Jim about to be attacked by Les Murdock, who's wielding a large wrench.
Todd and Nick walk into the workshop and see what's happening. Todd cries:
TODD: Watch out!
Murdock lunges at Jim and catches him on the back of the head. Jim falls to the floor and Nick tells Todd to look after him. Murdock runs out and climbs into a ute. He roars off. Nick looks at Jim's car, climbs in and starts driving after him.
Hilary is coughing as she talks on the 'phone to Des, telling him firmly that completing her tax form has always been a *simple* task - but her affairs have become rather complex, and when matters are pressing, she calls in an expert. She asks him what his charges are. She listens and remarks that that sounds rather exorbitant - but if that's his fee, she won't quibble. Sharon dashes over to Hilary as she hangs up, and says:
SHARON: I bought some new earrings yesterday and I can't find them.
Hilary goes and picks up the earrings from on top of the piano, saying she found them on the kitchen table. She adds that they're rather nice - so she expects Sharon is going out with Nick tonight...? Sharon, however, explains that she just bought them because she likes them. Over on the couch, Matt takes off his headphones and smiles that the band he's listening to blows your mind! Hilary rolls her eyes and mutters:
HILARY: I don't know *where* he gets it from...
She then asks Matt and Sharon if they'd like to go and see a film at the cinema, as they've both been behaving so well recently. Matt smiles:
MATT: You wouldn't be trying to get us out of the house, would you, Hilary?!
SHARON: Yes, Hilary, what's going on?!
HILARY (tersely): Do you want to see a film or don't you?
MATT: I was just thinking of lounging around in my jocks, watching television!
HILARY (chastises): Matthew!
SHARON: Yeah, and I thought I might clean my room out - it just about needs it again!
MATT (grins): Looks like it's just the three of us!
Hilary sighs that it's none of their business, but she's having a friend to dinner. Matt asks *which* friend, but Hilary ignores this and says it's just a pleasant social evening: dinner and a chat. Matt asks what the big secret is, then. Hilary gives in and admits that her guest is Mr. Muir. Matt laughs:
MATT: Mr. Muir is coming here for dinner?!
SHARON: Dinner for four - it sounds wonderful!
HILARY (hesitantly): Yes, well, as long as you're sure you won't both be bored.
Matt then tells Hilary that they don't *really* mind going out. Sharon adds that they'll even help with dinner. Matt nods:
MATT: And then we'll go out and leave you two lovebirds to it!
HILARY (curtly): That is enough of that, Matthew - and if you dare say such a thing to Mr. Muir, I'll have your head on a plate. Do you understand?
Matt assures Hilary that he wouldn't do that to her. With that, she heads off to do something about her cough. When she's gone, Sharon smiles at Matt:
SHARON: How would you feel if you got old Muir as your stepfather?!
MATT (grimly): What would it be like being at school 24 hours a day?
Les Murdock has to pull up at a red traffic light. Nick pulls up several cars behind him and looks out of the window at Murdock's ute up ahead. The lights change to green and the cars pull away again.
Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Jane is working when Joe comes in and asks her what she'd say if a good-looking bloke walked ten blocks to return a lost wallet. He holds out such a wallet and Jane takes it, smiling that she didn't even know it was missing! Joe tells her that she left it on the coffee table this morning and he thought she might need it. He then goes on:
JOE: Seeing I've solved *your* little problem, you might be able to solve *my* little problem.
JANE (suspiciously): And what's *that*?
JOE: Well, Kerry's got one of these animal liberation meetings tonight, and I was wondering what time you're going to be home.
JANE: So I can cook you dinner...?
JOE: Oh, a man's gotta eat, Jane. It's Newton's first law of science: man squared's gotta eat over x cubed...!
Jane, however, says she's sorry but she's going straight to Des's after work. Joe exclaims that Des is going to have her for his whole life; surely he can spare her for an hour to look after her lonely uncle?! Jane suggests he get takeaway or cook something himself. Joe pleads with her, but Jane says she's sorry. She offers to give him the address of a takeaway pizza place. Joe, however, holds up his hands and tells her to forget it. Changing the subject, he indicates the office and asks how the boy wonder is. Jane sighs:
JANE: Things are still pretty strained. It would be a lot better if they found those cars - although I don't like the chance of *that* happening...
