Paul learning that he's been suspended from the Daniels Corporation and telling an astonished Gail that Rosemary has put her in charge.
Jim is standing in the lounge room as Helen, who's sitting on the couch, smiles at him that it's marvellous: Beverly will be thrilled. Jim, however, points out that he didn't have much choice, really – it was either ‘hello baby' or ‘bye bye Beverly'. He sits down next to Helen as she says in concern:
HELEN: You're not just doing this to save your marriage, are you?
JIM (warily): Don't say I made a rash decision, for god's sake.
HELEN: I'm *not* – but you're hardly jumping out of your skin with excitement, are you?
JIM: Well, I'm still getting used to the idea. Don't worry: I *will* make the adjustment. When the time comes, I'll probably be as keen as mustard.
Nick comes in through the kitchen, holding two canvases, and Helen asks him if he's finished. He nods that he has, but he was just mucking around. Helen asks to look at them. Nick shows Helen one reluctantly and Jim asks if they have a budding Picasso or what! Helen muses:
HELEN: He's no Picasso, but we might have a very nifty Nick Page on our hands, if he keeps this up!
Looking disappointed, Nick glares at Helen and mutters that he knows he's no great artist or anything; Helen can chuck them out if she likes. He goes on coldly that his gran has got a whole shoebox of report cards with ‘Nick could do better' written all over them. With that, he storms out. Helen looks at Jim in concern.
Paul and Gail arrive home, Paul muttering:
PAUL: Good old Aunty Rosemary, eh? I mean, that's the thanks I get working my butt off for her. I wouldn't have even put her stupid search on hold if I wasn't so busy making money on the Udagawa deal for her.
GAIL: Yeah... it's pretty tough.
PAUL (bitterly): Not for *you* it isn't, Gail? Isn't this your big chance?
GAIL (snaps): Paul, if that's how you think I feel, I'm going to ring Rosemary right now. I'd rather get a new job than go through all that again.
Paul calms down and says he's sorry. Gail insists tersely that she's serious: their marriage doesn't need this kind of pressure. Paul repeats that he's sorry: it was a dumb thing to say. Gail tells him:
GAIL: If you ask me, she's gone way over the top, all right?
PAUL: Tell me about it!
GAIL: You know what she's like: she'll make an example of *you* just in case anyone accused her of nepotism.
PAUL: It's not *just* that, Gail. I mean, she likes to clamp down on the Australian end of things every now and then. All hell broke loose the *last* time she gave us a going- over.
GAIL: How did *that* start?
PAUL: Oh, some slimebag of a journalist thought he could sell a few magazines by tipping his bucket over me and the company.
GAIL (looking thoughtful): I remember now... the story you told me about you and Terry and Susan Cole.
PAUL: Yeah, well, *his* version of it, anyway – and any other tidbit he could scrape out of the gutter. The whole company image was at stake and I was up to my neck in it.
GAIL: And then Aunty Rosemary arrived and saved the day, huh?
PAUL: She did eventually – but not until she'd kicked my backside around the office for a few weeks first.
Gail tells Paul that he'll be OK: they've just got to ride this through.
Sharon is in the lounge room, doing her homework, when Bronwyn marches in snapping that she could *throttle* Mrs. Mangel sometimes! She asks who gave her that rotten bell, and Sharon tells her that it was Jane – but she's out somewhere. Bronwyn mutters that Mrs. Mangel's as cunning as a sewer rat. Sharon asks:
SHARON: How long's she gonna be sick for?
BRONWYN: Search me! She seems to get crook every time someone mentions her son – or that rotten gun of his.
Sharon suggests that Mrs. Mangel could be bunging it on: she was fine when Aunt Edie was there. Bronwyn just warns her sister to make sure she's good in front of Mrs. Mangel, otherwise she'll be straight on the ‘phone to Narrabri. She then comments to Sharon that it's not every day she sees her doing her homework. Sharon retorts:
SHARON: Shows how much *you* know. I've nearly finished this Maths assignment – it's a real snap.
BRONWYN: Then why don't you work on a subject you're *not* so good at, smarty – like all the rest of them!
SHARON: We're not at home *now*, you know, so who says you can tell me what to do?
BRONWYN: *I* do! I'm the oldest, so I get all the responsibility... unfortunately.
Mrs. Mangel rings her bell again and Bronwyn tells Sharon that *she* can see what she wants this time. Sharon, however, tells Bronwyn that looking after sick people is a very serious responsibility, and that's what *she's* good at! With that, she stands up and heads out!
