Love Child: episode guide

Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3 | Series 4

Episode 3.01 (17)

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Mon, June 20, 2016
839,000 viewers (10th)
Written by Tim Pye
Directed by Geoff Bennett

Forced to continue living in the hospital whilst juggling work, a baby, and a husband in remand, an exhausted Joan collapses and is rushed into surgery. It's a dire result — an infection has left her almost certainly infertile. Annie is finally letting herself enjoy her time with Chris, despite Matron's presence in her life proving to always be a thorn in her side.

Maggie, an out-of-control teen armed with a letter written by her birth mother, breaks into the abandoned Stanton House demanding answers. Her fed-up adoptive mother discovers Maggie is pregnant so relinquishes her to the State — sending her kicking and screaming back to the forbidding Tarramar Girls Home. Viv is on a quest to find Maggie's biological mother, but it's Shirley who finds Maggie's letter, and recognises her own writing. Maggie is the daughter she had given up fifteen years before.

Meanwhile, Matron shoehorns her way onto the hospital board only to have her motion to reopen Stanton House defeated. Thrilled with his decision to quit medicine, Bowditch proposes to Martha, but Martha is not prepared to marry someone who has thrown away their career.

Starring: Jessica Marais as Dr. Joan Millar, Jonathan LaPaglia as Dr. Patrick McNaughton, Matt Le Nevez as Jim Marsh, Mandy McElhinney as Matron Frances Bolton, Ella Scott Lynch as Shirley Ryan, Harriet Dyer as Patricia Saunders, Gracie Gilbert as Annie Carmichael, Sophie Hensser as Viv Maguire, Miranda Tapsell as Martha Tenant

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Louise Kelly as Warder, Kathryn Hartman as Denise, Jacobie Gray as Louise, Simon Davey as Louise's Husband, Marcello Fabrizi as Pageant Host, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Emma Birdsall as Chanteuse, Chloe West as Backing Singer #1, Meg Drummond as Backing Singer #2, Kate Burideen as Miss April, Marnee Kidd as Miss July, Adam Kovaik as Spruiker, Andrea Berchtold as Stunt Cop, Hamish Rynehart as Busker, Tony Lynch as Stunt Cop, Richard Healy as Norman [uncredited]

Episode 3.02 (18)

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Mon, June 27, 2016
698,000 viewers (15th)
Written by Samantha Winston & Tim Pye
Directed by Geoff Bennett

Still reeling after discovering Maggie is her daughter, Shirley is dealt another blow when the new owner of the Blue Moon, Leon, gives her an ultimatum — triple the week's takings or lose your job. Determined to succeed, Shirley capitalises on the U.S. soldiers flooding into the Cross, with a 24-hour 'Groove Train' gala. Amidst the preparations, she makes an uncomfortable visit to Tarramar Girls Home to return Maggie's letter — leaving the girl suspicious of her motives.

In a risky move, Viv befriends her twins' adoptive mother Faye, but when one of the twins is rushed to hospital, Matron connects the dots. Viv is taken to task for making contact with her babies and their adoptive mother, but it's nothing compared to the painful news she later receives — the twins are moving overseas permanently.

Meanwhile, Joan is furious with McNaughton when she discovers he witnessed Greg Mathieson's death and did nothing to save him. Joan suspects the sudden appearance of a pro bono lawyer who gets Jim out on bail is McNaughton's way of assuaging his guilt.

Chris wants to prove himself to Annie, but a lowly job at the hospital isn't appealing. He bolts, leaving behind a wad of cash and no word on when he'll be back.

