Paul and Gail arguing about Paul having bribed a public official.
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Gail insists angrily:
GAIL: Paul, there's got to be *something* we can do, because *I* really don't want to be involved in something like this. The cheque can still be stopped at the bank.
Paul doesn't respond. Gail snaps:
GAIL: If you're found out, you'll go to jail, and then we're going to lose everything that we've ever wanted
PAUL: Look, we stood to lose everything anyway. I didn't have any choice.
GAIL: You *did*. What you did was *wrong*: can't you *see* that?
PAUL: No. No. I just greased somebody's palm a little. Kevin has had dealings with the man before, so there's not a lot of chance of being found out.
GAIL (irritatedly): Next you'll be telling me that that's the way business works and *everybody* does it.
PAUL: They *do*.
GAIL (retorts): Well not *us*. Now, you'd better understand that if you go ahead with this, I'm going to lose all respect for you - and if I can't respect you, then I'm not going to be able to love you and I really can't bear the thought of that happening.
PAUL (cries): I'm sorry, Gail, I'm sorry: I don't like what I'm doing either, but I'm just so damned desperate at the moment.
GAIL: Will you just please try and stop that cheque? We'll work out another way to save ourselves.
PAUL: And what if we can't?
GAIL: We will. We've gone this far without stooping to dirty tricks, so let's not start now.
Paul stares at Gail for several seconds before sighing that she's right: he shouldn't even have considered it. He picks up the 'phone to ring the bank.
Mike is waiting impatiently for his mother to arrive. He's pacing the room and Des sighs that Mike is making him edgy. He adds that Barbara is flying all the way from Fiji to spend Mike's birthday with him, and if that doesn't mean something, he doesn't know what does.
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul is pacing the office floor. Gail, sitting opposite Paul's desk, asks if the bank is going to ring back. Paul nods that they'll call just as soon as they've stopped the cheque - but his main concern at the moment is how *Kevin's* going to react. Gail demands angrily to know why he's so concerned about *Kevin*; they should give him two weeks' pay in lieu of notice and then he'll no longer work for them. The 'phone starts ringing and Paul grabs it. He listens and says:
PAUL: Yep, that's right. ... You sure? ... There's been no mistake at all? ... No, that's all right. Thanks for your trouble.
He hangs up and tells Gail that the cheque has already been cashed. Gail exclaims that Kevin only left there half an hour ago. Paul shrugs that he guesses that sort of money is cashed before it *can* be taken back. Gail asks despondently what they're going to do now. Paul suggests he get over to Elliott Park and tell them the deal's off. Gail glumly wishes him luck.
Joe is lying back on the couch as Toby and Katie play in the lounge room, making a mess. Jane comes in and mutters at Joe that he said he was going to keep the house *tidy*. Joe snaps at her that it's *his* mess so she can leave it where it is. Kerry comes in and Jane suggests to the kids that they go outside and play with a frisbee. Left alone with Joe, Kerry tells him that she knows she's been giving him a bit of a hard time lately because she hasn't been able to make up her mind about them, but she's got a suggestion - well, her father's suggestion, actually: a three-month trial period: they still go on seeing each other, but Joe doesn't pressure her about marriage or moving in with him; and then at the end of that period, if they still feel the same way, they get married. Joe listens and then grins:
JOE: Well what do you know? Your old man's finally come up with a good idea!
KERRY: Then it's all right with you?
JOE: It suits me down to the ground - especially if you say 'yes' at the end of it!
Kerry murmurs that she can't promise that - and she couldn't marry anyone who's a slob... Joe quickly starts tidying up! He then tells Kerry that he wants the best for her, and if she wants him to be Mr. Clean, that's what he'll be!
Mike is still waiting for his mother, and he asks Des what he's going to say to her when she gets there. Des tells him to just relax; be himself; see how she responds. A car pulls up outside and Mike exclaims that she's there! Des tells him to go to the door and give her a hand with her luggage. Mike, though, finds he can't move! Des goes to the door as the bell chimes, and he opens it. Barbara Young shakes his hand and asks if Mike is home, as she's dying to see him! Des indicates Mike and Mrs. Young runs in and gives him a hug, exclaiming that he's so handsome! Mike thanks her for coming, adding that it was really nice of her. Mrs. Young, however, exclaims:
MRS. YOUNG: Nice?! It was nothing of the kind! Wild horses wouldn't've kept me away from my only son's 21st birthday.
