xLeongathafilmBy Gav Ross

AS IF ploughing the minibus into a stray Bass Coast Shire Council candidate wasn’t bad enough, driver-of-the-year/anxious groom Darryl (Bryce Hardy) manages to accidentally back over the near-lifeless body as he and the rest of the wedding-bound party attempt to flee the scene in Leongatha’s superb fourth episode. Written by Brendan Parsons, Allison Maddox, Katherine Copsey and series co-creator Shane Dunlop, ‘The Wombat’ is Leongatha hitting its stride, with snappy dialogue, terrific performances and nary a flat joke to be heard. Hovering over poor Marilyn Poole (Kerrie Giles) like a group of children peering at roadkill, the gang, now so late to the wedding they may need to forego dessert at the reception, soon turn into wanted criminals after the arrival of Senior Constable Bruce Barnsworth (Luke Morrison), a local officer who, conveniently, just happens to be wandering along the unsealed country track looking like he’s lost his horse. After the conversation ends in one unconscious policeman slumped next to poor Ms Poole, the group finally experiences something close to a bonding session by sharing a slab of grog before departing. The ensuing scene – with all bus occupants having a great old time half-tanked as their chariot moves ever closer to its destination (even Samantha cracks a vague smile) – is wonderfully executed and complemented by another killer Ryan Sterling soundtrack number – ‘Dumbstruck Blues’.

Random highlights and observations: – That great moment of cattiness between Mazzy (Sarah Ranken) and super-bitch Samantha (Kirsten Snowden) – Constable Bruce staring oddly at Darryl as the groom nervously applies more moisturiser to his hands. – The ‘morning after look’ on the bewildered faces of the victims left lying in the scrub, covered in beer cans. – The obligatory Little Miss Sunshine moment with Denny (Chris Gibson), Mazzy and Darryl jogging to the bus as it takes off.