Nick ending up with a black eye after getting into a fight with Bruce Zadro at the school dance.
Katie is still sitting with Helen on the couch. She's looking at a book, but she looks at up suddenly and asks where people get the ‘flu. Helen, looking surprised, says:
HELEN: Oh. Well, um, it's a virus. It, um, gets into the body and starts to multiply.
KATIE: Having babies?
HELEN (looking bemused): Not quite – but sort of!
Beverly and Jim emerge from their bedroom suddenly. Jim tells Beverly that she shouldn't be up, but Beverly sighs at him to leave it. She then turns to Katie and tells her that she should be in bed. Helen explains to Beverly that Katie had a nightmare earlier about her and Nick being in a dungeon. Beverly apologises to Katie for being cross at her. Helen says she thinks Katie's all right now, and Beverly leads the girl off to her room to tuck her in. When they've gone, Jim says to Helen:
JIM: Beverly's fretting about this malpractice suit... and the ‘flu on top of *that*...
Helen nods that it's probably best that she's turning her patients over to the locum. Jim says he's not so sure, but Helen tells him that she has to stand aside to demonstrate her integrity. Jim retorts that in his opinion the best thing for Beverly is to keep on treating her loyal patients and keeping up her confidence as a doctor – and to hell with the cancelled appointments. The front door opens suddenly and Nick, Todd and Sharon come in. Todd starts saying straight away that there was a bloke at the school dance who's always picking fights. Nick tries to shut Todd up, but Todd insists:
TODD: I just want to say what happened. It wasn't your fault.
HELEN (warily): *What* wasn't?
JIM (looking at Nick grimly): Pretty obvious, isn't it? He got himself into a brawl.
TODD: He didn't start it Uncle Jim.
JIM (snaps): That is irrelevant. He has to turn up at court tomorrow morning. What's the magistrate going to say about *that*? [He indicates the black eye]
Helen drags Nick off to the bathroom to see what the damage is. Sharon tells Jim that it honestly wasn't Nick's fault. Todd adds that Bruce Zadro was hassling Sharon, Nick told him to rack off, so Zadro chucked a punch. Jim muses:
JIM: And Nick chucked a punch back...?
TODD: But Zadro did *first*.
SHARON: The whole *school* was watching. They all wanted Nick to win.
JIM (angrily): As long as he lives in this house, there'll be no brawling – and this is final. If I possibly can, I'd like to keep him out of prison.
Henry and Bronwyn head into No. 24, Henry saying that your appearance can go against you, but Nick hasn't got a police record that he knows of. Bronwyn bends down and picks up the box of kittens, which is on the floor by the armchair. She smiles that the kittens are all awake. She then sighs that that fight was all Sharon's fault for getting dressed up like that; she doesn't know *what* she's going to do with her. Henry says:
HENRY: You're not her mother. Just leave that to Mrs. Mangel.
BRONWYN: Henry, she's *my* responsibility.
Henry then changes the subject and indicates the roll of carpet he picked up from Joe Mangel. He tells Bronwyn that he'll rip up the old stuff and lay the new roll tomorrow, so when Harold and Madge come up, everything will be fixed! Bronwyn says she could come over tomorrow with Jamie to give him a hand. Henry smiles that that would be fantastic! He then adds, though:
HENRY: How about our *other* problem? The old Harold's allergic to cat fur...
BRONWYN: Oh. Oh, well, Mrs. Mangel goes back to work tomorrow. I'll take them back then. She's a bit thingy about them.
The front door opens suddenly and Scott comes in. Henry smiles at him that he wasn't expecting him until tomorrow and Scott explains that he decided to fly back rather than take the long trip with Harold! Henry says:
HENRY: How did mum handle it? Oh – how did you go with the house? What about Lennie? How's the house?!
SCOTT (smiles): She was fantastic, actually! I didn't have much luck with my job, but apart from that everything was great!
The next morning, Sharon is sitting in the lounge room at No. 32, wearing her pyjamas. Bronwyn comes in and asks her sister tersely why she isn't dressed for school yet. Sharon retorts that she will be in five minutes. She asks where Mrs. Mangel is. Bronwyn replies:
BRONWYN: She's left for work. Jane went with her, but she looked really tired.
Sharon sits there looking glum and Bronwyn asks what's up. Sharon mutters:
SHARON: Look, I know. I know. It was all my fault, and I'm sorry.
