Joe and Noelene asking Toby to decide which of them he wants to live with.
Kerry stands there, a look of disbelief on her face. She snaps:
KERRY: Just stop it. I suggested that you let Toby have a *say*, not to choose instantly between the two people he loves most in the world.
JOE (retorts): Don't look at *me* - *I* didn't want to lay it on him like this. If Noelene wasn't so hell- bent on snatching the kid off—
NOELENE (angrily): You had plenty of time to tell him.
JOE: Oh yes - out of the blue with no warning.
NOELENE: All you had to do was explain to him—
JOE: Oh yeah, that's right, typical, let *me* do all the dirty work.
Toby stares at his parents arguing and then yells:
TOBY: I'm *sorry*.
He runs out, looking upset. Kerry growls at Joe and Noelene that she doesn't believe what the two of them have just put that little boy through.
Backyard of No. 32
Toby is sitting on the steps outside the kitchen, stroking Bouncer. Joe comes out and sits down next to him, and he comments gently that they really dumped Toby in it; he's sorry he had to find out like that - he was just a bit thrown when Noelene said she wanted to take Toby back to Darwin. Toby says:
TOBY: I don't know *what* do to. I miss mum - I think about her a lot...
JOE: Of course you do - it's only natural.
TOBY: ...But when I was away in Darwin, I missed you and Kerry and Sky and Bouncer. I love *all* of you.
JOE: Listen, Tobe: whatever you decide to do, it's OK by me. If you want to go with your mum, I'll understand, and there'll be no hassles from either of us. We just want you to be happy - not that it's going to be the same without you round here, mate; I mean, Kerry and me gonna miss you heaps... and granddad... Madge is just getting used to the idea of you calling her 'grandma'! They'll understand - you know. If you decide to go away, they'll just think 'he's doing it for the best'. Don't worry about it. It'll be all right.
Toby sits there, still looking upset.
Reception area/Office of the Robinson Corporation
Helen is taking a couple of files out of the cabinet in the reception area when the outside door opens and Hilary comes in. Looking surprised, Helen remarks that they weren't expecting her. Hilary retorts that she wasn't aware she needed an appointment. Helen then tells her that she was sorry to hear she'd broken off her engagement to Kenneth. Hilary just shrugs that it's for the best. With that, she heads into the office. Paul stares at her from behind his desk and asks coolly:
PAUL: And to what do we owe this pleasure, then, Hilary?
HILARY: Paul, I think you're going to be rather pleased with what I have to say. I've decided to return to Adelaide to live.
PAUL: Is this because you lost the court case over your tax?
HILARY (mutters): I see - my personal affairs are common knowledge...
She glances at Helen, who's standing in the doorway. Helen says she felt she had to mention it to Paul. Paul adds that Helen thought Hilary might have to withdraw her investment to help pay for the fines. Hilary tells him that that's not the case; she has other, less- profitable, investments which will clear up that little matter. She goes on that she'll expect regular progress reports, and she hands Paul a piece of paper with her temporary address on it. Paul says:
PAUL: Look, Hilary, if there's anything I can do to help with the move, just don't hesitate to call, eh?
HILARY (sharply): I'm sure Matthew and I can manage.
As she goes to head out, Helen tells Hilary that they'll see her before she goes. Hilary retorts:
HILARY: I expect you *will*, Helen. I'm not exactly leaving *today*, you know.
With that, she walks out. When she's gone, Helen remarks to Paul that that was very gracious of him, offering to help her. Paul muses:
PAUL: Anything to keep her happy, gran. As long as she keeps her money *in* the business and her nose *out* of it, hm?
Toby is sitting with Noelene and Kerry in the lounge room, enthusing about how Joe said he'd take him to this camping place where it's got the ocean on one side and a lake on the other! The front door bangs suddenly and Joe comes in. Noelene remarks:
NOELENE: If it isn't the Iron Man himself!
