The Letdown: episode guide


Pilot

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Episode 1.01
Wed, May 04, 2016
Wed, October 25, 2017
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

The Letdown is a comedy about Audrey (Alison Bell), a struggling new mum, and the local support group she thinks she doesn't need. Determined not to be defined by her new role, Audrey's first encounter with the local Mothers Group is a disaster. She leaves humiliated with a quiet resolve never to return. But Audrey's attempt to reconnect with her old life (not least her sex life) is even more of a disaster and it's not long before Audrey realises she may be in the market for a new support team after all. Her sanity might just depend on it.

Cast: Alison Bell, Noni Hazlehurst, Celeste Barber, Lucy Durack, Leon Ford, Sacha Horler, Ewen Leslie, Taylor Ferguson, Leah Vandenberg, Patrick Brammall, Brendan Cowell, Gareth Davies, Rachel Gordon, Ming-Zhu Hii, Greg Larsen, Claire Lovering, Sarah Peirse, Georgia Scott, Kate Bookallil, Alice McCarthy, Al Morrow, Sarah Scheller, Henry O'Donnell, Indigo Marshall, Henry Stone, Jerusha Sutton, Eva Jay Davis, Polly Durack Horsey, Remy McCathy Brooks, Tommy Macguire

Frankenstein

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Episode 1.02
Wed, November 01, 2017
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

Parents Group triggers a reverse anxiety in Audrey when she realises she's the only one who isn't following a parenting book. Misinterpreting Ambrose's book club theme, Audrey brings Frankenstein … honest mistake or searing metaphor? Either way it throws Audrey in a spin. Is her relaxed attitude simply bad parenting?

She heads for the nearest bookshop, but is quickly caught out by Sophie. She begrudgingly agrees to borrow Sophie's stack of parenting manuals.

Determined to get Stevie in a routine and restore some dignity at Parents Group, Audrey hits the books and it's not long before she's slipping into old habits — scrawling illegible study notes, drinking instant coffee, working late into the night. A nightmare of (romantic) gothic proportions awaits…

Night one of sleep training begins well enough but tensions soon rise when partner Jeremy proves a sleepy and ineffective wingman. By night two, Jeremy starts to question whether he's match-fit for fatherhood and night three brings much of the same, only worse; less sleep, more tears, self-loathing and another confession from Jeremy.

Sophie invites Audrey to a Parents at the Pics movie for 'social outing' time. But when Sophie falsely accuses a man of inappropriately gawking at a breastfeeding Audrey, things go awry.

Later that night, Audrey settles Stevie to sleep. And, just when peace and calm in the house is restored, there's a knock at the door… the in-laws arrive.

Starring: Alison Bell as Audrey, Lucy Durack as Sophie, Duncan Fellows as Jeremy, Noni Hazlehurst as Ambrose, Leon Ford as Ruben, Sacha Horler as Ester, Celeste Barber as Barbara, Leah Vandenberg as Martha, Xana Tang as Georgia

With: Chris Haywood as Gene, Valerie Bader as Carol, Nicola Perry as Carpark Mum, Matt Whittet as Bookstore Attendant, David Collins as Nick Lord, Martin Thomas as Cinema Attendant, Tara George as Pad Thai Mum, Annika and Ingrid Boon as Baby Stevie, Paloma and Flora Lubcke as Baby ZIggy Jr, Frankie and Luca Pereira as Baby Teddy, Phillip and Isabel Macinnies as Baby Eva, Ava and Zara Harris as Baby Paul, Harper and Ivy Ennis as Baby Kate

Genealogy

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Episode 1.03
Wed, November 08, 2017
361,000 viewers (19th)
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

When Jeremy's parents turn up uninvited, Audrey is forced to deploy some masterful restraint when it comes to mother-in-law Carol's intrusive and out-dated parenting advice.

Jeremy bears the brunt of Audrey's repression and when his behaviour starts to mirror that of his monosyllabic, undomesticated father Gene, Audrey glimpses a future she neither recognises, nor signed up for. The timing of the in-laws' visit, coinciding with the anniversary of her dad's death, does not help.

