“Find the Money” continues to flesh out the setting and its inhabitants, as two particularly complicated families remain at the centre of this mystery.
This recap of The Sounds season 1, episode 2, “Find the Money”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The second half of an introductory double-bill, The Sounds episode 2, “Find the Money”, works well as a continuation of the premiere by further fleshing out the texture of the setting and the dynamics of the characters without tipping its hand too much about what’s actually going on. In the opening, we get a couple of scenes nestled together that show Maggie dumping evidence in the water and a very much alive Tom backpacking through the woods, so we know that the mystery is developing, but a lot of the runtime is devoted to the family dynamics of both the Cabbotts and the McGregors, including a new character with an important connection to Tom and one assumes his disappearance.
We’re on Day 3 of the search in “Find The Money”, which is a fitting title since that’s exactly what Esther has been sent to Pelorus to do in her official capacity as the Cabbott’s financial investigator. She has questions, but Jack is tight-lipped. Esther’s eccentricities come to the fore here; she’s insistent about not having a room overlooking the water, and obviously has great difficulty interacting with people. She’s also evidently displeased about being here in the first place, believing her talents are better suited elsewhere, though Frank isn’t shy about dispelling that notion.
Flashbacks also return in The Sounds episode 2, though they remain brief and suggestive rather than concrete. Tom, isolated in a shack somewhere and armed with a shotgun, thinks back to some of his conversations with Maggie before he ends up trapped beneath the water tank outside and impaled on a set of nails.
As Esther investigates, Maggie intends to thwart her, tipping off Stuart to the presence of a Cabbott envoy. Tom’s salmon business is of particular interest to both parties; Maggie wants to keep it going, and Frank, Tom’s father, wants to figure out its value so that the family can either take it over or dump it. It’s unclear at present whether Maggie really wants to operate the business because she believes in it, or as some way to honor Tom’s legacy, or if she’s just trying to spite his family, who’re trying desperately to protect their interests. It’s interesting to note, though, that when Esther informs the Cabbotts about Tom’s case being downgraded to a recovery operation, that Nate seems genuinely concerned.
Esther being such a fish out of water is a useful way to explore Pelorus further. When she asks Kath (Tandi Wright), a local journalist who is determined not to write a story about Tom despite being intrigued by his family, what the WiFi password is, she’s told that residents of Pelorus don’t bother with such things — or locking their doors, even. The place is so isolated that it’s hard to imagine criminal activity even occurring there and easy to see how much it’d stand out if it did. This, it turns out, becomes something of a plot point later, but more on that in a minute.
In the meantime, Maggie continues to be close to Jack in a way that surely represents a conflict of interest — she’s helping Hannah look after Bella and is always round his house, which people seem to drop in and out of whenever they feel like it. Hannah’s likable but doesn’t think before she speaks; while explaining how Bella’s dad is a deadbeat she says that Pelorus is bad for couples, which probably isn’t the best thing to say to a woman whose husband is missing, presumed dead.
We know that Tom isn’t dead, of course, and see Maggie start to realize throughout “Find the Money” that perhaps he had more reason to disappear than she thought. On his phone, she finds pictures of a woman in a bikini with a tattoo on her breast. That breast belongs to Zoe (Anna-Maree Thomas), an obvious scoundrel who is abandoned by her partner in crime, Hayden, when she loses half a kilo of drugs, and whom the big twist of The Sounds episode 2 reveals to be Jack’s other daughter. Tom’s relationship with her and Maggie is obviously crucial to what’s going in, though the specifics of that are left alone for now.
But what we’ve seen of Tom, and what we see of his reminiscences while he’s impaled under the water tower, paint his relationship with Maggie as pretty genuine. In a flashback, after a failed business deal, she supports him when he morosely claims he’s a waste of space. The flashbacks that show his interactions with Zoe include drugs — she’s the one who gave him the crack pipe, which we see her stash on the boat — in what one assumes is a deliberate attempt to characterize Tom as an addict whose impulses got the better of him, not a deliberately manipulative man who went out of his way to betray his wife. The implication is that the only way he could get high was by “having fun” with Zoe, but Zoe wants more from him than just fun. She wants to move up in the world and make serious money, and she knows that plying him with drugs and scaring him with comments about his wife will enable her to do that.
It’s Pania who gives this away to Maggie, at least partially, since while she was out fishing one morning she saw a very drunk Tom frolicking on the deck of his boat before being summoned back belowdecks by a woman. Maggie is reluctant to believe this and denies it outright to Pania, but the photo on Tom’s phone makes it more likely than not, and she knows that. She’s clearly a smart woman, along with being driven and unafraid to stand up for herself, which is exemplified in another of Tom’s flashbacks, during which she has a slanging match with Frank.
This is what makes Esther an intriguing character as another woman of comparable intelligence who is locking horns with Maggie. First, she sends Stuart’s son, Dane (Adam Brown), a photographer, aboard Tom’s boat to give her a live feed under the guise of an insurance appraisal — an act Maggie catches him in the middle of and confronts Esther about. Later, Esther pokes around Stuart’s office and finds his computer unlocked, calling back to the conversation she had with Kath earlier on. She downloads his files to a flash drive, though the contents are presumably related to the fact none of the fishery’s staff are getting paid.
Zoe, now abandoned, tries to turn to Tom, but she’s told he’s dead and goes to see her mother, Annette, instead. We meet Annette briefly in The Sounds episode 2, and she’s drinking, which suggests what we heard about her being an alcoholic is probably true. With Stuart’s dodgy dealing, it’s no wonder she’s stressed. Zoe borrows her car and promptly crashes it, with compels Jack to take her back his home, where Maggie is looking after Bella, and where Stuart is just about to tell her about some kind of issue with a business report that is connected to the staff walkout. But he doesn’t get a chance, since Zoe’s arrival causes a huge uproar, especially when she spots Maggie with Bella. In her frenzy, Maggie sees the tattoo on Zoe’s breast. Uh-oh.
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