In the street outside number 24
Nikki is moaning at Mike for enjoying the kiss that Charlene gave him but he says she (Charlene) took him by surprise and that it didn't matter. Nikki points out that he spent the whole afternoon with her, but Mike says he was just keeping her company while she tried to sort out her life, something he can relate to. Nikki says she thought that she and Mike were together but Mike says he's got too much on to be a couple with anyone but when Nikki asks he says he still wants to be friends. Nikki blames herself for coming on too strong, but Mike says it not her, it's about him. Nikki accuses Mike of preferring Charlene but he denies it, saying they're just friends like he and Nikki. Nikki doesn't believe him and walks off saying if he wants Charlene he can have her. Mike looks fed up by the whole thing.
Madge questions Charlene about playing truant. Charlene's response is to accuse Nikki of dobbing her in and says she didn't miss anything.
CHARLENE: I didn't miss anything important. An arvo off's not going to hurt me.
MADGE: I'll be the judge of that. While I'm responsible for you, you will do as you're told and that includes going to school when you're supposed to.
CHARLENE: Well that was what I was doing trying to do today - trying to fix things so you won't be responsible for me anymore.
MADGE: What on earth do you mean?
CHARLENE: I went for a job - I didn't get it but I will get something. I've made up my mind.
MADGE: A job? What sort of job?
CHARLENE: Apprentice motor mechanic.
MADGE: Oh Charlene, I don't know where you get these fanciful ideas about you leaving school, let alone becoming a motor mechanic. Now you listen to me carefully. You will finish school and then you will study something sensible...like a course at secretarial school.
CHARLENE: But I don't want to....
MADGE: I don't care what you want.
CHARLENE: What are you trying to turn me into - a boring little goody- goody like Nikki?
MADGE: I'll have you know that Nikki is a very pleasant young lady.
CHARLENE: She is a pain.
MADGE: Well we'll see about that. As you're going to be spending a great deal of time with her maybe some of her qualities will rub off on you.
CHARLENE: What do you mean I'll be spending time with her?
MADGE: I've organised your accommodation. You're going to be sharing a room with Nikki at the Robinsons.
CHARLENE: Oh what!
Number 26 kitchen
Scott is doing homework at the table while Nikki is moping. Helen coaxes out of her that she had a fight with Mike. Nikki says it's her own fault. She just wanted to support Mike but suffocated him because he took her support the wrong way.
Scott assures Nikki things will work out and then leaves for the Coffee Shop. Helen tries to cheer Nikki up by telling her Charlene's going to be her roommate. Nikki is horrified by the idea.
The Coffee Shop
While Daphne makes sandwiches behind the counter, Zoe and Clive are discussing the Coffee Shop's increased trade and Clive says it's down to his publicity campaign. Scott enters the shop and Daphne asks him where Mike is. Scott replies he assumes he's at her place. Daphne questions why he's not at the Coffee Shop and Scott explains that Mike and Nikki has a row but says he doesn't really understand what it was about. Daphne's annoyed that Mike didn't let her know he was running late and asks where he was that afternoon as the school had rung her. Scott says he's sure Mike will be along soon and asks for a milkshake before he starts work.
Zoe collects her food and goes to leave the shop but Clive catches her before she leaves to give her a ticket for the Coffee Shop's publicity campaign. He launches into his spiel, addressing the whole shop and explains the competition. Every customer will get given a ticket with their purchase and then two tickets will be picked. The holders of those tickets will then take part in a pancake competition, with the winner collection $100.
Zoe takes her ticket and leaves. As she walks out, Mike walks in. He apologises for being late but Daphne questions him about where he's been. He tells her and Clive that he is not looking for a full time job. Clive queries about his plans for uni and teacher training. Mike says it was only an idea and he's made up hi mind - he's quitting school.
Daniels Corporation Office
Paul is at his desk when Zoe returns. When she puts the food down on his desk Paul notices her ticket and Zoe explains about the competition, which Paul mocks. He says Daphne will never raise enough money. Zoe gets annoyed and criticises him for being an unsupportive friend, but Paul says it's business. He then cuts the conversation by asking Zoe to take some dictation.
The Coffee Shop
Scott and Mike are both working behind the counter. Scott tells Mike he heard about the row with Nikki and that he's sorry. Mike is short with him, telling him to forget about it, he has. Clive tells Mike to cheer up saying his long face is putting customers off. Mike walks off into the kitchen and Clive follows.
