- Susan worrying about going to Africa and leaving Karl and the kids.
- Flakey the clown collapsing onto Jo drunkenly during his performance at the coffee shop.
- Billy snapping at Karl that he knows Woodwork isn't a brainy subject, but at least it's something he can do.
Jo helps Flakey into No. 24 as Annalise mutters that that really was the performance of a lifetime; he really is a disgrace. Flakey tries to protest, but Jo suggests to him that he just go and lie down. He staggers off to his room. Annalise looks at Jo and asks angrily how she couldn't see he was plastered. Jo cries that she just remembers what he used to be like: all those Saturday mornings in front of the television... Annalise tells her that from now on, the Flakey project is over.
Marlene joins Cheryl and tells her that Louise has gone down all right. Cheryl is packing away a few clothes that Louise has outgrown, and Marlene tells her that she can get rid of them at the shop. Cheryl, however, says she wants to keep them: they never go out of fashion and they might come in handy one day for her grandkids! She then asks Marlene if she had fun at the coffee shop. Marlene, however, tells her that Flakey was off his facey; she felt sorry for Jo and Annalise: they had a whole swarm of angry parents to handle. Brett suddenly bursts in through the front door, exclaiming happily:
BRETT: Free at last, brothers and sisters, I'm free at last!
Cheryl asks how his final exam went and he beams that it was a piece of cake! Cheryl and Marlene hug him and Cheryl says she's got a bottle of bubbly on ice just for this occasion!
Billy walks into the coffee shop with Melissa, telling her bitterly that his father reckons Woodwork is just a waste of time; something geeks do for a hobby. Mel tells him that *she* likes it and his mum likes it, *and* Mr. Watson. Billy sighs his father wants him to become a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. Mel says she thinks it's really fantastic that he's found something he likes and he's good at. She then adds that her granddad made furniture and they've still got some of his tools; she's sure her dad wouldn't mind Billy having a loan of them. Billy smiles that he'd love to.
Brett finishes his champagne as Marlene says she'd better get down to the shop. Lou comes home and Cheryl tells him that they've saved him a glass of champagne. Brett says he'd better start packing. Lou notices the pile of Lolly's old clothes and Cheryl explains that they're going into storage. As Brett heads upstairs, Cheryl tells him to give her a call when he's finished packing and she'll give it a check! Lou laughs and tells her to leave the boy alone: she's got to let go sometime and now is as good a time as any.
It's evening- time and Libby is sitting at the dining table. Susan is rearranging the cleaning cupboard, but Karl sighs at her that he told her to leave it. He goes to lay the table as Susan pleads with him to make sure he reads the labels on clothes when he washes them! Karl asks Libby to go and get the washing off the line and she heads outside, leaving Karl to point out to Susan that they're a lot more adaptable than she thinks! Susan comments pointedly:
SUSAN: Yeah, well, you haven't adapted to *Billy's* problem very well, have you?
Karl sighs that he can't *lie* to the boy. Susan retorts that no one's asking him to lie, but having letters after his name isn't the be all and end all. Karl tells her that Billy can get over his dyslexia, but the easiest option isn't always the best. Susan snaps:
SUSAN: Thank you very much, Genghis Khan.
She then adds that Karl doesn't need to set a place at the table for Billy as for some reason he'd rather eat at Melissa's; she can't imagine why...
Flakey sips from a glass of water as Colonel Parker paws at his leg. He kicks the cat away and snaps at the cat to get out of it and go and play in the street. Jo emerges from her room and comments to Flakey that he's up. Flakey mutters that he's got a bloke with a sledgehammer trying to break his way out of his noggin. Jo sighs at him that she doesn't know how he could do it; she remembers exactly what he was like, and used to smile when she thought of him, but she can't anymore. Flakey mutters disinterestedly that she's breaking his heart. Jo tells him that she doesn't think Annalise is going to want to continue the comeback project. Flakey retorts:
FLAKEY: That's fine by me. You two don't *own* me, you know?
JO: No one ever said that, Flakey.
FLAKEY (snaps): And stop calling me Flakey. Flakey is history. It's a stupid name anyway. My name is Gordon Orchard.
JO: Look, I'm sorry, I was just trying to help—
FLAKEY (rants): Gordon Orchard, and I'm a stinking, washed- up old drunk. Does that make you happy? Try and find something funny in *that* if you can.
He storms off to his room.
The next morning, Karl is sitting at a table on his own in the coffee shop, looking thoughtful, when Kate Cornwall comes in and comments that she thought *she* was the one with the terminal disease! Karl offers her a seat and explains that it's his youngest son, Billy: he's been diagnosed with dyslexia – by one of his teachers. Kate realises that that's part of the problem. Karl sighs that if *he'd* picked it up years ago... Kate points out that the good thing is that he's found out *now*. Karl nods, but replies that the bad thing is that Susan's about to go to Africa. He adds that sometimes he feels like the wheels have fallen off things. Kate asks him if he's told his family that. Karl sighs that he just falls flat on his face every time he comes to the first hurdle. Kate tells him to talk to them: she bets they love him enough to give him another chance.
