- Steph drives off in the taxi, leaving Max looking shocked
- Izzy and Paul tell Harold to get out
- Ned accuses Stu of white-anting him
- Izzy comforts Elle
Elle is looking at a promo for the play, with Ned and Sky on it when Stu comes in. Elle is all ‘sorry, do I know you?' but Stu promises Ned hasn't sent him here. He has come of his own accord, because Ned is beating himself up since they started fighting. Elle says he hasn't even tried to call, but Stu says that he has – heaps! Well, Elle *did* bar his number…Stu says he has tried the home phone too. Elle says he is just trying to make Ned sound good. Stu says that's not in his job description. Elle thinks they should talk about the ‘brotherly tension' between the two of them. Max brings Elle's dinner over, but she says she ordered the chicken. Max takes it away again, and Elle asks Stu what Max's problem is. Stu's face clearly says ‘Weeeelll it all started with….actually, don't ask…'
Harold stands proudly in his Salvo's uniform, as Karl comes to the door. He has come to welcome him home. Harold says his trip was great but he had to come home for a fresh start and to make amends. Karl's like ‘amends…for what?' Now is it just me, or does Karl look like he is wearing eye-liner…Aaaaanyhooo, just like me from that comment, Harold just says he is ready to move on in life. He asks after Susan and the Kinski kids, and Karl says they are having a good time, and will be home next week. Harold wishes he had done more for Susan and Alex.
KARL: Well, she's got the kids to help her through. I think about her everyday…
HAROLD: (looks up)
KARL: ….ab…ab…about them…everyday I wish there was something more practical I could do to help.
He wonders if it would be appropriate for him to go and fix the house up a bit ready for them to return. Harold thinks that would be lovely.
Izzy says that, thanks to ‘Harold-Mr-Family-Values Bishop', Paul's agoraphobia is out of control – like his business is. Paul claims he and Lassiter's are fine, but Izzy says that is not what his accountant said…Paul says things will get better from here on – he and Harold are even now! Izzy says if he is so much better, he can take her out for dessert.
Scarlet Bar Office
Stu asks Max if he has heard from Steph at all. Max says he hasn't but there are no surprises there…Stu says she'll come around eventually. Like Sindi did? Max asks.
MAX: You do realise your advice cost me my marriage?
Stu says he can't lay all the blame at his feet, but Max says he shouldn't have listened to him – whatever issues he has with Sindi, deal with them, he has his own mess to clean up now.
Paul is on the phone to the restaurant, but when they want a time for the booking, he clams up and disconnects the call. When Izzy comes downstairs, he tells her the restaurant has stopped serving. Izzy is like ‘they are your staff, keep them serving for another half hour!' Paul says they have ice-cream in the freezer, they'll have that and go on a picnic tomorrow. Izzy replies if he doesn't want to go, just to say.
PAUL: Ha, what you think I'm so scared I've got to make up some lame excuse to get myself out of it?
Ahh, that's the general idea, yeah. Izzy is saved from answering when Elle comes in the door. She asks if Ned has called at all. Izzy says nope, was she expecting him to? Elle says she was hoping…Paul says they have an answering machine, he is perfectly capable of leaving a message. Elle looks confused.
Ned is practicing his lines when Stu comes in. Ned is snappy with him, and Stu wants to know what he has done to upset him. Here's an idea, Stu – how about you ask Izzy! Stu says he can take whatever it is out on him, but he should talk to Elle before he loses her forever. Ned thinks he is waiting on the sidelines to take Elle, but Stu points to his wedding ring, and says he isn't interested. Wedding ring? Oh…Sindi, right. Ned says if he keeps saying that he might convince himself. Elle hates him, he doesn't see how they will fix it. Stu says to take her some flowers, maybe then she'll only dislike him. Ned says he isn't in high-school anymore, but Stu is fed up. He says he thought he loved Elle, so to pull his finger out, grow a backbone, and do something about it!
Elle is walking outside just as Ned is. How lovely. He gives her the flowers.
ELLE: Is there anything you want to say?
NED: (solemnly) I've been a tool.
NED: Stu and all the other stuff.
Elle decides that this just isn't good enough. Ned says he wants to be with her, and he knows he stuffed it with all his stupid family stuff, but can she forgive him? Elle says she can. Elle asks about the calls, and it is eventually revealed he left about a hundred messages with Paul and Izzy…but he guesses they never told her,
Izzy and Paul are picnicing in style, and Paul is saying how nice it is. But as they start to talk, his vision starts to spin and he looks panicky. He assures Izzy he is fine, but then Elle storms up and abuses him for trying to control her. Well, their lies just want to make her see Ned more. She storms off and Paul's head spins, but he assures Iz he is ok. She tells him that the accountant told her that he told Paul ages ago that Lassiters was going under, because everyone was going to the general Store. She asks if he is scared of treading on Harry's toes. Paul asks what would she do - He already took his family away, is he supposed to take his business too? Izzy just shrugs.
