Helen discovering that her purse is missing and worrying that Nick might have taken it.
Scott is sitting at the kitchen table, typing out a story. He makes a mistake, though, and sighs at Henry that he's all thumbs today. Henry smiles that he must be about due for a break – and he offers Scott a slice of cake. Scott, however, declines it, saying he's got to get his article finished. Henry reads over Scott's shoulder:
HENRY: “In what ways has crime developed in Erinsborough in the past twenty years? Does it reflect a changing urban demographic?”
He adds in bemusement:
HENRY: Hang on – I'll just grab my dictionary!
Scott explains that he's getting a list of questions ready for the Erinsborough Police – he's spending the next couple of days down at the police station. Henry grins that the last time *he* was there, it was the *cops* asking all the questions! Scott tells Henry that he's doing the Incident Desk at the moment – but it's all routine type of stuff. Henry tells Scott that what he needs is a break; a night out on the town. Scott thanks him, but says he told Charlene he'd give her a call tonight. Henry muses:
HENRY: That's the problem with you married men.
HENRY: Well, you're so *married*!
Jim has arrived home, and he, Helen and Todd head through to the kitchen, Helen saying as they do so that she ‘phoned and managed to catch Harold at the Coffee Shop; he was stocktaking, but there was no sign of her purse. Jim turns to Todd and says:
JIM: I understand *you* have a theory about what might've happened.
TODD: Well, he *was* standing right there when Helen last had it.
HELEN: After your fight with Nick, don't you think you might be a little prejudiced?
Jim asks coolly what fight they're talking about. Todd mutters that it was nothing. Helen, however, retorts that it *wasn't* nothing. Todd snaps that Nick took his game – *and* he's always hanging around with Emma. Jim points out that that doesn't make him a thief, but Todd retorts:
TODD: That's not what you said when you saw the *fence*.
Jim insists that they just shouldn't go throwing any wild accusations around until they've *talked* to Nick. He adds:
JIM: I seem to remember *you* being accused of stealing once.
TODD: That was different – *I* didn't *do* it.
With that, Todd storms off to his room.
Harold is stocktaking in the kitchen when there's a sudden knocking on the main shop door. He heads out to the door and finds Sharon standing outside. She tells him that she saw the light on. Harold lets her in, reluctantly, and she smiles that she's just been into town to look around. She adds that she was wondering if he'd decided about the job yet. Harold replies:
HAROLD: Ah. Yes, I have, but I won't be announcing it until tomorrow – it wouldn't be fair on the other applicants.
SHARON: But I wouldn't *tell* anyone. I mean, it's not that long ‘til tomorrow now anyway, is it? And I *am* here *now*...
HAROLD: Yes... Well, I *am* sorry, Sharon, but I *have* decided to give the job to someone else.
SHARON (looking disappointed): Oh? Why?
HAROLD: Well, for one thing, you can't be sure of staying in Erinsborough, can you?
SHARON: I'm *sure*.
HAROLD: Yes, but as I understand it, that is not your decision – and I can't be expected to spend all that time and energy if you can't be relied upon to stay.
Harold then adds that, if it's any consolation, she *was* his second choice. He goes to carry on with his stocktake and he moves over to a box of peppermint Lifesavers. He starts counting them, but before he's got past four, Sharon says:
SHARON: I'm a fast counter. Sixteen!
Harold counts the contents of the box and concludes that there are indeed 16 packets. Sharon tells him that she'll give him a hand, if he likes, no catches. She picks up some boxes lying on the counter – and discovers a purse hidden behind them. She picks it up and holds it out to Harold.
Jim is talking on the ‘phone to Emma, but he hangs up and turns to Todd and Helen, who are sitting at the kitchen table, and tells them that *she* hasn't seen Nick. Helen comments in concern that the hospital said he left over an hour ago. Todd mutters that it's pretty obvious he's shot through. Helen, however, says:
HELEN: There were no more than $30 in my purse. I don't think he could get very far on *that*.
