Helen walks into the Coffee Shop and tells Hilary that she needs to talk to her quietly. The two of them head into the kitchen, where Helen explains reluctantly that she needs to borrow back the $20,000 she gave Hilary, as she's being blackmailed and if she doesn't pay, Katie and Todd's lives are in danger. Looking shocked, Hilary asks Helen if she's spoken to the police. Helen retorts that of course she has, but they told her to do nothing, and she *can't*. Hilary points out to Helen that she stands the chance of losing every cent. Helen, however, insists that she can't put the family at risk. She cries:
HELEN: Please, Hilary, I'm desperate. I know it's a lot to ask...
Hilary, however, replies that it's nothing of the kind; she's simply worried about the risk. Helen says that it would only be a loan: she's got the money; it's just tied up with Home James. Harold comes into the kitchen at that moment and asks if everything's all right. Hilary, however, retorts tersely that it's something only *she* can deal with. Harold accepts this reluctantly and heads back out. Hilary tells Helen that she'll lend her the money: she's still not convinced that it's the best course of action, but if Helen wants the money, she can have it – and there'll be no rush to pay it back.
Des is talking on the ‘phone, in Mike and Kerry's presence, saying curtly that he's been owed his long-service leave for more than a year, now – and if he's that invaluable to the bank, they should have been paying him more money! He then hangs up, exclaiming that he can't believe he just said all those things! Mike asks:
MIKE: No regrets?
DES: Only I should've done it earlier. For the first time in my life, I'm free! My head is buzzing with possibilities!
Mike asks Des what's on the agenda.
DES (shrugs): I don't know. Anything, as long as it's a challenge.
Kerry comments that Des said he might be interested in something creative. Mike suggests painting, but Des replies that that's Helen's field. Kerry suggests learning an instrument... or pottery. Des remarks that pottery doesn't sound very interesting, but Kerry insists that you get all the fun of playing with mud pies, but at the end you've actually got something to show for it. Des nods:
DES: I *will*! Another snap decision by Des Clarke!
Kerry tells him that she can help because she's done *lots* of pottery. Des then comments that that's taken care of the creative bit; now he needs something for the right side of his brain – but he doesn't have to decide yet; he doesn't have to do *anything* unless he wants to! He then announces that he's going out to buy some new threads. Mike smiles:
MIKE: Go get ‘em, killer!
DES: Exit Des Clarke super-dag, enter Des Clarke mega-trendy!
Jim is standing in the lounge room with Helen, exclaiming in horror:
JIM: You mean you've already *paid* him?
HELEN: As good as. As soon as Hilary got the money out the bank, we put it in an envelope and then sent it priority-paid. He should get it tomorrow and then it'll all be over and done with.
Jim mutters that he thinks Helen has opened a can of worms. The two of them are still arguing when Todd, Katie and Toby come in through the back door. Todd walks towards the lounge room as he hears Jim accuse Helen of paying off an extortionist. Helen retorts that she was frightened for Todd and Katie: he said he'd *hurt* them. Todd demands immediately:
TODD: *Who* said?
Jim stares at the kids and asks irritably what they're doing home, as they shouldn't be wandering around alone. Katie explains that she forgot to take her lunch to the carnival, so she and Toby thought they'd come and get it. Todd just repeats:
TODD: Who said they're going to hurt us?
Jim retorts that it was a private conversation, but Todd snaps that it can't be private if it concerns him and Katie. Jim shrugs at Helen that Todd is right. He then asks Toby to go out and play with Rupert. When the boy has gone, Jim tells Todd and Katie:
JIM: We're being blackmailed.
Reception area of the Robinson Corporation
Gail is talking on the ‘phone, looking ecstatic. As she hangs up, Paul joins her and she tells him that that was the IVF clinic: they can start the whole routine again tomorrow. Paul throws his arms around Gail happily. Gail adds that it's going to be expensive, but Paul insists that for something as important as this, he's not *totally* heartless! Gail then says she's going to have to take a few days off here and there, so they might have to get a temp in after all. Paul tells her that the odd day here and there isn't going to make a difference – but if they have to get somebody in, they will. Turning more serious, Gail continues:
GAIL: There's another cost as well: Henry and Bronwyn. It's just that we never have any privacy anymore, and now I'm going back on the programme I want some.
PAUL: To be honest with you, so do I.
Gail sighs that she feels mean – but Paul points out that Henry and Bronwyn both knew they had to move out some time. At that moment, Henry bursts in through the door, saying he's having some problems with where they want those azaleas. Paul just stares at him. He then tells Henry that he and Gail need to say something and he doesn't think Henry's going to like it...
