- Marco tells Beth that Brad is still in love with Lucy, so he isn't interested in dating her.
Beth is confused and angry - Lucy's been gone for months and doesn't care about Brad, but she does. Marco suggests that Brad isn't worth the trouble, and there's plenty of guys who'd want to take Beth out. Beth sulkily tells him that she doesn't want 'plenty of guys' - she wants Brad. Marco tells her to date someone else to make Brad jealous. Beth thinks that it's a childish idea, and she hates people who play games. Beth thanks Marco for being a mate and asking Brad how he felt for her.
MARCO: There's no need to thank me. Honestly.
(Yeah, you can say that again!)
Cameron arrives home and is cheerful, but Beth and Marco seem fairly glum!
Jim is changing a lightbulb in the kitchen with Philip's help (hilariously, it seems to be world's hottest lightbulb!). Julie isn't sure about Jim being up on the table to change the bulb. Philip and Jim roll their eyes.
JIM: If you're worried about my heart, Julie, stop stressing me!
PHILIP: He's got a point - stress is a dangerous thing!
JULIE: So I'm supposed to bite my tongue all of the time, am I?
PHILIP: That could be worth a try(!)
Julie tells them not to tease her! Jim apologises, just as Debbie and Rick come in. Jim asks what's making Julie so uptight.
DEBBIE: The fact that Michael's arriving tomorrow, naturally!
JIM: Why naturally? What's wrong with Michael?
DEBBIE: Don't ask me; ask her - she's been going on about it for DAYS.
JULIE: I have not!
DEBBIE: You have so!
PHILIP: (to Rick) How was the basketball?
The conversation change briefly works, but then Debbie invites Rick over to meet Michael. Jim is confused.
JIM: I thought you two weren't going out any more?
DEBBIE: (looking at Jim as if he's stupid) We're not.
Rick leaves. Phil and Jim smile as Debbie sees him to the door, and Phil remarks that Rick and Debbie are spending more time together now than they did when they were dating! Julie burns herself on the oven and Phil checks to see if she's ok. Julie blames the burn on her worrying about Michael.
JIM: So Debbie was right, eh?
JULIE: He's got me wound up like a top. This is going to be a disaster, I know it is.
PHILIP: You've never had the pleasure of spending much time with Michael. After his mother died, he got to be quite a handful. And he thinks Julie talked me into sending him to boarding school.
JULIE: He hates me, Dad.
JIM: Ohh, a lot of kids have trouble adjusting to new parents! I'd know, I've had enough of them through this house!
PHILIP: Ahh, there's a bit more to it than that. I hate to say it, but my son is not what you'd call a good boy. Wait 'til you get to know him.
JIM: He can't be that bad.
JULIE: Can't he?
Philip gives Jim a look as if to say, 'wait and see!'
Lou is after the paper, but Madge has chucked it out. Lou's a bit irked as he wanted to read the form guide. Madge gets shirty, and tells him that she doesn't want him gambling.
LOU: Madge, you're my fiancée, not my Mum!
MADGE: I don't care! Dad made my Mum's life hell with his, his horse racing and his Two-up. And Pam had a bad time with Doug when he was betting too.
Lou tells her that he might sell cars to chumps, but he's not a chump himself. He knows a guy at the track, and he's told Lou that there's a horse which is a sure thing. Madge is unconvinced, and tells Lou that if he's got spare money, he should be paying her back for her share in the Car Yard!
Benito is talking to Cameron, saying that he hates seeing a good man down, and licking his wounds like a dog who's been hit by a car! Benito agrees that the legal system doesn't work, but thinks Cameron should be out there trying to fix it - he's not doing anyone any good sitting around doing nothing!
BENITO: If you were one of my boys, I'd give you a good clip over the ears!
CAMERON: I think you just have, in your own way(!)
BENITO: Ah, but you're not one of my boys. They never listen.
CAMERON: Well, no wonder if you go around comparing them to dogs!
Cameron offers Benito a beer, and as he passes Beth (who's going to answer the door), he tells her that Benito just called him a dog! Beth looks a bit confused. Brad is at the door and wants to come in, but Beth tells him that she knows what Marco has said, and thinks it's best they don't see each other. They talk at cross purposes - Brad likes Beth but thinks she doesn't like him back; Beth likes Brad, but thinks that he's still hung up on Lucy and isn't interested in her. Oh no, naughty Marco! They have a cold conversation and Brad leaves.
