Halifax FP

Season 1 Episode 4

My Lovely Girl

Aired Unknown Apr 26, 1995 on The Nine Network

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
8 votes
  • In the fourth episode of the series, Jane is faced with hostility and problems from the police and the public when a newly released mental patient murders again.

    A young nurse is brutally murdered by a recently released and supposedly cured mental. The outcry from the public is predictable and when newspapers and television begin to take a stance on the early release of those who have been incarcerated due to mental illness, Jane's former patient, Peter Donaldson (Ben Mendelsohn) comes under an increasing amount of pressure when his past is also dragged up, most particularly by the ambitious and ruthless talk show host Craig West (Robert Hughes) who will go to any lengths to get a good story. Donaldson, it transpires, had murdered his girlfriend, Melissa Daleford, and had been sentenced to a psychiatric institution for the crime. Now, free again, his freedom and sanity are put in great jeopardy by the pressure of the media frenzy as his past is once again dragged up.

    Jane is firmly of the belief that Peter will be able to cope but his new girlfriend, Lauren Hayward, (Amanda Douge) has trouble dealing not only with the notoriety but also with Peter'sincreasing paranoia and what appears to her to be his obsession with her. Increasingly frightened, the musically gifted Lauren asks Peter to stay away from her and enlists the help of her father, Jack, (Steve Jodrell) a minister of religion who is torn between wanting to protect his daughter and his own compassion and sympathy for the troubled young man.

    Things turn ugly for Lauren when she begins to receive strange parcels and letters in the mail with press clippings from Peter's murder trial and other frightening things inside. Peter's constant attempts to contact her and see her have her frightened out of her wits and she begins to wonder if he is really cured or whether he should, as the media continues to say, still be under psychiatric care in an institution.

    When Jane is attacked, Peter is the prime suspect and Jane herself begins to wonder whether her former patient has finally cracked under the strain. The Daleford family appear on Craig West's chat show and talk emotionally about the daughter they loved and lost at Peter Donaldson's hands. The big question is, will he kill again and is Lauren safe from his obsessive behaviour?

    Finally, all becomes clear when it is revealed that it is Sarah Daleford, (Radha Mitchell)the younger sister of the dead Melissa who is behind not only the mail being sent to Lauren Hayward, but also the attack on Jane. Sarah, it transpires, adored her sister and still misses her dreadfully. When Peter became news again and she learned he was involved with another young woman, she felt it was her duty to warn Lauren of the danger she felt her to be in and staged the attack on Jane in the hope that Peter would be blamed for it and be returned either to a psychiatric facility or to prison.

    A very good episode and well worth seeing, particularly for the excellent performance of Ben Mendelsohn whose portrayal of the troubled Peter Donaldson showcased a fine young talent.