- Madge finding the letter for Harold.
- Susan introducing Lisa to Mal and Karl.
Madge comments on Harold treating the hot milk like a meditation technique; he's completely lost in thought. He replies that it's the simple things that make him happy – like sharing a cocoa with a loved one. Madge adds that communication is also important.
MADGE: It's good that we don't have any secrets from each other.
Still hasn't attended those subtlety classes then.
Madge isn't letting the issue drop and tells him that it was a long five years, she wouldn't blame him if he'd had a "special friendship". She asks him if he had any kind of relationship but he replies that she is the only woman of his dreams. Aww…
Sarah is complaining that there's beetroot on her burger and Mal retorts that it's a very important part. The Aussies are nuts – beet on a burger? Ick. Sarah asks Lisa if she's nervous about her first day and Mal teases her about all the tricks and pranks that are played on the new teacher. Mal replies that as long as she doesn't park in the headmaster's spot she'll be fine. Lisa, however, doesn't drive. Neither does Cath.
SARAH: It's her contribution to road safety.
More like it's her contribution – or lack thereof – to the environment. What if there's an accident? She'll call an ambulance. Mal sulks and declares that all this political correctness is going to make him choke on his beetroot.
Bishops / a station… I think
Madge is woken up by the phone ringing, but when she answers it there's no one there. However, we can see that there is someone, seemingly standing at a station, looking somewhat shocked and/or nervous at hearing Madge's voice.
Eventually she summons up the nerve to speak – and asks to speak to Ted.
(And yes, it is Auntie "Peace Dove" Doreen, Charlie's sister, from the end of the 2004 season)
Peace Dove The woman corrects herself and says that it's Harold she wants to speak to but when Madge says he's asleep she hangs up without giving her name.
Sarah and Lisa are talking about first impressions and Lisa's worried about how she'll go over with the students. In such a wonderful and totally unheard of before co-incidence, Sarah points out three of them heading their way now.
Bill introduces himself and they start to give Lisa advice on who not to sit next to in the staff room (Mr Marks has terrible BO), and give her a heads up about Toadie. They neglect to tell her Toadie's real name so it was a bit of a pointless introduction because I somehow doubt Mr Rebecchi will have his well-known nickname on the register.
Madge is yawning and looking like I do when I have to get up and be at work for half seven in the morning (I.e. wanting desperately to crawl back into bed). Harold meanwhile is full of the joys of the morning and asks if she slept well. Madge replies that she was disturbed by a late-night phonecall from his "woman friend".
She's done being subtle (I didn't think she'd started) and she says that he got a SWALK letter which he kept from her and now phonecalls in the middle of the night? Harold's not happy and tells Madge that she should have woken him; what if she'd needed to talk?
Harold points out that he'd told her about Claudia and that she was coming to visit, that he'd found her somewhere to stay. Madge wants to know everything.
HAROLD: She's a widow…
HAROLD: …with very few friends in life…
MADGE: I'm not surprised.
HAROLD: …and it's my duty to be there when she's crying out for help. Or don't you think we should help each other?
He asks wouldn't she help out a friend and Madge snaps back that she's not so sure.
Hannah is telling Lisa about the tyre slashing that goes on at Erinsborough, but it's OK because now there's the policy in place whereby all knives are handed in Monday and given back on Friday. Lisa thanks them for the warning and heads off – presumably to see if there are any flak jackets going spare. Hannah tells Anne that she was only joking and that Anne being the new girl is going to be nothing like Lisa being the new teacher.
Sitting at a nearby table Mal is telling Cath that it's not a big deal, it's just a driver's licence. Cath sulks that Debbie has decreed that all members of staff are to be available to deliver pizzas and that means Cath must get a driver's licence. Cath doesn't want to learn how to drive, she can't. She just can't imagine sitting behind the wheel – the whole thing scares the daylights out of her.
Mal is telling Darren that Cath's got her learner's, she just hasn't got around to getting the full licence. Darren remarks that unless she hurries up it'll run out and she'll have to sit the test again.
When Darren finds out that Mal is giving Cath some driving lessons he declares his mate is nuts. Cath is a) his girlfriend, b) scared of driving and c) not the kind of person who will back down from an argument.
a) plus b) plus c) = Mal and Cath's relationship being over the minute he starts teaching her how to drive.
DARREN: There is no better atmosphere for an argument than in a stuffy car with a learner driver who's just attempted to run over three kids and a dog.
Mal says she needs the licence for work and Darren replies that it's her job or their relationship. His choice.
Anne's worrying about being the new girl but Hannah's confident that she'll make lots of friends. Besides, Bill and Toadie already like her – Hannah heard them talking. Anne is immediately curious as to what they said. When she asks what Billy said Hannah realises that Anne really does like him. Anne's adamant that there's nothing going on and they head off to school, Anne telling Hannah she's not to say anything.
Did the girl not see the last episode? We all know how that turned out…
Madge is telling Lou that she believes Harold but she still feels jealous. Lou can't believe that nothing did happen; Madge's opinion is the past is the past. She hates feeling this way – jealousy is difficult to control.
And she's telling all this to the guy who was heartbroken over her choosing Harold over him?
