Bronwyn telling Mike that Henry has gone up to Brisbane. Mike looking pleased that he'll have Bronwyn to himself.
Helen is preparing lunchboxes in the kitchen while Beverly sits at the kitchen table. Katie comes in through the back door and Beverly asks her where she's been all this time. Katie replies that she's been over at the Mangels', playing with Cujo. With that, she picks up her lunch things and heads off to school. Beverly says she'd better head off *herself*: she's got a busy morning. Helen comments:
HELEN: At least it should ease off a bit once you've told Jonathan to find himself another doctor.
BEVERLY (murmurs): Yes, that's true...
HELEN (warily): Beverly, you promised Jim you'd tell him.
BEVERLY: I'll *try*. I have to pick my moment.
HELEN: It's not all *that* sensitive a matter, is it? – unless you think Jim's *right*: that the man *could* be dangerous.
BEVERLY: Well, certainly not to *me* – but from a few things he's said, I suspect he may have depressive tendencies. Now, if he feels as strongly as he says, I'm not sure how he'll react when he finally gets the message.
HELEN: Well, perhaps he needs a psychiatrist, not a GP. Whatever the case, putting it off can only make things worse.
Beverly sighs that that's true enough: she'll talk to him as soon as she gets the chance. Hilary comes in through the back door suddenly and says she thought she'd see if they need any help with tonight's dinner preparations. Helen assures her that everything's in hand. Beverly heads off to work and Helen asks Hilary if she's found a remedial teacher for Matt yet. Hilary replies:
HILARY: As a matter of fact, Mrs. Kennedy at the High School has experience in that very field. She's giving Matt tuition.
HELEN: I suppose it's too early for progress?
HILARY: No – surprisingly enough, I can see results already, particularly in his attitude. At any rate, I'm being positive about it all: Mrs. Kennedy stressed the importance of encouragement at this stage.
HELEN (smiles): Ah yes – a little praise works wonders!
Office/Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Gail is taking some files out of the cabinet in the office when Paul comes in and smiles:
PAUL: OK, you can breathe easy: Mr. Plod's gone!
The head out into the reception area as Paul asks Gail if she's got a collection of unpaid parking fines or something, as she was white as a sheet when the officer appeared in the doorway, and she tried to usher him out of the room. Gail insists that she was just trying to save Paul some hassle. Paul tells her that he doesn't want her getting over- tired and jumpy. Gail insists that she's *not* jumpy: well, maybe she was a bit this morning, but she's OK now. She then gives Paul a good- luck hug for his ECG.
Madge is sitting with Helen at the kitchen table at No. 26. Helen remarks that it was good of Henry to go up and help Scott and Charlene. She then asks how Harold's coming along with his walking. Madge exclaims:
MADGE: The man's turning into a fanatic before my very eyes! Honestly, Helen, to listen to Harold talk, you would swear that the one reason he was put on this earth was to compete in this Walkathon!
Helen smiles that she should be thankful he's found an interest that will take his mind off being dropped from the choir. Madge nods that she supposes so. She adds:
MADGE: At least he's making some new friends. There's one chap in particular – Robert... or, no, Robin something – but to hear Harold talk, they're real kindred spirits!
HELEN: That's *good*!
MADGE: They're doing early- morning training sessions together, so at least he's got someone to talk to. Lord knows, with my nightshifts and his training, I can't remember when we last exchanged more than half a dozen words.
Bronwyn serves a customer at the counter. Sharon emerges from the kitchen suddenly, saying that if it was *her* house, Henry's the *last* person she'd want to fix it! Bronwyn, however, insists that he's a good worker when he puts his mind to it. Sharon says she still thinks it's a bit much him taking off and leaving Bronwyn on her own. Bronwyn heads over to clear a table – just as Mike comes in and says he thought he'd come and get some lunch. Bronwyn asks what happened to the sandwich he bought this morning and he replies that it disappeared at morning tea! He goes and sits at the counter and asks Bronwyn for a hamburger and salad and a cup of coffee. Bronwyn calls the order through to Sharon, who's back in the kitchen. Mike then says to Bronwyn:
MIKE: So, the big exam's on Monday, hey?
BRONWYN: Yeah – I'm terrified! I know my mind will go completely blank the minute I'm in the exam room.
MIKE: Course it won't! Look, with Henry out of your hair, there's nothing to stop us achieving our goal: seeing you getting full marks
BRONWYN (smiles): Are you this supportive of *all* your students?
MIKE: Only the gorgeous ones!
Bronwyn gives Mike a look!