Sharon emerges from the house and spots Mike working on his bike outside No. 28. She calls across to him:
She walks over as he looks at her in puzzlement. She reminds him that he said he was going to study. Mike, however, explains that he had to tighten the chain on his bike so thought he'd do it while he was in the mood. Sharon starts admiring the bike, commenting that it's unreal. She adds that she knows a *lot* about bikes: she used to muck around with a guy named Cyril at home: he had a Harley! She then comments to Mike:
SHARON: You're at uni, aren't you?
SHARON: Wow! What are you going to do when you finish?
SHARON (looking surprised): *School* teach?
MIKE: Is there something wrong with that?
SHARON: Oh. No. It's *your life*! I mean, what made you pick teaching? You might as well be a Prison Officer or a lion tamer!
MIKE: It's all I've ever wanted to do. I like the kids: they're so open to new ideas.
SHARON (flirtatiously): *I'm* really open to ideas...
MIKE: That's good! You know, most people forget how much fun new experiences can be!
SHARON (smiles): Wow... you make it sound so... interesting!
MIKE: It *is*! It's great! I've done a bit of prac teaching so far and coached a couple of the local kids.
SHARON: You coach? What subjects?
MIKE: It depends. Maths usually.
SHARON: Maths? Maths is my worst! I don't suppose you'd give *me* some coaching, would you? Please...? I've got this really awful assignment. I'll probably get a detention.
MIKE: Well... I didn't have anything planned for tonight, I guess...
Sharon smiles that he'll have to let her make it up to him somehow. Mike tells her that if she can't afford to pay for it, he wouldn't worry about it. Sharon, however, smiles warmly and insists:
SHARON: No, I'll think of something...!
It's evening- time, and Helen is at No. 24, showing Madge Nick's paintings. Madge looks at them and sighs that she does hope Helen's *right* about this boy. Helen asks her if she's going to talk Harold into hanging them in the Coffee Shop, and Madge smiles that she'll collar him the moment he gets in from his Scout- leader's course – but in the meantime, it might be a good idea not to let Nick know. Helen says:
HELEN: Perhaps you can explain to Harold that this is the only way I can think of to try and give the boy some confidence?
MADGE: Don't worry – I can talk that husband of mine into anything! He's got soft spots all over the place! He'll understand!
At that moment, the front door opens and Harold bounces in, wearing his Scouting uniform! Helen smiles that she thinks he looks fabulous! Madge adds:
MADGE: So do *I*! Men in uniform always drive me *wild*...
Harold sits down and exclaims that a few of the other chaps on the course said he's got quite the best woggle they'd ever seen! Madge and Helen burst into of laughter at the idea of Harold's woggle! When they calm down, Madge tells Harold that Helen has something she wants to discuss with him. Helen adds that it's about Nick. Harold muses:
HAROLD: Oh dear. Now there *is* a youngster with problems. The good Lord alone knows what mischief he gets up to of a Saturday night...
Nick is fiddling with the toaster in the kitchen at No. 26, and when Jim walks in he tells him that he's fixed it. Jim remarks that he thought Nick would've given up ages ago! He asks Nick if he's hungry, and he takes some bread out of the ‘fridge. As he does so, he asks Nick how he came to live with his grandma. Nick explains:
NICK: After my parents died, she was the only one left. I've got relatives in the west somewhere, but I don't think *they* were very interested. Everyone reckons I was pretty bad, you see, except grandma. She's cool! I remember one night the cops busted me for painting and she told them, “If that boy was born without an imagination, he would've gone crazy years ago,” and they left me at the caravan and went!
Nick then asks Jim whether it's good living in Erinsborough and having a family. Jim smiles:
JIM: Yeah, it's great! Mind you, I haven't *always* lived here, and half this family of mine I only acquired in the last twelve months or so!
NICK: Fast work!
JIM: Yeah. Hard, too – but I enjoy having people around me: I was a bit of a loner when I was younger.
NICK: Oh? Why?
JIM: Well, my situation's not unlike yours, actually: my father died earlier on in the piece and my mother palmed me off to my aunts to look after me while she charged around the world being a journalist.
NICK: Right. So you were a poor little rich kid – and I was a poor little *poor* kid!
JIM: Something like that!
Helen is crouching next to Paul as he does a series of press- ups on the lounge room floor. She's telling him that Nick is very down in the dumps: letting his paintings hang in the Coffee Shop might be enough, but she was wondering how he'd feel about hanging his next few in the complex somewhere. Paul, however, finishes his press- ups and says tersely:
PAUL: Gran, you're going to have to ask *Gail* about that.
