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[S3E4] Home Is Where The Cart Is

For me, the theme of this episode is making a home, finding refuge. It may not be a traditional home but, it's one in which you are welcomed and cared for all the same. Archie Woods, the disfigured war veteran is given refuge at the hospital, where he can feel useful and perhaps not quite as ostracized as he would elsewhere. There, he has people who care for him, Mary Maddison and Dr. Harcourt (though his motives are less then honourable). The Bottle Top Boys of Collingwood - most of whom are truly without a home - construct their own. They sleep in the stables, devise their own ways to communicate and are united by the familial loyalties that a gang provides. Of course, Miss Fisher steps in and offers refuge to Paddy and it's obvious almost from the get go that he is going to be part of her extended family in some capacity for quite a long time. In a harrowing turn of events, Hugh also finds himself homeless after his familial bonds break. The difference is, Hugh doesn't reach out... he goes it alone. The Inspector is finding himself more a part of the family than ever before, becoming closer to Hugh and Dot at every turn and offering refuge - completely unbidden - to Phryne, who is shaken to her core by the depth of his gesture.

[S3E4] Home Is Where the Cart Is

When asked where Paddy calls home, his response can be no other. Ah, Collingwood. Ties that bind. "You're famous in Collingwood," he declares. Hometown girl turned rich, badass detective with a golden gun. Of course she's bloody famous! But more than anything else, he feels like he can trust her because they come from the same place. Paddy's brother is missing and we learn that they both are homeless. Paddy seems resilient - he's had to be to survive - but Dot takes this notion quite hard. Here, we get an inkling of just how sheltered Dot has been. She was not born into wealth and the family would have certainly had to scrimp (according to Lola, their mother could never afford a new dress) but, it's clear that Dot did not suffer as these children do. You can almost see why Hugh wanted to keep his secret from her.

We learn from Mr. Butler(!) that the feather Phryne picked off Badger's body is a duck feather - though that does not at all coalesce with the place where the body was discovered. Dot tells Hugh that none of these boys have a proper home, that Paddy came to their door starving. And, I imagine that Hugh can see the pity in her eyes which only strengthens his resolve to keep his secret to himself. She questions the stubble on his chin and he brushes it off - he has been learning from Miss Fisher - and uses the opening to steer the conversation to he and Dot renting a house rather than living with his mother as previously agreed. Dot isn't happy with the idea, wanting to save up their money to buy a home of their own instead. He sees her disappointment and stifles it immediately by taking the traditional role of the "man," insisting that it's up to him to find a way. That he is "the breadwinner." Wait. Stop right there. I cannot imagine that Hugh earns more than Dot. In fact, I'm willing to bet that Hugh has absolutely no idea how much Miss Fisher is paying her strong right hand and has likely never asked out of the fear that he would feel deeply, deeply emasculated by the sum. I can't imagine Dot would be happy to have her fiance bear this burden alone but, the moment is interrupted by Miss Fisher. I laughed when he complimented her dress - just goes to show that it was so out of place, even Hugh noticed it! Paddy is introduced and we think Collins is going to be sympathetic... but then he gives the kid an uncharacteristically hard time.

Let's talk about the significance of the brooch itself. It could have been in the shape of anything. But it was a swallow. These particular tokens were very popular in Victorian times - often given by sailors to their sweethearts as a love token, a promise that they would return home after being away months on end - just as the swallow always returned home from its long journey. It's highly likely that Phryne's grandmother received it as a gift from a beau or perhaps even Phryne's grandfather. Either way, it would have been a treasured heirloom - much like Paddy's father's sweater. Of course, there is no way that this is actually the same brooch - who the hell knows where that is. But it doesn't matter. What matters is the devotion with which Jack listened to her and accepted her pain. Never questioning. Never judging. He knew immediately that her little story for the Collingwood Police was not the clever construct she purported it to be. He saw right through the charade and caught another raw glimpse of her childhood. Another piece in the puzzle. Because what are we all but a sum of our experiences? 041b061a72


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