Nick, Todd and Matt are sitting on a bench in the park behind Lassiter's, having lunch. Todd asks the others if they want to come skateboarding with him this afternoon, but Matt says he's got remedial reading classes. Nick mutters that he might be in there *with* him when he gets the results back on that book report this afternoon: that teacher's got it *in* for him. Matt says it isn't *his* best subject either, but Nick retorts:
NICK: *You've* got an *excuse*. Now they know what's wrong with you, they can do something about it. There's *nothing* they can do for *me*: I'm just plain old- fashioned dumb.
Matt smiles that they should take Nick down the back garden and plant him there with the rest of the veggies! Nick just glares at him, though, and Matt says he's kidding: Nick's not *brilliant*, but he's no dope, either. Nick snaps at him to just drop the subject. Matt shrugs and heads off to get some drinks. When he's gone, Todd says to Nick:
TODD: Hey, he wasn't having a go at you, Nick. Why you so down on yourself, anyway?
NICK (coolly): Why *shouldn't* I be? Everyone *else* is.
TODD: How do you figure *that*?
NICK: ‘Cos they *are*. Matt's like the big hero: I mean, first that skateboard competition and now they find out he's got a learning problem, so everyone thinks he's some kind of genius that he can even read and write.
TODD: Who's this ‘everyone' you keep on talking about?
NICK (bitterly): Helen and Jim. I helped the coppers get that bloke who ripped- off Paul's car, but nobody even said ‘thanks' for that. They just hassle me about driving without a licence. You know, it seems nothing I do is good enough. But Matt... he can't put a foot *wrong*.
TODD: The Robinsons don't think Matt's better than you – they're not *like* that.
NICK: Is that what you think? Well, by the way they've been treating *me* lately, I just don't know any more.
Nick sits there looking annoyed.
Matt pays Sharon for some drinks and heads out. Sharon then comments to Bronwyn that it looks like the rush is over, and Bronwyn thanks her for helping out. Mike is sitting at a table as Bronwyn asks Sharon if she told her she got a letter from Liz Beecher. Sharon asks:
BRONWYN: You remember her: skinny with freckles and reddish hair.
Sharon recalls her and asks how she is. Bronwyn replies that she's married. She adds that some other friends are having a baby. Sharon remarks that they're not wasting time settling down, are they?! Bronwyn muses:
BRONWYN: I feel like the class Old Maid!
SHARON (exclaims): What? What would you want to get married for at *your* age? The others are *crazy* – they've been living in Narrabri too long; there's nothing better to do there.
Mike listens intently as Sharon asks who'd want to get bogged down in all that wife and mother stuff. Bronwyn says:
BRONWYN: Oh, I don't know. I think it would be pretty good to be married to someone you really love. A house of your own... and a family.
Sharon muses that she seriously *worries* about Bronwyn sometimes! She goes on:
SHARON: If that's what you really want, I think you've picked the wrong guy in Henry. The *last* thing the coolest dude in Erinsborough wants is to get married and have kids!
BRONWYN (admits): Yeah, you could be right about that. But maybe he'll change? Everybody has to grow up sometime.
SHARON: Yeah – everyone but *Henry*. Anyway, I've got to get back to school. I'll see you later.
With that, Sharon heads out. Mike sits at the table, looking thoughtful.
Reception area/Office of the Robinson Corporation
Gail is sitting at the reception desk when Paul comes in. She asks him how he went and he smiles:
PAUL: ECG's clear. Heart like a horse, the specialist said!
GAIL: Oh! That explains your mule- like personality!
Gail then asks if they know what caused the chest pains. Paul replies that it's stress, apparently, so he's been officially ordered not to get tense. He adds that from now on, nothing will faze him. Gail raises her eyebrows in bemusement! Paul comments:
PAUL: What's the matter with you, darling? Don't you think I can have a little bit of basic self- discipline, hey? From now on, you are married to Captain Mellow!
GAIL: I still think it wouldn't hurt to do some simple relaxation exercises.
PAUL: What for? It's all in the mind.
The ‘phone starts ringing suddenly and Paul heads into the office to answer it. Gail follows him and then listens as Paul starts getting het- up with the person on the other end, ordering him to tell them to get on with it or he'll personally come down and fire the lot of them. He then slams the ‘phone down, turns to Gail and starts to ask angrily how you're supposed to run a business—. Gail just stands there shaking her head and smiling:
GAIL: Captain Mellow, you remember?
