Derek Morris telling both Henry and Madge that they're fired.
Harold sighs heavily as he heads behind the counter. Henry and Madge come in, Henry ranting that Morris can't just get away with it; there's got to be *something* they can do. The two of them head over to the counter, where a surprised- looking Harold asks if they shouldn't be at work. Madge retorts:
MADGE: We *would* be, Harold - if we had jobs.
HAROLD (blankly): What are you talking about? 'Course you got jobs.
HENRY: Not any more we don't - we've just been given the boot.
Looking astonished, Harold asks if this is some sort of joke. Madge, however, retorts that the whole *thing's* a joke - only it isn't funny; if things go on like this, half the staff of Lassiter's is going to be out on the street. Harold asks Madge if she's trying to tell him that she's had some kind of argument with Paul. Henry, however, explains:
HENRY: Paul has been suspended by the US office and they've sent over this... this Derek Morris mongrel to sort things out.
MADGE: Yeah - and unfortunately we were the first two things to be sorted, and we are definitely *out*.
Harold takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes, murmuring that this is really too much. Madge stares at him and asks him if he's all right. He nods that he is - he's just got a migraine coming on. He then suggests to Henry and Madge that surely they've got a case for wrongful dismissal. Madge, however, points out:
MADGE: Technically, Henry *did* assault a customer and *I* was in charge at the time.
She then suggests to Harold that she and Henry stick around and help ease the burden on him. Henry, however, mutters that he's not just going to sit around there and take it. With that, he marches to the door, declaring that he's going to get their jobs back. Madge and Harold watch him in concern.
Nick, Todd and Jim are sitting having lunch as Helen serves them. Todd asks what time Beverly's getting home and Jim replies that it's a mid- afternoon flight. Nick remarks:
NICK: Let's hope she doesn't go off her head when she finds *me* here.
HELEN: I'm sure she won't - but I *would* suggest that you're on your best behaviour.
Nick says he's going to call in after school to the hospital to see his grandma, but he'll drop in after that. Helen says that's good - because she's planning a 'welcome home' dinner, so it'll be a good chance for Beverly to get know him in between telling them about her trip. Jim, however, says he wouldn't worry too much about *that*, because after he's told her what *he* has to tell her, she'll be so happy they could have a humpback whale living in the bathtub and she wouldn't complain! With that, Todd suggests to Nick that they'd better start getting back to school, and the two of them head out. When they've gone, Helen says to Jim:
HELEN: I take it from all that that you're planning to tell Beverly your decision about the baby.
JIM (smiles): Can't think of a better welcome- home present!
Helen suggests that she could ask Paul and Gail and make it a proper family celebration. Jim, however, tells her that they should give Beverly a chance to get to know Nick without a crowd around - and besides, Paul has *other* things on his mind...
Henry is standing with Paul at No. 22. Paul stares at him and asks tersely:
PAUL: What do you mean he sacked you?
HENRY: I mean he *sacked* us. Gave us the boot. The flick. The big A. You know - as in, "Get out: you don't work here anymore."
PAUL (exclaims): Henry, that's *insane*. You and Madge are two of the best staff members I've *got*.
HENRY: Someone ought to tell *Morris* that. He wasn't remotely interested in *my* side of the story, and if you ask *me*, he just wanted to sack someone to make himself look like a bigshot, and mum and I happened to be the first ones handy.
Paul says angrily that he can believe it; how far does the guy think he can *go*? Henry explains that that's why he wanted to talk to Paul: they've got to show Morris that he can't walk all over them. He suggests that he could go to the union and organise a strike. Paul, however, tells him quickly that that's not a good idea: it'll cause too much trouble for the company. He goes on:
PAUL: Morris is just one guy. He's not going to be around for too long; don't worry. As soon as I'm reinstated, I'll make sure you and Madge get your jobs back.
Henry says he still reckons a strike would make Morris stand up and take notice, then Paul could go in and sort it all out and be the golden- haired boy again. Paul, however, points out that it could just as easily backfire, too. He continues:
PAUL: Look, Gail is officially in charge at the moment. Any serious staff problems and the American people are just as likely to blame *her* - particularly since they're only going to hear *Morris's* side of the story.
Henry gives in. He sighs heavily and sits down on the couch, saying he's got to do *something*: if a guy does that to him and Madge, he's not just going to roll over and take it. Paul tells Henry to leave it with *him* for a while; he'll have a word with Morris and see if he can get them back on the payroll. Henry asks:
HENRY: Do you reckon he'll listen?
PAUL: Well, he can't just *ignore* me. I may be under suspension, but I *am* still the manager there. I think I'll leave it 'til later in the day, though, and let myself calm down a bit. If I see him at the moment, I'm just as likely to thump him, and that won't solve anything, will it?
