Total Control Season 3 [8/10]

The first two seasons of Total Control, a savage examination of Australian politics through the lens of an indigenous politician who grabs the center of power, rocketed along with great brio and intelligence (my review of Season 2), and the second season ended with a corker of a cliffhanger, so I embarked on the six-episode Season 3 expecting more of the same. The first two episodes sagged under the weight of setting the scene, to the extent that I suddenly began to experience disappointment. Deborah Mailman was still superb as Senator Alex Irving, Rachel Griffiths oozed raw, almost honest ambition, and the supporting cast still rocked, but the plot of Senator Irving having acted as kingmaker for Australia’s first indigenous prime minister, initially felt ponderous. But the final four episodes found their feet, the various subplots (Alex’s brother as an adviser to the prime minister while his wife reaches the end of her pregnancy, for example) enriched the central realpolitik drama, and all the story elements cascaded wonderfully into place by the time of a corker of a climax. Total Control is heartily recommended, all three seasons in turn.

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