PAUL (lightly): Oh listen, you didn't really think I was upset, did you? I was just putting on an act for Reg – it's the only way to get any action, isn't it?
The ‘phone rings again. He answers it, listens and then snaps:
PAUL: Oh damn, what is it *now*?
Gail shakes her head!
Hilary is sitting in the lounge room, playing the piano. Matt arrives home and she breaks off and asks how remedial class was. Matt sighs that it was all right, but they keep going over the same thing again and again. Sharon comes in and grins:
SHARON: Hilary! Planning another concert for Mr. Muir, are we?
HILARY (primly): I'm actually thinking of taking in pupils.
SHARON: That won't leave you much time for your boyfriend, though, will it?
HILARY (snaps): Don't be vulgar, Sharon – Mr. Muir is *not* my boyfriend.
SHARON: But you *are* going to see each other again, aren't you, seeing as how much he enjoyed himself here the other night?!
HILARY: Well, he did mention something of the sort, but I shan't be encouraging it.
SHARON: Why not? You are *rapt* in the man.
HILARY (retorts): I am *not* rapt in him, Sharon. Anyway, I think he has a less than accurate idea of my personality. I'm afraid the real me would be a disappointment to him now.
SHARON: Oh well, a bit more cough medicine would always fix *that* up!
HILARY (warns): Sharon!
Changing the subject quickly, Matt tells Hilary that he got the results back from a book report he did in English. He hands her a sheet of paper and she remarks that he came 19th. She asks how many pupils there were altogether and he tells her that there were 27. Sharon says quickly:
SHARON: But he came 25th last time.
HILARY (smiles warmly): I'm very proud of you, Matthew – that's a tremendous improvement. Now, we *must* do something about your appearance; I want you looking decent tonight, not like some refugee straight out of an op shop!
Nick is sitting on one couch and Todd and Katie are sitting on the other. Todd asks Nick what Helen said about his English mark, but Nick retorts that he hasn't told her yet. Katie says:
KATIE: I'd tell *everybody* if *I* came third in the class.
Nick mutters that Helen wouldn't want to know. Todd, however, insists that she'll be over the moon about it. Nick hesitates and then shrugs that it couldn't hurt. Helen and Beverly are in the kitchen, preparing the welcome dinner for Matt, and Helen asks Beverly how Jonathan reacted when she told him to find another doctor. Beverly, however, murmurs that she didn't get a chance. Helen sighs heavily and Beverly insists she'll do it first thing tomorrow. Nick comes in and, holding out a sheet of paper to Helen, asks her if she's got time to take a look at it. Helen, however, is busy cracking eggs and she replies abruptly:
HELEN: No, not really, darling. What is it?
NICK: Well, it's just something I did at school.
HELEN: Well, put it down somewhere and I'll have a look at it later – I'm a bit busy at the moment.
Looking disappointed, Nick chucks the sheet of paper onto one of the cabinets and heads back through to the lounge room.
Paul has turned up at No. 28, looking for Des, but Mike tells him he isn't there. He offers to take a message, but Paul declines, saying he just wanted a bit of a rave and a beer: what with his head down at the office all the time, he tends to forget what the real world is like. Mike says he's got some beers in the ‘fridge and Paul heads inside! As the two of them walk across to the counter, Paul says he knows it sounds odd, but it's really doctor's orders – and what happened with his chest got him thinking that life's a bit short really. Mike mutters:
MIKE: Yeah, well, sometimes it's too *long*, I reckon.
PAUL: Yeah, it must be tough on you, what with Des and Jane.
MIKE: Yeah, well, when the whole world's down on you, you can't do *anything* right, can you?
MIKE (looking amused): Yeah, whatever you reckon!
PAUL: No, no, seriously! It's like wisdom of the east meets modern management technique. It's all based on breathing, that's what it is – breathing.
Paul then explains that you have to breathe deeply through your nose; it gives you a sense of karma and washes away your worries. Mike muses:
MIKE: Can you do all that and stand on your head at the same time?
PAUL: I think we're doing that *next* week!
Madge is lying on the couch, watching TV, when Bronwyn comes in through the back door. She asks Madge if she's heard anything from Henry yet, but Madge replies that he's probably so busy catching up with the family in Brisbane that he's forgotten all about *them*. Bronwyn says she's going to head over to Mike's for some more coaching, after she's freshened up. She heads off to the bathroom as someone knocks on the front door. Madge goes to open it and finds Gail standing on the step. She invites her in and asks what's up. They sit down as Gail says:
GAIL: I've been thinking about the shoplifting all day, and I know Harold's got a point about telling Paul, but I just *can't*.
