Toadie tells Steph she used him, to go back to Max and leave him alone.
Pepper works out that Frazer is Rosa's ex-fiancé's brother and wants the truth.
Ringo comes in having overheard Pepper talking to Frazer about Ringo introducing himself as Ringo looking for his brother Rick. He says he was joking and Frazer says that's what they do – muck around. They like to tell killer stories and see if anyone believes them; like the time they convinced their aunt they were members of the sychronised diving team at the Sydney Olympics. They're being really obviously shifty; each saying little things then passing the buck to each other as Pepper looks on, clearly not believing a word. Frazer and Ringo finish gabbling so Pepper just turns to Frazer and offers him one more chance. Ringo tries to continue the pretence: ‘Seriously, naming your child Ringo? That's child abuse.' Frazer stops him and offers to tell Pepper the truth. Rosie calls for Frazer and he tells Pepper not there. Rosie asks if everything is OK (she's still ill) and Ringo explains that Pepper and Frazer are just on their way to get Rosie some ice cream.
Max, Steph, Janae and Boyd have sat down and Max asks about family news. Janae says she's probably going to be a hero because she's giving evidence to the Equal Opportunities Commission about Rex Colt after they got a bunch of other victims to come forward and it now looks like they've got a really good case. Steph says that's fantastic and Janae jokes about her being a feminist trail blazer. Then she tells them that it almost didn't happen because Rex didn't do a runner and comments about how gutless it is. Cue awkward silence before Max just says, ‘Sounds like a real peach.' Thankfully, their food arrives so Boyd talks about how he's starving and it's the best Parma in Melbourne. Max begins a grace and he's watched on by some very bemused Hoylands. He tells them it's a habit he picked up from the family he stayed with and that it's not necessarily about God – sometimes they need to remember what they have to be thankful for. Sorry, I just need to point out that he doesn't say proper grace: ‘For what we are about to receive and for our friends and family may we be truly grateful.' I didn't listen properly before. Boyd says he thinks it's a great idea and Janae adds with some gusto that she loves a bit of God before dinner – it's good for the soul. Steph looks on really strangely.
Karl and Susan have brought Toadie back to their place and Toadie is saying how this is the life – three square meals a day and a new DVD arriving every week. Karl starts at Susan – he thought she'd cancelled that. She explains that it's very economical in that kind of fed up way that she does. Karl begins to say something but Toadie interrupts: it's better than staying with his mum and dad. It's taken me about ten viewings to work this out, but he does an impression of Angie; ‘Lovely that woman that Steph, then you go and balls it up.' He says that Angie can nag for Australia. Karl and Susan go ominously quiet so Karl just says that Toadies' welcome to stay as long as he likes. Susan says it's lovely to have him back and she'll set him up in the spare room. Somehow it is – Toadie belongs at number 28 in a way. Anyway, he goes into his room alone and jokes about the stick being for his undercover work. He tells them he'll take his dinner in chambers.
Susan looks around the living area and counts five dirty cups around the place and asks Karl if he's been running a café whilst she's been at work. Karl apologises, he's been a little bit distracted by reading Kant.
SUSAN: Kant? The philosopher Kant?
KARL: Mm, it's fantastic stuff. I can't remember the last time I just read for pleasure. Now if I want to curl up on the couch with a educated German (note the grammatical error that he made) I can do it – nothing stopping me.
SUSAN (looking at the huge basket of laundry): Not even the washing? What's your German mate got to say about that?
(She dumps the basket on the coffee table so that Karl has to move his feet.)
KARL: Uh, well I'm not sure if it figures in his philosophy much.
SUSAN: Ach! (In that fed up disbelieving way she does)
KARL: Susan! I've been very busy today. I tried out the baked egg recipe from the newspaper, I fertilised the veggie patch, checked the rainfall gauge, I've been flat out.
SUSAN: Measuring rainfall is not going to get you clean undies, is it?
KARL: I'll just go without.
SUSAN: You will not.
(Toadie comes into the living area)
TOADIE: Oh, how I've missed the dulcet tones of your bickering (Haven't we all?) Do you have any clean sheets?
SUSAN (looking ominously at Karl): No Kant do.
Toadie doesn't understand what she's referring to but Susan just grabs up the huge basket and says she'll just make a start on it. Karl looks after her before turning to Toadie and whispering, ‘Sorry.' Toadie, who clearly knows what Karl is like, just shakes his head.
