Mr. Muir walking into Mike's prac teaching class as Sharon leads the students in a chant of 'No more homework'.
Mrs. Mangel is sitting at the writing desk as John lies back on the couch. She says suddenly:
MRS. MANGEL: John, you *did* order the drinks, didn't you?
John doesn't respond. Mrs. Mangel repeats his name and he stirs. He gets up and asks what they're worrying about *this* time. Mrs. Mangel tells him tersely:
MRS. MANGEL: *Someone's* got to worry. We *are* getting married *tomorrow*, you know? There's still an entire reception to arrange.
JOHN (smiles): It's going to work out just fine; a day we'll remember for the rest of our lives.
MRS. MANGEL: *If* we *survive* it.
John tells Mrs. Mangel that she's a born worrier! The doorbell rings suddenly and Joe goes and answers it. Paul is on the step and Joe calls out to his mum and John:
JOE: Ramsay Street tycoon!
Paul heads into the lounge room and says he just came to see how the wedding plans are going. John nods that they're getting along. Mrs. Mangel sighs:
MRS. MANGEL: That's what *you* think.
Paul asks if the reception is all organised. Mrs. Mangel mutters:
MRS. MANGEL: Far *from* it.
PAUL (smiles): Ah, good, good, good. How would you like your own special do at Lassiter's - compliments of the management?
John exclaims that that's very generous of him. Mrs. Mangel, however, is more concerned about the lamingtons she's already made! Joe suggests that they could eat them her hen's party. He adds:
JOE: You *are* going to *have* one, aren't you?
MRS. MANGEL: What for?
JOE: Well, 'cos it's tradition, mum! Kick up the heels with the girlfriends! Me and John are going out for a night on the tiles, aren't we, John!
JOHN (blankly): Are we?
JOE: Too right we are - last night of freedom!
MRS. MANGEL (considers): It might be rather nice, a glass of fruit punch with the girls.
John and Mrs. Mangel then thank Paul for the offer of the reception at Lassiter's. Paul tells Mrs. Mangel that it's the least they can do: a token of gratitude for a job well done.
Mr. Muir is standing with Mike in the classroom at the school - the pupils having left - saying tersely:
MR. MUIR: Well, Mr. Young, it looks like we've got a discipline problem on our hands, doesn't it?
MIKE: I'm sorry - it won't happen again.
MR. MUIR: It had better not. Can you imagine if we *all* let them get away with behaviour like that? We'd have absolute bedlam on our hands. We've got a school to run; you can't be one of *them* you know?
MIKE: I wasn't *trying* to be.
MR. MUIR: Oh come on, I've been in this game for too long. I've seen plenty of your type come and go. You won't last; you'll go under unless you show them who's boss right from day one.
MIKE: It was only some of the ones that I know. They were just trying to show off. They'll settle down; just a bit of time, that's all I need.
MR. MUIR: Oh, and meanwhile the *rest* of us have to suffer, right?
MIKE: I *said* I was sorry.
MR. MUIR: And *I've warned you*. The way they're training you people these days, I just don't know...
With that, he heads for the door. Mike calls after him:
MIKE: I *can handle it*, Mr. Muir.
Mr. Muir turns and looks at him, but doesn't look convinced.
Madge is sitting with Helen on the couch in the lounge room. Helen is telling her to give Harold time; he'll soon see the funny side of it. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Mrs. Mangel calls that it's only her. She steps inside and Helen invites her to sit down. She then asks Mrs. Mangel how the preparations are coming along for the big day. Mrs. Mangel smiles delightedly:
MRS. MANGEL: So nice of Paul - and so gallant.
MRS. MANGEL: To offer Lassiter's for the reception. Didn't you know?
HELEN: Fancy that! Good old Paul!
MRS. MANGEL: We hope to see you both there, of course.
MADGE (mutters): I wouldn't miss it for quids!
MRS. MANGEL: And tonight: a small gathering at the house - ladies only, if you're free.
HELEN: Thank you, Nell. We'll be there - [pointedly] *won't* we, Madge.
Madge starts to say that she has a feeling she might be doing something else. Mrs. Mangel, however, interrupts her and says:
MRS. MANGEL: Oh now, Mrs. Bishop, don't you think it's time we let bygones be bygones? I'd hate to part on a sour note.
