The pressure cooker exploding in the kitchen at the Coffee Shop - while Harold's in there trying to turn it off.
Harold staggers out of the kitchen, covered in spaghetti! Sharon tells Nick that he'd better call a doctor. She helps Harold to a seat as Nick appeals to him:
NICK: Please don't chuck a mental. It was dumb. I'm real sorry. You *told* me to turn off the pressure cooker.
HAROLD (stutters): I- I could've been *killed*. I walked in there... ka- boom!
NICK: What can I say? It won't happen again, Mr. Bishop, I promise.
HAROLD (firmly): Oh no, it won't happen again - because you won't be here to *let* it.
NICK: It was an *accident*.
HAROLD: Oh yes, quite. Well, you can go and work for a demolition company - maybe *they* can use you, because THIS COFFEE SHOP CERTAINLY CAN'T. CONSIDER YOURSELF DISMISSED!
Nick tries to appeal to Harold, but Harold snaps at him that he could have done him a serious damage - not to mention the mess in the kitchen. Sharon says quickly that if Nick's been dismissed, he'll be needing someone else, right? She adds that he *did* say she was his second choice... Nick mutters at her:
NICK: Thanks for your loving support!
SHARON: *I* won't blow up the kitchen, I promise. I'll even go in there right now and start cleaning up, if you like.
HAROLD: Yes, Sharon, that sounds like a very good idea, yes.
Nick takes off his apron and snaps that he hopes Harold and Sharon have a real fun time together. With that, he storms out.
Henry is sitting at the table, reading his murder mystery book. Bronwyn, Des and Mike are preparing dinner in the kitchen area, and Mike tells Henry not to strain himself! Henry replies that he's just making sure he knows all the rules! Des says he still doesn't get it - what is it about them all playing different parts? Henry tells him:
HENRY: Yeah, we all get a different identity except for our super- sleuth, Scott.
MIKE: Why Scott?
HENRY: Well, he's the journo. He should be able to work out whodunit.
Mike asks about the rest of them. Henry replies that it's all pretty easy. Bronwyn takes the book from Henry and reads that it helps if you try to take on the character you're playing by wearing different clothes. Mike remarks that it still sounds pretty dumb to him, but Henry asks him where his spirit of adventure and sense of fun have gone! He adds that a little enthusiasm won't kill them! He then refers back to the book and tells everyone:
HENRY: It says here we need a dashing young playboy millionaire - you know: lots of money but a real dill.
Mike reluctantly says he supposes he could do it. Henry then walks over to Bronwyn and comments that they need a crotchety old housekeeper - a real sneak. Bronwyn puts on the voice of an old crone and says:
BRONWYN: You talkin' about me, sonny?
HENRY (beams): That's great!
Des chips in that this isn't his bag; he *hates* fancy dress. Henry suggests that maybe he could play the tycoon: that shouldn't be too hard! Mike smiles at Des that he may as well! Henry then says they need a glamorous young movie star, and he asks Bronwyn if she thinks Sharon will be in it. Bronwyn beams:
BRONWYN: Oh sure - she's a real ham!
It's evening- time, and Scott is standing in the kitchen area at No. 24, wearing Harold's long brown overcoat and a fedora, with an unlit cigar in his mouth! Madge turns up the collar of the coat, telling Scott that if he *must* play detective, at least get it right! Scott says in a gumshoe- type American accent:
SCOTT: Hey - thanks, sweetheart!
Harold mutters that the whole thing sounds very puerile, if you ask him - and if anything happens to his overcoat, he wants it dry- cleaned! Madge, however, sighs at him to relax - it's just a harmless game. She then tells Scott to ignore Harold: he's just grumpy because he nearly had his eyebrows taken off by the pressure cooker at the Coffee Shop. She laughs:
MADGE: He arrived home dripping with spaghetti, and I didn't know whether to call the doctor or throw on some parmesan cheese!
