Episode 4462

Australian Air Date: 17th July 2007

Brad, Alf, Dan, Ric and Jack head off on the boat for a boys day out. But when a storm suddenly hits and there is no sign of there return the girls contact the police.

Extended Summary

It’s dark and there’s stormy weather, 6 hours after we last saw Brad with the engagement ring. Sally, Leah, Irene and Martha are in the Surf Club, strained and distressed. The truth of what has happened is revealed through a series of flashbacks over the course of the episode – leading us back to the moment when Sally arrived home to give Brad the bad news that he’s been permanently demoted while she has been promoted to take over his role as Principal. While Brad is disappointed, he takes the news surprisingly well – and Sally only understands why when he pulls out a ring box and proposes to her! Sally is floored. And – to Brad’s shock – she turns him down, making it clear that while she loves him deeply she’s not ready to take such a giant step with him.

Shattered, Brad walks out the door. It’s only now that we learn he has gathered all of their friends at the surfclub for a celebration, which was meant to be followed with a party cruise on the Blaxland. Brad has also invited Pippa, who’s unhappily surprised to find herself comforting Sally rather than celebrating her engagement. Another relationship under heavy strain is Martha and Jack’s. Deeply regretting the fight they had last week, which led to signing the divorce papers, Martha tries to tell Jack that is the last thing she wants. She’s trying to admit that she’s still in love with him, but the argument has brought up old anger – he refuses to listen.

At the boat wharf, Alf and Dan and Ric arrive to find Jack having a beer on the boat with Brad, who’s in a distressed state, miserably venting about how badly he’s misjudged Sally’s feelings for him. How could he get it so wrong? Jack’s trying to offer some kind of comfort, but he can’t hide the fact he’s hurt and angry with Martha. Which is why Alf and Dan and Ric come up with an action plan, telling Brad and Jack that the boat is loaded with booze and food for the party they were meant to have – so why don’t they take it out anyway? Brad isn’t in the mood but the guys persuade him that having a few beers and kicking back might help him get through. Alf mentions that rain is forecast, which doesn’t make it great weather for a cruise but does make it ideal for fishing. So what do Brad and Jack think? Are they up for a fishing trip?

Martha has also reached a decision – she’s not going to let go of her marriage. She runs down to the wharf, wanting to catch Jack, only to see the Blaxland chugging away across the water. She sags – if only she’d caught Jack in time to tell him the truth about how she feels. As she stares out to sea, we hear a rumble of thunder followed by a crack of lightning. The storm builds as Sally’s friends try to comfort her and Martha wrestles with her fear that she’s lost Jack. And Sally, Leah, Martha and Pippa are horrified to learn that a mayday call has come in from the Blaxland. The women do their best to stay positive but when they learn that the Blaxland’s radio has been cut, their fears are too strong to hide. Fear for Jack only strengthens Martha’s resolve to save her marriage and she tears up the divorce papers. But it seems that luck is on their side when they learn that the rescue helicopter has found the boat in the pre-dawn hours.

The storm is too fierce to allow the crew access to the boat but they report that it’s been partially capsized after hitting a sand-bank. It seems that their men have survived, but hearts fall when they learn that the crew only spotted four men wading around the boat. Martha speaks up: ‘But there are five of them…’ She trails off, as they all look at each other, knowing what this means… Standing at the front door of the Surf Club the three women look out to sea, shivering, their arms folded against the cold and faces turned to the water. Their men are out there… somewhere. We go along each face… Leah… Martha… and finally Sally… And the terrible question remains unspoken, but burns in each of their hearts. Which of these women’s man is missing?