Melissa tells Billy and Libby that she thinks it's unnatural to be gay.
Marlene gets word over the radio that the Bric- a- Brac shop is on fire.
Karl's father reveals that his mother had an affair in order to conceive a child - Karl was that child.
TOM: Your mother and I...we never planned on telling you...we thought it was for the best. Now she's gone, and I'm not exactly young anymore, I thought I had to tell you, that you had a right to know.
Karl is speechless.
TOM: I wish you'd say something.
KARL: Like what?!
TOM: I don't know. Tell me how you feel.
KARL: How do you expect me to feel?! You've just told me you aren't the person I always thought you were.
TOM: I know. I'm sorry it came so late. But if it makes things any easier, I did love your mother. And I know she had her reasons for doing what she did. I'd also like you to know that ever since you were born, I've looked on you as my own, and loved you as much.
KARL: Well...my father. My natural father...what was his name?
TOM: Ronald. Ronald Davies.
KARL: What did he do?
TOM: He was a police officer. Quite high up. Very respected in the community. I guess you take after him in that sense.
KARL: Was he married? Did he have any kids?
TOM: Not at the time we knew him.
KARL: Did he come and see me?
TOM: No. Not that I know of.
KARL: But he was...told about me?
TOM: Yeah...but your mother and I, we moved away, as soon as I found out. It was the only way I could handle it. It took years for us to get back on an even keel. I guess that's one of the reasons I joined the party. I needed to get away.
KARL: He would have...he would have been able to find me, though? After we moved?
TOM: We would have been easy to trace. I think your mother even wrote to him a couple of times.
KARL: So obviously he didn't want to know me, did he.
Tom says nothing.
The shop does appear to be on fire, but it turns out that Stonie and Mal are doing a barbecue out the back for a joke. Marlene is not impressed and starts ranting at Stonie - there are pranks, and then there's sheer stupidity. Now the fire brigade are on its way - Lou rang them!
Just then, they hear sirens approaching.
Karl has broken the news to Susan about his true paternity. She's shocked - especially as Tom took so long to reveal it!
SUSAN: So, what now?
KARL: What do you mean, what now?
SUSAN: Well, your natural father, is he still alive?
KARL: Dad isn't sure.
SUSAN: Well, are you going to find out?
KARL: I don't think so. Well, the way I feel right now, I don't give a toss about him!
SUSAN: How can you say that? Karl, he's your flesh and blood, he could be out there somewhere, living his life, walking around...
KARL: Well he can keep walking around as far as I'm concerned, Dad's the only father I need.
SUSAN: Well, of course he is, but if it was me, I'd be bursting with curiosity.
KARL: Yeah, well you're not me, are you?
SUSAN: No, I'm not.
KARL: Look, why should I go looking for him? He didn't come and see me, not once in all those years, why should I go hunting him out? He's made his feelings perfectly clear.
The phone rings and Susan answers it - it's Aunty May telling her that her friend Sylvia has finally died. The funeral is today and Susan wants to go. Karl and Susan agree to talk when she gets back.
Back of the Bric-a-brac Shop
The fire brigade are not impressed with Stonie's fire stunt. Stonie is contrite. The fireman advises him that there are stiff penalties for hoax calls and Stonie had better not do it in the future.
Tom has arrived back (he's been for walk). Karl explains that Susan has gone to Albury to the funeral.
Karl makes a cup of tea and tells Tom that he has told Susan about his father.
TOM: You don't hate me, do you, for telling the truth?
KARL: No, of course not. In fact, if anything, it explains a lot. Why we don't look like each other, why we think differently. Why we're good at different things.
TOM: Yeah, I suppose it does explain that. I'd still like to think you've got a bit of me in you, though. Nurture over nature and all that.
KARL: Yeah. Course I have.
TOM: I can't tell you how relieved I am about the way you've taken this. I worried for ages about the way you'd react. You know, since your mum died, you, Susan and the kids are all I've got left, it'd break my heart if you shut me out.
KARL: You've still got Mum's side of the family.
TOM: I was never very close to them. I don't want to push this right now, but I was wondering...what are you planning on telling the kids?
KARL: Dad, I'll be honest with you, I hadn't thought that far ahead.
TOM: It's just that...I think they've as much right to know where they came from as you do.
KARL: Well, if I talk to anyone, it'll be Susan. And I can't do that until she gets back.
TOM: Karl...I do love you, son.
KARL: Yeah...I love you, too, Dad.
Debbie is looking in the paper for a job. Phil says that Karl Kennedy is looking for a receptionist and Debbie says that would be great.
The phone rings and it's the Newsagency Association for Phil.
