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Home and Away “Welcome to Summer Bay”: Rewatching the early years.

Discussion in 'Australian & New Zealand Soaps' started by Mel O'Drama, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 262-266


    Change is still very much the current theme in Summer Bay. Almost every current plot is characterised by endings and beginnings. Most are happening in an insular way. After Floss and Neville’s departure, most of the changes are about characters taking new directions within the framework of the series, rather than being shaken up by cast rotation.

    Not that there haven’t been exits and entrances. One returning character was given a dramatic (if predictable) reveal when Carly went to the city for her therapy session to find that her counsellor is none other than Andrew Foley, who helpfully fills in the gaps for the benefit of Carly - and us:
    He has an advantage over Carly: he recognised her name and had read her file. Now, like me, you may have questions about how this fits in with the ethical framework of counselling. Shouldn’t he have avoided even picking up her file once he saw her name? Andrew helpfully covers this as well:
    So, he knows that he shouldn’t be counselling someone he knows. Much less someone he lost his previous job over owing to the inappropriate nature of their relationship. But he couldn’t help satisfying his curiosity, notwithstanding the impact it would have on her welfare.

    Ethical it may not be. Soapy it certainly is. Indeed, Andrew starts as he means to go on and counselling rulebook be blowed. He begins by putting the decision about whether or not he should counsel her onto Carly herself. And, funnily enough, this teenager with a crush thinks it would be a good idea for him to do this. Next, he loses track of time and suddenly realises they’ve been talking for hours on seeing the pitch black outside. His next move is to personally drive Carly home from the session. Once they’re alone in the car, he asks if she’d like him to come to Summer Bay to counsel her away from the office (the choice, once again, is seemingly Carly). And he also drops into the conversation that he’s no longer seeing Ginny Doyle from Sons and Daughters.

    Intentional or not, it feels as though he is grooming Carly. Andrew has to be the most inappropriate character to appear on the series. Ever. He seems to come alive when interacting with younger people, but it always feels as though he has an agenda. Peter Benson’s portrayal adds to the confusion, because he’s got this excited man-child thing going on and makes unpredictable choices that keep him very likeable. None of which stops me seeing the character in a very icky light. Even his offer to help Sally with her hula hoop turned my stomach. Call me weird, but I can frequently taste stale milk when watching him. I’m not quite sure what this means, but it can’t be a good thing, can it?
    [​IMG]


    In terms of exits, we’ve now seen the last of Nicholas Walsh, though not before he created some waves for pretty much everyone. Until he was finally confronted by Stacey in the new, upstairs-at-Macklin set:
    [​IMG]
    This worries Nick enough for him to chase her down the stairs like Ghostface and physically attack her, before she’s rescued by Tom. What struck me most about this scene is that both Nick’s slap of Stacey and Tom decking Nick took place off camera, with just the odd sound effect. Has the series become even more squeamish about violence?
    [​IMG]

    Nick’s loss is Tom and Frank’s gain, it seems:
    Nick leaves after interrupting a party to celebrate Stacey’s coup to privately remind her that she won’t be able to reveal most of what she found in the file without destroying the development and losing her own job. His parting shot to the group (“Enjoy the party - while it lasts”) before disappearing through the venetians is reminiscent of similar scenes both Samuels brothers had.

    Incidentally, heavily pregnant Ailsa is still coifing champagne.








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  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 262-266 (...continued)


    As befits her new series regular status (complete with one of my favourite title sequences, a short-lived shot outside Blaxland where Cornelia Frances glances directly at the camera briefly before scowling haughtily over Summer Bay), Morag is all over the show at the moment. She is on the rise and she’s willing to go to brutal lengths to achieve the status she desires. Or so it would seem.

    Recently, Morag has become a reluctant confidante for Donald. They share a secret that has cost Morag everything, while Donald is choosing to keep a lid on things. At the back of the mind of every viewer must be the question of how long Morag is prepared to tolerate the situation before using it for her own gain. This series of episodes appears to answer this. Looking certain to cement her status as the series’ resident bitch, Morag finally plays her hand after Donald refuses Nick Walsh’s offer to buy his property:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    It’s all very middle years Sons and Daughters. Donald walks away, defeated, but burst into Celia’s the next morning with his furious response:
    [​IMG]

    A significant look crosses Morag’s face, but its meaning isn’t fully clear. Yet.

    Donald then goes as far as to type his letter of resignation (a slightly nostalgic moment for viewers with longer memories).
    [​IMG]

    But elsewhere, we see that Donald’s words have not only hit a nerve, they’ve pricked her conscience and dispersed her bloodlust. Even while Donald is preparing to resign, she tells Nicholas they won’t be taking action against Donald:
    Pleasingly, Morag’s line about not being cut out for scheming got a wry laugh from Nick. It worked to pre-empt the viewer’s own cynicism towards it. Cornelia played the line for truth, and I bought that Morag - despite her track record - believed it. She then goes to Donald with a newfound humility:

    It’s a warm scene, and I appreciated that the relationship kept its awkward edge, particularly when Donald went on to sing Bobby’s praises and Morag bit his head off.



    Donald’s earlier resolve not to give in to Morag’s blackmail was directly influenced by two factors: his relationships with Bobby and Alan. He was seen to reflect after (even during) interactions with Bobby. And we also saw him looking thoughtfully at Alan’s picture on the back cover of the book.

