Jim discovering that Paul has returned home with a woman that isn't Gail.
Sharon is talking on the ‘phone in the lounge room, trying to arrange a date with Brad, but he seems to have forgotten about it! She tells him to pick her up at 7:30. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Sharon tells Brad that she has to go. She hangs up and answers the door to Melanie. The two of them head into the lounge room and Melanie smiles:
MELANIE: *I* won the cake competition!
SHARON: Ah! Yay! All right!
Melanie goes on that she brought some cake over earlier for Sharon to have a taste of. Sharon, however, says she hasn't seen it. Melanie adds that the plate she brought it on isn't hers. Sharon goes to look for it. As she does so, Melanie calls:
MELANIE: Come to think of it, we might have finished all that cake when we were over here before. It was really yummy.
SHARON (calls back): That's all right. I only have to *look* at cake and I start bulging. I'm going out with this new guy tonight and I want to look all gorgeous.
Melanie asks if it's anyone she knows and Sharon, returning to the room with Melanie's plate, explains that's it's Brad. She adds that the only trouble is that he only talks about two things – football and basketball, neither of which she knows anything about; she's scared she'll say the wrong thing. Melanie, however, tells her:
MELANIE: You don't have to *say* anything. Let him talk and you just gasp admiringly from time to time!
SHARON: Yeah, I suppose. It would be nice if we could actually have a conversation, though.
Melanie suggests that Sharon should double-date: it's easier to keep the conversation going with more people around. Sharon exclaims that that's a great idea, and she asks Melanie if she wants to come. Melanie says uncertainly:
SHARON: Yeah! It'll be fantastic – we're going to all-night horror movies at the Elliott Park drive-in. Come on.
Melanie says she's already *got* a date tonight. Sharon tells her that he's got to come too: that's the whole point of a double-date! Melanie looks dubious, but she then smiles:
MELANIE: No, he'll love it, I'm sure he will! It'll be fine! Yeah, OK!
Jim is ranting at Helen, asking angrily how Paul could do something like that after all his raving about how much he loves Gail and can't live without her. Helen tells him to calm down and at least give Paul a chance to explain things. Beverly arrives home and says she stopped off at the surgery on the way home to pick up the mail. She waves a letter at Jim and tells him coolly:
BEVERLY: My official reprimand from the medical board.
HELEN: Is it as bad as you thought?
BEVERLY: Well, they didn't strike me and they didn't fine me, but they made it very clear that if anything like this ever happens again, I'll be in serious trouble – so I guess you could say I was lucky.
Jim shrugs that it's one thing after another. Beverly asks what *else* has happened and Helen tells her:
HELEN: Paul's back.
JIM (tersely): Yeah, with some woman over at the house.
BEVERLY: What happened with Gail?
JIM: You'll have to ask *Paul* that. Seems a fair bet the marriage is history.
BEVERLY (angrily): Then all this was for nothing? I throw my ethics out the window, risk my reputation and it hasn't made a blind bit of difference to anything. Well, isn't that just terrific?
Rhys starts crying and Beverly goes to tend to him. She bends down by his carry-cot and tells him gently that she's sorry if she frightened him; she's just a bit upset. Jim watches her.
It's evening-time, and Sharon and Brad head from the kitchen into the lounge room at No. 30, Brad talking non-stop about one of his football games. Sharon tries to stop him, saying he told her on the ‘phone this afternoon, but Brad replies that he can show her the moves now! Sharon tells him that Mel and her friend will be here soon. Brad asks if the guy plays footie, but Sharon shrugs that she doesn't know anything about him. Brad says he doesn't mind going over the game again with *him*! There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Sharon quickly goes and opens it to Melanie and the Reverend Richards. Melanie apologises for them being a bit late, then says:
MELANIE: Rev, this is Sharon.
REVEREND RICHARDS: It's nice to meet you, Sharon.
The three of them head into the lounge room and Sharon introduces Brad. Brad shakes the Reverend's hand and says:
BRAD: How ya goin', Rev?
REVEREND RICHARDS: Er, fine. Craig's the name, actually.
BRAD: Oh right. Play footie, do you?
REVEREND RICHARDS: Oh yeah – well, I used to play a bit.
Sharon suggests that they'd better get going or they'll miss the start of the movie. Melanie asks whose car they're going to go in. Brad says to Reverend Richards:
BRAD: Hey – with a nickname like ‘Rev', you must have a great set of wheels, huh?
REVEREND RICHARDS: How's that, Brad?
BRAD: You've gotta be a real revhead! Am I right?!
The Reverend Richards looks at Brad blankly. Brad says:
BRAD: Doesn't matter. Just so long as you've got lots of room in the back seat!
