Helen telling Jim and Beverly that she's being blackmailed for $20,000.
Jim mutters that there's always some practical joker out for kicks; it's obviously *kids*. Beverly, however, points out that there are enough lunatics in the world - and if they ignore it, they could be putting someone in real danger. Jim asks what the letter *says* and Helen reads it out. Beverly says she thinks Helen should call the police. Jim takes the letter from Helen and sighs that the Erinsborough News should never have *printed* the story. Helen insists that they have to take it seriously. Jim says he'll check out the address on the letter - but he bets it's just a kid with a vivid imagination and not much sense.
Outside the Skouros House
Scott and Poppy emerge from the Skouros house and Poppy tells her father - who's watering the garden - not to wait up for her, as she'll probably be late. Mr. Skouros asks angrily if he doesn't have a right to know where Poppy is going or how late she's going to be. Poppy retorts that she and Scott are going to work for a while then go over to Jane's house to work and watch videos; that's all. With that, she walks off, leaving Mr. Skouros looking annoyed.
Henry is sitting on the couch, attempting to test the new strings on his guitar, but Bronwyn, who's trying to work, asks irritably if he can be a bit quieter. She then asks Henry if he can move some of his gardening invoices from the desk, as they're taking up space. Henry remarks that some of the invoices are getting overdue: he ought to start pushing for payment. Bronwyn just mutters that she's trying to concentrate.
Jane, Mike, Scott and Poppy finish watching a video and Mike smiles that that was just what he need to unwind after today. Scott asks him how his exam went and Mike replies that it was pretty good. Poppy asks if he's now a fully-fledged teacher. Mike nods that he shouldn't talk before the results, but he reckons it's pretty much a formality now. Jane offers him her congratulations. Mike then asks Scott and Poppy how their project's going. Scott laughs that they did an interview this afternoon and then he got home to find Poppy's notes were written in Greek! Poppy smiles that *she* could read it without any problem! Jane suggests that she make some popcorn and Poppy goes to give her a hand. Left alone with Scott, Mike remarks that it's good to see Jane starting to cheer up a bit. Scott says he reckons she'll be back to her old self in no time.
MIKE: Yeah, well. I hope so...
Jim and Beverly are watching late-night TV when Helen emerges from her bedroom and says she couldn't sleep: she's just been checking on the kids. Beverly remarks that this threat business has really got her worried. Helen nods that the more she thinks about it, the more she's convinced that it isn't a joke; they have to *do* something. Jim reminds her that he checked out that address, but it was just an empty house; there's not much more they *can* do. Helen tells him that she wants to call in the police: the letter was addressed to *her*, so she's the one who should decide what to do. Beverly admits that at least this way they'll be able to put their minds at rest.
The next morning, Des is feeding Jamie, pretending the spoon is an aeroplane zooming the food into Jamie's mouth! Mike emerges from his bedroom and yawns. Des asks if it was a late night. Mike nods that it was getting on a bit after they watched the second movie. Des remarks that people must have had a good time.
MIKE: Yeah, they did - even Jane. You know, I helped her wash up at the end of the night. We got talking a bit; it might take a while, but at least we're friends again. If I take it slowly, I think things might come together between us again.
Des comments that he always *said* Mike and Jane were meant for each other. He adds that at least *somebody's* getting their life sorted out. Mike remarks that most people would say *Des's* life was under control. Des, however, sighs that sometimes he just wonders where he's going: Jamie and his job keep him busy, but there's still a big hole there and he hasn't got anybody to fill it. He adds sadly:
DES: When I find someone - you know, like Penny - and it doesn't work out, I always end up just where I started from. I don't know... it sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself, but... I'm just a bit down, you know? Jane and Joe are crook at me... and Paul: I hardly ever get to *see* him these days. It seems like all my friends are just drifting away from me.
MIKE: I thought you and Paul are best mates!
DES: We *are* - but he's so busy I hardly ever get the time to have a beer with him, you know?