    I like that the ghost of Alan Fisher looms over Donald, gently influencing him to take the next right decision like Jiminy Cricket on a surfboard. And On The Crest Of A Wave has become Donald’s Good Book, the tome into which he dips when he needs answers or inspiration.
    [​IMG]

    A result of this is that, as often happens when someone dies, Donald’s earthly relationship with Alan has become retroactively imbued with a reverence and importance that gives it great meaning. And so it makes sense that when Donald is offered the chance to speak about the book on television, he accepts the offer and asks Bobby to accompany him. She questions his motive for doing so, wondering if he plans to run Alan down, and Donald gives her an assuring answer:

    [​IMG]

    It’s another example of Bobby and Alan both being examples of Donald’s failure, and relationships in which he is finding hope. I can’t help but think back to something Ailsa said to Bobby when Alan first came into the series, and how much more significant that line is in light of recent revelations:





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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 262-266 (...continued)










    The note of thanks to her sister sums up Morag’s attitude towards her family and the community of Summer Bay in general quite nicely. Telling about the way they see her are the responses of the family members as they read the note:

    If Alf’s reactions seem a little strong, bear in mind that Stacey has revealed to him that Roo wasn’t behind the poison pen letters. He and Ailsa rush straight to see Roo to try to repair their damaged relationships, but Roo isn’t ready to hear it:
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Ailsa, as sharp as ever, is aware of how Morag is working:
    It all sounds very black and white. But thankfully, with Cornelia Frances now here for the long term, Morag's canvas is becoming broader. We saw her humanity when she couldn’t go through with her threat to expose Donald. Her visit to the city serves to further remind us that Morag, for all her shows of strength, is currently vulnerable. Fragile, even.


    All starts well when she takes Roo on a shopping spree. Then they lunch, where Morag moots to Roo the idea of moving to the city permanently. Over pre-lunch drinks, she tells Roo:
    It’s then she spots Sonia Lichfield and Danielle Griffin, with whom she worked on a committee, entering:
    She waves, and receives the frostiest of receptions.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Conscious of Roo’s presence, she smiles it off, but by the end of the meal is the worse for several martinis and slurring loudly:
    [​IMG]

    The return to the city isn’t as easy as she’d expected. And we haven’t even got to the main event yet.








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  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 262-266 (...continued)


    By the time they reach Richard’s house, Morag is more herself. Just as well, since she’s driving. As they pull into the imposing drive, she casually asks Roo how she’d feel about living there. Morag goes inside alone, sends Alf away with a flea in his ear (he's there asking Richard if he'll speak to Roo) and is shocked to find Richard preparing to sell the house. As with previous visits to this abode, we’re in that curious indoor/outdoor courtyard that immediately gives their meeting an Ayckbournesque tone that works incredibly well for the show.

    She kicks off with righteous anger about having helped pay for the home where she’s lived for twenty years. Then Richard, half mockingly, accuses her of being sentimental:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    It’s a devastating moment, made more so because of the intimacy of the scene. We’ve only met Richard a couple of times previously, both in a single episode. But I believe this relationship of theirs. I can taste their history. And I believe Morag’s words. Whether or not Richard does is difficult to say, but it’s to the credit of John Bonney and Cornelia that Richard remains almost likeable while saying ugly things. It’s easy to imagine that he’s protecting himself. The dynamic is very akin to that of Patricia and Gordon Hamilton in the last days of their relationship.

    It’s also impossible not to feel for Morag in that moment. She made herself more vulnerable than ever (symbolically, this is the episode in which she first appears to have discarded the wig). She came into it full of hope and quiet confidence and got it right in the soft underbelly.

    If she’s harder than ever from this moment, we’ll understand. Which means that Morag can get away with almost anything and we’ll get where she’s coming from.

    Before leaving, Morag shows Roo a fragile piece of pottery that becomes a symbol of her marriage:
    [​IMG]
    And she simply releases the pot, watching it smash on the floor. I particularly enjoyed the slight manipulation where she prevented Roo from sweeping away the pieces. There’s a message for Richard here: it takes two to break a marriage so absolutely.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 267-268



    If the previous couple of episodes concluded Morag’s tragic “origin” story by showing us who she is beneath the mask, #267 is the episode which sets the tone for her ongoing series, complete with her new lair and her new supporting cast of one.
    [​IMG]

    To show how serious the powers that be are about this new direction, the episode even begins with a short time jump to “6 Days Later”.
    [​IMG]
    Curiously, the intertitle opens the episode and since there’s no reprise of the previous episode it feels as though something is missing.


    The Blaxland Mansion is the new place for tense confrontations. First Celia marches up, in full battle mode. Nigel comes out to greet her, she calls him a show off and - without him realising - barges past him into the house while he is still telling her that he’ll let Morag know she is here.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Inside, she tells Morag how she feels about receiving an invitation to her housewarming:
    [​IMG]
    There’s a lovely little Fiona Spence moment where she tears the invitation in half, then struggles to tear it into smaller pieces and gives up, throwing it onto the floor with a little “oh” of resignation. It looks very unplanned and accidental and all the funnier for it. Even better, Cornelia Frances simply sits there looking simultaneously bored and half amused. Then the subject turns to Nigel:

    As Morag sees Celia out, there are yet more fun sparks between these two actresses. Morag teases that Celia won’t be able to resist coming along and goes out of her way to be nice, offering Celia a guided tour of her new home. Celia gets more flustered and has another outburst as Morag smiles with amusement:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    As she marches off, Morag imitates Celia, her voice breaking into a shrill, tremulous “Good morning” as her face contorts with sarcasm. It’s such a sibling thing to do, and again feels fresh and ad libbed. It’s not the only time she’ll imitate Celia in this episode. We’re just one scene into the episode and Morag’s new habitat is delivering.


    Undeterred, Celia discusses him with Roo:


    Donald, too, is curious about Nigel on his visit to Blaxland in response to the invitation:

    On seeing Donald out, Morag says she’s glad they’re still on good terms after her recent behaviour with him. It’s a simple scene, but does show that efforts are being made for the relationships to make sense. And it’s here, that she once again imitates Celia’s trilling tones:
    [​IMG]

    Incidentally, Morag’s title card appears to have been shot at the same time as the Blaxland location work in this episode.

    Meanwhile, the nature of Morag’s book becomes clearer when Nigel proposes coming up with a working title:
    [​IMG]

    We’re seeing some great variations on Morag at the moment. From the pathos of her visit to the city, we’ve moved immediately to the light comic banter with Celia, the warm sparring with Nigel and even a vein of arch villainy. And each of them works as a different aspect of the same rich character. I really should try to stop looking for parallels with Patricia Hamilton, but it’s very difficult not to.