Katie and Toby are sitting underneath the kitchen table, Toby exclaiming excitedly:
TOBY: Blackmail? That's awesome!
Katie shows Toby a copy of the letter, explaining that she got it from Jim's drawer. Toby asks if the address in Anson's Corner is where they had to send the money. Katie nods that it is. Toby then goes on that he and Joe watched a video the other night – ‘Young Sherlock Holmes' – and he reckons he and Katie could solve this crime just like Holmes did; then they'll be heroes and probably get some reward money! Katie asks how they catch the guy. Toby admits that he doesn't know yet, but if they went to the house and hung around and stuff, he reckons could find some clues. Katie asks about the sports carnival. Toby points out that no one would miss them: they aren't in any more races. He asks:
TOBY: So what do you say, Watson? Will you be in it?
KATIE: You bet, Holmes!
Madge is sitting at the counter, showing Harold a new food processor that she's just bought, explaining that it had 20% off. Harold just retorts that they don't *need* it; it's a complete waste of money. Madge shrugs that it's *her* money and she'll waste it on whatever she wants. Henry comes into the shop and, sitting down next to Madge, mutters that he's being thrown out of home: Paul and Gail have asked him and Bronwyn to move out, as they want the house to themselves. Madge asks how soon they have to move. Henry replies that it's a.s.a.p.. Harold suggests that Bronwyn could move back in with Des, and he's sure Henry would be more than welcome back into his old room. Henry, though, stares at him and says tersely:
HENRY: Harold, I don't live with Bronwyn to save money on the rent. Believe it or not, we're together because that's the way we *want* it.
Madge asks Henry if he's thought of where he might go. Henry sighs that Erinsborough's out, as there's no way they could afford to rent round there; they'll probably have to move out to the country. Madge sighs that she hates the idea of them moving so far away. Henry shrugs that he doesn't see that they have any choice.
Mike is sitting on the couch, looking impatient. He stands up, causing Kerry to sigh that he's been up and down like a jack-in-the-box! She asks what the matter is. Mike retorts that his exam results are due any day and he gets a little jumpy every afternoon around mail time. Kerry says she bets he's done brilliantly. Mike mutters that he wouldn't put money on it. The front door opens suddenly and Des walks in, smiling:
He's wearing a white linen suit, a black-and-white patterned shirt and sunglasses! Mike and Kerry stare at him. Des asks them what they reckon.
MIKE (hesitantly): You look... different, Des.
DES (sounding pleased!): You mean it?
KERRY: You look terrific! Nothing like a bank manager, more like a...
KERRY: A nightclub owner!
Des seems to take this as a compliment! He then reaches into one of several bags he's carrying and shows Jamie that he's bought him some hair gel, saying you can't have a designer dad without a designer kid! He shows Kerry some other clothes he's bought for Jamie. Mike comments that he can see *he's* going to be kicked out of the house for not being trendy enough! Kerry suggests that they go for a walk so that Jamie can show off his new image, but Des replies hesitantly that he can't this afternoon. He then holds out his hands and tells Mike and Kerry that they're the hands of an artist, just itching to create! Mike and Kerry look at each other in puzzlement!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Madge knocks on the door and enters the office. She asks Paul and Gail if she can have a word with them, explaining that Henry told her that he and Bronwyn have to move out. Paul points out that they both knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Madge sighs that she knows, but with rents the way they are, it looks as though they might have to move out to the country. She asks if there's any chance Paul and Gail might change their minds. Gail, however, says she's really sorry, but she and Paul need the privacy: they can't afford to take any more risks with their marriage. Paul asks if Henry and Bronwyn couldn't move in with Des. Madge shrugs that she supposes they could on a temporary basis, but that would only *delay* the problem, not solve it. Gail suggests they move into No. 24. Madge replies that she'd have them like a shot, but she doesn't think Harold would wear it.
GAIL (looking surprised): He gets on with both of them, doesn't he?
MADGE: Yes... as well as he gets on with *anyone* under 25.
Madge explains that the trouble is that Harold disapproves of Henry and Bronwyn living together, and when he feels strongly about something it's very difficult to budge him. She sighs that she'll just have to get used to talking to Henry STD.
Katie and Toby are walking around outside a house. Toby is holding a large magnifying glass. They're looking for clues and Toby suddenly comes across a footprint. Katie looks at it and says it's a *dog's* footprint. Toby tells her that it must be the blackmailer's dog's, so anyone who hasn't got a dog is OK! Katie adds that it's a *little* footprint, so the blackmailer's dog is a *little* one. Looking pleased with themselves, they start hunting around for *more* clues.
