Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Don Battye   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Peter Andrikidis

Jeff hobbles out through the front door of the Palmer house and heads down the path. As he does so, he pauses and looks across at his own house. He then hobbles off again. Leanne comes out of the Palmer house and watches him as he crosses the road. She sighs and goes back inside.

A while later, Jeff is hobbling across the nearby park. As he passes a brick building, he spots a dero slumped against it, apparently unconscious. He's surrounded by old bottles and newspapers. Jeff looks round to see if there's anyone nearby. There isn't. He then looks back at the dero, who stirs slightly, but doesn't wake up. Jeff hobbles towards him and stands next to him, staring down at him for several seconds. He then puts his crutches under one arm, bends down and lifts out a bottle of scotch from where it's sticking out from the dero's jacket. He unscrews the cap and takes a swig of the liquid. As he swallows it, it causes him to cough, and the sound wakes the dero up. He sees Jeff standing there holding the bottle, and he immediately snaps at him to give him his drink - it's all he's got. He manages to stand up, he grabs the bottle and he staggers off, hiding the bottle under his jacket again as he does so. Jeff watches him go. He then looks down at the mess the dero has left behind.

In the lounge room at the O'Briens', Mike asks Katie to duck next door and ask Jeff to come home. Katie goes. Heather immediately asks him if that was necessary. Mike just retorts that he's going to be late for work. Heather tells him to go, but Mike snaps that he's not leaving until Jeff gets home. Heather suggests that he probably got talking to Leanne. Mike, though, just replies that he's had long enough. Heather tells him that he's got to trust Jeff some time. Mike retorts that he'll trust him when he can prove that he can pull himself together. Heather asks him how he's going to do that with them breathing down his neck all the time. Katie suddenly comes back in and cries that Jeff isn't there - he left a while ago. Mike snaps that he knew he'd try something. He then tells Heather to go out and check the streets. He asks Katie to stay there at the house and continues that he'll take the car and try the lake and the park. He adds that Jeff couldn't have got far on crutches. He then tells Katie to ring Patricia and let her know that he'll be late for work. Heather suddenly remembers that she said she'd give Beryl a lift to the Children's Home. Mike tells her that he'll let her know that she can't make it.

Next door, Beryl tells Leanne, who's sitting on the couch, that the meeting shouldn't go on very late. There's suddenly a knock at the door, and Beryl comments that that will be Heather now. She goes and answers it, and looks surprised to find Mike standing there. He tells her that he's sorry, but Heather can't give her a lift this morning. Looking concerned, Beryl says she hopes there's nothing wrong with her. Mike quickly explains that it isn't Heather. He then asks her if she knows where Jeff went after he left there. In the lounge room, Leanne looks round at the door. Beryl tells Mike that she thought Jeff went straight home, and she asks if there's a problem. Mike explains that they've had a bit of trouble with him lately - they caught him drinking on the sly. Looking worried, Leanne gets up and runs out into the kitchen and through the back door.

A short time later, Leanne is walking quickly through the park, and she suddenly spots Jeff standing in the middle of a patch of grass, staring into space. She runs over to him and asks him if he's OK. Jeff doesn't respond. Leanne goes on that she's his friend - maybe she can help. Jeff turns and looks at her, and then implores, "Please..."

A few moments later, Jeff and Leanne are sitting on a bench at the park. Jeff tells Leanne that he doesn't know why: he just can't stop - every time he goes to have a drink, he says to himself that this will be the last one, and he really means it. Leanne comments, "Then you have another one." Jeff continues that, that old guy... when he took his booze... he could end up like that; he's got to stop, but he doesn't know how. Leanne remarks that it's a bit like smoking, isn't it? Jeff says he doesn't know. Leanne goes on that a couple of girls at the Home were really hooked on smoking, but they stopped by cutting down by one a day; she reckons he could do the same. Jeff glumly retorts that he doesn't. Leanne points out that it wouldn't be as bad as going through cold turkey. Jeff says he supposes so. Leanne tells him that she can help him: they can make it that he tells her every time he wants a drink, and she can tell him whether it's alright or not. As she says this, a car suddenly pulls up behind them, and Jeff realises that the driver is his father. Mike gets out of the car, leaps over the wire fence that's between him and the kids and snaps at Jeff, "Thank God I've found you." He then angrily asks him why he couldn't keep his word. Jeff cries, "I'm sorry, dad." Mike, more softly, replies that he is, too. He suggests that they go home. He puts his arm round Jeff's shoulder and helps him to the car. Leanne follows, holding Jeff's crutches.

At Toorak, Luke is in the study with Patricia, talking on the 'phone to Mr. Donaldson. He tells him that they'll have the papers copied and over to him this evening. He then hangs up and tells Patricia that it's all fixed. Patricia thanks him for handling it. She then goes on that what she'd really like to know is where Mike is. Luke comments that it must be important, as he's not the sort of guy to let you down. He adds that, besides, he knew what had to be done. Patricia smiles and tells him that he's got his father's instinct. Looking surprised, Luke asks her how she knows about his father. Caught off-guard, Patricia quickly replies that Jill talked about him a couple of times - he just seemed to be a very clever businessman. Luke mutters, "Right." Patricia looks relieved at getting out of her slip.

