Julie snaps at Hannah that it isn't funny. Philip says:
PHILIP: One of us is going to have to have a very serious talk with her.
Michael comes in and asks where Debbie is. Philip tells him coolly that she's in the living room with her new boyfriend. Michael heads through there, but stops in the hallway as he overhears Debbie snapping at Craig that she doesn't care if it's an acting technique - it doesn't give him the right to grope her at the dinner table. Craig tells her that if she wants her parents to be convinced that Rick's a better bet, it's his way or not at all - unless she wants him to tell her parents that this is a big con. Debbie snaps at him that he really is a slug. Craig shrugs:
CRAIG: There's not much you can do about it, Deb. Why don't you just lie back and enjoy it?
In the hallway, a sly smile crosses Michael's face.
Dorothy gets a shock from the kettle as she pours some water into a cup. Toby asks her if she's upset about sending Mr. Merrick away. Dorothy just retorts that it's for the best; she doesn't want to discuss it. They head through to the lounge room, where Toby tells Dorothy that Mr. Merrick really liked her. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Toby answers it to Rick, who comes in and asks if he can use the back yard to check out next door. Dorothy asks what's going on. Rick explains that they set up Craig Slater to be 'Slug', the boyfriend from hell, and he needs to check over the fence to see how it's going. Dorothy allows him to use the garden, commenting to Toby that Rick and Debbie certainly must be keen on each other to go to such lengths. Toby tells her pointedly:
TOBY: If you care about someone, you don't let *anything* get in the way.
In the lounge room, Julie is asking Slug if he's not interested in a professional career. Slug retorts that he's got *better* things to do with his time. Debbie then 'reminds' him that he had to get home early. Julie says quickly that it's a pity! Debbie sees him to the door, stops him kissing her and pretty much pushes him out. She then heads back into the lounge room and grins at her parents:
DEBBIE: Isn't he just the sweetest guy?
JULIE (coldly): You surely can't be serious about him?
DEBBIE: Oh, but I *am*, mum. This is the real thing.
Julie stares at her in horror.
Dorothy is at No.26 with Helen, and she says she's hope she's not keeping her up. Helen says she's grateful for the company - it's so quiet since Julie, Philip and the children left. Dorothy tells her that Toby keeps going on about her finishing with Tom. Helen muses that she was mystified *herself* about Dorothy's reasons. Dorothy says she thinks Tom probably deserves more than she can give. Helen tells her that she shouldn't presuppose the worst; she should give it a chance to happen.
Driveway of No.32/Outside No.30
The next morning, Julie is collecting the post from the box when Debbie and Hannah emerge from the house and walk towards her. Julie asks where they're going, and Debbie tells her that Slug called and invited them over; he said Hannah could come too, and play with his ferrets. Julie doesn't look happy.
As they walk down the street, Hannah giggles at her sister:
HANNAH: Did you see the look on her face?! She really hates Slug!
DEBBIE: That's the general idea. Come on - I'll shout you a milkshake down at the coffee shop.
Meanwhile, Julie spots Dorothy outside No.30 and strides over to her. She asks her tersely:
JULIE: What sort of students are you producing at Erinsborough High? How could you allow that lowlife, anti- social hooligan through the gates?
DOROTHY (blankly): Sorry?
JULIE: I'm talking about Craig Slater - or 'Slug', as he prefers to be called. That juvenile delinquent seems to have convinced Debbie he's Prince Charming.
Dorothy smiles that maybe Debbie will be good for him and make him change his ways!
Julie storms off again as Toby joins Dorothy. She tells him that that was good advice about Tom: she's decided to get back in touch with him. Toby drags her inside to call him straight away!
Dorothy dials a number and asks to speak to Tom Merrick. However, she frowns as the person on the other end tells her something she clearly doesn't like. When she hangs up, she tells Toby that Tom checked out of his lodgings only a few minutes ago - he was on his way to a new posting. Toby asks if she didn't say he was getting his motorbike checked today. Dorothy recalls that it was the service station on North Road. She grabs a hat and dashes out.