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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 267-268 (...continued)


    In planning her housewarming party, Morag is casting her net widely, and some are curious about her motives. Donald has warned her that the reception in Summer Bay is “reserved”. Most mysterious of all is the invitation that Bobby receives.
    [​IMG]

    Bobby’s initial desire is to ram the invitation down Morag’s throat, but Morag’s earlier softening of Donald was to further her agenda, and Donald unwittingly obliges by invoking the ghost of Alan once again:
    [​IMG]

    Morag warmly receives the news in a one-sided telephone call.
    [​IMG]
    She then performs a triple Dallas feat by delivering a Lady Jessica soliloquy while smirking like Kristin and doing the Sue Ellen Ewing Post Phone Call Earring Replacement Manoeuvre:

    These episodes are not without their dull subplots at the moment - Matt teaching Leanne to read, for instance. Or Martin starting work at the Macklin Group with one trouser leg shorter than the other. Both are even less watchable than they sound. One such story, though at least moves a more interesting story forward.

    When Donald refuses to accept Lance into night school, Bobby ticks him off in the diner and Donald backs down. Ailsa is left confused. And again we can see the wheels turning:
    [​IMG]

    It’s not just in the diner that Donald is in danger of saying too much. At Summer Bay House he asks a favour of Pippa:
    Bobby, meanwhile, is determined to make a good impression and has a Pretty Woman experience in an upmarket boutique:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    (Incidentally, this aired over a year before Pretty Woman was released).

    Bobby analyses her outburst to Pippa in the diner:
    Crucially, she’s spoken about it - along with the name of the store - in front of Donald, whose next move is to visit the store himself:

    Donald then pays another visit to Summer Bay House to ask another favour of Pippa by asking if she and Tom could give Bobby the dress and say they’d bought it:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    It’s soapy greatness. I can’t remember exactly how it plays out from here, so I’m looking forward to the next episodes.
     
  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 269-272



    [​IMG]

    Donald finally confiding in Pippa works for this series on every level. Pippa has a winning combination of empathy and toughness. She won’t let Donald get away with his initial denial, nor does she let him walk away. She physically follows him outside, continuing to press her point, laying it all out until he can deny it no longer.
    [​IMG]

    The relief Donald feels once he has Pippa’s confidence is palpable. He is everything we would expect: vulnerable, regretful, warm and avuncular.

    There are many notes hit in their initial discussion that are gratifying. Some of it is new information, but even the information we knew already feels tantalisingly fresh when seen through the eyes of someone receiving it for the first time. We’re also taken into thought processes and feelings both historical and more recent which are insightful.

    A great example that covers a number of these bases is Donald mentioning that he is sure he’s Bobby’s father because Richard Bellingham is physically unable to have children and because Morag - for all her faults - was never promiscuous. We get some new information and we see a different side to a story that by now is familiar. Even more gratifying, Donald goes on to say that he mainly believes Bobby is his because his instincts tell him so. A sentiment to which Pippa, of course, can attach herself. Donald also mentions how similar Alan and Bobby were, and how confronting he found her in the classroom. This reinforces observations that others have made, such as the Ailsa line I re-quoted very recently indeed.

    The revelation, of course, also means that Donald has a new confidante. One who is far more objective and less bitter than Morag. The new shared knowledge is an exercise in intense bonding between two characters and it’s good to see it being used so well. Morag may have snarled off a bitter quip when Donald said he had no intention of telling Bobby. Pippa merely smiles understandingly and allows Donald to simply think out loud to her and us.

    Naturally, their conversation is interrupted by Bobby who wants a dress altered. There’s a sweet exchange between Bobby and Donald of the “bet you don’t miss having me causing trouble at school and at home” variety. Given Donald’s comment about finding her confronting, the timing almost seems appropriate. Pippa takes the opportunity to present Bobby with the present she says is from she and Tom, and so Donald gets to see Bobby’s happiness on opening it.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This being soap, Tom arrives home from work early and Bobby thanks him for the present in front of Pippa, before the latter has been able to brief him. This means Tom has to act gracious and benevolent while all the while fuming that Pippa has made such an extravagant gesture:
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Tom is shocked enough to be given a commercial break. Indeed, he’s not seen until the next episode by which time he’s able to comment on the situation:

    Word is rippling out, and it now feels like only a matter of time before the can of worms is well and truly open.








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  8. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 269-272 (...continued)



    The writers are working overtime in an effort to make Andrew Foley interesting, but this conversation pretty much just summed up Andrew’s motivation on the series. He’s a much darker character than I remembered. There have been some psychological games with Carly which are downright twisted. He’s worked it so that he holds all the cards, coaxing Carly into confess to her attraction for him by asking the right questions and only then admitting to having feelings for her. And he’s passed Carly onto another counsellor now that she’s asked him to arrange it, and now that he is certain he can continue seeing her personally.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Before Carly’s confessions there were lots of really creepy looks in her direction.

    Now that the two are an item, the responses of Tom and Pippa have been interesting. Tom expressed (mild) doubts, just as he did about Andrew being Carly’s counsellor. Pippa thought Andrew was healthy to pass Carly into someone else’s care all this time later. It’s a surprising way of looking at it. Carly may be eighteen, but she certainly qualifies as vulnerable with her history, recent and not so recent.

    Donald has the sense to be appalled:
    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, Morag has spotted Andrew and Carly frolicking on the beach and recognised him:
    [​IMG]


    And a couple of phone calls later:

    All this backstory is a bit of a worry. It suggests Andrew will be around for some time yet. But at least Morag’s in the thick of it. She’s already been to Summer Bay House to compliment Carly on how pretty she looks and to invite her - and Andrew - to her soiree. Leaving Carly, Tom and Pippa extremely confused.

    Another invitation recipient has been round to give Morag a formal reply:

    [​IMG]

    There’s a lovely moment where Morag turns her back while delivering a lengthy sarcastic comment to Alf, and he walks off. Just as she’s dismissingly bidding him goodbye she turns round to find he has gone. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but it’s one of those little flourishes that makes all the difference.







    continued...
     