Office/Reception area at the Daniels Corporation
Gail is standing by a filing cabinet in the office, telling Derek Morris that if he wants to see the relevant sub- files, she can have them printed out for him. Morris brandishes a file at her and tells her that he wants to see *everything*; the file he's holding only goes up to midnight last night, so where are this *morning's* figures? Gail tells him that they don't normally come in until later in the afternoon. Morris, however, retorts that he wants them *now*. Gail suggests that she could send down to the hotel accounts office for him, but Morris tells her that she could just go down and get them herself - it *would* be quicker. He adds:
MORRIS: And while you're out there, see if you can think of anything you haven't shown me yet. I mean, I'd hate to think you were holding something back simply because the subject of the investigation happens to be your husband...
GAIL (retorts): There's nothing to hold back, Mr. Morris.
With that, Gail heads out. When she's gone, Morris walks out into reception, where Jane is sitting typing, and, perching himself on the edge of her desk, says:
MORRIS: You're fast.
MORRIS: I said you're fast - your typing, I mean. I wasn't casting any aspersions on your morals.
JANE (coolly): Is there something you wanted, Mr. Morris, otherwise I'm really pretty busy.
MORRIS: Well, you're really *pretty*, Jane, but I can't believe you're too busy to... shall we say have dinner with me tonight?
JANE: Sorry, I can't. I'm, er, doing something *else* tonight.
She gets up and heads over to the filing cabinet. Morris follows her and says:
MORRIS: How do you feel about Paul Robinson being suspended?
JANE: I think it's really unfair.
MORRIS: You'd like to see him reinstated?
JANE: Yes. We *all* would.
MORRIS: Yeah, but it's what *you* think that I'm interested in. You see, well, it's just possible that I might be wrong about him, see - and if you really care what happens to him, you could tell me why I should give him his job back - over dinner...
Jane stares at Morris, who adds:
MORRIS: But then maybe it doesn't *worry* you seeing him lose his job... Do we have a date or *not*?
Henry is sitting with Madge at the counter, telling her and Harold that Paul said he'd talk to Morris later today. Madge, however, sighs that it'll take more than *talk* to get through to that man. Harold, standing behind the counter, comments:
HAROLD: Now, now, Madge, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
MADGE: What's *that* got to do with anything?!
HAROLD: Well, what I mean is if you... Oh, I don't know *what* I mean.
Madge asks him in concern if his head's getting worse. Harold nods that it is, but he'll be able to go home in an hour. Madge tells him that she and Henry can keep an eye on the shop, but Harold insists that it isn't that bad. Des comes in at that moment and Harold asks him what he'll have. Des tells him cheerily:
DES: I thought the two of us could sit down over a few sandwiches... toss around a few ideas about how to pick up business.
Madge, however, asks Des if it could wait, as Harold's got another migraine. Des quickly apologises to Harold and asks him if he'll be all right to make it through the afternoon. Harold assures him that he won't let him down. Des, looking thoughtful, tells Harold that he's trying to think of some way of getting him home, but there's no one to take over. Henry says quickly:
HENRY: *I* could!
DES (frowns): Aren't you working at Lassiter's this afternoon?
HENRY (grimly): No, I'm *not* working at Lassiter's this afternoon.
Des accepts the offer and says they can send Harold home, and when *he's* locked up at the bank, he'll come back and give Henry a hand. With that, Madge escorts Harold out of the shop, leaving Des to smile at Henry and remark that it's a stroke of good luck he's not working this afternoon. Henry mutters:
HENRY: You reckon?
DES (queries): Something *wrong*?
HENRY (sighs): You bet there is. You just sit where you are, I'll make you those sandwiches and tell you all about it.
Jim opens the front door and Beverly comes in. She smiles that the jetsetting life's all very well, but it's good to be home! She gives Todd and Helen a hug and Todd asks her if she went skiing. Beverly, however, points out that it was a working trip, not a holiday! Helen suggests to Todd that Jim and Beverly might like some time to themselves, and she pulls him into the kitchen. Jim and Beverly sit down on the couch and Jim says:
JIM: Er... did you have a really good time?
BEVERLY: It was hard work, but I did enjoy it - and I had a certain amount of time to myself to do some serious thinking.
JIM: That sounds ominous...!
BEVERLY: All that distance away, I realised that I've been very unfair trying to push you into a corner the way I did about the baby. It was a very negative, childish thing to do. I'm sorry.
JIM: Well, I've been doing some thinking too and... I think if you *want* a baby, you should *have* one.
BEVERLY (her eyes wide): Are you serious?
