Janae asking Karl for help
Lou telling Harold about the financial benefits of the Wizard thingamajig
Sindi proposing to Stu
Stu stalls his answer long enough for Steph, Max and Toadie to walk into the bar causing Sindi to look worried (or there may just be a fur coat lurking around nearby), and then he says of course he'll marry her. Everyone bursts into applause, Harry being the most excited of the bunch. Steph asks if she heard what she think she just heard and Stu tells her it's true, he's marrying her, uh, Sindi. Yes, Sindi. Hugs and handshakes are swapped between everyone; Steph hugs Stu, they smile fondly at one another, her arm lingers on his for a beat… they'd make a lovely couple those two.
Anyhoo, Sindi chooses to celebrate the happiest occasion in her life by running home to tell Susan. Good-o. Toadie, meanwhile, seems a little reluctant in the cheer department. He asks if Stu would have proposed if Sindi hadn't had. Stu pauses, “… Absolutely… eventually, yeah. Why wouldn't I?” Why wouldn't you indeed, you LOVE engagements! She's stuck with him through thick and thin and they love one another, what's not to be happy about? Toadie pretends he's okay with everything and gives Stu a congratulatory hug.
Steph and Max arrive home where Steph tells Boyd the engagement news (her happy tone covers up a broken heart, I can sense these things). Boyd's stoked and says he'll go to the pub to congratulate Stu but Steph takes on a sudden school marm persona.
STEPH: No, no sorry, it's a school night and they'll be drinking down there and who knows what mischief they'll be up to. I'm sorry but I'll have to put my foot down.
Boyd and Max look startled and confused. Steph breaks into a grin.
STEPH: How'd that sound?
BOYD: Are you alright?
STEPH: Did I sound like a parent?
MAX: Yeah very, it was scary!
BOYD: (relieved that she was kidding) Oh, are you practising for tomorrow?
Tomorrow being the adoption meeting Max and Steph are going to attend. The two of them muck around for a bit asking mock interview questions. If the interview was being conducted by a semi-posh Ozzy and Sharone Osbourne of course.
STEPH: Mr Hoyland, if I were to hand you a baby would you; A. Cuddle it, B. Feed it or C. Take it to the pub?
MAX: D. All of the above!
STEPH: Ah, excellent.
MAX: (puts on a posh accent) Mrs Hoyland, projectile vomiting, yes or no?
STEPH: Well if the child were held firmly and pointed at a suitable receptacle, yes!
MAX: Very good.
They say to Boyd that he'll be interviewed as well if they're successful. Boyd says he and Summer will be ready and raring for it.
Aw, Sindi and Harry are waltzing. Stu orders some more champers and goes to chat to Toadie who is sitting in the corner like a sourpuss. Stu wants to know why Toadie can't just be happy for them but Toad says it's not the first time Stu's dived head first into something and “hit concrete”. Stu wonders if it may be due to jealously and that he thought he'd be in Stu's place. Toadie's all, ‘Dude, seriously? You were at my last wedding right? They didn't play ‘Sea Of Love' for nothing,” No, Toadie bluntly reminds Stu that he was investigating his lady love only a week ago and that he doesn't trust her. He asks if anyone really knows her. Stu is bitten by the love bug though and says he trusts Sindi more than he trusts Toadie right now. He tells him to come back and help celebrate like a real mate would.
Karl swings by the one and only classroom to tell Janae that he can't make their counselling session, he has been called to work at the hospital being the one and only doctor in a fifty-kilometre radius. Janae's cool with that though, they've rescheduled for 3:30. Karl still has time to put his counsellor hat on though and asks her how the family is settling in.
KARL: How does Stingray fit in?
JANAE: By being a tool. He makes people laugh.
KARL: And Dylan?
JANAE: He doesn't care if he fits in or not.
KARL: What about Bree?
JANAE: She knows how to be invisible. The little boomba just disappears into the wallpaper.
KARL: Ah-ha. And what about you? How would they sum up your survival tactics?
JANAE: (mumbling) Moll.
JANAE: Moll, tart, whatever.
Karl assures her that she's nowhere near what she thinks she is. He says they've touched on something very important and he hopes to follow it up in their later counselling session. “Oh and Janae,” he continues, “no one can make you feel inferior unless you let them.” Janae smiles after him as he walks off.
Lou has come into work late as usual and Harry is bemoaning that fact. It turns out that Lou has been on the net all night trying to sell his wizard… and doesn't that sound kinda strange. Harry shows him a pie chart he made that shows just how much work he has done as opposed to Merlin there. Lou doesn't see his point, he thinks that it's quality over quantity and that he is always gives 100%. When he's there of course. I think it's time for a bet, don't you? Lou wagers one whole dollar that he can sell Harry under the table within a week. Harry accepts.
