Episode title: 2977
Australian airdate: 04/11/97
UK airdate: 17/04/98
UK Gold: 16/03/04
Writer: Ray Kolle
Director: Chris Adshead
Paul McClain: Jansen Spencer
Tracey Cox: Margot Knight
Amy Greenwood: Jacinta Stapleton
Steve Van Eck: Daniel Tobias
Bonnie & Dahl: Trained by Jason Hura
Summary/Images by: Noel/Sal
Ben being introduced to 'Dutch' Van Eck, his engine blowing up, Lou offering to help him repair it.
Madge telling Lou about Harold's wonderful new job, Harold not telling Madge the truth.
Smoke in the classroom, Susan telling the kids what trouble the person responsible would be in, Toadie owning up to Karl.
Late at night Susan is angry with Toadie over the prank. She asks if he realises how serious it is and that he could be single handily responsible for causing the school's closure. She asks why he didn't own up earlier but he says he got scared when things started getting serious. She says Karl stuck up for him over and over and he should be ashamed. Toadie says he says he is. Karl says he's going to bed, and Susan finishes by saying "We brought you into our home. We treated you like a member of the family. You have completely betrayed our trust". Toadie is in tears by now.
The garage (Music: 'Tease Me' by Paul Kelly on the radio)
Ben and Lou are still working on the car. Ben puts a spanner down, and Lou picks it up to clean it resulting in it not being there when he reaches for it. He pulls on the chains holding the engine up and makes things worse, then tells Ben that he isn't helping much so offers to make some coffee instead. Ben tells him that would be helpful. Ben says there is another five hours work to do to get the car ready. Lou is surprised and tells Ben he won't be in much of a state to race tomorrow, but Ben says it will be worth it to see the look on Van Eck's face.
Karl gets up in the night and finds Toadie still sitting on the sofa holding Dahl. He tells him he might as well ring Mal now he's up. Toadie asks how much a ticket to London is, and Karl says he should find out himself if he wants to know. He tells Karl he's sorry again, but Karl says he doesn't want to speak to him. Karl tells him he doesn't give two hoots what he does, but he's let everyone down and he shouldn't expect William to forgive him either.
Ben and Lou finally get back from the garage. Lou tells Ben to get a couple of hours sleep and he will go home and sort out the entry forms for the race. Ben tells him he couldn't have done it without him and they make a great team, but Lou says he doesn't mind and he feels he's got more than a financial stake now he's put some time in as well. He says he's relying on Ben to make Van Eck eat his dust. Ben says with any luck he'll choke on it as well.
No. 28 next morning
Susan and Karl are talking about what to do with Toadie over the breakfast table. Karl says he's very disappointed in him, and Susan says he will probably be expelled from school before his exams. Karl tells Susan he intends to throw him out of the house, since he was only staying there so he could finish his education and Erinsborough High, and he can go back to his parents and explain to them what he's done.
Lance is trying to speak to Amy on the phone, but her mother tells him she is out buying cuticle cream. There's a knock at the door and he tells Amy's mother that it's probably her now and hangs up. He opens the door and finds it's Toadie who comes in and tells him he needs all last night's takings from the jukebox. Lance asks him if he wants it for a new computer game, but he tells him he needs it to live on. He tells Lance he was responsible for the toxic fumes and that he has to find somewhere else to live while he takes his exams, if he can be bothered to take them. Lance says he doesn't mind him having the money and he's sure Hannah won't mind either.
Amy wonders how Lance new what she was buying while she was out, and he tells her he'd phone and spoken to her mum. They start talking about Toadie and how it's unfair for him to be punished for one mistake when he didn't know it was going to go wrong. Amy suggests Lance should talk to Mrs Kennedy and tell her that Toadie is thinking of not doing his exams. He says Toadie would kill him if he found out he'd gone talking to her about it. Amy persuades him, and he says he'll do it after going to Calder. He invites Amy but she says she can't go.
Harold opens the door to Tracey Cox and she has brought along a boy called Paul McClain who they have just started looking after. She says she is going to show him around Erinsborough and asks Harold if he wants to join them. Harold says he will if he isn't needed elsewhere, but she says he's missing his family so that is more important. She suggests they go ice skating, but Paul says he isn't very good, and Harold admits he isn't either. Paul says he prefers motor racing and he'd like to go and see that since there is a meeting on at Calder Park.
Lance is telling Karl and Susan about Toadie's plans to leave. Karl isn't interested, but Susan thanks him for letting them know, and that if he sees Toadie he should try to get him to come back. Susan says they aren't going to kick Toadie out - which gets a stern look from Karl - and that it is his home for as long as he wants to stay there.
Lou visits Ben in the pit lane to give him some encouragement and is joined by Lance. Steve Van Eck comes over and Lance asks Ben who he is. Ben tells him he's the guy who is trying to beat him, but Lou says they are all trying to beat him and not to let him get under his skin. Lou spots Harold walking around with Tracey and Paul. They wonder what he is doing there instead of being in his office, and Lou says he intends to find out. Lou asks Harold if he came to see Ben race, but Harold doesn't seem to have known Ben would be there. Lou asks Harold who the young lady with him is, and suggests he is living a double life and has a whole other family. Harold says he isn't, but then admits he is leading a double life but not in the way Lou thinks.
The Coffee Shop
Toadie is writing a letter to Susan (he's left-handed by the way) saying he's sorry and has to leave Erinsborough. He stops writing and continues as a voiceover until Madge interrupts his thoughts and ask if he wants his coffee topped up. He says he doesn't as he's about to leave, and she thinks it's not like him to not be eating. He's says he's done something bad but won't tell her what saying she'll find out in time. She says in her experience there's nothing that can't be fixed with time and distance. He says she's got it right about the distance part and that he's leaving. She tells him running away never solved anything.
Harold and Lou are talking by the side of the track (I'm sure it's not a coincidence that the shot of Harold is framed so he's in front of a sign that says "...you're a bloody idiot"!). Lou tells Harold he should be more proud of his work looking after foster kids than having an office job, and apologises for ribbing him before. However advises Harold to tell Madge the truth as soon as possible.
Susan gets off the phone from talking to someone, and then tells Karl she's rung all Toadie's mates but no one has heard anything. Karl says he doesn't know why she is bothering as he knows the way he operates. He makes everyone feel guilty then breezes in as if nothing has happened, and that he's probably off sulking somewhere. Susan says from the way Lance was talking it's different this time.
On the starting grid before the race Lou and Lance are giving Ben some last minute encouragement, but Steve Van Eck teases Ben again saying his engine will fall out. The siren sounds and Lou and Lance have to leave the track. Lance tells Lou he wishes it was him in the race, and Lou says he shouldn't tell him mum that. The lights change to green and the race gets underway.
A suburban street
Toadie arrives at the letterbox. He posts his letter to Susan and walks away.
The race continues with Lou, Lance, Harold, Paul and Tracey watching. Paul asks Harold if he really knows the guy in car no. 45 and he says he is a neighbour of his. Ben is second in the race behind Steve Van Eck. He and gets alongside Van Eck, then bumps the side of his car and spins off onto the grass. Ben returns to the pits and Lou and Lance go to check he's OK. Ben tells Lou he can't do it, and Lou says that's rubbish. Ben tells him he doesn't have the skill or the guts for racing.