- Rachel being knocked into Ty
- Mickey collecting money for Harold's leaving bash.
- Oliver ending the Lassiters contract with Celestial Fruits.
- Libby and Dan busting Ringo and Declan with a bottle of booze.
The Erinsborough High Classroom
Either the time continuity has gone hang once more or the teens were at some bizarre morning gig. Libby and Dan have brought the boys back to school and Frazer and Rebecca have been summoned. Everybody is very disappointed by their behaviour, especially the fact that they broke their trust. Declan doesn't see what all the fuss is about, but once more he's seriously let his mother down.
The General Store Kitchen
Lou, Mickey and Ben are counting the money they've collected for Harold's leaving "do", when the man himself comes in looking for his good pen. Lou spins a line about another one of his money-making schemes. Harold assumes it's his distillery or Russian hats and begins lecturing Lou. Lou tells Harold he still has to make a living.
LOU: While you're gallivanting around I still have to survive here you know.
HAROLD: Consistent to the end.
LOU: No-one can beat you for consistency! You'll be yelling instructions at me out of the van window while you drive down the road.
HAROLD: I'm sure you'll have more important things to do than come and see me off.
LOU: I hope so!
Harold leaves and has a chuckle to himself. Lou reassures the boys that he and Harold were just mucking around.
MICKEY: So you're not going to stop being friends...
BEN: ...Because he's leaving
LOU: Oh no, mate, no. You don't stop being friends with someone just because they're not around anymore.
MICKEY: You just miss them.
Marco and Carmella are colour co-ordinated in green and opening their post, as one does in a bar. Carmella's family have sent a business class return ticket to Rome for her and Chloe so that they can meet the bambino. She gets all excited before realising it means she and Marco will be apart. Marco doesn't think paying for a trip to Rome for him would be the best thing for their cash flow problems.
Rach, Taylah, Zeke and Bridget are sticky beaking at the classroom window. Rachel thinks they deserve a talking to since they went out on a limb to get permission then they blew it, though she doesn't want them to get into heaps of trouble. Taylah thinks it was embarrassing to happen in front of her cousin's band and asks Rachel what she thought of Ty.
RACHEL: Yeah, he's pretty good at the guitar.
TAYLAH: Who cares about the guitar, don't you think he's hot?
RACHEL: I hadn't really noticed...
Rachel goes on to try and explain that she's not interested, but Taylah has noticed something else. At that moment Miranda and Steve come in dressed in their cleaning togs. Bridget stares at them.
TAYLAH: I didn't know your parents were cleaners.
BRIDGET: Yeah definitely. It's a pretty good job they say.
Miranda and Steve look uncomfortable.
Rebecca lays down the law to Declan. He can go to school, he can got to work with her and apart from that he stays at home.
Ringo tells his brother he doesn't even know how to iron. Frazer eats his cereal and reminds him that they trusted him and he let them down. Dan is with Fraze all the way.
Declan admits that he let his mum down and he was stupid. Rebecca wants him to explain why he did it at all. Oliver asks if he was trying to impress someone. Declan denies it, it was just a spur of the moment dumb stupid thing.
Evidently Fitzy has been thinking along the same lines as Oliver.
RINGO: Why would buying grog impress Rachel?
Fitzy thinks Ringo was trying to look tough for her, but Ringo assures him that's not the look she goes for and they're just friends anyway. Frazer knows he's been going through a lot, especially with Jessica dying, but he should tell him if he's having trouble coping. Ringo says it's nothing to do with that, it really was just a brain explosion....although he has been under a lot of pressure with school work. Fitzy takes his point, they shouldn't be punishing him for trying to do well.
FRAZER: My stars, Daniel, no! If anything we should be trying to help the poor boy. Tell me, in your professional opinion is there any way of dealing with that kind of pressure?
DAN: I'm glad you asked Frazer, there is actually. It's called study.
FRAZER: An ideal activity to be undertaken whilst grounded.
Rebecca wonders whether Declan's behaviour has anything to do with Richard dying. Declan says he made a mistake and he's owning up to it, isn't that the adult thing to do? Oliver leaves to get some dinner before they start round 2.