MADGE: Given his health problems, I'm not surprised.
GAIL (nods): He's under doctor's instructions not to be stressed. I mean, I can't hit him with this on top of everything *else*.
MADGE: You do realise he'll find out sooner or later, don't you?
GAIL: Well, not necessarily. You see, I've been thinking about getting myself a good lawyer, and when the case comes up just taking the time off work – Paul's always telling me I should, because of the pregnancy – and just go to court without telling him. I mean, hopefully I'll get off with just a warning, or maybe at worst a fine. Paul need never know anything about it.
MADGE (warily): Oh, I don't know – it sounds as though a lot can go wrong.
GAIL: No it can't – and it's not Paul's problem anyway, it's mine, so I guess I should sort it out.
Madge doesn't look convinced.
Sometime later, Madge is in the kitchen when Bronwyn emerges from the bathroom and says she's off now. She asks Madge if she'll be there if Henry ‘phones. Madge sighs:
MADGE: Yes, I have the night off, fortunately – but it's Harold's scouts night, otherwise I would've got a chance to spend the evening with my husband, for a change.
Bronwyn asks Madge to give Henry her love if he ‘phones. With that, she heads off.
The residents of Nos. 22, 26 – except Jim – and 30 are all gathered around the kitchen table. Helen says that, as Jim isn't there, Matt should sit at the head of the table as their special guest. Paul tells Matt that he'd like to welcome Matt into the Robinson household. Helen smiles:
HELEN: You know, this family always seems to have been full of young people: Paul and Julie and Scott and Lucy, and now Todd and Katie.
TODD: Hey, don't forget Nick.
HELEN: Oh, Nick, of course!
HILARY (tersely): We're talking *family*, Todd.
A look of annoyance crosses Nick's face. Helen goes on:
HELEN: And now we have Matt. I'm sure he'll do us proud!
Paul smiles at Matt:
PAUL: Don't get used to your star billing, mate, because in about six months there's going to be three even *newer* Robinsons to the clan!
Helen then says:
HELEN: Oo, I *knew* there was something else. It was brought to my attention that someone did exceptionally well at school today.
GAIL: Oh, really? Are we allowed to know who?
Helen puts her hand on Matt's shoulder and smiles that Hilary told her about his English result. She goes on that they all know how difficult it's been for him and she, for one, wants to say how proud she is of the progress he's making. Nick sits at the table looking annoyed.
Bronwyn is sitting on the couch. Mike joins her, having put Jamie to bed, and Bronwyn remarks that Des and Kerry are really lucky having him there, knowing that when they go out Sky and Jamie are in the best of hands. Mike smiles:
MIKE: It's fine by me – I *love* kids. You know, I reckon it would be great one day to be married and have a whole house full of them.
He goes to make some coffee as Bronwyn remarks that she never thought of him as the family type. Mike tells her:
MIKE: Yeah, well, I guess I missed out on a lot of that when I was a kid, so I suppose that's made me more and more determined to have a good family life of my own. Now that I know where I'm heading career- wise, I guess marriage is the next step, isn't it.
BRONWYN: To somebody other than Jane!
MIKE: Yeah... I think that would have been a big mistake: I don't think Jane's really *ready* for a family. But *me*, well...
BRONWYN (smiles): I think that's great! To be honest, I was starting to think I was the only person who still felt like that.
MIKE: Yeah, well, don't, ‘cos you're not!
Everyone is still sitting around the kitchen table. Beverly tells Katie that it's way past her bedtime. Katie asks for a story, and Beverly laughs that she'll read her a short one. Hilary says she thinks it's time she and Matt left also. Helen says she hopes they both enjoyed themselves. Matt smiles that it was great. Helen asks Todd and Nick to clear away the dishes, while she sees Hilary and Matt out. Sharon stays behind to help with the dishes. Nick picks up some dishes and goes and puts them down heavily in the sink. Todd says to him:
TODD: Come on, Nick, Helen didn't *mean* to leave you out.
NICK (mutters): Didn't she?
SHARON (blankly): Did I *miss* something?
TODD: Yeah, well, Nick got a really great result today too, but all anyone could say was how great *Matt* is.
SHARON: Yeah, well, it sort of *was* Matt's party.
NICK (snaps): *Everything's* Matt now. Suddenly it's like I don't exist. They made it plain I'm not part of the family anymore. I think the best thing I could do is just get out of everyone's lives.
With that, Nick heads out of the kitchen, leaving Sharon and Todd standing looking worried.