Episode 401

Australian Air Date: 25th September 1989
UK Air Date: 31st August 1990
Writer: Anthony Ellis
Director: Chris Adshead

Emma, the new girl in town, creates a bad impression and Martin is forced to face a new business challenge.

Extended Summary

At the store, Celia is trying out the till when Lance turns up, wanting three Mars Bars. Celia tells him all about Ailsa and the wonderful Christian act she has made by letting Emma stay but Lance is down because of Marilyn leaving. He isn’t interested in Celia telling him to bear his troubles instead of indulging in self-pity either and just takes his change and leaves.

Ailsa has prepared a special dinner for Emma’s arrival but neither Alf nor Emma seem particularly talkative and both ignore her toast to the family reunion. Ailsa asks Emma for the family gossip and how Bridget is: Emma says she’s old, fat and boring. She also mentions that Ailsa’s mother died ten years ago, which shocks Ailsa who didn’t know. Emma heads out and Alf isn’t long behind her.

Martin is asleep on the couch when Lance arrives home and sits down on top of him. Sally arrives and asks what’s up with Martin; Lance explains about the tranquiliser dart. Sally realises he’s sad and tells him he can talk to her so Lance tells her about Marilyn leaving. Sally says Marilyn was silly and talked too much but admits she liked her. Lance says he did too.

Carly is rushed off her feet in the Diner when Ailsa phones to tell her about Emma and ask her to make her feel welcome if she turns up. Carly asks what she looks like and Ailsa says she’s very noticeable. At the store, Celia is on the phone to Betty gushing about how proud she is of Ailsa’s charitable act when Emma herself comes in and tries to buy a bottle of vodka. Celia asks for proof of age and Emma claims she’s twenty but Celia isn’t convinced and tells her to get a soft drink. Emma snorts that they’re for kids and calls Celia a dried up old prune before storming out.

Alf arrives home where Ailsa is sitting up for Emma. He apologises for his behaviour at dinner but he still isn’t sure about Emma and Ailsa acknowledges that Emma is difficult. She notes that she wanted nothing to do with her family when she got out of prison and is more secure with Alf than she’s ever been but Emma is her family. She thinks there’s a good kid in there somewhere. Emma turns up at the Diner as Carly is closing up. Carly realises who she is and makes her a coffee. However, Emma isn’t keen on making friends and considers the town a dump. Alf and Ailsa are starting to worry when Emma finally comes home. Alf is ready to read her the riot act but Ailsa tells him to go to bed and she’ll deal with it. She tells Emma she wants some respect from her but Emma says she’s just like Bridget. She thought Ailsa would be exciting because she’d been in jail but she’s as straight and boring as everyone else. Ailsa refuses to tell her why she went to jail but insists that prison isn’t glamorous. Emma says she didn’t have any choice than to stay with Ailsa but she’ll leave as soon as she’s eighteen.

Next morning, Martin is enthusiastically using his exercise equipment in the front room, saying that sleeping for days has left him refreshed. Lance heads out to get his job on the road gang back and passes a delivery van in the car park. The delivery man asks him if he knows Martin and Lance points out the mobile home. The delivery man meets Martin and says he has 2,000 stuffed bunyips for Martin Dibble and needs $11,000 in payment. Martin claims that Martin has shot through without paying his rent and he has no idea where he is and gives his name as Lance Smart.

Carly is getting some supplies at the store while Celia boasts about Ailsa taking in Emma again. Carly tells her that Emma isn’t the helpless waif she’s painting her as and she met her the previous night. Celia berates Alf for not telling her Emma had arrived in town. Alf also tries to explain that Emma isn’t what she was expecting but Celia sweeps out to go and welcome her.

Carly arrives at the Diner, where Martin is feeling hungry since he hasn’t eaten in days and offers to help her set up. While he’s in the kitchen, the delivery man turns up and asks Carly if she knows Martin. Martin comes running back in and reiterates his story that Martin has left town. The delivery man ask what he looks like and Martin says he’s tall, dopey and has dark hair. The delivery man realises he’s describing Lance and storms off. Carly is annoyed with Martin but he thinks the delivery man will never find Lance. However, Lance is working on the road gang when the delivery man drives up. He storms up to a bemused Lance and demands his payment. At the Diner, Martin has explained the situation to Carly and that Adam was behind the bunyip, which Carly realises is why he hasn’t been around to take her out. Martin sees Lance and the delivery man approaching and runs out the back way, leaving Carly to field their questions.

Ailsa and Celia are having a cup of tea while they wait for Emma. Ailsa admits Emma wasn’t what she expected and she has problems but Celia is confident they can handle her…until Emma arrives home and Celia realises who she is. Celia heads back to the store to have a go at Alf for letting such a delinquent into his home. Alf however now seems more sympathetic towards Emma, saying she’s family and telling Celia it’s none of her business. Celia insists Emma isn’t part of their family but Alf says it’s what Ailsa wants but if Emma puts a foot wrong she’ll be out on her ear.

Martin arrives home to find several cardboard boxes full of bunyip toys in the front room and the delivery man waiting in ambush. He asks Martin if he’s going to pay up or if he has to squeeze it out of him.

Ailsa asks Emma how she knows Celia and she says they had a run-in at the store and notes she won’t be able to get a job there now. Ailsa suggests she goes back to school but Emma isn’t interested and doesn’t seem willing to co-operate. She says Ailsa can either let her stay or throw her out but she’s not going to do what she tells her and they should stay out of each other’s way. She walks out leaving Ailsa frustrated.

Guest Cast

DELIVERY MAN (CHRISTOPHER DIBB)
Chased Martin for the $11,000 he owed for the 2000 toy bunyips he ordered.

Trivia

> New Opening Credits: Tom hugging Pippa on porch; Carly and Bobby perving on the beach; Ailsa stacking wood onto Alf; Viv and Emma talking on the street; Donald being berated by Celia; Sally and Steven playing with Dag Dog; Matt and Adam walking on the beach with surfboards; Martin and Lance fixing the car; Morag outside her mansion.

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