Madge shrugs that she supposes Harold won't miss her for one night. With that, Mrs. Mangel heads out.
The class of Year 10 kids is in the playground, Nick laughing about steam coming out of Mr. Muir's ears! Jessie, however, cries:
JESSIE: It's not funny. What about Mike?
SHARON: Oh, he can take a joke. He's one of *us* - just about.
JESSIE: You know what Mr. Muir's like.
SHARON: Don't be a dag.
JESSIE: Yeah, well, it wasn't fair.
NICK: Look, Mike's OK, right? He knows we didn't mean it.
At that moment, Mike approaches the kids and Sharon asks him cheerfully how it went. Nick asks him if Mr. Muir gave him a detention! Mike just says coolly:
MIKE: I suppose you think this is *funny*, do you?
SHARON: Yeah, we knew you'd laugh!
MIKE (bitterly): Oh yeah, I'm *laughing* all right - all the way to the dole queue. Look, if you guys wanted to make me lose my job, well, congratulations, 'cos I think you've just about done it.
With that, he walks off. Jessie, in particular, stands there looking concerned.
Sometime later, Mike and the Year 10s are back in the classroom. Mike tells the students that this isn't going to be easy for *any* of them, but the way some of them carried on this morning—. Sharon interrupts and tells him that it was meant to be a joke. Mike, however, says curtly:
MIKE: Sharon, *I* am talking, *you* are listening, OK? Now, some of you know me and you think that's some sort of excuse to give me a hard time. Well, you're wrong.
NICK (standing up): Look, we were only having a bit of fun.
MIKE: Nick, sit down.
Unknown to Mike, Mr. Muir is standing outside the classroom, hidden from view. He listens as Jessie tells Mike that they're sorry about what happened; they didn't mean to get him into trouble. Mike thanks her for the apology - and he then tells Nick that he wants him out the front for some unaccustomed exercise: he's going to use his brain! Out in the corridor, a look of relief crosses Mr. Muir's face.
Des is putting together a shopping list, and he comments to Bronwyn that they're out of food again. Mike arrives home and exclaims:
MIKE: Thank god *that's* over.
Bronwyn asks what happened. Mike retorts that he doesn't know why he ever bothered studying Psychology and Educational Theory; he should've just done a course in lion- taming or something! Des comments:
DES: Sharon and Nick helped, didn't they?
MIKE: Oh, angels. Absolute angels, they were. She nearly cost me my job. Should've seen it: a full- scale protest. Brought Mr. Muir right down on top of me. I could've *died*.
BRONWYN (looking annoyed): The little twerp. Just wait 'til I get my hands on her.
MIKE: It's OK, Bronwyn, we sorted it out. You know, she's a good little kid.
The doorbell rings suddenly and Joe comes in before Des can even go and answer it! He tells Des that the old girl's having a bit of a hen's party and he's got to make himself a bit scarce. Des asks him why he doesn't go down to the pub. Joe replies:
JOE: It suits *me*; don't know if the *bridegroom* would like it, though.
Des stares at him blankly and so Joe clarifies:
JOE: Buck's party, china! You... me... the new stepdad! See you later?
Before Des can respond, Joe heads out again!
Jane serves Mrs. Mangel, John and the Reverend Sampson with tea and lamingtons. John tells the Reverend that the lamingtons were made by the Ladies' Auxiliary. Mrs. Mangel adds that they were intended for the reception, but now that it's at Lassiter's... The Reverend smiles at Mrs. Mangel and John that it's going to be a good, old- fashioned wedding; he can't foresee any hiccups. Mrs. Mangel nods that everything's arranged. Joe comes in and exclaims that he thought they were saving the lamingtons for later. Turning to Reverend Sampson, he adds:
JOE: Mum and the girls are letting their hair down later!
MRS. MANGEL (indignantly): Just a few friends for a quiet glass of non- alcoholic punch. Really, Joe, what will people think?
JOE: Oh, come on, mum, you don't get married every day.
He then turns to John and asks him if he's all right for tonight: they'll be out with Des. He turns to Reverend Sampson and tells him to pop over. The Reverend nods that he'd like to!
Mike and Bronwyn are sitting with Jessie, Nick and Sharon at the kitchen table, finishing a snack. Mike comments that he's full. Bronwyn says pointedly, glancing at Bronwyn:
BRONWYN: Something spoiled your appetite?