Brad arrives as the Coffee Shop is opening - and orders a double smoothie because he's so depressed. Rick wonders if the surf is flat! Brad tells Marco that he saw Beth, and she told him what Marco said. Marco guesses that Brad is pretty mad at him.
BRAD: No, it's not your fault, mate. She obviously just thought I was some kind of one night stand. Now she wants me to go away and leave her alone.
Marco is really pleased.
BRAD: I go and fall for her in a big way, and now she's not even half keen.
Brad is gutted - he thought he and Beth had potential. Rick drags Marco off to the other side of the Coffee Shop, and has a huge go at him for sabotaging Brad and Beth's relationship. Marco says he hates himself, but he was hoping that once Brad was out of the way, Beth would turn to him!
RICK: You idiot! Now you've blown it for all three of you!
Julie is extremely tense. Jim massages her shoulders and tries to get her to calm down. Julie warns him that Michael will either ignore her totally, or they'll be arguing as soon as he walks in. Debbie is looking through the window and yells that they've arrived.
Through the glass, we see Michael and Philip get out of the car. Debbie comments that Michael looks a lot older than the last time she saw him, and Jim wonders if she hasn't seen him for a while. Debbie doesn't reply, but rushes to the door. Michael arrives and happily embraces Debbie. Surprisingly, Michael is really cheerful and saccharine sweet!
MICHAEL: G'day, Julie.
MICHAEL: You're looking really well.
Julie looks stunned.
JULIE: Oh, thanks.
Michael turns to Jim and shakes his hand.
MICHAEL: Ah, Mr Robinson, it's been a long time, eh?
JIM: It has indeed. Perhaps you'd better call me...Pop? Or Grandad, if you like?
MICHAEL: Ah well, you're not really my grandfather, so I'd rather not, if that's ok?
They agree that he should call him Jim, and Michael is really friendly towards everyone. He comments that he's absolutely stoked to be out of school. In the background, Philip is flicking through Michael's school report - he passes it to Julie and tells her to prepare to be shocked, as Michael's passed every subject!
Jim congratulates him, and Debbie wonders if he's trying to make her look bad! She shows Michael to his bedroom - it's technically hers, but she's going to bunk in Hannah's room whilst he's back. They leave. Julie is still agog at the report card.
JULIE: This is amazing! "Michael has settled down very well this year." And this one from the headmaster - "Michael is popular with both students and teachers alike."
Julie is stunned and Philip is beaming. He says that Michael's grown up a lot - so maybe leopards do change their spots!
Cameron is typing up an article for the Erinsborough News, regarding the laws around children giving evidence in court. He reckons that the system sucks, and Benito made him realise that he should be doing something about it. Beth is pleased for Cameron.
CAMERON: It's unbelievable that kids like Toby and Hannah have to give their evidence in front of Chambers. It must be so intimidating for them.
Beth wonders what alternative there is, and Cameron talks of other states using CCTV link ups. Cameron hopes that the Erinsborough News will publish it. There's a knock at the door - it's Marco. He invites himself over for dinner to cheer Beth up, but Beth refuses. Marco tells her that he'll cook and Beth relents. She excuses herself.
CAMERON: So, what's for dinner, Marco? I'm feeling pretty hungry myself.
MARCO: Mate, can I talk you into going out tonight? I'm planning a surprise for Beth.
CAMERON: Chucking me out of my own house? That's a bit rough, isn't it?
MARCO: I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. Please?
Philip, Julie, Jim, Michael and Debbie are all eating. Michael thinks Helen being arrested is absolutely hilarious.
MICHAEL: I still can't believe she got busted for drink driving. Granny Helen's a criminal!
(Wait...why does Michael refuse to call Jim Pop or Grandad, but Helen is Granny Helen?!)
Philip warns him that it's not that funny, and Michael changes tactic, offering Julie some bread(!) Philip says that he was thinking of them going for a walk later on. Michael wonders what's happened to their old house. Philip remarks that they had some good times there...and pointedly adds that they also had some bad ones. Michael invites Julie along for the walk and she happily agrees. Jim congratulates Michael again on his school report.
JIM: By all accounts, you are a reformed character.
MICHAEL: Well, I'm getting smarter, anyway.
DEBBIE: Don't go boring on me, Michael. I couldn't stand it!
(Oh, the foreshadowing!)
Rick arrives and Debbie introduces him as 'her ex' to Michael. Michael takes the proverbial out of his shirt, and Debbie points out that he's only wearing it to cover up his lovebites. Michael is unimpressed.
DEBBIE: He got off with this bimbo from school at MY birthday party.
