A Place to Call Home: Season 3 is interesting because it doesn't pick up where Season 2 left off, since there was the chance the show was not going to return. Thankfully, it was picked up for Seasons 3 and 4, so there is actually an alternate (or rather, the original) ending for Season 2's season finale, as well as the full episode with the original ending, which I highly recommend watching to refresh your memory.
The end of last season found Ash Park's matriarch, Elizabeth Bligh (Noni Hazlehurst), realizing what a mess her meddling has made of her children's lives, and she has decided to leave Ash Park and her past with it. Local nurse Sarah Nordmann (Marta Dusseldorp) is trying to find peace with her war-damaged husband, Rene (Benjamin Winspear), and her former fiance George Bligh (Brett Climo) is trying to get over his loss of Sarah. Meanwhile, Regina Standish (Jenni Baird), George's deceased wife's younger sister, is trying to connive her way into George's life and bed, so that she can have him and Ash Park for herself.
In the original (new) ending, Rene finds himself in a field with a shotgun and George happens upon him, as does Regina. We don't see what happens, but the end result is George lying on the ground, dying with a gut shot, with only the wicked Regina to tell what happened. Was he trying to kill himself or George? This sets up a series of events that will plague Sarah and her husband off and on throughout the season, as Regina is thrilled to have something to hold over their heads. What's worse is that Sarah has discovered that her life is about to greatly change and she is not sure she can handle the future with a broken Rene by her side... or if he'll even want to be with her.
Anna (Abby Earl) and Gino (Aldo Mignone) Poletti are newlyweds, but already they are having problems. Gino's parents have moved away, leaving them the farm and Gino is desperate to prove his worth as Anna's husband. Doing so gets him into a bit of a financial trap as he tries to start a winery, which is not an easy task. Meanwhile, Anna wants to write her novel, but she spends all day in the fields working with Gino and she is beginning to resent his new attitude. Fortunately, she has her newly discovered birth parents to help her through, along with her stalwart Bligh family as well.
New mother Olivia (Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood) is struggling with baby George and the terrible secret she is keeping from husband James (David Berry), and little does she know that her "friend" Andrew Swanson has secretly written a letter exposing her secret and given it to Anna, who doesn't believe it... at first. James is still struggling with his sexuality and being a husband to Livvy, and the introduction of a dashing young surgeon named Mr. Henry Fox (Tim Draxl) isn't helping his desires. Even worse is that Carolyn Bligh (Sara Wiseman) has brought in one of her outrageous artist friends to paint a family portrait of Olivia, James and baby George and he's a handsome rogue with eyes for Livvy. She's so starved for attention, he just might cause her to waver.
Meanwhile, Regina is pushing George towards politics, an arena she knows all too well, and her good friend Sir Richard Bennett (Mark Lee), prominent and wealthy newspaper owner, is ready to fully support George in his run, as long as he gets a fine, new wife. While Reggie does everything in her power to prove to George how loyal she is to the Bligh family, all the while making veiled threats to Carolyn, Elizabeth and anyone else who dares to get in her way, she just might get the answer to her heart's desire, but not quite in the way she had hoped.
Dr. Jack Duncan (Craig Hall) and Carolyn are an item again, but a monkey wrench is thrown in the works when Carolyn doesn't want to get married and begins a job at Sir Richard's paper as an art journalist, only to discover Sir Richard has other motivations for being near her. Meanwhile, Jack may find himself in hot water over trying to save the life of a teenager who had a botched back-alley abortion. No good deed goes unpunished...
With everything happening in the Bligh family, Elizabeth is back and forth between Ash Park and Carolyn's apartment in Sydney, and she actually is a changed woman. She even piques the interest of a wealthy and kind man named Douglas Goddard (Robert Coleby), when she helps with a fundraiser for his veterans' refuge. Seeing Elizabeth Bligh in essentially a soup kitchen is a sight, but it's great to see the possibility of romance in her future. After seeing the reality of her past, she deserves it. This season finds a kinder, gentler Elizabeth, one who actually becomes strong allies with Sarah, if you can believe it. While Elizabeth has been the "big bad" of A Place to Call Home since the start, the villain's hat is definitely now worn proudly by Reggie and she's the main character to hate at this point. And boy is she good at being the bad guy!
A Place to Call Home: Season 3 ends on a series of cliffhangers, with a good opportunity on the horizon for Anna and Gino, imminent danger for Elizabeth, sorrow and heartbreak for Sarah, distance between Jack and Carolyn, and relationship struggles for Livvy and James.
The only special features are a photo gallery and the earlier mentioned original endings, but I am certainly glad those were included.
So much more happens in A Place to Call Home: Season 3, and I have only just touched on a bit of it, because this show really knows how to pack in so much intensity into just 10 little episodes that will leave you longing for more. If it's high drama you are looking for, look no further than A Place to Call Home: Season 3 and check out the video for just a taste of what to expect.