Glen is tired from staying up re-spraying the car, but he has to head off to work. Jim is working on his fuel-injection system today, but Helen wants him to clean the garage out. Helen tells Jim and Todd that she and Dorothy are going out "raging" tonight. Todd can't imagine Dorothy raging.
HELEN: You'd be surprised. She's not at all the wowser you think her. ...Is she Jim?
Melanie is ironing Toby's costume again. He tries to encourage her not to come to the play, but she's really looking forward to it. Suddenly Toby puts on a stomach ache and says he might not be able to go in the play tonight. Joe says he'll have to take him to the doctor, but it seems a very sudden illness. Joe mentions that he heard Melanie laughing and puts two and two together.
Garden of No.32
Joe comes to find Toby. He observes that he's clutching a different side of his stomach now(!) He tells Toby that it might be his appendix and he should see the doctor. Then he talks about how good Toby is in the play and finally drags it out of him that it's just an excuse. It's a bit like when he faked illness to get out of being a page boy at his and Kerry's wedding. Toby finally admits that it's Melanie's laugh - he doesn't want all the kids in school making fun of him. He doesn't want to hurt Melanie's feelings, so it's better he doesn't go in the play.
JOE: It's a pity, mate. A real pity.
He leaves Toby to think about it.
Helen is choosing a dress for tonight. Dorothy comes round and tells Helen they're going to a club called "The Hiding Place" and Jim nearly chokes(!) Dorothy tells Jim not to tell Helen the true nature of the club so as not to spoil the surprise(!)
Josh is looking at some of Jim's architectural drawings - one is about building a distillery that he and his mate did in college.
Melanie asks Joe if they can have a party at the house for her granddad's 90th birthday. Joe agrees and says it'll be fine. Melanie asks how Toby is and Joe awkwardly tells her that he's not ill. Melanie thinks that Toby has stage fright, so Joe is forced to broach the delicate subject of Melanie's laugh.
MELANIE: Oh, I see. So that's what it is. He's embarrassed by me.
JOE: Well...he's just afraid his mates are going to make fun of him.
MELANIE:(upset) Well...I can't help the way that I laugh, I was born like this. I mean, I wasn't born laughing or anything, you know what I mean. I don't see what's so wrong with having a nice big, noisy, cheerful laugh, but other people look at you like you're some kind of nut or something.
JOE: (sitting on the sofa with her) It's not you, it's Toby. it's one of those little quirks that kids get, don't worry about him.
MELANIE: Yeah, well. There's a simple solution isn't there, I just won't go. It's more of a parent-student thing, isn't it, anyway, I probably wouldn't fit in very well. You can tell me all about it.
JOE: Look, the last thing Toby'd want to do is hurt you.
MELANIE: Hurt? I'm not hurt, Joe, I'm fine, and I probably need an early night anyway, so it suits me down to the ground.
She goes off to her room, obviously gutted.
Josh tells Todd, Melissa and Cody that he intends to build a distillery from Jim's plans and then sell it to Joe(!) The girls aren't impressed, but Todd is quite interested. They'll get the equipment from the school science lab!
Helen is dressed up and ready to go out "raging" with Dorothy. She's sick of her stick, but Jim says that noone will notice it(!) Dorothy arrives and takes Helen off.
JIM: Have fun!
DOROTHY: Oh, we will!
Melanie and Bouncer are hanging out. Toby comes in very sheepishly to get his costume. Melanie says she's not coming to the play because she's feeling a bit tired. Joe tells Toby that everyone knows it's about her laugh. Melanie admits that she did want to see the play, and Toby says that it's best that she comes after all.
JOE: That's the way, mate.
MELANIE: No way, Tobe. I don't want to embarrass you in front of your friends.
TOBY: Well, you wouldn't if you didn't laugh. Couldn't you promise not to?
MELANIE: Well...I could try, I suppose. Would it be OK with you?
TOBY: Yeah. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.
MELANIE: That's OK Tobe. I'll be as good as gold tonight, just you wait and see.
The Hiding Place
Helen is shocked that Dorothy has brought her to a strip club(!)
HELEN: Are you mad?!
DOROTHY: Now, now, don't go getting cold feet - you ain't seen nothing yet!
As the camera pans back, we see a poster that reads, "Ladies Night - A Cavalcade of Erotica"(!)
Joe, Melanie, Toby and Sky are just setting off for the play. Toby is in his alien costume which consists, among other things, of a colander on his head(!)
The Hiding Place
Dorothy and Helen are enjoying to show although Helen is trying to look like she isn't(!)
Melanie, Joe, Toby and Sky arrive home from the play - which went really well. Melanie goes off to take Sky to bed and Joe and Toby sit down in the living room.
JOE: Well, she didn't laugh.
TOBY: Dad - she cried!
JOE: Yeah, well, it was a sad play.
TOBY: Everyone laughed at her crying! All the kids thought she was a real dag.
JOE: Yeah, well, they're the dags, mate. You know better and you tell them that. Melanie's the nicest person I know. And I reckon if people can't accept her the way she is then it's their fault, not hers. Do you reckon?
TOBY: Yeah. I reckon Melanie's a better mate than any of the kids at school. I don't care what they say.
JOE: Yeah, that's the way mate. You tell them that Melanie's one in a million and we love her just the way she is, right?
Jim and Glen are chatting about a car. They give a bloke directions to the gents' toilet and he goes off, just as Helen and Dorothy come in.
HELEN: Jim Robinson, did you know what sort of a place it was?
JIM: I had a fair idea...did you tuck any money in their G-strings?
DOROTHY: Not only that, she went back for change!
They laugh and Dorothy says they'd better not tell anyone she's frequenting a strip club - she is the school principal after all. They all laugh, but Dorothy freezes as she sees the bloke coming back from the gents' toilet.
DOROTHY: I'm sorry, I have to go. Jim, would you take Helen home? I can't stay.
She rushes out.
Cody and Melissa are hanging out. Melissa tells her she has to tell her something - but before she can get the words out, there's a knock at the door and it's Todd. He tells them he's seen a newsflash on TV - a truck has run off the road and demolished Josh's dad's newsagency. Melissa realises the awful truth - Josh told them he'd be there tonight, stock-taking with his father.
Dorothy is having a brandy and looking very upset. Jim and Helen come around to see if she's OK. Dorothy explains that she saw a man at the pub - it looked like her husband, Colin. It might not have been him, she hasn't seen him for twelve years, after all.
JIM:(surprised) Husband? I didn't realise you had a husband floating about the place.
HELEN: Which man was he?
DOROTHY: He was coming back from the direction of the men's room. He had a beard.
JIM: Yeah, I remember him. Distinguished-looking fellow.
DOROTHY: Yes, he always was very attractive. I don't suppose you talked to him.
JIM: Oh, no, I only got there a few minutes before you.
HELEN: Do you really think he was your husband?
DOROTHY: I don't know. He's been on my mind a bit lately - Ryan kept asking about him. It's probably just my imagination... (to Jim) ...would you be able to go back to the bar and see if he's still there? Try to find out his name, something about him.
Jim looks doubtful.
DOROTHY: Please Jim, I need it for my peace of mind!
JIM: Sure, OK. I'll see what I can find out.
HELEN: Dorothy...what if it does turn out to be him?
DOROTHY: I don't know. I just don't know.