JULIE: And in my bedroom!
Rick says he's already apologised to both of them for that, and makes a sharp exit.
Lou is lying in the sofa listening to the horses on the radio. Madge comes in just as he starts getting excited about the race! He jumps up and starts pumping the air with his fist.
LOU: YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!
MADGE: What the HELL are you doing?!
Lou pretends that he was listening to a song that made him want to get up and dance(!) He carries on pumping his fist in the air, as if he was dancing.
She pulls the headphones out of the radio, and the horse racing commentary plays loud and clear. She is not at all impressed. Lou tells her that it was a 20/1 winner, and suggests they go out to celebrate. Madge tells him that she won't be bought off - she wants him to quit whilst he's ahead, and he must promise not to gamble anymore.
LOU: All right, I promise.
MADGE: Promise what?
LOU: No more betting. I promise no more betting.
She eyes him suspiciously as she leaves the room...and well she might, for we can see that Lou's got his fingers crossed behind his back. Oooh, he's a rogue!
Cathy and Benito are walking (well, Cathy's walking, Benito's hobbling!) up Ramsay Street - they've been for a stroll around Erinsborough. Cathy mentions how nice the gardens are in spring, but Benito thinks he should've waited another week, as he doesn't think he's fully recovered from his operation!
CATHY: You're still mad at me because you made me go through all of that for nothing, aren't you?
BENITO: Of course not.
CATHY: Oh yes, you are!
They bicker back and forth until Benito relents and agrees that he's annoyed! They laugh. Cameron rides out of Number 32's yard on his bike and comments that Benito looks like he's fallen off a horse! Cameron tells him that he wrote the article they were talking about and he's going to take it down to the Erinsborough News, although he's doubtful that it'll get in.
BENITO: There's an old Italian saying - nothing ventured, nothing gained!
CAMERON: That's not Italian!
BENITO: Well, it should be!
Cameron laughs and rides off. Benito and Cathy continue walking and run into Philip, Julie and Michael.
PHILIP: Been for a walk, Hoppy?
Philip introduces Michael (who is still being the picture of innocence) to Benito and Cathy, and points out that Benito is Julie's boss at Lassiter's. Michael surprises Philip and Julie when he comments that Julie's really handy to have around, as she's so good at organising things! Philip and Julie beam at each other.
Marco quizzes Rick as to what Michael's like. Rick thinks he's pretty cool, but Debbie worships him - and with Michael on the scene, she won't want to know him. Brad enters and Marco tells Rick that he's got his own problems. Marco invites Brad over to Number 32 at 5pm for an early start to a boys night. Rick looks surprised and when Brad sits down, he quizzes Marco - he thought Marco was cooking for Beth.
MARCO: I am. I'm cooking for both of them. They just don't know it yet. Look, I made a mistake with Beth. I may as well face it, she's never going to fall for me.
RICK: So you're trying to get her and Brad back together again?
Rick is very pleased - and tells Marco he's doing the right thing. Marco says that he just wants Beth to be happy.
Beth arrives home and is shocked to see the table set out romantically. She compliments Marco and then reckons they need to straighten a few things out first. Marco agrees, but Brad knocks at the door. Beth is totally confused. When Brad enters, he looks a bit baffled too (but let's face it, no change there, then!).
Marco comes clean and confesses to what he did because he had a "conflict of interest"! He says that the meal is his attempt to make it up to them. He tells them he's cooking it at Number 22, so he'll pop around with it later but now they've got the chance to talk between themselves and find out how they both really feel. He tells them not to waste it. Brad and Beth smile at each other.
Michael says that it was good checking out the neighbourhood - Erinsborough hasn't changed much at all. Philip remarks that the thing that's changed the most is Michael, and nobody is more pleased than him to see the change...apart from maybe Julie!
JULIE: I thought you'd still resent me.
MICHAEL: The way I see it is we've got to get along for Dad's sake, right?
DEBBIE: (disgusted) This is incredibly incredibly corny. I'm going to get a drink.
Debbie leaves for the kitchen and Michael follows.
Number 26 - Kitchen
DEBBIE: I'm so glad no-one's fighting. I thought you were always going to hate Julie for sending you to boarding school.
MICHAEL: I always will. Like I said, it's all just for Dad's sake.
DEBBIE: What about your report card? You must've studied your butt off.
MICHAEL: I have! The truth is, I hate that school and I want Dad to take me out. So, I'm being a good little boy.
DEBBIE: (excited) So does this mean you're going to live with us again?!
