Melanie telling Jane angrily on the ‘phone that she should leave Des alone now that everything is over between them!
Nick is looking out the front window. Todd and Melissa come in the front door and Nick asks Todd curtly where he's been, as they've got work to do: a guy wants his front yard cleaned up. Todd sighs at Nick that he doesn't have to blow a gasket – but he can only stay for an hour, as he and Melissa have got a big night planned tonight. Nick mutters sarcastically:
NICK: Oh yeah? What – playing Monopoly?!
TODD: No – we're going out to dinner.
MELISSA: We're going to this really nice place called ‘le restaurant'. I don't think you would've heard of it.
NICK (coolly): I've heard of it. [To Todd] So who do you think you're going to impress?
Todd glares at Nick and says to him tersely that if he had a girl to go out with, he'd be going out on the town too. Nick says curtly:
NICK: Mate, I'll give you some free advice: you go to a place like that and they make you feel like a fool; so don't say like I didn't warn you.
Melissa, however, says enthusiastically that she's already been, with her parents: everything's French, including the menu, and the waiters talk French. Looking suddenly uncertain, Todd asks her if she's *sure* it's French. Melissa nods that it is. Todd then says that, seeing as she's already been there with her parents, why don't they go somewhere else – where they speak English? Melissa tells him:
MELISSA: That's sweet of you, Todd, but 'le restaurant' is my very favourite, favourite place. It's so cool!
Nick interrupts and asks Todd curtly if they can do this job. Melissa says she'd better go and get her piano lesson over and done with. She gives Todd a kiss and heads out. When she's gone, Nick tells Todd to hang on for the fireworks at No. 30. Todd just looks at him blankly. Nick suggests they get going. Todd, however, retorts that he can't – he's got something to do. He storms off to his room, leaving Nick looking annoyed.
Sharon and Matt are sitting in the lounge room, Sharon counting some money. She tells Matt that they've only got $250, including $60 from Nick's gardening money. There's a knock on the front door and Matt goes to answer it as Sharon adds that she's chipping in her savings account. Matt opens the door and finds Melissa on the step. She heads inside and announces that she's there for her piano lesson. Sharon says quickly in concern:
SHARON: No, you can't!
Matt tells Melissa to just go away and say she forgot. Melissa, however, replies that she can't: her parents have been cool about Todd and she doesn't want to get them mad again. Hilary comes in and tells Melissa to warm up. She heads out again. Matt tells Melissa quietly that the piano's been trashed. Sharon adds that they've been trying to get it fixed. Melissa hesitates and then suggests they use the tape she recorded. Sharon says excitedly that that's it! Melissa looks suddenly less certain, but Matt says he'll go get the tape.
Des lets Clive in, warily, explaining to him that Melanie is driving him nuts! Clive asks him if he'd rather be *bored* to death! Des exclaims that she's at the office all the time, then dropping round to Ramsay Street whenever she wants. He goes on:
DES: I tell you what, mate: I reckon she fancies me!
CLIVE: You're dreaming!
DES: What - you reckon she's just being friendly?
Clive asks what's wrong with being friendly. Des, however, retorts that you cannot have a friendship with a woman; he's read the books! He continues:
DES: You can have a relationship with a woman, or you can have a so-called friendship with one. If you have a so-called friendship with one, it leads to tension, you see – and the proof is in the pudding: I *am* tense!
Clive tells Des that what he needs is some food! With that, he goes and opens the door to go and get some fish and chips. He finds Melanie standing on the step, though. She pokes her head in and says hi to Des. Des gives her a little wave of horror!
Beverly comes in through the back door and exclaims:
BEVERLY: What a day!
Helen, who's working in the kitchen, tells her that Jim's taking them out to dinner to celebrate his qualifying. Beverly doesn't look impressed. Helen warns her not to be hard on him, and Beverly assures her that she won't spoil his night. She adds that she supposes she should be happy that *one* of them feels like celebrating. Helen points out:
HELEN: Paul's his son. If Jim could've seen the repercussions, he'd—
BEVERLY (tersely): He'd have done it anyway. So, that's it: Jim pressured me into telling Paul where Gail was. I did. Now I'm in trouble with the Medical Board and I'm depressed, OK?
