Des telling Paul that he's been given the sack for inadvertently saying to Mr. Udagawa that he thinks Japanese women are dirty.
Mike is sitting at the dining table when Des storms in snapping that a man can't win. He goes on angrily that it's all Kerry's fault for talking him into learning Japanese in the first place; if he'd stuck to English, he would've been sweet. Mike clearly isn't interested and he gets up and walks off to his room, so he doesn't hear Des - who's gone to the 'fridge - ranting that Hemmings has been looking for a reason to fire him for ages. Des looks around to find Mike isn't there. He heads into Mike's bedroom, where Mike is sitting at the desk, and demands:
DES: Did you hear what I just said? Hemmings *sacked* me.
MIKE (shrugs): Bad luck.
Des, looking surprised, tells Mike sarcastically not to get too emotional. Mike just retorts that he'd like to keep *his* job as well, so he just wants to be left to it. Des demands to know what Mike's problem is, but Mike snaps that it's nothing he'd like to talk about right now. Des mutters that he'll go and brood in the living room, then. As he walks out, he notices the torn-up poster of Jane in the rubbish bin and he stops in his tracks. He points to the poster and murmurs more calmly:
DES: Fight with Jane, eh? Why didn't you say something?
MIKE: Look, she, er, she just told me she doesn't love me and there's no possible way of a relationship, all right?
DES (sincerely): Sorry, mate. I know you were hoping to get back with Jane. If there's anything I can do—
MIKE (sharply): There *isn't*, Des.
With that, Des gives up and leaves the room. Mike sits at his desk looking annoyed.
Madge is sitting writing a letter at the kitchen table as Bronwyn finishes some sewing for Henry. Henry asks Madge who she's writing to. She mutters:
MADGE: Nell Mangel.
HENRY and BRONWYN: Worthington!
MADGE (muses): Once a Mangel, always a Mangel!
Henry then asks Madge how come she's writing to Mrs. Worthington: is it a poison pen letter?! Madge, however, grins that she couldn't resist signing off 'Madge Bishop, Countess of Doon'. Henry bursts out laughing as Madge adds:
MADGE: After the years that woman called me 'common', do you blame me?!
Henry then asks where his Earlness is. Bronwyn tells him that Harold has an appointment and said he'd be back late: whatever it is, he was pretty excited about it.
Hilary is sitting at the kitchen table with Matt, muttering that there isn't a single undamaged copy of 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' in the library. Matt is doing his homework and Hilary asks him what he's studying. He tells her that it's a Biology assignment.
HILARY: I used to quite enjoy Biology - the theory side, of course!
Hilary looks at the assignment and exclaims in surprise that Matt only got 19 out of a possible 50. Matt shrugs that he's a bit of a wally. Hilary retorts that he comes from intelligent stock. Matt, however, muses that he must be a throwback! Hilary tells him that he must apply himself - like Sharon does - although every time she talks to the girl lately, she snaps her head off. Matt tells her that he thinks Sharon has been pretty hassled lately and just needs a bit of space.
Nick is laying the kitchen table angrily, muttering at Helen as he does so that he never thought Sharon would two-time him:
NICK: "Matt's so understanding... Matt's so romantic..." Matt makes me wanna *puke*!
Jim comes in and Nick walks off. Jim asks Helen what's wrong with the boy, and she muses that it seems to be the Robinsons' week for unfortunate love affairs.
JIM: How *is* Todd and his light-fingered lady?
HELEN: Gone to Gary's for the evening, much to my relief.
Helen then goes on that she's finding it very difficult to be polite to Alison: she thinks they should ring the girl's aunt and cut their losses. Jim, however, points out that Alison is Todd's first love and Todd thinks she's perfect; he knows it's not ideal, but he thinks they just have to ride it out - and she's only there for another couple of days. He then adds:
JIM: Once Alison's out of sight, she'll be out of mind. Teenage boys are very fickle - even with their first love.
HELEN (rolling her eyes): I hope you're right!
Joe and Henry are working at the kitchen table while Bronwyn and Madge prepare dinner. Joe calls over to ask Madge if Countesses can knight a bloke.
MADGE: Only if they're very worthy!
HENRY: Oh I'll be *super*-worthy - then I can be Sir Henry—
BRONWYN: The Horrible - and I'll be the beauteous Lady Bronwyn!
JOE: Yeah? What about *me*?
MADGE: Oh I don't know - we'll have to think of something appropriate.
HENRY: How about Sir Joe the Jealous?!
Joe, looking suddenly annoyed, mutters that that isn't funny. At that moment, the front door opens and Harold calls that he's home. Everyone turns to stare at him. He's dressed in full Scottish regalia, including long white socks, a kilt, sporran, white shirt, black tie and beret, and over his shoulder he's carrying a set of bagpipes!