TODD: Yeah? Well, where *is* he, then?
At that moment, the front door opens and Nick comes in. He heads through to the kitchen and apologises for being late, saying he had to get a few things for his grandma. Helen asks him:
HELEN: Did you get everything she asked for? Did you have enough money?
TODD (coolly): I thought you were supposed to be *broke*.
Nick doesn't respond. He sits down at the table as the doorbell rings. Jim tells Todd to go and get it. Nick then explains to Jim and Helen that he's got an Authority thing so he can draw on his grandma's pension. Helen smiles that she should have realised. Nick asks if something's wrong, but Helen tells him quickly that she didn't want to think of him without enough to get by on. Todd comes back in with Harold, who asks Jim if his ‘phone's been off the hook, as he's been trying to call. Jim explains that he had to make a couple of calls. Harold says he thought he'd better come over anyway – and he then holds out Helen's purse. Helen smiles in relief:
HELEN: Oh Harold, you've *found* it!
HAROLD: Yes! Well, Sharon did, actually. It was the darnedest thing: it was hidden under a tray full of sweets. I knew you'd be worried.
Helen thanks him. Todd sits at the table, glowering. Harold then tells Nick that he's got some news for *him* too: he's decided to give him the job at the Coffee Shop. Nick beams that that's unreal! Harold tells him:
HAROLD: I have been very impressed with your dedication to your grandmother; very impressed indeed. I just hope this helps out a little.
Todd sits there looking annoyed.
The next morning, Sharon wanders over to where Todd is picking up the morning paper outside No. 26 and smiles that she was wondering if anyone round there ever gets out of bed! Todd just snaps that she's not on the farm *now*. Sharon remarks:
SHARON: *You're* in a beaut mood this morning, aren't you! Just ‘cos you had a fight with Nick!
Todd asks Sharon how *she* knows, and she explains that Scott told Henry, Henry told Bronny and Bronny told *her*. Todd mutters that now all of Erinsborough's talking about it. Sharon, however, insists that they're not; *he's* the only one turning it into some sort of big deal. Todd snaps:
TODD: Yeah, well it *is* to me.
SHARON: That's stupid – no matter *what* Nick did.
TODD: Yeah, but *I* was the one in the wrong.
SHARON (looking surprised): What?
TODD: Well, I reckoned he did something but he didn't, that's all.
SHARON: So you had a fight...
TODD: No, that was after. He doesn't even know about it. It's just that I feel like a real idiot.
SHARON: Well, if he doesn't know about it, I don't see the problem.
TODD: Well, he still took Emma away, didn't he?
SHARON: Nobody can take someone away from you if they don't want to go. I told you: forget about her.
TODD: I *can't*.
With that, Todd marches back into the house.
Nick finishes his breakfast and tells Helen – who's washing- up – that he doesn't know what time he'll be back as he doesn't know how late Harold will want him to work. With that, he heads through to the lounge room to get his books ready. When he's gone, Helen goes to pick up Jim's plate from the table, but he's left half of his food and he sighs that he's a bit under the weather today: he'll be much better when Beverly gets back. Helen points out:
HELEN: She'll be expecting some sort of answer about the baby.
JIM: I know, I know. Trouble is, I haven't *got* one yet.
Todd comes in through the back door and hands Jim his paper. Helen calls through to the lounge room and asks Nick what he wants for lunch, but Nick calls back that he's having lunch at the Coffee Shop with Emma today. Todd heads through to the lounge room and snaps:
TODD: Do you have to rub it in?
NICK (blankly): What?
TODD: About you and Emma.
NICK: Look, can we just get one thing straight? It isn't ‘Emma and me' anything. We aren't an item. She might think we are, but I've got news for her, too. I can't help it if she keeps hanging around all the time.
TODD: I didn't exactly notice you trying to fight her off.
NICK: Todd, look, I'm sorry she dumped on you. It's a real bummer when it happens, but some girls are *like* that. You're going to have to learn *sometime*.
With that, he opens the front door for Todd and the two of them head off to school.