BRONWYN (coolly): Save the apologies for *Nick*.
SHARON: Do you think that black eye will ding his chances, Bronny?
BRONWYN: Well, it certainly won't *help* – but it's done; it's no good fretting.
Sharon then smiles that Nick and Zadro were duelling in mortal combat over *her*! Bronwyn, however, asks her seriously what would have happened if Mrs. Mangel had been up when Sharon got home. Sharon says in concern:
SHARON: You're not going to *tell* her?
BRONWYN: Of course not – but you're going to have to watch it.
She then warns Sharon to behave herself at school, adding that if Zadro says anything, ignore him.
Outside the courthouse
Nick is standing leaning against a lamppost outside the courthouse. He has his school uniform on and Helen tells him that she's glad Jim talked her out of Nick wearing his new civvies; it's better they see he's still at school. Nick asks how much longer it is, and Helen replies that Mr. Cohen said he'd let them know. Nick asks:
NICK: Who's that guy, anyway?
HELEN: The Clerk of the court. I know him from the Community Justice Centre.
NICK (mutters): Community justice? Huh, that's a joke. People will take one look at my face and say, “Another little hoodlum.”
HELEN: Do you know the trouble with that attitude? It makes you act badly – and if you *act* badly that's probably what he *will* think.
NICK: I couldn't care less *what* he thinks.
HELEN (sighs): Nick, you're here about graffiti; nothing else. The black eye won't enter into it.
NICK: You reckon? Even Jim said it wouldn't look good.
HELEN: Look, the magistrate's a very fair man. Everyone says so.
NICK: Anyhow, malicious damage to property... they trip out on that stuff. ‘Civic responsibility.' I can hear him saying it *now*.
He adds that he can take what the magistrate gives him; he doesn't walk away from *nobody*. Helen sighs and ask Nick to unwind a bit – for *her*. She adds:
HELEN: No matter happens, just stay calm. We're in this together, you and I. I mean it.
With that, the Clerk emerges and tells Helen that the case is about to be called.
A short time later, Helen is sitting at a table with Nick and the police Sergeant who arrested him. She's addressing the magistrate, saying:
HELEN: The pain and frustration he felt at the death of his grandmother found release in that graffiti. His behaviour since has impressed us all. He insisted upon attending to the funeral arrangements himself; he did this with diligence and devotion. And now that he's resigned to his loss, he's, er, settled down a good deal.
MAGISTRATE (looking pointedly at Nick's black eye): Settled down, Mrs. Daniels?
HELEN: With the occasional bumpy patch, Your Worship. None of us is perfect.
The rear door of the courtroom opens suddenly and Sharon comes in. The magistrate turns to her and tells her that this is a closed court. Sharon explains that she's a friend of Nick's. Nick pleads with the magistrate to allow her to stay and he invites her to come and sit down. He then turns back to Helen, but she tells him that that's all she wanted to say. The magistrate turns to the police Sergeant sitting next to Helen, but he says he has nothing further. The magistrate then addresses those gathered and says:
MAGISTRATE: Most people during their lives suffer emotional strain, but they don't start spray- painting everything in sight. Having heard the evidence of both parties, I can find no reason to show leniency.
Sharon stands up suddenly and says quickly:
SHARON: Can I say something, please, Your Lordship? It's *my* fault Nick's got the black eye. You see, there was this jerk at the school dance and he kept saying all these awful things about these clothes and Nick stood up for me—
The magistrate, however, interrupts and orders Sharon sternly to be quiet, adding that he will not tolerate outbursts of this kind. Sharon sits back down, meekly. The magistrate then says they'll take a ten- minute recess before sentencing continues.
Beverly coughs as she sits at the desk in the lounge room. Jim says he wonders how Nick's faring, but Beverly mutters that she has no idea. She asks Jim if he isn't meant to be working on his Tech course, but Jim smiles that even mature- age students are allowed a coffee break! He asks her if he can get *her* one, but she declines, saying she's going to the hospital. Jim asks:
JIM: To see your patients?
BEVERLY (indicating some papers on the desk): These files. I'm turning them over.
JIM: Sweetheart, you're taking this whole malpractice thing too far.
BEVERLY (curtly): Jim, I'd rather not talk about it, if you don't mind.
JIM: We *have* to.
