Annalise asking a bunch of people to be her bridesmaids – and Ren's not happy
Karl returning home with the injured Mal
Ren and Sam finding Bianca in the shop
Annalise breaking the plate and Marlene finding the pieces in the bin
Helen's looking for something for Mark and Annalise but she's not having much luck. Marlene wonders if she should start a bridal registry. Helen says that a second hand shop isn't exactly what most people go for but Marlene says that's the charm. She shows Helen the broken plate and claims it's a love bowl from about 1750. There's a story that goes with it; two lovers from Italy, Giuseppe and Violetta, kept apart by warring families. They each kept half of the bowl and one day they escaped, met on a gondola, and they put the two halves together.
HELEN: And then – don't tell me – they committed suicide, drowning together in the lagoon. And sometimes Giuseppe's voice can be heard, serenading his love…
Helen's not buying it at all but tells Marlene there's one born every minute.
Susan gives Mal a mug of hot, sweet tea. I suspect the only shock Mal had was when his father turned up to tend to his injuries. She's a bit worried that he's still sore but Karl snaps that he nearly had a fractured skull, of course he's still sore. Karl tears strips off Mal for lying and for getting Libby to lie for him. He demands an explanation but Mal doesn't have one. He thought that his parents were being unreasonable but Karl shows him unreasonable – no beach house, no clubs, no parties, no nothing until he has earnt back their trust.
Mal says that Karl's just ruined the holidays for everyone but Karl says that Mal ruined it, not him, before leaving. Mal mutters that he hates his father, Susan's torn between concern for her son and trying to be supportive of her husband's position.
Sam and Bianca are out the back when they hear Mal calling out. Bianca bolts as Mal comes in, fuming. Sam works out that Mal was sprung doing kickboxing and Mal rants about the punishment metered out. Sam offers to have a word with Karl, pointing out that it's unfair that others should suffer because of Mal's stupidity.
Annalise is looking through a brochure, trying to decide on a dress but neither of her girly bridesmaids like anything she's suggesting. Annalise tells them she's got a fitting with Helen so they can decide, but she's got right of veto.
Mal's still sat up when Susan comes out of her bedroom. He tells her that she doesn't need to worry about him. She wonders what they'll do about him and Karl and she hugs him as he cries that he can't do anything right by Karl. She points out that he knew Karl would have a fit over the kickboxing but until he got hurt he didn't understand why Karl wanted to stop him. However, one day he'll have to stand on his own two feet and not have the "Great Doctor Kennedy" telling him from on high what to do.
He tells Susan that he wanted the risk. Yeah, he might get hurt but he might get run over by a truck. He thought he was safe but Susan points out the obvious - *kick* boxing. She implores him to listen to Karl, like any father he wants his son to outlive him!
Marlene's telling her Giuseppe story to two people… Annalise's girly bridesmaids! They're a little suss about the story but Marlene sells them on it. Marlene says she'll give them a discount because they're buying it for Annalise and the sale is made.
Sam's come over to talk to Karl about the punishment. He agrees that Mal's been an idiot but what about the others? Sam implores them to remember what it was like when they were his age and there's this look that passes between Karl and Susan… I think we can all guess what they were getting up to when they were about Mal's age!
Karl concedes that Sam makes a good case. He won't make any promises but he'll think about it.
The girly bridesmaids have come over and are helping Marlene set up for the party. Helen turns up and the girls ask if she's up for the hen night. They say they've got a lot planned to which Helen replies that she's sure they have so she might give it a miss. Marlene says that she's in and Helen should be too.
Karl tells Susan that she's too soft on Mal – he can't just get away with it because of the others. Susan's got an idea though… She hates working at the surgery…
SUSAN: …mainly because you're a terrible boss.
KARL: According to you.
SUSAN: I reckon Mal might think so too.
I love it when they're wonderfully evil. Cut to later and Karl is telling his first born that Susan has solved his problem. He can go on the beach holiday on one condition.
MAL: Yeah, sure, anything.
KARL: Let's hope you still think so when you find out what it is.
Cut to later again and Karl's got Mal practicing to be the receptionist. He expects them to be well turned out and smart, punctual and no matter what patients do or say, he will be polite at all times…
Ren runs into Bianca who invites her to join her. Bianca wants to ask Ren something personal – are she and Sam…? Ren assures Bianca that they're just friends and asks if this is good news. Bianca says that she likes Sam but she's just being careful. Ren tells Bianca a little about Sam, Marlene and Annalise and leaves Bianca to mull it over.
They're playing Charades. Joy. Helen is doing a film with eight words, the first word rhymes with "die". Susan comes in and within seconds guesses "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café".
Towanda! Excellent movie.
Anyway, she gives Annalise a present and says that she can't stay but they get her to stay long enough for a drink of champers. The girls promise Annalise a night to remember.
Sam's impressed that Bianca knows so much about bikes and she says that she knew a guy who had one, some kind of model that Sam's impressed with. I don't know… Sam asks if Bianca loved the guy or the bike more; it was definitely the bike! Bianca brings up the subject of Annalise and he realises Ren told her. Sam says his heart is still in one piece but he admits he still likes her.
Mal calls out and Sam tells Bianca to relax so this time she doesn't bolt. Sam introduces the pair of them before Mal thanks Sam for his help, but if he wants to take it up as a job, maybe he should go back and renegotiate the conditions!
Susan says she's got to go before Karl sends out a search party but Annalise gets her to stay for the presents. Meanwhile, Helen admits to spiking Marlene's drink… with soda water so she'll be able to keep up that night!
Present time so everyone gathers around. First up is from Susan – cushion covers which she made herself. Second from Marlene – a miniature carousel type thing that Annalise tactfully declares to be unusual.
Sitting on the floor in front of the couch, Karl behind Susan, her back to his chest, they're relaxing to music as he massages her shoulders. Susan says that it took her back twenty years.
KARL: I try not to think about the weeks before our wedding.
SUSAN: You remember the fight you have with Mum about the wedding cars? And that florist going out of business the day before the wedding; suddenly we had no bouquets!
KARL: Your mother was convinced I hated her. She thought she'd never see you again.
SUSAN: But Karl, you did hate my mother.
KARL: (laughing) That's not the point, is it?
No, the point is that a few years after this scene we find out that Susan helped her mother to die when she was just a teenager, and that both her parents were dead before she went off to Uni and met Karl. So quite impressive that he hated and had an argument with a dead woman!
They go on to talk about the reception, how all their Uni mates drank the bar dry and Karl says he's getting a hangover just thinking about it.
SUSAN: Oh look at us now. Sane and staid and respectable.
KARL: You make it sound awfully boring.
SUSAN: Oh never boring. How could it be? We're still in lurve…
And to prove the point they fall to the floor out of shot.
Annalise is unwrapping the present from her girly friends and she and Ren are stunned to see the two halves of the bowl. The girls start to tell the story much to Helen's bemusement, Ren and Annalise exchanging confused glances. She asks if it's a joke but the girls say it's a Venetian Love Bowl. Annalise admits that it's one of a set that she broke the other day, and Ren says she put the pieces in a bin on Miller Street so how did they end up with it? Annalise catches Marlene's eye and thankfully they all see the funny side of it… until Annalise starts crying.