Des is needling Jim that he might be scared Mike will beat Scott. Jim says he will put money on his son any day of the week. Des asks, “How much?” at which point, Mike says he and Scott will sort out the stakes. Scott says the loser mows the other's lawns till Easter. They are all to race on the same day. Mike and Des agree that it's going to be a bad day for the Robinsons, at which Scott and Jim shake their heads.
Jim is back from the gym and Scott is in the shower. Jim yells to him to hurry up, and Helen, who is preparing breakfast says to eat first. Jim says he will shower first, before he stiffens up.
HELEN: have you thought of calling this whole thing off?
JIM: (pointing finger) No way. I'm seeing this through to the bitter end.
HELEN: The bitter end just might be what it is. It's bad enough with you and Des, but now you're dragging Mike and Scott into it as well! Frankly, I'm very disappointed in this family.
JIM: Oh, come on, Helen. It's just a bit of friendly rivalry.
HELEN: Tell that to Daphne. I'm so ashamed of myself. I just dropped in to see her and before I knew what I was saying, I was taking your side against Des.
Jim tells her he thinks she is making mountains out of molehills, but Helen is not convinced.
HELEN: It seems to me that at the rate we are going, this family stands to lose some very dear friends.
No 24, where Madge is reading the paper at breakfast
Charlene has just got up. They exchange good mornings and there is a knock at the back door, Charlene goes to see who it is. Jane come sin. She asks for oranges as she forgot to buy them the day before and Mr Bishop only drinks freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. Charlene suggest they give him the pre-squeezed supermarket stuff and he won't know the difference. Madge says he will and goes to get the fruit.
JANE: (to Charlene) Guess who's caught the competition bug?
CHARLENE: Des and Jim? Old news around here.
JANE: Mike and Scott have decided to get in on the act as well. I saw Mike on the way over here. He and Scott are going to have a race in your pool at the weekend – ten laps.
Charlene comments that they haven't asked if they can use the pool, but Jane says she is sure that Scott will be over later to tell her all about it. Jane thinks Mike will win as he was school champion, but Charlene says that was for diving, and Scott is the stronger swimmer.
The two girls decide they want to get in on the act, too, and agree that they will do theirs on roller skates, Jane on Mike's side, Charlene for the Robinsons. Charlene suggests a relay race: first the swim, then the skates, handing over to the runners. Charlene says Jane will have to be good to beat her, but is told not to count her chickens.
The garage, where Jim has taken his sick car
He tells Rob that it keeps cutting out on him and Rob suggests that it may be a blocked fuel line. Although he's busy, he agrees to take a look and let Jim know.
Meanwhile, he sees Gail arriving for her first day at the new job, telling Jim that because Paul took so long making up his mind, he nearly let the best girl slip through his fingers. He goes on to say that he hopes that Paul will keep his hands to himself. Jim is shocked, but Rob says who knows what might be, with Terri in prison.
Gail overhears and tells him off, but he says he is only speaking his mind. Gail apologises to Jim for her father, who says he doesn't need anyone to apologise for him. Gail tells him that Terri died a little while ago, and a chastened Rob asks how was he supposed to know, as no-one told him. He moves off.
Jim reassures Gail that Rob is known for this kind of thing, but is also known for being one of the best mechanics, and if he can fix his car, all can be forgiven. Gail thanks him and says she can see where Paul gets his charm.
Jane, coming in clutching roller skates, apologises for being a little late. She tells him about the relay race, then asks what he wants her to do first. He asks her to pick up the file on Disclosure and says that the financial stuff is a muddle. Jane says it was only a small business, and she is glad that the scandal sheet was closed down. Paul agrees.
Jane is then discomforted when Paul says he wants her to put all the details into the computer. She says she thought he was going to forget about it, but Paul says the taxman might be interested in it at the end of the year. Jane goes into the inner office to start on it as Gail comes in. Paul looks at his watch. Gail apologises for being late. With a smile, Paul says, two minutes and not a good way to start her first day. Gail says his father's car broke down and she gave him a lift to work, so Paul forgives the Good Samaritan.
There is to be a large convention of travel agents the following week and Paul is keen to impress as it could mean a lot of business for them. As Gail is a good co-ordinator, he wants her to oil the wheels. Gail says it's a good thing to prove herself right at the beginning and asks where he wants her to start.
Paul says first he will introduce her to the staff, beginning with Mrs Mangel. Jane reminds him that it's her morning off and she is having a sitting with Mrs Daniels. She gets up and walks out of the office as Paul explains that Mrs M is Jane's grandmother, but they don't hold it against Jane. Gail looks puzzled, so Paul explains that Mrs M is a bit of a dragon. He hopes HELEN knows what she has herself in for.
No 26, where Mrs Mangel is sitting for her portrait
Helen asks Mrs Mangel to move her head slightly towards her.
