- Kirsten telling Mickey that Ned won't be hurt if he goes with her.
- Riley telling Steve and Miranda it's time to stop pretending, they never wanted him.
Miranda and Steve are shocked and follow Riley explaining that they wanted both him and Bridget, knowing they were going to be a family at last. Steve admits that they were shocked and scared at first when they found out that Didge had an older brother, they were just worried that they wouldn't be up for the challenge because he'd been through so much and they knew it would take a while for him to trust them. Miranda tears up and tells him that the first night he came home with them she went into his room and felt such a rush of love for him that she didn't need to be scared.
STEVE: But if you're saying that you haven't felt that love then we've failed you. (He tears up too)
RILEY: I guess what I'm saying is that Didge has always belonged with you. I haven't. I'm sorry.
He walks away and Steve and Miranda follow.
Janae can't seem to get her head around the fact that Mickey said he wanted to go to Adelaide. She asks Ned if he believes him. Ned thinks he was pretty clear. Janae says that he's too young to make a massive decision about his upbringing he needs them to fight for him. Ned doesn't want to drag him through a court case they haven't a chance of winning. Janae says that's not what Toadie said, and Ned corrects himself, virtually impossible.
NED: He's a little boy and she's his mum. It's not rocket science Janae. It's time I let him go.
Grease Monkey's, by night
Miranda and Steve are still hot on the heels of their son. Steve wants to know where he's going to go. Riley suggests Sydney. Steve asks what about Bridget. Miranda implores him that they love both of them equally, buy Riley thinks he spent ten years seeing things very differently.
STEVE: And you won't even consider the possibility that you might be wrong?
RILEY: You're the last people on earth I want to hurt, I hope you believe that.
He kisses Miranda on the cheek and gets into his van. Steve tells him the problem is that he's locked himself in his own little shell and refuses to come out. He and Bridget are the only family they've got (so he doesn't count his own brothers...interesting), he can throw that away or give it another chance. Riley says he's sorry, again, and closes the door of the van. Miranda tells Steve he has to stop him, but Steve angrily says he's made up his mind and steer Miranda away from their son. Riley watches them in his mirror and tries to start the van.
Miranda and Steve arrive home, Miranda is distraught, she thinks they should have stopped him, they might never see him again.
MIRANDA: What were you thinking lecturing him like that? Do you not love him?
Steve tells her that isn't fair, but Miranda still doesn't understand why he let him go. Just then Bridget comes in to see what all the fuss is about, Steve sends her back to bed, but she looks concerned.
STEVE: Riley has a decision he has to make. He can keep letting one moment in his childhood ruin his life, or he can bloody get over it!
MIRANDA: And you're happy with that?
STEVE: Well what am I supposed to do, lock him in his room and throw away the keys?
MIRANDA: (Steadily more distraught) Well we've got to do something, we can't lose him.
STEVE: (coldly) Well maybe he was never ours in the first place.
Miranda storms off to bed.
Riley's counting out change for a drink, but Elle comes in and slides a note across to the barman telling him to make it two. Riley warns her he's not good company this evening, and Elle admits neither is she.
RILEY: Bad hair day.
Elle offers to leave if he'd rather be alone, but he says she paid for his drink, he wouldn't be so rude. Elle remarks that he was brought up nicely, he lets out a hollow laugh and agrees, very nicely. Elle says she knows a thing or two about thinly veiled sarcasm. Riley says he said he wasn't good company. Elle admits she can't be choosey and Riley proposes a toast to bad company. Hmmm...he's moody, he has long bad hair... has a way with animals. Hey, he could be Dylan!
Steve and Ned are looking at old photos, they come across one of their dad teaching Riley to ride a bike aged 13. Ned says that at least they had ten years with him...watched him grow up. Steve doesn't think it was nearly enough. Miranda comes into the room and Ned takes his cue to go back to bed.
MIRANDA: I wasn't being fair before...