Harold looks most put out at being laughed about! Scott then comments that it sounds as though it could have been pretty serious, and he asks how it happened. Harold replies tersely:
HAROLD: An error in judgement on my behalf. I thought that young Nick person deserved a better chance, but I was wrong. He should stick to his strength, which is destroying private property.
SCOTT: What's going to happen to him?
HAROLD: He had his chance - but young Sharon was also eager for the job, so I let *her* have it.
Madge comments that she thought Sharon wasn't *staying* in Erinsborough. Harold shrugs that that's still for her to work out. He then admits that he thought Sharon was scatty at first, but it's quite obvious to him that Mrs. Mangel and Jane are just the steadying influence she needs.
No. 32/Joe Mangel's house
Jane is talking on the 'phone in the hallway of No. 32, saying:
JANE: *Please*, Uncle Joe. Look, you wouldn't have to stay long and you *did* say you'd think about it. I'm almost positive you and nan could work out your differences.
Joe is talking on the 'phone in *his* house and he listens as Jane tells him to come to the house for a visit. He mutters:
JOE: Fat lot of good *that* would do.
JANE: I'm almost positive you and nan could work things out.
JOE: More like cop a lecture. She wouldn't've changed: yap, yap, yap, yap...
JANE: All right, then: if you won't come for nan, then you should come for the gun. I think it would be a lot safer for everyone if it was just out of the house.
JOE: Oh you *do*, do you, missy?
JANE: And I wouldn't be too long about it, either.
Joe hesitates. He then sighs and tells Jane to ring him in a couple of days, after he's had time to do some thinking. With that, he hangs up. Jane does likewise at No. 32 - but she turns round to find Mrs. Mangel standing behind her. She snaps at Jane:
MRS. MANGEL: How *could* you?
JANE: I'm sorry, nanó
MRS. MANGEL: You *know* my feelings about him.
JANE: I'm sorry - but I couldn't stand by and let you do this to yourself. He's not so bad; he even *looks* a bit like you.
MRS. MANGEL (exclaims): You've *seen* him?
JANE: Well, I had to. I- Ió
MRS. MANGEL (retorts): This brooks no discussion, Jane. I want nothing to do with that man, do you hear? And I forbid you from speaking with him again.
JANE: Yes, nan.
MRS. MANGEL (presses): Do you understand?
JANE: *Yes*, nan
Mrs. Mangel stands there shaking her head.
A while later, Jane is sitting on the couch in the lounge room, reading, as Mrs. Mangel sits in the armchair doing some sewing. Jane tells her nan that she should try the book, as it's quite funny. Mrs. Mangel, however, replies that popular novels don't really interest her. She then adds that, if that's a roundabout way of apologising, there's no need: the matter is resolved. Sharon and Bronwyn walk into the room at that moment, dressed up for the murder- mystery night, and Sharon beams:
SHARON: Ta- da! What do you reckon?
She's wearing a black dress - which she's borrowed from Jane - with a red wrap, but Mrs. Mangel exclaims at her that the dress is outrageous; she thought it was risqué on *Jane*. Bronwyn - who's wearing a shawl and glasses and has her hair up in a bun, to make her look like an elderly housekeeper - insists that she'll be keeping an eye on her sister. Sharon tells Mrs. Mangel:
SHARON: You sound as bad as Aunt Edie. *She's* only ever happy when she's got something to gripe about - whether it was getting my hair cut or the length of my school uniform or not doing my homework... she could always find *something*.
Bronwyn tells Mrs. Mangel and Jane that they'll get a chance to meet Aunt Edie soon enough: she's meant to be coming down this weekend. Sharon remarks that that's all the more reason to have fun *tonight*! Bronwyn says they'd better get cracking or they'll be late. She asks Jane if *she's* coming, but Jane says she's a bit tired, so she might have an early night. Bronwyn muses:
BRONWYN: Suit yourself - but I wouldn't be expecting *too* much sleep - not with all the screaming!
MRS. MANGEL (exclaims): Screaming?!
BRONWYN: Well, if any axe murderer's going to take a swipe at *me*, I'll scream blue murder, no fear!
