Phil and Helen discussing Debbie's business ideas.
Anne confronting Lance over the graffiti.
Karl's looking through the phonebill, picking out the phonecalls to Colac. He's going to hit Toadie up for all the peak rate calls to the country and Susan tells him not to make a big deal of it, just ask him to contribute. Libby comes in and tells Susan that there's something at the school she needs to see.
Libby says she wouldn't have said something if it had been on the back of a toilet door, Karl wants to go to the police… Susan says she wouldn't have minded if they'd made it into a decent work of art. Ah, perspectives. Susan's just upset as she thought the students saw her as a friend rather than an enemy. Lib and Karl wonder who could have done it and Susan says that she's not naming names but she might have an idea as to who the new artiste is…
Lance is denying all involvement but Anne's not having it – he apologised to Susan but then told her that he didn't mean it. He tells Anne that he went blading then went to the video arcade. Ruth comes in saying she can hear them halfway down the street. Anne says Ruth needs to talk some sense into him – over him leaving school for a start. The argument continues and Ruth says they're supposed to be mature young adults. And they certainly take that on board.
ANNE: You're a stupid little boy.
LANCE: Well you're an idiot, Anne.
Ruth stops Lance from leaving and tells Anne to disappear so she can have a friendly little chat with him.
Debbie's talking about her research; the aim of the game is to attract young people in. They're the ones who are looking for somewhere to go of an evening and have the disposable income. Debbie reminds Phil of when Luke ran it as a late-night pizza place it was buzzing and she's confident that she could do that again.
Phil wants details? Debbie has details.
Ruth says that if Lance tells her he didn't do the graffiti then that's good enough for her. They move on to the subject of him leaving school and she's disappointed he didn't discuss it with her. Lance says he wanted to get it all sorted, get a job before he told her. Ruth says she'd rather he didn't leave school but if it's what he wants. She reminds him that he wanted to be an architect and Lance retorts that Susan thinks he's too stupid for Year Twelve. Ruth tells him that's not the case and after getting him to admit that he's not ready to give on his dream she gets him to give up the idea of leaving school.
Karl's convinced Lance is guilty. Susan wants to talk to him about it, Karl would rather see him strung up. She says she wants him to be able to communicate with her without resorting to tactics like this and announces she needs to think about it and goes off.
Toadie comes home and is immediately accosted by Karl. Toadie tries to back out of the door but Karl shuts it and puts the chain up (Susan will love that when she gets home and finds she can't get in) telling Toadie to take a seat, and to bring "a calculator and your wallet"…
Debbie's showing Phil some designs for redesigning the Coffee Shop. She's worked out figures, knows it's feasible, and knows she can make a go of it. Helen's impressed but Phil takes her up on her "Any questions?"
First up – she talked about keeping it open longer but neglected to mention what the council thought about that. She rang them, they said that she had to detail her plans in a letter and it shouldn't be a problem.
Secondly – opening at seven in the morning and staying open late doesn't leave a lot of time for sleep. Debbie replies that's what staff is for. Phil asks about taxing them, workplace insurance, health and safety… Helen jumps to Debbie's defence saying she doesn't need to know every detail right now, but Phil says good intentions aren't enough. He asks her to leave her plans so he can look through them in more detail.
Debbie leaves to go shopping and Helen comments how nice it is to see Debbie so happy and enthusiastic about something. Phil grudgingly admits that it is.
Karl's going through the phone bill. $3.10 for a 43 minute phonecall at peak rate. Is that it? 43 minutes? I get on the phone it's a miracle if I'm off within the hour! Toadie replies that it couldn't be him – as if he'd talk to his mother for more than two minutes. Must have been Susan.
TOADIE: You know what these women are like.
LIBBY: I'll get the feminists after you.
TOADIE: Sounds good to me as long as they're pretty.
Her retort is to throw the freshly peeled carrot at him.
KARL: Elizabeth! Don't throw the food!
Karl admits that Susan calls Angie but some of these days…
TOADIE: I wasn't here that day.
KARL: I haven't said what day it is yet.
Karl gets back to the phonebill and a $4.80 phonecall. He can't believe that he spent nearly $5 on a phonecall! Toadie denies all knowledge at which Karl can't believe that he knew what he was doing at ten past four nine weeks ago. Toadie says he was playing footie with Billy, it started to rain at about ten past five and they came in. So, not him.
Toadie says that if he made the phonecalls he'd own up – he doesn't want to rip Karl off. Susan appears and… the chain is still on the door! I could have sworn she went outside when she left to have her think! She tells Karl she's going to go have that chat with Lance and tries to get out only the chain prevents her getaway. He lets her out and as he turns around Toadie makes a bolt for it, giving a whoop of joy as he makes a break for freedom.
