Feb 3, 2009

McLeod's Daughters: Putting Australian men in their place, one rodeo at a time.

McLeod's Daughters
1.3: Don't Mess with the Girls

I thought about creating a Tri-Venn diagram to explain this episode, but that probably would have been over the top. Instead, let's just take some time to get to know the girls a little bit more, shall we?

Claire is the tomboy, Tess is the city girl, Meg is the maternal figure, Becky is the slut, and Jodi is the princess. Are we all good? Okay. I could get into the boys, but they're either Australian and assholes or Australian and romance novel heroes. Maybe they'll display some personality later, when they become important. For now we're going to focus on the girls and the fact that Australians have rodeos.

This fact does not surprise me, really. However, the outfits and the line dancing...there's no reason for that. I don't care if the outfits (leather fringe, the color turquoise, etc) and line dancing (I have always absolutely refused to line dance) are like a package deal with rodeos. Maybe I just wish this stuff was contained to, like, Texas. And I'm from Texas. I'll never be able to wash the stigma of leather fringe and the color turquoise off of me.

The reason we're at this rodeo is because Claire has entered herself and her father's horse, Sirocco, in some herding competition. I'm not quite sure what that was, but it involved picking out a cow and then running around with it in an arena. There is initially some concern over whether Sirocco will work well with Claire, because his favorite person was Jack, and Jack is dead. In order to get Sirocco to settle, Claire rubs him with Jack's shirt, proving that the clothes of dead people will calm any animal, and Amy from Heartland really should have known about that earlier. She and Sirocco do well in the first round of their competition.

Meanwhile, we've got sibling drama. It is beyond apparent now that Alex likes Tess, which irritates Claire. Now we've got Nick, Alex's brother, who also would appear to like Tess, irritating Alex. Tess, as it turns out, probably likes Nick more than Alex, which means that Alex will eventually wind up with Claire. Of course, know that I've wildly spoiled myself on these storylines, so I do know what happens to all of these characters. Anyway, that's all that I've really got to say about those four. They just dance around each other the whole time, and then Claire gets upset when Tess eats lunch with Nick and talks real estate value. God forbid! Although it is hilarious to watch Nick and Tess chat about real estate while Alex and Claire eat together and glare at them, totally pissed off for separate reasons.

Now we have to get to Becky the slut. Becky is a slut. In the first episode she flashes a group of drovers (I said I'd never use this word, but I guess I have no easy alternatives) who really didn't deserve to be flashed. They deserved a kick in the groin, actually. Instead she decides to flash and taunt them...which doesn't seem like a smart decision. In the next episode, she sleeps with one of the shearers (the good looking one, but still.) In this episode she wears a short skirt and dances with drunk rodeo people and happily accepts whatever shot anyone buys her. Then she throws a drink in someone's face, upsetting the balance of alcohol = easy sex for many of the men around her. This guy goes ballistic, and other men are forced to escort him out of the establishment. Later, Becky's employer brings out his own bottle of liquor after the place closes...which should bring back that alcohol = easy sex connection for all of us, especially when the scene abruptly cuts to later that night.

Claire and Tess are sleeping on the ground, and Tess isn't happy about it, so she gets up when she hears someone crying. There's Becky, sobbing and sitting on a swing, muttering about how she gets to choose who she sleeps with. Which is apparently everyone, but who's keeping count? Besides me? Tess convinces Becky to go to the local cops, but Becky chickens out at the last minute, leaving Tess to report the rape. The cop asks her some basic questions like: "who was assaulted?" and "what is the name of the assailant?" Tess has no answers for these things, so the cop just shrugs and sends her on her way. Becky won't report the rape, the news of the event spreads among the girls when Tess (it's always Tess) opens her mouth and reports things to Claire, who has a very Pablo from Wildfire sort of reaction. That short skirt is all sorts of invitation! In case you hadn't figured it out, Tess, she's a slut, okay? I have a feeling Claire and Pablo would get along fabulously. Or they would classically hate/lust after each other. It's a toss up.

Jodi asks after Becky at the establishment, and gets creeped out by Becky's employer. Jodi immediately thinks he's the one, and she'd be right. Because Becky's way of dealing with her rape is acting like nothing is wrong, she bounces into the establishment and starts to work, only to get fired and told that no one will believe her if she tries to report that it was her employer who did it. Finally totally humiliated, Becky stupidly wanders the rodeo grounds, running into the group of drunken idiots she taunted previously. They begin to manhandle her, and the boy that likes her attempts to help, but is also manhandled. Tess finds out about this and alerts Claire, who gives up her next round on Sirocco and gallops to the scene of the manhandling with Tess, saving Becky and galloping off into the sunset.

Becky comes to live at Drovers Run, where she finds a piece of glass and, instead of committing suicide, shears off all her long blond hair. She insists on helping out with the farm, and is welcomed into the fold, where she winds up being one of the most helpful workers. And then Meg makes this guy (I can never remember his name or who he is, but she is having sex with him...which is all that's important, I guess) make good on his promise to strip naked and walk into town the instant someone feels sympathy for Becky. Lots of people feel sympathy for Becky now, guy. Strip! He does, and then Meg makes him walk to town as she follows him in her truck, headlights blazing on his butt. Nick and Alex drive by. They point and laugh. The end.

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