HELEN (sighs): Oh, don't tell me you two have swapped jobs *again*! Honestly! You're both so petty!
PAUL (retorts): Gran, I am *not* being petty. I've just been suspended from my job. Gail is in charge now – so if you'll excuse me, I'm going for a shower.
With that, Paul marches off upstairs. Helen walks over to the kitchen, where Gail is preparing dinner, and asks in astonishment what all *that* was about. Gail explains about how Paul was supposed to check out a company for Rosemary but was too busy; he told her he had it all under control because he thought he could get the searches and things done before she needed them – but in the end, he had to admit the truth and Rosemary wasn't very impressed and felt she couldn't rely on him anymore. She adds that it was just one of those little white lies that everybody tells. Helen comments:
HELEN: I shouldn't be *too* concerned. Rosemary's one for flying off the handle, but she soon simmers down. Everything will be back to normal tomorrow.
GAIL (warily): I doubt it. She's sending some troubleshooter out...
Sharon is writing on some papers at the coffee table in the lounge room when there's a knock at the front door. She goes to get it, but Bronwyn beats her to it. Sharon's face drops. Bronwyn finds Mike standing on the step and she comments that she wasn't expecting him *this* early. Mike explains that Sharon was having trouble with her Maths assignment and wanted him to give her a hand. Bronwyn queries:
BRONWYN: Sharon? Having trouble with Maths? [Realisation dawning] Oh, *I* get it...
MIKE (blankly): Get what?
Sharon joins them and tells Mike quickly that Bronny's just been wondering why she's been so depressed about school lately. She leads him into the lounge room and the two of them sit down. Mike looks at Sharon's file of made- up incorrect answers and remarks:
MIKE: Well, you've certainly made a mess of the first one, haven't you!
SHARON (‘innocently'): Gee – have I?
MIKE: I think we're going to have to go back to the basics here.
SHARON: Oh well...
Bronwyn interjects suddenly and tells them curtly to hang on. At that moment, though, Mrs. Mangel rings her bell and Sharon tells Bronwyn that she'd better go and see what the old dear wants. Bronwyn says to Sharon darkly:
BRONWYN: You'll keep.
While she's out of the room, Mike starts going through the theory of Sharon's Maths homework while Sharon sits and smiles at him! Bronwyn comes back in muttering that if she has to plump Mrs. Mangel's pillows one more time, she'll scream! Mike tells her:
MIKE: We're going great guns here! Sharon's very quick on the uptake.
BRONWYN (coolly): Yeah – funny about that...
Mike tells Sharon that if she's got the gist of it, he can head down to the jazz club without a guilty conscience. Sharon comments in surprise that he told her he didn't have anything to do tonight. Mike replies:
MIKE: I didn't. Neither did Pete or Scott until Bronwyn suggested we all go down there and get into some music.
Sharon asks quickly if *she* can come. Bronwyn, however, says:
BRONWYN: Sorry, Shaz – really – but we all know how much homework you've got to do; and even if you were old enough, someone's got to stay and mind Mrs. Mangel, don't they?
Sharon glares at Bronwyn!
Helen is talking on the ‘phone to Rosemary. Gail is standing with her, and as Helen hangs up Gail asks what she said. Paul comes downstairs at that moment and asks Helen tersely if that was Rosemary on the ‘phone. Helen nods that it was: she wanted to explain the pressure that he and Gail had both been under lately. Gail asks if Rosemary's happy to drop the investigation. Helen, however, replies:
HELEN: Not exactly – you see, this troubleshooter of hers is already on his way, so it's too late to do anything about *that* ... but she *did* say that she was going to change his brief: all she wants now is a routine assessment of the Australian end of the company – nothing more and nothing less.
Paul snaps that it means *he's* still suspended, Gail's still the boss and Rosemary's lackey is still coming out from the States to put the thumbscrews on. He adds bitterly:
PAUL: That's nice. Thanks a lot, gran.
GAIL (exclaims): Paul!
PAUL (snaps at Gail): And as for *you*, I thought you would've had more sense than to let her ring in the *first* place. Are you *trying* to make me look incompetent?
Gail stands there looking shocked. Paul goes on angrily:
PAUL: How many businessmen do you know that let their wife and their grandmother fight their battles for them. Well?
Gail and Helen stand there sheepishly.
Driveway of No. 26
The next morning, Jim and Helen are washing Jim's car, and Nick asks if there's any chance of bludging a lift to the hospital later, as he's got to visit his grandmother. Jim says he thought Helen wanted Nick to do some things for *her* today – but if *he's* too busy, he's sure she won't mind taking him. Nick suddenly spots Harold – wearing his Scouting uniform – walking down the driveway of No. 24, and he smirks:
NICK: Look out – here comes Dudley Do- Right!
