Nick is telling Helen that he was teased by his friends at the concert tonight about what a joke he is. Helen retorts that his friends don't know anything about art. Nick just snaps:
NICK: I made a mistake, OK? I'm not going in the exhibition; I don't want to be a big-time artist. I just want to be left alone.
There are birthday cards on the counter in the kitchen and Gail is talking to her father on the 'phone, thanking him and saying brightly that when she got up, Paul was in the shower, so they haven't had time for presents yet - although she's sure he's got something that she desperately needs but hasn't thought of! Rob then puts Gloria on. They chat and Gail hangs up just as Paul comes downstairs. He tells Gail that he's got to love her and leave her, as he's got to go to the office: his desk is a disaster zone. Looking disappointed, Gail asks him when he'll be home.
PAUL: Six, I suppose - after which how does a nice cosy dinner for two appeal, eh?
GAIL: Yes... What's the occasion?!
PAUL (smiles): Does there have to be a reason for me to want to spend a romantic evening with the woman I love?!
Paul then says:
PAUL: I don't suppose you, um, want to spend the day working with me?!
Gail reminds him that she's pregnant! Paul gives her a kiss and tells her that it'll have to keep her going 'til he gets home! He goes to the door. Gail follows him saying quickly:
GAIL: Let's not play games, eh?
Paul just looks at her blankly, though, and heads out. Gail stands there, looking puzzled.
Kerry opens the front door to Harold, who tells her that he's brought over a list of things Toby will need for his day with the cubs. They head into the lounge room and Kerry comments that Harold's a bit of a magician for getting Toby to go! She then asks more seriously what *Madge* will be up to tomorrow. Harold, however, shrugs that he has no idea what her plans are. Kerry tells him that it's time they sorted things out. Harold retorts that he's done everything he can, but Kerry asks:
KERRY: What about good old-fashioned romance?
HAROLD: What *about* good old-fashioned romance?
KERRY: Well... maybe she needs a bit of a reminder?
HAROLD (coolly): And how does one go about reviving romance, hm?
Jim is sitting at the kitchen table as Helen potters around in the kitchen. He tells her that he can't find the guy that Rob bought the spare parts for the workshop from. Helen asks if he wants to exchange them, but Jim explains that it's just a feeling he's got: he wants to be certain before he gives Paul the green light.
HELEN: So you've decided to go ahead with the partnership?
JIM: Well, we're under-capitalised. We either go forward or go under, simple as that.
There's a knock on the back door and Madge comes in. She tells Helen that she was on her way to work but wanted to find out how Nick reacted to the newspaper. Helen sighs that he was so angry that he smashed one of his best paintings and has withdrawn from the exhibition. Madge muses that he's certainly got the right temperament for an artist! Jim says *he* thinks Nick deserves a good kick in the backside - Helen went out of the way to help him. Helen, however, says it was her fault: she should have been there when the reporter was interviewing him; he *was* rather thrown to the lions. With that, Madge says she'd better get off. Helen says she'll come with her, as she wants to wish Gail a Happy Birthday. The two women head out and Jim goes to the 'phone. He dials a number and when it's answered asks for Sergeant Mooney. He's put through to Mooney and says:
JIM: Bill, I'm just trying to find out some things about stolen car parts. ... Oh, great, can I get a copy of that? ... Oh nothing: I've just been offered some parts, want to make sure they're legit, you know?
Gail opens the front door of No. 22 and Helen beams:
HELEN: Happy birthday!
She heads inside and hands Gail a large gift-wrapped box. Gail smiles that she wonders what it can be! Helen asks what *Paul* gave her, but Gail sighs that she and Paul are playing a little game:
GAIL: It's called 'Who'll crack first?' You see, neither of us want to mention the birthday, and right now he's at the office waiting for a pathetic 'phone call from his stricken wife asking if he's forgotten, and quite frankly I'm not going to give him the satisfaction.
HELEN: You young people do play intriguing games!
Gail opens the present from Helen to reveal a nursery intercom. She exclaims that it's fantastic! and she gives Helen a warm hug.
Joe is holding a penknife and he joins Mary in the lounge room, telling her that Toby's going to love it: it has two blades, a bottle opener, a corkscrew and a thing for getting stones out of a horse's hoof! Kerry comes in and says Toby's in the backyard again, talking to Rupert. Joe sighs:
JOE: Oh, that's a definite worry, a kid his age talking to a rabbit... I just hope this cubs thing helps him; snaps him out of it - although I don't know: Harold hangin' around's going from one bunny to another, isn't it!
KERRY (indignantly): That's my father you're talking about!
The doorbell rings suddenly and Joe goes to answer it. He finds Darryl Crombie on the step and he demands angrily to know what he wants. Darryl says he wants to speak to his mum; he doesn't want any trouble. Joe retorts that he *can't* speak to his mum, only *him*.
DARRYL: Look, she's my mother. I want to sort things out.
JOE: Yeah? Well, you sort 'em out with *me*.