Lou says she has someone to talk to in him for which she's thankful.
Mal heads off to meet Cath for lunch with the aim of telling her that he won't be giving her driving lessons.
DARREN: You're a smart boy. She would have driven you around the bend.
Camera pans to a couple of boys putting polish on a bike seat and the approaching Hannah, Bill and Anne notice this. When Hannah realises it's Lisa's bike she says it's not fair and potentially dangerous. Hannah goes over to the bike when the two boys leave and discover the polish. She wants to tell Lisa but Bill replies that it's a harmless prank and she'd just be a suck if she told.
Mal comes in and asks after Cath. Lou asks when Mal and Darren are going to start work on the bus and he says that they will after they finish the school job.
Cath comes in, all smiles and brandishing her L plates. Suddenly she's very excited about learning and is a bit deflated when Mal says he doesn't want to teach her to protect their relationship. Cath says that they wouldn't fight but Mal is sure that she'll find someone.
If a guy teaching his girlfriend how to drive is a bad thing, what exactly do you call a woman teaching her sister? Sarah is the (un)witting instructor and the lesson goes thus…
Are you in Park? Check.
Is the handbrake on? (Cath pulls it up, so that was a no. But now it's a) Check.
Is there anything behind you? Cath nearly breaks her neck looking out the window but that's a no.
Start the engine – gently.
Cath turns the engine over and indicates that she wants to move off. Sarah tells her to put the Ute into Drive (for which Cath has to use two hands) then take the handbrake off. She then tells Cath to take her foot off the break and to put it onto the accelerator.
And where, pray tell, is the part where she checks her mirrors? Signal, check, move. And I took my test seven years ago! Cath bunny hops her way down the street, just as Madge is walking up. Now as Madge starts to cross the road, Cath – who is paying attention to her footwork – begins to accelerate a bit more, only stopping just before she knocks Madge over.
I have one question. Why didn't Madge look both ways before crossing the road? Road safety works both ways y'know.
Sarah yells at Cath before telling her not to touch anything. She gets out of the car and goes over to Madge, checking that she's OK. Sarah demands that Cath get out of the Ute, she quits as Cath's instructor.
I have another question. Why doesn't Cath pay for lessons? Why are soap characters always taught by a family member how to drive? Instructors are there for a reason…
Bishops / Station
Madge rushes into the house as the phone is ringing. Ah, the days before answering machines. She answers it and catches her breath. We see it's the same woman as before who asks if Harold's there. When Madge says she's at work the woman goes to hang up but Madge asks if it's Claudia.
CLAUDIA: Who am I speaking to?
MADGE: This is Madge Bishop.
CLAUDIA: Oh. The wife.
MADGE: Yes. The wife.
Madge tells Claudia that they don't need any complications in their lives and it might be best if she didn't call again. Harold doesn't need anyone complicating the past for him.
CLAUDIA: I'm not confusing anything for him.
MADGE: Well I have to say you're confusing me.
Madge pointedly asks if there's a message she can give her husband and Claudia stammers that there isn't before hanging up.
Anne and Hannah are leaving school talking about Anne's first day when Lisa walks past. Hannah decides it's worth it and tells Lisa that she'd probably be better off not riding home, not if she doesn't want to ruin her trousers. Lisa looks her bike over and discovers the polish on the seat, apparently still wet despite having been applied at lunchtime and sat for hours under the Aussie summer sun. Boot polish that never dries?
Turns out Claudia is in Erinsborough and is talking to Harold about the woman claiming to be his wife. Harold says that she is his wife and asks what she did. Claudia says that Madge told her to stay out of his life forever. If that's what Harold wants then that's fine, but he's a good friend to her and she misses him. Harold invites Claudia over for dinner – once they sit down and meet properly they'll get along better.
Lisa arrives home and reports to Sarah that the never-drying boot polish is the only negative to report of the day. Cath chimes in saying she's had a rotten day thanks to a very bad teacher. The sisters trade insults but at the end of the day Cath doesn't have a driving instructor.
I'm sure there will be a few in the phone book. Stop being a cheapskate and learn from someone who will actually prepare you properly for the test!
Alas, it's Darren who steps up to the plate, offering his services.
DARREN: I reckon I'm brave enough.
Lisa thanks a returning Hannah for the tip off and says she owes her one.
HANNAH: I'll remember that.
Harold is less than impressed with how Madge spoke to Claudia. Harold tells her that he doesn't say things like that to her friends so why is she interfering in his friendship? Madge doesn't want it compromised by anyone else. Harold points out that she has to trust him, to which she replies that she does.
Harold then says he's invited Claudia for dinner – tonight – and he expects Madge to play nice. Oh, and he thought he might invite Claudia to stay with them. She's having trouble at the hostel. Of course, this is only if it's OK with Madge. Unable to say no she agrees.
Hannah and Anne are looking through a magazine advertising a warehouse sale. They gush over the clothes available and then notice that the sale is only on tomorrow. Anne suggests they go to the sale – put in an appearance at school, get their names ticked off, then disappear for the afternoon.
ANNE: There is no way we'll get caught. No way.
*insert summariser eye rolling here*