Scott is in the kitchen, deep in thought as he takes a carton of milk out of the ‘fridge and goes and pours it on some cereal. Henry emerges from his room and tells Scott that he's going to be late. Scott, however, says he doesn't have to be at work for another hour yet; he's just waiting for Charlene to call. He adds that *he* called *her*, but she was in the shower and said she'd give him a ring later. Henry tells Scott that he'll leave him to it. Scott looks at him in surprise and asks him why he's in such a hurry, as he hasn't got anything on this morning. Henry explains:
HENRY: The Phantom and Friends is having a comic sale.
HENRY: The Phantom and Friends – you know, that second- hand bookshop down on Leicester Street. They're supposed to have some first- edition Kanga Man!
SCOTT (muses): I didn't even know there was a *second* edition!
HENRY: Being a Kanga Man fan is a very serious business!
With that, Henry heads out, leaving Scott to resume thinking about Charlene. In a series of flashbacks, he thinks about when they went horse- riding and them sitting in the garden and walking in the woods and taking photos and swimming in a pool... The ‘phone starts ringing suddenly, and Scott comes back to earth. He goes to answer it and says warmly:
SCOTT: Hi... Well, nothing much. What about *you*?
Harold is talking on the ‘phone, saying to the person that he'll be there if he can. Henry comes in as Harold thanks the person for thinking of him. He then lets out a sigh of disappointment, and Henry comments that he looks like he's lost his best friend. Harold explains:
HAROLD: The Scout Association is holding leadership classes this weekend. They've got a place for me.
HENRY: Hey, that's great! You've been *waiting* for that!
HAROLD: Well, yeah, but it's not as simple as that now, is it? I mean, I just can't go breezing off for the weekend whenever. I'm a married man. I've got responsibilities.
HENRY: I reckon we could muddle through without you just this once, Harold! You've really been looking forward to this, haven't you?
HAROLD: I *would* like to go, yes.
HENRY: Well, there you are, then!
The shop door opens and Todd and Nick come in. Emma is sitting at a table, waiting, and she comments coolly to Nick that she thought the *two* of them were supposed to be having lunch together. Nick retorts that that was *her* idea; he reckons the three of them need to sit down and have a talk; this fighting's crazy. Emma says:
EMMA: *I* didn't start it, Nick.
NICK: Yeah, well, I don't think we can blame Todd for being a bit hacked off.
TODD (to Emma): You don't really want to go out with me anymore, do you?
EMMA (sighs): Look, I like you, Todd, I honestly do; it's just... I just don't think I'm ready for a permanent boyfriend.
TODD: Then what about Nick?
EMMA: Oh, he's just being nice. I know I'm too young.
Nick asks what the heck they've all been fighting about, then! Emma tells Todd that she meant it when she said she likes him; she really does want them to be friends. Nick says:
NICK: Hey, what about *me*? Am I out of this?!
EMMA (to Todd): What do you think?!
TODD (grins): Oh, I reckon we could fit him in!
Jim is working on the engine of a car when Scott rocks up and tells his dad that he didn't think he'd catch him; he thought he might be out at lunch. Jim asks him what he wants and Scott explains that he was just on his way to the library and thought he'd drop in. He then smiles:
SCOTT: Hey, guess what: Charlene called this morning!
JIM (mockingly): No!
SCOTT (sighs): Dad, don't *you* start – I'm getting enough of that from *Henry*!
Jim asks how Charlene *is* and Scott replies that she's pretty good; she's doing heaps on the house; he just wishes he was up there to help. The two of them sit down and Scott goes on:
SCOTT: Dad, I miss her *so much*, you know? I can't wait for her to ring, and then when she does it just gets worse. I've been about ‘that' far from just chucking it in and going up there.
JIM: Yeah, I can understand that. But if you do, you'll be back to square one. Get your career up and running... well, you'll never look back.
Scott muses that it's funny: he really knows now that they were right to get married: it's easy being in love when it's just fun and games, but if you can't make sacrifices for each other, you might as well forget about it. A thoughtful look crosses Jim's face, as he tells Scott that he's right.