  9. Mel O'Drama

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    Episodes 269-272 (...continued)



    Morag continues to be a mass of contradictions.

    On the one hand there’s Nigel telling Roo about his own backstory:

    On the other, there’s the woman herself plotting to bag Roo someone else’s boyfriend. Or scheming revenge against the daughter she abandoned eighteen years ago. Or trying to convince Roo to spy for Gordon Macklin:

    [​IMG]

    Roo then tells Stacey. Stacey has her own ideas. She’s busy running down her future husband to her father:

    [​IMG]


    Roo and Morag settle in to watch Bobby and Donald’s chat show appearance on television.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    But Morag isn’t happy when her name is mentioned on air:
    [​IMG]

    A little like when Valene Ewing appeared on The Mike Douglas Show, it’s fun to see these fish out of water scenarios. It’s equally fun to see the characters become “us”, sitting watching TV. Morag in particular is really funny in this scenario, eyes flashing, nostrils flaring and steam coming out of her ears as she starts bellowing at the set over a situation over which she has no control at all, like a football fan criticising the ref from the comfort of their sofa:
    And if she’s unhappy at that point, you know she’s not going to like Bobby’s response any better:
    I was surprised how little the "going on TV" scenario was used to further develop the relationship between Bobby and Donald. They’re not back from the city yet, so maybe there’ll be some post-show dissection, but at the moment all we’ve seen is them arriving in the studio which is novel, but not especially significant.

    Still, at least the TV appearance gives us the chance to see Morag at her most vengeful, and it’s a beautiful thing:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 273-274



    The seeds for these two episodes were sown with the revelation that Al Simpson wasn’t Bobby’s father, starting off a whole journey. Reflecting on the changes that have happened during this time for Bobby alone are quite mind-blowing. It certainly feels like significantly more than fifty episodes, or four months of air time. There’s the thaw in her relationships with Donald and Roo. Her marriage to Frank. The revelation that Morag is her mother. And the resulting ripples from each of those changes crossing over one another to create whirlpools.

    The pipe has been very carefully laid since then. A path of tantalising breadcrumbs that have led to the occasional feast of excitement. The story, bubbling away, flowing alongside more prosaic events or unrelated crises. There’s a sense that it’s been building to an exciting, chaotic climax and this is certainly proven to be true here.

    The two episodes covering Morag’s housewarming party feel almost bipolar. The first lays pipe carefully. The second seems as though the writers got fatigued and decided to wrap things up by throwing a month’s worth of revelations into ten or fifteen minutes. There’s an off-kilter wrongness to it: in the best possible way.

    In many ways, #274 is to Home and Away what Negotiations is to Knots Landing. While it’s watchable and engaging in any context, I try to imagine how someone watching for the first time would experience it. As with pivotal moments of any good soap, it would be possible without context to dismiss the events of this episode as stereotypical, production line schlock. When actually, the very fact that it’s in most ways an atypical episode suggest the opposite.

    So far, Donald’s secret beginning to come out into the open has felt hushed and unhurried. There have been conversations in low tones and knowing looks exchanged. There’s been a discovery or revelation, then the fallout has been given time to resonate. This is all about to change.

    As #273 begins - without a reprise - the topic of Bobby’s natural parents is already very much in the air. Donald and Bobby have arrived home by car, and Donald turns to Bobby, asleep in the passenger seat. He gently calls her, then reaches over and strokes her hair. There’s a darkness to the scene - and not just in how it’s lit. On the surface it seems a little creepy, but knowing what we know there’s also something tragic about Donald being this close to his daughter while she’s so out of his reach.
    [​IMG]

    In an ironic move, when the subject turns to Bobby’s mother, Donald defends her:

    They part on good terms and Bobby goes in to Frank where she resolves to still attend Morag’s party. On paper this seems illogical, but all it takes is for Bobby to throw in a line that she doesn’t want people thinking she didn’t have the guts to face Morag and it makes perfect sense for Bobby’s character. When did logic ever feature in a decision when there’s this much emotion involved.


    I assume the housewarming is the following evening. There are some daytime scenes in between, all of which feature Lance, Martin, Leanne and Matt and various combinations thereof, the less said about which, the better. One “comedic” Lance thread, however, cannot be ignored in these episodes. Lance has begged to get an invitation to Morag’s party and she was worn down into agreeing by Nigel. He’s asked Steven to help him come across as intelligent and Steven has rigged him up with a sitcom special: a microphone hidden in a lapel flower that will transmit the conversation to Steven, hiding in a nearby shed. And an earpiece for Steven to feed Lance clever lines to say to people:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    I’m sure it’s been done on screen many times before and since (Will helping Jack chat up Patrick Dempsey on Will & Grace springs to mind). It’s far from the worst of Lance’s escapades, and gave an amusing scene or two. But it also seems disposable and unnecessary. Who would have thought it would turn out to be the Chekov’s Gun of the piece?


    The fallout from the TV interview is still present as the guests arrive at Morag’s. Donald has no longer set foot inside than he is whisked aside by Morag who hisses her disapproval:
    [​IMG]


    This conversation sets the threatening tone for Morag this evening. The Sword of Damocles hangs over almost everyone with whom she interacts. It’s more a question of “when” and not “if” it will fall.






    continued...
     
  11. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 273-274 (...continued)


    Celia doesn’t need Morag to cause her damage. She spends much of the evening putting her foot in it. First with Roo:
    [​IMG]



    And then with Nigel
    [​IMG]

    There’s a nice bit of back and forth where Celia keeps apologising and commenting on what an awful thing she’d said. Each time, Nigel assures her it’s fine and goes unheard:

    I’m very much enjoying Nigel. He’s a character of whom my memories are somewhat foggy. I don’t remember him making much of an impact on me thirty years ago. He seems fairly unflappable and with a natty line for every occasion.



