Episode 4144

Australian Air Date: 16th March 2006
Writer: Faith McKinnon
Director: Scott Hartford Davis

Cassie is furious when she discovers Belle making a move on Ric. Kim and Rachel face the biggest hurdle in their relationship yet. Ric is humiliated on his first day at work.

Extended Summary

Ric and Belle are coming to terms with meeting each other again after everything that’s happened. Belle apologises for the accident with Flynn. Ric insists it’s all in the past and offers to sneak Belle into a caravan for the night. She plays it cool but deep down is grateful for his support and renewed friendship.

It’s the usual morning hustle and bustle at Summer Bay House. Ric is distracted with thoughts of Belle, but the others assume he is nervous about starting his cleaning job at the school. It’s also Sally’s first day back at work since Flynn’s death and despite everyone’s warm welcomes, she can’t shake her feeling of uneasiness. Hyde approaches Ric, instructing him to start his cleaning in the toilets. Much to Ric’s humiliation, his mates hear every word. If only the ground would swallow him up!

Ric is surprised to see Belle walking by the school yard. He complains about his day as he empties rubbish, but Belle reminds him to be grateful for having some money and a roof over his head. It’s food for thought, but Ric confides he feels terrible that his own girlfriend hasn’t offered him the support he needed on his first day. Likewise, Sally is feeling overwhelmed as she sits in the Diner, contemplating her morning. She welcomes Dan’s arrival and feels instantly comforted by his company. Things are hostile between Ric and Cassie during their lunchbreak. Matilda and Lucas remind Cassie that Ric is only being defensive because he is embarrassed and a little encouragement wouldn’t go astray. Cassie attempts to go out of her way to be supportive but Ric realises it’s an act and fobs it off as too much too late. School is over, but as the other students head home, Sally informs Ric he will need to attend to a leak in the toilets. To harden the blow, Ric notices some graffiti on the toilet door – ‘Ric is a loser’. Could his day possibly get any worse?

Ric is clearing his head to Belle who agrees that Cassie should not have feigned her support. Ric is grateful for her understanding, which is misread by Belle who leans in for a kiss! A fierce voice behind them interrupts the moment – it’s Cassie. Busted!

Leah reacts in shock as Rachel brings her up to speed with her situation with Helpman. She can’t believe his ultimatum to sleep with him or else risk her whole career! Leah is confused why Helpman has such power against Rachel. She hesitates before revealing he found out about her relationship with Kim. Leah is surprised that Rachel went ahead with seeing Kim but understanding when Rachel confides she could not deny her feelings for him. Leah insists she talk to Kim before making any life-changing decisions. Kim is instantly aware that something is very wrong with Rachel as he pulls her in to a comforting embrace. Kim is fired up when Rachel explains her predicament. If she goes to the Board, Helpman will be exposed, but in doing so, Rachel risks ruining her career. His heart goes out to her.

Kim later approaches Rachel on the beach. Her mind is swirling with the pending decision. Kim says if Dr Helpman goes to the Board, then he will lie about their relationship. Rachel stares at him in shock – if he does that, then they will not be able to see each other. Kim understands the repercussions but is willing to do that because he loves her. She is overwhelmed by his selflessness – she really loves him too. They embrace – ready to face the biggest hurdle of their relationship yet.

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