SHARON (sighs): Bronny...
Mike tells Bronwyn that they called a truce - and Jess will keep them in line. Jess says quickly that she only said sorry because it wasn't *fair*. Bronwyn notices suddenly that Jessie is holding her left wrist, as if in pain, but Jessie replies quickly that it's nothing much, and she offers to help with the dishes. She adds that she always does them at home. Mike remarks that he bets her mum's pleased. Sharon comments that she's never met Jessie's mum or dad, and she suggests they go round sometime and say hello. Jessie, however, tells her:
JESSIE: They're always busy. You know - they work really hard and they like it quiet when they're home.
Bronwyn laughs that they wouldn't get any quiet with *Sharon* around! She then notices the bruise on Jessie's face, and she comments that she sure bashes herself up. Jess murmurs that she bumped into something. Bronwyn smiles:
BRONWYN: Accident- prone!
SHARON: Or clumsy!
JESSIE (mutters): Give us a break, will you? I walked into the kitchen door, that's all. It's nothing - everyone has accidents.
Helen, Madge, Jane, Mrs. Mangel and two other ladies are in the lounge room as Jane pours glasses of punch for everyone. Helen suggests that they should have a toast to mark the occasion. Madge asks where Gail is, and Jane explains that she's working late. Helen remarks that she'll be so sorry to miss out on all the fun! Jane points out that there's still the wedding tomorrow. Mrs. Mangel sighs:
MRS. MANGEL: Oh, tomorrow... I can't believe it. After all this time, to think I'll be leaving Ramsay Street and going so far away... leaving all my friends behind.
One of the other women tells her that bowls just won't seem the same without her. Mrs. Mangel says sincerely:
MRS. MANGEL: I shall miss you all - my dear, dear friends.
HELEN: And we'll miss you too, Nell. [To Madge] *Won't* we.
Mrs. Mangel thanks Helen and then tells her:
MRS. MANGEL: You know, I've always admired you: so talented and such a good neighbour. Never a cross word between us.
A smile crosses Helen's face, and she thinks back to the confrontation she had with Mrs. Mangel on the bridge at Lassiter's over the portrait she painted of her! Mrs. Mangel then turns to Madge and tells her:
MRS. MANGEL: It means a great deal to see you here tonight, parting such good friends. Although we've had our little differences, we've always remained civil. I pride myself on that.
Madge thinks back to one of the many confrontations she had with Mrs. Mangel in the middle of the street as Harold and Henry looked on, ending with the two women striking each other with rolled- up newspapers! Madge smiles at Mrs. Mangel that Ramsay Street won't be the same without her! Jane pours some more punch and Madge remarks to Mrs. Mangel that it's not like her to have a second glass. Mrs. Mangel assures her that it's non- alcoholic; she never touches alcohol and has never had it in the house - not 'til Joe—. Madge interrupts and says:
HELEN (grins): *Hardly* ever...
Jane thinks back to the time she and Madge caught a drunken Harold and Mrs. Mangel dancing around the lounge room of No. 30 and ending up on top of each other on the couch! She then says:
JANE: I'd like to make a toast, if I may. To my nan: you've meant a lot to *all* of us - especially to me - and you deserve every bit of happiness you're going to get.
HELEN (raising her glass): To Nell.
MADGE: Hear hear.
As everyone joins in the toast, Mrs. Mangel sniffs happily:
MRS. MANGEL: So many wonderful memories...
The buck's night is underway at Des's. Joe, Des, Paul, Reverend Sampson, John and another man are all sitting around in silence! Joe suggests another beer, but John declines. The man sitting next to him turns the offer down as well, saying it wouldn't do for John's best man to drop the ring in the morning! Des says to the man:
DES: I suppose it's not the *first* time you've been best man, Mr. Spencer?
MR. SPENCER: Oh, Charles, please. Actually, it *is*. I don't mind, though. We've been through a fair bit together, haven't we, John?
John smiles that they certainly have. He then explains to the others that he and Charles met up at college, both studying for the dental profession. Joe grins:
JOE: Few false choppers under the bridge since then, eh?
Reverend Sampson sits there looking puzzled. The joke eventually dawns on him, though, and Joe smiles:
JOE: There you go, Rev, that's the way!