    Roo, as agreed with Morag spends some time making nice with Andrew (and ostensibly Carly). Laughing coquettishly and being very charming. Andrew and Carly leave early as he has an early start, but not before Morag has begun clearing the tracks for Roo by asking him over to dinner when he is back in town. The exchange leaves Roo with cold feet, and there’s a great visual when she touches on her own history to explain her reasoning:
    [​IMG]


    The threat in the air thickens when Bobby arrives and is crisply greeted by her long lost mother:
    [​IMG]



    Helping Bobby make it through the evening is Donald, who is on hand with some encouraging words
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Morag watches the two from across the room, and makes it clear to a confused Roo that she’s going to put Bobby firmly in her place with some well-chosen home truths.
    [​IMG]

    Importantly, the end of #273 creates a strong feeling that Morag’s targets are trapped. There is every reason to believe that no matter what happens, neither Donald nor Bobby will be able to leave the premises before Morag has spoken her piece on her terms.

    Whether it’s due to etiquette, stubborn pride or morbid curiosity, there is every reason for them to stay. They’ve granted Morag her audience, and she is about to give them the show of their lives.







    continued...​
     
  12. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 273-274 (...continued)


    If there was any doubt that Home and Away is The Seven Network’s spiritual successor to Sons and Daughters, there’s the whole saga of Bobby’s parents in general and episode 274 in particular. The ingredients that made the earlier series so addictively juicy are all present here, and working for the benefit of the show. There’s the snobby, affluent long-lost mother out to publicly humiliate the gauche, working class offspring she abandoned decades ago. There are the layered interactions between characters where one has knowledge about their relationship that the other doesn’t. There’s the social event attended by most of the cast in their finery, no matter where they fall on the social spectrum. There are threats. There are speeches. There are life-altering revelations.

    At the end of the previous episode, Roo was in the dark as to the identity of Bobby’s father. By the beginning of the next episode, she’s been enlightened. And this is just the start:
    And that’s where Lance and Steven’s radio contact becomes an honest to goodness key plot device. The first of the Fletcher kids to learn the truth about Bobby’s father is Steven, and it’s happened because one of the hired help at Morag’s party chose to move Lance’s wired-up jacket to within earshot of Roo and Morag’s conversation.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Let’s talk about Morag. There are times when it’s difficult not to watch her and not see Patricia Hamilton. There’s no doubting that she’s given the series a healthy injection of intrigue, upper middle class glamour and bitchery - qualities the two have in common. But it’s her relationships with Donald and Bobby where the parallels are most obvious. I’ve also commented that there’s something of the Dee Morrell about Morag (Dee being Cornelia Frances’s S&D characters’ mother, lest we forget. There are some scenes in which, intentional or not, she seems to dance between the most riveting qualities of these two women. Such a scene comes five minutes into #274, where Morag calls the room to order and asks for her guests' attention, before launching into a fantastic diatribe, orchestrated to create impact and brutally damage to those who have wronged her in the sensationally theatrical manner for which her career as a high court judge has equipped her:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    As is, it’s a terrifically meaty piece of writing, with some of the series’ ugliest dialogue yet. What really sets this scene apart though is the layering of dialogue. In previous revelations, we’ve had a revelation and then a response to it. Here, we get both side by side. Even as we lead up to the revelation, characters are seen reacting to it. So Morag’s spiel fades into the background as we hear Roo telling Nigel that she think’s Morag’s lost it; or hear Steven trying to contact Lance by radio; or hear Tom and Pippa’s concern given voice:

    It’s easy to miss important pieces of dialogue because more than one conversation is taking place at the same time. It’s rare that characters in soaps speak this way. Most TV series and films have lots of breathing space and one person speaking at a time. Jaws had a fair bit of this naturalistic layered style of dialogue, and it was all to the good. Having it here is an incredibly ballsy move, because it’s a pivotal moment. The audience is asked to assimilate an incredible amount of information in a very short space of time, and in a way that is rarely seen in a series of this kind. At certain times we’re getting twice the story compacted into half the time.


    Morag’s coup de grâce is denied when Lance feigns illness at Steven’s request. And while everyone else runs to his aid (again, somehow reminiscent of Jaws - this time the shark-induced panic on the beach) Morag and Bobby stand firm amid the chaos and stare each other out meaningfully.
    [​IMG][​IMG]









    continued...
     
  13. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 273-274 (...continued)



    The story of Bobby’s parents has been characterised by secrets that are uncovered accidentally. Information that’s stumbled upon. A conversation that’s overheard. We may have had expectations of how the story would play out, but the writers up to this point have had a habit of hitting all the expected notes and then at the last moment diverging along an unexpected route and almost disappointing with its lack of tradition.

    These episodes continue along those lines. It feels wrong - very wrong indeed - that such an important event as Alf and Celia learning the truth about Bobby’s father should take place in Lance’s strange prefab - a set that up to this point has almost exclusively featured scenes that test my patience in some way. Adding insult to injury, Lance and Steven are more clued in than they are:
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    With Lance feigning illness to stop Morag from telling all (oh - it’s all so wrong. Lance and Morag don’t even occupy the same universe), Morag is left fuming and taking her anger out on those closest to her:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG][​IMG]




    Bobby and Donald’s relationship isn’t the only one under threat. This is a big stakes episode, and the scales are falling from Roo’s eyes as she is seeing her Aunt in an unfavourable light and trying to reconcile her feelings for her family members. In particular, though, Roo comes down firmly on the side of her former mortal enemy. The person whom, just earlier that evening, she’d implicitly acknowledged - to Morag - as the winner in their battle over Frank:
    [​IMG]



    For Morag and Roo, this feels like an ending. At the end of a party to celebrate Morag’s new beginning. Just eight short episodes ago, we were there at the end of Morag’s last era. Already, this bright new start has come to an end and it’s starting to feel so final that I begin to wonder just what she’ll have left by the time this night is over.










    continued...
     
  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 273-274 (...continued)



    Mirroring the night that Morag was revealed to be Bobby’s mother, the events of one evening are spread over more than one episode. So far, two thirds of episode 273 and the whole of #274 have been dedicated to this single evening, and it looks very likely to continue into #275.

