“Honestly Officer, this is harassment…”

He’s back. And he’s badder than ever. In fact it’s almost like Cleaver Greene doesn’t know what’s good for him – or perhaps he does and to hell with it anyway. Richard Roxburgh returns as the enigmatic barrister, fighting the good fight for those considered indefensible and all the while seeking to get his leg over ant any given moment. He’s the thinker’s drinker and the lover of the mother of any brother, and we wouldn’t want him any other way.

From the very first scene in the returning season of Rake Greene sets the standards low by appearing in the back of a limo mid-coital embrace with a character played by Toni Collette (at least she’s not espousing the greatness of a certain bank). The events over the opening 5 minutes reveal that not only is our anti-hero in over his head in season two but he’s in for a hell of a ride along the way.

“Harry, sorry, David” Potter (Matt Day) has been elevated to the NSW lower house of Parliament and is as vindictive as ever towards Greene – it’s only now he’s in a position to really do something about it. Barney (Russel Dykstra) and Scarlett (Danielle Cormack) are working hard to rebuild their lives together, with the latter essentially banning the former from fraternising with Cleaver apart from work due to his influence. The love of Cleaver’s life Missy (Adrienne Pickering) is still MIA… and Cleaver’s ex-wife Wendy (Caroline Brazier) is trying to stay afloat after discovering her new husband’s infidelity while Cleaver & Wendy’s son Fuzz (Keegan Joyce) has taken up running as the cure to the insanity around him.

The delicious new season from writers Peter Duncan and Andrew Knight lifts the chaos to an entirely new level, while the list of special guests added to the cast only enhance the experience – Collette, Garry Macdonald, Don Hany, Rhys Muldoon, Jack Thompson, and so on – add their significant skill to their already meaty characters delivering thoroughly enjoyable drama, laced heavily with comedic pathos. Hany is hilarious as the drug-addled consultant, and Thompson’s characterisation is one that has to be seen in full to be completely enjoyed.

If there’s a sacred cow it’s likely already on the BBQ, ready to be served. The bar has been lowered – again – and with season two of Rake we’re all the better for it.

Rake – Thu 6/09 8:30pm, ABC1.