Blue Heelers

Season 3 Episode 20

In Unity Is Strength

Aired Wednesday 8:30 PM Jun 11, 1996 on Seven Network

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
2 votes
  • When Nick and Adam find the body of a teenager who slipped under the influence of underage booze, Adam falls to the pressure of the job. Meanwhile, Chris is under pressure to sell up, but when she fires a new worker, her staff go on strike. Good story...

    This review contains spoilers.

    This was actually a good episode, better than I initially expected it to be. It has several threads, including the teenager slipping to their death after being sold booze underage, Adam losing his nerve after seeing the death, and the episode's bigger strand of the troubles going on at the Imperial. (Oh, there's also a minor thread about Nick running for a Police representative position).

    All of these elements make for a good episode, but I did feel that the initial teenager death thread, which had such an impact on Adam, was rather abandoned and – even though we eventually find out who the culprit who sold the underage booze was – it does noticeably seem to awkwardly sidelined from the episode a ways in.

    There are some really… well, I don't use the word often, but cute scenes as Maggie, the only person in the know that Adam has lost it, tends to her colleague. As per usual, very good acting from Lisa McCune and Damian Walshe-Howling. The scene where Nick talks Adam through it is also very strong.

    But the bulk of the story revolves around the Imperial. Chris has been made an offer to sell up but has refused, instead planning to renovate the establishment and making other changes with out informing her staff. When she falls out with new pub worker Whitey, the rest of the staff go out on strike.
    Chris is always a nice character, but her judgement in this story is off to the point that she acts a bit of a b*tch at times.

    The introduction of Whitey seems to make him such an obvious candidate for the salesman of the booze to the underage teens and the various other troubles, so the episode nicely manipulates the audience mid-way through by convincing us that he is in fact just a well-meaning character. Of course, by the end we find out he is behind all of the trouble (including the underage booze, and later on stealing Chris's van load of liquor that she needs to stand a fighting chance of keeping the pub open with her staff on strike), and that he has in fact been sent in to ruin the Imperial by the people who tried to buy it out.

    Of the pub staff, Anne Phelan returns as Jeannie, after she made an odd small appearance previously in the season in 'Under Pressure'. After that curious cameo where Phelan was rather wasted, it is nice to see her given much more to do here. Additionally, Len the barman (normally a silent character) actually gets a number of lines of dialogue in this one!

    After the first act, I had this episode pegged at a reasonable 8.5. But with the things that developed, and a well executed story, I enjoyed it enough to give 'In Unity in Strength' a very good 9/10 rating.