Libby tells him to just give up – Toadie's never going to admit to making those calls. But Karl's only just begun…
Phil admits that that Debbie's done her homework and that her ideas could work. Helen asks if this means he'll help her but he says he won't; she's got great ideas, sure, but she lacks the experience to turn ideas into profit. Helen points out that he knew that before asking her to submit her case to him, this was about her proving she was committed.
Phil thinks she'll be under too much pressure, Helen says she needs the challenge. He says it's a business and it's his money that'll be at risk. He doesn't think she's ready… and the one thing he and Helen agree on is that Debbie's not going to like his answer.
Susan calls around to speak to Lance. He denies doing the graffiti but she says whether he did or he didn't, they need to find a way to get on over the next two years. He tells Susan that she doesn't have proof he did it, and she won't because he didn't do it. Ruth comes in wondering what's going on and Lance says he can't stop Susan and Ruth having a conversation about how stupid he is, but he's not going to stand around and be accused of something he didn't do.
Ruth tells Susan that she believes Lance, despite Susan's protests that she didn't accuse him of anything Ruth bluntly says that she's only just calmed him down so maybe now's not a good time.
Lance and Toadie run into each other and end up talking. Toadie's a little surprised that Lance feels hassled by Susan, she's normally pretty cool. Lance admits Susan wants him to join catch up classes and Toadie begins on the blonde jokes. Lance admits that he's in big trouble and Toadie offers to listen.
Lance says he promised his mum he'd stick in school but he can't last two years with Susan breathing down his neck. She hates him and she blames him for the graffiti that he didn't do.
TOADIE: Here is the gospel according to Rebecchi. When you're in trouble deny everything. Deny, deny, deny.
He goes on to say that Lance should put the blame onto someone else, then later concede a bit of ground – maybe he had something to do with it, just a bit. Then lay on the guilt and if need be, the tears. Toadie says he'll help fix things between Lance and Susan.
TOADIE: I have a way of getting around people and they don't even know I'm doing it.
Ruth does a quick check up on Helen and says that she's doing so well she shall have to stop coming over. With a pointed look at Phil Helen replies that she can think of a million reasons why Ruth should keep coming over. Phil quickly leaves to the kitchen and Ruth chides Helen on her lack of subtlety. But all Helen meant was that she didn't know what they'd do without her.
Debbie comes in, laden down with bags and Phil rushes to help her. Ruth makes her excuses and leaves as Debbie asks if he's looked through the proposal. Phil admits that her ideas are full of merit.
So is that a yes?
Phil says he's impressed with her business sense and that her ideas are full of merit. He says that he thinks Debbie is a year or so away from managing a business such as the Coffee Shop and she takes it surprisingly well. She thanks him for thinking about it though.
Toadie's pleading Lance's case but she can't see what they can do if he won't discuss it like an adult. Toadie says maybe it was the shock of the accusation.
TOADIE: You know he idolises you.
SUSAN: Jarrod, I wasn't born yesterday.
TOADIE: Of course not. It would have been too painful for your mum.
Toadie says that Lance cried, it was embarrassing and now he's now talking about leaving school. Susan says that's the last thing she wanted and heads over there to sort this out before it gets out of control. Toadie's joy about getting Susan and Lance talking is short lived when Karl walks in – they didn't finish their talk about the phonecalls.
He tries to make a break for it but Karl points out that Toadie can run but he will always be here. Waiting. Toadie says maybe he made some of the calls but his mum worries about him…
KARL: Don't we all?
Phil and Debbie are heading off to her catering job but Helen calls them back and tells him to sit. She's taken out the lease on the Coffee Shop, and of course she'll need a manager, can Debbie think of someone? Helen has the business sense, Debbie has the energy and ideas. Debbie will have a free reign to a certain extent – and like any other business if it doesn't work out then Helen will let Debbie go. Helen asks Phil for his opinion and he's pretty blunt.
PHIL: I'm going to stick to my guns and say it's still too risky. In fact, Helen, I think you're being very foolish.
Susan is apologising to Lance for assuming his guilt without any evidence and she certainly didn't mean to upset him. She wants to forget about it and start again. Lance apologises too and they talk about getting him through years eleven and twelve and on to Uni. Peace made, Susan gets up to leave. She tells Lance in private that there's nothing wrong with men crying – it's nothing to be ashamed of.
Lance doesn't know where to look, and honestly neither do I! What on earth possessed her to bring it up?
When Susan admits that Toadie told her he gets it and plays along. After she's gone he makes a face.
Phil and Debbie come home and Debbie wants him to get it off his chest. Why is he so annoyed? He doesn't think she's ready for the responsibility. Debbie points out that Helen's in charge and she'll make sure that she sticks to it but Phil can't believe Helen invested in a business that, at best, could be described as shaky.
DEBBIE: We will make it profitable.
PHIL: This is her nest egg we are talking about. If you don't make it work there's a good chance that she will lose all her money.
Phil hopes she's successful, he really does, but how is she going to feel if Debbie's responsible for a large chunk of Helen's retirement money being lost if it doesn't work?