Ringo/Rick sits down to talk to Rosie, saying that Frazer won't be happy to find her out of bed. Rosie comments that she won't be happy either if he doesn't get home with her icecream soon. Rosie asks if it's been good hanging with his brother and what he's like growing up with. Ringo tells Rosie that Frazer never fit in, but in a good way: their family is really boring but Frazer was always looking for something new and it was never the same when he went away. Ringo adds that now he's there with Frazer it's like he never went away at all.
RINGO: He's a cool older brother. And he's got a cool girlfriend.
Pepper storms in, saying she knew that there was something dodgy about Frazer from the start and what kind of person pretends he's getting married just so he can get a room in a share house. She goes on to say that Frazer knew Rosie was living there and he was working her from the start and that time she had lunch with Johnny, Frazer went all weird.
PEPPER: Argh, this is the creepiest thing ever.
FRAZER: It's really not.
PEPPER: Not telling your girlfriend that her ex-fiancé is your brother? Ach, no Frazer, that is creepy.
Frazer protests that he told her but she fell asleep and Pepper says it doesn't count and asks why he didn't try again. Frazer explains that he lost his nerve so Pepper calls him a wimp and asks if he told her that he was only after her for her family's money. Frazer says he's not: he was in the beginning but now he doesn't care about any of that stuff. Pepper asks why she should believe him – Frazer's only reason is that it's the truth but Pepper's not having any of it and storms off saying that she won't let Frazer make a fool of Rosie any longer; she's going to tell her everything and she storms off, not letter Frazer speak.
Lassiters' Car Park
Pepper's pulling away with Frazer chasing after her. He manages to catch up and stands in front of the car. Pepper asks if he really wants to stand there.
PEPPER: I stood up for you, Frazer.
FRAZER: I know you did, you're a great friend.
PEPPER: When Rosie was trying to choose, I pushed her towards you because I thought you could make her happy.
FRAZER: I can!
PEPPER: But all along, you were looking out for your own interest.
FRAZER: I lover her, Pep. I really…love her.
PEPPER: You know, yesterday I probably would have believed that.
FRAZER: Pepper, come on.
PEPPER: I'm sorry.
Pepper drives off, with Frazer watching her anxiously.
Boyd tells Max that the Scarlet Bar Parma retains its position at number one. Max replies, ‘That it does, that it does.' As they walk back towards the table, Max asks what exam Boyd's got tomorrow (bio med) and asks if he's ready for it this time. Janae points out that he's been working really hard and he's her own little nerd. Max says that's those two taken care of, but what about him and Steph, is she up for some adventure? Steph doesn't look too enthused so after Janae offers to look after Charlie she says she has to help Chris out at the garage because they're flat out at the moment. Max is a bit disappointed and asks Boyd for help to clear the plates. Once the guys have gone into the kitchen Janae tells Steph that they're really slow at the garage at the moment. Steph says she knows but it still doesn't feel right. Janae tells Steph that she made a choice, she's got to try and doesn't she want it to work out? Steph says, somewhat unconvincingly, that of course she does. Janae tells her to try harder. Max and Boyd are coming back to the table, Boyd covering for Steph by saying how busy the garage has been and how Janae's been there until 7 o'clock every night. Max just says it, ‘sounds tough,' as they sit down at the table and Steph immediately asks what she needs to bring and is it a real adventure with safety gear and an ambulance on standby or Max pretending to be a hero adventure. Max tells her it's the real thing.
MAX: Hang on to your hat, baby. Cos tomorrow is going to be the most thrill seeking, death defying day of your life.
Ringo's telling Rosie about Rachel running the blogzine and him contributing and he hopes Rachel likes what he writes. She lives next door, maybe he and Rachel could walk to school together. Rosie comments that Ringo's mentioned Rachel's name 10 times in the last 2 minutes. According to Rosie, that equals, ‘love' she whispers as she draws the shape of a heart with her fingers. Ringo laughs nervously and tells her to get off the grass. Pepper storms in and Rosie asks where Frazer is. Pepper asks Ringo for some privacy but Ringo just shakes his head vehemently. Rosie wants to know what's going on and where Frazer is. Pepper says that she left him behind because…Ringo interrupts to say that it's because he's searching for her favourite ice cream because that's the kind of generous guy he is.
RINGO: He won't come out without the Tootie Frootie.
ROSIE: Actually, it's Blood Orange and if he remembers that (grinning) he's the sweetest thing in the world.
PEPPER: You reckon?
ROSIE: He's been really good to me since I've been sick. (Smiling inanely again) He made me veggie soup today but he forgot I didn't like mushrooms (giggles) so he sat there and picked them all out til he burnt his little fingers.