Mike insists that that's only temporary - and in the meantime, Des still has *him*: he knows they had a rough patch over Jane, but as far as *he's* concerned they're as good friends as they've ever been. Des smiles that of course they are.
DES: Like I said, it's not as bad as I'm making it out. I suppose it's just a matter of getting out there and meeting a few people; just finding the time and making the effort, eh?
MIKE: You said it.
Jim arrives home and tells Beverly and Helen that he dropped the kids off at school without incident and told them to be very careful of strangers. Helen asks him if he has time to talk to the police before he goes to work. There's a knock on the door at that moment and Jim opens it to two officers. After they've introduced themselves, one of the officers - a Sergeant - tells Helen that they put the address she gave them through their computers and the family are apparently away overseas on holidays - and by all accounts they're a reputable family; it's much more likely the letter was sent by someone who knew they were away and thought it was a smart idea to use their address as a cover. He asks to see the letter and Helen hands it to him. He looks at it and then says:
SERGEANT: If you want *my* opinion, I'd do what they say.
JIM (looking astonished): What?
BEVERLY (frowns): *Give them the money*?
SERGEANT: No, but we can make them *think* we are. Get an envelope, fill it up with bits of cut-up newspaper and send it to the address they gave you.
Helen asks whether the blackmailers won't try to carry out their threat if they see that it's only newspaper. The sergeant, however, explains that before they can *see* it's newspaper, they have to collect the envelope and he and his colleagues will be there to collect *them*. Helen shrugs that if he thinks that's the best thing to do...
Mike is playing with a remote-controlled car in the middle of the street when Scott skates past him on his board.
MIKE (indicating the skateboard): Aren't you a little old for that thing now?
SCOTT (indicating the car): Look who's talking!
Scott then remarks that last night was a lot of fun. Mike comments that *Poppy* seemed to have a good time. Scott smiles that she loves movies! Mike says warily:
MIKE: Look, um, I realise I'm probably going to get in trouble for this, but it seems a little obvious that you and Poppy like each other, you know?
SCOTT (insists): Mike, we're good friends, that's all - and look: she's a terrific bird and we have great fun together. That's it - there's nothing more to it, OK?
Mike doesn't respond. Scott says he's going to see what Henry's doing, and he skates off, hailing Jane cheerily as she emerges from No. 32. She wanders over to Mike and comments that Scott's in a good mood, considering how late they were all up last night. Mike retorts coolly that he's been pretty bright since he and Poppy have become friendly. Jane says she doesn't think it's anything serious: Scott needs friends, and it must be pretty lonely with Charlene being so far away. Mike points out that Scott has *them*, Henry, Des... any number of them.
MIKE: I think he's just becoming a bit too serious about Poppy and doesn't want to admit it to himself - and if *that's* not looking for trouble, I don't know what *is*...
Scott is talking to Henry as he does some tidying-up. Bronwyn is trying to study. Henry starts enthusing to Scott about one of his customers - Liz Anderson - and how she gave him a huge breakfast. Looking annoyed, Bronwyn decides to head off to study upstairs. When she's gone, Henry mutters to Scott that he doesn't know what's got into her lately! Scott comments that it sounds like jealousy to him: it's obvious that Henry thinks a lot of this Liz Anderson. Henry muses:
HENRY: Wouldn't hurt her to be jealous for a while. Might start noticing I'm alive again...
He then claps his hand to his mouth and exclaims that he's just given himself the most brilliant idea! He tries to tell Scott, but Scott makes a hasty exit, saying he made a new year's resolution never ever to get dragged into one of Henry's crazy ideas!
Outside the Skouros House
Poppy emerges from the Skouros house and tells her father that she's going out for a while. Mr. Skouros orders her to dress decently. Poppy, however, retorts that it's the twentieth century - and she's only going over to Scott's for a swim.
THEO (looking annoyed): This married man again. You see him last night... you see him this morning... I tell you: you spend too much time together.