A severe bout of morning sickness makes Annie too ill to perform, and she unexpectedly bails on the 'Groove Train' gig. Shirley heads to the Oasis to look for Annie but instead finds Maggie, who has escaped from Tarramar to confront Shirley about being her mother. Shirley admits the truth but says she can't be the mother Maggie needs. The situation intensifies when Maggie discovers Shirley had another child, Ben, and kept him. Irate and betrayed, Maggie runs, leaving Shirley shaken.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Richard Healy as Norman, Jessica O'Donoghue as Faye, Syrus Watson as U.S. Soldier, Mel Ashby as Mrs Price, Louise Kelly as Female Warder, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Haydn Robertson as Mr Price, Marlee Barber as Stunt Double Maggie, Olga Miller as Stunt Double Cynthia

Episode 3.03 (19)

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Mon, July 04, 2016
726,000 viewers (15th)
Written by Christine McCourt
Directed by Mark Joffe

Whilst being blackmailed by McNaughton's estranged wife, Joan rescues Maggie and other abused girls from Tarramar by agreeing to help Matron reopen her 'baby factory', Stanton House. Eva surprises her estranged husband with an ultimatum — she wants his help with a new fertility treatment so she can have another child, or else she will publicly name Joan in their divorce proceedings. McNaughton is unmoving, refusing to administer experimental drugs. McNaughton informs Joan of Eva's plan, forcing Joan to admit to Jim that she once had an affair with McNaughton.

More pressing problems arise when Joan discovers that Maggie (and other young girls) are being sexually abused at Tarramar Girls Home. Desperate to get the girls to safety, Joan makes an unsavoury deal with Matron — only by reopening Stanton House will Maggie and the other pregnant girls have somewhere safe to go. As Matron convinces Norman to release the girls, Joan must persuade the retiring (and recalcitrant) Chairman of the Hospital Board to give Stanton House his blessing. At his retirement party, Joan puts on a charm offensive that succeeds — Stanton House will reopen. Meanwhile, in defending Martha against a racist slight, Bowditch gallantly pushes the inebriated Chairman into the pool, convincing Martha to propose to him in the process.

When Joan and Matron turn up to collect the girls from Tarramar, Norman has hidden Maggie. With Cynthia's help they find her, and not before time — as in desperation, Maggie has swallowed bleach and is convulsing on the dormitory floor. As Maggie recovers in hospital, Joan is unexpectedly approached by Eva directly. Eva suggests she will not make good her threat if Joan administers the fertility drugs she wants.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Maya Stange as Eva, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Bill Young as Chairman, Louise Kelly as Female Warder, Chloe West as Backing Singer #1, Meg Drummond as Backing Singer #2, David Semery as Chairman Stunt; Blue Moon Band: David Hibbard (Drums), Graham Jesse (Saxophone), James Manson (Guitar), Raymond Cassar (Trumpet), Tim Curnick (Bass Guitar); Richard Healy as Norman [uncredited]

Episode 3.04 (20)

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Mon, July 11, 2016
737,000 viewers (13th)
Written by Cathryn Strickland
Directed by Mark Joffe

Annie is filled with excitement about her chance to sing for the troops in Vietnam but a surprise visit from her mother, Eleanor, brings bad news; her father is on his deathbed and he wants to see her one last time.

As Joan begins Eva on fertility treatment, her relationship with Jim is strained. He wants her career to take a backseat to her family, but Jim himself can't keep a job because of his legal situation. Meanwhile, Patty has developed a crush on Jim, impulsively kissing him at the crèche, leaving her riddled with guilt.

Back in Newcastle, Annie introduces her family to Deanna, the baby they'd thought she'd given up. Tension mounts when Chris shows up, wanting to marry Annie and confirming Eleanor's suspicions that baby number two is on the way. Annie's father dies, but not before he urges Annie to go ahead with her trip to Vietnam...

After receiving a reel of film from her brother Bernie, who is serving in Vietnam, Viv is convinced he's in trouble. She decides she'll join Annie in Vietnam as a nurse and locate her brother while she's there.

Matron has Stanton House back up and running. Shirley tries to make life easier for Maggie, sharing with her a secret hiding place she used when she was there.