Daphne is in the kitchen as Mike enters and tries to persuade him to reconsider about school. Mike refuses saying he needs to support himself and won't be a bludger. Clive enter the kitchen and asks Mike to tell them what happened when he met his parents the previous day. Mike reveals his dad has convinced his mum to no longer support him financially and that he needs to stand on his own two feet. As Daphne and Clive offer moral support, Mike says he doesn't need anybody's help with anything and he doesn't need pampering. He tells them that he has broken up with Nikki and he'll break up with Daphne and Clive is they don't lay off.
Number 26 kitchen
Helen is painting when Nikki enters, still looking mournful. She apologises for her reaction to the news about Charlene. Helen in turn apologises for making the arrangement without consulting her. Nikki insists it's fine, citing that she is only a guest anyway. Helen corrects her, saying she is more than a guest, she is family. Helen offers to cancel the arrangement but Nikki says it will be like being back at boarding school. When Helen asks is she'd like to back to boarding school, Nikki says no, and it doesn't matter anyway as there's no point wanting something you can't have. Helen asks if that includes Mike but Nikki says that's different. Helen is please to hear that and shows Nikki a piece of paper she picked up at the post office that contains information that she thinks will help Mike.
Number 24 kitchen
Charlene wonders whether Lucy would be willing to share with Nikki so that Charlene could have her room, but Madge tells her it's all agreed. She then asks her to put the cutlery on the table and Charlene reaches for the drawer.
MADGE: No, no not there, the matching sets on the dresser.
CHARLENE: What's the matter with these? You can eat with things that don't match you know.
MADGE: Now that's just the attitude I'd expect from you. I suppose your father and his girlfriend eat out of paper plates.
CHARLENE: (enthusiastically) No, Susan's a fantastic cook, makes the most amazing meals, all gourmet stuff you know.
MADGE: (in slight amazement) You have no tact or sensitivity have you? I really thought when you got down here you'd try and patch things up between us.
CHARLENE: Well I haven't noticed you making any effort. All you've done is pick on me.
MADGE: That's not true! I just...I just feel that we don't know each other anymore.
CHARLENE: You want me to go back to Coffs Harbour?
MADGE: Of course I don't want that.
CHARLENE: It would make things easier. I'll go back if you want me to. Dad said I can.
MADGE: I don't want to disillusion you but I've spoken to your father and he doesn't want you back. He and his floozie want to be on their own. So you see you're stuck with me whether you like it or not and while you're here you are going to do as you're told.
CHARLENE: You don't like me do you?
MADGE: Oh don't be silly Charlene, of course I like
CHARLENE: No, you're lying.
CHARLENE: You're so cold with me. Even when you says you care about me and you do things for me, you're still cold.
MADGE: Don't call me a liar.
CHARLENE: Well tell me the truth. Say it if you don't like me.
MADGE: Alright, I will tell you the truth. I don't like your attitude towards me. I don't like your sloppy approach to life and your tactlessness and insensitivity are downright anti- social. You are my daughter and I love you and I care about you, but no right now I don't like you very much at all.
Madge walks off to the bedrooms leaving a shell- shocked Charlene behind.
The Coffee Shop
Mike and Scott are working when Nikki enters with the paper Helen gave her earlier. She explains it's an application for benefit for unsupported children who want to stay at school. Mike refers to it as a handout. Nikki explains the process, that you have to be assessed to qualify. Daphne and Clive come over as Nikki explains everything. They look really enthusiastic but when Nikki says the scheme could solve all Mike's problems, he angrily says it doesn't solve anything and that he won't apply. Nikki asks why not and he replies he won't tell his private life to some stranger in a government office. Clive offers to go with him as support but Mike rejects him. Despite attempts to persuade him, Mike refuses to consider it and storms off to the kitchen. Daphne and Clive follow him.
Daphne tells Mike he should be ashamed of himself for not even considering the scheme. As Mike complains he's getting it from all sides, Daphne points out that what he is getting is help. Mike says he's trying to make it on his own and he doesn't want people running around for him. Clive highlights that if Mike takes the benefit and becomes a teacher, he'll repay all he receives through taxes which will to help others in the future. The same won't be the case if he's a sometimes unemployed unskilled labourer. Mike admits he didn't think of it that way. Daphne says he's not thinking at all. When Clive refers to the meeting with his parents Mike gets upset. Daphne says she knows that it hurt him but he can't take it out on everyone else. Mike agrees. After a moment, Mike agrees to complete the form and apply for the benefit. A relieved Clive heads back into the shop and Daphne asks Mike what he's going to do about Nikki. Mike replies that even with the benefit he can't afford to take her out. Daphne says that's up to him, but what she meant was that he should apologise to her for his reaction to the form.