Joe then calls to Kerry and a worried-looking Mary that he and Darryl are going out. He warns Darryl that this had better be good...
Helen and Nick are doing some washing-up and Helen raises the subject of last night. Nick, however, retorts that he's not going in the exhibition: he's made up his mind. Jim comes in with his golf clubs and asks Nick and Helen if they've sorted out their problems. Nick just mutters that they've worked it out. He heads off, leaving Jim to say to Helen:
JIM: No developments?
HELEN: No. He's made up his mind. It has to be his decision.
JIM (mutters): Time he woke up to himself.
Helen then comments to Jim that he seemed to think those car parts had fallen of the back of a truck: surely Rob wouldn't be involved in something like that? Jim replies that he wouldn't like to think so. Helen asks if they've discussed it. Jim, however, points out that Rob would blow his stack and spit the dummy; say he was accusing him of receiving stolen goods or something; there wouldn't be much rational conversation. Helen asks Jim what he'll do. Jim tells her that the police say they've got a list of the stolen consignment, so he'll get a copy of that while he's out. He then goes on:
JIM: They said something else: they reckon they're about to start a blitz on all the local garages, so unless I sort it out fairly quickly, we could be in big trouble.
Mary sits down with Kerry on the couch in the lounge room and sighs:
MARY: I must've done something wrong... done something to make him resent me.
Kerry puts her arms round Mary and insists that it's not *her* fault. The front door opens and Joe and Darryl come in. Joe says awkwardly:
JOE: We've talked everything through and there's some changes you should know about. Darryl's wife... they've split up: she's gone.
Darryl stares at his mother and murmurs:
DARRYL: Mum, I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.
Mary walks over to him and Darryl puts his arms around her. He tells her that he wouldn't blame her if she didn't forgive him. Mary, however, insists that he's not a bad person, but he's easily led and his wife was a bad influence. Kerry ask Darryl how come his wife *left*. Darryl explains that they had a big argument - *three or four* big arguments - and she went. He then says to Mary:
DARRYL: Shall I take you home, mum? Is that what you want?
DARRYL: If that's what you'd like.
MARY: Well, I'd like to stay one more night. I'll cook dinner for Kerry and Joe and me little mate, Toby, just by way of saying thank you.
Kerry tells Mary that she doesn't have to feel pressured: if she wants to stay, she's more than welcome. Mary, however, replies that it's not that she hasn't enjoyed every minute, but it's not her own home. She then tells Darryl to sit down while she makes a cup of tea. She adds happily:
MARY: It's such a relief to have everything sorted out.
It's evening time. Harold is lighting two candles on the kitchen table. Madge emerges from her bedroom and sighs at Harold that he should have woken her: that book was so boring, she just nodded off. She then notices the candles and tells Harold that he shouldn't've. Harold smiles that dinner is almost ready. He invites her to sit down. Madge tells him that this really wasn't necessary. Harold, however, insists that he *wanted* to do it. He goes to get the first course. Madge sits there looking slightly uncomfortable.
Gail is sitting reading. She sighs heavily at the fact that she's still on her own. The front door opens suddenly and Paul arrives home finally, muttering that he doesn't want too many more days like *that* one. He sits down and, looking at his watch, comments that he's done a twelve-hour day and he's not even on overtime! Gail remarks that the man owns the business! Paul, however, reminds her:
PAUL: The *bank* owns the business; well, the bank and Hilary. *I* just own a hunk of debt.
GAIL: Which means we should get rid of some of the said debt before we start any new investments, hey?
Paul groans at Gail that he doesn't want to get into all that again - and besides, he's got something for her. He goes and gives her a kiss and smiles that coming home to her makes it all worthwhile. Gail's face drops at the fact that there's nothing *more* than that. She asks Paul if he wants some dinner, but he tells her that he had a snack at the office. He goes on:
PAUL: Listen, I hate to be a wet blanket, but I'm really beat. I'm going to flake - but you know what?
PAUL: Before I do...
PAUL: I, Paul Robinson, solemnly swear that tomorrow being Sunday I will not go into the office. In fact, I will spend the entire day devoted to you. Now, don't say I never look after you. Night!
With that, Paul heads off to bed. Gail remains on the couch, tears beginning to well-up in her eyes...
Madge tells Harold that the meal really was lovely. Harold smiles:
HAROLD: Food fit for royalty, eh?
MADGE: Huh! I'm hardly *dressed* like royalty, am I?!
HAROLD: To *me* you are.
Madge smiles weakly and tells Harold that she's sorry things have been the way they have. Harold suggests that perhaps they've turned the corner. He goes to get dessert, asking Madge as he does so if she knows where the silver cake slice is. Madge says she thinks it's in the dresser drawer, and she gets up and goes to have a look. She opens the drawer and finds a stopwatch inside. She lifts it out and asks Harold in surprise what it's doing there. Harold explains nervously that he used it when he was training for the Walkathon.
MADGE: You needn't have gone and bought one - Henry's got one lying around somewhere.
HAROLD: Actually, Robyn bought it for me.
