I didn’t particularly like this episode – the metaphors and innuendos were far too obvious and too many. There are some funny moments (Angus’ fantasies) and significant moments (Max/Laura’s dinner) though.
However, I have to admit – discussing this episode with my ESL student was rather awkward. Trying to explain sexual metaphors and relationships….?
- You can read the episode summary on the official ABC website: Playing With Fire
Here’s my own outlined analysis (for students and tutors), but I won’t give too much away. Watch the episode, note their techniques and, most importantly, explain their effect/purpose!
This episode is just filled with metaphors about love/sex and fire/heat. There’s (as usual) a few parallel plots to play off the ideas:
- Max/Laura – growing sexual tension
- Phrani/Kevin – their relationship matures as Kevin proposes, is rejected and learns more about Phrani’s culture
- Miranda/Felix – flirt quite a bit
- Heather/Bob and Harold/Meredith – have a family dinner that reveals the circumstances of Heather’s conception
- Rupert/Trevor are making a rocket
- Felix is in Court before Laura for allegedly blowing up the town hall
- Angus has fantasy daydreams about Laura
- Types of love and relationships.
- The effect of culture/society on love.
- Plethora of metaphors and innuendos! Fire, heat, curry, lust, sex
- Irony – Max reading the book “Burn”
- Scene of Max/Laura playing “Marco Polo” – full of film techniques
- Scene of Laura walking along the beach as the town men stares at her
- Cultural allusions – curry and dowry
- Angus’ visions of Laura
- Scene of Max/Laura at dinner – when he suggests that they “go to bed”.
- Shot of the burning paper that Max was reading off.