Meanwhile, single parent Martha struggles to manage solo parenting, financial pressures and her sperm donor (would be dad) Dave. The two wind up in mediation to clarify their boundaries and revisit their sperm donor agreement. Feelings are hurt and the two leave achieving very little.

But when Martha bumps into a reflective Audrey at the pub, she leaves second-guessing her treatment of Dave.

Later that night, Jeremy is left to deal with another failed sex attempt, alone on the couch. That is, until he's not alone.

On a rare night out together, Jeremy and Audrey resolve to avoid the pitfalls of their parents' parenting and do things their own way. But first, if Audrey could just attend Sunday Mass with the in-laws, that would mean a lot.

With the in-laws leaving, Gene presents Audrey with her family tree. It's emotional and powerful, for a brief moment. Gene's good with ancestry research, but not so good with names it turns out.

With: John Leary as Dave, Chris Haywood as Gene, Valerie Bader as Carol, Brendan Cowell as Harry, Roz Hammond as Christine, Lani Tupu as Jimmy, Robin Goldsworthy as Stephen, Wayne Blair as Father Whyman, Frances O'Donnell as Young Audrey, Shane Addison as Waiter, River Olson as Waiter, Sally Seltmann as Church Musician, Matt Blackman as Church Musician, Annika and Ingrid Boon as Baby Stevie, Paloma and Flora Lubcke as Baby ZIggy Jr, Frankie and Luca Pereira as Baby Teddy, Phillip and Isabel Macinnies as Baby Eva, Ava and Zara Harris as Baby Paul, Harper and Ivy Ennis as Baby Kate

Trivial Pursuits

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Episode 1.04
Wed, November 15, 2017
Ratings: below 20th
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

Life at home with baby fails to provide the mental stimulation Audrey craves. She's bored and increasingly forgetful. When she gets her days mixed up and turns up at an NA meeting instead of parents group, she stays.

But later that night when she uncharacteristically stumbles on a geography question at pub trivia and costs her team not only victory but also the vegan meat tray, the paranoia of brain atrophy becomes very real.

Ester and Ruben's healthy sex life has become decidedly unhealthy since the birth of Eva, and Ester tries desperately to revive it.

At Parents Group, Ambrose talks of the benefits of physical stimulation and has the parents apply massage techniques to the babies. The conversation naturally moves to other forms of stimulation — namely mental, and Barb — mother of three — declares baby brain to be an inevitable and irreversible outcome of childbirth.

Inspired by Ruben's job interview, Audrey heads into her old work to visit Emma and other colleagues.

Ruben's interview doesn't go well, he's distracted, disengaged and prematurely books an Uber to collect him. When Ester returns home later that evening, he declares he wants to spend more time at home with Eva, and take more time off work. This doesn't go down well, manifesting well into the next day when Ester brutally sacks her PR Manager for daring to ask for a pay rise to help support his family.

Audrey, now ridiculously immersed in TED talks, crosswords, cartoon caption competitions, admits, to herself, an early return to work might be in order. This could prove handy, given the uncertainty at Jeremy's work and he starts to seriously consider, to himself, an overseas job offer from one of his clients.

Back at pub trivia, Audrey, with the help of sub in team members, Ruben and Martha, has a better night. She learns that baby brain is a temporary state of brain pruning before a radical brain expansion.

With: Patrick Brammall as Scott, Harriet Dyer as Busy, Terry Serio as Counsellor, Jason Smith as Angus, Gareth Davies as Pete, Claire Lovering as Emma, Nicholas Brown as Sorab, Alan Dukes as Trivia Guy, Dean Jeffrey as Jono, Danielle King as Barrister, Teik-Kim Pok as Dan, Zoë Norton Lodge as Susie, Georgia Scott as Sally, Ebony Vagulans as Waitress, Fiona Choi as Belle, Annika and Ingrid Boon as Baby Stevie, Paloma and Flora Lubcke as Baby ZIggy Jr, Frankie and Luca Pereira as Baby Teddy, Phillip and Isabel Macinnies as Baby Eva, Ava and Zara Harris as Baby Paul, Harper and Ivy Ennis as Baby Kate

Episode 1.05

Wed, November 22, 2017
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

After being struck in the head by a pinecone, Jeremy starts to obsess about his broken promise to God. Is the pinecone the first in a series of vengeful acts?