Des looks at his watch and comments that they don't want to make it too late a night. Joe tells him that they've still got a bar full of grog. Reverend Sampson, however, stands up, saying:
REVEREND SAMPSON: Nevertheless, early to bed and early to rise, as they say.
He heads to the door. John tells Joe that he and Charles should be going too. Joe insists that the night's still young - and John's got to tell them about the trip to England or something. He adds:
JOE: I'm going to be your stepson tomorrow, and I want to get to know a bit more about you.
JOHN: Well... just a few minutes more, then.
JOE: That's it. Turn the music up, Dessie!
Des rolls his eyes. Paul grins at him!
Sharon is pinning the sleeve of a jacket Jessie's wearing. Mike and Nick come in and Mike asks how the sewing circle's going. Sharon asks Jessie what she reckons, but she says:
JESSIE: It feels funny - I mean me in your jacket.
Bronwyn insists that it looks great; she'll sew it up and Jessie can wear it home. Jessie takes off the jacket and hands it to Bronwyn. She then realises the time, though, and asks why someone didn't tell her: her mum and dad will be mad - they get really worried. She puts her right hand to her left wrist and rubs it. Mike watches her and then tells her that he could give her a lift if she likes. Jessie says uncertainly:
JESSIE: On your bike?
MIKE: Well, it'd be quicker.
Jessie thanks him and dashes out. Mike follows her.
Jane is standing with Madge in one corner of the lounge room when Helen walks up and comments that it's wonderful punch. Jane grins:
JANE: Yes, er, nan's special recipe - with just 'that much' sherry in it...!!!!
Across the room, the two ladies from the bowling club give Mrs. Mangel their best wishes. One of them tells her that she hopes nothing goes wrong tomorrow. Mrs. Mangel smiles:
MRS. MANGEL: I'm sure it won't - I feel so happy.
HELEN (murmurs): It must be the sherry!
The women all leave as Joe and John arrive home. Jane asks Joe how things went across the road, but he sighs that it was the first buck's turn he's been to where he's come home stone- cold sober! Mrs. Mangel comes back in from seeing her guests out, with tears welling in her eyes. John puts his arm round her and soothes:
JOHN: There, there, Nell.
MRS. MANGEL (cries): I can't *help* it. Such good friends... such wonderful neighbours. I've been so lucky.
Jane murmurs to Joe:
JANE: It's the punch: I put a bit of sherry in it when she wasn't looking!
JOE (grins): You little terror!
The two of them leave the room. John sits down with Mrs. Mangel on the couch and says:
JOHN: I promise you it'll be a *good* life, Nell. I'll do my very best to make you happy.
MRS. MANGEL: How lucky I am to be marrying you... and to think I could have spent the rest of my life here, just growing older and more lonely. I'm very proud that I'm going to be your wife tomorrow, John.
John gives her a loving kiss on the cheek.
Des is clearing up after the buck's party when Mike comes in with Jessie and tells her to take a seat while he grabs his keys and stuff. He then asks Des how the buck's party was. Des muses:
DES: A real ripper. Hope you had more fun at No. 30.
JESSIE: Yeah... it wasn't bad.
She calls to Mike to hurry him up, but he tells her that he can't find his keys. Des heads off to bed. Jessie suggests that maybe she'd better walk - but at that moment Mike finds his keys and she says quickly:
JESSIE: Great - let's go.
Mike, however, tells her to hang on a sec. Jessie turns to him and asks:
JESSIE: What for?
MIKE: Listen - what really happened there?
He indicates the bruise on her face.
JESSIE: Look, I told you: the front door. I wasn't looking and I walked into it.
MIKE: The front door, huh?
MIKE: At the dinner, you told me it was the *kitchen* door.
JESSIE: What's the difference?
MIKE: Look, Jessie, when I was a kid, my father used to bash me up, right? I was just like you: I used to try and cover it up and pretend it wasn't really happening.
JESSIE (insists): My father doesn't *do* that.
MIKE: Come on, I know the signs. Why lie? I'm just trying to help you.
JESSIE: He *doesn't*. Anyway, it's none of your business.
With that, she heads to the front door. Mile asks her if she wants a lift or *not*. She tells him tersely:
JESSIE: No I don't. I just want to get home. Sorry - I'm better off on my own.
With that, she walks out. As Mike closes the front door behind her, he looks worried.