Cattle Call #3

See? No Blue Heelers articles for, like, three months. Did I keep my promise or not?

A story arc intrigued me because it had a man who had to admit, yeah, his selfishness kinda caused things to pan out the way they did. You have Inspector Russel Falcon-Pryce (FP), who is emotionally neglectful and physically unfaithful to his wife, Felicity. He barely noticed when Felicity’s penchant for alcohol turned into alcoholism, and when it did, he took her to task for potentially sullying his professional name. (For any BH watchers, this is what I found to be implied.) He is shown to have had at least one affair, as well as being emotionally distant and only caring about his reputation. Oh, yeah, and he doesn’t appear to be much of a father, either.

So she ends up having an affair with our screwed-up hero, Ben Stewart. They met in AA, and he understands her far more then her indifferent, unfaithful husband. When FP finds out about it, he has a few choice names to call both Ben and Felicity.

But then he realises that he kinda drove Felicity to it by being neglectful, unfaithful – a generally bad spouse. He eventually forgives Felicity her indiscretion because he knows he isn’t in a position to preach fidelity and support. He who is without sin”¦

This is what I liked about Australian scripted television at its best. FP and Felicity both made mistakes, and they realised neither was in a position to judge the other, and made a commitment to be better spouses. I’ve seen so many storylines where an unfaithful – or at least emotionally neglectful – husband has jumped on his unfaithful wife without looking at why she was unfaithful.

And better yet, the whole way through the storyline, the audience was aware that, while cheated-on, FP was in no position to take the moral high-ground. He was no better then his wife, and one could argue, was worse, so no sympathy. That, above all else was what I loved. Not only would any moral high ground FB chose to take have been hypocritical to Felicity, it would have been hypocritical to the audience.

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