- Rick and Cody fake laryngitis, forcing Brett and Michael to take their places on the school debate team.
Helen asks Phil how his new PA is working out. He says Cheryl's settling down, but Helen tells him that Julie has regaled her with some gruesome stories of decisions being taken behind his back. She apologises to him, saying that she feels responsible for Cheryl's involvement in Lassiter's as she was the one who talked Cheryl into becoming a shareholder.
Cheryl bursts in and reveals that she's taking Mr Kawaji and his wife out to dinner. He came in to discuss his contract with Lassiter's and Cheryl decided to invite him out so she can soften him up. Phil is not impressed - Kawaji is a top tour operator who can tell when he's being conned. He tells her to add 2 more places to the booking - he and Julie will be joining them.
Cheryl chirpily departs to find something to wear! Phil is not happy, and clearly wants to cancel. Helen warns that it's a good thing he's going along - one evening with Cheryl could destroy his working relationship with Kawaji forever! There's more than that on Phil's mind though - it's his and Julie's anniversary, and he's supposed to be taking her out alone!
Julie is ironing her dress, and asking Debbie to stay around later to help her with her hair. She's clearly excited about her night with Philip, and says that she wants it to be so special! Michael and Brett enter, and Julie and Hannah leave.
Brett reveals that he and Michael are on the debating team. Debbie seems slightly sceptical that both Rick and Cody caught laryngitis from Lauren at the same time. Brett reckons they need to get together to write down some ideas. Michael thinks it's pointless - he won't be able to hack it and he's going to bomb out. He tells them to find a replacement, but Debbie points out that she can't find a replacement for her, let alone one for him.
Brett tries to gee Michael along, telling him that he's making his mark at school and that he'll gain everyone's respect if he does the debate. He tells him that they'll write everything down for him and he can go last. Brett asks him not to wimp out on them. Michael rolls his eyes - he's obviously not too convinced!
Lou is having a cuppa with Pam. He likes the quiet of the Willis household! He says that Lauren is fine, and Rick and Brett are sorting things out but Danni is the main worry. Pam thinks that Danni's diabetes might be to blame - it's a heavy load for a teenager to carry. Lou thinks that doesn't give her the right to behave how she wants - and thinks Cheryl makes too many allowances for her.
Pam suggests that Danni join a diabetes support group. She talks of one at the hospital where teenagers talk about their problems and socialise together, and Lou asks her to find Danni a place. As Pam is on the phone, Cody comes in feigning laryngitis. Pam is surprised that Cody's sick and Lou and Pam reckon that she'll have to go to the doctor.
Rick is putting music on (it's Bow River by Ian Moss) and talks to himself; his voice is clearly fine. Brett and Debbie enter and Rick turns the music down. Brett is telling Debbie that Michael will be fine once he gets over his nerves, but Debbie is clearly unconvinced. Brett goes off to get started on some notes. Debbie kicks off on Rick.
DEBBIE: So. How's the invalid?
RICK: (croakily) Terrible.
DEBBIE: Oh really?(!) Well, thanks a heap Rick! I didn't even want to be in this debate, now you've dumped me with Michael who's scared witless and Brett with his weird ideas! We'll be a freak show!
RICK: (croakily) You don't think I'm faking?
DEBBIE: Well, you were ok this morning.
Lou comes in looking for Danni. Rick tells him about his throat. Lou says that Cody's got the same - and mentions Lauren having it. He walks off. Rick thinks that proves his point to Debbie, who reluctantly accepts his illness.
Michael is sitting at the desk trying to make notes. Hannah is unintentionally being unhelpful, asking if he has to speak in front of the whole school! Phil comes in, and Julie is presented to him - the girls think she looks beautiful.
JULIE: Do you like it?
PHIL: Yeah. Kids, could you make yourself scarce for a moment?
They all leave, and Phil doesn't say quite what Julie's expecting! He tells her about Cheryl, and says that they'll have to postpone their anniversary celebrations. Julie's sorely disappointed. Phil says he has to go to keep Cheryl in line.
JULIE: Oh, that woman!