Les Murdock roars down a street in his ute. Nick is still following and he watches as Murdock pulls into a driveway. Nick then leaps out of Jim's car, goes to a nearby public 'phone box and calls the emergency number. When it's answered, he says:
NICK: Yeah, I want the police. It's urgent. I want to report a crime.
The front door opens and Jim, Helen and Todd come in, Helen saying to Jim in concern that she's jolly glad they *did* catch Murdock. She adds that she's glad Beverly thoroughly checked him out. She tells him to sit down, but Jim reminds her that Beverly said it's a superficial wound and there should be no permanent damage. Helen tells him that he's been very lucky. Jim exclaims:
JIM: I can't believe Les Murdock was involved, though: he's been in the trade for so *long*. Must have financial difficulties.
HELEN: Or else greed took over.
The 'phone starts ringing suddenly and Todd says he'll get it. He answers and Nick comes on. Todd asks him if there's any news. He listens and then says Jim is fine: just a bump on the head. He listens again and hangs up. He then says to Jim and Helen:
TODD: That was Nick calling from the cop shop. They just picked up Les Murdock at his house.
HELEN (happily): Really?
TODD: Yeah. And they reckon they'll pick up that other guy for sure. And all the other cars were behind the panel shop.
JIM: They recovered *everything*?
TODD: Yeah, classic, eh? Nick was *great* following that bloke!
Helen asks how Nick followed Murdock if Murdock took off in Jim's car. Todd, however, explains that Murdock had his *own* car; Nick took off in Jim's. Jim exclaims that Nick hasn't got a licence...
Des opens the front door to find Hilary standing on the step. She's holding a box file, and she tells him that she's brought over her tax papers. Des invites her in. She coughs several times as they go and sit down. She tells him that everything he needs is in the file: chequebooks and deposit stubs, various receipts for deductible expenses and bank statements to June 30th. Des remarks:
DES: I'm grateful for your business, but by the look of it you don't need me at *all*.
HILARY: Well, probably not. Of course, I've always done it myself in the past, but this year, what with taking my superannuation and working part-time in the Coffee Shop, it simply got too complicated, so I thought: 'Hilary, put it all in the hands of an expert'.
She adds that she only hopes Des can get her a refund that justifies his charges! She then says tersely that her financial affairs *must* remain confidential - even from Jane. Des nods that that goes without saying. Hilary coughs again and says she must go and take some more medicine. Des muses:
DES: Yeah, you sound like an old dog!
HILARY (primly): I shall overlook that remark.
With that, she heads out, still coughing. Des closes the door and comments to Jamie, who's sitting on the floor by the couch, that Hilary's going to go over his work with a microscope; if he makes one mistake, she'll tell everybody he's useless; it's like playing cricket with a hand grenade!
Jim is sitting on the couch when Nick runs in and beams:
NICK: Make way for Dirty Harry! Are you feeling lucky, punk? Go ahead: make my day!
Todd runs over to him and asks eagerly what happened. Nick explains about how Les Murdock was driving and he was following. Helen comes in as Jim says:
JIM: On a public road?
HELEN: You don't have a licence.
NICK: Yeah, but in the circumstancesó
JIM: I'm sorry, mate. You don't know how to drive a car properly.
Nick explains that his nan used to have these friends in the country: he used to drive trucks and tractors around their farm all the time. Helen sighs that that's not the same as *city* traffic. Nick demands:
NICK: What should I have done? Let him get away?
JIM: Who says he would have *got* away? We knew who he was. The police would've nailed him anyway. I'm sorry, mate, but the truth is you put your own life at risk *and* the lives of other people.
Jim goes on that he's grateful for what Nick did in the panel shop, but what he did afterwards is just not on. Helen adds:
HELEN: I'm afraid Jim's right, Nick.
Nick stands there looking disappointed.
Sharon is in the kitchen with Hilary, suggesting she make garlic bread, but Hilary declines, saying garlic is not the most aromatic fragrance, especially at a quiet dinner party. She coughs as Sharon asks her if she's really rapt in Mr. Muir. Hilary remarks:
HILARY: You make the gentleman sound like a sheet of newspaper!