BEVERLY: Even if I took your advice and resumed practice, where are my patients? Most of them read the Erinsborough News. Even if I *am* exonerated—
JIM: Not if, love; *when*.
BEVERLY: —I've still lost my professional credibility. Why can't you *see* that? Why can't Andrew Brownley see that...?
Jim pulls Beverly towards him, to give her a hug, but Beverly insists that she's all right; she's going to get dressed and then she's going to the hospital. With that, she heads off to her bedroom, leaving Jim standing looking worried.
A few minutes have passed. Jim is sitting at the desk and he dials a number on the telephone. When the call is answered, he says:
JIM: Andrew Brownley, please.
The kittens are running around on the old lounge room carpet as Henry and Bronwyn get ready to lift it. Scott joins them and says he's got to hit the highway and catch up with Sandra Lloyd. He picks up a kitten to move it out of the way, adding as he does so:
SCOTT: Oh, you know what? I forgot to tell you: Charlene's got our kitchen and bedroom looking fantastic! She's starting on the living room next week.
Bronwyn asks if Charlene really likes working up there. Scott replies:
SCOTT: Yeah – now that she's palled up with a few other apprentices and going out with them and stuff like that.
Henry remarks that Scott is being really trusting. Scott, however, says he *has* to trust her; it's the only way to go until he gets the right cadetship up in Brissie; either that or he'll just have to grab *anything* and neither of them wants *that*. He then asks Bronwyn how things are between her and Mike. Bronwyn, however, tells him that they split. Scott muses:
SCOTT: Me and my big mouth.
With that, he says he'd better get going.
The magistrate is addressing Nick and the court, saying:
MAGISTRATE: As Nick has pleaded guilty, we are here only to determine penalty. I note that there have been no previous convictions and that Mrs. Daniels, whose circumstances we've examined, is prepared to undertake your supervision. I want you to pay attention, Nick, to what she tells you. You also have some loyal friends who are concerned for your welfare – even if they *are* noisy in showing it!
Nick turns and grins at Sharon. The magistrate continues:
MAGISTRATE: Public property is important. Thousands of us use it and when it's damaged it has to be fixed. That costs the public a great deal of money. You do understand that, Nick?
NICK (nods): Yes.
MAGISTRATE: Civic responsibility. [Nick rolls his eyes!] It's important, *whatever* you might think. I find the offence proved – and I sentence you to thirty hours of community service maintaining one of our local playgrounds. You will be advised of the days you are required and the location.
Helen, Nick and Sharon all sit there smiling happily.
Jim opens the front door to find a man standing on the step. He introduces himself as Andrew Brownley. Jim invites him in, but Brownley says sharply:
BROWNLEY: Is she here?
JIM: Doctor Marshall is still at the hospital, as I told you on the ‘phone.
Brownley steps inside and asks Jim curtly why he wanted to see him. Jim explains that he wanted to talk man- to- man. Brownley exclaims:
BROWNLEY: Doctor Marshall is your *wife*.
JIM: Look, I understand how upset you must be. Your mother died in tragic circumstances, but she wasn't Beverly's patient; Beverly was just passing; she was *asked* to help.
BROWNLEY: My mother died. I don't call that helping; I call that incompetence.
JIM (tersely): In *some* countries, doctors won't even *stop* at traffic accidents: they won't treat the victims for fear of being sued for malpractice. Do we want that *here*?
BROWNLEY (looking upset): That is not the situation in *this* case.
JIM (angrily): Mr. Brownley, that is *exactly* the situation. Beverly is a good doctor; well respected; an unblemished record. She's going through hell because she stopped to help.
BROWNLEY: What do you think *we're* going through, Mr. Robinson? I *loved* my mother.
Tears well- up in Brownley's eyes. Jim tells him gently that he can sympathise with his grief – but no amount of money's going to bring her back. Brownley, however, snaps angrily:
BROWNLEY: How *dare* you suggest I'm doing this for the money!
JIM: That's not what I'm not saying—
BROWNLEY: I'm doing this because your wife should not be practicing medicine.
The front door opens suddenly and Beverly walks in. She stops in her tracks and asks what's going on. Jim explains awkwardly that he and Mr. Brownley were just discussing the situation. Beverly says:
BEVERLY: Mr. Brownley, your mother's death was most unfortunate. I'm sorry. It was a severe asthma attack. She could've died even if I hadn't injected the Amynophylline. I was trying to save her life. Can't you accept that?