She wanders over to the kitchen table, where Nick and Todd are doing their homework, and asks if they're *all* going out. Helen tells her that Nick's invited, but Todd has his *other* arrangements. Beverly smiles:
BEVERLY (to Todd): Oh yeah – ‘le restaurant'. A high-roller!
Beverly then warns Todd that the place is quite pricy. Todd, however, insists that he can afford it. The doorbell rings and Beverly and Helen head through to answer it. Meanwhile, Nick spots that Todd has a French textbook on the table in front of him. He picks it up, but Todd grabs it back from him, looking annoyed. Nick says snidely:
NICK: You're gonna die, mate.
Beverly and Helen come in with Clive, who, overhearing Nick, says:
CLIVE: Not with two doctors present, I hope – that's bad for business!
Beverly explains about Todd having dinner at ‘le restaurant'. Clive smiles that he envies him! Todd sighs heavily!
The tape Melissa recorded is playing on a cassette player on top of the piano, while Melissa pretends to press the keys on the piano at the same time. Sharon and Matt are both in the lounge room with her. Hilary comes in and Sharon quickly stands in front of her and asks where the flour sifter is, as she wants to make some dumplings for dinner tonight. Hilary sighs and says she'll show her. She asks Melissa to get on with her practice. She and Sharon leave the room. Melissa looks at Matt despairingly and asks what she should do. Matt tells her to play the piano for real: it's not *her* fault if they get busted. He turns off the tape. Melissa starts playing just as Hilary comes back in. Matt tries to create a diversion by dropping his pencil case, but Hilary tells him wearily to pick the things up and go to his room with his homework. She then tells Melissa that she's not applying herself, and she tells her to try the scales again. Sharon dashes in with Arthur, suddenly, and says she thinks the cat's got a sore paw. Hilary examines him, but then says it looks all right to *her*. She looks round at Melissa – just as she's about to turn the tape player back on. She sighs:
HILARY: I suppose you all think this is some sort of a joke. Well, I have a sense of humour and you certainly had me fooled. Now, can we please get on with the lesson?
Melissa starts playing, but the notes don't sound properly, and Hilary goes to look inside the piano. She lifts up a mat covering the stains on top of the piano. Matt says nervously:
MATT: Mum, we were going to tell you—
HILARY (looking horrified): What have you *done*...?
A short time later, Hilary closes the top lid of the piano carefully. Matt tells her that they thought they had everything covered. Sharon adds that the piano was a blind spot, but they *tried* to raise enough money to have it repaired; that's why they went into the pizza business. Matt adds:
MATT: We've got no excuse, but we're sorry.
HILARY (quietly): Well, I'll have to get a quote on the repairs.
SHARON: I already did: $500 for the repairs and another $150 for the polishing.
Hilary shrugs that it has to be done; they can pay her back when they can. Matt asks what's going to happen to *them*. Hilary says flatly:
HILARY: Well, you didn't vandalise the piano deliberately – I'll take your word for that. What you *did* was throw a party behind my back. Now, I hope next time you'll both have the decency to discuss any sort of plans with *me*. That way, we can avoid expensive accidents.
With that, Hilary leaves the room. Sharon asks Matt in astonishment if Hilary isn't even going to ground them. Matt suggests that maybe she's in shock. Sharon exclaims that she *must* be; she didn't yell or *anything*. Matt stands there looking thoughtful.
Des opens the front door to Clive and hisses at him:
DES: You took your time.
Clive comes in with fish and chips and spring rolls! He asks Melanie – who's sitting on the couch, playing with one of Jamie's cuddly toys! – if she wants to join them. Melanie says she doesn't want to butt in, but Clive says he had a feeling she might still be there, so he bought accordingly! Des mutters:
DES: Very thoughtful of you.
CLIVE: Kind of guy I am!
The doorbell rings suddenly and Clive goes to answer it. He finds Todd on the step and asks him in surprise if he shouldn't be getting ready for his big night out. Todd explains that he's just been over to the restaurant. Clive invites him in and Des offers him a chip. Clive, however, tells Des:
CLIVE: Don't be insulting! Tonight, he and his girl will be dining at the best French restaurant this side of the river!
