Episode title: 2934
Australian airdate: 04/09/97
UK airdate: 17/02/98
UK Gold: 15/01/04
Writer: Ian Coughlan
Director: Robert Meillon
Matt Compton: Jonathan Kovac
Alfonzo: Serge DeNardo
Sgt. Richardson: Geoff Gaskill
" by Leonardo's Bride
Summary/Images by: Sal/Sal
Ben's dumped with a car because the owner couldn't pay the bill.
Anne's nude portrait of Billy has been nominated - and is going to be displayed at school.
Ben decides that today is the first day of the rest of his life and that it's going to be a good one - no dramas, no moping around, no personal disasters. Sarah says that their ad for a housemate has gone in and it's not in Chinese nor misprinted. (The phone number for number 30 is 1800 644 386!) Ben, with his new positive thinking attitude, says that a guy will move in, who will sit around with him, watching footie and pigging out on pizza. Sarah observes that they'll drop food all over the floor and says that a woman wouldn't be as messy. Ben says that's a sexist attitude but Sarah protests it's true. Ben gives in, saying they won't have an argument today when the phone goes. It's an applicant for the housemate - who, to Ben's amusement, is male. In her defence, Sarah says that he sounded tidy! Ben says that because today's going to be good, the first applicant - Matt Compton - is going to be perfect.
Marlene's looking through a booklet about courses, which Karl gets increasingly frustrated at. He asks if there's a course on developing receptionist skills(!) He asks for the appointment book but Marlene ignores him, saying that most employers would be happy to see their staff making an effort and with Sarah doing her nursing course, Marlene felt she should too. Karl tells her its commendable and asks for the appointment book again but Marlene just rattles on, to Karl's annoyance, who goes to find the appointment book himself. Marlene says there's nothing wrong with being active and interested in the world and that she shouldn't be annoyed with her. He says he's not but she swears she can hear it in his tone. Karl tells her that he's sorry and he'll 'look' to his tone. Over her shoulder, he spies a woodwork class and says that he's always wanted to do one.
Hannah asks Toadie why Debbie's given him a job seeing as she has no money. Toadie says that it's an investment because he'll take across all of the Coffee Shop's loyal customers, which Hannah merely scoffs at. Billy asks him why he's got a job anyway - he thought he was going to get rich by selling ABBA records with forged signatures! Anne appears and asks Billy about the painting but Billy said he'd rather jump off a cliff. Toadie overhears and asks if the 'porn drawing of Kennedy' is going to be in the show. Hannah says it must be really good if it's going in the show and she can't wait to see it. Toadie agrees (what? Another gay Billy/Toadie joke?!) prompting Billy to say, "WHAT are you?!" Toadie suggests they put it in a special room and charge people to see it - they'll make a fortune. Anne says he's not helping and asks Billy to think it over.
Sarah's serving coffee to the new housemate when Ben walks in, late because he's been working on a car. He steals Sarah's coffee and asks if Matt likes footie. Matt says he does, Ben tells him he does as well and Sarah's just pleased they got the important question out of the way(!) She asks if he's shared before etc. It's his first week in Erinsborough - he's just graduated from police training academy. As he announces this, Ben looks distant. Sarah continues chatting happily but Ben appears totally distracted by this, although he says it's not a problem.
An Italian patient charms Marlene and Karl looks on in amusement. He says he can't believe women fall for the charming continental routine. Marlene ponders why he thought her name was belladonna. Karl laughs and says that he didn't - it's probably Italian for good receptionist or something and he didn't mean anything by it! Marlene says he's got no soul. She clutches her hand that he kissed and repeats, "Belladonna," to herself.
(Music - Stay With Me) Anne's trying to convince Billy with classic drawings and sculptures - such of Michaelangelo's David - when Toadie and Hannah burst on them. Toadie says that he wouldn't do it and tells Billy that he shouldn't. Anne gets rid of them and begs Billy again. She asks if he even cares how she feels - this is really important. Billy says that he didn't want to pose in the first place, then she tricked him and painted a nude when he wasn't, then he agreed that just the art teacher would see it, then he agreed that it could go into a national display even though he didn't want to and now, because he won't let the whole of Erinsborough see it, he's the bad guy? He tells Anne that she ought to take his feelings into account.
Sarah seems quite taken by Matt and as he makes his excuses to leave to go to work, Sarah tells him that they've had other applicants but he's in with a pretty good chance. Ben's less than enthusiastic, saying they'll have to talk it over. When he's gone, Sarah squeals that he's perfect to be their housemate. Ben's more reserved, saying he'd feel funny living with a cop, looking out for every little thing he did. Sarah asks him what sort of little things he does. Ben says that there's nothing in particular and Sarah interupts him, saying that he never knows when he'll want to use the house to plan a kidnapping or a bank job! Ben agrees that's daft and tells her to make her own decision - he's got to go to work.
Marlene's talking in Italian or Spanish or something to Karl over the intercom and it's driving Karl crackers. She says she's doing it because it's such a beautiful language. He tells her to cut it out - especially the Spanish bits. Sarah comes in and Karl exclaims that he's glad there's someone there who speaks English! Marlene fills Sarah in on what's happened and Karl says that the man was only charming because it was the only way to get her out of the course guide that she's had her head buried in. Sarah tells her to do Italian and Karl tries desperately to stop her from saying it. Marlene finds a course - Karl says that there would be one of those in there! Marlene goes to leave (and says something in Spanish that obviously she thinks is Italian..I'd write it out but I have no idea). Karl tells her, exasperatedly, for the last time, it's Spanish! Marlene asks what the Italian is for goodbye and Karl comes out with something. Marlene asks Sarah if it's right and Sarah says she can't imagine. Marlene says it's the first thing she'll ask and repeats it (Is it verlaree?). Sarah calls out ciao after her and Karl turns around with a mixture of amusement and stunned across his face. Sarah grins. Deary me, is this doctor/receptionist flirting already?
