A sense of melancholy looms. Sadness is yet to take over. Denial is the only way out. “Significant Others,” an ABC TV original created by Tommy Murphy and directed by Tony Krawitz, is about a family coming to terms with the disappearance of Sarah, an important member of the family. The show was released on the network on October 16th, 2022. It talks about the dynamics the family members share in the wake of a possible tragedy.
The Tragic Disappearance Of Sarah
Hannah wakes up in the morning at her under-construction house to see that her mother, Sarah, has left for a swim. Hannah reaches the coast to see a woman giving out a signal from the seawater. Hanna immediately jumps into the water to rescue her, only for the audience to know that the drowning woman is Hanna’s mother, Sarah. Hanna is overwhelmed by the morning high tide but is rescued by a surfer but sadly doesn’t find her mother. When Ciaran, Sarah’s younger child, reaches home, he sees police cars around his home. The cops and Hanna break the news to him.
Soon, Sarah’s estranged siblings are also informed of her disappearance. One by one, they show up, as they are the only guardians who can be with the kids and take care of them. Jake, an adopted younger brother to Sarah, shows up first, followed by Ursula, who of the lot had the most bitter fallout with Sarah. Claire, who lives far away, is also informed of Sarah’s disappearance. All three siblings of Sarah come back to the house in which they grew up and nursed their ailing mother, bringing back all the memories. Hannah and Ciaran are dealing with the disappearance in their own way. Most of them keep a positive attitude, hoping for some good news from the cops. Will they come across any news from the authorities regarding Sarah?
‘Significant Others’ Episode 1: Ending Explained: Was It Sarah Who Called Up Her Home?
Jake and his partner Wayne are some of the first family members to show up at the house to take care of Hanna and Ciaran. They speak in detail about Sarah, her swimming habits, and how all four siblings have grown up in this house. Their bitter estrangement regarding the ownership of the house kept all of them apart from each other for months. Hanna and Ciaran consider Ursula a bad person, thanks to Sarah. Jake informs Ursula, and in no time, Ursula comes down to their house to be there for the kids. Meanwhile, the cops and the rescue team are at it, looking for Sarah’s whereabouts. The police officer at home specifically informs the kids that even if they feel like venturing into the sea, it won’t be a good idea to do that. Hanna, the elder daughter, is in denial mode, and she remembers the last thing she saw of her mom was her mother waving out to her from the sea, asking for help. Unable to get that image out of her head, Hanna keeps believing her mother will come back. Their home is visited by neighbours, Sarah’s colleagues, and Ciaran’s girlfriend; all of them try their best to be there for the family in this hour of significant grief.
Ciaran, in complete denial, too, looks for solace in smoking and his girlfriend. Claire finally reaches their home and starts remembering the time their mother lived in the house and how they took care of her till her last breath. Claire can sometimes imagine her deceased mother sitting on the couch, listening to their conversation. The family starts making missing posters for Sarah and ends up sticking a lot of them around their neighbourhood. Ursula finds an envelope for Hanna and Ciaran and wonders if this is a letter left by Sarah for the kids, but she finds a lottery ticket in it. The episode ends with day 2 of the search ending for Sarah, the family dealing on their own to subdue the pain about to be unleashed. The telephone rings as everyone is in the living room. They pick up the phone only to hear someone breathing loudly on the receiver. Hanna visibly hopes that it is her mother calling to tell them she is fine. The person on the other end disconnects the phone.
The episode ends with the family sleeping in the hope that Sarah is not missing or dead, for they are sure it was she on the phone, giving them a signal that she is well and alive. A tragedy such as this brought the entire family together, which wasn’t possible until Sarah was present. A sense of false optimism forms around the family, leading them to think Sarah is just missing, and everyone refuses to break down. But a sense of doom, sadness, and desolation is palpable in the atmosphere at their home. A classic story of a dysfunctional family brought together by a tragedy, and they must learn to live around each other, even though it is for a short time. Or has it been for a long time? More of it we will know in the coming episodes.
Writers Tommy Murphy, Niki Aken, Blake Ayshford, Louise Fox, Vonne Patiag, and Sue Smith have set up the show quite brilliantly. A sense of loss looms around the house without any unnecessary drama. Audiences like me are hooked on the show to know how Sarah’s disappearance will help bring back the broken, dysfunctional family and whether they will be able to adjust to the young teens. The first episode set the tone right, and I cannot wait to see what the next episode is set to deliver.
“Significant Others” is an ABCTV show.