MRS MANGEL: I had been thinking of going to a studio to have a nice photograph taken, but I suppose a portrait might be better.
HELEN: Mrs Mangel, I think I ought to explain. This portrait won't be like a photograph. You see, I want to capture your ... your essence, your spirit… more than your physical appearance.
MRS MANGEL: I see… I don't like those modern paintings with people with square heads and both eyes on the same side. It isn't going to be like that, is it?
HELEN: Oh no! I'm no Picasso!
MRS MANGEL: So long as people know it's me.
HELEN (with ‘that' sort of look): I can promise you that people will know it's you. Now, um, will you try and concentrate, please?
Paul and Gail are in the dining room and Gail compliments Paul on the décor. Paul thanks her but says all the ambience in the world won't make up for bad food. He sings the praises of the chef, Dean Bartholomew, of whom Gail has not heard. Enter Dean, and introductions take place. Gail shakes his hand and says she has heard wonderful things about him. She hope she will introduce her to the rest of his team later, and Dean says he does most of the work himself – and never trusts anyone else to make the sauces. Gail says she is sure that with an attitude like that, they will get along fine.
DEAN: I'm sure we will, Miss Lewis, Gail. However, Paul, I cannot say the same for that housekeeper.
PAUL: Mrs Mangel? Has there been a problem?
DEAN: Well, she seems to forget that the kitchen is my domain, and she is constantly interfering.
PAUL: Dean, I know she can be a little difficult …
DEAN: (interrupting) A little?
PAUL promises to talk to her and they leave, Gail telling Paul that she can't wait to meet this Mrs Mangel.
MRS MANGEL: (Big sigh) How much longer, Mrs Daniels? It's been over two hours.
HELEN: All right, Mrs Mangel. Let's call it quits for this morning.
Mrs Mangel gets off her seat with a small groan and moves towards Helen, who quickly picks up a blue cloth to hide it from her.
MRS MANGEL: I only wanted to have a look…
HELEN: I never let anyone see an incomplete painting.
MRS MANGEL: We-ell, I'm not sure I like the sound of that.
MADGE: You there, Helen?
HELEN (carrying the painting through to another room) In here, Madge.
Madge stops short as she sees Mrs Mangel and apologises. She didn't know Helen was busy.
HELEN: Oh, that's all right. Mrs Mangel was just about to leave.
MRS MANGEL says she thought Madge would be at the Waterhole, but Madge says her shift doesn't start till 2 pm. She came to invite Helen to lunch, but Helen has to go to the office. Mrs Mangel sits down again and says her hours are not so flexible, and she didn't expect to have to sit for so long in the little free time she does get.
MADGE: it seems to me that you should consider yourself very lucky to have an artist like Helen painting your portrait. And for nothing, too.
MRS MANGEL: Not exactly for nothing, Mrs Mitchell. An obligation repaid. Oh, and while I'm speaking to you, I wish to say that I do wish your daughter would keep her silly ideas to herself.
MADGE: (clearing her throat as she sits down) What's Charlene done now?
MRS MANGEL: This roller-skating competition. It's very dangerous.
MADGE: Well, I'm not too keen on the idea myself, but the idea of Jim and Des racing seems to have caught on.
MRS MANGEL: I think the whole thing is ridiculous.
HELEN: Well, umm, I was rather concerned myself, but Jim has convinced me that I was over-reacting. There's probably no harm in it, and Jim loves his sport. He always tries to keep fit.
MRS MANGEL: that's more than we can say for Mr Clarke. He seems quite soft to me, and er, I don't think he has any hope against Mr Robinson.
MADGE: Oh, I don't know. Des is a lot younger. I mean it's as if, um, say we had a race…
MRS MANGEL: (laughs) … But frankly, Mrs Mitchell, I doubt if there is anything you could do that I couldn't.
MADGE: Oh, come on, now, Mrs Mangel!
MRS MANGEL: I mean it. I pride myself that I am still a very active woman. In fact, I was thinking of getting my push bike out and riding to work each day.
Madge and Mrs Mangel continue to needle each other in spite of Helen's attempts to intervene and a race between the two is the outcome.
Charlene is sprawled on the settee, reading a paper, when Madge comes in.
MADGE: Oh, that woman!
CHARLENE (sitting up): Who, Mrs Daniels?
MADGE: Oh, no, no, no. Mrs Mangel! You'll never guess what I've done!
CHARLENE: (moving closer as her mother flops into an armchair) What?
MADGE: (resigned) Challenged her to a bike race.
CHARLENE: (with shocked face) You're racing old Mangel?
MADGE: Ah, it was a stupid thing to do. I'd better go and see her and treat it all as a joke, otherwise we're no better than you kids! It's ridiculous at our age!
CHARLENE: (craftily) Oh yeah. Old ladies like you, you shouldn't be getting yourselves mixed up in this sort of thing. You'll probably kill yourselves.