After leaving Stevie with Barb, Audrey arrives at work with Ester and is instantly lost. She sets about writing a speech for Ester on superannuation and the ever-widening gender gap, leaning heavily on Ester's PA and Google.

Barb, multi-tasker extraordinaire, is late for school, tearing down the hallway with two babies and two kindergarteners in tow. She arrives just before Dr Karen and Fireman Josh and quickly realises that it's Careers Week. Her invitation to speak must have been lost in the mail.

When Ester realises she has a diary clash, Audrey finds herself sitting opposite Father Wyman pretending to be Ruben's wife — in an attempt to secure an endorsement letter for baby Eva to one day attend the prestigious Catholic school.

Their ruse for the priest goes well and after a lengthy chat involving mutual admiration of each other's parenting, the two linger on a joking matrimonial kiss.

When Audrey returns to the office, wracked with guilt, she yields to Ester's request for her license points, and plays willing scapegoat to one of Ester's blunders.

On Sunday morning, Audrey arrives at the church for her last work obligation. Just as Father hands over the coveted letter of endorsement, someone calls Audrey's name. She turns to see Jeremy, Pete and Stevie, wearing what can only be described as baptismal attire.

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Episode 1.06

Wed, November 29, 2017
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

With tensions still high after Jeremy's failed baptism attempt and Audrey's secret church date with Ruben, Audrey willingly packs her bags for a weekend away with Verity at her grandmother's country cottage. In a last minute decision, she leaves the baby with Jeremy.

Whether it's Lois' loveless treatment of Verity, or Verity's abandonment of Audrey, it's a fraught weekend for mothers and daughters. When Verity reneges on her promise to take Audrey on an early morning bushwalk and search for mobile coverage, Audrey is forced to go alone. She returns to find Verity drinking tea in the sun and she unleashes her fury.

Back in the city, Jeremy's weekend with Stevie is far from perfect. After meeting Pete at the pub, things start to unravel: Stevie's bowel movements interrupt the game, Jeremy misses key moments; he's forced to use the women's toilets to change her nappy. When his team wins he stays for too long celebrating and completely mucks up Stevie's routine.

He spends the night with an unsettled baby trying desperately to get her to take the bottle. In the morning, Martha and Barb come armed with their own 'fail-safe' techniques.

Whether it's the restorative nature of the bush, the emotional release following her fight with Verity, or her equine therapy session with Barney the Horse, Audrey returns home empowered and renewed. But as she pushes through the living room door ready to make all things right with Jeremy, she's not prepared for what she sees...

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Episode 1.07

Wed, December 06, 2017
Written by Sarah Scheller & Alison Bell
Directed by Trent O'Donnell

Despite Audrey's repeated assurances that the Ruben kiss was innocuous and meaningless, things with Jeremy are at an all time low. And now that Audrey's promised the house back to Verity, the relationship is under considerable strain.

As a grand gesture of help, Audrey decides to skip the final parents group and go house hunting instead. Avoiding Ester and Ruben is a happy coincidence.

Meanwhile champagne is popped as the final parents group gets underway. As the mums and Ruben reflect, Georgia declares that she was evicted from a cafe for breastfeeding. Collective outrage follows and the group plan a nurse in...

Later that week, when Audrey questions Jeremy over a recent eBay bid, Jeremy misinterprets and lets slip about the job offer in California. Audrey's adamant they cannot move overseas.

Escaping to the pool, Audrey happens to find Ambrose in the change rooms, and the two sit down to chat.

The nurse-in's in full swing — a handful of protesters chanting outside a busy and unaffected cafe. Bolstered by her chat with Ambrose, Audrey arrives armed with a news crew and the mood suddenly lifts.

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