With that, she and Sharon head out, leaving Mrs. Mangel sighing heavily!
Jim is sitting on the couch, holding Jamie. Des takes his son from him and Jim joins Henry, Scott and Mike by the table and asks if he's all right dressed in his ordinary clothes, as he's supposed to be Des's stockbroker. Des assures him that he's fine! The doorbell rings and Des goes to answer it. Bronwyn and Sharon are standing on the step and Bronwyn asks if they're late. Des assures them that they aren't. They step inside and Jim comments that they should get started.
SCOTT (the gumshoe): Capital suggestion, Robinson!
Mike says in an upper- class English accent:
MIKE: Yes, Henry, let's get things underway, shall we?
Henry - who's dressed in a dinner suit - says:
HENRY: Now, I have in my hand a deck of very special cards. As you can see, the cards are blank - except for this one. [He holds out a card that has a cross on it]
He then holds out the cards, face down, and tells everyone to take one, except Scott. Mike realises that one of them will already know that they're the murderer. Henry then tells everyone that when the lights go out the murderer has to tap the victim on the shoulder. Jim asks:
JIM: What about if you're the victim?
HENRY: Well, it's easy. You say something like, "Arrgghh... you dirty rat... ya got me!" And you die!
He goes on that that at that point, their incredibly brilliant detective - otherwise known as Scott of the Forensic! - has to work out whodunit. He adds that everyone has to maintain their character and act as they would if they were really that character.
Harold is sitting at the kitchen table, reading the Scouting rules. Madge peers over his shoulder and reads that a boy scout should be prepared for *anything*. She then asks if they're on secret missions now! Harold mutters:
HAROLD: Yes, when in doubt, ridicule. I mean, it's not bad enough, the day that I've had, that a man shouldn't expect support from his wife?
Madge puts her arms around him and smiles that she was only teasing; she's very proud of his involvement with the scouts. Harold tells her that this weekend is very important to him: if he does well, he's well on his way to being leader of the 2nd Erinsborough Troop. Madge muses:
Harold then asks her if she's quite sure she doesn't mind him having this time away, but Madge assures him that if that's what he wants, he should enjoy himself. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Harold goes and answers it to find Nick standing on the step. Nick tells him that he just wants to apologise again, and he asks Harold if he's OK. Harold replies coolly that he's a little shaken, but he'll recover. Nick smiles that that's great. He then goes on:
NICK: Actually, there *was* another reason for my visit. It's about the job: I was wondering if you'd reconsider.
HAROLD: I'm sorry, Nick, I can't. It wouldn't be fair on Sharon.
He adds that if Sharon decides to leave, maybe he can reconsider - and besides there are many *more* jobs. Nick mutters sarcastically that there are millions... He then tells Harold that he won't hold him up, and he turns and heads off, looking glum. Harold closes the door and Madge comments to him:
MADGE: The poor love... he sounds terribly disappointed.
HAROLD: Oh ho, that poor love is a lot tougher than you think. You know, he puts me in mind of someone else.
HAROLD: You figure it out for yourself!
Everyone at the murder- mystery party is mingling, staying in character as they do so.
SHARON (the starlet): I want to be a megastar in Hollywood. The camera *loves* me.
JIM (the stockbroker): Well, perhaps when you're famous, I can interest you in a portfolio?
MIKE (upper- class Englishman): Or a ride in my Lear jet?
Bronwyn comments that this game is so corny! Henry chips in that they've had long enough to mingle and establish their characters, so without further ado...:
HENRY: Let... the murder... begin!
With that, he turns out the lights.
A few seconds later, someone screams!
Mrs. Mangel is still sewing. Jane gets up and turns on the radio. She asks her nan if she wants a game of Scrabble, but Mrs. Mangel says she doesn't think so. Someone knocks on the door suddenly, and Jane goes to get it. Mrs. Mangel, however, says *she* can manage. She heads out to the hallway and opens the door. A look of shock crosses her face as she finds Joe standing on the step. She gasps:
MRS. MANGEL: *You*!