    By the last act of #274, the events of the first act - with Morag’s monologue - seem so far away it’s as though a couple of episodes have passed. It’s been an exhausting twenty minutes. With the two main families’ newfound knowledge, a counsel of war is called at Summer Bay House. In attendance are Tom, Pippa, Alf and Celia. Frank is summoned and asked to come without Bobby. We don’t see Frank given the news, but we see his immediate response to it. Within 25 seconds of Frank taking on the news about Donald, Donald himself walks through the door, to be told by Tom and Pippa that it’s time to tell Bobby.
    [​IMG]

    Everyone is brutally blunt in the conversation, and I found myself feeling for Donald in the scenario. Perhaps this is deliberate. Over the months, the story has shifted to the point where now we’re seeing it almost from his side rather than Bobby’s. We know that he’s trusted Pippa with a confidence that’s within a matter of days has been broken. Frank can seem so unlikeable sometimes that what he says could just as easily be motivated by a love of drama as concern for Bobby. It’s an impressive feat of storytelling that Donald has by default become the protagonist of the piece. The others may have valid points, but it’s Donald who elicits my empathy here.


    The glamour - everyone is still in their party frocks and suits - feels very fitting for such a dramatic sequence as they decide that Donald should be the one to tell Bobby. And it gets still more glamorously dramatic when more guests arrive. And we know they’re fish out of water because they enter through the front door:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    That disembodied voice from behind Frank is another example of the series giving us a dramatic reveal, but quite unlike any expectations we may have had. The fact that Bobby is concealed in the doorway, hidden behind Frank as he speaks is a great piece of direction. It’s kind of like a reversed version of Edmund leaving the Beavers’ den in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. We don’t know how long she’s been there, or how much she’s heard. And it almost doesn’t matter. Because we know she’s heard enough. Even though I knew it was coming this time round, it still felt satisfyingly surprising because there’s so much going on to create interest in the scene leading up to Bobby’s line. Frank learning the truth, Morag and Roo’s unexpected arrival; the intense discussion itself. Bobby being there is the cherry on the icing of a deliciously rich cake.

    The fact that she’s in that doorway and excluded from such an important discussion feels very significant. It echoes the Pilot where she watched the Fletchers from the same spot, craving a family but scared of what that implied. Now she’s watching the same family - ones she now calls her own family - discussing her future with the parents for whom she’s spent so long searching. Little wonder her response, as Donald approaches her, is one of anger:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  15. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episode 275



    Surprisingly, despite her close relationships to both Bobby and Donald and her propensity to gravitate towards drama, Ailsa is the last person in Summer Bay to find out about Donald being Bobby’s father. As with other characters, we catch up with her in the moments immediately after she’s been told, for the standard “blurt out Donald’s name in an ejaculation of surprise at the beginning of a scene” bit.

    Alf has evidently found her satisfying pregnancy cravings as she is clutching a large jar of olives with a fork in. There’s an open loaf of bread on the table, too. And, perhaps most bizarrely, a cup and saucer. Alf says that Bobby had overheard everyone deciding not to tell Bobby (did I watch a different scene? Last I saw they were pressuring Donald to tell Bobby immediately). Ailsa then sweeps her hand invitingly over the nibbles on the table:
    [​IMG]

    Following a hunch, Ailsa tracks Bobby down to the old Simpson house where she sits on the swing she presumably played on as a child:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Bobby convinces Ailsa she needs space and asks her not to tell anyone where she is. Ailsa agrees but then does the Aunt Fiona thing of going to Donald first thing next morning where the undercurrent to the scene is influenced by her controlling the information he’s fed and knowing something he doesn’t. She finds him returning home after an entire night of desperately searching for Bobby, to which Ailsa blithely chirps:
    Incidentally, this is the first of three key scenes this episode in which the ivory brickwork of Donald’s house forms an important - and symbolic - backdrop to the events onscreen.
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Donald is knackered. He’s also stressed because, on top of everything else, he’s forgotten his house keys and can’t get into the house. Ailsa follows him round the exterior of his house, he trying to find an open window, she trying to persuade him to give Bobby a chance, giving her the chance to deliver that Jedi platitude she’s been saving for just such an occasion:
    As she continues to challenge him, Ailsa’s tempo picks up and her volume intensifies. Donald naturally finds himself drawn into it, trying to justify himself to her. Until, in a bid to get her off his back he is bellowing at the top of his voice:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Naturally, Ailsa takes Donald to Dr Phil-good to tend to his bloody arm. Almost immediately, Frank drops Ailsa in it by mentioning that she’d spoken to Bobby. When Donald asks Ailsa about concealing it from him, she decides the best offence is a distortion of the truth:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    As though it’s significant to Donald’s words, we cut immediately to the pale-bricked exterior of his house, where Bobby thumping on Donald’s front door and walking round his house, shouting out angrily:
    There’s a crucially important symbolism here. Bobby literally follows in Donald’s footsteps as she takes the exact same route as the one Donald took with Ailsa. In the first scene, Donald was trying to get inside to safety and solitude. In the second, the house represents Donald himself to Bobby - hard and impossible to reach.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I remember this moment well, but what I’d forgotten was how short a scene this is. Whereas Donald’s scene built from fatigued concern to anger, this scene with Bobby is the opposite. Bobby’s anger quickly turns to genuine concern when she sees the smashed, bloodied glass and she instantly becomes the little girl. The open window reminds us that safe solitude is not an option for Donald anymore, nor do the gates and locks effectively protect him with this new element of vulnerability Both he and the house bear the scars of experience. The outcome of both scenes is that they individually realise how much the other means to them, no matter how hard they may try to fight it.










    continued...
     
  16. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episode 275 (...continued)


    Next door to Donald’s home is Summer Bay House, which represented safety to Bobby almost as much as Donald’s did to him. But while everything looks the same here, for Bobby everything’s changed. Not that she has time to think about that at the moment. She has a more pressing concern:
    I love how interacting with Sally gives Bobby the chance to think out loud in a way she wouldn’t have been able to if speaking to Ailsa, Pippa or Frank. In place of advice, challenge or platitudes, she gets the space to explore her own feelings with minimal judgement. And the end result is progress.