JIM: Oh come on! Knowing how you feel, it would be more than my life's worth to joke about it. I love you, Beverly. I want to do everything in my power to make you happy. If you want a baby this much, it would be pretty selfish of me to deny it to you.
Beverly smiles at Jim and tells him:
BEVERLY: Oh Jim, I love you! I love you! I love you! This is what I call a happy homecoming!
Jim then says more warily that now *that's* out of the way, there is one other thing he ought to mention to her: something she probably won't be quite so happy about...
Harold is sitting on the couch as Madge massages his forehead. He groans as she does so that he doesn't know what they're going to do with her out of work and Henry out of work... Madge, however, goes and sits down next to him and tells him to stop worrying: if the worst comes to the worst, she'll get another job. Harold retorts that she shouldn't *have* to; he's got a good mind to go and see Morris and give him a piece of his mind. Madge tells him to stop it: he'll make his headache worse - and anyway, Paul's having a talk with Morris this afternoon and he'll probably straighten everything out. Harold asks in concern if that will be enough. Madge muses:
MADGE: We'll just have to wait and see, won't we...
Paul walks into the Coffee Shop and finds Jane sitting on her own at a table. He asks if everything's OK, but she just murmurs distantly:
JANE: Yeah, sure.
Looking concerned, Paul sits down with her and comments that surely Morris hasn't sacked her, too? Jane replies that it's nothing like that. She adds that she takes it Paul's heard about Henry and Madge, then. Paul nods:
PAUL: Yeah, Henry did come to see me. I'm just on my way to go and see our friend, Morris, now.
JANE (flatly): You'd better hurry to catch him - he's meeting *me* here in five minutes.
PAUL: Meeting *you*? Why?
JANE: Well, it's nothing really... Well, it's just that I sort of said I'd go out to dinner with him tonight.
PAUL (exclaims): You *what*?
JANE: You know what he's like: it's hard to say no.
PAUL (mutters): Yeah, I suppose that's *one* way to get on in the company, isn't it?
With that, Paul stands up and goes to storm out. Jane stops him, though, and tells him quickly that it's nothing like that. She adds angrily:
JANE: Do you think I'd go out with him if I had any *choice*?
PAUL (retorts): Oh yeah, and I suppose he held a gun at your head, did he?
JANE: Something like that, yeah.
PAUL (frowns): Jane, what is it? What's going on?
JANE (sighs): He virtually said that if I don't go out with him, he'll see that you don't get your job back.
PAUL (murmurs): I'm sorry, Jane. I'm sorry for what I just said, too.
He then declares:
PAUL: Listen, I don't need you to fight my battles for me, and especially not *that* way. Go on - you go home. I'm going to take care of this.
With that, Paul marches out, looking furious.
Office of the Daniels Corporation
Derek Morris is sitting at Paul's desk, telling Gail that it looks good on paper for Paul to initiate a deal like this, but why does he take so long to follow up on it? Gail tells him that he has to understand how Japanese businessmen *think*: they like plenty of time to think a deal over; try to push them and they resent it. Morris retorts that that's nonsense: they're highly motivated and expect *them* to be just the same. Paul walks in suddenly, still looking furious. Gail stares at him and asks in concern what the matter is. Paul indicates Morris and snaps:
PAUL: Ask *him*. Ask him who he was planning on taking out tonight and how he pressured her into doing it.
MORRIS (smugly): Now, what I do in my spare time is *my* business, Robinson.
PAUL (angrily): Not when it involves sexual harassment of a friend of mine. There's laws in this country about that, you know?
MORRIS: You know, I think your imagination's running on fast- forward, pal.
PAUL: Yeah? And *I* think you're out to destroy this company. So far, you've fired two of its best staff members, you've alienated Jane, you've turned the place inside out looking for evidence of mismanagement which simply doesn't exist... I mean, why don't you just close down the whole operation and be done with it, eh?
Gail suggests to Paul soothingly that she doesn't think this is doing much good... Morris walks round the desk and tells Paul:
MORRIS: I think you should listen to your wife - and remember: you're under suspension; what happens here is not your concern. But as *for* mismanagement, I've found *more* than enough. Frankly, once Rosemary knows the facts, I wouldn't give much for your chances of staying on the payroll.
PAUL (coldly): I don't want any part of what you're doing to this company, Morris, and neither you nor Rosemary or anyone is going to fire me - 'cos as of this moment, I quit.
With that, Paul walks out. Gail and Derek Morris look at each other in astonishment.
