Maggie takes the title literally in “Playing the Odds”, as an intriguing new character is introduced in the wilderness.
This recap of The Sounds season 1, episode 4, “Playing the Odds”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
“Playing the Odds” begins powerfully, with a traditional ceremony marking the return of Ru’s daughter’s remains. Everyone is in attendance, and that sense of community spirit The Sounds is so good at evoking really comes to the fore here. And the idea of helping thy neighbour is reinforced when Tom is found passed out in the wilderness by a mysterious bushman who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to helping him. The Sounds episode 4 eventually confirms this, but it’s obvious right from the jump that this guy is Ryan, Pania’s estranged son.
Ryan is very laidback and friendly, but he’s also inquisitive and clearly intelligent. He has seen the police roaming the mountain and immediately assumes that whatever Tom’s up to relates to that, which is partly true and partly not. Tom elects to only share the untrue bit, that the police discovered some human remains, and not the bit about them being there in the first place in search of Tom himself. Nevertheless, Tom makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t want to advertise his presence. In fact, he’d rather leave right away, but he’s too weak to do so.
Maggie, meanwhile, meets with Skelton, the greedy swindler who tried to trick Tom out of three times his usual asking fee in exchange for the fishery’s positive environmental report. She dresses up like a Bond girl and plays blackjack at a casino with him, and makes sure to play to his greed to finesse a more private meeting. Instructing Stuart to call back in ten minutes with a weather update, she discusses with Skelton how Esther came to visit him and offered him a good chunk of change not to provide the report for the fishery. Maggie offers him even more money to give the report, though first, she wants to be sure, given he’s clearly unethical, if the fishery is indeed as safe and sustainable as the report claims. Apparently, it is. Tom was onto a winner. When Stuart calls with the weather update, Maggie pretends she just recorded the conversation and sent it to her lawyer, convincing Skelton to provide the report free of charge in fear of being exposed.
Her work having been done, Maggie hands the report over to Stuart but reminds him that Esther is still a problem and proposes that they work together against her. She’s going to stay in Pelorus anyway because she feels closer to Tom there, so they might as well. Also sticking around is Esther, since Frank tells her that his ex-wife took out a life insurance policy on Tom without his knowledge and Maggie stands to benefit from it — this, of course, cannot happen.
Speaking of Tom, Ryan locks him in his hut while he goes to retrieve a supply drop from Jack, who has evidently been supporting his exile all this time. This is where “Playing the Odds” confirms who Ryan is, but most viewers will have already figured it out by now. Jack mentions the missing Canadian, but Ryan doesn’t let on that he’s currently staying in his hut. Jack also informs him that the old detective is back on the case and she’s trying to pin the crime on Ryan once and for all so as not to reopen it; both Jack and Ryan know that the location of the remains basically exonerates him, but that might not be enough.
We also check in with Zoe in this episode, who is kidnapped by Mitch, the woman she owes half a kilo of drugs to. They also have Hayden captive, and he’s working to pay off his debt in what don’t appear to be ideal conditions. If she can’t find the product, Zoe owes 330 grand. She reckons, though, that she can pay it back tomorrow. Where is she going to get that kind of dough on such short notice? I think we know.
Esther plants the seed that Tom’s death was all about money — that Maggie killed him to collect on the insurance. She also intimates that perhaps Jack has more than a passing interest in Maggie, which I’d definitely agree with. In response to this, though, Maggie disclaims all interest in the family money and the insurance, with both Esther and the police present. She clearly isn’t interested in financial gain. But Zoe doesn’t know that. The episode ends with Maggie returning to her room and finding Zoe waiting for her. Whatever could she want?
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