REVEREND RICHARDS (blankly): Yeah, I've got plenty of room. Why?
BRAD (laughs): “Why”, he says! I love a guy with a sense of humour!
Melanie raises her eyebrows! Sharon suggests quickly that they'd better go, and they head out!
Jim is sitting with Helen in the kitchen, ranting that it obviously means *nothing* to Paul if the workshop's ground to a complete halt while *he* tries to run his business for him. Helen suggests he go and see Paul now, but Jim retorts that Paul owes it to *them* to come and explain what's going on. Lucy and Nick come in to the kitchen and Lucy says they're going now. Jim tells them to be home no later than 11pm. Helen wishes them a nice time and they head out. Beverly comes in and says Rhys is sound asleep. Helen says to Jim:
HELEN: Do you think this could be the start of something serious between Nick and Lucy?
JIM (frowns): I don't know. I certainly hope not.
HELEN: Oh. Does that mean you don't think he's good enough for her?
JIM: Too old for her, is what I think he is.
HELEN: There's only a couple of years' difference – and girls mature emotionally earlier than boys. It might be *nice* for her to go out with somebody who's already a friend.
JIM (curtly): He is too old for her and I don't want them encouraged. Understood?
HELEN: Well I suppose it's too much to expect you to be reasonable tonight, the mood you're in.
Helen then announces that she's going out for a while.
A short time later, Paul opens the front door of No. 22 to Helen and says he thought it might have been Jim again. Helen muses that Jim didn't feel Paul would want to see him. Paul comments that Jim obviously told her what happened before. Helen nods:
HELEN: Yes, he mentioned that you had someone here with you.
PAUL: Gran, it was no big deal. It was just somebody I met on the ‘plane. We both felt like a bit of company, so--; well, anyway, she's gone.
Helen suggests that if Paul feels like company, he should come over for dinner. Paul retorts that maybe he's not up to talking about what everybody's going to ask him about. Helen says:
HELEN: Paul, is it really an intrusion for your family to be concerned about you? Look, when you know how hard we've been praying for you and Gail to resolve your differences, don't you think you're being a little selfish to want to shut us out from knowing what's happened?
PAUL (impatiently): Gran, there's nothing to *tell*. The marriage is over – well and truly. Now, Gail has made that more than clear.
HELEN (sympathetically): Oh darling, I'm so sorry.
PAUL: Look, the only reason I stayed down there for so long is because I wanted to spend some time with the babies. [Longingly] Oh gran, they're beautiful – all three of them... they're just so beautiful... [Bitterly] Now I have to accept the fact that they're just not going to be a part of my life anymore, don't I?
HELEN: Surely Gail can't prevent you from seeing them?
PAUL: Oh, in theory, no – I mean, we've been terrifically civilised about it. ‘Just friends' – isn't that what they say? What the hell is the point, though? I mean, they're in Tasmania and I'm up here. The way business is at the moment, I can't just go racing off to see them every time I feel like it, can I?
HELEN: In other words, you're *still* putting work before everything else?
PAUL: Gran, work *is* everything else. That's all I've got in my life now. Gail has gone and she's taken the kids with her. Now, the sooner I get used to that idea, the better off I'm going to be.
Helen looks at Paul sadly.
Sometime later, Paul has joined Beverly, Jim and Helen for dinner. Helen comments that he doesn't look as though he's been eating properly, but Paul tells her that he's not really that hungry. Jim sighs that they seem to be avoiding the one topic that everyone wants to know about: how's Gail? Paul just retorts that he should ask Gail, because *he* doesn't want to talk about it. Beverly says:
BEVERLY: Well, at least tell us about the babies, Paul. We don't even know their names.
Paul hesitates before smiling sadly:
PAUL: They're gorgeous kids, they really are – all three of them. She's named the boys Robert – after her father – and Cameron, and the little girl's Lucinda. Oh gran, you would especially like Lucinda: she's you to a T – well, I mean, no nonsense: she knows exactly what she wants and just goes for it!
HELEN: Really?! Already!
PAUL: Yeah... And they've got such distinct personalities. In a way, I wish I hadn't gone down there. I didn't think I was going to get so attached in such a short time, and now I've just got to forget that they even exist.
BEVERLY: But why? Surely the situation will change? Maybe when they're a little older and can travel?
PAUL (tersely): Yeah, sure – and Gail might've moved them to the other side of the world by then. Look, I don't want to talk about it.
Rhys starts crying suddenly and Beverly goes to check on him. Paul sits there looking confused at hearing a baby, and Helen explains that Rhys is a guest in the house and Beverly's minding him. Jim muses:
JIM: I wish it was that simple...