    In most episodes, the key story of the day runs side by side with other arcs that frequently contrast. More often than not, a lighter, humorous storyline will be interspersed in between the high drama. Not so with this episode. Ysabelle Dean makes the choice to continue the episode’s theme of a father and daughter on the journey towards making peace. And so after her angry words to Morag, Roo comes to see Alf. The scene begins with the surprised Alf offering Roo his sandwich (“It’s your favourite. Corned beef and salad”), which she politely declines.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    It’s a sweet little scene. “Little” being the operative word. Sandwiched as it is in between scenes of Bobby making discovery after discovery, it feels quite small and prosaic. But appropriately so. Even though the falling out between the Stewarts was a big storyline, it somehow doesn’t feel important anymore. Which is exactly why it’s so right that this resolution comes exactly when it does.


    Equally unexpected, given the feeling of event surrounding their recent meetings, Bobby drops in on Morag. And while it ostensibly starts out as a scene about the difficult relationship between mother and daughter, in the context of this episode absolutely everything is about Bobby and Donald:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Bobby and Morag are no further forward as a result of this scene. If it were simply about that it would be entirely unnecessary. Bobby and Donald, however are another matter. And this was really Bobby’s motive for coming. She needed to be around the natural parent who is unforgiving and unyielding to appreciate the one who has been shown to be open to the relationship in some way. By the time Morag is running down Bobby’s relationship with Morag we can see a light coming on for Bobby.








    continued...
     
  17. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episode 275 (...continued)



    This episode features a flashback scene in which Bobby walks around outdoors while we see flashes of various scenes from her relationship with Donald - most of them their clashes at school. Some are so short as to be subliminal, others a little more sustained and with dialogue. From Donald giving Bobby a 0% exam score to him awarding her Student Of The Year. The progress of their relationship is charted in a few soundbites. And its volatile nature could just as easily chart the ups and downs in Roo and Alf’s relationship. All of which serves to make Bobby and Donald a feasible father and daughter. Their relationship has already hit many of the right notes. We just didn’t realise it. As an aside, Bobby’s Season Two haircut pays off here. Even though most of the clips are from the last year, the haircut and school uniform serve to make them look vintage. Which helps give the relationship a visual sense of history.
    [​IMG]

    I must give a mention to Mike Perjanik’s beautiful piano score. This episode features some of his most painfully beautiful music. The scene between Bobby and Ailsa at the Simpson is one that springs to mind as an example of the score taking it somewhere incredibly special. As is the final scene, where the score is again paired with Ysabelle Dean’s beautifully truthful dialogue (incidentally, I always “see” Charlie Bartlett when I think of Ysabelle Dean. I think her name frequently appeared over Sarah Kemp’s photo in the Sons and Daughters opening credits).

    Perhaps for the first time in the entire series, Donald Fisher’s house is the key location for this episode. Specifically the ivory bricked exterior (we don’t actually set foot inside at all). The final scene completes the location-meets-story hat-trick in this episode. First there’s the scene with Ailsa where Donald becomes emotional over Bobby. Next there’s the scene where Bobby finds the bloody glass and responds with instinctive care for Donald. And we return to the brick for the final scene. After walking round, Bobby has ended up outside Donald’s. Rather than vitriolic blame, she seems at peace when Donald arrives home to find her there. The first time they’ve interacted since Bobby discovered the truth.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Both are weary. Donald bears the dressing that is testament to his earlier depth of feeling. Donald still wears the suit and jeans he first put on the night before, for Morag’s housewarming. Bobby wears the jacket and Joan Armatrading t-shirt she threw on after the eventful party, before going over to Summer Bay House and overhearing life-changing news.

    [​IMG][​IMG]



    She stands up:


    He stands up and faces her:
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    She walks past him and begins to walk away:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    At ten seconds shy of four minutes, it’s a long scene by the standards of the series. Nicolle Dickson does her wonderful Nicolle Dickson thing of looking vulnerable and breaking down with power and fragility, creating a connection with the viewer based on pure empathy. while Norman Coburn allows lots of space and reaches deep as Donald tries to connect with Bobby. Even more notably, there is no dialogue at all for the final minute. Instead, those sixty seconds are devoted to two characters wordlessly connecting, both afraid. And it culminates in their first father/daughter hug. The readings of the actors paired with Perjanik’s score make it one of the most beautiful scenes in the series yet.


    #275 is a near-perfect episode for this era. It lacks the feeling of event of the last two episodes, and features fewer main characters. But there is an intimacy that runs through it, and absolutely no filler (helped by the absence of Lance, Martin and Leanne). Every scene is watchable, and some take things to the next level by evoking an incredible feeling of connection to the characters on screen. I’m confident this would make a top ten of my favourite series episodes, and could well be a contender for the top spot in my favourite Season Two episodes. No small thing.
     
  18. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 276-280



    Rebecca Fisher has arrived on the scene. Just in time to learn she’s got a half sister.

    My memory of her is as being a little bland and forgettable. However, I really like what I’ve seen so far. She’s quite unlike Alan, and is perhaps a more clearly defined combination of qualities that Barbara and Donald have. She’s very likeable. And there’s something very ordinary and un-soapy about her, despite being pretty and in the midst of much drama.

    Even her arrival threw the cat amongst the pigeons when Bobby invited her to be the surprise guest at the dinner she threw for Donald:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Thinking Bobby’s blown the secret he hasn’t got round to telling Rebecca, he offloads to Ailsa at the diner in a scene that distractingly had Scott and Charlene Robinson’s wedding song playing in the background:
    Naturally, the secret is soon blown by Lance and Martin. Rebecca disappears and hides in a caravan where she meet-cutes Steven.
    [​IMG]
    The two quickly become something of an item, and I must say they look good together.
    [​IMG]

    The relationship between Bobby and Rebecca is proving interesting. They’re chalk and cheese, but their connection feels genuine. Even before Rebecca knew who she was, she was keen to get to know her because of Bobby and Alan’s connection.