That's not sweet, that's a mug, but Pepper's bought it and asks if Rosie really loves him. Rosie just looks coy and nods her head. Peppers says it's great and excuses herself. Rosie hears the door and asks if it's her spunky man with her ice cream. But it's Pepper going outside to see Frazer and tell him that she couldn't do it, but he has to because if he doesn't, she'll kill him. They go into the living room and Rosie notes that he's empty handed. Frazer says she's out of bed and Rosie says alright then, it's a wash. Frazer sits down and Rosie cuddles up to him. Frazer looks at Ringo and they exchange looks of doom, for want of a better word.
And so we hear the delightful sound of the rooster from outside the house before we see what's going on inside. It's Karl, kneeling with his underneath a blanket, asking Springsteen to please ‘shh' because it's the middle of the night: It is nooot the morning. The rooster clearly has absolutely no interest in what Karl is saying so Karl throws the blanket back and starts to simply plead with the animal. Audrey starts to bark and Karl then asks her to be quiet – they don't need her making noises as well. At this point, Dahl starts making whatever sound it is that galahs make. Karl puts his hand together as though he's about to pray and once again pleads with Springsteen to stop. Then he asks Dahl to be quiet.
The three animals are just singing away, making whatever sounds they make, so Karl puts his head in has hand before continuing to plead with them to please just shut up! Surprisingly, they don't. And Susan comes out of the bedroom in her fetching beige/peach dressing gown and asks what that bird (I'm taking it she means Springsteen rather than Dahl) is doing inside. Karl immediately tries to placate Susan by explaining that it's a behavioural modification technique.
KARL: Housefarmer.com said bring the bird inside…
SUSAN (with great and obvious exasperation at all this): Housefarmer.com?
KARL:…cover it up that way it can't see the daylight, it won't crow!
SUSAN (continued exasperation): What…
KARL: The trouble is he knows it's morning I mean this is one very clever bird here.
SUSAN: He crows day and night, Karl. He doesn't know whether it's dark or light and you're…proud?
KARL (moving onto the little boy pleading tactic): Please, you gotta help me or the council will take him away.
SUSAN: Why would they do that?
KARL: Well, there have been some complaints.
SUSAN (now totally calm, but accusatory): Noise complaints?
SUSAN: How many?
KARL: No, not many. (Cowering under the pressure of Susan's enforced calmness) About fifteen or so.
There's a knock at the door and Susan says great, here's 16 right here. It's Steph, who tells them it's hard enough to get Charlie to go to sleep. Karl says he understands and he's trying to some behavioural modification techniques. Steph, who is just half asleep and wants the noise to end (as I'm sure every viewer does, to be honest) half-heartedly says she's glad to hear it. Karl rushes off to deal with the bird and Steph asks Susan if Toadie's moved in, which Susan confirms. Steph asks how he is and Susan places a comforting hand on Steph's before telling her that he'll be alright. Steph smiles and leaves. As Susan closes the door, Karl asks if that was about Toadie. Susan nods her head and Karl sighs, saying that she still loves him and if he hadn't butted in then she would have told him that and they would have been together…at this point Toadie walks into the living area…Karl shouts at Audrey to please shut up and Karl and Susan both turn to see Toadie standing there. Toadie looks at them, wanting to know what the hell is going on.
After the break, we're back with the Kennedys and Karl explaining that he should never have interfered but that he thought he was voicing what everyone wanted, for Max and Steph to be together. He apologises, adding that he thought he was doing Toadie a favour. Susan continues that they were trying to spare his feelings. Karl says, a little cryptically, that he threw a grenade into the mix and it's upset the natural order. Karl adds that as a doctor people would always go to him for advice and he guesses he misses that so he was over compensating. Toadie, who's been listening to all this in silence, decides to stop the Kennedys there and tells them he needs to think. He goes to sit down and the Kennedys sit either side. Susan explains that both Karl's and her intentions were good. Karl continues that he didn't realise exactly what they felt for each other, the depth of their feelings and if he had he would never have interfered. Susan continues that they are really, really sorry. Karl adds, ‘We are mate.' Toadie once again pipes up, this time with a smile on his face, saying that Steph loves him and he knew she loved him and he knew that she couldn't just stop. Karl and Susan look at each other, concerned that he's not taken on board what they're saying. Susan tells him that Steph and Max are back together – it's too late. Toadie is adamant that it's not. Karl and Susan look at each other, Karl wondering what on earth has just happened, Susan knowing exactly what's going to happen and anxious about it.
