back and take a good look at yourself in the mirror? This is not the Leo we want to see.
That was almost like living through Patrick's death all over again. A similar sense of heartbreak. I just want to reach through the screen and give Nina a hug.
Luckily, that’s not the way their story ends.
Nina ends up chasing down Leo as he heads into his going away drinks. They talk about how their love was honest and real. Leo is crying again and I’m sure pretty sure all of Australia is reaching for the tissues. When Leo cries, the world cries with him.
They stare at each other. They hug. And out loud they say their final goodbyes.
And around them, the streets run salty with Leo’s tears.
Nina walks away and the camera stays squarely on her face. It’s broken, resolute and relived, all at the same time.
Is this really the end for Leo? Such a momentous build up for a relationship that was mostly played out off-camera, and then heartrendingly ended in just the second episode of the new season?
But then, maybe that’s all for the best. That goodbye felt final, complete and with just enough little love tingles to make us believe that romantic happiness is out there for Nina, somewhere in this new Offspring world.
I’m ready for some new adventures, and I’m pretty sure Nina is too.
Want more Offspring goodness? Read all about the best moments from week one here.
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