In the kitchen, Julie is scrubbing the stove while Philip polishes his shoes. Julie rants that that Slug must have *hypnotised* Debbie. Philip tells her to give it a week at the most. He then adds that maybe they made a mistake in banning her and Rick from seeing each other. Michael comes in through the back door and overhears Julie saying that she's certainly happier about Rick than she is about Slug. He tells her:
MICHAEL: Looks like their scheme worked then, doesn't it?
He then explains about how Slug is a mate of Rick and Debbie's doing the slob number so they'd let Debbie go back with Rick. Looking furious, Philip growls that Debbie has done it this time: he's going to ground her for life. Michael adds:
MICHAEL: I didn't want to dob, but I figured it was just like, you know, family duty.
Tom is about to climb onto his motorbike when Dorothy pulls up in her car. She leaps out and comments to him that luck must be on *her* side today. Tom asks how she knew he'd be there and Dorothy explains that Toby remembered about him getting his bike fixed. She then tells Tom that she has to apologise. Tom says:
TOM: There's no need. I want you to be happy, Dorothy, and if I can't be a part of that, well...
DOROTHY: But I'm *not* happy. I was frightened.
TOM: And now you're not?
DOROTHY: Yes. But I don't want you gone from my life. I should've explained my feelings instead of just cutting you dead.
TOM: It would've been nice.
DOROTHY: I was hoping you'd find the time to come home with me and talk things over.
TOM (smiles): I think that's a fine idea.
Debbie and Hannah come in through the back door, Debbie asking Hannah with a laugh if she can imagine being *married* to someone like Slug. They walk through into the lounge room - to find Philip, Julie, Benito and Rick waiting for them. Rick tells her glumly that somebody lagged. Julie tells Hannah to go to her room. She then snaps:
JULIE: Are you happy now, Debbie? Now you've proved yourself completely untrustworthy? The way you and that 'Slug' boy kissed and slathered over each other at our dinner table... it made you look like some cheap tart.
Rick snaps at Debbie that they never said anything about *kissing*. Debbie retorts that he took her by surprise. Philip comments that he supposes that business about becoming a nun was just an act, too. Debbie nods reluctantly. Philip tells her and Rick tersely that the two of them have a lot of growing- up to do; it's about time they learned a few lessons.
Dorothy is sitting with Tom in the lounge room, telling him that he's the first man she's felt comfortable around in a very long time. Tom asks:
TOM: So why the drama?
DOROTHY: You made it very clear you wanted our relationship to extend beyond the 'just friends' variety. I was scared. I have a wonderful track record of failure with my chosen male companions.
TOM: You've been unlucky. Dorothy, I have my faults, but please, don't judge me by the shortcomings of other men.
Dorothy murmurs that it's been so long since she's had more than the occasional fling, she's not sure she can commit to anything deeper. Tom tells her that there's no rush: just let things happen naturally. Dorothy then tells him that there's one other thing - the most important part of her condition: she's had a partial mastectomy. She begins to break down as she explains about how her heart keeps telling her that she's scarred for life, and she's frightened he'll see her as only half a woman. Tom listens, but then stands up and tells her that if she wants to get into comparing scars... He pulls up his shirt to reveal a scar from a bowel obstruction! He also shows her another scar on his leg, before saying gently:
TOM: We don't have any problems, Dorothy. If you'll let it happen, there's nothing that can stop us being together.
DOROTHY (sincerely): I want to. I *want* to.
Debbie asks angrily if doesn't what she and Rick want count for *anything*? Julie retorts that she's immature; she's proved that by letting Rick be a bad influence on her. Looking annoyed, Benito says Rick was never this way until he started going out with Debbie. Philip interjects and comments that there must be *something* between them - look at the trouble they went to to get back together - and while Rick may not be their idea of a perfect boyfriend, Debbie could do worse. Benito snaps:
BENITO: And what's wrong with Rick?
Philip goes on that school starts soon; it's a pointless exercise trying to maintain the ban. Benito nods that he has to admit that it makes sense; they've only had this trouble since they introduced the ban. He suggests they allow a period of probation. Philip and Julie - reluctantly - agree. Rick and Debbie stand there looking delighted.