She goes on that she most certainly is not 'rapt' in the gentleman, but she admires his intellect and considers him a good friend. Sharon comments that that isn't very romantic. Hilary just retorts:
HILARY: Hard though it may be for you young people to believe, there *can* be more to a relationship than physical attraction.
HILARY: Sharon, when you're older, you'll realise that *intellectual* rapport can be very stimulating.
SHARON (aghast): Does that mean I'll go out with guys like Muir? Ew!
Matt comes in, holding up a couple of shirts, and asks which one he should wear for serving dinner. Hilary queries what he means and Matt explains that he and Sharon figured that they could give this act a bit of class - so what they're going to do is dress up, serve the dinner and then disappear, like in an expensive restaurant. Hilary smiles in surprise:
HILARY: Wouldn't Kenneth think that a little pretentious?
MATT: I don't see why, no. Anyway, it'll show what we could do if we really try.
Hilary warns Matt and Sharon that they'd both have to be on their best behaviour. Matt assures her that they will be. Sharon insists that they really do want the dinner to be nice. With that, Hilary picks a shirt for Matthew to wear. She then tells him and Sharon that they're both being very selfless about this and she does appreciate it. She coughs again and goes and pours herself some medicine.
Des has laid Hilary's papers out over the coffee table. He takes a paperclip off a pile of receipts as Jane emerges from the bedroom with Jamie and sits down on the couch with him. Des sighs at Jane that Hilary has got a special category for about each individual receipt; talk about efficient! Jane asks how it's going and Des comments that he feels guilty taking money off her. There's suddenly a knock at the front door and Des gets up to open it. He finds Joe standing on the step. Joe tells Des quickly that he's got a real bargain and thought he'd front him up first. With that, he holds up Cujo and says:
JOE: That's no garden gnome, mate - that's a genuine pedigree mongrel! Combined guard dog and children's playmate!
DES (warily): Does this translate to 'you've got a dog for sale'?
JOE: Oh, not entirely, mate, not entirely, 'cos this isn't *any* dog: it's a special bonsai version, see, so if it sits on one of your kids it won't flatten it!
Jane puts Jamie down and joins Des and Joe at the door, telling Joe that she really doesn't think Des wants a dog. Joe tells Des that *every* house needs a dog. Jane, however, pushes him out, saying:
JANE: Thanks but no thanks, Joe. Bye!
She closes the door and Des says he'll get back to work. The two of them turn to the coffee table - where Jamie has been busy with Hilary's receipts and papers, which are now scattered all over the floor!
A short time later, Jane is making some tea as Des remarks that at least Jamie didn't swallow a paper clip. Jane says glumly that she shouldn't have just dumped him down like that. Des, however, insists that she wasn't to know: kids that age move like greased lightning. Jane says she should *know* these things; this is all so new to her; she feels incompetent. Des assures her:
DES: Jane... you know, I love you just the way you are.
JANE: Incompetent and all?
DES: Incompetent and all!
Des then asks where he starts: Hilary's had men *executed* for less than messing up her piles of paper!
Nick is sitting at the kitchen table, looking glum. Helen is working in the kitchen and Nick asks her:
NICK: Do you *really* think I did the wrong thing going after that guy?
HELEN: I'm afraid I do, Nick. I know it was a spur of the moment decision and you were very brave, but you *did* endanger lives.
NICK (murmurs): Maybe you're right.
Jim comes in and declares that his headache's gone: he's as fit as a fiddle! Helen says she's been thinking: why don't they invite Matt for dinner one evening? Jim nods that it would be a nice, neighbourly gesture. Helen, however, says it's *more* than that: he's one of the family now, and they haven't really done anything to welcome him. Jim nods that he's sure he'll appreciate the gesture. Nick gets up and heads through to the lounge room as the 'phone starts ringing. Jim goes to answer it. He listens and then says:
JIM: G'day, Scott! ... What do you mean? How bad? ... But you're both all right? ... That's the main thing, son. What about insurance? ... Well, if you need a hand, let usó. ... Yeah, keep us informed. Bye.
