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Comment > Lauren, Brad & Terese by Sharon Harvey

What an incredibly powerful, emotive episode this was with just 3 characters. Not easy to pull off with such a limited cast so well done to Rebekah Elmaloglou, Kate Kendall and Kip Gamblin. I also enjoyed the history narration from Stefan Dennis (Paul) at the beginning; it gave it a nice touch, considering his character has also taken the journey with them all over recent months.

For weeks we had seen the smouldering temptation between old lovers Brad and Lauren, which began way back in the 90s when they first met. Fast forward twenty years and they are reaquainted when they arrive back on the street with their respective families - Lauren is married to Matt, while Brad's wife is now Terese. Following a hunt for the daughter Lauren thought had died, they had shared a secret kiss in a hotel room. In the months that followed, we have seen the demise of Matt, who begged Brad to look after Lauren, and the arrival of Paige, their long-lost daughter, all putting pressure on the families, especially for Terese who was certain that although they denied it, Lauren and Brad were having a secret affair - a fear made worse by finding out that Paige wanted her parents back together. After a testing time, we saw Terese hit the bottle leading her down the road of becoming an alcoholic...

We then saw the creation of 'Team Lauren' and 'Team Terese', with viewers picking who they most feel sorry for most... and it seemed that Terese was even asking for the same, as she pushed her friend Susan to side with her against Lauren. It then all came to a head in one fantastic episode, and whilst Kate and Kip have acted superbly in their roles and deserve the same praise, Rebekah played her part outstandingly, when it all come to light for her unfortunately by an ariel shot provided by Paul in an email. Her reaction and performance made the viewers feel empathy for her and the agony she was going through, all the other negative feelings towards Terese in recent months disappeared quickly, and the viewer was with her when she threw the jar at Brad and pushed Lauren into the swimming pool!

We have seen this story viewed through Terese's eyes, and recently seeing her husband move in with his former lover and rescuing Lauren first from the burning school, Terese has acted with a lot of dignity throughout. She could've acted very differently, and not be blamed for it. She's looked very vulnerable without make-up, hurting from her injuries, yet still holding her head high, which has won her more sympathy and support from viewers. But given she had an affair herself with Brad while he was married to Beth, is it a case of 'What comes around goes around'? Has she been given a dose of her own medicine?

But what is the situation viewed through the eyes of Brad and Lauren?

For Lauren, she has waited for over twenty years to be with Brad full-time, from the moment she met him she has harboured feelings for him to the extent I think some viewers - including me - saw her as the troublemaking relationship breaker (I will refrain from saying home-wrecker because they weren't married with kids at that point). When he was with Beth, she would do anything to get with Brad and did, by starting an affair with him even though he was engaged to Beth. Now we have witnessed Brad and Lauren officialise their relationship and flaunt it to everyone. From Brad's side, maybe it's one of those relationships where they should've been together from the start, given the strong attraction between the pair but circumstances kept them apart. It could've been argued that Lauren should have stayed well away from Brad, given he wasn't available to begin a relationship with, but Brad has never been a strong person, always allowing everyone else to dictate to him, ironically something he complains about bitterly, yet allows to happen.

Whilst up to this point, Terese and Matt have been collateral damage in all this mess, who knows what the future holds for this trio triangle of love? One thing seems for certain; one person is going to be left hurt and all alone. Will it be Lauren, who seems to be the love of Brad's life, or Terese who seemed to be a consolation prize after losing Lauren and not being compatible with Beth? I guess only time will tell. For me, Rebekah has won through for me with her outstanding performance and although Terese demanded people take sides, wouldn't any 'wronged' spouse in that situation? She has won my vote with her dignity and pride. How many people would accept their estranged husband living across the street with his new/former lover and their daughter? She had the chance to get out of Ramsay Street and move into one of the Eclipse apartments offered by Paul but then decided to show what she was made of and held her head up high. And after what she has been through with the fire, and prior to that seeing Brad and Lauren flaunt their love in public, kissing in the corridors of the school causing her face to crease up in anguish, she can continue to do so, and for all those reasons, I am still on 'Team Terese'. I would also love to hear the views of Lauren and Brad's parents, Doug and Pam, and Lou and Kathy, to see what their perspective is on all of this sorry mess. One thing is for sure, these 3 will always be part of each other's lives, because like Paige's existence connected them, so does Amber & Josh's new baby daughter.

I look forward to the continuing fallout - there are going be some serious repercussions especially where Paige is concerened - her siblings I suspect are going to hate her and blame her because she may get her wish now and her parents back together, but it's the total opposite of what her siblings want! 10/10 for an excellent episode.

This article originally appeared on Sharon's website, Sharon Harvey Writer.