JOE: G'day, mum.
MRS. MANGEL: I... I...
JOE: Well, don't stand there with ya jaw flappin'. Ask me in.
Mrs. Mangel stands there looking taken aback.
Harold is busy digging out equipment to take on the scouting leaders' weekend, but Madge points out that he'll probably be attending discussions; is he sure he's going to need everything he's packing?! Harold, however, tells her to remember the number one motto! He then says he can't find his small screwdriver set, and Madge tells him that it's on the top shelf in the garage. Harold heads out to go and get it - but as he opens the front door, he finds a middle- aged woman standing on the step. Looking taken aback, he asks her if he can help her. She explains that she's there to see her nieces. Madge walks over and asks her if she means Bronwyn and Sharon. The woman says:
WOMAN: Don't tell me I've come to the wrong address?
MADGE: Well, you *are* a bit off course, yes. They're at No. 32: they're staying with Nell Mangel.
WOMAN: 'Mangel'? What a ghastly name!
MADGE: Yes... it *is*, um, a bit different, isn't it!
The woman goes to walk off, telling Madge and Harold that they've been most helpful. Harold, however, says:
HAROLD: There might be one small problem, Mrs., um...
WOMAN: Mrs. Chubb.
HAROLD: Mrs. Chubb. Yes. The girls may be at the Clarke house. Now, that's at No. 28.
MRS. CHUBB (coolly): I see. Gallivanting all over the countryside...
HAROLD: Oh? You don't approve?
MRS. CHUBB (tersely): Not especially. Good evening to you both.
With that, she walks off, leaving Harold to exclaim:
HAROLD: My word!
Madge then bursts into laughter and she tells Harold to think about where they've just sent her!
Joe is sitting on the couch and Mrs. Mangel is sitting in an armchair. Neither is speaking. Jane comes in with a tray of tea things and Joe comments flatly:
JOE: Nice place.
JANE: Mm. Nan's set it up well.
JOE: Bit stuffy for my taste, but yeah. Comfy enough, I s'pose.
There's more silence. Jane sighs eventually that this is crazy. She tells her nan that she let Joe in, so she may as well *say* something. Mrs. Mangel, however, retorts:
MRS. MANGEL: I want nothing to *do* with this man.
JOE: Suits me fine. I only came here for the gun.
MRS. MANGEL (curtly): Now, why doesn't *that* surprise me? Of *course* you've come for the gun; family means *nothing* to you. What do you need it for *this* time? Another hold- up?
JOE (angrily): That's the go. You did it all those years ago and you're still doing it *now*.
With that, he stands up and marches to the front door. Jane quickly chases after him, telling him that Mrs. Mangel's upset; she didn't mean it. Mrs. Mangel calls out:
MRS. MANGEL: Didn't I?
Joe marches back into the lounge room and snaps at his mother:
JOE: You know somethin'? One day - one flamin' day - you're gonna wake up and wonder if you're ever wrong about *anything*.
MRS. MANGEL (standing up): And I wonder if that same day I might find myself with a son I wasn't totally *ashamed* of.
Jane tells the two of them that that's enough. Joe, however, snaps that Mrs. Mangel started this. Jane retorts that it's high time they put a stop to it - so they're all going to take a deep breath and have a dignified, peaceful conversation. Joe and Mrs. Mangel stand there glaring at each other.
Bronwyn - the housekeeper - is lying 'dead' over the arm of the couch. Scott, the gumshoe detective, is pacing the floor of the lounge room, saying:
SCOTT: OK, OK. So, you see, it's reasonable to assume that the killer may have arrived *this* way. [He indicates the front door]
MIKE (upper- class Englishman): But that's dumb, because we were already all *here*.
JIM (the stockbroker): Besides, wouldn't the killer have done the smart thing and left that way too?
HENRY (the assistant): A good point, sir.