Elliott Park drive-in
Reverend Richards pulls up his people carrier at the drive-in. He and Melanie are sitting in the front and Sharon and Brad are sitting in the back, Brad still talking non-stop about football! Sharon interrupts him to tell everyone that the movies are ‘The Omen' and ‘The Exorcist'. Melanie grins:
MELANIE: I hope you like them, Rev!
REVEREND RICHARDS: Oh yeah, as long as they've got happy endings. I do like a good happy ending!
SHARON (grins): Oh boy, have *you* come to the wrong show!
The Reverend Richards then warns that they can't stay too late, as Sunday's rather a busy day for him. Brad suggests to Sharon that they go and get a burger – and he'll tell her about the game on the way! They both climb out of the car, but Brad tells Sharon to go ahead, as he's got to talk to Rev for a sec. Sharon walks off and Brad heads round to the Reverend's side of the car. He says:
BRAD: One thing we've got to sort out, Revvo: who gets the back seat first, eh?
REVEREND RICHARDS: Oh, well, I don't know, but—
BRAD: I'm easy either way. You two let us know when we get back!
With that, Brad walks off. Melanie clears her throat, looking awkward!
Nick and Lucy are sitting at a table in the coffee area, Nick grinning as he tells Lucy that next time she falls over she should grab someone *else's* arm! He then adds that he has to admit that she's not that bad on skates: some of those moves were kind of impressive. Lucy tells him that *he* wasn't as bad as he said he was – but he needs to practice more, instead of spending all his time on a skateboard. Nick comments that maybe he *will*. He then says:
NICK: Anyway, it was a lot of fun.
LUCY: Yeah. That's the trouble with boarding school: you don't get many chances to go out and enjoy yourself.
NICK: I suppose not – and it must be rough having to spend so much time away from your family.
LUCY: Yeah, I miss them a lot – but I know they're there if I need them, and I reckon I'm just lucky that they're as terrific as they are.
Lucy then comments to Nick that it must have been hard for *him* not having a family of his own. Nick admits that it *was* sometimes – but he's got a hell of a lot to thank *her* family for. Lucy smiles that he seems pretty together. A waitress walks up and offers them more coffee. Lucy looks at Nick and comments that he wanted to get home early, didn't he? Nick, however, replies that he's in no hurry and will go another cup if *she* can. The two of them smile at each other, fondly.
Paul is sitting on the couch with Helen, telling her that he's not really going to have time to think about *anything* except catching up in the office for the next few weeks. Jim joins them with coffee and Beverly emerges from the bedroom area. Helen asks if Rhys is asleep and Beverly nods that he is, finally. Paul remarks:
PAUL: I suppose there's an upside to everything, isn't there? Well, *I* won't have to worry about dirty nappies or babies crying in the middle of the night.
Beverly, however, tells him not to let himself get bitter: she can't believe there isn't a chance he and Gail won't get back together. Paul retorts:
PAUL: You'd *better* believe it. Look, if Gail came to my door *begging* at the moment, I wouldn't take her back.
HELEN: I'm sure you don't mean that, darling.
PAUL: Oh yes, gran. Look, our relationship started off as a business agreement and I think that's the way it should've stayed – because except for the kids, I reckon I'm better off without her.
BEVERLY (coolly): If that's true, then why did you pressure me into putting my career on the line? What was it you said? “I just need a chance to tell her I love her”?
PAUL: I'm sorry, Bev: I was confused; I wasn't really thinking straight.
BEVERLY (snaps): Oh. And while *you* were being confused, *I* was being emotionally blackmailed – for no good reason, it now turns out. Well, that was very thoughtful of you Paul. Thanks a lot.
PAUL: Look, I *said* I am sorry. Why make such a big deal about it? Anyway, all you got was a token slap on the wrist.
BEVERLY: It could've been a lot more. My work happens to be very important to me – though I wouldn't expect *you* to believe any woman's career really matters.
PAUL (disbelievingly): Oh, come on. Look, how can you sit there and tell me your career means so desperately much to you? From what I hear, you're prepared to throw it all away on some baby who isn't even *yours*. You career women, you just amaze me. You're all the same: you scream out for equal opportunities, you claw your way into top jobs over the bodies of I-don't-know-how-many men—
BEVERLY (furiously): Claw? My god, you're in the wrong *century*. The fact is, for a woman to have any kind of career at all, she still needs to be *twice* as good as the men you're talking about. Yeah, it's easy to see why Gail thought she might as well go it alone. Fat chance her career would have had with *you* around.
PAUL: Oh, *what* career? The smell of dirty nappies and she gets all clucky. I mean, try to run a business like *that*—
Helen interrupts and warns Paul quickly that she knows he's under a lot of strain, but it's hardly fair to take it out on Beverly. Jim adds that he knows things have been rough for Paul lately, but he shouldn't start saying a whole lot of things he doesn't really mean. Paul retorts:
PAUL: Who *says* I don't?