Colonel Parker is purring and Flakey mutters at him to shut up his noise. He picks up a bottle of scotch and stares at it, murmuring to himself that it would be medicinal – just a small one. At that moment, though, Marlene comes in through the back door and exclaims in astonishment:
MARLENE: You've got to be joking.
She goes on that she will not have guests in this house stealing from her. Flakey snaps at her to give it a rest. Marlene tells him that she doesn't want him in her house anymore.
Lou comes in with the post, opening an envelope which contains a Polaroid photo of the Three Mayors portrait, with handwritten underneath: ‘Here's looking at you Lou baby'! He shows Cheryl, who reads it and bursts out laughing! Lou comments that this is getting spooky: it's like that movie, ‘Fatal Attraction'! Brett comes downstairs with his packed suitcase, but tells Cheryl that the vest she got for him had to get the sword as there was no room. Cheryl goes to grab the vest and says *she'll* get it in. Brett sighs in annoyance that she can double- check it or triple- check it – or take everything out and stuff herself in there and she can hold his hand for the whole trip! He heads out. Cheryl looks at Lou.
A short time later, Brett turns up at No. 28 and asks Susan if she's ready to rock and roll. Libby tells him that her mother keeps thinking she's forgotten things, which is ridiculous for the amount of times she's checked! There's another knock on the door and Libby opens it to Andrew Watson, who comes in with a school video camera for Susan and Brett to take to Africa to make a documentary of their trip.
Colonel Parker is lying on the coffee table and Flakey starts stroking him and saying softly:
FLAKEY: Look, yeah, all right, goodbye. You know, you're the only person in this place that likes me for me, and you're not even a person.
Marlene watches with interest from the kitchen as Flakey goes on that he doesn't have much to show for his life and tells the Colonel not to go out and play in the road; stay and play in the back yard, where it's sunny. She walks in and clears her throat. Flakey turns to her and snaps that he'll be gone in a tick. Marlene, however, tells him that they say that cats are very good judges of character, and Colonel Parker is very particular about people he likes... so if Flakey wants to stay... Flakey nods that that's very kind of her. Marlene says there's one condition: they have to lay down some ground rules.
Billy is planing a piece of wood in the lounge room when Karl comes in and asks if Susan's home. Billy says she isn't. Karl asks about the tools Billy is working with and Billy explains that they used to be Melissa's grandfathers. Karl asks if they're letting him borrow them. Billy goes to pack them away, but Karl tells him that he doesn't have to. He goes on that he was unreasonable yesterday; the reason he was disappointed was that he didn't pick up Billy's dyslexia earlier, and he doesn't want Billy to think that his career choices are limited because he's got this problem. Billy, however, says:
BILLY: Dad, for once in my life I'm starting to feel they're *not* limited. I've always felt different at school; things other kids found easy, I couldn't understand. But now that's all changed; *changing*. I can do this; I love it; I really want to do it. The only bad thing is... I'm a disappointment to you, dad.
KARL (warmly): Oh no, mate, you are not a disappointment to me. You've *never* been a disappointment, OK?
Marlene has gathered Flakey, Annalise and Jo at the kitchen table and says she supposes they're wondering why they've called this meeting. She goes on that she's decided to give Flakey another chance. Flakey chips in that he'd prefer to be called Gordon when he's not in character. Marlene nods that that's fair enough. She continues that she's decided to give Gordon another chance. Gordon says:
GORDON: My behaviour yesterday was shocking. Not only yesterday, but ever since I've been here, I've been carrying a chip on my shoulder the size of a boulder. I want to apologise to you all. I'd like to apologise to those kiddies yesterday. If you can find it in your hearts to forgive me, I promise it won't happen again.
ANNALISE (coolly): Famous last words.
Gordon tells everyone that he used to think the bottle was his best friend; he's an alcoholic. He adds that he's never admitted that before, and he needs help. Marlene tells him that they reckon admitting it is the first step. She adds that there's a local Alcoholics Anonymous there in Erinsborough. Gordon continues that if he can dry out, he'd beg them for one more chance at cracking it again; to make people laugh again. Jo looks at Annalise. Annalise warns Gordon that if she even *suspected* he was drinking again... She then agrees to give him one more chance.
Susan is doing last- minute packing. She tells Billy that she's glad he's back on good terms with his dad. Billy gives her a hug and tells her to have a fantastic time! Karl picks up her case and he, Libby and Susan head out.
Cheryl and Brett come downstairs, Cheryl telling Brett that the water purification tablets are in his wet pack and to try and get some sleep on the ‘plane. She then hands him a small green pouch and tells him that it's a little something. Brett opens it to find a charm on a long cord and Cheryl tells him that it's supposed to bring him back home safely to her. She puts it round his neck. She then gives him a tight hug. Lou smiles at them:
LOU: Come on, you two, save the tears for the airport!
Brett and Cheryl pull apart and everyone heads out.