He asks her to go with him and back him up. Julie indicates to her dress.
JULIE: Well, I'd look pretty silly sitting around here!
Lou is cooking a meal and is making it 100% diabetic friendly. Danni thinks he doesn't have to make such a big deal. Cheryl comes in and tells Lou to put his glad rags on for a night out with Mr Kawaji. Lou tells her that he wants to take Danni somewhere after dinner instead. He explains about the social group. Danni doesn't want to hang out with a bunch of losers.
Lou urges Danni to go and Cheryl thinks it's a great idea, but wants Lou to go with her tonight. She suggests that Danni go next week. Lou says that Danni could get a lift with Pam. Danni doesn't want to go but Cheryl tells her that as she's got nothing else planned, she might as well go - you never know who you might meet!
Helen wishes Phil and Julie good luck as they leave. Michael, Debbie and Brett are discussing the debate. Michael thinks they've got the short end of the debate (they have to debate that the youth of today have something positive to life for) - he thinks the youth of today is stuffed. Debbie disagrees, but Michael tells her that she hasn't seen what he has on the streets and in the detention centre where kids have nothing to live for - no hope of a future, no hope of a job.
Brett points out that Michael is the exception - he went through all of that, came back to school and is succeeding. Michael attributes this to his family's support, and Helen chips in, telling him that he's put the effort in. Debbie agrees with Michael - even with advantages, she's fretting about passing Year 12 and even if she does pass, she isn't sure she'll get into uni.
Brett stirs them all up again, reckoning that the opportunities are there if they work. He comes up with a game plan - Debbie starts with the positives, then Brett comes in with how the harder times make you tougher - and then Michael can finish with his autobiography. Helen thinks it sounds like a good idea, but Michael doesn't think anyone will want to hear his tales.
The diners are sitting in the sushi restaurant - Cheryl, Mr Kawaji, Julie, Phil, Mrs Kawaji and Lou. Cheryl's spirits are slightly dampened when the sushi comes out - she hates seafood. Mr Kawaji leans over to show Phil and Lou some photos of his summer house. Cheryl takes the opportunity to lean behind him and give her plate to Julie.
CHERYL: Pssst! Julie! Jules. I can't stomach fish. You'll have to eat mine.
Julie is saddled with the plate - she's not impressed that it's raw! - because Cheryl tells her that Mr Kawaji and his wife will be offended if it is left. Seeing Julie's expression, Phil tries to advise her on how to tackle the sushi. Mr Kawaji sits down and looks in surprise at Cheryl's empty plate.
CHERYL: Oh, I couldn't wait! It's so delicious!
She grabs the photos off him and starts gushing over the scenery. Phil and Julie don't look impressed at her attempts at fawning. Mr Kawaji comments on how little space there is in Tokyo.
CHERYL: Oh yes, Tokyo! What a crush. You know, I just couldn't get over the way you shove all those people in those funny little cupboards and call it a bedroom!
Phil looks up sharply! Cheryl catches his expression.
CHERYL: They're sweet little cupboards, of course!
Phil rolls his eyes. The chef starts preparing food in front of them. Julie swallows some sushi the wrong way and starts gulping down water. Lou looks faintly amused.
Pam takes Danni to the diabetes clinic. Danni tries to bail, but Pam makes her go in. Sassy introduces herself. Pam leaves. Sassy allays Danni's fears, saying that it's a great crowd of people. Danni spies a lad called Martin. Apparently he's 19, although Sassy reckons he looks older. Martin and Danni smile at each other.
The drink has clearly been flowing freely. They start to participate in rice bowl catching. Lou goes first and does well. Cheryl goes next and drops some of the contents over Julie, who isn't best impressed. Mr Kawaji convinces Julie to have a go, and she catches the bowl with ease.
KAWAJI: Philip - your wife is fair dinkum good sport!
Everyone is in high spirits.
Danni asks Sassy to introduce her to Martin. Sassy leaves them to it. Martin asks Danni if she's insulin dependent. She says she is - and it's a drag. Martin tells her that he's been injecting since he was 10 and it doesn't bother him. Danni is surprised that he feels the need to keep coming to a support group, but he reckons that it's nice to be around people who don't consider him to be different.
