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A Place to Call Home: Season 4
Score: 98%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 630 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Soap Opera/TV Series
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

First and foremost, there's no way to talk about A Place to Call Home: Season 4 without revealing stuff from previous seasons, so go catch up before reading this as there will be spoilers.

With that out of the way, in A Place to Call Home: Season 3, the big, looming event was the reappearance of Sarah Adams/ Nordmann's (Marta Dusseldorp, Janet King, Jack Irish) husband Rene (Benjamin Winspear), the fallout thereof, and how it affected her and the other pivotal members of Inverness. However, A Place to Call Home: Season 4 is all about Regina, Regina, Regina.

Having cemented her place at Ash Park as George Bligh's (Brett Climo) new wife, Regina (Jenni Baird) feels she's the grand lady of the manor and starts spreading her wings and her vitriolic ways. She feels she is indispensable to George's upcoming election and his future political career, so she entrances the new local cop, Sgt. Taylor (Rohan Nichol) and together, they form a team dedicated to destroying the local "Jew Commie," Sarah Nordmann. Now, this is no small matter, especially since Regina poisoned Sarah's tonic at the end of last season and when this season opens, we find that Inverness is mourning the loss of one of its own. Of course, it's not Sarah and instead, a local school teacher named Millie Adams was the victim. Her death starts Regina and Sgt. Taylor on a path to see Sarah jailed (or worse) for Millie's death, along with the disappearance and presumed murder of Bert Ford, among other trumped up charges. To fight Regina, Sarah will have to team up with former adversary, now friend Elizabeth Bligh (Noni Hazlehurst), George's mother, along with George's sister, Carolyn (Sara Wiseman) and "daughter" (it's complicated) Anna (Abby Earl).

Anna and Gino (Aldo Mignone) have settled into a routine on the farm and George even wants to invest in Gino's fledgling vineyard, but all Anna wants to do is write and become a successful novelist. This doesn't fit into Gino's preconceived notions of a good Italian farmer's wife, and speaking of... Anna isn't pregnant yet, despite all of the trying. Of course, Anna knows she probably can't have children since her miscarriage and fears losing Gino over it, but is farm life truly what she wants anyway? Probably not, based on the reception of her first book by the publishing world.

Dr. Jack Duncan (Craig Hall) and Carolyn Bligh are doing wonderfully, except for the fact that Caro suffered rape at the hands of the high and mighty newspaper jerk Sir Richard Bennett (Mark Lee), who also happens to be her brother George's biggest political advocate. Let's just say that tensions rise to a boiling point once Carolyn breaks down and reveals the truth to Jack and some other family members, ones who will definitely find a way to get revenge for her.

Despite the fact that Olivia (Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood) walked in on husband James Bligh (David Berry) and his appropriately named lover, Dr. Henry Fox (David Draxl), and felt her life and marriage were over, the pair somehow manage to come to terms with each other's choices and try to keep things amicable, at least until well after George's election. When Livvy's plans for a future in England become uncertain, she sets her sights on something altogether new, but above all, the focus of both Livvy and James remains on what is best for baby Georgie. However, when Livvy's well-kept secret about Georgie's origins is finally revealed, the family reactions are interesting, to say the least.

Meanwhile, Sarah finds herself running across Harry Polson (Dominic Allburn), a former farmhand at Ash Park and a fling for James when he explored his sexuality. She discovers the man has been bashed for being homosexual and is being ostracized and mistreated in the hospital in Sydney. She sets out to bring him back to Inverness so she can care for him and he can recover without shame or cruelty. Naturally, when the Bligh's find out Harry is back, they aren't pleased and try to keep it from James (why remind him of the electroshock therapy?), but caring for Harry is cathartic for Sarah since she missed all of those years with Rene and the two become dear friends. This will definitely help when Sarah gives birth to George's child late in the season, an event that is sure to cultivate both good feelings and bad among the major players.

Probably the most fun aspect of the entire season is Elizabeth, Carolyn, Sarah and Anna's plot to bring down Regina through Anna's penning of a story that is remarkably close to the death of the local school teacher and how everything truly went down. Let's just say that the season doesn't disappoint and the season finale is an explosive one, to say the least. It also sets the stage for vast future repercussions for Sarah and the Bligh family. As they say, revenge is best served cold.

Last, but not least, although Elizabeth's health is at risk with her bad ticker, she doesn't let that stop her from picking up her romance with the dashing Douglas Goddard (Robert Coleby), and the two make a delightful pair. Don't be surprised if Elizabeth changes her relationship status on Facebook (or whatever the 1950's Australian society equivalent of that would be).

Overall, it's hard to stack this season up against the others because the entire series is so fantastic, but I can say this one was my absolute favorite just because Reggie's claws were out and her evilness was on full display for the entire season. She is a character that you truly love to hate and she gets more despicable as time goes on. Who knows what the future holds? I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of any special features, because, while I typically don't care too much for featurettes and such, I crave any speck of inside info I can get on A Place to Call Home. Still, this season is rock solid and epic. Just go watch it now.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins
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