Pepper is practically dragging Ringo behind her. Ringo is trying to list reasons why he can't do the run he's making her go on – he bumped his leg on a desk yesterday, he's got some condition in Latin that stops him from running. Pepper just glares at him so Ringo asks if she'd believe asthma. Pepper tells him that his big brother is about to break her best friend's heart and he has been helping him lie. Pepper says that there is not one good excuse in this world that will get him out of five hard Ks. Ringo's shocked at 5 so Pepper makes it 10.
As they start off, Max and Steph are coming out of their house with Max talking about them going on their proper adventure. Steph asks if she's ever going to know what the adventure is as they get in the car and Janae, Boyd and Charlie follow them. Max simply says it's going to be the time of her life but Boyd asks him to tell them what it is. Max relents and tells them that he and Steph are going ballooning in the Yarra Valley. Janae thinks it's cool – Steph looks at him questioningly, saying, ‘You in a balloon?' Max just says yeah and they go off excitedly, Max wishing Boyd luck with his exam.
As the car pulls away, Toadie is hobbling down the street shouting Steph's name with Karl and Susan behind him still in their dressing gowns. Boyd starts towards Toadie but Janae runs past him, telling him she'll handle it. Janae asks Toadie what he's doing and Toadie tells her that Steph loves him. Janae says no, Max and Steph are back together now and he needs to get over this. Karl and Susan are now standing next to Toadie and Toadie tells Janae that Karl told him that Steph had chosen him and she wants to be with him. Janae becomes a little confused about what's going on and looks at Karl. Toadie wants to know which way they went and he might be able to catch up with them. Janae tells him he's not up for it and Karl asks Toadie if he's sure this is what he wants to do. Toadie says he has to and walks back towards the house. Karl turns to Susan and Janae and suggests they let this play out so that for better or for worse he'll know. Janae is watching Toadie and relents – she shouts to him that he can't drive like that and she'll take him. Susan takes Charlie and Janae runs off to get her L plates (when did she turn 17?).
Rosie struts into the living room where Frazer is drinking a cup of coffee and tells Frazer she's feeling much better thanks to him. Frazer is a little withdrawn so Rosie asks if he's alright. Frazer makes some comment about coming down with what she had and Rosie says it's lucky because she's booked a house in the country so she can pamper him properly. As she says this she pulls out a brochure and shows it to Frazer. She's really smiley smiley and, it must be said, she's got a bit of a seductive/flirtatious vibe going on. Frazer says it looks fancy and Rosie tells him that it is. Frazer tells her that he's not having his best month cashflow wise.
ROSIE: Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realise we were back in 1955. I do earn my own money you know. It's my shout.
Frazer's surprised; she'd do that for him? Rosie says of course and as the door opens she goes off to work. As she passes Pepper, she shows her the brochure for the house and tells her to check out the ‘sexy holiday' she's planned. Pepper, who is absolutely fine, heads to the living room to talk to Frazer, whereas Ringo is puffing away and says, ‘Shower, then die.' Pepper sits on the sofa next to Frazer and says, ‘She wants you to be her first, Fraze. And it'll be based on a lie. How does that make you feel?'
Boyd is standing in the doorway as both Karl and Susan open it and step out to the porch. Boyd explains that he needs to borrow their car – Max and Steph are so close to being back on track and he can't let Toadie ruin it. Karl counters that Toadie is a grown up and if he needs to explore this chapter in his life then…Boyd interrupts to say that Toadie doesn't have this chapter, it's Boyd's family and their lives and Toadie's got no part in it. Susan explains that if Steph and Max are secure then nothing Toadie says will change that. Karl says yes, Toadie going to see Steph could be the best thing because it could put an end it. Susan continues by saying that then everyone can move on, including Toadie.
BOYD: Yeah, and what if that doesn't happen? Can I please, please borrow it?
Karl looks down, clearly thinking and Susan looks at Boyd a little bit like she wants him to grasp what they're saying to him and before she can say anything Karl becomes assertive: ‘No, I'm sorry mate you can't. Because I know you have a bio med science exam today and if you fail that again, you can kiss your medical career goodbye. And that would be a tragedy. Boyd the way you care about people means you're going to be an excellent doctor. If you get there.'
Boyd replies by basically outlining the basis of the entire show: ‘You know, living on this street is like having fifty different parents.'