Des is at the Coffee Shop, helping Henry. He's talking on the 'phone and ordering stock based on Henry going through what's in store in the kitchen! They end up talking at cross- purposes, though, and Des manages to upset the guy on the 'phone! He eventually hangs up and comments to Henry that it's times like this that he appreciates that Harold's worth more money. Henry emerges from the kitchen as Des adds:
DES: Unfortunately, until business picks up, I can't *afford* it.
The shop door opens suddenly and Derek Morris comes in. Seeing Henry standing there, he demands:
MORRIS: What are *you* doing here?
HENRY (retorts): What does it *look* like?
MORRIS (coldly): You've got a short memory, son. You were fired this morning: that means you no longer work for Lassiter's and I don't want to see you on our property.
HENRY (exclaims): Oh, what?
He walks round and joins Des behind the counter. Des glares at Morris and says curtly:
DES: Now, you listen to *me*, mate. This is *my* coffee shop and *I* decide who works here - and if you don't like it, you know what you can do.
Morris ignores this and just asks if Jane Harris has been in. Des replies that she hasn't. Morris mutters at Des that he imagines he'll see him around, and he walks out. When he's gone, Henry grins:
HENRY: Good on ya, Des - I *love* it when you get mad!
He then sighs that, from the sounds of Morris, it doesn't sound like Paul's talk did much good; he'd better get used to being out of a job...
Todd Jim, Beverly and Helen are sitting having dinner and Beverly asks Todd how Katie's going in Adelaide. Todd replies that he talked to her on the 'phone the other day: she likes it when she's with their mum and dad and she even reckons she's starting to like staying with Hilary! Changing the subject, Beverly asks:
BEVERLY: Where's this Nick you're all so anxious for me to meet?
HELEN (sighs): I don't know. He was definite about coming here for dinner. He was keen to meet you, too.
BEVERLY: From what Jim says, I can't help having a *few* reservations. In *my* book, 'graffiti artist' is just another way of saying 'vandal'.
Jim tells her that he felt much the same way to start with, but he's got to know Nick a bit better now, and basically he's a good kid. Helen looks at her watch and comments that Nick must have stayed at the hospital longer than he planned; she's sure he won't be long. Changing the subject, Jim goes round and pours top- ups of water. As he does so, he muses:
JIM: Of course, if I'd planned this properly, we could've been doing it in style with champagne!
A champagne cork pops out of a bottle and Paul pours a glass for Gail and then one for himself. They're sitting at the kitchen table, but Gail muses that she really doesn't know what they're celebrating: he's just lost his job! Paul tells her:
PAUL: Not lost. Resigned. I stopped that creep from having the pleasure of firing me. That's what we're celebrating: that and my new job.
GAIL: *What* new job?
PAUL: I don't know, yet - but while I'm thinking about it, I'm going to take a much- needed holiday.
Gail tells Paul that she's glad he's taking it so well - but without him around, who's going to stand up for the staff? Paul points out that Morris was going to fire him anyway - that was obvious - so it's up to her to just do what she can. Gail suggests:
GAIL: Maybe I should quit too and just be done with it?
PAUL: No way! Look, I think you're pretty safe in your job. Besides, if he toppled you, too, Rosemary would be sure to wonder what was going on. No, it's bad enough *one* of us being out of a job - so just swallow your pride and hang in there, eh? And don't give him any reason to complain about you.
GAIL: Could be easier said than done - but I'll do my best!
Paul then says to Gail that she appreciates *why* he quit, doesn't she? Gail assures him that, if it had been her, she'd have done the same. Paul kisses her and smiles that that's what he likes about her: she's so understanding!
Beverly, Jim, Helen and Todd head into the lounge room from the kitchen, Beverly commenting as they do so that, so far, Nick isn't winning high marks for reliability. Helen tells her that it really isn't like him; she's starting to wonder if he's all right... Jim assures Beverly that this sort of thing happens all the time when you're raising a family! Todd suggests that they call the hospital and see if Nick's still there, and Helen nods that that sounds like a very good idea to her. There's suddenly a knock on the front door, though, and Jim comments that that will be him now. He heads to the door to find Nick standing there - accompanied by a police Sergeant. The Sergeant says to Jim:
SERGEANT: This young man lives here, sir?
JIM: Er, yes.
SERGEANT: I've afraid he was caught defacing private property. He's been charged and will have to appear in court.
JIM: I see.
SERGEANT: In the meantime, we'd appreciate it if you try to keep him out of any more trouble.
With that, Jim thanks the Sergeant, who heads off. He closes the door and then snaps:
JIM: Good one, Nick. We're really very proud of you.
NICK (angrily): Look, I don't need a hard time from *you*. I'll do what I like. You people don't *own* me.
Nick then marches off through to the kitchen, leaving Jim, Todd, Helen and Beverly looking at each other in concern.