BEVERLY (coolly): I don't have to put up with this in my own home.
Jim suggests that they all just calm down, and he tells Paul that he thinks an apology is in order. Paul, however, retorts:
PAUL: I'm supposed to apologise for something that's true? Forget it. It was a mistake coming here in the first place.
With that, he storms out. When he's gone, Helen tells Beverly that he didn't *mean* all that: he's just lashing out at the closest target. Beverly, however, retorts:
BEVERLY: Oh, he meant it all right. He might have been upset, but he knew *exactly* what he was saying.
Elliott Park drive-in
Reverend Richards and Melanie are watching the movie; Sharon and Brad are snogging in the back of the people carrier! Melanie lets out a scream suddenly and she then sighs in relief that it's over. Reverend Richards says:
REVEREND RICHARDS: Actually, I quite enjoyed that!
MELANIE: You're not serious!
Melanie turns to Brad and Sharon and asks what *they* thought, but they're so engrossed in each other that it takes a while for them to respond! When they eventually pull apart, Brad says he's starving, and he suggests to Sharon that they go and get some food. As they climb out of the car, Brad says:
BRAD: Hey, Rev, guess it's *your* turn for the back seat now, huh!
MELANIE (looking embarrassed): All right... don't go on about it.
Melanie asks Brad to get her some chips and a chocolate thickshake. Brad then says:
BRAD: How ‘bout you, Revhead? Can I get you something?
MELANIE (laughs): Could you stop calling him ‘Revhead'?!
BRAD: Isn't that what *you* call him?
MELANIE: I call him Rev – which is short for Reverend. Craig's a Minister.
SHARON (gasps): What *sort* of Minister? You don't mean a church Minister, do you?
Melanie nods her head. The Reverend Richards smiles:
REVEREND RICHARDS: Bless you, my children!
Jim is looking out through the front window. He then joins Helen on the couch and remarks that it's been quite a day – and it's not over yet, either. Helen tells him that there's no point looking at his watch every five minutes: Lucy and Nick will be home when they're home. She adds:
HELEN: You do *trust* Nick, don't you?
JIM: I said eleven o'clock. It's now almost eleven thirty. I have enough to worry about with Paul, without having to worry about Lucy as well.
HELEN: I imagine they're enjoying themselves and have lost track of time. And as for Paul, we have to take into account how hurt and angry he is at the moment.
JIM (tersely): Being hurt and angry is one thing; but taking it out on Beverly is something completely different. Now, he's my son: I'll give him all the sympathy he needs once he apologises to her.
HELEN: I'm sure he *will* – once he calms down.
Helen then looks at her watch. Jim tells her that there's no point both of them waiting up. Helen, however, says she might tidy Lucy's room up, as she noticed she hadn't unpacked all her things.
Elliott Park drive-in
The gang are watching the second movie. Brad and Sharon are now in the front and the Reverend Richards and Melanie are in the back of the people carrier. The Reverend moves his arm and starts to put it round Melanie, but is interrupted by Sharon calling back to ask if anyone wants popcorn! The Reverend tries again, but Melanie screams out at the film suddenly and cries that she can't watch! The Reverend Richards takes the opportunity to put his arms round her and smile that it's all right – there's nothing to be frightened of. Sharon grins in delight at the development! She then looks at Brad – but he's fallen asleep! Looking annoyed, she stuffs a piece of popcorn in his open mouth!
Nick and Lucy are still sitting at the table in the coffee area. Nick pays the waitress as he tells Lucy about his lack of prowess at basketball. Lucy giggles, but then looks at her watch and realises it's nearly midnight. She exclaims:
LUCY: Dad's gonna *kill* me.
The two of them stand up. Lucy then says:
LUCY: I hope tonight wasn't too bad for you. I know you really didn't want to go out with me.
NICK: Yes I did. Well, maybe I was a bit sort of, um... I thought you were a bit too young – but you're not: you've changed a lot since the last time you were home; not that you weren't nice before, it's just that, um... Look, I had a fantastic time. Really.
Helen emerges from Lucy's room, her hands behind her back. Jim is looking out the front window again and Helen comments:
HELEN: They're still not home?
JIM: No. Look, I'm sure there's nothing to panic about, and I agree with you that Lucy is perfectly safe with Nick – but they're going to get one hell of a lecture when they come in that door.
Helen, looking worried, says:
HELEN: Jim, I found something in Lucy's room. I can hardly believe it.
With that, she hands Jim a small cardboard box. Jim looks at it and an expression of disappointment crosses his face.