Episode 143

Australian Air Date: 3rd August 1988
UK Air Date: 30th August 1989
Writer: Chris McCourt
Director: Graham Barton

Ideological differences threaten Ailsa’ and Alf’s marriage and Roo’s cunning plans don’t help matters.

Fourth appearance, last seen in #118. Rejected Steven after being asked to the Macklin Cocktail party.

Extended Summary

At the store, Ailsa asks Roo how things are going at school and she says a lot of the students aren’t happy about Don being back.Both Roo and Narelle express their regret about Alan leaving but Ailsa thinks he got what he deserved.After Roo has gone, Frank and Steven approach the counter and Ailsa asks Frank about a Macklin cocktail party that she received an invite to.She sees it as an attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes but Frank says Brett just wants to meet the locals.Ailsa is disappointed Frank seems to be a fan of the Macklins;Frank says he isn’t but he doesn’t see anything sinister in a cocktail party.Steven asks about it and Ailsa rips up the invitation.Steven follows Frank back to the office and asks him for an invite, suggesting he tells Brett about his trust fund and doesn’t mention the fact he isn’t allowed to touch it.Frank says he’ll see what he can do.

Don calls Bobby into his office and thanks her for her part in persuading Alan to tell the truth.Bobby says he caught her on a good day and shouldn’t count on it happening again.Don says he isn’t and reminds her about the circular she helped distribute:He’s giving her an hour’s detention after school instead of suspending her.Bobby bumps into Barbara in the corridor and she thinks it’s a fair punishment.Bobby asks why Alan had to leave and Barbara says she couldn’t bear to look at him after what he did and she’s worried it was her fault since she brought him up.Bobby tells her there was a lot of good in Alan as well and he didn’t get the bad stuff from her.

Brett is going over Frank’s list of guests for the party and protests that Don Fisher doesn’t even have a job: Frank tells him he’s been reinstated and has a lot of influence with parents.He’s also invited Floss and Neville and some of the other older residents who people trust.He asks Brett about Steven and, when he mentions the thousands of pounds he has in trust, Brett agrees.Then Brett sees Bobby’s name on the list; Frank thought she might enjoy it but Brett makes it clear he doesn’t want her there.Later, at the store flat, Frank tells Narelle about the problem.Narelle thinks Bobby might not want to go but then Bobby runs in excited and thanks Frank for the invite.Frank tries to put her off, telling her she won’t enjoy it, to no avail.

Brett gets a call from the hall where the party’s meant to be held, saying they’re replacing the carpet and it won’t be ready on time.Alf turns up and tells him he doesn’t think the party’s a good idea, since it might make people in town suss.Brett says they need to think big and they need more advertising than billboards and a notice in the local paper.Later, at home, Ailsa accuses Alf of only thinking about money.He insists that Brett made some good arguments and that the town needs to develop or go under.Ailsa retorts that he used to like Summer Bay the way it was.

Steven is on the porch at home, talking to an upright mop that he’s pretending is Alyce and practising asking her out.Sally sneaks up behind him and answers for Alyce in a posh voice, saying she’d love to go out with him.She tells Steven that Alyce is too old for him…and Pippa wants the mop back.Steven tells her to take it and as she does so, she once again sings Steven’s praises in her posh “Alyce” voice.

Alf and Ailsa are playing cards at the table but the mood is still strained.Roo is in the living room and lets Bobby into the house.Bobby asks Ailsa for advice about the cocktail party.Ailsa is annoyed that even Bobby seems to like the idea and has a go at her, with Alf trying to defend Bobby.Bobby passes Roo on her way out and accuses her of stirring again.Roo says she hasn’t, Ailsa’s just been disagreeing with everything Alf says lately.Bobby reminds Roo she’s meant to be giving Ailsa a chance but Roo says she doesn’t like the way Ailsa speaks to Alf.

Next morning, Brett is going for a run on the beach when he runs into Roo.She tells him she heard about the hall being unavailable and, with not many alternatives, suggests he holds it at Alf’s place, since a residential setting might help people relax more.Brett says Ailsa might not like it but Roo says she isn’t a problem since it’s Alf’s house.Brett seems to understand Roo is trying to cause trouble and they both smile.

At school, Steven manages to approach Alyce and asks her to the party but she just makes a quip about his youthful appearance.Bobby teases him, saying only youngsters are excited about the party, but then goes to a classroom to ask Barbara for help.She pretends it’s not important to her and Barbara teases her by saying if it’s not important they needn’t bother before relenting.Bobby admits she’s never been invited to a party before and it makes her feel adult.Barbara takes her back to her place to help her pick out a dress.

Steven is moaning to Frank and Narelle at the flat about how humiliating it was being turned down by Alyce.Frank points out Alyce is two years older than him and being mature for fifteen isn’t saying much. Narelle says some women like younger men and she knows someone who’d love to go to a cocktail party with Steven:someone really good looking, a party animal, nice hair like hers…Steven thinks she means Penny Evans and rushes off to ask her out.Frank says Penny would never go out with Steven either. “Good,”replies Narelle grumpily.

Brett asks Alf into the office to discuss using his house for the party.Alf doesn’t think Ailsa would like the idea but Brett puts forward some convincing arguments, saying it’s Alf’s house and they’d pay him and provide the catering.Alf says he’s sure Ailsa won’t mind.Inevitably, when he tells her at home later, Ailsa does mind and isn’t happy about Alf saying that it’s his house, arguing that since they’re married it should be their house.Eventually, she says she can’t stop him but she won’t be there before walking out.Roo, who has come in during the latter part of the argument, hugs Alf and tells him Ailsa’s being unreasonable, looking pleased at how things are going.

Frank catches up with Bobby outside the store and tells her that Brett has invited too many people to the party so he needs to uninvite some people.Bobby is clearly upset but claims it doesn’t matter, she never wanted to go to the party and she’s sure Brett doesn’t want the “town derro” there, before threatening to get together some more derros and crash it.Bobby storms off, leaving Frank looking unhappy.

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