Max and Steph are sitting around a table with other prospective parents while the host guy is being a realist about what they're in for, sounding all doom and gloom. He says to everyone that some of them could be in for heartbreak because the number of babies out there is tiny – and so are the babies! Thank you, I'm here all week. Host man says he doesn't want to sound brutal but they shouldn't be under any illusions here. “We can take our pick of couples and we do. So brace yourselves, folks. Because your chances are slim.” Max and Steph look nervous.
Erinsborough High Hallway
Stingray is trying to tell Janae that their mum is mad with him so she can feel better but she's not buying it.
STINGRAY: Seriously, Janae. Totally foccaciaed out.
JANAE: You could drive a car through the house and she'd thank you for the fresh air. Me? Just breathing bugs her.
He asks how the counselling sessions are going and teases her about being in a psych ward with a straight jacket. Stinger tries again to convince her that Janelle thinks she's the bees' knees but Janae knows he's still being a Pinocchio. “Look I don't care about mum, right? She hates my guts, the feeling's mutual. And when I see how much she stuffs up your life I'll be glad she doesn't care about me.”
Stu and Sindi chat about the shenanigans that went on the night before and how Connor somehow ended up sleeping in the bathtub. Sindi also wants to make sure that Stu just didn't say yes to her proposal last night because he was put on the spot. He shushes her nervous rambling and says he meant what he said. Stu suggests they tell the world they're in love and happy about it. Sindi gives him an excited hug.
SINDI: So you're really, truly happy?
STU: Oh truly, rooly, shooly happy, okay? But there is something wrong. (He takes her hand).
SINDI: What? What's wrong?
STU: Well your finger, there's no engagement ring on it so I think we better go shopping.
Shopping and and an engagement ring, could Sindi's day get any better? I'm sure Stu knows where to find all the nice rings too given all the practice he's had… better yet… whatever happened to Flick's ring? Hello savings!
Basketball Court – Erinsborough High
Boyd and Janae shoot some hoops. Janae is a basketball fiend getting all her shots in whereas Boyd is missing them all over the place. She notices a crowd watching her and gets a bit funny but Boyd eggs her on, “Careful, they might think you're good at something.” Janae pitches the ball at the hoop like a crazy monkey, landing it in next week and hitting Lou on the head at one of his crazy goblin conventions. Or, it just goes in with a ‘swish' because the second-unit crew filmed it later on. Boyd says to imagine what she could do if she joined a team and started training. Janae smiles.
BOYD: (teasing) OK, truth is I like seeing girls running around in short skirts getting sweaty. Does that make me a bad person?
JANAE: Finally, an honest guy.
Stinger saunters up all protective big brotherly like and asks what's going on. Boyd suggests a game, which isn't a good idea because Stinger is still majorly p'oed at him for his supposed plan to lure Serena away that Boyd doesn't even know about. Stinger whacks the ball out of his hands and bashes into Boyd's chest. Me Tarzan, me tough. Janae looks annoyed while Boyd looks confuddled.
Adoption Agency – Office
Max and Steph come in for their private interview and the interview guy tells them that on paper they're definitely in the running. Alas, the horrendous twenty questions battle has to begin though, which makes Max and Steph quite squirmy. He asks them why they want to adopt a baby but isn't happy with the standard reason; he wants to go deeper into their thinking.
I-GUY: I know why you can't, but why do you want a baby?
STEPH: Um well, because Max has got two kids from his late wife. And now that we're married we'd really like a baby of our own.
STEPH: Well y'know…
I-GUY: To bond the two of you closer?
STEPH: Well I suppose it would do that, yeah.
MAX: Look, we don't want to adopt to try and sure up a marriage that's on the rocks. We just want to share our love, our life with another child.
I-GUY: The picture in your minds of the baby, all pink and clean, wrapped up in a blanket looking up at you, smiling. But what if he or she was mentally or physically challenged in some way?
MAX: Well we haven't really thought that through yet but I'm sure we'd cope.
STEPH: Yeah, I mean a baby still needs love and gives love.
I-GUY: What if the mother was a substance abuser? What if the father was a hardened criminal who wanted to maintain ongoing contact with the child?
MAX: I guess that we would just have to deal with that as we went along.
STEPH: Every child has the right to know their biological parents, if he or she wants to.
I-GUY: OK, if you do adopt a baby or a toddler, what if you became pregnant? I mean according to your file it is technically possible.
STEPH: Great, bonus.
I-GUY: But could you love an adopted child as much as you'd love your own?
