Paul's Place where Lyn is Concerned
Lyn is telling Max that Oscar is okay, whilst Paul is on the phone to Isabelle telling her that Oscar was with Steph the whole time. Max is surprised that Oscar is with his wife, and that no-one knew.
That's because she's crazy, Max.
Lyn calls Steph, and as if by magic…
Steph's car where we find she's a little Crazy
…Steph's mobile phone – it's pink! – rings with a very annoying ring tone and she declines to answer it. After all, answering your mobile whilst driving is dangerous, isn't it Ozzy? Whose cute and timely reply is:
OSCAR: Okay, Steph!
Cuteness! Give him a Logie!
Paul's place where Lyn's not into Messages
Lyn gets Steph's answerphone and doesn't bother leaving a message. I always thought Lyn would be the sort of person to leave long messages, but it appears that I'm wrong. Although she did leave a long message in 4421
, so at least I'm not going crazy.
Max can't believe that Steph didn't tell Lyn or Paul that she'd taken Oscar
The Community Hall where skirts are Very Short
Elle tells Ned that she's fine with the whole kissing Sky in the play thing. Yeah, right, whatever. Ned offers to tone it down, but Elle won't have any of it. Ned and Elle (Nedelle? Nelle? Elled?) are sharing a little kiss when Sky comes in wearing a Janelle/Gino creation. Short red skirt – very short – with a silver top and red tassley things. Did I mention the skirt was short?
Ned loves the shortness the outfit but Elle pinches him so he Ouches and changes his mind.
Should I be entertained by this?
Lyn's place where Lyn is into Messages
Lyn is leaving a message on Steph's answerphone telling her to get in contact, and she hopes that she and Oscar are having a good time. I knew I was right. Women's intuition. Max and Stu come to the door and haven't heard anything, either. Lyn reminds them that Steph's a responsible girl. Actually, she's a grown woman, it's not like she's 14 years old anymore. But Max thinks they should have heard something by now.
Max takes Lyn's car to go look for her, and Stu says he'll follow.
A Random Park where Steph Plays Ball
Steph is playing ball with Oscar a little too energetically. Lyn calls and Steph decides not to answer the phone – she'll call her back
When I say playing ball with him, I mean, they are playing ball together, not that Steph is using Oscar as a ball. That would be cruel, especially after he got his line right, earlier.
Paul's place where I lose the Will to Live
Elle is moving out because Paul suspects Ned of being the one who tried to kill him. Paul admits he knows it wasn't Ned – sometimes Elle should just ignore her father. Isn't that what most teenage girls do?
Elle tells Paul he has to stop taking his stress out on Ned, and he needs to apologise to him. Elle agrees to stay, and assumes that Ned can also move in and stay; Paul isn't so sure – after all, Ned lives right across the road! Paul has nothing against Ned, but doesn't want him living there. They have a “I love him” “are you sure” “he loves Isabelle” “you're insecure about Izzy” conversation that I don't really follow and Elle walks out.
A Random Park where we find a Tired Steph
Stu spots Steph's car, and sees Oscar playing with Steph on some grass in the distance. Steph and Oscar stop playing and Oscar goes to pick some flowers for Steph just as Stu approaches. He says that she looks tired and asks what she's been up to.
She's been teaching him the finer points of footie, and Stu tells her that people have been worried – they all care.
Cut to Stu telling Lyn that they're round the corner and will be home soon; Steph admits that she should have called Lyn. She tells Stu that things have been so full on at home lately, and getting out with Oscar has been like a sanctuary for her today. She didn't realise that it's nearly six o'clock, and starts to cry.
STU: Hey, hey, hey – biker chicks don't cry do they?
Steph leans into Stu's shoulder and then swoons collapses back against him; Stu puts his hand against her forehead and realises she's running a fever – they have to get her to a doctor.
Meanwhile, no-one seems to be watching Oscar who really could be anywhere by now.
The Surgery where Karl betrays Susan. Again.
Karl has done a blood test – he thinks it's probably a fever or infection, but Steph knows he's checking for the progression of the cancer. She just wants whatever's best for Charlie. Karl says she just needs to keep her temperature down.
