Bruce delivers a shock from the grave. Tam finds an unlikely playmate. The first HSC exam looms large and nerves begin to jangle. Everyone seems to be coping reasonably well except for one.
Bruce has died from a heart attack and Annie and Geoff are still in shock. Michael and Reverend Hall offer to go to the hospital to look after the formalities, while Martha and Lucas take Geoff and Annie into the Bay to break the news to Irene. Everyone feels for Annie and Geoff and rally around to try to help out, but Bruce, unbeknown to anyone, had plans of his own for when he died. Reverend Hall gives Michael a legal document that Bruce had given him for safe keeping just a couple of weeks earlier. Bruce had made Michael trustee of his estate and therefore Annie and Geoff’s legal guardian until Geoff reaches the age of 18. Shock isn’t the only response this news elicits around the Bay. Alf and Irene are suspicious – this all sounds too convenient – very much the kind of ploy that “the Believers” would have used. Only Martha comes to Michael’s defence. She’s sure that Michael’s a changed man, but Martha has her own problems to deal with. She and Michael have recently become much more aware of their true feelings for each other now Martha’s forced to juggle her attraction to him, against the strong feeling in the Bay against him. Martha tries to take a step back from Michael and initially succeeds, until – alone in the barn at the farm – passion takes over. They fall asleep in each other’s arms after making love only to be discovered like that by the grieving Annie who is devastated by the sight.
Tam and Brad settle into their new townhouse-home and Brad is keen for Tam to start school, to keep her out of trouble as much as anything else. School is not on Tam’s wish list and she doesn’t even make it to her first class. Brad tracks her down – and finds her contentedly fishing under Alf’s tutelage. Brad takes Tam to the diner for a serious chat wherein Tam begs her case. She’s enjoying her time in the Bay and doesn’t want to waste any of it at school knowing that in a short time Heather will be back and she’ll be on the road again. Brad is slowly won over, but he doesn’t want Tam wandering aimlessly around town and he goes to Alf with a proposition. He asks if Alf can keep an eye on Tam during school hours. Perhaps find her a few odd jobs for her to do on the boat and around the surf club. Alf, somewhat reluctantly, agrees, but makes no decision on another suggestion of Brad’s, that Alf might like to move in with him and Tam at the townhouse.
The first HSC exam looms large and nerves begin to jangle. Everyone seems to be coping reasonably well except Matilda who, on the night before the first exam, appears to have a crisis of confidence. Ric, ever the dutiful boyfriend, tries hard to bolster her and seems to succeed. It’s only when Matilda is about to enter the exam room the next day that her demons again take hold and she takes off just before the start time. Again it’s Ric to the rescue. He tells her she should draw from Beth’s strength when she feels she can’t handle things. Matilda, to everyone’s relief, makes it back to school just in time to take the exam, but as Dan calls time to start, Matilda declares she can’t do it and walks out. This time there’s no coming back and Matilda fails to sit the paper.