Steve passes her a photo. She sits down next to him and says that Riley looks happy. Steve replies that he looks happy in all of them, every Christmas and birthday for the last ten years, he doesn't understand how they could have misunderstood him so badly. Miranda thought he said it was his problem. Steve's voice is choked when he remembers how Riley never liked it when he put his arm around him; he thought he was insincere. Miranda says he was always a quiet boy, and Bridget was always so loud and so passionate. Steve wonders if he pushed his son too hard, whether he thought he didn't care. Miranda agrees that it is his problem to solve, and all they can do is hope he does and comes back to them. She rests her head on her husband's shoulder and he kisses her head.
Elle and Riley are still chatting. Elle can't believe after all the drama he couldn't get his car to start. She gives him the loser sign. Riley wonders if it's a sign that he takes himself way too seriously. Elle thinks everyone does that. Riley concludes that's the story of how he came to be alone in a bar and asks what her story is. Elle says she came to take herself way too seriously. There's a new family forming at her house that she doesn't see a place for herself in. Riley's advice is to cut her losses, leave and find her own place in the world. Elle questions whether he's always alone, has he never been in love? What about his adoptive parents? He thinks they're wonderful people, caring and compassionate. They did their best. Elle asks if he did. Riley asks if she thinks he should give them another chance. Elle thinks he should give himself another chance. They order more drinks.
Steve and Miranda have fallen asleep on the couch, but Miranda is woken by movement next to her and wakes Steve. Riley has picked up a photo of Bridget's tenth birthday. Miranda remembers, they went to the zoo but Riley was home with a tummy bug. Riley explains he wasn't really sick. She asks whether he's going to stay a bit longer and he agrees he is. He admits that maybe he got it all wrong. All his mum can do is hug him. He doesn't know if he can change.
The General Store
....Which apparently is open at 6am. Do all you Aussies keep such crazy morning hours?! Bridget and Riley are sitting at a table. Bridget wants to know what went on last night, she woke up and saw hugs and sharing. She tells him that their mum and dad are heaps happier when he's around, he asks what about her?
BRIDGET: What do you want? A Parade?
They both smile.
Steve and Miranda tell Ned and Janae that Bridget and Riley are already down at the beach. Janae thinks it's great to finally have some good news. Steve knows it's going to be a tough road ahead, but Ned thinks of anyone, they'll get there. He goes into the kitchen and Janae explains he's so sure that he's doing the right thing letting Mickey go, but she doesn't want to push him. Miranda wants to know if there's anything they can do. Janae says there is, how would they feel about moving in? Semi-permanently, to fill the gaps. Miranda asks about Janae's family. Janae doesn't see them heading back down south any time soon. They'd love to.
Mickey comes into the kitchen all cute in his skeleton Pjs. Ned asks what he'd like for breakfast, he can't play footie on an empty stomach. Mickey's surprised his dad still wants him to play. Ned tells him he's part of the team. Mickey reminds him he won't be after today. Ned's sure he'll find a new team in Adelaide and he can play with the Pups when he comes over for holidays and they can get some extra training in when Janae and he visit Adelaide. Mickey asks him to promise he's not sad he's going. Ned says that he'll be happy with his mum, and that makes him happy. He says he needs to go and have a word with Kirsten and asks if he'll be ok with Steve and Miranda. Mickey says they were fighting last night and asks if it's his fault. Ned tells him of course it isn't, everyone loves him and they're really going to miss having him around. Mickey seems a little upset.
The General Store
Kirsten has that annoying simpering smile on her face as she tells Ned that he's doing the right thing, proving he's a good dad by listening to what Mickey wants. Ned says it's what he's said all along, Mickey's the only one that matters. Apparently that's why Kirsten wants everything to run smoothly, no more fighting. She tells him to come and visit, she'll never deny him access, it would be nice if they could all stay friends. Ned says he and Mickey have a game to get to and leaves. Janae goes over to Kirsten. Kirsten thinks Ned's taking it all very well, but Janae puts him straight: It's breaking his heart. Janae hopes that Kirsten's commitment to Mickey is half as strong as Ned's.
JANAE: Because if you let him down again....
KIRSTEN: Or what Janae? What will you do? I won't let Mickey down, I'm his mum, that's why he chose me. One day you'll have kids of your own and you'll understand that.