Harold is telling Henry that he knows it looks bad at the moment, but he's sure it'll work out. The door to the shop opens and Jim comes in. He walks over to where Hilary is clearing a table and tells her that he wants to thank her for lending Helen all that money. Hilary retorts that, to be quite frank, she thinks Helen is making a mistake giving into blackmail: she told her so, but to no effect. The shop ‘phone rings and Harold answers it. A moment later, he calls over to Hilary that it's for her: an interstate call. Hilary takes the ‘phone. Jim joins Henry and asks how it's going.
HENRY (glumly): Almost suicidal, Jim.
Harold tells Jim that Henry has had a minor setback. Henry, however, retorts that he's about to lose the roof over his head. Jim remarks that he thought they were all getting on *fine*. Henry replies that they are, but Paul and Gail have decided they want more privacy. He asks Jim if he has a spare room at *his* house, but Jim just laughs:
JIM: Not unless you count the cubby-house!
Hilary hangs up the ‘phone and says awkwardly to Harold:
HILARY: Mr. Bishop, if I had to go to Adelaide suddenly, would you keep an eye on Sharon for me?
HAROLD (looking surprised): Why yes, of course.
Jim asks Hilary if she *does* have to go to Adelaide. Hilary nods that she's afraid so. Harold asks if something has happened. Hilary replies that it has; she's going to try and catch the next ‘plane. Jim asks her if she'll ‘phone and tell them what's happening. Hilary nods that she will if she can. Harold says:
HAROLD: And you *are* coming back?
HILARY: Well... I *think* so; but it all depends on um, um, several things; but I *will* let you know.
With that, Hilary dashes out, leaving Harold, Jim and Henry looking bemused.
Garden of No. 28
Kerry has shown Des how to throw a pot, and she moves her work of art onto a side table. She then asks Des if he's ready to have a go himself. Des sits down at the table and starts the potter's wheel. He puts some water onto it and then throws a ball of clay onto the wheel. It just spins off and falls down into the pool of water at the side of the wheel! Looking disappointed, Des comments to Kerry that it looked so simple when she did it. Kerry tells him that he probably didn't centre it properly – but you can't expect to get it perfect first time up. Des tries again and this time manages to get the clay to stay on the wheel!
Harold is commenting to Henry that it's most peculiar, Hilary rushing off like that without any real explanation; it's inconsiderate. Henry, however, grins that Harold is just cheesed off because Hilary didn't tell him *why* she was going! Madge comes in and tells Henry that she's been checking out the rental market, and she hates to say it but he was right: there wasn't a place anywhere near his budget. Henry sighs that he'd better go and tell Bronny that they've got their marching orders. Madge, however, says she wants to have a word with Harold. She then asks Harold to come with her into the kitchen. Out there, Madge says:
MADGE: Now Harold, I know you're not going to like this, but I've made up my mind: I'm going to ask Henry and Bronwyn to move in with us.
HAROLD (looking appalled): Certainly not!
MADGE: I know you don't approve – I'm not saying I do either, really, but I'm not having them move off to the country where I'll hardly ever see them.
HAROLD: Oh I see – so morality comes on a sliding scale now, does it?
MADGE: If it means losing my son, I suppose it *does*. Now don't you look at me like that: your morality's already cost you your daughter.
Harold glares at Madge and then turns and marches out back into the shop. Madge follows him and tells Henry that they've come to a decision:
MADGE: Now, it's entirely up to you, but if you and Bronwyn want to come and stay with us, we'd be delighted.
Looking immensely relived, Henry goes and kisses Harold on the cheek! Harold stands there looking most put-out!
Todd is doing his homework at the kitchen table. He asks Helen for some help, but she sighs that she's finding it hard to concentrate at the moment. Jim comes in through the back door and tells Helen that Hilary just had an urgent ‘phone call and has taken the first flight back to Adelaide. Todd asks in concern if his mum is sick, but Jim says Hilary would've mentioned it. He then asks where Katie is. Helen replies that she's at the sports carnival: she's picking her up at 4:30. Changing the subject, she tells Jim that she had a call from Sergeant Mooney and he thinks the extortionist could be a friend of the family. Todd exclaims that that's dumb. Helen says she agrees, but the blackmailer knew that the envelope was full of newspaper even without picking it up from the house. Jim points out that they haven't talked to anyone outside the family about it. Helen goes on that Mooney had another theory: that the blackmailer could have something to do with the postal service, and so had a chance to check the contents of the envelope before it was delivered. Jim remarks that, as theories go, that makes sense; a *lot* of sense.