Toadie asks Billy why he's a gloom fest. Billy tells him that it's about the painting. Toadie says that he now reckons Billy should do it. Billy says that Toadie only wants that for $5 a look and him taking comission. Toadie tells him that the market will only be $2.50! Toadie tells him to have it in the show with the rest of them - all the girls will see it. Billy says he doesn't find that a huge selling point. Toadie says that he'll become a legend - the guy who let it all hang out for the sake of his girlfriend's art...the girls will be crawling all over him. Billy tells him he doesn't want them crawling all over him - he has a girlfriend. Least, he thinks he does. Toadie says that's where he becomes his manager - he can handle the overflow! Billy tells him he's a seriously sick and twisted boy. Anne knocks at the door and Billy's surprised to see her - and more surprised that she's still talking to him. Anne says she thought it'd be the other way around. Anne tells him everything he said was true, so she's decided not to enter the painting. She asks if they're still friends and Billy tells her, "Let's see," before kissing her. Anne asks if she should take that as a yes and Toadie looks like he's about to be sick.
Matt arrives at the surgery, dressed in his police uniform. She tells him that he's the new housemate and he can move in whenever he likes. He tells her he got a really good feeling about the two of them and the house earlier but he wasn't sure if it was mutual. Karl sees a patient out as Matt's leaving to do traffic duty:
KARL: Told you crime doesn't pay. I knew they'd catch up with you eventually.
SARAH: Not looking for me, looking for Marlene.
SARAH: Apparently that Italian guy Marlene's got the hots for.. He's a mafia hood and he robbed a bank and they think Marlene drove the getaway car.
KARL: Oh but that's ridiculous!
SARAH: I'm only repeating what I was told.
KARL: But th.. (pause) Oh no no, I'm an intelligent man, how did I walk into that?
Sarah asks why does everyone presume that the police are bad news. Karl says he didn't assume but Sarah repeats his crime doesn't pay line. Karl tells her it was a joke and walks off to his office. Sarah follows him, apologising and tells him about Ben's reaction to finding out Matt was a cop earlier. Karl says Ben might like to be asked but Sarah says that she's made the decision, Ben'll have to live with it.
Ben's taken the car for a test drive and he gets called over by a police car. Ben isn't impressed but pulls up, only to find it's Matt who gets out of the car. He wrongly presumes it's about the housemate thing but Matt asks him for his license.
Marlene appears back at the surgery and has a set of Italian tapes. Karl says he can't believe they've ripped her off with some tapes but Marlene tells him they're aids to the lessons. Karl excuses himself to ring a patient and Sarah suggests that if Marlene had a walkman, she could practise at work. Karl bursts back in, insisting that it's a bad idea. Marlene says that she won't let it affect the high standard of her work. She leaves and Karl repeats the word her said earlier but Marlene corrects him...and Karl looks like he wants to put a bolt through her head.
Ben asks what the problem is - he wasn't speeding, it's roadworthy but the issue was the registration. Ben explains that he'll do it straight away - he got caught up interviewing people for the house. Matt's sergeant comes over and tells Matt that the law's the law but he'll leave it to his discretion. Ben whistles with relief but Matt says that he's going to book him. Ben can't believe it but Matt says that as his sergeant says, the law's the law.
Back at home, Ben's watching tv, slowly seething. He tells Sarah what happened and she says that it's his own fault for speeding. Ben says he wasn't and tells her what it was. She says that if he's stupid enough to drive an unregistered car, he deserves it. Ben says that his sergeant practically told him to leave it but he scalped him for it when he didn't need to. He says that this is why he didn't want to live with a cop - he probably treats the people he knows worse than strangers, just to show that he's not soft. Sarah says that if he let him off, it'd be worse. Ben says that he's not staying. Sarah says that she's already told him. Ben doesn't care and says that she should tell him the house is unregistered! He says that he's a dropkick and they don't need him living around here. Sarah says that he sure holds grudges and she's not putting Matt off because he got up Ben's nose. Ben yells that he was just bigging himself up infront of his sergeant. Sarah says that he can tell Matt then. Ben says that's fine..but then Sarah changes her mind, saying that she gave him her word he could move in and she won't change it for Ben, just because he didn't keep his registration up to date. Ben says that he won't fit in. Sarah tells him that's not the impression she's got - what's the problem? He says that he's got a 'feeling'. Sarah says she knows the feeling - it's prejudice and he should get over it. She walks out and Ben yells after her that they haven't finished their 'discussion'. She yells back that they have.
At 32, Billy's looking at Anne's painting and saying how good it is. Anne says that she'll do some others and they'll be even better. Billy says she must be teed off with him, deep down. Anne says she isn't - she was the one who broke her word. She says that if she could do have another couple of days instead of hours, she'd have another shot at state selection. Billy tells her it's such a good chance and he doesn't want her to lose out because of him. He says that the worst that could happen is a bit of hassle for him, off a few kids, for a few days..and if he can't handle that for her art career, what can he do? Anne tells him if he's sure, she'll enter it tomorrow. They both kiss.