Todd then hands Clive a menu from the restaurant, explaining that he needs a translator. Clive smiles that it's just as well he's there! He starts going through the menu and points out snails, frogs' legs, Coq au Vin and lobster. He then spots the steak and tells Todd to repeat after him:
Todd murmurs that he supposes he can remember that. Clive then says there's one small problem: to do it right, in a place like that, the gentleman should order for the lady. Todd exclaims that Melissa's been before with her parents: she might like some of the stuff on the menu. Clive says:
CLIVE: Repeat after me: L'Escargot.
CLIVE: Pâté de foie gras.
TODD (mutters): Great. I plan for a big night out and what do I get? Homework!
Helen walks into the kitchen and tells Nick – who's still doing his homework – that the bathroom's free. He doesn't respond. Helen repeats what she said and Nick snaps that he heard – he just wants to finish what he's doing. Helen points out that Todd will want it and then there'll be a traffic jam. Nick stands up, looking annoyed. Beverly comes in as he takes a tissue out of a box on the table and wipes his nose. She asks him if he's feeling all right, as he's been through half a box of tissues since he got home from school, but Nick snaps at her:
NICK: I've got a cold; a lousy cold. Just for once, I wish everyone would get off my case.
With that, he storms off. Helen tells Beverly that she thinks Nick is taking this split with Sharon much harder than he's letting on; she's tried to talk to him but he clams up. Beverly exclaims:
Sharon hands Hilary an envelope containing some cash, and Hilary thanks her. Sharon asks her if she isn't going to count it, but Hilary assures her that she'll take her word for it how much is in there. Changing the subject, Sharon asks Hilary if she's going back to work tomorrow. Hilary shrugs that she hasn't really decided. Matt comes in and starts to say:
MATT: If you're still worried about that stupid letter—
HILARY (curtly): Matthew – I think that's *my* business; don't you?
MATT: We live here too, you know? We care if you're hurt.
SHARON: Yeah, we *do*.
MATT: It was a stupid joke. You can't lose your job over it.
HILARY (stiffly): That poem suggested feelings between Mr. Muir and myself. The problem is that I responded to it. That's the humiliation. It's a very sophisticated way to hurt someone.
Sharon insists that Todd didn't mean it like that. Hilary mutters that she doesn't suppose he did – but while she was away, she thought about why Todd would dislike her so much. She goes on that the business with Melissa probably contributed...:
HILARY: ...but then it crossed my mind that I may be dislikeable.
MATT: You're not!
HILARY: Matt, when you're attacked, you have to consider these things. Todd hurt me very much with that letter. I wonder how many people said ‘serves her right'. I wonder how much of it was my own fault.
Matt tells Hilary:
MATT: Look, you set a lot of rules; and you don't loosen up that much.
SHARON: And you don't listen to other people's point of view very much.
MATT (warns): Sharon...
SHARON: Sorry. What I mean is, sometimes people take you the wrong way – but it doesn't mean they don't like you.
HILARY: Thank you for being so honest.
MATT: What she's trying to say is: we both care about you a lot. We don't want to see you unhappy.
SHARON: Yeah. Right.
HILARY: I *know* people find me hard to take, but you have to set your own standards. Life has to have rules, and ‘compromise' has never been a word I'd care to use. You see, I never really imagined I'd *care* what people thought. I just thought it didn't matter; but it's rather humiliating to find out that it *does*, I can tell you. When you discover that people dislike you, you suddenly feel very lonely.
Sharon gives Hilary a hug as Hilary begins to sob:
HILARY: That's the *frightening* thing: I don't *want* to feel like that. Oh, I know it's up to me. I have to be the one to change. I just wish I knew *how*.
With that, she bursts into tears. Sharon and Matt both hold her, sympathetically.
Todd and Melanie are sitting across from each other at the dinner table, Todd muttering at Clive that this feels dumb. Clive tells him to pretend that Melanie is Melissa and they've both had time to study the menu. He then declares:
CLIVE: Lights, camera, action!
TODD (hesitantly): The Chateaubriand looks quite tempting, but if you prefer something a little lighter, I can suggest the Crêpes de Poule or the Coq au Vin.
Melanie's face creases up in laughter at some of Todd's pronunciations! Clive warns her that she's not helping. Looking annoyed, Todd suggests that they forget it, but Clive tells him that they should accept that Melissa knows what she wants to eat and just work on the pronunciations. He then says to Melanie in a deep voice and French-English accent:
CLIVE: Bonsoir, Mademoiselle.