POPPY (retorts): Look, it's *my* time; I'll spend it with whoever I want, OK?
THEO: Why not Stavros? He's not married; you've known him all your life; and he's a good friend.
POPPY (snaps): Once and for all: I'm not interested in Stavros - not the way *you* want. I wish you'd stop going on about it before we get into a serious argument.
Mr. Skouros insists that he just wants Poppy to be happy. Poppy sighs that she knows he means well, but she'll never be happy if she marries someone she doesn't love.
THEO: You saying you *love* this Scott Robinson?
POPPY: No, I didn't say that.
THEO: He is a married man, Poppy. I don't want to see you hurt.
Poppy suggests they stop talking about it, and she marches off.
Jim arrives home and tells Helen and Beverly, who are tidying away scraps of newspaper, that the envelope's on its way. Helen sighs that they still have to sit and wait for it to be delivered; she's starting to wonder if it might have been wiser to have sent the *money*. Jim, however, tells her that you can't give into these people. Helen asks what happens if the police don't find them and they realise they've been tricked: there's every chance they'll go after one of the family. Beverly, however, insists that it's not going to come to that. She then suggests they put it out of their minds until they hear back from the Sergeant.
Henry is lying back on the couch when Bronwyn comes downstairs with the washing basket. He comments that he thought she'd locked herself away to study all morning. Bronwyn just asks curtly if *he's* going to do the washing. Henry tells her that he'll probably put in too much washing powder! Bronwyn heads through to the laundry and Henry immediately leaps up and heads to the 'phone. He calls Information and asks for the number that makes his 'phone ring so that he can check it's working OK. He's given the number and hangs up. He then goes and checks the laundry. Bronwyn is still out there. He returns to the 'phone and dials the number he was given. A moment later, the 'phone starts ringing. As Bronwyn emerges from the laundry, Henry picks up the 'phone. Bronwyn listens as he says:
HENRY: Yo! Oh, Hi, Liz! [To Bronwyn] It's OK - it's for me: it's Liz. [Down the 'phone] Hey, thanks for that great breakfast this morning: you really are a terrific cook, you know that?! ... Hey, don't tempt me! So, has your father got some more work for me or has my luck finally changed and this is just a social call?!
Bronwyn stands by the 'fridge-freezer and listens, looking annoyed. Henry has a grin on his face, knowing that Bronwyn is taking in every word.
Back garden of No. 24
Scott is lying on a lilo in the pool. Poppy sits down on a chair on the patio as Scott tells her that he could never have written his article without her. Poppy, however, retorts that all she's done is introduce him to a few people and act as interpreter - but anyone who's Greek could've done that.
SCOTT: Maybe - but they certainly wouldn't've made it as much *fun* as you have. And of course, it's the company that makes all the difference... I'm glad you could come over.
Poppy nods that so is she - although coming to see him is starting to turn into a real hassle. She explains about how her father thinks she should marry Stavros and have lots of little Greek babies. She gets up and goes and sits on the edge of the pool, dipping her legs in. Scott climbs off the lilo and goes and sits next to her, commenting as he does so that she should talk it over with her father calmly. Poppy sighs that it's not that easy.
SCOTT: I can't understand how he's getting upset with *me*, though. Haven't you told him that we're just good friends?
POPPY: I've *told* him; he just doesn't *believe* me. He says it's not natural for a man and a woman to spend so much time together unless they're more than just friends.
SCOTT: 'Not natural', eh? That just goes to show how much *he* knows!
Poppy pauses before staring at Scott and saying seriously:
POPPY: Maybe it *does*. Maybe he knows me better than I know myself?
SCOTT (looking puzzled): How do you mean?
POPPY: I mean: when I see you just as a friend - someone to have fun with... well, maybe it was true to start with; but not anymore. I think it's time to be honest with myself, as much as with you - and the truth is: I'm in love with you, Scott.
Scott stares at Poppy, looking shocked.