Andrew pops around to see Susan, but of course, she's gone to Albury. Karl suggests they have a chat instead. Karl tells Andrew that he's heard about his heroism, and also the gay headline. Karl says he was appalled - sexual preference has nothing to do with being a hero. Andrew is surprised that Karl had realised Andrew was gay all along. Andrew says there will definitely be some fallout over the revelation.
KARL: You don't think you can be a teacher and be open about who you are?
ANDREW: Karl, be realistic! Not everyone in the community is as liberal as you and Susan. There's going to be some fallout over this. Certain people won't stand for it.
KARL: Well, they just need to be better educated!
ANDREW: Yeah, but I'm not sure I want to be the one to do it! Not when it's my own head on the chopping block.
KARL: Andrew, from everything I hear, you're a damn fine teacher. Now, hopefully, that will override everything.
ANDREW: And if it doesn't?
KARL: Well, if it doesn't, I think it'd be a shame to go down without a fight.
ANDREW: I have every intention of fighting, it's just it makes me angry that I have to fight at all. But thanks for the vote of confidence, Karl. I needed it.
Lou and Marlene are having lunch when Stonie comes in. They are about to apologise to him, but Stonie gets in first with his own apology. He's "let the Rebecchi name down" and gives Marlene a gift. Lou and Marlene apologise too - after all, they started it with the pranks.
Karl is frustrated that his receptionist is late back from lunch. Debbie calls by about the receptionist job and introduces herself to Karl. She gives him her CV.
KARL: If you're even slightly better than the temp I've got at the moment, you're in with a fighting chance!
DEBBIE: Sounds promising!
When Debbie has gone, Karl answers the phone to Susan. He tells her about his conversation with Andrew Watson and assures her that he was very sympathetic - as good as a social worker!
Debbie has made a start on dinner. She tells Phil that she may have a chance of the receptionist job.
Phil tells Debbie that he needs to confide in her about something.
PHIL: I've decided - the time if right. I'm going to make some changes in my life.
DEBBIE: You're not getting married again, are you?
PHIL: No! I'm going to sell the news agency.
DEBBIE: Well...what are you going to do?
Marlene and Lou have arrived home. Marlene feels tired out after such a busy day and suddenly feels overcome and collapses to the floor.
Apparently the News Association has found Phil a buyer for the news agency. Phil has already discussed it with Helen.
DEBBIE: Well...if it's what you want. It's just...
PHIL: Just what?
DEBBIE: Well, don't you remember what happened last time when you gave up your job?
PHIL: What do you mean?
DEBBIE: Everything started to fall apart. And you had all those problems with Mum, remember?
DEBBIE: Well, you did!
PHIL: Julie and I had a lot of problems. It wasn't just the fact that I quit my job.
DEBBIE: Yeah, but it didn't help, did it?
PHIL: No, I suppose not.
DEBBIE: That's all I'm saying. I might be able to cope, but I'm not sure if Hannah could.
PHIL: I'm sure it'll be alright.
DEBBIE: Well...even if it is, aren't you a bit too young to retire?
PHIL: Well, I agree with you there! It's just that I have other goals that I want to persue.
DEBBIE: Oh, so you've thought about the future? What are we going to do for money? Hannah's going to be at school forever.
PHIL: Deb, I promise you, Hannah will not starve(!) And nor will you.
DEBBIE: Yeah, well, I'm alright. I can look after myself. It's you I'm worried about.
PHIL: I'm touched that you care so much. And because you do, I think it's time I told you everything.
DEBBIE: No! There's more?!
PHIL: Oh, a whole lot more!
DEBBIE: Tell me!
Tom laughs that Mal feels "on the shelf" - he's only 19 years old! He tells Mal about Karl chasing Susan back in the day. Mal laughs and says that Karl always tells them it was the other way around!
Karl comes in.
MAL: Now your secret's out!
KARL: I beg your pardon?
MAL: Really, Dad. All this time you've been deceiving us. Lucky we've got Gramps around to set things straight. So much for stud- man! Serenading mum at a window!
Karl sends Mal off to do the shopping.
MAL:(sings) Oh, my love, my Susan...!
Karl assures Tom that he will tell the kids when the time is right. Tom was hoping it would be while he was still there, but Karl wants to talk to Susan first - and anyway, he needs to get it straight in his own head too.
TOM: Karl. Deal with it how you will, but please, don't freeze me out.
KARL: I won't, Dad.
Phil shows Debbie his romance novels. She doesn't understand initially, thinking Phil is going to be a publisher. He draws her attention to the author.
DEBBIE: Oh, no! Not a romance writer, not you!
PHIL: Allow me to introduce myself! Phillippa Martinez, the next Barbara Cartland...well, hopefully!
Debbie bursts into giggles!