Later in the General Store
In comes Ned followed by the Pups. He tells them it's Mickey's last game so they should make it a good one. Mickey assures the others that his dad will still coach them which raises a hearty whoop! From the kidlets. Ned says he promises to stay on if they work hard and have lots of fun. Another whoop. He asks who wants some juice, another whoop. These kids have been trained well. One of the boys tells Mickey he wishes he wasn't going. Aw. Just then Lou comes out of the kitchen equipped with pom-poms chanting for Mickey. Janae tells him that's favouritism so they both chant "Go Pups", Mickey thinks it's embarrassing and when the team have left the store and Janae and Lou are still shaking their pom-poms they seem to find it so too and sheepishly turn away.
Riley and Bridget pull into the street and get out the car, Bridget runs into the house for the first shower while Riley gets his board out of the car. He turns around and the music tells me he's going to see Elle who's just come out of the house looking stunning in her dresssing gown - sunnies combo. For some reason they bow to one another and have a bit of a giggle before Riley goes into the house.
As soon as Riley comes in Miranda starts fussing over him, asking if she can get him anything . Steve thinks it's all a bit ridiculous, everyone pussy footing around each other. Riley agrees, saying that they're good a lot of things but pussy footing is not one of those things. Miranda denies the allegations and Steve and Riley continue to wind her up. Riley suggests they all just act normally around each other. Steve asks if he has much on this afternoon and does he want to give him a hand down at the practise? Riley tells him to give him five minutes to get Bridget out of the shower.
The General Store
In come the victorious Pups and the drinks are on Lou. Ned and Janae congratulate Mickey, but Mickey wants to go to Tyler's. Sadly there isn't time because Kirsten is coming to pick him up soon. Lou takes him to say his goodbyes to his friends and Janae tells Ned what a great job he's done. Ned hopes Mickey understands and Janae tears up as she tells him that kids know when they've been loved and wanted. The pair hug.
Ned is all puffy eyed as Mickey gets ready to leave and his family say their goodbyes. He says he'll wait outside and Mickey follows Janae to get his footie jumper. Mickey wants to know what's wrong with Ned but Janae is trying to keep her own emotions in check. He doesn't understand why his dad is crying when his mum said that he wouldn't miss him. Janae is not impressed.
Kirsten arrives to pick up Mickey and is greeted by a rather stony looking Ned and Janae. Ned says he has some bad news, Mickey's fine, but he's not going anywhere with her.
NED: You've dragged Mickey around like a suitcase, you've dumped him whenever you've felt like it. I can't believe you'd sink this low.
KIRSTEN: What are you talking about?
NED: You told Mickey that I wouldn't miss him, that I don't really want him.
KIRSTEN: Oh no...that's not what I meant. I..I just wanted him to know that I'd be lonely.
NED: How many times Kirsten? This is not about what's best for you, it's what's best for him.
JANAE: You know Ned has been so careful to only ever say nice things about you.
NED: He's staying right here, I'm not going to let you brainwash him.
Kirsten says that she's her son and she's looked after him for eight years, Janae asks if that's an excuse for lying and manipulation. Kirsten tries to play the single mum card, but Janae says there are plenty of single mums who've managed fine with less help than she's had.
From inside Mickey watches his parents argue and reassures Jake it'll be alright.
Kirsten shouts that he's all she has but Ned tells her that he's going to fight through every court there is and he's going to win.
When Ned and Janae come back into the house Mickey wants to know why everyone's fighting again. Ned tells him to remember that both he and his mum love him heaps, they just can't decide where he's going to live and until they can they think it's best he stays where he has all his new friends and his school and footie and where there's a garden for Jake. Janae assures him that no matter what he'll always be with people who love him and want him. Ned asks if that's all ok. Nobody will get cross or upset if he has a better plan. Mickey has one question - If he's not going to Adelaide, can he go to Tyler's barbeque? He goes to get his stuff and Ned asks Janae if she's ready to have a battle on their hands.
JANAE: Hey, you're with a Timmins now and there's nothing we like more than a bare knuckle fight.