Emma pays for a milkshake and she and a friend head out just as Nick comes in. He asks Harold where he should start, and Harold hands him a piece of paper and tells him to read it: it's a list of rules and regulations. Nick looks through it as Harold says he knows it may seem a little fussy, but the need for strict hygiene cannot be over- emphasised. He then tells Nick that when he's finished that, he can start cleaning the kitchen. Nick smiles that that's a good idea: he's big on cleaning! Harold adds:
HAROLD: There's a pressure cooker and a couple of saucepans on the stove. You can turn them off now.
NICK: Yeah – no probs.
Helen is sitting on the couch, using a magnifying glass to look at a photo of a building that she's preparing to sketch. Jim arrives home and Helen comments that he's early. Jim tells her that he finished her car, so he gave himself an early mark. He heads through to the kitchen. Helen follows him and he adds:
JIM: To be honest, I couldn't keep my mind on my work.
JIM: Something Scott said to me a bit earlier got me thinking about Beverly and me; made me realise I've only been paying lip service to the idea of her having a baby.
HELEN: Oh, I see...
JIM: I said that I would think about it while she was away – but I haven't been thinking; I've been doing everything I possibly can to *avoid* thinking about it. All I really *have* been doing is try to find new ways to postpone the decision.
HELEN (remarks): Scott must have been doing some pretty straight talking...
JIM: He was just telling me a bit about him and Charlene; about how hard it is now that she's living in Brisbane; but that they've both realised that if you really care for someone, you have to be prepared to make sacrifices for them.
HELEN: And let Beverly have that baby...?
JIM: Well, yeah...
Helen smiles that she's *so* pleased. Jim, however, points out that all he said was that he faced up to it and considered it seriously – but now he can see why he's been avoiding it: the idea *terrifies* him; there's no going back once you've made up your mind. He goes on:
JIM: I know how much this means to Beverly and I know I should be prepared to make the sacrifice for her, but... I don't think I can do it.
Henry is sitting in the kitchen, eating biscuits and reading a murder- mystery book. Scott comes in and asks him what the book is. Henry replies eagerly that it's a top book: he picked it up at The Phantom and Friends. He adds:
HENRY: It's all the go, nowadays. Mystery games – this book tells you all about it. In fact, we're going over to Des's tonight to give it a go.
SCOTT: Oh yeah?!
HENRY: No, dead set! This could be your big chance to strut your stuff.
Henry then puts on the voice of a gumshoe- style detective and says:
HENRY: She was good- looking. Frail. Even with a couple of .45 slugs in her chest, you could see it, and I knew at once that this was a case for Robinson P.I.
Scott muses that Henry's making even less sense than he *usually* does! Henry tells him in an urgent tone:
HENRY: There's going to be a murder at the Clarke house, Scotty. You're the only one who can solve it. You can't let us down.
Scott stands there looking bemused!
Sharon is sitting at the counter in the Coffee Shop as Harold and Nick clear the tables. Nick walks over to her and tells her that they're closing up in a minute. Sharon muses:
SHARON: It just doesn't make sense!
NICK: *What* doesn't?
SHARON: How could he possibly choose *you* instead of *me*?
NICK: Best man for the job, eh!
Sharon grins at Nick that he's a sexist! She adds that maybe she should complain to the anti- discrimination people! Harold walks over to the two of them suddenly and asks if they can smell something. Nick says he can't – but he then catches a whiff and exclaims that something smells a bit off! Sharon tells him that something's *burning*. Harold stares at Nick and says tersely:
HAROLD: You turned the things off on the stove?
NICK: Yes, of course—
He then breaks off, as he realises:
NICK: The pressure cooker!
HAROLD (gasps): It's been on all afternoon?
With that, Harold runs into the kitchen – but there's suddenly an explosion in there and steam erupts everywhere. Sharon and Nick run to the kitchen door and stare inside in concern...