Daniels Corporation office
Paul is on the phone setting up a date. Zoe looks disapproving and Paul asks if she's judging him. She says no but is critical nonetheless. Paul dismisses her comments, saying she doesn't understand adult relationships. She says if they are relationships with feelings then she doesn't want to. She reverts to her earlier comments about Paul not helping Daphne save the coffee shop and then sarcastically apologises for mixing business and personal feelings.
Madge is in the kitchen cooking when Charlene enters with her bag, saying she'll be off to the Robinsons. Madge asks Charlene to remember she's a guest there and to try and help out with chores. Charlene cuts her off saying she knows how to behave and just because Madge doesn't like her, doesn't mean other people won't.
MADGE: I'm your mother, I have expectations for my children.
CHARLENE: Don't I know it and I've never lived up to a single one of them yet! Neither did Henry. Look what happened to him.
Charlene moves and finishes packing. Madge follows her.
MADGE: I never discussed Henry's stealing with you but you grew up knowing about it. He stole right through his childhood. We did everything we could but nothing could stop him.
CHARLENE: Don't you know why? We grew up with so many rules, the only fun in life was breaking them.
MADGE: Well what was I supposed to do? Condone his stealing? I covered for Henry time after time. It's why we never had any money for luxuries. I paid up to keep Henry out of court but when he stole from the company there was nothing I could do. He went too far.
CHARLENE: You could at least have got him out on bail before the trial. You washed your hands of him the moment the police took him away.
MADGE: (Sighs) Oh Charlene. No you've got it all wrong. Henry.... Henry's counsel expected him to get off with a good behaviour bond. Then everything started to go wrong: we got a stern judge in a bad mood who was fed up with teenage boys in trouble.
CHARLENE: Yeah and now he's in jail for 18 months. You could have helped if you'd made an effort. (Pause). I'm going to the Robinsons' now.
Charlene heads to the door.
MADGE: Charlene, I do love you and I'll be here if you need me. I'll tell you what, I'll come over now and see you get settled.
Madge begins to remove her apron.
CHARLENE: No don't worry. I won't embarrass you. Bye.
Charlene leaves and Madge thinks for a moment then calls after Charlene 'Charlene, wait, I'm coming with you.' She rushes out of the house.
Lounge of number 26
Nikki is sitting on the settee. Scott comes in from the kitchen with Mike who has come to see her. Helen emerges from the bedrooms and greets Mike, but Scott drags her into the kitchen so that Mike and Nikki can talk.
There is an awkward pause and then Mike apologises. Nikki forgives him instantly. Mike says he going to apply for the government benefit and Nikki is really pleased. They are about to kiss when Charlene enters without knocking. She instantly realises what she's interrupted and insincerely apologises. Helen and Scott come through from the kitchen to welcome her, while Madge follows her in. There is a lot of chatter and Mike and Nikki look at each other wistfully knowing their moment is lost.
Scott comments Charlene is travelling light and she says most of her stuff is still at her dad's. Madge corrects her by saying it is on the way to Erinsborough along with the rest of her possessions as she (Madge) didn't want 'that woman' using her belongings. Charlene speaks up for Susan. Mike goes to leave and Nikki apologises for them being interrupted. Charlene watches Nikki kiss Mike on the cheek with amusement. Nikki looks smug as she shuts the door. Now Mike has left, Helen asks Nikki to show Charlene through to the bedroom. Nikki's lack of enthusiasm only further amuses Charlene who announces she is going to like living there.
Daniels Corporation office
Paul and Zoe are packing up for the night and Paul asks Zoe to do some filing. As she looks at the papers he's given her, Zoe realises that the Daniels Corporation is the company that is likely to evict Daphne from the Coffee Shop. Zoe is furious with Paul for not saying anything but Paul tells her to calm down and that is over- reacting. He says it is Rosemary's plan and it's just business. Zoe says he's despicable and that Daphne should be told. She can't understand how Paul can do this to a friend. Paul seems unfazed but makes it clear that if Zoe tells anyone what she knows it will cost her her job.