Cassie watches on as Gardner!Karl whizzes around, raking, pruning and trimming the hedges. Ned pops his head over the fence and says he thought Susan was away for another week. Karl says she is, he just thought he'd give the place the once over. Ned is all ……..right. Karl says he knows it might seem odd, but Susan and him…they….he used to live there too! Ned says if he thinks it's ok, then he is sure it is.
Ned and Elle are giggling away as Stu comes in. Elle is taking Ned's pants out a bit – the play opens tomorrow. When Stu leaves to go to the Store, Elle jokes that she'll just have to content herself with Ned. Ned grumbles she shouldn't do herself any favours. Elle tells him not to be stupid – it's him she loves! But his self-esteem issues are driving her crazy! There's only one way to make him feel secure about himself.
NED: What, again?
ELLE: Not that!
She suggests she leave, go back to Hobart – and he can come too! It would be a new start.
NED: You really want to be with me?
ELLE: No, I just invited you to torture myself!
She says they can leave right after the musical is over. And there is a good theatre scene in Tassie! Ned's all ‘cool, ok.' Elle takes this as he'll think about it, but he says no, it's a ‘cool, ok, he'll come!'
Scarlet Bar Office
Max asks Lyn to tell Steph that he loves her...please. As he hangs up, Karl comes in. he says that if max needs someone to talk to…Max doesn't see what there is to talk – she's not coming back. Karl is like ‘so, what? You're giving up?' Max says he has better things to do with his time than mope over a broken heart. Karl says that some marriages are worth fighting for, and Max and Steph's is one of them. Here here, Karl, here here. Max says he also has to fight for his business and his kids, he can't just sit around feeling sorry for himself. Karl points out he can't just pretend his marriage to Steph never happened. Max says he isn't doing that, he's respecting her decision to end it.
KARL: Max, come on, she loves you – you know that!
MAX: No I don't, Karl, not anymore. It's over, ok? Took me a while to get that, but I get that! And I tell you what; I'm ready to move on with my life!
Izzy demands service at the Store counter, and as Harold leaves a conversation with Stu, Harold tells him not to give up on Ned, human kind have a great capacity for forgiveness. Izzy remarks she used to think that too….shame we can't all be like that! She then comments on the prices of Harold's things. Harold says they are specialty items.
IZZY: They're not that special…
She suggests a discount for loyalty customers. Harold asks if that will be all, and Izzy says yes…although she might come back later…but who knows? She might not! She then realises she ‘forgot' to go to the bank. Harold says he can put it on her tab, but she hands him 10 cents and says will that do? She will come back later and pay the rest…
IZZY: But you know what us blondes are like, minds like sivs, always shooting off at the mouth, always blah blah blah blah.
HAROLD: If that's the way you want to play it…
IZZY: He's a saint, isn't he Stu? A living, breathing, saint.
Izzy comes home to find Paul laughing at the telly, and says she is glad to see him laughing again. Not only is he laughing again, he also has a plan! But the great unveiling is interrupted, as Elle comes in with the news she and Ned are moving back to Tassie. Izzy says she won't go she is just playing him. Elle says that's a bit rich from her! Anyway, she loves Paul, but he has interfered too many times. She is just here to get her things. Izzy runs after her and asks if she realises that she is sending her Dad back to square one, but Elle says he has no one to blame but himself. She will get her things some other time. Izzy reassures Paul Elle won't go anywhere, but Paul says he hopes not because he doesn't have the strength to get through this without her.
Stu says he is happy Ned and Elle have sorted things out, but he's used to having him around now…Ned has to establish the Zone of Safety before he can say anything girly. Once they are a safe distance away, Stu says that he doesn't want him to go…Ned says it won't be forever, and he isn't going for a couple of weeks. Anything else? Stu sneaks up behind him and gives him a hug and a wedgie, and does other brotherly-bonding-type things.
Paul greets Harold chirpily. Harold is concerned though – he has heard a rumor that Paul was re-launching his restaurant – in direct competition to the Store, but with a much cheaper menu.
PAUL: Oh, that sounds fabulous!
HAROLD: So it's true then?
PAUL: Of course it's true, Harold! But I don't see why you're getting your knickers in a twist over my business affairs!
Harold says it will put him and Lou out of business! Paul is all ‘damn, I didn't think of that!!!' Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! Harold said he thought that they were going to put all that business behind them, but, uh…looks like Paul has other ideas! Paul says he either participates in a healthy, market driven economy, or…they take his other grievances down to the cop-shop.
Ned is trying to get people to go and see the show, but they just walk off. Izzy says she'll garb some tickets…just come through to the office and she'll grab her purse. She tells him she is shocked to hear he is leaving town…she ‘breaks down' in tears and Ned asks what is wrong. She says she can't say - it'll ruin everything! Ned says it's ok…but she says it isn't – she's realised that she might never see him again! This has stirred up some deep feelings she thought she had the lid on…anything could happen…absolutely anything…