She is surprised that he hasn't mentioned her little walkabout – everyone has been so ‘cool about it'. Karl sweetly says that he understands the pressure she's under and that he's not surprised she needed to get away.
STEPH: I know everybody's there for me, but I've never felt more alone in my life.
Aw. I'm sure that's something most people can sympathise with, Steph.
KARL: You know, I have something here which tends to pep up my favourite patients when they're feeling a little bit low…
I can see it coming, and there's nothing I can do to stop it… DON'T DO IT, KARL! NO! NO! STOP! He gives Steph one of his lollipops. OUTRAGEOUS. They should have ‘Susan Only' written across them.
Steph accepts. Ugh.
Cut to the Surgery reception.
Lyn, Stu and Max are all waiting and Stu says that Steph really seemed unaware that people were worried. Steph emerges with Karl and Lyn hugs her where Oscar points to the lollipop in her hand.
OSCAR: Is this mine? Is this mine?!
I want him! How much for him, Steph?! Max asks how she is, and Karl says she's fine – just check on her temperature overnight and come back for the test results in the morning. Steph doesn't want Max to treat her temperature for her – she wants her mum. Max is upset. Stu, Lyn, Steph and Oscar leave; Max asks Karl if this is the cancer becoming more aggressive, but Karl doesn't know.
Max is gutted.
The Community Hall where there's supposed to be Chemistry
Ned and Elle are kissing when Sky appears – she's just had a meeting with Gino. Elle realises she's not wanted and walks away, so Sky tells Ned that Gino likes their onscreen chemistry and has added in a lot more smooching.
SKY: Our lips are going to end up with RSI.
Hee! I'll take this opportunity – because I can – to add that Karl and Susan used to have RSI in their lips, and I'd be very pleased for that to happen again.
Sky's fine with it (Gino's changes, not Karl and Susan having RSI), but what about Elle? She reappears. Sky tells her Gino has made changes and added in more romance to sell more tickets. Elle tells them to get on with rehearsing and she'll carry on making costumes. Ned's face in reading the script tells us there's a *lo-hot* more kissing, and Sky tells him it's just the beginning.
Hang on – Ned has chemistry?
The Hoylands' where Steph may be Delusional
Stu comes round to see how Steph's doing. Lyn tells him she's fine, and Steph thanks Stu as well as apologising again to Lyn for her behaviour.
STEPH: I was just really worried when I saw that you'd left Charlie with Izzy and Paul, you know?
LYN: I think she means Oscar, don't you?
STEPH: Did I say Charlie? Charlie's this one (hands on stomach). Anyway, when I found Oscar out in the street I just felt I had to do something.
LYN: Um – Oscar was in Paul's house? Remember you went in and got him?
STEPH: No I didn't!
LYN: Yes, love, Paul's got the place wired, you know, on close circuit TV, and we saw you on the tape.
Steph seems surprised and says she was worried anyway, but Lyn tells her that she doesn't have to justify her actions. She doesn't?!
Stu leaves, and Lyn does a worried face when Steph isn't looking.
Outside the General Store where Karl is Hypocritical
Stu tells Karl that he's never seen Steph like it before, and that he thinks she needs psychiatric help. Karl thinks Stu's mad, and that he doesn't have experience in this sort of thing anyway. Stuart says he does, and Karl didn't see Steph as she was when she was out with Oscar.
Karl gets up to leave the meal and says he doesn't think Steph is unstable, and that she's trying to make the best of a very difficult situation. Stuart disagrees, he believes that it's a cry for help, and he can't stand by and let it get worse. Karl accuses Stu of getting too personally involved, and Hypocritical!Karl is back! Karl says he can't force anyone to take treatment unless they're mentally incapable…which gives Stuart food for thought.
I know Karl brought it on himself, but I hate that he eats out and alone so often, as if he doesn't want to be at home.
