When the second episode begins, we find Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh) hiding out in a country town and disguising himself as a writer by the name of Murray. He attends church and chats with the locals about meaningless things, before spotting a friendly face, Allie (Justine Clarke). Once the chatting ends, Cleaver heads out to his rusted up vehicle and nearly gets spotted by bikies. After they pass, he returns home and discovers his home is a complete mess. He has no good food and no water. Despite attempting to fix the water problem on his own, Cleaver fails and is forced to head into town to purchase H20.
After a confrontation with two chatty townsfolk, Cleaver purchases his water and continues on his way. Meanwhile, Wendy (Caroline Brazier) returns home and finds someone inside. She grabs a hammer and successfully scares them away. On his way home, Cleaver hears a radio advertisement about Barney (Russell Dykstra), who will be appearing on Australian Story. Moments later, he receives a phone call from Wendy, who tells him about the break-in. Cleaver attempts to convince Wendy to get Fuzz and come live with him for the time being, but she refuses and insists the crims would’ve already attacked, if they were going to. Meanwhile, Cal McGregor (Damien Garvey) finishes his show. He gets a threat from Edgar (John Waters) on his teleprompter.
Next, Cleaver finds himself broken down on the side of the road. He tries walking home, but is stopped by Alli on the way. She offers to give Cleaver a ride home and he accepts with haste. Meanwhile, David Potter (Matt Day) gets a visit from Cal. They argue about the treatment of Ed, while Cal admits it is best if Ed is given preferential treatment. He also tells David that those within his party were all connected. Alli rolls a joint, while she chats with Cleaver about the landlady, Judith. When questioned about his children, Cleaver gives three names, Adam, Max and Zoe. They discuss Cleaver’s potential Jewish heritage, before he turns down drugs for possibly the first time in his life. However, when Alli heads to the bathroom, Cleaver indulges.
Next, the a commercial for the Australian Story of Barney begins airing on the television. Barney and Nicole (Kate Box) argue about the television show. Barney insists Nicole is just jealous and places the blame on her for refusing to take part in the filming. That night, Cleaver prepares a pizza, while Alli flips on Australian Story. Despite some reservations from Cleaver, the pair agrees to watch the show. Nicole and Barney do the same, while Scarlet (Danielle Cormack) watches alone. Earlier into the show, Cleaver is brought up and pictures are shown. This freaks him out, as he rushes outside and phones Barney to complain. After Barney switches phones, he explains to Cleaver that they owe over a million dollars for the balloon crash and he has no choice, but to do the shows and hand over the photos.
During the show, Nicole learns that Barney’s cancer isn’t in remission. It is completely gone. Alli becomes suspicious, when she hears the names of Barney’s children and they just happen to match the names Cleaver gave earlier. Barney gets a lashing from Nicole, since she was barely mentioned during the television show. Meanwhile, Cleavers asks Alli what she thought about that Cleaver Greene fellow. She admits he sounded like a real douche. Before too long, Cleaver and Alli head to the bedroom together and finalize the night. Meanwhile, Wendy gets a visit from a stranger. She smashes him a few times with the hammer, before learning that he is Oscar Summons (Matt Doran), the Greens candidate for the upcoming Senate election. During Cleaver and Alli’s escapade, Alli discovers Cleaver has been lying about his testicular cancer.
Cleaver plays it off as an implant. In the morning, Melissa Partridge (Adrienne Pickering) returns to the city, after being banned from America, due to cocaine possession. Melissa immediately tries to get ahold of Cleaver, but finds out his number is no longer in use. Alli takes Cleaver back to his vehicle in the morning and tells him who to call to get the battery changed. He also learns about Alli’s ex, who is jealous and abusive. Once Alli leaves, Cleaver calls George (Jack Charles) and gets the battery. George admits he knows all about Murray and Alli. Meanwhile, Barney is paid to speak to a group of cancer patients. Unfortunately, he is verbally attacked by one of the men. He says a few words, before running to the bathroom and crying alone.
Barney gets a call from Melissa and quickly pays her a visit. She admits she wants to get in touch with Cleaver, so she can get ahold of some cocaine. Barney remains adamant he doesn’t know where Cleaver is, but Melissa isn’t buying it. She insults Barney, but breaking down and admitting she needs help. That night, Barney sits and comforts Melissa, while David and Scarlet prepare for a romantic night. Scarlet cuts her hand and is forced to rush to the emergency room, while Alli pays Cleaver another visit. She is well aware of Cleaver’s true identity and confirms the town knows all about their relationship. With that, Cleaver gives in and admits they might as well use it as an opportunity to sleep together once more. They do, but are interrupted by the return of Judith (Kate Fitzpatrick).
Judith insists she is going to remain home, despite Cleaver paying for a 6-month lease. Barney gets help from Nicole to care for Melissa. While Melissa sleeps, Barney rekindles his relationship with Nicole. They agree to start things over and admit they’re not bad people. Next, Cleaver and Alli get a visit from Alli’s boyfriend. He disposes of Judith, before heading inside and confronting Cleaver. With a shotgun in his face, Cleaver stands up to the man and Alli knocks him out from behind. The police and the entire city arrives to clean up the mess. In the morning, Cleaver admits to Alli that he’ll need to leave town now. He offers to take her along, but she refuses. As the episode comes to an end, Cleaver is tracked down by the bikie gang and taken into their custody.
Despite being somewhat of a sidestep for the overall story, the 2nd episode of Rake’s 4th season was great. The episode forced Cleaver into an unfamiliar situation and brought the return of Melissa. How will her return impact Cleaver’s future? It appears Alli won’t make it past this episode, so it is likely Melissa and Cleaver are on a collision course. Plus, Barney confirmed his cancer is gone and he managed to smooth things over with Nicole. Will things remain that way?
Who knows? Nonetheless, the episode was a hoot. An 8.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of Rake right now!