Jim hangs up the 'phone and tells Helen that that was Beverly: she has a five-year-old at the hospital that she wants to keep an eye on, so won't be home for dinner. Nick joins them as the front door bell rings. Jim goes to get it. Nick and Helen sit down to eat and Helen remarks that Nick's romantic problems don't seem to have affected his appetite! She then asks when he's going to take some positive action. Nick shrugs that he doesn't know. Helen goes on that if it's romance he's after, there's nothing more romantic than a serenade.
NICK: You're joking!
HELEN: No! Many years ago, a young man sang to *me* outside my window. I've never forgotten it.
NICK: I couldn't do that - I'd feel like a dork!
HELEN: Oh well... different generations have different ideas - but they do say romance is in fashion this year.
NICK: I still couldn't do it.
HELEN: Why not?
NICK: I'd need some music.
HELEN: Ask Henry: he'll help.
NICK: You think it'd work?
HELEN: Well I married the boy who serenaded *me*!
Nick muses that that's not what he plans with Sharon right now - but he *will* ask Henry.
Harold goes to sit down on the couch, muttering as he does so that this is just the sort of attitude he should have expected: no respect for tradition. Joe laughs:
JOE: Just be careful how you cross your legs, Harold, eh?!
Madge pats Harold's arm and smiles that she thinks he looks very British! Harold tells her that he has a heritage to preserve and he intends to do so. Bronwyn says she has to go. As she opens the front door, she finds Nick on the step. He asks if Henry's there, and Bronwyn lets him in. He steps inside and immediately bursts out laughing at Harold's attire. He then indicates the bagpipes and asks Harold if he can play them. Harold admits:
HAROLD: Not yet... laddie! But with the blood of the Highlanders coursing through my veins, I'm sure it'll come to me quite naturally.
Harold then mutters that he's sure the *Robinsons* will appreciate his garb, and he and Madge head out. When they've gone, Nick tells Henry that he's there about Sharon: she's all wrapped up in Matt and he wants to get her back - and Helen suggested that he serenade her.
JOE: That's a bit wet, mate.
HENRY (to Joe): Ah, put a sock in it!
Nick goes on that he can sing a bit, but he's useless with a guitar; he thought maybe a crash course? Henry, however, grins and tells Nick that he has an idea...!
Hilary is muttering to Matt in the kitchen that Sharon's left her bedroom in a state - and if she asks the girl to clean up, it's a drama. She sighs that she'd better go and do it herself - not that she expects any thanks.
Henry gives Jim and Helen a twirl in his outfit and Helen smiles that he's very handsome! She asks Madge if *she* has a special outfit. Madge nods that she does, but it's only for ceremonial occasions, and it's not nearly as dashing as Harold's! Jim says:
JIM: I'd offer you a drink, but we're all out of scotch!
HAROLD: Oh no - it may be the national drink, Jim, but I don't intend taking it up. A laird can't wallow in alcohol and neglect his clan.
Jim smiles that he might have to look up *his* family tree: this title business looks like fun. Harold, however, says in reply:
HAROLD: I wouldn't bother, Jim, really: in the Highlands, 'Robinson' is as common as 'Smith', really!
Jim muses that it must be very difficult for Harold - as an Earl - to rub shoulders with him and the other commoners! Harold just smiles:
HAROLD: Oh no. No, no, Jim, no, no, I feel it my duty to keep in touch with the little people.
HELEN (putting on an appropriate accent): I thought it was the *Irish* who talked of the little people!
Back yard of No. 30
Nick and Henry walk across the back yard and stop under Sharon's window. Nick asks what they do if Sharon's not there. Henry, however, looks up and spots movement at the window, and he points out to Nick that Sharon just pulled down the blind. He then tells Nick to sing his heart out. With that, Henry - who's holding his guitar - moves a few steps away, out of sight of the window. He strums a chord and Nick starts singing.
Inside the house, Hilary, who's in Sharon's bedroom, listens to the singing for a few seconds before going and taking out of their vase the flowers that Matt bought for Sharon. She picks up the vase and goes and heads out onto the balcony - and then pours the water all over Nick, snapping as she does so:
HILARY: Now will you *stop* that infernal caterwauling?!
Helen and Jim are in the kitchen, laughing about Harold being the Earl of Doon. Jim remarks that he thinks Harold will be pretty unbearable for a while. He then asks Helen if she thinks Harold actually intends to play those bagpipes. At that moment, they hear the groan of the pipes starting up, and Jim muses:
JIM: And to think I complained about the noise of the pool filter!
Nick comes in through back door, suddenly, walking slowly and looking despondent. He's still wet from his drenching. Helen stares at him and asks what on earth happened. Nick sighs:
NICK: Hilary dumped water on me; said I was caterwauling, whatever that means.
Helen mutters that there are some times when that woman has no sense whatsoever: Nick was making a lovely gesture and she's reacted all out of proportion.
JIM: What *sort* of gesture?
NICK: I was serenading.
JIM (exclaims): And she did *that*?