Now receiving fertility treatment unbeknownst to McNaughton, Eva turns up on his doorstep with the intention of seducing him. Meanwhile, struggling to accept the truth, Joan finally confesses to Jim, telling him she can no longer have children.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Maya Stange as Eva, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Helen Thomson as Eleanor, David Whitney as Bill, Jackson Bunting as Ronnie, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Emma Birdsall as Chanteuse, Chloe West as Backing Singer #1, Meg Drummond as Backing Singer #2, Aleksandra Davidovic as Delivery Mother, David Cameron as Handsome Man (Driver), Maria Tran as Hoang, Justine Lai as Van; Blue Moon Band: David Hibbard (Drums), Graham Jesse (Saxophone), James Manson (Guitar), Raymond Cassar (Trumpet), Tim Curnick (Bass Guitar)

Episode 3.05 (21)

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Mon, July 18, 2016
708,000 viewers (17th)
Written by Tim Pye
Directed by Peter Andrikidis

Although Annie is a hit singing for the troops in Vietnam, Chris is furious with Shirley for arranging Annie's trip to a war zone. Meanwhile, Viv is struggling to find her brother. His friend, Harry, is sketchy on the details, but admits that Bernie went AWOL days ago. Viv discovers Hoang, Bernie's Vietnamese wife, and their child, only to have her confirm Bernie is dead. In the midst of a battle, Viv witnesses Hoang step on a land mine with tragic consequences. Viv is left with her now-orphaned nephew in her arms, determined not to leave him alone...

Eva's fertility treatment has worked and Joan confirms she is pregnant. Eva admits to Joan that McNaughton is the father but he doesn't yet know... Meanwhile, Joan is convinced her own infertility has affected Jim's love for her.

Patty tries to take her mind off Jim by throwing herself into wedding preparations for Martha, but after a scuffle with an aggressive father at the crèche, Patty and Jim can no longer deny their chemistry and fall into each other's arms.

Maggie struggles at Stanton House and is terrified when she sees what it's really like to give birth. But the discovery of Shirley's teenage diary brings her a sense of comfort.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Maya Stange as Eva, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Paul Pantano as Harry, Les Hill as Captain Bruce, Ryan Harrison as Des, Chloe West as Backing Singer #1, Meg Drummond as Backing Singer #2, Maria Tran as Hoang, Jordan Schutt as Wounded Soldier, Eddy Price as Soldier 2, Sophie Hawkshaw as Mandy, Andrew Henry as Richard, Simon Watts as Detective Constable, Trey Daniels as Constable, Alyssa Stringfellow as Mrs Brady, Leon Stripp as Jim Stunt Double, Paul Doyle as Richard Stunt Double

Episode 3.06 (22)

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Mon, July 25, 2016
589,000 viewers (18th)
Written by Cathryn Strickland
Directed by Peter Andrikidis

In Vietnam, Annie is fed up with helping the war's propaganda machine as Viv deals with the bureaucracy of adopting her orphaned nephew. When the baby is diagnosed with Tuberculosis, he is denied a visa meaning Viv will need to stay in Vietnam a little longer. This is good news for her brother's friend Harry, who has fallen for her. Annie is left distressed by the realities of a Vietnamese orphanage but further horrors await when the camp is shelled and she and Viv must be evacuated. Amidst the chaos, Viv is forced to leave her nephew behind. She's utterly distraught as she and Annie are airlifted to safety.

After a scuffle in the crèche, Patty gives a statement in Jim's defense, but Pete — Viv's former boyfriend and now Police Sergeant — makes it clear that Jim's behaviour will be used against him in his manslaughter trial meaning he'll face years in prison. Joan implores McNaughton to take the stand in Jim's defense but instead McNaughton tries to convince Jim that Joan would be better off without him. A warrant forces Joan to let the police enter their home, but Jim has gone and has taken baby James with him, leaving Joan heartbroken.