With that, Jim hangs up. He turns to Helen and tells her:
JIM: A truck failed to take a bend, ran off the road and demolished the front two rooms of their house.
HELEN (gasps): Where were they when it happened?
JIM: At the movie theatre, thank heavens.
HELEN: They must have been *horrified* when they got home.
JIM: They're both all right, that's the main thing.
HELEN (remarks): You mentioned insurance.
JIM: Ah, well, in that regard they're not quite so lucky. I mean, they've got insurance, but not enough to cover the cost, so Scott's going to have to do some of the work himself - but he says it's all in hand.
Out in the lounge room, Nick is lying on the couch. He doesn't look happy.
Hilary is singing the Major-General's Song from 'The Pirates of Penzance' as she potters around the kitchen, preparing dinner. She opens the bottle of medicine as Sharon comes in and asks her if her cough's any better. Hilary replies that it seems to be improving, but she thought she'd make sure. Sharon checks the food in the oven, but Hilary, sounding slightly drunk(!), says:
HILARY: I've already done that, Sharon, and I must say it looks very tasty.
SHARON (remarks): *You're* in a very good mood!
HILARY: Ah, well, intelligent company *always* has that effect!
SHARON: Oh, thank you!
Matt comes in and tells Hilary that Mr. Muir's going to be there in an hour - she'd better get changed. Hilary, however, insists that it won't take her that long to get ready. She heads off to have a shower, taking the bottle of medicine with her and still singing! When she's gone, Matt remarks to Sharon:
MATT: That is the best mood that I have ever seen her in!
SHARON: Well - maybe she's falling in love!
MATT (frowns): With Kenneth Muir?
SHARON: How *else* can you explain it?!
Jim is in the kitchen with Helen, telling her that he's been thinking about Scott and Charlene, and he might go up to Brisbane, as if they have to rebuild the house they're going to need all the help they can get. Todd comes in through the back door and heads through to the lounge room, where Nick is sitting on the couch, still looking upset. Todd smiles:
TODD: G'day, Nick, what's up?
NICK (mutters): What do *you* reckon?
TODD: *I* reckon you were *great*!
NICK (coolly): Yeah, that's what I *thought*, but no matter what I try to do, I just spin out, even when I try to do something good.
TODD: I don't reckon it's fair what they're saying.
NICK: Yeah, well, all I know is that Matt's the golden-haired boy. They're even putting on a special dinner 'cos he's one of the family.
TODD: Matt's OK!
NICK: I'm not saying he's *not*; all I know is he's the golden-haired boy. He's even got a *reason* for being slow at school: he can't read properly. But *me*: I'm just dumb...
Sharon and Matt have set up and laid a table in the lounge room. Hilary comes in, wearing a long blue dress, and Sharon smiles:
SHARON: Hey, very Gucci! Woo!
HILARY (slurring her words slightly): Well, if that means 'smart', I accept the compliment. I *do* feel rather chic!
Hilary then holds the bottle of medicine up to the light and comments that it's nearly gone. She puts the bottle to her mouth and swigs down the remaining contents, slurring that that's very nice; very nice indeed! She adds that she thinks a tour of the dinner is in order, and she walks through to the kitchen, singing the Major-General's Song again, but forgetting the words slightly. When she's gone, Matt says to Sharon:
MATT: If I didn't know better, I'd say she's been *drinking*.
SHARON: I know; she'só. Hang on a minute.
With that, Sharon picks up the empty bottle of medicine, looks at the label and exclaims:
SHARON: It's got alcohol in it!
MATT: The medicine!
SHARON: She's drunk the whole bottle!
MATT: Are you saying she's legless?
SHARON: Well, you just saw her. Are you saying she's *not*?
There's suddenly a knock on the front door. Matt tells Sharon that they can't let Muir see Hilary like this: he'll probably go straight home. Sharon asks how they're going to *stop* him. Hilary emerges from the kitchen and says in a slurred voice:
HILARY: The time has arrived: our honoured guest is here. [Trills] Coming, Kenneth!
Sharon and Matt look at each other in concern.