Alex asking Susan on a date
Lou inviting himself to stay at Number 30
Bree hanging out with the kooky Kinskis
Sindi asking Stu for an annulment
Alex brings Rachel and Zeke over to stay while he woos Suse on their date but gets worried when he finds out Janelle isn't home. Bree reassures him her mum will be back in a flash, in the meantime, Dylan and Stinger burst through the door and become the men in charge.
Alex gives his kids a hug goodbye and tells them to be good (Stinger and Dylan mimic them in the background). Zeke wishes him well and Bree jokes that she locked all the chainsaws away – not really smart, Bree, human jokes do not compute with Alex. When he's out the door, Bree rejoices. “I have just scammed us an entire adult-free night.” Janelle's off gallivanting for the rest of the evening, which makes Zeke worried.
RACHEL: (excitedly) This is going to be angry!
BREE: … This is gonna be mad.
ZEKE: You lied to our dad?
BREE: Lying is a very ugly word.
Susan's Front Doorstep
Alex meets Susan on her steps and presents her with a lovely first date pressie… cellophane-wrapped figs. Score!
SUSAN: (lost for words) Oh… how unusual.
ALEX: Figs. Some people don't appreciate having cut flowers, bad feng shui and all that kind of thing.
They stand around nervously for a beat before Suse gets the ball rolling and asks where his car is. The answer? At home of course! He walked around with the kids and didn't even think, he tends to “hoof it” everywhere. Alex offers to call a taxi but Suse doesn't mind, “I'm a bit of a hoofer myself.” His mobile rings and he has a chat to Zeke while Suse wonders how she's going to fit her figs in her handbag.
Zeke lets his dad know that Bree lied about Janelle being home, “I didn't want you to come back and be upset.” Alex just tells him to listen to Stingray and be good. Suse and Alex “hoof away” down the street, arm in arm, all chirpy-like. They pass Stu sitting in his car on the way past (he just pulled up) and Suse gives him a cheery wave. Stu's face is all, ‘Thanks Suse. I really wanted to see an overjoyed couple right now in the giddy stages of first-date-ness.'
Lou is squirting sauce on a pie for Toadie then manages to squirt it all over his shirt. Stu mopes in and Toadie exclaims how Lou's on a trial – he wants to move in. “Stu, I'll level with you,” says Lou, “I'm a desperado, I literally have no place to go.” He offers to keep the boys stocked with treats from the store if he can stay, with Toadie adding he can sleep in the hot water cupboard. The what now? Bob wouldn't even fit in a cupboard like that. Why not kip in one of the many floating bathrooms?
Toad sends Lou to wash out the cloth in the kitchen while he has a word with Stu in the hallway. He tells Stu that Lou has no one else to turn to but Mr Parker is in a cranky mood and doesn't want to play.
Lou pops back into the hallway after eavesdropping and Toad reassures him Stu's mood is just because he's hung up on Sindi at the moment.
Susan is sitting by her lonesome, checking out her face in a compact when she spots Stinger rushing by in the background. Suse asks why he's not at home being in-charge-guy but Stinger says he had deliveries to make. She says her date will be over if Alex sees him and pleads with him to get back home quick smart. Stinger gives in and says he'll get Dylan to deliver the rest, “but only because you're on a hot date right now!” He starts doing the ‘Go Susan, it's your birthday dance', bumping right into Karl who has impeccable timing.
KARL: How's your hot date going?
SUSAN: Oh, you know, he asked me to wait in here and then he charged back to the lake, I hope he hasn't done a runner.
KARL: Ahh… there is a bloke on the roof at the moment they're trying to talk down so…
SUSAN: Yeah, really helpful, Karl, thanks.
KARL: Come on, he's gone to buy you some flowers or something.
SUSAN: Yeah, course he has…
KARL: What gentleman worth his salt wouldn't buy you…
SUSAN: Yeah, shut up Karl, you can go now.
KARL: Very good.
SUSAN: Thank you.
The doc leaves and Alex waltzes in, shoving a sprig of something in Susan's face. “Smell that!” She correctly guesses it's mint and Alex tells her he saw it down by the lake before and couldn't resist picking some. He starts to yammer on like he's just read ‘101 Interesting Facts About Mint' until he notices that Susan's eyes have glazed over. He admits he's extremely nervous and a wee bit out of practice, just wishing that he could make a better first impression on her. Susan holds out her hand and smiles, “Alex, good to see you again.”
Stingray, aka ‘Stinky Chicken', is on the walkie-talkie to Dylan, aka ‘Orange Fever' (I think – I couldn't quite make it out) but doesn't seem to be getting any response.
In the kitchen, Bree is introducing Rachel and Zeke to a food pyramid that I've never come across myself – junk food scattered across the table as far as the eye can see.
BREE: Here we have your five basic food groups. Your fried, your bottled, your packaged, your frozen and everything chocolate.
Rachel and Zeke's eyes bug out.
Stinger is getting annoyed in the lounge room. “I'm really getting over this, okay? Over.”
Rachel wants to get stuck into the chocolate first (Bree believes it doesn't rot your teeth as much as the others), but Zeke is concerned about what their dad will think.
