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Episode 3: He Maketh My Way Perfect
Foxtel  ·  50 minutes  ·  Original Broadcast: September 16, 2014

Directed by: Rachel Ward  |  Written by: Alice Addison

Official synopsis: Bishop Quaid decides to delve into the allegations made by Brendan. Elliot becomes the target of new unwanted attention. Brendan infiltrates Tom’s world when he meets his son, David.

Episode Recap
Please note that recaps feature spoilers on the individual episode.
This recap was written by Nikole Gunn for TV Blackbox, September 16, 2014

Secrets, lies and quiet restraint. They’re the themes that dominate the third episode of the Foxtel production of Devil’s playground; a reboot of the 1976 Fred Schepisi movie. The episode opens with the funeral of Peter; the schoolboy who went missing and later found dead in a lake. A family and a school community are in mourning. But nothing is quite what it seems.

The church offers what comfort it can, although with the officiating priest’s focus on ‘boyhood as a magical state’, the writers are perhaps playing on the already fermenting suspicions of the viewer. Elliott’s note claiming that Peter was killed is also making waves. The boy clearly knows ‘something’ and steps are being taken to silence him, under the guise of caring and concern.

As he flips through a pack of photos, one of the Brothers tells him that Peter’s death was a suicide. There’s also a subtle threat contained in the photos that show the Brother, the school principal and Father Marco (Andrew McCarthy) with shot guns. Not an accident and not a murder. But a secret to keep? In the meantime, psychiatrist Tom Allen is confronted by the street prostitute Brendan, who may carry his own secret somehow involving Bishop McNally (Tom Noble). Tom’s office is later trashed and files thrown about. Brendan is clearly looking for something and later hooks up with Tom’s rebellious son, David. But it’s not just sexual gratification that he seeks, but answers. Brendan later confronts Tom and taunts him about his night with David. But what starts as a cruel description of what he did with the teen, becomes a confession of abuse by a priest and a cry for help. “Who did this to you” Tom asks. “You know who” is the answer. It was someone who has visited the psychiatrist, whose office has become a quasi confessional, where the law of confidentiality applies.

There have been a number of priests who visited to ‘confess their sins’, including Father Marco, who has black outs and Bishop McNally, who was tempted to break his vow of celibacy. His ‘almost’ affair comes to the attention of rival Bishop Quade, but rather than seizing on it with glee, Bishop Quade dismisses it and admonishes his assistant for supplying the information. Instead, he’s focussed on the affairs of the Colleton Parish where McNally worked with Margaret Wallace MP (Toni Collette) and may also have had contact with Brendan. Quade has already tangled with Wallace at a walk-through of an AIDS hospice, where he was clearly very uncomfortable being confronted by what was considered a ‘gay disease’ in the 80s. He was effectively thrown under the bus by McNally, who manufactured a reason not to be there. He was clearly hoping Quade would lose his cool and lash out and he almost did.

And while this is all being played out, Elliott is taken to footy training by the affable Father Marco, much to the relief of Elliott’s harried and exhausted mother. But instead of the footy field, Father Marco drives through the bush to go shooting by the lake, telling Elliott that “Peter was a such a special boy”. This from the same priest who’d referred to boyhood as a ‘magical state’. The creepy factor rises by 100, when the good father reassures Elliott that he “never forgot about him”. And there endeth episode three of Devil’s Playground. We’re left with suspicion, unanswered questions and a sense of unease.

Guest Cast: Anna Lise Phillips (Alice Kelly), Simon Burke (Tom Allen), Mal Kennard (Joe Kelly), Ben Hall (Finton Kelly), Andrew McFarlane (Father Andrassi), Jarin Towney (Elliott Darcy), Fletcher Watson (Peter Kelly), Morgana Davies (Bridie Allen), Leon Ford (Brother Warner), James Fraser (David Allen), Jessica Donoghue (Catherine Darcy), Pip Miller (Brother Cosgrove), Amy Kersey (Cheryl), Don Hany (Bishop Quaid), Uli Latukefu (Father Matteo), Matt Levett (Brendon Mahony), Bridgette Snedden (Waitress), John Noble (Bishop McNally), Jack Thompson (Cardinal Neville), Di Adams (Mission Sister), Michael Howlett (Hospice Journalist), Toni Collette (Margaret Wallace), Coco Jack Gillies (Megan Darcy), Avani Farriss (Rachel Darcy), Kane Johnson (Jase), Luca Donoghue (Baby Darcy)