BROWNLEY: Accept? What's to accept? She was my mum, lady, and she's gone. Do you hear that? Just like ‘that'. She's dead, and someone... someone should have to pay.
With that, he storms out. Beverly looks at Jim in despair.
A short time later, Beverly and Jim are in the kitchen. Beverly is putting the kettle on, but as she does so she asks Jim angrily how he could talk to Brownley when their legal advice was not to. Jim retorts that he had to *try*. Beverly says she just doesn't understand how he could; Brownley is hunting and his one aim is to destroy her career. Jim explains that he wanted to stop the whole thing turning into a giant picnic for the lawyers – but she came back early. Beverly mutters that it's *her* fault, is it? Jim assures her that of course it isn't; it was just exploratory; he's sorry. Beverly sighs:
BEVERLY: Jim, I know you meant for the best, but all it's done is make things *worse*.
JIM (murmurs): Does seem that way...
Henry and Bronwyn have finished laying the carpet and are putting the last of the furniture back in the lounge room. Scott arrives home and says they don't need him at work until tomorrow. He asks how it's going with the removalists, and Henry smiles that it's not too bad! Bronwyn says she should get Jamie back home for lunch and the kittens back to Mrs. Mangel's. Henry thanks her for her help. He then places the box of kitten on the rear of Jamie's pram and Bronwyn pushes the whole lot out through the door. As she does so, she smiles at Henry:
BRONWYN: Hey – you could take me out to dinner tonight!
HENRY (grins): You're on! I'll pick you up at 7!
BRONWYN: See you then!
With that, Bronwyn heads off. Henry closes the door – and then starts scratching, commenting that he must have picked up a flea from one of those cats! He sits down and Scott remarks to him:
SCOTT: You and Bronny seem to be pretty good mates!
HENRY: Oh, that's *all* it is: mates. For the moment, anyhow! [Grinning] Poised to attack, mate, poised to attack!
Driveway of No. 26
Helen pulls up her car in the driveway. Todd and Katie run out of the house and as Nick, Helen and Sharon climb out of the car, Todd asks how it went. Nick explains that he's got thirty hours' community service. Sharon adds that it's doing maintenance on the kids' playground. She then tells everyone that they should have seen her in court: she stood and told the magistrate exactly what he ought to do! Helen tells Nick that she'll see him after school. Todd heads inside to get a couple of books. Nick smiles at Sharon:
NICK: I'm glad you were there.
SHARON: Yeah – so am I.
A short time later, Helen, Todd and Jim are heading into the kitchen, Helen saying she thinks, under the circumstances, everything turned out for the best. Beverly, who's sitting at the kitchen table, mutters that it's nice that *something* turned out for the best. Scott appears in the kitchen doorway suddenly, a smile on his face! Jim gives him a hug and he gives Helen a kiss. He then asks cheerily how things are. Everyone has glum faces, though, and he looks at Beverly and says:
SCOTT: Oh. I believe there's some kind of court case. I'm sorry.
BEVERLY (coolly): It's all over town. Who told *you*?
SCOTT: I dropped into the paper. The staff there know everything that's going on in Erinsborough. They just happened to mention it.
BEVERLY (coldly): They certainly *do* know everything: it's them who spread it all over town.
Scott tells Beverly that he's sorry, but the paper only prints the facts. Beverly stands up and retorts:
BEVERLY: Well that's just *it*, Scott: your ‘facts' have had me tried and convicted before the case has even gone to court. Patients have deserted me in droves and my practice is ruined.
SCOTT: Well... I'm sorry, but I don't think it's fair to blame the paper.
BEVERLY: *Why* isn't it fair?
SCOTT: Well, for starters—
Jim interjects that this isn't necessary. Beverly, however, says to Scott coldly:
BEVERLY: It *is* necessary. I'd like an answer, please. What's unfair about anything that I've said?
SCOTT: The paper reports the news. It's not responsible for that lady's death.
BEVERLY: And I *am* because I gave an injection in an emergency?
SCOTT: Well, maybe you think you *are*.
Beverly lashes out suddenly and slaps Scott round the face. She then says icily:
BEVERLY: You're not welcome in this house any longer.
Scott stands there staring at her.