Episode title: Episode 4374
Australian airdate: 20/11/03
UK airdate: 27/1/04
Writer: Anthony Morris
Director: Gary Conway
Trixie Tucker: Wendy Stapleton
Summary/Images by: Kulin/Mona
Susan says 'This isn't scotch?'
Karl admits that yes, he's been having a drink every now and then, but it's Ok - it's not as though it's what you'd call secret drinking. He tries to make light of it and say she mustn't jump to conclusions and have a fight, but she stays very calm and just talks, as she's more interested in what he has to say. Whether he wants to call it a problem or not, 'This isn't you -well it didn't used to be, you've got to admit that - and I think the person you've got to admit it to first is yourself'.
Trixie is feeling down as she looks at the posters for her show, because she's nervous about performing on her own again. She finds a picture of souvenir incorporating a picture of Valda and asks about her, including whether the boomerang shows she'll be coming back. Despite Lou's description of Valda as the best chef he ever had and someone who loves to travel, she tells him to take the posters down, as she's not appearing and walks off.
Susan has continued to question Karl until he admits he's having drinks most days. He explains that it was embarrassment because people had made a big thing of his not drinking and he didn't want them to think his self-control disappeared when a bottle was opened. Susan's not convinced at first and worried because he hid it, which makes it seem a problem. She even wonders if the 'wrong prescription' for Lyn was a result, but he keeps insisting it's just a drink or two and it's not as though he's falling down drunk or anything. He finally says he's aware his drinking is an issue for her and she softens so they both laugh at the idea of the tea in the scotch bottle.
Trixie talks about her inability to play the piano to perform alone and the fact that singing is for young people basically. Lou offers to find her a new partner, then when she says it takes time to build up rapport and get the timing right, agrees to hire a studio and make a backing tape, despite being warned that it' very expensive. As they hug, they comment that Nina would be very unhappy to see them now and agree light-heartedly that 'it's not easy'.
Lyn calls in and finds Susan 'spring cleaning', but she soon admits that she's actually looking for evidence of alcohol. Lyn explains that Karl's secret wasn't about Izzy, but about alcohol. He's been drinking and didn't want anyone to know, including her. She caught him and she's trying to tell herself that it's no big deal that he was doing it in secret, but she's very worried about him. Lyn hugs her.
Lyn and Susan sit and discuss it. When Susan tries to dismiss it as a couple of drinks and not a big deal, Lyn says keeping a secret is a way of avoiding dealing with a problem. Susan tries to stick to the idea that it's Ok because he admitted it, he didn't deny anything and it's all out in the open, so Lyn agrees tentatively that she's probably over-reacting because of her PND. Susan nods but still looks worried.
Taj and Jack are handling their wallets and money. Taj says it seems like a lot of money, but Jack comments it's not much for peace of mind. They put them away hurriedly when Joe comes in to ask them about their English exam. He clearly doesn't feel convinced that they're studying for the Australian History exam later that day as they have no books, but he points out they don't need pressure from him after Jack says they're set. Taj and Jack have been exchanging 'knowing looks' during the conversation and as soon as he's gone saying they'll be fine, Jack says 'I reckon we will be ' and tells Taj to 'call (???)'.
Joe and Karl meet at the counter. Joe talks about the incredible stress of young people's exams and raves on about how wonderful Susan is at understanding what they're going through. Karl's really distracted at first but eventually tunes in and agrees that Susan's a great teacher. Joe leaves after reiterating his point that people do better with support rather than pressure. Karl says he understands 'with perfect clarity' and looks very worried.
Lou watches enthusiastically while Trixie practises to the new backing tape. She's obviously done it a few times already and knows that that night the audience won't be as easily pleased as he is. The rest of the backing tape will be ready that afternoon. While she prepares to practise again, a paper is slipped under the door. He tries to say it's for a lawn-mowing round, but she sees that it's actually asking them to keep 'that awful noise down'. He insists they keep going.
Jack wants to make sure the exam-seller doesn't 'up the price', but Taj is now going cold on the idea. Jack keeps telling him to take the chance while it's there, but Taj wants to do the right thing. He gives jack the money and goes off to study.
Joe's still trying to convince Oscar by explaining the cricket tape to him but he's fallen asleep. Lyn rushes in concerned because Jack's not back to baby-sit Oscar while they go to the counselling session. He arrives home and isn't keen as he has to study, but they go off after insisting Oscar will just sleep. Joe talks about how much Oscar will look up to him as his big brother, so Jack looks perturbed.
Trixie tells Lou he's no help as he says everything's brilliant but she just wants to do it one more time. There's a knock and another note saying 'Change the tune'. She feels it's no good as they need to get the neighbourhood people to the pub but he is sure that once they get a taste of Trixie Tucker, he's going to need a fire-hose to control the crowd. He holds the speaker up to an open window and turns it up loud as she practises once again.
Karl arrives home and comments that Trixie's music, where, as Susan says, the same song's repeated over and over, is enough to 'drive a man to drink'. Susan apologises for over-reacting. He replies that she was right to be concerned because secret drinking is a problem - but one of honesty, not of alcohol. He should have told her he was sick of being on the wagon, but his pride wouldn't let him. She agrees to his suggestion of 'moderation and honesty' and confesses that she searched for alcohol. She's sorry for doing it and he says he's sorry he drove her to it.
Jack clutches a large envelope as he talks to Oscar asking him what he should do. There are loud nappy-filling noises and he takes Oscar out to change him.
Susan and Karl sit with a glass of wine and ask Lyn and Joe to join them. When Joe comments on the wine, Susan says they see nothing wrong in a glass of wine - but Lyn still looks worried. Lou comes to ask for reassurance that the afternoon's rehearsal didn't bother them but they just feign ignorance. Lyn and Joe leave because Jack needs to study, which worries Lou. Susan comments that liking her counsellor has made all the difference to her, then looks embarrassed and says 'it's entirely up to you' when Karl asks if it would make all the difference to him. Trixie begins her show.
Lyn and Joe arrive home and are impressed that Jack changed the nappy. Joe thanks him for helping when he's flat out, then goes on to apologise for being hard on him in the last weeks, but they did it because they knew how important the exams are and they're proud of him because they know he's done the hard yard and sorted himself out. The results won't matter because he's done his best and they're proud of him for that.
Lou and Trixie have a drink after her success in the show.
School, the following morning:
Jack tells Taj he decided he'd regret it if he cheated and didn't use the exam paper, so he stayed up all night cramming.
Trixie comes back and tells Lou that she couldn't sleep for thinking about 'us'. She loves him and wants to be with him and they can't spend the rest of their lives worrying about what other people think, even if it is Nina. She gets down on one knee and asks him to marry her.