Stinger is now on the mobile leaving a message for his brother, informing him that he can get back to the love talk with Sky after he helps out the business a bit more.
Zeke warily eyes a handful of chocolate cake Bree passes him and Rachel is learning about the different kinds of choccie biscuit. Stinger sticks his head through the shelving and says he's got a job for Zeke. “How would you like to make a chunk of change tonight, buddy?” Professor Zeke nods eagerly.
Rachel starts on her biscuit and I have to go and raid the cupboards… back soon!
(They have a bouncer out the front! Wearing a bouncer t-shirt from Boyd's party that Max, Toadie and Darcy wore! Hehe).
Alex is rambling about something, as per usual, till Susan stops all the blah blah blahcakes with a, “You know, you are kind of… spouting again.” He thanks her for telling him and jokes that she should get him started on Led Zeppelin, and then he'll bore her to tears. Are you kidding? Suse loves Zeppelin! “You are full of surprises,” Susan chuckles, while Alex gives her a big ‘ol cheesy grin.
Lou walks up to mopey Stu at the bar and tells him not to worry about his “song and dance” about moving in earlier but Stu apologises for being snappish, saying he's a mate and that he can stay. Lou says he was so sorry to hear about Sindi – nice way to bring up the sore spot when you just scored yourself a bed, sailor. He realises this and scoots away leaving Stu to wallow some more into commercial.
Dylan holds up a t-shirt for the delivery business that Sky designed, praising her on her fantabulous art skills.
Rachel and Bree watch Janae's stupid Aussie tape in the lounge room but Rachel doesn't quite get why the falling over part is funny. Stinger bursts through the door looking pooped. Rachel asks if Zeke is with him (uh, unless he's invisible Zeke I'm thinking no), getting worried when Stinger says no.
STINGRAY: I thought he'd be back by now.
RACHEL: But he's not.
STINGRAY: I had to ride to like bloody Darwin and back; he had to go like down the block!
RACHEL: (alarmed) Ride a bike?
STINGRAY: Well we are bicycle couriers…
RACHEL: But Zeke can't ride a bike, didn't he tell you?
Computer says no.
Susan is having a chat with mopey Stu in the middle of her date (Alex is still probably talking away to himself), and finds out about Sindi's annulment wishes. Stu tells her she should get back to MintMan so Suse suggests he give Toadie a ring so he's not alone.
She gets back to her table and thanks Alex for being so patient. He says he admires her for helping her friends out and chuckles that she probably couldn't help herself.
SUSAN: Well, I think it's actually gotten worse since my kids grew up and left.
Speaking of kids, here's some now! Rachel and Stingray barrel up to their table looking stressed. “We've lost Zeke.”
Lou is hoovering down a pie whilst watching the footy on the TV with Toadie and Stu. Toad notices that Stu's not really with it at the moment and switches it off to have a chat. They tell him that Sindi might just be giving him a chance to back out of the marriage because he didn't know whom he was really getting hitched to. Stu says he doesn't care, he loves her and he's not about to abandon her because she got an illness. He makes it official by ripping up the annulment papers, sadly without the backing track of Born To Try a la Suse ripping up the divorce papers.
It makes a nice segue way into Stinger ripping up some paper of his own. He, Sky, Dylan, Bree, Rachel and Alex are all standing worriedly in the kitchen while Alex reprimands himself for leaving them in the care of “these people”. Dylan takes offence and says they weren't to know Zeke couldn't ride.
Susan runs in from a drive around saying she had no luck. Alex leads Rachel out in a huff, but doesn't get far when his mobile rings. “Alice Kinski” – okay, he doesn't say that but it really does sound like it! He has a quick chat then hangs up, turning to Susan. “Can you get me to Erinsborough Hospital please.” Everyone looks shocked for poor Alice… ah, I mean Alex.
Karl has just finished bandaging Zeke's hand and is also taping up his knee. Zeke says something smart about scabs and Karl looks impressed with his medical knowledge. We find out Professor Zeke had a stack off his bike then proceeded to crash into a car. “I was trying to stop, I haven't worked out how to put my feet down yet.” Karl says he's got more patients to see and practically pushes the boy out the door, calling in his next customer, a blonde man with Harry Potter glasses.
Rachel, Stinger, Bree and Alex rush in (stealthy Alice looks like he nearly has an ankle-twisting stack himself). Alex gives his son a hug and Susan rushes in, glad he's okay. She offers to give them a lift back home but Alex declines – he's not too impressed at the moment by the sound of his voice. Oi, it's not Suse's fault, Alice.
Suse is having a chat with Bree, wondering why she lied about Janelle being home. Bree just wanted Susan to have a good time on her date and not have to worry about anything. She turns to Stinger and Dylan, using her disappointed voice on them.
DYLAN: So he sprained his finger, boo hoo. By the time me and Scotty were that age we'd been in casualty that many times we knew the lunch menu like the back of our broken hands.