MIKE (looking relieved): Really?
MRS. YOUNG (sincerely): Really.
Sometime later, everyone is seated in the lounge area and Des asks Mrs. Young if she'd like to stay for dinner. She replies that she'd love to if it wouldn't put them out. She then adds that in all the hurry to get there, she didn't even think about booking a room... Mike suggests that he could sleep on the couch and his mother could sleep in *his* room. Mrs. Young smiles that it's lovely to get such a warm welcome. Des suggests that she pay them back my telling them all about her travels. Mrs. Young, however, says:
MRS. YOUNG: Actually, I've had a lot of fun, but you do get sick living out of suitcases. [Turning to Mike] And now that I'm back for your birthday, I think I'll stay put in Australia for a while. Would you like that?
MIKE (happily): Yeah, of course I would!
MRS. YOUNG: Because I've been away an awfully long time, and you and I have got a lot of catching-up to do, haven't we?
MIKE (grins): Yeah, we sure have!
Jane, Katie and Toby are playing with a frisbee out in the street. Gail approaches Jane awkwardly and asks if she's still talking to her. Jane smiles that of course she is. Gail, however, muses that she shouldn't be: she feels really terrible about Paul letting Jane go like that. Jane insists that it isn't Gail's fault; she just has to get on with her life. Gail asks if they're still friends. Jane nods that they are, and she repeats that she doesn't blame Gail.
Joe and Kerry are holding each other in their arms, Joe smiling that he's going to be clean and tidy, gleaming and glowing, spotless and shiny, spic and span and fresh and hygienic...!!! Kerry warns him not to overdo it!
JOE: 'You can't overdo what is next to Godliness.' That's what mum said to me, and I'm nothing if I'm not a chip off the old block!
They kiss and Kerry then heads off. Joe walks back into the lounge room and looks at the mess he's got to tackle! A speeded-up sequence shows Joe tackling the tidying, vacuuming and dusting and him collapsing on the couch when he's finished! Back in normal motion, Toby and Katie come in and Joe demands to know if they wiped their feet! He then stands up and announces that he's got to see some blokes about a beer, and he reads out the rules that the kids have to comply with while they've gone. He heads out, and Toby asks Katie what she wants to do. He suggests he get out his magic kit and show her some tricks. Katie doesn't look impressed, but shrugs that it's better than doing nothing!
Sitting on the couch, Mrs. Young is telling Mike that she was a bit nervous about being in Fiji what with the coup and everything, but she needn't have been. She then smiles that she's missed him; she can't tell him how much. Over at the kitchen counter, Kerry comments to Des quietly that she doesn't know what Mike was worried about. Back on the couch, Mrs. Young says to Mike:
MRS. YOUNG: Have you any idea how awfully proud I am of you? Becoming a teacher's the sort of thing I always dreamed of for you. It's a real vocation - and it must pay well, too.
MIKE: I don't know about *that*, but at least I've got a little bit of money left over after I've paid the bills. I'm thinking of doing some after-hours tuition, as well.
Mrs. Young smiles that she envies him: she's never been trained for anything except being a wife, and that pays terribly! Mike points out that at least his dad left her some money: all that travelling she's done must have cost a fortune. Mrs. Young suggests quickly that they don't talk about that, and she changes the subject and asks if Mike has any photos he can show her. Mike heads off to his bedroom. When he's gone, Des calls over from the counter:
DES: You know what? I reckon you're about the best thing that's happened to Mike in ages.
MRS. YOUNG (smiles): I hope so.
Paul arrives home and Gail asks him how he went. He retorts:
PAUL: Lousy. I spoke to the guy from the council and he said he didn't know anything about $10,000.
Looking surprised, Gail asks if he was telling the truth. Paul sighs that it was either that or he was the world's greatest actor - but he certainly didn't seem like somebody with something to hide.
GAIL: And Kevin?
PAUL (murmurs): He said he'd never *heard* of Kevin.
GAIL: And what does *he* say? Have you spoken to *him*?
PAUL: I tried to: I went round to his place and his flatmate said that he'd packed and left - with no forwarding address.
GAIL: And that was around four o'clock...?