Danni is reluctant to agree with him - she says she doesn't want to sit about feeling sorry for herself. Martin indicates to the people around him and asks if it looks like they behave like that. Danni has to admit that they don't. Martin says that he can tell that she gets down sometimes - and he used to before he hung in the support group. Danni seems pleased at the idea her depression might disappear.
Pam calls Danni to leave. Martin asks if she's going to return next week - it's Sassy's birthday so they're going out for dinner. Danni reckons she'll feel left out, but Martin insists - she can be his date.
They're playing word games in the restaurant, which result in shots of sake for the losers. Everyone is very very drunk. Cheryl turns her attention to Mr Kawaji and tells him that he and his wife are their sort of people.
CHERYL: Mates, you know what I mean? And you know what mates get?
Phil suddenly seems to sober up a bit. He looks over, very concerned.
CHERYL: Mates rates!
Phil's face drops.
PHIL: (in a warning tone) Cheryl!
KAWAJI: Mates rates?
CHERYL: Absolutely! In memory of tonight, from now on all tours to Lassiter's get full company discount.
PHIL: Now now, just hold on a minute!
KAWAJI: Full company discount?! Will you shake on that?
CHERYL: Put it there, mate!
Phil closes his eyes in despair as Cheryl shakes on it.
CHERYL: You're talking to the principle stockholder.
Kawaji laughs cheerfully. Phil drinks some more sake!
It's the following morning. Lou is making a prairie oyster as a hangover cure (a raw egg mixed with Worcestershire sauce without breaking the yolk). Cheryl emerges from the bedroom looking worse for wear.
CHERYL: Never again. As long as I live. Never sake.
Brett and Danni are eating breakfast. Cheryl and Lou wish Brett luck in the debate and he departs. Lou and Cheryl quiz Danni over the diabetes group. Danni is non-commital but mentions that Sassy was pretty cool and that she met a guy whose name she can't remember. Hmm! Lou probes to see if Danni will go again - and she's decided to try once more and go to the dinner party.
DANNI: One of the guys wanted me to go.
CHERYL: Ohhhh! Is this the guy whose name you can't remember?!
DANNI: What is this, a hundred questions?!
Erinsborough High - Schoolyard
Michael is anxiously reading through his prompt cards. Debbie, Brett, Rick and Cody approach him. Debbie is surprised to see Rick and Cody at school as they're sick. Eden Hills' debate team walk in behind them. They comment on how together they look. Michael wants to take a leak(!) but Rick tells him there's no time. They file into the hall. Rick and Cody call after them, their normal voices restored.
RICK: Good luck anyway, guys!
CODY: Yeah, go get them!
DEBBIE: ...you're talking!
RICK: Yeah. Oh. Must've just recovered!
Rick turns to Cody.
RICK: You too!
CODY: Me too! Sorry guys, too late!
Michael, Brett and Debbie do not look amused. They go into the hall. Rick and Cody giggle.
Lassiter's Manager's Office
Phil is dropping a tablet of Berocca (a well known Australian vitamin supplement known to cure hangovers, if you were wondering!) into a glass of water. He swills it around and sets it on his desk, waiting for it to dissolve. He looks decidedly hungover and pretty teed off. Cheryl chirpily bursts into his office.
PHIL: Do you have any idea how much that discount is going to cost us?
CHERYL: Well, if you had filled me in on all that stuff instead of having me lick stamps then I'd have known, wouldn't I? Anyway, it's done now.
PHIL: Sure is done. Kawaji's already been on the phone, SCREWING me to the wall!
CHERYL: Well, look at it this way, Philip. He might not have renewed his contract. Would you rather have had empty rooms?
PHIL: (glumly) That's one angle.
Cheryl tells Phil that she's not a complete bimbo. She says that if the board kicks up a stink, she'll take the rap for it.
CHERYL: No hard feelings?
PHIL: Just don't do it again.
CHERYL: So you will show me the ropes?