CLIVE (to Todd): Bonsoir. Everything is satisfactory?
TODD: Oh yeah, it's nice, thanks.
CLIVE: [In his normal voice] No, no, ‘merci', not ‘ thanks'. ‘Merci'. [In a French accent] Monsieur is ready to order?
TODD: Um, yes, thank you. I'll have the Chateaubriand and the lady will have the chicken.
CLIVE (whispers): No, no, no, le Coq—
TODD (corrects): The Coq--; the Coq au Vin.
CLIVE: Et les entrées?
TODD (blankly): Pardon?
CLIVE (in his normal voice): The entrées. Come on, Todd, we've been over this.
TODD (sighs): I'm getting confused.
With that, Todd leaps up from his seat and mutters that they should just forget it – he feels worse now than he did before. He marches out. Clive shrugs at Des and Melanie:
CLIVE: Oh well – I tried.
DES: Yeah. That's what I call a crash course – ‘crash' being the operative word!
Nick is sitting on the couch, silently. Helen tells him that he doesn't *have* to come, but Nick retorts that he's ready; it's only a cold. Helen says gently:
HELEN: Nick, sometimes feelings are hard to understand. That's especially true if a relationship breaks up.
NICK (standing up, angrily): How I feel is *my* business; and Sharon's history. Now, are you satisfied?
HELEN: No, not really – but if you're in this mood and you spoil Jim's night tonight, I'd rather you *didn't* come. You just think about it.
Clive is serving a mug of tea to Melanie when the ‘phone rings. Des goes to get it. Jane comes on and Des asks her happily how she is. At the counter, Melanie begins to look worried. Des listens and then says to Jane in astonishment:
DES: What? ... Jane ... Jane, that's ridiculous! ... [Tersely] She told you *what*?
Des then tells Jane that he'll find out what's happening, then call her back later. He hangs up and strides over to the counter, where he glares at Melanie and says:
DES: Jane called the office. Now, *what* did you tell her?
MELANIE (meekly): I told her to stop bothering you.
DES (roars): You *what*?
MELANIE (cries): I thought I was doing the right thing.
Clive tells Des to calm down. Des, however, yells:
DES: Calm down? She told Jane that I want to call the marriage off.
MELANIE (cries): I thought *she* had.
DES: So did Joe. Jane called him and tried to find out what had happened.
Des then shouts at Melanie furiously:
DES: How far did you spread this?
Clive tells Des that these misunderstandings can happen; even *he* thought he and Jane were sort of drifting--. He breaks off and Des asks tersely:
DES: And who told *you*?
Clive looks at Melanie. Des snaps at her:
DES: Thank you very much.
Clive insists that it was an honest mistake: Melanie didn't mean it; it wasn't deliberate. Des yells:
DES: Mate, I don't *care* if it was deliberate.
Melanie sits there in tears as Des tells Clive curtly:
DES: The damage is done. Jane is taking this seriously.
Matt is sitting with Hilary in the lounge room, telling her that when she wakes up in the morning, she'll feel much more positive about all of this. Hilary points out that the situation won't have changed. Matt acknowledges this, but tells her that she's got to face people sooner or later; it's not like her to run scared. Hilary retorts:
HILARY: That's when I thought people respected me. Now I know what they *really* think. Anyway, the situation with Mr. Muir is impossible.
MATT: But he's a decent bloke, you know? He likes you. He'll understand.
Hilary, however, stands up and says she doesn't want to discuss it any further. She walks out of the room, leaving Matt looking worried.
Todd emerges from the bedroom area and stands in the lounge room. He takes another look at the menu and tries to pronounce some of the dishes, but without much success! Helen, Beverly and Nick join him from the kitchen and Beverly exclaims that he looks wonderful! A car horn sounds outside and Helen tells him to have a wonderful time. He dashes out, leaving Beverly to comment to Helen wistfully:
BEVERLY: When they start taking their girlfriends out to French restaurants...
HELEN: Yes, but at least he's paying for it himself. Be grateful for small mercies!
With that, Helen and Beverly head through to the bedroom area. No one notices Todd's wallet lying on the desk, by the ‘phone...