MADGE: It's Mrs Mangel I'm worried about. Her heart might give out.
CHARLENE: What heart: She'll show you no mercy if you pull out now, that's for sure. But you won't mind if she tells everyone that you were too much of a coward to race her...
MADGE: Charlene, would you go and get Shane's old dragster out of the garage? I just want to see what condition it's in.
Lassiter's Office where Jane is at the computer
Enter Paul. Jane is working on the Disclosure file and asks if he wants the amounts in general or in detail. He wants it in detail. He moves to his desk. Jane looks through the file and finds a page which causes her to exclaim, “What?” Paul asks what is wrong and she says, nothing, she was just about to put in the wrong amount.
The Garage, where Rob has his head under a bonnet
Enter Mrs Mangel with her push-bike. She tells Rob she wants it to be overhauled. When he says the bike shop is two blocks down the road, she says their prices are exorbitant and she though t Rob would do it as she and his daughter were about to work together and Gail might need a helping hand… Rob groans and takes a look.
As he turns the cycle over, Mrs Mangel, on a fishing trip, tells him that she is surprised that Gail is taking such a demanding job at this time in her life. Surely her husband would be hoping she would start a family? Rob ignores that, saying he can fix the bike, then asks her, quite abruptly, what she knows about Paul's wife's death. She says she doesn't know a great deal.
She goes on to mention Susan Cole, and wonders how she manages to get on, with a small baby to support now. Rob is shocked and asks if she intends him to think Paul is the father. At this, Mrs Mangel backs off, saying she doesn't think she should say any more. After all, Paul Robinson is her employer. She walks away, saying she will call back for the bike later.
Coffee Shop where Gail has just bought a take-out coffee
Jane comes in and sits down, so Gail asks about her day, which was 'oh, fine'. Jane asks about hers. She says she is going to love it. She turns to leave as Mrs Mangel comes in, looking for Jane. Gail introduces herself. Mrs Mangel says she has just been talking to Rob about her and mentions her husband.
GAIL: My ex-husband, Mrs Mangel.
MRS MANGEL: Oh. I am so sorry. I didn't know.
GAIL: No. That's ok. The pity is that I married the louse in the first place.
She goes on to say she would like to talk to Mrs Mangel in her housekeeper capacity, and says she will catch up with her later. She leaves. Mrs Mangel wants to go on talking about it with Jane, but is told to forget about that, as something awful has happened – something that could cause her a lot of trouble.
Enter Rob. There is no-one in the outer office so he knocks on the inner office door and goes in. He challenges Paul to tell him about Susan Cole and the baby. Helen says it was nothing to do with Paul, but Rob says that as his grandmother, she is bound to cover for Paul. Paul is angry and tells him to get out.
Rob blusters and says he is only trying to look out for his daughter, but Paul replies that it is Gail he employed, not Rob, and he is going the right way to jeopardise her job. Rob backs off and asks, “No hard feelings? To which Paul replies with a cold stare. Rob leaves, twisting his cap in his hands.
Helen is concerned that Paul would fire Gail, but an angry Paul says if anyone causes trouble, they are out – and that includes Gail.
Jane has told her grandmother what is involved and Mrs Mangel suggests that no-one would notice if the page went missing. Jane is concerned for her job, but Mrs Mangel applies emotional pressure by reminding her that she practically brought Jane up and points out that if she is dismissed, they won't have a roof over their heads. Jane reminds her that it's her job at stake, too, but Mrs Mangel pushes the point, then gets up to go, saying that she won't rush her, but will leave her to do what she thinks is best.
Mike comes across and says Mrs Mangel was giving her a hard time. Jane says, he was willing to give up everything for his mum, wasn't he. Mike replies that he didn't want to, but she was his mum, and he sort-of owed it to her. Jane says, yeah, her Gran has done more for her than anyone.
Outside in Ramsay Street
Madge comes down the drive with Shane's bike and goes to mount it. She doesn't look too comfortable, but sets off down Ramsay Street. Jim turns into the close and then moves to cross between two cars. Both are preoccupied and Madge stops just in time. Jim comments that eh didn't know Madge was a cyclist, and Madge tells him she is on his team.
Jim is a little confused, so Madge explains the teams and that this time, the Robinsons and Ramsays are on the same side. Jim is tickled at the idea of Mrs Mangel being part of Des's team.
Jane is alone in the office, sitting at the computer with the Disclosure file on her lap. She is looking worried, then begins to flip the pages, then Paul comes in to ask how she's getting along. She says, “Slowly”. Helen calls Paul from the outer office and Jane takes the chance to abstract the page, fold it in four and tuck it into the pocket of her trousers. Paul comes back and asks if she will get it finished today. Jane says she will do her best and he moves across to his desk, looking at a folder. Jane looks worried.