Joe stands there looking blank and Kerry explains that Toby's been telling them about the camping trip he's got planned. Joe says quickly that he reckons it's a good idea for a young bloke to learn how to cope in the great outdoors. Toby tells Noelene that they're going horse- riding as well! Noelene says *she's* ridden a *camel* up- north. Toby asks what it feels like. Noelene smiles that it's a bit strange! She then tells Toby that she's got some photos of the house they'll be living in: it's got a huge backyard and an amazing pool! With that, she and Toby head out of the room to look at them. When they've gone, Joe mutters to Kerry:
JOE: Bet it's got a flamin' spa, as well.
KERRY (warns): Trying to score points isn't the way. You can't *bribe* Toby to stay.
JOE: I'm *not*.
KERRY: Joe, what about the trip? And all the gear you've promised him?
JOE (snaps): Oh, well, it's a stinking world, isn't it, when a father can't buy his son a few presents without everyone thinking it's a con.
KERRY (tersely): All I am saying is you're not making it any easier for Toby to make up his mind. He may be a child, but he can sense what's going on between you and Noelene; he can sense it's a contest for the two of you.
JOE: I am not going to let him go without a fight.
KERRY (retorts): That's not going to help Toby. When he finally chooses who to live with, he's going to know that one of you - someone he loves dearly - is going to be hurt.
JOE: I just want him to know how special he is. I should've spent time with him *before* - long—. Oh, what's the point, eh? How do you know how I feel? He's not *your* kid. I mean, *you* don't care whether he goes or stays, do you?
With that, he storms out, leaving Kerry looking astonished.
Hilary is sitting in the lounge room, sorting through her collection of books, ready for packing, when Matt walks in and says bluntly:
MATT: Mum, I don't want to come back with you to Adelaide.
Hilary remarks coolly that he's chosen Lee over his own mother. Matt, however, tells her that Lee's important to him, but so is his job: apprenticeships are very hard to come by and he was dead lucky to get *this* one. He adds that, yeah, there are his friends as well... Hilary mutters that she supposes she was foolish to assume he had any sort of loyalty or commitment to *her*. Matt says:
MATT: Of course I do. Of *course* I do. Look, I *love* you. I'll miss you, mum, but there are other people, you know?
HILARY (mutters): Like Lee.
MATT: Yeah, like Lee. I mean, everything's changed for her since she got that job, and she doesn't want to leave it just to go to Adelaide. *I* don't want to leave *her*.
HILARY: A teenage crush is hardly good enough reason to break up an entire family. You're obviously disappointed in me. I'm not what you considered a perfect mother should be. I imagine you'll be glad to get rid of me.
MATT (sighs): Come on. Come on - that's stupid.
HILARY: First Kenneth... now you. I certainly have a way with people...
Tears begin to well- up in Hilary's eyes. Matt tells her gently that they'll work it out; it'll be OK. Hilary sniffs and says:
HILARY: Thank you, Matthew. For a moment, I thought I'd lost you too.
The look on his face shows that Matt realises Hilary has got the wrong end of the stick...
Driveway of No. 32
Lochy is bouncing a ball in the driveway of No. 32 as Toby sits on the wall, cleaning his plimsolls with some white- shoe cleaner. She asks him if he's going to go and live with his mum, adding that Darwin sounds like a boring place. Toby retorts that he had fun when he was there. Kerry comes out and tells the kids that she's making some banana smoothie, if they're interested. She adds that she'll see them inside. As she turns back towards the house, she spots Paul pull up outside No. 32 in a new car. He climbs out and walks over to Kerry, commenting as he does so:
PAUL: You're prepared to go a few rounds for the Erinsborough News with me tomorrow?
KERRY: Oh, so you've agreed to the interview? I didn't think you'd be game.
PAUL: Kerry, if you looked a little bit further than your own backyard, you just might see that there's plenty of people out there prepared to support a project that's both progressive and provides jobs.
KERRY: If *anyone's* out of touch, it's *you*. These days, there are environmentally- aware communities. Erinsborough's one of them. No one's going to allow you to bulldoze a park. They'll see that for exactly what it is: an act of vandalism - and you're the vandal.
PAUL: I'm not even going to *try* and convince you. I'm wasting my time. I'll leave that up to the decision- makers.