Susan and Karl smile, pleased that they've got through to him and Karl wishes him good luck. As Boyd walks away, Susan turns to Karl and grabs hold of the collar of his dressing gown, like she has done many, many times before and says, ‘You know, sometimes I love you so much.' Karl thanks her in a cutesy kind of jokey way and leans down and they rub noses. Given the beard, it's no wonder they didn't kiss. Then the rooster starts making noises again so Susan looks up, smile wiped from her face and replaced by extreme irritation before saying, ‘Only sometimes,' as she lets go of his collar and walks back into the house. Karl starts scratching his beard and says ‘yeah' to the air before making to follow Susan in. He's just about to walk in when Susan shuts the door in his face.
There's a big ol' hot air balloon with ‘Melbourne' plastered on it and Max and Steph are getting in. Steph says she can't believe Max is actually going to do this. Max asks what she's talking about and says something about how he bested Alex, the extreme sports nut, to win her heart in the first place if she remembers. Steph says yes, she remembers, but Max did that without even leaving the ground.
MAX: I did that by the sheer force of my masculinity.
Steph laughs and Max continues that he didn't have to go swimming with sharks to prove it, she could feel it pulsating through him every time she was near him. Steph is laughing when the balloon man flares up the heater thing and Max jumps almost out of his skin. Steph tells him it's ok, they haven't gone anywhere yet. Max becomes serious and explains that this time it's different and he wants her to know that when it comes to him and her, there's nothing he won't try and if he can get over his fear of heights, then there's probably a good chance that they can be happy again. Steph smiles and Max asks if she's ready. Steph nods and says she's ready. They start to climb, with Max obviously nervous but trying to be calm.
Toadie and Janae are driving along and Toadie asks if Janae has the smallest bladder in the world. Janae insists that she needs to go and Toadie says it's the third time so far and she's just trying to hold them up so they don't make it in time. Janae insists that she's not.
TOADIE: Dammit, if Karl had of just kept his mouth shut Steph and I would be together now.
Janae tells him not to be so sure. Toadie says he knows; trust him, Steph loves him. Janae says maybe she does, but she wouldn't be with Max now if a part of her didn't still love him too. Toadie says he hates kids, seriously, they never interested him. But Charlie he loves like he's his own boy and he loves his mum (Steph he means, not Angie. We know he loves Angie). He challenges Janae to say that doesn't mean anything. Janae lets out a sound of exasperation/confusion and gets out of the car whilst telling Toadie that Charlie's not his boy and Steph is not his wife, they're Max's. As Janae walks down towards the bushes, she tells Toadie he's a good guy but it's not his right to take Steph and Charlie away from Max. She adds that she'll be quick and then they can head back to Ramsay Street. Toadie shifts himself over to the driver's seat and drives off. Janae turns around just as he does this and shouts after him, but to no apparent avail.
Max and Steph are up in the balloon and Max comments how still it is and how he thought it'd be windy. Steph tells him that they're flying with the wind so it's always still in a balloon. Max says he could do her tax return up there and Steph is surprised and asks, ‘What?! Why would you want to do that?' Max explains that it's not that he'd want to, it's that he could: the receipts would never blow away. Sigh, pause for effect, ‘Cos it's always still in a balloon.' Steph says he's a fool – especially his comments in the margins. Max says it's whatever gets him through the tax return. He pops the cork very expertly off a bottle of champagne and pours them a glass. The cork went out of the balloon so Max says something about a sheep being hurt before looking over the basket. Steph stops him, telling him not to look and he gets nervous so Steph calms him down, telling him to just breathe. He relaxes and then rather stupidly tries to look down again so he takes more deep breaths to calm himself. Max says he's sorry. Then he says it with more meaning and explains that this was a stupid idea - as if going up there was going to make them happy again. Steph has been welling up and tells him that she's actually crying because all the anger that she felt towards him has gone away.
STEPH: I love you Max.
They kiss and Max says he loves her too. They hug and the balloon starts to head back to the ground. They both start laughing before you see Toadie looking on. They kiss again and Toadie sees. As the balloon hits the ground, Steph jokes with him about being a wuss and they are generally in a jovial mood. Janae approaches Toadie and says she's going to help him get better and when he is she's going to kill him. Toadie tells her that he would have picked her up on the way back.
JANAE: Oh well doesn't that make me feel better. I had to hitchhike Toadie. Hitch! Hike! Do you have any idea what happens to girls as pretty as me when they do that?
TOADIE: You're here aren't ya?
Toadie and Janae both turn to see Max and Steph laughing and joking and talking amongst themselves. Max kisses Steph and we see Toadie look on with mounting anger and frustration.