Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Unnatural Habits
September 17, 2015 6:00 PM - Season 2, Episode 12 - Subscribe

The death of a teenager escaping from a halfway house for wayward girls touches Phryne deeply as her investigation uncovers corruption in high places.

*While initial signs point to abuse in the Catholic Church's Magdalene Laundry, the larger plot reveals that Det. Jack's ex-wife's new man, Fletcher, is running a human trafficking ring, and Jack's ex-father-in-law was helping in the cover-up in order to become the new Police Commissioner.
posted by oh yeah! (2 comments total)
While there were a lot of good moments in this episode (Dot clocking the guy choking Hugh, the near-kiss between Jack & Phryne, every Aunt Prudence scene), I'm always leery of any 'white slavery' story. And using it in an episode about Magdalene Laundry/Magdalene Asylum seems especially distasteful. Maybe the Australian Magdalene system wasn't as vast and horrific as the one in Ireland, but, it still felt like a cop-out to have the imaginary crime of selling 'fair virgins' when we know that the Church was selling babies and getting slave labor out of unwed mothers well into the 1990's.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:16 PM on September 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

The first season had a sort of overall metaplot in the prisoner who Phyrne always suspected of killing her sister. IWe start episode 1 with that, and then at the end of the season, that becomes the climax of an overall season arc.

They sort of tried to do that this time, but it just didn't work somehow. The ex father in law and the new fiancee show up early in the season when Phryne and Jack have to clear the ex father in law/highly placed police official of a murder he's been neatly framed for. And then they show up at the end of the season and damn, they're bad guys after all! Which would be a good twist if there were anything to actually twist there. There's a beginning and and endpoint, but there's no arc between them. The whole season goes by with no word about these characters and no reason to think they're important at all.

Maybe if there had been some running thread about missing girls or something - clearly that would be a mystery close to Phryne's heart and she'd pull those strings and follow where they led. And if they led to Jack's sort of extended family and to corruption in the police department, then that would be cool. As it is, this episode feels like it could have had so much more of a payoff than it did.
posted by Naberius at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2015

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