Here's a newsflash for everyone. It's called curiosity, a terminal illness in the case of most teens. I'm sure we can all guess where this storyline is leading so let's get on with it before I fall asleep waiting.
Lou is on the phone to Karl finalising some send-off party details when Harold arrives. They talk about Lou's "new money making scheme" - a man's got to strike while the iron is hot and all that. Harold invites Lou around for a final dinner that evening. Lou thinks it's a lovely idea but unfortunately he has prior engagements. Valda joins them:
VALDA: Right, Lou Carpenter, according to my watch it's ten past six, which gives you approximately fourteen hours to declare your true intentions to me otherwise this ship sails forever!
LOU: Well in that case I'll give it a wide berth.
Lou leaves. Harold tells Valda it's all a front, but she knows already. He tells her she's too good for it all and advises her to find another man. (Easier said than done, Hazza, take it from a girl who knows.) Before he leaves Harold offers Carmella and Marco a pre-move-in tour of the house.
Marco and Carmella are still discussing the trip to Italy. Carmella seems to be considering not going at all, but Marco tells her she's not to pass up a free trip when Oliver arrives. He's not going to allow Carm to take Chloe to Italy, there is no way she is leaving the country.
Charlie's Après-Ad Break
Marco and Oliver square up to each other for what feels like the bazzilionth time. Marco wants to know why Oliver would think Carmella wouldn't come back from Italy. He explains that she just wants to get away from all the pressure. Oliver thinks that's fine, she can get away from all the pressure as much as she needs, she's just not taking his daughter.
MARCO: I can't believe how paranoid you are.
OLIVER: Well why don't you wait until you have one of your own kids. Oh that's right, I forgot that can't happen. (He pushes Marco)
Ouch! (The words, not the pansy-ass push) It's time for Steph to step in and tell them to sort themselves out or take it outside. Big Man Oliver wants to take it outside but Carmella tells him to get out. Off he goes and Carmella tells Marco he's just as bad. He says he was just trying to protect her and stand up for her. Carmella says she can stand up for herself, she's sick of the two of them imagining they can run her life. She'll decide what she's going to do.
Bridget checks with her parents to see if they have any more surprises to discuss. They agree that they should have told her and that it must have been embarrassing to find out in front of her friends like that. Bridget doesn't think there's anything wrong with being cleaners but she doesn't understand why they didn't tell her, if she'd known money was so tight she wouldn't have pushed to go on the school camp. Steve says it's not that tight.
BRIDGET: You've got second jobs.
Miranda assures her it's just so they can afford a few luxuries. Riley wants to be able to chip in, but his parents say it's not necessary.
Lou has come around with the collection box. Karl coughs up $50 (not literally) and aghast Susan takes his wallet off him and gives Lou and extra $50. Lou leaves Karl and Susan to bicker about Karl's tight-fisted ways.
SUSAN: "All I've got"! You're so stingy.
KARL: I'm not Donald Trump for heaven's sake.
SUSAN: A bit around the hairline.
KARL: I do not have a comb over!
The kids are sitting on the sofa, Taylah is trying to convince Rachel that she needs a date for Harold's leaving do. Rachel maintains that she is not interested and goes off to her room. Zeke correctly guesses that Taylah has already given Rachel's number to Ty. I swear Audrey rolled her eyes!
Harold is giving Carmella and Marco the tour of the house...which Carmella used to live in...anyway, he explains that in the summer one of the cupboard door sticks. Marco says that if there are any problems he'll fix them. Huh, now there's an idea. Harold says that the house is like an old friend, even the things that really annoy him he somehow doesn't want changed. Marco offers to curb any urges he might have to fix things. Harold laughs and says it's not necessary. Number 24 has been a very happy place for him and he's sure it will be for them too.
The phone rings.
Carmella and Marco have some sort of semi-sappy conversation before Harold finishes the call. The alarm has gone off at the General Store. If that's not code for a surprise party I don't know what is. The three of them head off to the Store.
The General Store
All is in darkness save for the glinting of celebratory balloons. Harold bravely unlocks the door. He can hear somebody moving and calls for Marco. Marco doesn't come. An owl hoots ominously. Are you feeling the tension?
HAROLD: Alright, who's there?