MAX: Absolutely without question, of course.
STEPH: Yes, yeah, yes of course. Of course.
They smile on the outside but they're cracking on the inside the poor things. Also, the interview guy has quite long fingernails for a man (the things you notice when you have to stop and rewind a million times, ay).
Basketball Court – Erinsborough High
Janae is trying to shoot hoops with the boys but Stinger is making it difficult for all by ramming into Boyd every chance he gets, putting Stinger's Nonsensical Offensive Tactics plan into action (aka SNOT). Some of which include tripping Boyd over and basically causing some ouchies to a boy that has recently come out of hospital (he should just take him horse riding). Janae can't believe he's acting like such a pork chop and ruining all her fun. She storms away as Stinger shoves the ball into Boyd's stomach.
BOYD: What the hell is your problem, mate?
STINGRAY: I don't know, you tell me. You're God's gift.
BOYD: (scoffs) If this is to do with your sister, I don't know what…
STINGRAY: My sister, and Serena and every spiggin girl in Erinsborough. Boyd just clicks his fingers and ‘whammo'.
BOYD: You need to start taking your medication again mate because you are seriously losing it.
STINGRAY: Is that right?
BOYD: Yeah. I had nothing to do with you and Serena, you're the one that broke up with her.
STINGRAY: Me and Serena broke up because you were the one tooling around to nab her.
BOYD: This is insane.
STINGRAY: Oh yeah, that's me ‘insane Stinger'. But hear this, alright. My sister has got enough problems without you stuffing her about (spit flies everywhere – he's angry!). You hurt her in any way and I'll spiggin pound it out your porthole. Got it?
He storms away leaving Boyd to fume… and think about wiping the gallon of spittle from his face.
Erinsborough High – Hallway
Boyd and Stinger glare at one another with Stinger giving Boyd another shove for good measure, taken out of the SNOT handbook. Karl has seen this exchange and has a talk with him in the one and only classroom. Stingray says he's just worried about Janae and how she always gets herself into trouble. Karl tries to tell him that he can't stand between Janae and every “hufta” she's with but Stinger thinks he can try.
Speak of the sister, she just happens by the window of the one and only classroom and does a bit of eavesdropping. Stingray says he knows Karl is helping her so he won't interfere but Karl stops him from leaving. “Look, I'm being someone Janae can talk to because I'm the school counsellor. Now any student, including yourself, can come and talk to me at any time about anything.” Stinger thanks him. Janae looks upset because she thinks she's not special anymore.
Lou is trying to offload a jar of something to Toadie to prove he can sell more stuff to Harold. In the end Toadie takes it because of the incessant annoyance that is Lou nattering in his ear (and because Gromdilier the Grave can cast a mean spell). A guy in a business suit is skulking about in the backdrop and getting a lot of attention from the camera, he'll be important soon.
Sindi and Stu walk in chirpily while Lou and Harold congratulate them again. Toadie gives them an odd look from the background. They show the guys the ring they just bought – it's silver with a small diamond in the middle, which they are teased about. Sindi has kept it in the box to admire because it's so pretty, but this won't do for Stu. He gets down on one knee and puts it on her finger (anything for another proposal ay, Parker?). They sit down and Lou goes to get some wedding stationary to offload on to them. Before he gets there though, skulking business suit man asks if Lou's got a moment; he's got a proposal to make (Stu's ears perk up).
Erinsborough High – Hallway
Karl finds Janae sitting by herself and gets the silent treatment from her. He finally draws out that she's jealous about the chat he had with Stingray before. Karl says he didn't betray any confidences; Stingray's only worried about her. Janae thinks this is a load of codswallop, Stingray only sees her as a tart who doesn't know any better. She storms away, not wanting to talk anymore.
Max and Steph get home from their grilling at the agency. Steph's upset because she believes she blew it. Max tells her she did a good job but Steph doesn't think so.
STEPH: You were fine, I was a mess. He kept asking me all these questions; I kept going ‘blah-blur-blah-blur'.
Max says they've just got to have a chat about all the issues the interview guy brought up. Steph sadly says she just wants a baby to hold and love; their baby. Max gives her a kiss and a cuddle to sympathise.
Meanwhile, out the front of the Hoylands'…
Janae is waiting by the car and she's been crying. Boyd sees her and asks what's up, Janae's all ‘I'm one messed up chick – an even bigger nutbag than Scotty', Boyd's all ‘wanna shoot some hoops to make you feel happier?', Janae's all ‘nah, I wanna have a pash instead' and does just that. Boyd's not exactly extracting his lips from hers but not fully into the pash. Hmm.