Safe Harbour season 1, episode 2 recap: ‘Episode 2’


Everyone is on edge in the second episode of Safe Harbour now that the police are involved.

Ismail took his brother’s words to heart and has decided to try to get justice for his daughter. Of course, this isn’t the violent way Bilal was insinuating, but instead by reporting the incident to the police. The group can feel the noose tightening and Safe Harbour does a good job of showing how any of these people could have cut the rope.

So far, the series has done a good job trying to navigate both sides of the story. It’s easy to feel sympathy for almost all the characters and to see how each side perceives the situation. There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the Gallaghers cut the rope, but the series does offer a compelling alternative.

This episode opens with Damien joking around with the Maddie and Lachlan, as Ryan looks on disapprovingly. Their awkward night makes a turn for the worse when the federal police show up to inform Ryan he would be interviewed for his involvement with the refugees. Naturally, the Gallaghers are back on edge as they’re all ushered in for individual interrogations.

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At the same time, it appears like Assad is trying to enact his own kind of vengeance through graffiti. It’s actually refreshing to see his Uncle encourage him to respect his father even when they disagree compared to the typical mustache-twirling villain who would “corrupt” his nephew. At the same time, Bilal might have also landed himself in hot water after assaulting Damien even if the guy kind of deserved it. No, he shouldn’t have gotten that total beatdown, but Damien is quickly becoming one of the least likable characters.

Back in the interrogations, Ryan is up first. Safe Harbour made us think in the first episode he would be the only one unlikely to cut the rope because of how much he wanted to help the refugees. However, in episode two they offer an alternative: he cut the rope because he wanted to save them. Yes, the police claim Ryan knew that turning back to Indonesia would seal the deal for the asylum seekers so he cut them loose to give them their best chance. He doesn’t confirm or deny, but it certainly puts him back in the running as the culprit.

Damien is definitely the most obvious suspect at the moment, especially when he waived his right to counsel and Ryan revealed he was the one who made the choice about Indonesia. But don’t rule Bree out, because she’s undoubtedly up to something. Safe Harbour sets her up as someone with a deep secret, especially when she stole the knife off the boat of the Liberamme in the last episode. Ryan covers for her by grabbing her headphones off the ship before the police can notice but red flags are flying everyone.

In his interview, he claims it couldn’t have been him since he took Valium that night and passed out. However, he also reveals that he was the one who voted “no” in the 4-1 vote to help the refugees. This doesn’t actually line up with the first episode of Safe Harbour when Bree admitted she voted no. Were they in on it together? Was the vote really 1-4 in favor of leaving the asylum seekers?

He also claims Liv will back him up about the Valium but she chooses not to. Honestly, it’s getting hard to figure out who trust in Safe Harbour. If Liv is telling the truth, then Damien undoubtedly was the one who cut the rope. If she’s lying then it could only be for three reasons: she’s angry at him and wants retribution, she’s trying to save herself, or she’s trying to save someone else.

Meanwhile, everyone is so busy trying to figure out what happened on the boat that Zahra is getting overlooked. She’s easily the most sympathetic character on all of Safe Harbour so far. As a mother who lost her child and her entire life, she just wants to move forward and focus on rebuilding her family. It’s understandable that Ismail needs some sort of justice to move forward, but he’s completely ignoring what his wife needs. Now she’s left struggling through a pregnancy alone as the people around her make decisions that could impact all of their lives.

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While Zahra is an empathetic mother, Bree is arguably her opposite. This isn’t a knock on Leeanna Walsman, who has done great work so far. But it’s infuriating to see Bree blame every bad decision on “trying to protect her kids”. You can’t use them as a shield every time you make a pretty inconsiderate decision. At least we learn the truth about Damien’s and Bree’s shared secret: they had an affair. Basically, the two are the worst and truly deserve one another at this point.

Ismail’s life is upended in Safe Harbour again when the federal police suggest Bilal was the one cut the rope. As a soldier in the Iraq special forces, he was capable of swimming and realizing the ship had turned direction. Only five life jackets were stolen, enough to help Ismail’s entire family. He screams at his brother and the two fight until Bilal escapes into the night. Did he do it? Doubtful, but it’s an interesting wrinkle to introduce at this point.

Who do you think cut the rope on Safe Harbour? Are you enjoying the series thus far? Tell us in the comments below!