Jim looks at Harold and then warns Nick not to say a word! Harold walks over, followed by Madge, and Jim asks them if they're off to church. Madge replies that *she* is, but Harold's back off to his Scout course. Jim comments that he can't recall the last time Harold missed church. Harold tells him:
HAROLD: The *bush* is my church this morning, Jim.
Jim tells him that the Scouts do a very worthwhile job: *Paul* was a member, although Scott was never that interested. Harold looks at Nick and tells him that it's never too late: *he* could always join the Rovers. Nick, however, says he can't imagine himself fitting in! Harold turns to Madge and suggests that they'd better get going if they're going to drop into the Coffee Shop on the way – they're making a few changes to the decor. He indicates a box under his arm and gives Jim a knowing look. With that, he and Madge head back across the street. Jim calls after them:
JIM: By the way, Harold: you look very flash!
MADGE (turns and grins): Hasn't he got a lovely woggle?!
Sharon puts her foot up on the coffee table in the lounge room and starts applying nail polish to her toenails. Bronwyn comes in and warns her not to spill any. Sharon just turns to her and remarks:
SHARON: *You* were home late.
BRONWYN: So? I was having fun.
SHARON: Mike too?
BRONWYN: You know Scott and Pete came with us.
Sharon mutters at her sister that Mike was the only one she was *interested* in. Bronwyn retorts:
BRONWYN: Give up, will you? And what about *you*? [In a whiny voice] “Oh, Mike, I'm so hopeless. Can I have some more coaching?”
SHARON (warns): If you say one word, I'll tell him exactly what happened when dad caught you in the woolshed with Jimmy McMunty that time!
BRONWYN: You wouldn't dare!
SHARON: Try it and see... Anyway, before you left Narrabri you reckoned you weren't going to go out with any more boys until you were old and desperate.
BRONWYN: Mike's just a friend.
SHARON: Oh yeah sure, Bronny! Show us your diary, then – I bet there's *heaps* of mushy stuff about him in there.
Bronwyn mutters that she's not playing juvenile games. She adds:
BRONWYN: Don't go looking for my diary, either, because I've hidden it.
As she walks out, Sharon calls out:
SHARON: Turkey! I saw him first!
Mike finishes hanging Nick's two paintings up in the Coffee Shop as Harold and Madge watch. Madge asks if anyone will buy them and Mike replies that they're pretty cheap for $30 a pop. Madge says she was thinking of buying one for her mum, but she reckons they might be a bit modern! At that moment, Harold spots Helen and Nick approaching outside, and he, Madge and Mike quickly dash over to the counter and stand there ‘casually'! Helen and Nick come in, Nick asking Helen in surprise what they have to do *there*. He stops in his tracks as he spots his pictures, and he asks with a smile:
NICK: What's all *this*?!
HAROLD: Well, Helen asked me what I thought and I said I'd only be too pleased to hang them on the wall. We'll sell a couple *more* for you, too, if you like!
Nick smiles and thanks him. The two of them shake hands. Helen tells Nick that it isn't quite the Louvre, but it'll do *him*! Nick says:
NICK: You've been a real good mate, Mrs. Daniels.
HELEN (warmly): Helen, to my colleagues!
Paul is lying back on the couch, reading the newspaper, as Gail stands next to him and asks if he's forgiven her and Helen for interfering yet. Paul replies:
PAUL: Yeah – but just don't tell me that you were doing it to help; I couldn't *stand* that.
Gail suggests that they go into the office this afternoon and make sure everything's in order for when the troubleshooter gets there. Paul, however, sighs that they'll never get through the files in time. Gail gives him a look, and he shrugs that he supposes it can't hurt. The ‘phone starts ringing and Gail goes to answer it. Rosemary comes on and Gail listens. She says:
GAIL: Yes, Rosemary, fine, thanks. ... Yes, she mentioned he was on his way. ... What time does the flight arrive? ... Right. Will I book him in at Lassiter's? ... All right. What name is it? ... [Her face dropping] Oh, I see. OK, Rosemary, I'll organise that now.
With that, Gail hangs up. She then says to Paul warily:
GAIL: Paul... you know that journalist you were telling me about – the one who had it in for you. Was his name Derek Morris?
PAUL: Yeah. Why?
GAIL: Did he end up working for Rosemary in the States.
PAUL (coldly): Don't tell me Derek Morris is the troubleshooter...
GAIL: All right, I won't – but he *is*...
Paul sighs heavily.