SCOTT (the gumshoe): OK, OK, so we know how it happened, right? Now, all we have to do is establish a sort of a motive. See, it's obvious that the bonny starlet has been having an illicit affair with the dashing young screen youth [he indicates Sharon and Mike].
SHARON (the starlet): Oh, they know!
MIKE (upper- class Englishman): Oh drat!
SCOTT (the gumshoe): But Sir Michael Young's bank manager has been noticing receipts for the young lovers' secret rendezvous, right, and he's been letting them slip - to his clerk.
JIM (the stockbroker): To *me*?
SCOTT (the gumshoe): Yes, exactly. *You* then pass these notes on to the housekeeper, right? The deceased.
HENRY (the assistant): By crikey, I think he's onto something!
SCOTT (the gumshoe): See, the housekeeper had a problem, right? She had a mad gambling problem; she was in debt for a small fortune - so she contacted Miss. Davies and then demanded money to keep the sordid little affairs out of the scandal sheets.
SHARON (the starlet): No! No!
SCOTT (the gumshoe): Yes. Yes. Yes. So then you arranged to meet her at sort of a quiet location... a suburban little cul- de- sac... and then, when the lights temporarily failed, *you* seized the chance.
SHARON (the starlet): It's a lie! A vicious lie!
Unknown to anyone, Edith Chubb is standing outside and is about to knock on the front door - but she stops in her tracks as she hears Scott say:
SCOTT (the gumshoe): See, you murdered her in cold blood, Miss. Davies. You, yes *you*, Miss. Davies.
SHARON (the starlet, bursting into 'tears' and backing away towards the door): No. Oh no... No.
She stops in her tracks as she bumps into someone. Edith Chubb has opened the door walked into the house. Sharon turns to see who she's collided with. As she turns, Mrs. Chubb stares at her and gasps:
MRS. CHUBB: What on earth?!
SHARON: Aunt Edie!
BRONWYN (getting up quickly and joining Sharon): Aunt Edie!
MRS. CHUBB (sternly): Yes, Aunt Edie.
HENRY (grins): Well, I guess that gets the introductions out of the way!
MRS. CHUBB (sternly): There must be some explanation for this... this *menagerie* - and I expect it forthwith.
Joe is standing in the lounge room, staring at the wall. Mrs. Mangel is sitting in her armchair. Jane comes in, carrying the wrapped- up gun, and, looking upset, Mrs. Mangel says tersely that she told her she didn't want to see that 'thing'. Jane, however, retorts that it's not staying: Uncle Joe came for it, they're still not talking, so he may as well take it and go. With that, she hands over the gun to Joe. She goes on:
JANE: I still think you're both wasting a golden opportunity. [To Joe] Why don't you just tell nan what really happened?
JOE: What's the point? She won't believe me.
JANE: Well, try. Hm?
Joe hesitates. Jane sits down as he then says:
JOE: OK. Well... it was... well, this [he indicates the gun] belonged to a mate - a fellow called Les. He held up a petrol station with it once, by waving it in the owner's face. He didn't pull the trigger - it wasn't loaded anyway.
JANE: Go on.
JOE: He got panicky. He asked me to hide it for him. He begged - and I did the dumb thing and agreed. Anyway, the cops eventually caught up with him, but they never found the gun.
MRS. MANGEL (suspiciously): A very convenient tale.
JANE: Sounds true to *me*, nan.
MRS. MANGEL: Then why did your Uncle Joe leave like a scalded cat?
JOE (angrily): Because when *you* found the gun, you did your nana, that's why. You didn't believe me then, you don't believe me *now*. You reckon I'm a crim and nothin's gonna change your mind, is it?
MRS. MANGEL (putting her hand to her forehead, cries): It's been a long, long time...
JOE: Oh yeah - too right. Twelve long years of a mother not knowing her son was worth thinkin' of. Well, it may as well *stay* that way.
With that, Joe marches to the door and heads out. Jane goes after him, but it's too late: he's gone. She heads back into the lounge room and comforts Mrs. Mangel, who's sitting looking upset.