    Once the lid is blown, she’s more determined than ever to spend time with Bobby, despite Donald’s eagerness for her to practice her music:
    [​IMG]


    There’s a really nice bonding scene which leads to Rebecca teaching Bobby some piano:
    [​IMG]


    Rebecca enjoying her holiday too much is a source of concern for Donald, and brings out the authoritative father in him and the rebellious daughter in Rebecca:
    He’s even gone so far as to collude with Celia to keep Rebecca occupied.

    Rebecca is very accepting of Bobby, and also of Donald and Morag’s past. She even visits Morag to let her know she’s OK with it and gets an invitation in return, leading Donald to put his foot down again:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Donald reverting to the heavy-handed parent gives us the standout scene from these five episodes. Once again, the ghost of Alan Fisher informs the moment:
    It’s a truly beautiful scene and a captivating moment from Norman Coburn who says nothing but tells us everything. Rebecca reading takes fifty seconds which is one single shot, starting wide, framing both characters. While Mike Perjanik’s haunting piano piece heavily used during Alan’s tenure plays, the camera zooms very slowly, moving gently into a tight close up of Donald as Norman Coburn wonderfully expresses Donald’s obvious discomfiture. The camera is on him the entire time, and every second is magic.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]









    continued...
     
  19. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 276-280 (...continued)


    Morag capitalises Rebecca turning down her dinner invitation as a chance for she and Roo to work on Andrew. However there’s some confusion about whether or not Andrew was meant to bring a plus one, leading to an unwelcome gatecrasher:
    [​IMG]
    Naturally, Morag says one thing but means quite another. And on her territory she knows exactly how far to push things. Which means she can have fun toying with Carly while staying within social acceptability. Her hidden agenda for the evening gives her the perfect chance to gloss over any nastiness, so she gives herself the pleasure of running her guest down in the name of dinner party conversation, while Nigel and Roo hold their breath in horror:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]



    After dinner, she aims to divide and conquer, by offering Carly a tour of her house while Nigel prepares the coffee. Which means Roo is left to entertain Andrew.
    [​IMG]


    By the time they regroup, Roo has persuaded Andrew that she could be his assistant if he takes up Morag’s offer. Again, Roo is fairly unreadable here, though her conversation with Morag after the guests have left suggests she’s more altruistic than Morag had planned:

    Andrew accepts Morag’s offer and when he visits to talk it over, she produces a contract and a pen and stands over him while he signs.
    [​IMG]


    Roo’s newly restored relationship with Alf is giving Morag headaches. Alf and Nigel are getting on like a house on fire, and Alf asks Nigel to ensure Morag doesn’t take advantage of Roo. Morag is furious enough to overindulge:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    While Alf stops by in person to deliver a warning to his sister:
    [​IMG]


    Alf’s also had a job to stop his other sister from getting into his business. But Nigel and his heightened sense of smell come in handy again:

    The revelation about Donald has given us more updates of Doris Peters:

    And also a fun caricature, for which Bobby persuaded Donald to hand out a prize rather than a punishment. Once he was over the initial shock of seeing it:
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Over at The Macklin Group, Phil has proposed to Stacey. Again. This time through a locked door while Stacey hid under the desk. After confiding in Ailsa, Stacey responds to him:
    [​IMG]


    This time it’s Phil’s turn to think about it, and he comes back with an equally positive response.
    [​IMG]


    Ailsa couldn’t help noticing the inordinate number of pregnancies in Summer Bay:

    Incidentally, #276 saw another time jump between Donald and Bobby’s hug and life returning to normal:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator EXP: 11 Years Staff Member

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    Episodes 281-285


    On the surface, the second week of March 1989 is a pretty unexciting one. After recent explosions of twisting plot which has in turn delivered character-driven emotion, we seem to have returned to the more typical day-to-day Aussie soap fodder, which is entertaining but somewhat predictable.

    Scratch that surface, though, and it becomes apparent that beneath even the most shallow of stories is a clear understanding of history - both character and series.

    Take the series’ most beige current couple, Philip and Stacey. They go through a less than riveting series of standard soap events this week, and each twist seems more underwhelming than the last.

    Gooey happiness is usually a drag in soap. There’s little more cloying than seeing a loved-up couple gushing over an engagement ring, and even more so when there’s evidently more chemistry on the page than the screen. But that’s what we get in the glamorously beige setting of the flat behind the store:
    [​IMG]

    The ring is too small, but it’s quickly re-sized and given an outing to the beach where the beaming continues.
    [​IMG]

    Thankfully, there’s always bad news around the corner. First, Stacey is sacked by her own father, finding out the news in the most zeitgeisty way possible: via a fax message sent to Tom, Frank and Roo:

    The next lot of bad news comes with a silver lining:
    And just like that, things are well on the way to being reset. Losing her job has also meant the threat of homelessness for Stacey. Twice. First She was asked to vacate the flat at the Macklin office. So she’s moved into the flat with Philip, Frank and Bobby, driving the latter mad by channelling all her energies into compulsive tidying that threatens to reach Beryl Palmer proportions. Celia isn’t happy about the situation at all:
    [​IMG]


    Celia then appraises Betty Falwell of the situation in a highly enjoyable meeting of small town minds that makes a bland house share sound like Sodom and Gomorrah.
    [​IMG]

    Betty borderline hysterical shrieking about the proximity to shoppers and children never fails to make me smile. It’s so Helen Lovejoy.

    Celia’s entry to the proceedings is where history begins to influence this story. Word of the situation reaches Nigel, and he makes it his business to persuade Celia to do the right thing. He goes about this by asking questions and getting to understand Celia: The Person. Then he uses this information to bring about the desired result.

    He begins by inviting the delighted Celia to join him for a cuppa and the subject turns to music:
    [​IMG]

    Needless to say, the tenants get to stay. But the chemistry between Nigel and Celia seems quite real. There’s been further physical contact when they literally bumped into one another:
    [​IMG]

    Nigel's M.O. of using information to make his case is present in another of his relationships this week. With even more revealing consequences.












    continued...
     

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