The Hoylands' where we find Max being a Sweetie
Max comes over – he couldn't sleep without seeing his wife. Lyn goes to make tea in the kitchen. Max asks her if the fever is to do with the cancer, but Steph doesn't want to have the conversation. Max tells her to listen to her own body if she won't listen to him.
Steph tells him that part of her today just wanted to keep on driving and leave all this behind. She's so tired, and she doesn't think she can do this anymore. Everything she decides has consequences.
STEPH: Karl told me to keep up my fluids and I can't even decide whether I want tea or hot chocolate.
MAX: It's past ten o'clock, Steph. It's hot chocolate, it's a no-brainer!
Steph admits to Max that she can't make the simplest decisions, and Max tells her that she has to let him take some of the load, and she agrees. He kisses her and they hug tightly, and Lyn smiles from the end of the room. Aw.
The Community Hall where things are Getting Hideous
Ned asks Elle what she thinks of the changes to the script and she loves them! As long as it doesn't compromise the characters' integrity, and as long as Ned is comfortable. By the way – is he?
Ned's okay with it, as long as Elle is. Elle denies any jealousy, and she knows Sky and Ned are just trying to do a good job and – hey presto! Sky appears. Looking HIDEOUS. Just hideous.
SKY: How to go from sexy to scary in three simple steps.
The costume is now disgustingly un-sexy and quite ridiculous.
ELLE: I think it looks great.
SKY: I look like a circus tent, Elle.
Now you know how Susan felt for one long year in those equally hideous outfits.
The Scarlet Bar where Max is a Little Behind
Max is getting his stuff from the bar and Stuart says that it's good that Steph wants Max home again. Max agrees, but knows it won't make any difference to her decision about treatment – and he knows that keeping on at her about it won't do any good, either.
MAX: I look at her and the Steph I know is gone. She's just gone.
Many fans would say that happened about 3 years ago. You've only just caught up?! But seriously, Steph must be nearly 8 months, now? Why not agree to a C-section at 36/7 weeks and then get treatment immediately? 3/4 weeks really is not that early for a baby now. Why is it not an option?
MAX: I can't reach her.
Ooh – a line straight from 4410
Stuart is naughty and tells Max that there is a way to get her the treatment she needs. Max will consider anything at this point and wants to know.
Paul's place where Paul is Kind. No, really.
Lyn has recovered more money for Paul and he's really pleased. Paul profusely apologises for what happened yesterday with Oscar, but Lyn says it's not his fault. Paul pays Lyn and pays her some extra – she admits she's really enjoyed working for him. Lyn feels so helpless – the baby was meant to be a good thing and it's turned into a nightmare.
Paul admits that bad things happen to good people, and that Steph's very special.
PAUL: Steph is a very special woman. Obviously takes after her mum, eh?
The Hoylands' where I just can't Play This Game anymore
Steph and Max are both pleased that he's back home, and he tells her that the only thing he ever wants is the best for her. Man, I can feel it coming and I hate it. Steph says she wants Max to stop being so serious the whole time. They kiss, and cuddle on the sofa, and Steph says that they'll beat this as a family.
There's a knock at the door.
Oh, please – don't make me recap this. It's just painful. I can't watch…
Max acts strangely and goes to the door – it's Stuart and Max tells him this isn't a good time and he's changed his mind. Stuart says that it's now out of Max's hands. Steph wants to know what's going on. Stuart tells her that he's going to take her to the psychiatric unit where she'll undergo a 72 hour assessment for mental illness. Stuart has an involuntary treatment order, and Steph calls for Max as she's taken out the door…
Now, I'm not a Hoyland fan. I like Max when he's with his mates, and I liked Steph when she was more biker-chick; I love Summer and I couldn't care less about Boyd. But even though I'm not a fan, I will join with the Stax shippers in the one cry that is so clearly reigning in this episode: GIVE THEM A BREAK!
Line of the episode:
Oscar : Okay, Steph!
Best performance of the episode:
Carla Bonner – for swooning.
Best ‘Rock On' moment:
“Our lips will end up with RSI.”
The scene that TPTB forgot to include:
The one where Oscar takes the lollipop and posts it through the door of number 28…