Helen says through gritted teeth that she's going to tell Hilary exactly what she thinks of her.
Madge stands in the bedroom doorway and pleads with Harold to shut the door if he must play those bagpipes! She then turns to Henry and Joe and mutters that the bagpipes are part of Harold's heritage that they could do without. She invites Joe to stay for dinner, but he declines. He then adds:
JOE: You know, you're not the first royalty in the street, you know? Remember the Duchess - Edith Chubb?!
Madge asks Henry to go and get Bronwyn for dinner. Henry, however, asks Madge to whack it in the oven, as Bronwyn hates being disturbed while she's studying.
JOE: That's what she tells *you*, mate...
HENRY: Get off it, Joe...
JOE: Nah, I know about these things: I've had a taste of it myself lately.
HENRY: Do you still think there's something going on between Des and Kerry?
JOE: Look, I *know*, mate. I'm just telling you: keep your eye on your woman; keep your eye on the Clarke house. Two single blokes, one of them on the rebound... asking for trouble.
The 'phone starts ringing and Madge answers it as Henry asks Joe what he means about 'the rebound'. Joe explains about Jane giving Mike the flick. Madge suddenly yells to Harold that the caller is Mr. Braithwaite. Meanwhile, Joe tells Henry that Bronwyn used to go out with Mike, and girls are suckers for blokes down on their luck: they like to mother them. Harold takes the call and, after listening for several seconds, tells Mr. Braithwaite that he'll pop down as soon as he can. He hangs up and tells Madge eagerly that the senior partner's in his office and wants to talk to him: apparently there's more to his inheritance than just the title!
Des is looking at the job vacancies in the newspaper as Bronwyn packs up her Maths things and heads out. As she does so, she tells Des to take it easy: *something* will turn up - he's just got to have faith. She leaves. When she's gone, Des remarks coolly to Mike that it's good to know *someone* has faith in him, as it's pretty clear Mike doesn't care. Mike just mutters that he's going to his room. Des, however, tells him that he wants to talk to him. He then goes on:
DES: Look, I can understand about Jane - but it's got nothing to do with *me*; it's not *my* fault.
MIKE (snaps): Like hell it isn't, Des.
MIKE: Don't act all innocent with me, OK? She still loves you; she *told* me.
DES: Oh rubbish - it's all over - isn't it...?
MIKE: No. So while *you're* still in the picture, she can't see *me* for dust - so don't blame *me* if I seem a little cheesed off.
With that, Mike storms off to his room. Des sighs heavily.
Helen and Hilary are walking into the kitchen at No. 30, Hilary telling Helen that she'd have done the same thing if Nick had been a tomcat. Helen retorts that Nick's a young boy trying to express a genuine emotion. She goes on:
HELEN: I realise that you may have no concept of romance--
HILARY: Juvenile idiocy - and I must say, Helen, if you encouraged him, it is not displaying a great deal of maturity *yourself*.
Helen asks Hilary angrily if she's the authority. Hilary just shrugs that she knows stupidity when she sees it - whereas Matt is a much brighter boy. Matt, who's standing at the sink, warns Hilary not to drag *him* into this. Helen remarks that she supposes Matt's half-yearly report will bear out what Hilary's saying?
HILARY: Is that a challenge?
HELEN: Well, I don't believe in pitting one child against the other, but seeing you seem so convinced that Matt is the brighter boy, why don't we exchange reports and let them tell their own story?
HILARY: I shall be happy to do so.
HELEN: Good. Night, Matt.
With that, Helen heads out, leaving Hilary to comment to Matt:
HILARY: I can hardly wait to see her face when your half-yearly grades outshine that ruffian's.
Matt sighs that he doesn't want to be dragged into any stupid competition. Hilary, however, retorts that it's a matter of family prestige. She then admits awkwardly:
HILARY: I want to be *proud* of you. Look, I'm only asking you to study, and you have to do that anyway, don't you?
She then pleads with Matt to please just make a little extra effort - just for her.
Joe says goodnight to Henry, Bronwyn and Madge and heads out the back door. When he's gone, Henry asks Bronwyn how study went. Bronwyn smiles that it was great: Mike is so patient and understanding. Henry asks warily if she's going to need much help. Bronwyn replies that she doesn't think so, but it's great to know Mike's there when she wants him. Henry mutters:
HENRY: Yeah... good old Mike...
The front door opens suddenly and Harold dashes in! He has a grin on his face and Madge remarks that he must have had good news!
HAROLD: Well, now, it appears that we are not only titled, but landed as well.
HENRY (chuckles): Your feet don't seem to be on the ground right at the moment, big guy!
HAROLD: No, no, Henry, no! We have property - in Scotland! A castle!
MADGE (exclaims): You're kidding!
HAROLD: I am not! So, Countess, I suggest you go and pack your bags, because we are returning to the old country to claim our heritage!
Madge sits there looking astonished!