Tom tells Dorothy that he doesn't have to be at his new posting for a few days yet, and in the meantime he's homeless. Dorothy grins that he'd better stay with her, then! There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Dorothy goes and opens it to Julie, who rants at her that she must have known all the time that that Slug character was all a big act. Dorothy admits that she did. Julie snaps at her that she's as guilty of deception as Debbie and Rick. Dorothy, however, retorts curtly:
DOROTHY: I'd much rather encourage a perfectly normal teenage relationship than have them take notice of a small- minded, puritanical wowser like you. Now, please go away - I have much better things to do with my time.
With that, she closes the door in Julie's face and kisses Tom in delight!
Debbie sits down at a table with Craig, who says he guesses she's ready for Act 2. Debbie, however, tells him that she needs to talk to him about something: his kiss really got to her; she was awake half the night thinking about it. She adds that she knows it sounds dumb, but she wants to kiss him again. Craig leans forward and tells her to go for it! Debbie asks him to close his eyes, as it's more romantic. When his eyes are closed, Rick comes out of the storeroom, holding Bouncer. He takes the dog over to Craig and lets him starts slobbering all over him! Craig leaps up and asks angrily what the big idea is. Rick grins that they thought he needed a bit of romance in his life. He then tells Craig that he's fired.
Michael is in the kitchen with Helen, telling her that he worries about her now that she's on her own. He asks if she has any chores she wants done. Helen comments that she thought he'd be all chored out: she heard he's working very hard around the house. Michael nods that he's trying; Julie isn't the easiest person to get along with. Helen tells him to *keep* trying. She then says she has to walk to the shops. Michael suggests that she take the car, but Helen tells him that there are a few more weeks before she's legally allowed behind the wheel - plus the medication she's on makes her a bit woozy. She adds that she also has to forego her evening sherry, as medication and alcohol aren't sympathetic substances.
It's evening- time. Dorothy and Tom have opened a bottle of champagne and are about to propose a toast when Toby comes in. He asks Tom if he's not leaving town. Tom says he has to - in a few days - but he's leaving a lot happier a man than he was. Dorothy adds that Tom's going to stay with *them* until he goes. Toby exclaims that that's excellent! He then adds in concern:
TOBY: Stephen and Phoebe are coming back with the baby soon. Where's Mr. Merrick going to sleep?
DOROTHY: Oh... I'm sure we'll find somewhere comfortable.
A grin crosses Toby's face as he realises what she's implying!
Debbie and Rick are sitting on the couch, happy about being legal again! Rick goes to kiss Debbie, just as Michael comes in and comments that they're taking a chance, aren't they? Debbie, however, tells him happily that the ban's been lifted. Michael asks how Philip and Julie found out about Slug. Debbie shrugs that she doesn't know. She goes on that Julie wanted to make them suffer, but Philip and Benito went for probation, and there they are. Michael smiles:
MICHAEL: That's great! I'm glad I spoke to dad when I did.
DEBBIE (blankly): About what?
MICHAEL: I told him that it was unfair to try and break you up.
RICK (surprised): Really?
MICHAEL: Sure. I said, "Think how you felt when you first met Julie." I guess that did it.
Debbie and Rick thank him, gratefully. Debbie then tells her brother that she left a note for him in the kitchen: Jordan called and asked Michael to call him back. Michael leaves the room, leaving Rick to ask Debbie if she's glad they're back together. Debbie grins that she couldn't be happier.
A short time later, on the 'phone in the kitchen, Michael is saying to Jordan:
MICHAEL: I might well have the answer to my prayers. I might well have something that will get Julie off her face without her even realising...
Dorothy and Tom chink their glasses and Dorothy proposes a toast to the future. Tom asks Toby for a cup of coffee: after all the champagne, Dorothy's going to be needing it a few minutes from now! Toby heads through to the kitchen and puts his hand on the kettle. As he does so, it gives off a big spark and Toby is thrown back onto the floor...