MADGE (sharply): *Robyn* bought it for you...
HAROLD: A simple gift, Madge, nothing more.
MADGE (demands): Why didn't you mention it? *Why*, Harold? I'll tell you why: because you know damn well you had no right to *accept* a gift like that.
HAROLD (indignantly): Why not? If my friendship with Robyn was totally innocent - which it was - friends do buy presents for each other. How many times do I have to tell you nothing happened—
MADGE: Yeah, but but you *wanted* it to—
HAROLD (his voice rising): I stood by our principles and by our marriage. Look, there was a time then when I felt that you had every right to feel the way that you do, but as time goes by, well, you're just acting unfairly. You're making something out of nothing.
MADGE (cries): The way I am feeling is perfectly *natural*. It's the way that I feel and I can't *help* that.
HAROLD (angrily): Yes, well I feel sick and tired of the *whole situation*.
With that, Harold throws down the cake he's holding onto the table, furiously. Madge cries out in horror. Harold goes on:
HAROLD: That's enough, Madge. When I'm gone tomorrow, I want you to have a long, hard think about us and about everything - because I can't go on like this anymore.
With that, Harold marches off to the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.
Nick is sitting watching TV. Jim joins him from the kitchen and asks if they can have a word. He turns the TV off and tells Nick that Helen's gone to a lot of trouble for him because she thinks he has talent. Nick looks away. Jim goes on:
JIM: Have you thought about *this* aspect? If you pull out, you're going to embarrass both the gallery and Helen. The brochures have been printed... publicity sent out... people have been notified... Helen's going to look a fool. It could jeopardise her standing: have you thought about *that*?
Nick admits that he hasn't. Jim continues that Nick's the last person that he would've expected to kowtow to his mates. Nick says he guesses he just got mad: everything happened at once. Helen emerges from the bedroom area and Jim tells her that Nick's got something he wants to say to her.
NICK: It's about the exhibition. I guess I went off my face, and I'm really, really sorry. Do you think it's still a goer?
HELEN (smiling in relief): If that's what you want. I must admit, I haven't had the courage to face them to cancel.
Helen gives Nick a hug of delight. Nick says he'll be out in the garage, and he heads out. When he's gone, Helen asks Jim if *he's* responsible for this. Jim smiles that problem-solving's his specialty! Changing the subject, Helen asks him if he got the list from the police station. Jim nods that he did: he's going to go to the workshop in the morning and go through all the spare parts. He adds:
JIM: She'll be right - with luck...
The next morning, Kerry and Joe emerge from No. 32 with Mary and Darryl. Kerry is telling Mary that she wants her to keep in touch, and they're going to come and visit - often. Darryl assures everyone that his mum will be well looked after. Mary tells Joe that she gave Toby a big hug when he left for cubs. She then kisses Joe and Kerry goodbye and climbs into Darryl's car. Darryl starts the engine and reverses down the driveway. As he does so, Kerry smiles at Joe that she's very proud of the way he handled that.
Gail is sitting at the dining table with her breakfast, still looking upset. Paul bounds downstairs and smiles at her that he slept like a log, and he asks her what she wants to do today. Gail mutters that she hadn't really thought about it. Paul frowns:
PAUL: You OK?
GAIL: Sure. Coffee's there.
Paul heads over to the kitchen, where he finally spots the birthday cards set out on the counter. A look of horror crosses his face as realisation dawns. He says sincerely:
PAUL: Gail, I'm *sorry*.
PAUL: Your birthday.
GAIL (shrugs): It's no big deal.
PAUL: Of *course* it's a big deal. I forgot your birthday. OK, I was overwhelmed at work, but that's no excuse, is it?
He asks Gail why she didn't remind him, but she retorts:
GAIL: Is that up to *me*?
PAUL (admits): No, of course not. Oh, Gail, I'm sorry. You must be furious.
GAIL (shrugs): Look, you had a lot on your mind. Don't worry about it.
PAUL: Will you do me a favour: will you get mad at me? I mean, throw something, anything at all - I don't care. I forgot your birthday because of the business.
GAIL: Look, it's over; it doesn't matter.
PAUL: Of *course* it matters. Look, stop being so reasonable. I'll tell you what: I'll buy you something really extravagant, eh? Anything--
GAIL (tersely): Paul, my birthday's over. It's too late, now, but it's quite all right, OK? It's fine; don't worry about it.
With that, Gail gets up from the table and walks off. Paul sighs heavily.
Jim comes in through the back door and Helen - who's sitting at the kitchen table - asks him if he's been to the workshop. He nods that he's checked all the new parts and there *are* items there on the police list. Helen asks him if he thinks Rob knows. Jim shrugs that with things like this it's always a grey area - although it's hard to believe that he didn't have some sort of an inkling. Helen asks him what he's going do to.
JIM: Well, I'll talk to him - but you know what a short fuse he's got; there's bound to be a blow-up. But whatever he says, I *am* taking this to the police - and from there, lord knows *what* will happen...
Helen sits there looking worried.