PAUL (quietly): Yep. Shortly after he left the office with the cheque.
GAIL (sighs): So I don't even get the satisfaction of sacking him.
PAUL (grimly): No. He's gone and he's taken our money with him.
A while later, Paul is laying back on the couch while Gail sits at the desk saying she can't think of anything else short of calling the police. Paul, however, tells her that that would make things worse: he would have to incriminate himself in order to lay charges against Kevin. He goes on that he just wishes he hadn't got involved in this thing in the first place.
PAUL: What I *don't* understand is why Kevin *did* it - I mean, he had such a good future with us.
Gail, however, points out that they're in a mess: Kevin is an opportunist and he played his hand, won the stakes and decided to move on. Paul mutters that that's $10,000 more that they don't have now.
GAIL: Any ideas?
PAUL (glumly): Nope - not one.
Mike is showing his mother some photos in an album, including one of him as a much younger kid, one of Henry and one of Mike with Jenny. Des calls over that dinner will be ready in half an hour. Mike suggests that he go out and get a bottle of wine, and he picks up his motorcycle helmet and heads out. As he opens the door, Joe is about to knock. He steps inside and asks Kerry if she'll come over to his place, as there's something he wants her to see. The two of them leave. When they've gone, Mrs. Young remarks to Des that there seem to be quite a few pictures of Jenny in Mike's album, and she asks if she was a special girlfriend. Des remarks slightly awkwardly that he guesses she *was*.
MRS. YOUNG: Judging by these photos, Mike's got a lot of friends.
DES: Well, he's an easy guy to like!
MRS. YOUNG: I think so too - and I'm awfully glad he's had someone like *you* looking after him so well. I appreciate it, Des.
DES (looking embarrassed!): Do me best, you know?
MRS. YOUNG: It means I don't have to worry about him - not when he's got such a good home, a steady job and such a promising future. No... I don't have to worry at *all*...
Joe is standing behind Kerry with his hands over her eyes as the two of them enter No. 32. Kerry is giggling as Joe tells her that he said he was going to clean up his act andó. He breaks off as the two of them head into the lounge room, where Toby has spread his magic tricks all over the floor and couch! Joe tells Kerry that he cleaned up - he *swears* it; he wanted to show her how tidy he could be! Kerry assures him that she believes him, and she adds that it's OK for a house to look lived in; that's what makes it a *home*. Joe tells her sincerely:
JOE: That's what I want this place to be, eventually: our *home*.
He pulls Kerry to him and gives her a loving hug.
At the kitchen counter, Des tells Mrs. Young that he'll dish up dinner when Mike gets back. Mrs. Young remarks:
MRS. YOUNG: Not only a whizz at banking, but you're a good cook too!
Des, however, explains that he's given banking a miss for a while, taking long-service leave. Looking suddenly worried, Mrs. Young points out that Des was trustee of Mike's trust account, and she asks who's been looking after it. Des insists that *he* has.
MRS. YOUNG: Oh good - I was worried something had happened. You see, now Mike's turned 21 and clearly doesn't need it anymore, I'd like it back.
Des looks at Mrs. Young in astonishment and says:
MRS. YOUNG: It was only ever intended for emergencies while I was overseas - but now I can put it to good use. I'm only glad you rang to remind me of Mike's 21st birthday - I was getting to my wits' end about my finances.
DES (coolly): You mean the only reason you came back here was to get Mike's money?
MRS. YOUNG (indignantly): No, that's not the only reason.
DES: God... He thinks you've come back here because you *love* him. How's he going to react when he finds out the truth?
MRS. YOUNG (tersely): He'll be a lot more reasonable than *you*, I hope. I'm sure he'll cope.
DES (coldly): Just like he *always* has, eh?
MRS. YOUNG (retorts): He's a big boy now.
Neither of them notices Mike coming in the front door as Des raises his voice and snaps:
DES: There are *words* to describe people like you - only I don't use that sort of language in front of women. I just thank God you're not *my* mother.
Mike stares at the two of them and exclaims in horror:
MIKE: Des! What are you doing?
MRS. YOUNG: He's been saying I haven't been a very good mother to you - and it's *true*.
MIKE (angrily): No it's not. I know exactly how good you've been to me. Des, I won't let you speak to my mum like that, OK? So butt out.
Des stands there looking worried.