The lights go on and everybody jumps out of their hiding places. The boys and Susan run and hug Hazza and we just get a glimpse of Lou behind him, who winks at Mickey and slips out. Harold guesses Lou was behind the organisation and wants to know where he is. Mickey tells him he just left.
After the break we're still at the store and Taylah is boring Rachel with talk of her cousin Ty. The adults are gathered around another table looking at the map Mickey and Ben have created complete with cut out Harold-Van for the purposes of tracking his route. They're also going to stick the post cards Harold sends to it. Harold thinks it's a marvellous idea and Frazer takes the boys to find a place to stick it up.
Over in the corner it seems as though Carmella and Marco are having another set to with Oliver, which Libby is trying to break up. Valda comes over to tell Libby that she's going to try and get Steph away from the bar and Carm and Marco decide to join her.
Valda is concerned that Steph is missing out on Harold's leaving bash. Steph reminds her that she's going away too and hugs her grandma, telling her she'll miss her. Steph promises to pop over for a bit later.
Carmella tells Marco that she needs to get away from the fighting because it's effecting Chloe. Really? Chloe seems to be fine snoring away all the time... Anyway, she's off to Italy which we all know is code for "going to do panto". Now wouldn't that be a more interesting storyline? Carmella's flights get mixed up and she ends up in England and has to take to the stage to be able to pay her way back home...maybe not.
The General Store
Ty has crashed Harold's leaving bash. He asks Rachel if the service is any better here but is met with awkward silence.
Mickey has to go because it's getting late. He asks Harold if they can put up a Neighbour-Day poster, and Harold thinks it's a very worthy cause.
MICKEY: I thought it might remind us of you, because you're such a great Neighbour.
Amen to that, little man! Harold and Mickey high-five and Mickey asks Hazza not to be mad at Lou because he's sure he wanted to stay, he was just too sad. Aw.
It's the next morning and once more Carmella and Marco are colour co-ordinated, this time in turquoise. They're meeting with Oliver who agrees to let Carmella take Chloe to Italy. Oliver admits that maybe he overreacted but he's just worried at the thought of losing her. Marco apologises to Oliver for making the situation more difficult. He knows he'd feel exactly the same way in Oliver's position and wants to reassure him that he would never try and take his place. Oliver concedes that he shouldn't provoke Marco like he does, he's going to go to the police station and change his story about the assault. Carmella and Marco look relieved and seem to think everything is going to be happy again.
MARCO: Do you think we can get through this?
OLIVER: I don't know, we still have the custody case.
Oliver leaves and Carmella and Marco's faces fall.
Lou is enjoying a cup of tea outside his new campervan when he is joined by Harold who has come baring cake.
LOU: Sorry, I didn't get back to the party. Paperwork, you know how it is...
HAROLD: I do, I do. (There's a long pause) So how's Tazzle settling in?
LOU: Oh, we're like two peas in a pod now. (There's long pause) I suppose we should be babbling on about how much we'll miss each other.
HAROLD: You won't have anyone to fight with...
LOU: I'll find someone!
(The two friends share a laugh)
LOU: Ramsay Street won't be the same without you JellyBelly.
The plinky-plonky-plucky, happy but sad poignant-moment music plays out as the pair share one another's company for the last time.
Later on Ramsay Street
Harold leaves Number 24 for the final time, his driveway lined with his cheering neighbours who have become such very good friends. He joins Valda by the van and hands over the house keys to Marco and Carmella telling them to take good care of her.
MARCO: And you take care of her.
VALDA: I can take care of myself thank you.
MARCO: I was talking about the J-Go.
Lou hands over a letter to Harold, telling him to open it when he crosses the border.
LOU: I know we don't need to say anything, but hey! I did.
The best friends hug. Lou tells Valda to have a safe trip. A band of tuba-playing Salvos strike up a tune accompanied by neighbourly applause as Harold and Valda get in the van and pull away. The Ramsay Street residents all hug one another and wave. At the end of the street Harold looks back and waves for a final time. Only Lou stands alone, and understandably saddened.
So it is with lumps in our throats that we say goodbye to one of Ramsay Street's longest serving and best loved residents. It's truly the end of an era, but as the song goes, "We'll meet again..." Just as well all the days in Ramsay Street are sunny ones so we might not have to wait that long!