As plans for the hospital raffle are underway, Matron accidentally breaks the prize television's futuristic 'remote control' and is forced to cough up for it at the charity auction.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Paul Pantano as Harry, Ben O'Toole as Pete, Les Hill as Captain Bruce, Simon Watts as Detective Constable, Chloe West as Backing Singer #1, Meg Drummond as Backing Singer #2, et al

Episode 3.07 (23)

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Mon, July 25, 2016
[unknown] viewers (22nd)
Written by Christine McCourt
Directed by Geoff Bennett

Confiding in Martha, Patty is convinced she is pregnant with Jim's baby — a guilty but thrilling secret. Viv and Annie are back from Vietnam, both scarred by their experience. As Annie becomes an activist, Viv bottles up her feelings and reunites with her old flame, Pete … however she can't resume their relationship quite as he would like.

With symptoms of a miscarriage, Eva fears she is losing the baby. Distracted by Jim, Joan skips a key examination later realising she failed to diagnose Eva's "incompetent cervix". Joan finds Eva and operates without McNaughton's knowledge.

Pete is taking a detective's interest in Annie's involvement with the Moratorium movement making his agenda clear to Chris — he has dirt on Chris and wants information on violent activist Denis Thomlinson. Knowing that Annie has been meeting with Thomlinson, Chris refuses to help. After Annie delivers a passionate speech at the rally, a scuffle breaks out and amid the fracas, Annie is arrested.

Meanwhile, Martha, her mother Daisy and Patty lunch with Bowditch and his father Henry — a famously plain-speaking medico. The relentless Henry highlights the problems of a mixed marriage reducing Daisy to tears, forcing her to tell Martha that her marriage has ended because her husband could not cope with the miscegenation. Bowditch tries to apologise, but Martha thinks Henry was being honest.

With Deanna in his arms, Chris turns up at the police station hoping Annie will be released but Pete is determined for Chris' help in nabbing Thomlinson. Annie is set free, blissfully unaware that Chris has sold his soul to protect her — and himself, but when Leon finds out about Annie's brush with the police, her job is in jeopardy.

Checking on Eva recovering from her operation, Joan finds McNaughton watching her sleep. He is now aware that Eva is pregnant… and that Joan has operated on her without his knowledge.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Maya Stange as Eva, Leah Purcell as Carla, Tiriel Mora a Henry Bowditch, Ben O'Toole as Pete, Sean Barker as Denis Thomlinson, et al

Episode 3.08 (24)

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Sun, July 31, 2016
710,000 viewers (8th)
Written by Tim Pye
Directed by Geoff Bennett

Chris is excited by fatherhood and tries again to talk Annie into marrying him only to be interrupted by Denis Thomlinson. The next day, Chris meets with Pete, telling him that there's a protest tomorrow. Denis said it could get 'ugly' and Pete warns Chris to keep Annie away…

McNaughton hasn't spoken to Joan or Eva since he found out about the operation. That is until he matter-of-factly tells both Joan and Bowditch they are due before the Hospital Board to explain their breaches of protocol — they are both suspended pending an investigation. A furious Joan confronts McNaughton threatening to go to the AMA with everything she knows about him. Accusations fly back and forth as McNaughton's temper explodes… her career is finished, and her future may well be a lonely, childless one.

Shirley questions Matron about the custody of Maggie's baby but Matron is blunt; as a State ward, the baby will be taken away from her as a matter of course, and Maggie will be sent to another institution…

A suspicious McNaughton approaches Eva wanting to know who the father of her baby is. Eva's response of 'you don't know him' makes him turn to bad habits — quaffing sedatives and washing them down with scotch.

Meanwhile, Annie heads to Denis' protest despite promising Chris she wouldn't. Caught in the tussle, a pregnant Annie is knocked to the ground, badly injured and Joan rushes her to hospital. Trying to have McNaughton takeover, Matron sees he's drunk and accepts that Joan must manage the crisis. Joan performs an emergency caesarean — with Matron's assistance — who watches in wonder as Joan successfully delivers her grandson. Deeply indebted to Joan for saving her grandchild, Matron blackmails a key hospital board member and as a result, both Bowditch and Joan get their jobs back.