Susan quietly laughs and tells them just to think before they act next time. Stingray smirks and says she must really like Alex. “That is beside the point!” she scoffs. She pats Stingray on the face and says he's going to apologise to Zeke tomorrow, “Okay?” Suse walks out and Dylan slaps Stingray on the face, “Okay?” he apes in a girly voice. Hehe.
Lassiter's Complex – Front of General Store
The Kinskis are enjoying some brekkie outside, with Alex trying to convince his kids that seaweed can be considered a delicacy. Why don't you bring some to your next date with Suse?
Stingray and Bree walk up to them (Stinger says hi to Sky at another table, ruffling her hair affectionately and totally messing the ‘do). He sits at the Kinski table.
STINGRAY: Look, I just wanted to apologise for being a total hufta last night. And don't worry, okay, it's not contagious or nothing.
ALEX: What isn't?
STINGRAY: You know, whatever it is that makes me a total hufta.
ALEX: Right, well, if that's some form of apology then I accept.
He goes inside the store to pay for the breakfast. “Geez, your dad can be a real gut-wrencher when he wants to be, ay?” mutters Stinger.
RACHEL: You should see him normally. He's the milk of human kindness today.
STINGRAY: (all confuzzled) Milk whatsit?
Janae's ex-sleaze, Mike, walks up behind Sky and starts to mock her about Dylan and how he's under the thumb now. Dylan appears around the corner and sees them, looking murderous. Mike twirls a strand of Sky's hair and leaves with a ‘see ya later, babe'. Ugh. Dylan strides over in an angry fashion and asks what jerk features is trying to prove. “That his grudge is bigger than yours,” she replies, giving him a kiss and trying to distract him by asking if he wants an iced coffee. Oh Dylan wants something iced but it ain't coffee… okay, that kind of doesn't make sense but just read it in a menacing ‘grr' voice and it sounds really tough!
Out Front of General Store
The Kinski kids, Stinger and Bree have a rapturous audience of school kidlets around them now while the bike saga from last night is retold. Alex walks out and catches the end of the conversation, smiling when Zeke says he thinks he turned his dad around on the whole ‘no bikes' deal, and that he'll be Stingray's fastest courier yet.
STINGRAY: Yep, and uh, I'm marrying Lleyton Hewitt!
Sadly, the joke is lost on Professor Zeke for he has obviously never read a newspaper. They don't deliver to the cocoon the Kinskis seem to have lived in it seems.
Lou stands by while Stu gives himself a pep talk before going to see Sindi. He's “not going to bloody cry”, and is going to be loving but firm about his paper-ripping decision. Toad walks in with the phone and says he won't have to do it alone – he calls Tim and says he won't be in today, and Lou decides to take the day off as well. They're all going to meet up at a secluded pub (Stu doesn't want to have to face questions about the honeymoon you see from regular Scarlet Bar patrons) after Stu has been to the hospital, for some moral support. He thanks them ‘cause they're good mates. As long as the ‘Trouser! Trouser!' chant doesn't start up signalling Lou dropping his dacks, all shall be dandy.
Front of General Store
Sky and Dylan start to leave but Sky backtracks; she forgot her school bag inside.
Dylan spots Mike sneering at him so he powers over to get in his face. “You want to back off or not?” Mike mocks that he thought his girlfriend was the one who did all the talking. Dylan goes to punch him but Mike dodges him and kicks him right in the face. Crikey. “New world order, tough guy,” Mike says, “Get used to it.” He leaves and Sky dashes over to check on Dylan who isn't even bleeding! I expected a giant blood nose. Where's the ER-style gruesome blood, dammit?
“She's expressly asked not to see you!” a hopped-up Dr Levi practically shouts in Stu's face. Geez, back off a little, buddy. Stu argues that he's her husband and should have some rights. Sindi hears the arguing from in her room and pops her head around the door, asking Dr Levi if she could have a few minutes alone with Stu.
Stu walks in and Sindi says he's making the situation more difficult than it already is.
STU: I know you want to get through this on your own and I'll give you that space.
SINDI: Thank you.
STU: But I am not going to end our marriage.
SINDI: Stu we've been through this before…
STU: I am your husband! Like it or lump it I am yours for life. You stood with me through my darkest hours and I am going to do the same for you. It's what we said in our vows not only two weeks ago.
SINDI: I really needed to hear that, I did.
She sadly lets Stu know that she's been given a room at another hospital… only it's in New South Wales. She's been there before, “I did quite well there,” she adds tearfully. Sindi says that being around him plugs into her disorder because her obsession with them as a couple is a big trigger. Stu says he doesn't want her to go and she says she doesn't either, but promises she'll be back. Dr Buttinski saunters in and grabs Stu's shoulder. “You really need to go now.” Yeah, thanks for that, Dr Levi. When did you get so cranky?
Stu and Sindi have one final kiss before Stu leaves the room. He sits on a chair in the corridor and starts to sob. Aw, Stu baby! Come on here, there's plenty of women who'll give you a comforting hug.
Bye Sindi – we'll miss you. Even though we lost the love a little when you started buttering up ladder rungs and y'know, committing blatant crimes… but we knew sweet Sindi was still hiding underneath there somewhere through layers and layers of fur-coated depths.