- Scott and Danny have run away.
- Maria tells Max that Danny isn't his son.
A long silence descends.
MARIA: I'm sorry, Max.
MAX: Why didn't you tell me before?
He is nearly in tears as he tells Maria that she's lied to him for sixteen years. Maria says she was afraid to tell him. She knew Max didn't like Danny and thought telling Max would make things worse.
Max starts ranting - who is Danny's real father? - someone fancy, with an education?
MAX: I always knew you didn't think I was good enough for you.
MARIA: That's not true!
MAX: True? You wouldn't know the truth if you fell over it.
Max stands up angrily.
MAX:(emotionally) You don't know what you've done to me.
He storms out.
Maria has come to see Helen, in a great state of agitation. Julie and Jim are also there but Helen sends Julie away.
MARIA: It's happened. I told him the truth.
Jim doesn't know what she's talking about but Helen knows immediately.
MARIA: Max has walked out on me.
JIM: What do you mean 'walked out on you'? Where's he gone?
MARIA:(tearfully) I don't know.
JIM: But why?
Maria tells them that they had an argument and they walked out. Jim is confused. Helen asks Jim to go and look for Max.
When Jim has gone, Helen sits Maria down.
MARIA: I shouldn't have told him. Shouldn't.
HELEN: Why did you?
MARIA: Because he asked me. He finally asked me and I couldn't just lie anymore.
Helen says it's no consolation, but it might be better in the long run. Maria thinks Max could live with the suspicion, but he can't live with the truth.
Max is leaning against his car when Jim comes up. He says Maria told him Max had walked out on her.
JIM: Well, have you? Or is this just a gentle stroll around the block?
MAX: Go away, Jim! This has nothing to do with you.
Jim protests that he has Maria in his house almost in tears. Max nearly starts crying too, but he holds himself together.
MAX: Alright! How would you feel if your missus had suddenly turned round to you and said, 'You know your son? Sorry, pal. He's not your son at all'
MAX: How would you feel, Jim?
Jim is shocked. Max reminds Jim of the time they separated all those years ago - it must have happened then.
Max can't believe that Maria has hidden this for sixteen years. He tries not to cry again.
Jim asks if Max will give Maria a chance to explain.
MAX: Are you kidding? I know how babies are born, mate. I don't need an explanation!
Max says it's weird - one minute it's pretty good and then it just falls apart. Max doesn't know what he's going to do. Jim advises Max to talk to Maria - he knows she loves him. Max says he'll need to think about it for a while.
Maria is sitting on the sofa when Max comes back in. She says she was afraid he wasn't coming back. He says he's come to give her a chance to explain.
MARIA: Max. I couldn't bear it if you stopped loving me. All these years ago when we separated.
MAX: When you left me.
Maria says that Max is still Danny's father as much as anyone could be. Max says that he's wondered about Danny for years and rants that Maria should have told him. He says he doesn't trust Maria any more - if she could tell such a lie for sixteen years, any other lie would come easily too.
Just then, Shane and Paul come back. They haven't found any trace of Scott and Danny - they must have gone out bush. She sends them through to get a beer.
MAX: Have you thought about what it's going to do to him?
Garden of the Ramsays
Shane and Paul wonder what's going on inside. Shane says maybe now Danny has gone, Max has started yelling at Maria instead(!)
They chat about their missing brothers.
Jim tells Helen he can understand why Max is so upset, and he's surprised at Maria. Helen says Maria made a mistake. She doesn't know what will happen to their marriage now.
JIM: The trouble is, Max has always had this thing about not being good enough for Maria. This is only going to rub salt into the wound.
HELEN: He must have suspected.
Jim looks at Helen knowingly and says that Helen has known all along. Helen says that she couldn't tell Maria's secret.
Just then Paul comes in and reports that there's no news about Scott. Paul tells Helen privately that Jim doesn't seem to worried about Scott. Helen says Jim is very worried, but isn't showing it because he feels guilty. She asks Paul to go easy on Jim.
Maria and Max are sitting in silence. Max tells Shane not to miss any more coaching sessions. Shane says it isn't a bit deal - he just rescheduled one session. Max says he wants Shane to get ahead in his career. Shane starts going on about Max not being very nice to Danny.
MARIA: Shane, not now.
Shane tells them that he knows something is going on, but Maria says things are just a little bit tense at the moment. Shane decides to go to his room for a while.
When Shane has gone, Max says that Maria is destroying Shane's life as well.
Maria asks Max not to make things even worse, but he says she deserves it.
Lucy is being a bit sulky. Julie says that she understands why Jim is yelling a lot at the moment - because Scott has gone. Jim looks surprised.
Scott and Paul's room
Julie has come to ask Paul to stop picking on Jim. Paul says Helen has already asked him that. Julie says that Scott has been very irresponsible by running off. She's worried about him though.
Julie asks Paul again what's going on next-door, but he doesn't know.
Maria is getting breakfast for Max. Shane comes out and finds things are still very tense - Maria is crying over the toaster. Shane asks if Maria is sick.
Shane asks again what's going on, but Max tells him to give it a rest.
Lucy picks up the phone and rings up a boy called Simon.
LUCY: Simon? This is Lucy Robinson. I just called to tell you something. You may think that all the girls in the class are after you, but here's one who isn't. So do me a favour - drop dead.
Helen overhears this exchange with amusement.
HELEN: Who's Simon?
LUCY: He thinks he's a sex symbol, but really he's a nerd.
Lucy tells Helen that Simon is a boy in her class. They've walked to the bus stop a few times. But yesterday he ignored her and went with Becky Kelly. He even carried her schoolbag!
HELEN: Good heavens!
Helen said she thought things had changed since she was young. A boy did a very similar thing to her when she was young.
HELEN: If we'd been on the phone, I'd love to have done to him what you just did to Simon.
LUCY: Yeah, well I did tell him what I thought of him.
HELEN: You certainly did!
LUCY: Gran? I didn't really phone him. I only dialled the first three numbers and pretended.
Max has cancelled his job for this morning - he's decided to do his acocunts instead. Maria wants to talk to Max rather than shouting or silence. Max says he can't talk about it until he's thought it through. Maria starts to cry again. Max tells Maria that he can't think things through if she keeps nagging him.
MARIA: I don't think I can cope if you keep on the way you are.
MAX: Well you should have thought of that before you behaved like a whore!
Maria runs out.
Maria has come to see Helen. She tells her she's at her wits end - Max refuses to talk to her. She hasn't been given a chance to explain what really happened, but she says there's no excuse. Helen asks if Shane knows - Maria says she doesn't know if Max will tell him. Helen says that blaming herself won't help. She advises Maria to give Max more time. Maria says that Max is a good man at heart - even though he yells and screams all the time.
MARIA: I can't bear the thought that I've hurt him.
HELEN: Yes, you have hurt him. Now he need reassurance. He needs to know how much you still love him.
Maria says she'll try again. She gives Helen a hug.
Maria comes back in to find Max in the living room.
MARIA: I've been thinking...I have no right to try and push you into talking about what's happened. You're entitled to deal with it any way you like, Max. But I want to say - I do love you and I always will.
MAX: Don't, Maria. I've been thinking too. Thinking what it'd be like in a week. How I'd feel in six months, in six years, even. And the thing that keeps coming up is - no matter what, I could never, ever come to terms with it. And that being the case, there's not point us living together any more. I want out, Maria. The marriage is over.