With that, Paul turns to walk away - but he finds Lochy standing right behind him, and he almost bangs right into her. Lochy snaps:
LOCHY: You bully. You're always picking on little kids.
Paul just glares at her and warns her to stay away from his new car with her ball.
Hilary is in the lounge room, wrapping some of her belongings up. Lee comes in and asks if Matt's home. Hilary tells her that he's out in the back garden, clearing out the fernery for her. Lee asks if he's said anything about Adelaide yet. Hilary replies:
HILARY: Yes, he *has*, as a matter of fact - which brings *me* to the question: have you thought any more about accommodation?
LEE: Yes. Well, Matt and I are getting a place together, somewhere around Erinsborough.
HILARY (frowns): I think you're mistaken - Matthew's coming with *me*.
LEE: No, but he doesn't *want* to. That's what he said.
HILARY: I think you've misunderstood his intentions, Lee - he's definitely leaving. Now, I've given great consideration for what's best for Matthew, and once he's back in Adelaide - away from certain influences... - he may like to resume his studies. And of course, his foster parents are there, and all his friends.
LEE: Look, I understand why *you* want to leave Erinsborough: all that mess with your tax and your break- up with Mr. Muir; well, I feel sorry for you.
HILARY (snaps): I don't need your sympathy, young woman.
LEE (ignoring Hilary's outburst): That's not your son's fault, so why should *he* have to pay? Hilary, all his plans are for *here*. The only reason he'd decide to go with you is because you'd make him feel guilty if he didn't.
HILARY (coolly): I assure you, Miss, that there's more to Matthew's decision than *that*. After all, blood is thicker than water.
LEE: People can drown in blood, too. The way you're going, you'll lose Matt the same way my parents lost *me*...
Hilary sits there stony- faced.
Noelene is sitting in the lounge room with Joe, telling him that they're going to have to call a truce; they can't go on fighting like this. Joe nods that he knows that - he's been a bit off his brain, lately. Noelene says:
NOELENE: It's because you love him. *I do*, too. At least he's one thing we did *right*...
Joe smiles that he's a bonzer little bloke. Noelene sighs that she's missed Toby something shocking: all those months he was in Erinsborough, she felt like a bit of her was missing. She goes on that that's why she's been working flat chat to get the right job and the house. She continues:
NOELENE: Listen, I know that you and Kerry have done a fantastic job with him; but you know, Joe, I reckon I need him as much as he needs me.
JOE (nods): Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Look, I know you're a good mum, Noels. *I* was the nuthead, wasn't I. Didn't even - didn't even get to *know* my son; but then I got him again; I got a second chance. He's great; he's just the best. I love him.
NOELENE (murmurs): Yeah. We both do. So for his sake, whoever he wants to live with, we've got to cop it sweet. No more blues. Promise?
JOE (whispers): Yeah.
Kerry comes in suddenly, saying enthusiastically that she's just had an idea about this interview with the Erinsborough News: wouldn't it be fantastic to have it in the playground. Joe, however, glares at her and snaps:
JOE: Look, don't you care about anything except your causes? There is something going on here, you know? It's *important*, as if you hadn't noticed.
With that, he walks out, leaving Kerry to murmur that she's sorry.
Paul's car is still parked outside No. 32. He and Helen are standing by the passenger- side door, Paul explaining that the car has a computerised dash, stereo, burglar alarm, the works! He tells Helen to hop in - and he hands her the keys to drive! Helen walks round to the driver's side - but stops in her tracks suddenly. The word 'VANDELL' has been painted down the driver's side of the car. Paul dashes round to have a look, as Helen asks in shock who'd *do* such a thing. At that moment, Kerry emerges from No. 32, calling Lochy and Toby in for dinner. Paul looks at Helen and says darkly:
PAUL: I know *exactly* who would've done it, gran.
Lee is sitting in the lounge room. Matt joins her and tells her that dinner's ready. Lee, however, mutters that she's not hungry. Matt sits down and comments that she's barely said a word since she's come home, and when she *does* open her mouth, all she does is snap at him. Lee retorts that she doesn't like being lied to. Matt asks in surprise:
LEE: Hilary says you're still going with *her*. If you don't want to get a place with me, I wish you'd just say so.