PHIL: Yes, but not today.
He holds his head. Cheryl beams.
CHERYL: Oh, Philip! We are going to get through this hangover together!
She picks up his Berocca drink and downs it in one. Phil looks astounded.
Erinsborough High - Hall
The debate is in full swing. Brett is giving it his all - he gets the kids laughing along with him, and even manages to dismiss the Eden Hills team as a bunch of losers. Debbie smiles at this, but Michael looks extremely fearful. Brett receives rapturous applause, and Rick and Cody smile at the job he's done. Michael nervously downs some water and runs his hands through his hair - he looks terrified.
Lassiter's Office Reception
Cheryl is finishing off a conversation on the phone when Julie walks in wearing dark glasses - she's also clearly the worse for wear! Cheryl is very chirpy, but Julie just looks ill.
Lassiter's Manager's Office
Phil asks how Julie is - and she warns him not to ask! He grabs her a seat and Julie wonders what Cheryl's so chuffed about. Phil tells her that nothing keeps Cheryl down for too long!
JULIE: Did you rip into her?
PHIL: Not really. What's the point?
JULIE: Oh! The point is she made a complete fool of you, darling.
PHIL: Sweetheart, it happened. It's not worth a huge row.
JULIE: Darling, I don't understand you. You've got to make a stand.
Cheryl bursts in with a tray full of tea, coffee and aspirin because she thought Julie looked like she needed it. Julie thanks her. There's a long silence. Eventually, Julie can't help herself!
JULIE: Cheryl, who's in charge of Lassiter's?
JULIE: And who is his new - and completely inexperienced - personal assistant?
PHIL: (in a warning tone) Julie.
JULIE: Because I think you've got the two positions unclear! I gather Philip's prepared to excuse your behaviour last night but I'm not. You usurped his authority, made a thoroughly stupid business commitment and embarrassed everyone into the bargain!
A silence falls. Phil covers his eyes with his hand. Julie nonchalantly sips her tea!
CHERYL: Is that how you see it, Philip?
PHIL: She's right about the authority.
CHERYL: Er, that was Mr Kawaji on the phone. He's recommended us to several of his colleagues. He says we can expect 3 or 4 group bookings at least as large as his.
Phil and Julie both look taken back.
PHIL: ...well, that's good. Good.
CHERYL: Reward for initiative, wouldn't you say?
PHIL: Yes, I suppose so.
CHERYL: Philip, we all know I own 55% of this business but I do not want to patronised. What I want's co-operation and if I don't get it, perhaps I will have to re-think who's in charge.
Cheryl leaves. Julie shoots a shocked look at Phil.
Erinsborough High - Hall
The chairperson announces Michael as the next speaker. He is completely frozen in his chair. After prompting from Debbie and the chair, he gets up and stands at the lectern. He looks out over the hall and he's obviously scared. He stares down at his notes.
MICHAEL: Ummm. I'd like to start by saying...
He pauses and turns his notes over. A few ripples of laughter are heard in the audience. He sighs and tries again.
MICHAEL: I'd like to start by saying that um... Well, I...
He drops a card and kneels down to retrieve it. This earns him several groans and some laughter from the audience. He's flustered and he wipes the sweat off his brow. Cody and Rick look concerned.
MICHAEL: I'll just be with you in a minute.
The audience start to slow-clap him.
MICHAEL: (muttering) Give me a break, all right?
The chair calls for silence. An unknown voice from the audience calls out.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Forget it, Martin - you blew it.
Brett and Debbie look at him worriedly. Michael looks at the audience in front of him and bolts, slatting his notes on the desk as he storms off. Debbie calls after him, and follows him. Rick and Cody look guiltily at each other.
Erinsborough High - Corridor
Debbie runs after Michael and catches him up. Cody is close behind her.
DEBBIE: Michael, just go back and take your time.
CODY: Michael. I'm sorry.
MICHAEL: Yeah. Well, thanks a lot! You've had your laugh!
He storms through the door. Debbie glares at Cody and walks off in the other direction. Cody looks miserable.