McNaughton tricks Joan into confirming he's the father of Eva's baby and during a routine examination, he finds Eva is carrying multiple babies… but with an 'incompetent cervix', there is no way that she can carry them to term.

Maggie asks Shirley for a reference so she can apply for a maid's job and live-in somewhere when her baby is born. Knowing that Maggie is deluded, Shirley visits Matron with the decision that when the time comes, she is prepared to become guardian to both Maggie and the baby.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Maya Stange as Eva, Ben O'Toole as Pete, Sean Barker as Denis Thomlinson, et al

Episode 3.09 (25)

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Mon, August 01, 2016
705,000 viewers (13th)
Written by Cathryn Strickland
Directed by Grant Brown

Maggie is left bereft when she suffers a double blow — first when Shirley's plan to foster her comes to nought and then when her best friend, Cynthia, has her baby and leaves without having a chance to say goodbye.

McNaughton's drug addiction finally catches up with him and Joan is forced to act to save him from himself.

Faye, the adoptive mother of Viv's twin girls, returns unexpectedly much to Viv's delight. But when Faye has an operation for suspected ovarian cancer, it looks like the twins may be left without a mother. Viv reveals that she gave birth to them with her confession bringing dire consequences.

After numerous attempts, Annie finally manages to breast feed her new baby, with help from an unexpected source.

Patty turns into a dictator when teaching her friends how to salsa in preparation for Martha's wedding. As they twirl, Pete tells Viv he's lined up a meeting with his boss, who needs to approve Viv as his fiancé. Viv realises she's just been proposed to… again.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Maya Stange as Eva, Ben O'Toole as Pete, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Lauren Esposito as Cynthia, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Jessica Donoghue as Faye, Richard Sydenham as Snr Detective Asher, Lauren Clair as O'Lachlan, David Bruce as Court Clerk, Debra Freeman as Concrete Woman, Tim Barretto as Jim Lookalike, Emma Birdsall as Chanteuse, Ashley Douglas as Backing Singer #1, Sharon Muscat as Backing Singer #2; Blue Moon Band: David Hibbard (Drums), Graham Jesse (Saxophone), James Mans0n (Guitar), Raymond Cassar (Trumpet), Tim Curnick (Bass Guitar);

Episode 3.10 (26)

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Mon, August 01, 2016
645,000 viewers (18th)
Written by Tim Pye
Directed by Grant Brown

After a wild bucks party, wedding bells chime for Martha and Bowditch. McNaughton comes clean, Viv contemplates Pete's proposal and Maggie gives birth to a baby girl.

Meanwhile, amidst betrayal and secrecy, Joan must face the hardest decision of her life. The Police offer Jim a deal — a reduced sentence in return for coming in from the cold. But when this is revealed to be a trap, Jim flees again just as Joan learns that he has been unfaithful to her. She breaks the relationship in a tearful goodbye.

Maggie has lost trust in everyone, including Shirley. Shirley and Joan beg Matron for assistance with the Welfare Department, and even Leon helps to find a live-in maid job for Maggie.

With: Andy Ryan as Simon Bowditch, Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty, Tiarnie Coupland as Maggie, Maya Stange as Eva McNaughton, Ben O'Toole as Pete, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Leon, Olivia O'Flynn as Liz, Richard Sydenham as Snr Detective Asher, Michael Sheasby as Michael, Grant Cartwright as TV Interviewer, Robert Jago as Father Bryant, Leah Purcell as Daisy, Tiriel Mora as Henry, Emma Birdsall as Chanteuse, Ashley Douglas as Backing Singer #1, Sharon Muscat as Backing Singer #2; Blue Moon Band: David Hibbard (Drums), Graham Jesse (Saxophone), James Manson (Guitar), Raymond Cassar (Trumpet), Tim Curnick (Bass Guitar);

Note: the last 5 episodes were raced through in just 8 days to finish the series before the start of the Rio Olympics on August 5th