MATT: Of *course* I want to get a place with you. I told mum that I wanted to stay here and she got really upset, and while I was trying to comfort her, she misunderstood; thought I'd changed my mind.
LEE: Fine. Where does that leave *us*?
MATT: Lee, we're going to be together, OK? You've got to trust me on that. But you also have to let me find the right time to tell her, OK?
Lee sits there looking relieved.
Driveway of No. 32
Paul is glaring at Kerry as she stands with Lochy and Toby, saying curtly:
KERRY: You've got no proof it was *either* of them.
PAUL (snaps): Oh of *course* it was kids. I mean, look at the way the word was spelt for a start. Besides, it was you that was calling me a vandal while these two [he indicates Lochy and Toby] were listening in, wasn't it?
Kerry looks at Toby and asks him to tell her the truth: did he write on Paul's car? Toby replies that he didn't. Kerry accepts this and tells Paul that she's sorry: Toby doesn't lie. Helen joins them and tells them that they can relax: she's used some of Jim's carwash and it's all off. She adds that it seemed like poster paint or white- shoe cleaner or something similar. Kerry frowns as she turns to Toby and asks:
KERRY: What happened to that white- shoe cleaner you were using before?
Toby replies that he left it on the step. Paul snaps at him to spare him the act. Lochy, however, says suddenly:
LOCHY: It wasn't him, it was *me*.
Paul mutters that he should have known, and he warns Lochy that her parents are going to be hearing from him. Helen chips in quickly that there's no real harm done and she suggests to Paul they go for that drive - *now*.
It's evening- time. Joe is lying back on the couch, watching TV, when Toby walks in and asks his father if he can talk to him man- to- man. Joe turns the TV off, sits up and invites Toby to sit next to him. Toby sits down and says awkwardly:
TOBY: I've made my decision.
JOE: Good. What's it to be, then?
TOBY: Well... I don't want to leave anyone - but... I'm going to live with mum.
A look of shock crosses Joe's face. He murmurs eventually:
JOE: Right. Right. Yeah.
TOBY: It's not that I don't love you; I *do* - you're my *dad*.
JOE (sadly): I know.
TOBY: But... well, you've got Kerry... Sky... Bouncer... a whole family. Mum's got nobody except *me*.
JOE (sobs): I understand.
TOBY: You mad at me?
JOE (shaking his head tearfully): I'm so proud of you, Toby. This is one of the hardest things you're ever going to have to do, you know? And you've handled it better than any of us.
TOBY: I'll always love you, dad. Always.
JOE: You better. You're my best mate.
Joe pulls Toby into his arms and hugs him tightly, both of them crying.
It's the next morning, and a cab is parked outside No. 32. Toby joins Lochy and asks her if she can do something for him: help Kerry with the protest. He hands her one of his hand- painted banners. Lochy takes it and tells Toby that he'd better hurry. As Toby walks over to Kerry and Joe, Lochy calls after him:
LOCHY: Ryan says they've got crocodiles in Darwin that *eat* people.
TOBY (smiles): I don't think they come into town!
Joe joins Noelene, Kerry and Sky, and Noelene thanks him for being so understanding. She gives him a gentle kiss. Kerry wishes Noelene all the best. Noelene tells Kerry to look after Joe. She then turns to Toby and tells him that she'll see him in the cab. Tears well- up in Toby's eyes as he approaches Kerry, who puts down Sky and gives Toby an extra- big hug. She tells him that it's got to last until he comes back on holidays. When she lets him go, Toby crouches down and strokes Bouncer, telling him to stay out of trouble. He then looks at his father, who says:
JOE: I'm going to miss you.
Toby wipes a tear from Joe's eye. Joe smiles weakly:
JOE: On ya, wild man...
Toby repeats the words back to him, sadly. Joe then gives him a kiss and watches as he climbs into the back of the cab with his mother. The driver starts the engine and the cab heads off down the street. Toby peers out through the back window as Kerry and Joe watch him go, sadly.