MICHAEL: One step at a time. I've still got to talk Dad into that yet.
DEBBIE: What about Julie?
MICHAEL: What about her? (accusingly) I've noticed you're calling her Mum now - you never used to!
DEBBIE: There's no point in blaming her for what happened. Mum was an alcoholic long before Dad met her.
MICHAEL: Oh yeah, right(!) She just started wiping herself out for no reason at all!
DEBBIE: Michael... Her breath stank of gin when she used to kiss me goodbye for school, only I didn't know what it was then. She was getting off her face before we even got up.
Michael looks furious.
MICHAEL: Oh bull! I don't remember any of that! I reckon YOU must have been the one who was off their face!
Debbie looks upset. Michael pauses and calms down.
MICHAEL: ...anyway, help me figure out a way how to crawl with Dad. You're much better at it than I am.
Number 26 - Garden
Jim is cutting flowers. Madge arrives looking for Helen, but she's shopping with Hannah. Suddenly, Lou's voice BOOMS over the fence as he cheers on a horse! Jim peers over the fence, and Lou is crouched down in the garden of Number 24 with the paper and his radio!
JIM: Had a bit of a win, mate?
LOU: Yes, mate. Second race in a row, would you believe?
JIM: You must be well ahead then?
LOU: Well ahead? I've doubled my money - 800 smackers! Do me a favour, don't say a word to Madge though, eh? She's the sun that lights up my life, but you know what an old wowzer she can be! Harold ruined her as far as letting a bloke have some fun goes!
Jim starts winking at Lou and trying to indicate that Madge is in his garden. Lou is oblivious.
LOU: That's a hell of a facial tic, mate! Is that since the heart attack?!
Madge pops her head over the fence.
MADGE: Yes! ME. The old wowzer!
LOU: Er, er, sweetheart, I've decided to use this 800 bucks for play money, I won't touch the family finances, I promise.
MADGE: Lou, I'm not going to nag you anymore. If you want to make an idiot of yourself, go ahead.
LOU: An idiot?! How many idiots do you know who make 800 bucks a day for doing nothing? Hahahahahah!
(I swear, this is the funniest scene ever.)
Beth and Brad are talking. Beth says that they should've just sat down and been honest with each other in the first place. Brad says that he thinks they went about it all wrong.
BETH: What do you mean?
BRAD: Most people work their way up to sex rather than doing it straight away.
BETH: I know, sorry about that.
BRAD: This probably sounds really soft but do you reckon we could start from the beginning again and sort of suss each other out a bit better first? The lead up is half the fun, I reckon.
BETH: You know what? I've never met anyone like you, Brad.
They kiss. Aww.
Number 32 - Outside
Marco has arrived with the meal, but spies Brad and Beth pashing through the window. He looks sad.
Julie and Philip are holding each other on the sofa. Philip is amazed that Michael offered to do the washing up.
PHILIP: I can't get over how much he's changed.
JULIE: Yes, it's almost too good to be true.
PHILIP: Oh, stop being such a cynic. This school's obviously done him wonders. I should talk to him about that.
Philip calls Michael into the living room and they talk about how finances are tight following Philip losing his job, and not finding work since. Philip tells Michael that it's not going to be easy to keep him at his boarding school.
MICHAEL: Oh no! I've come to love that school. Well, I guess if you can't afford it..?
Philip sighs. He's pleased at the progress Michael's made and desperately doesn't want to take him out. Philip looks gutted, as does Michael and Julie looks thoughtful.
MICHAEL: Oh well. These things happen.
JULIE: ...we can afford it.
Philip looks surprised.
JULIE: I worked it all out before dinner. We've still got a few thousand left, and with my wages from Lassiter's... We should be able to afford it for the next term at least.
PHILIP: Are you sure?
Michael quickly sees this going the wrong way! He tells them not to scrimp and save for his sake but Julie kindly reminds him that he just said that he loves the school - and they can't bear to take him out of it whilst he's doing so well. Philip grins and says that if Julie's worked it out, it's good enough for him! He leaves.
Michael gets up and waits until Philip is out of earshot. Then he leans down, threateningly, in Julie's face.
MICHAEL: YOU LIAR!
JULIE: (shocked) What?
MICHAEL: You don't give a stuff about me! You just want to get rid of me again!
JULIE: (confused) I don't know what you're talking about.
MICHAEL: Like hell you don't! Well, I've got news for you. This is MY family and next time, YOU'RE going to be the one who goes!
He storms off into the kitchen and Julie is left looking very shocked and upset.