Back at the O'Brien house, the four members of the family are in the lounge room. Mike tells Jeff that the first thing that has to be sorted out is whether or not he admits he has a problem - because until he does, no one can help him. Jeff quietly replies that it was only this morning that it hit him: yeah... he's got a problem. Heather, looking upset, walks over to him, to comfort him, but Mike tells her not to, as they're going to talk about this as straight as they can - he doesn't want them to get emotional about it. He then turns back to Jeff and tells him that there's nothing more they can do for him - he and Heather don't know how to deal with this, so they think it's about time he went to some people who know what they're doing. Heather, looking at him in shock, asks him if he means Alcoholics Anonymous. Mike replies, "Yeah." He goes on that there are other kids with problems like Jeff's and they know how to help them. He looks at Jeff and asks him if he'll go. Jeff looks at Heather, who's on the verge of tears. He then nods. Heather runs out of the room, crying. Mike asks Katie to talk to Jeff while he goes after her.

Heather is standing in the kitchen, crying. Mike gently tells her to come on. Heather sobs that she's sorry - it's just that she can't believe it's happening: their son has to go to court to answer a charge of shoplifting alcohol... and now he's admitted that he needs help from AA... Mike points out that at least he admitted it - it's the first step. He then continues that he knows why the kid has had problems: it all goes back to when they split up... then he got into trouble for joyriding... he hasn't felt secure at home and he hasn't been the kind of father he should have been... Heather assures him that it's not his fault - he's a wonderful father. Mike asks, "Am I?" He then goes on that he let them all down before - he got so caught up in that business - and here he is again: only a few days in his new job and already he's spending less time with her than he should be. He adds that other blokes can handle having a job and a family; why not him? - he should be spending time at home trying to find out how he can help Jeff; get him to a meeting or whatever. Heather assures him that she'll do that - he's got to go to work; he's got enough to cope with there. Mike gently tells her that she knows he couldn't do this without her. Heather smiles through her tears and tells him to go - he's late enough as it is. She kisses him and adds that he can drop Jeff off on the way. He goes. Heather wipes her eyes with her handkerchief. She then sniffs and sighs.

Mike arrives at Toorak, and as he stands in the hallway with Patricia, she tells him that he nearly missed her. Mike explains that he had a problem with his family. Patricia retorts, "So your daughter said." They head into the lounge room, and she then tells Mike that the Donaldson call came through. Mike snaps, "Hell. I'd forgotten about that." Patricia points out that it's a major account. Mike says he's sorry. Patricia continues that, fortunately, Luke was there and he handed it - very well. She adds that he's in the study; she's off shopping - she'll see him this evening. Mike says he thought they were having a roundtable discussion about the new accounts they're going after. Patricia tells him that they can do that tonight. Mike asks her what she at least thinks of the Carter deal. Patricia picks up the file from the coffee table and says she'll take it with her to the hairdresser's and look at it there. She then adds that she hopes he and Luke have a fruitful day - what's left of it...

A short time later, in the study, Luke asks what he was supposed to do. Mike retorts that he should have told Donaldson that he'd ring him back. Luke asks why. Mike snaps that he's the manager of the company; it doesn't look good. Luke insists that he was just trying to help. He adds that he knows Mike has got problems at home - that's why he thought he should cover for him this morning; he's not trying to take over. Mike curtly tells him to just remember who's in charge.

Roger Carlyle answers the 'phone in his apartment at the St. Kilda Road Travelodge. Karen Fox comes on and introduces herself. She then tells him that she knows they've never met, but she certainly knows him by his reputation - as she's sure he does her. Roger agrees that he's heard of her. Karen goes on that she's in Melbourne on business and she wondered if he could spare her a half-hour of his valuable time. Roger curtly replies that he's sorry, but he's a very busy man - his days are usually planned some time ahead. Karen insists that she's sure he'll be able to find some time for her: she has something rather important to discuss with him regarding his son Luke - but if he'd rather she went directly to him... Roger quickly tells her that he finds he has a gap at about 5:15pm - could she drop by his apartment then? Karen replies that she'd be delighted to. Roger asks her if she knows the address. Karen retorts that of course she does - she'll see him at 5:15pm. They hang up. Roger looks thoughtful.

Beryl is sitting with Heather in the lounge room at the O'Briens'. Katie is talking on the 'phone. Beryl asks Heather where Jeff is now, and Heather explains that Mike took him to school on the way to work. Beryl tells her that, if there's anything at all that she can do, just let her know. Heather says she feels a bit guilty not going to work today, but she wants to collect Jeff at lunchtime to see he's alright. Katie hangs up the 'phone and then announces that she'd better get moving - she's got an appointment with her partners. Beryl comments that that sounds important! Katie, though, explains that they're just the people she designs computer games for. She kisses Heather and Heather wishes her good luck. She goes. Looking at the expression on Heather's face, Beryl comments that it's hard not to think about it. Heather, though, explains that she was thinking about Katie, actually - she was hoping that, as she's not seeing as much of Terry, she might have lost interest in him, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way. She adds that it's not as if Katie can go tripping off to Ararat every week to see him; she'll just have to wait and see what happens. She then realises that she's keeping Beryl from her meeting. Beryl, though, replies that there's something she thinks she should tell her before she goes - about Terry and Jill O'Donnel. Heather looks at her closely, and she goes on that Terry has asked Jill to marry him; she's sure Jill won't, but if that's the way he's thinking... Heather realises, "Katie is well and truly wasting her time." Beryl agrees that she'd say so.

Barbara walks into Dural. Gordon comes out of the study and Andy comes out from the lounge room and they both join her in the hallway, where she opens her handbag and tells them to guess what she's got. Gordon comments that he dreads to think! Barbara takes out some items and declares, "My learner's permit and my L-plates!" Andy exclaims that that's great, because he's got something to go with them. He leaves them momentarily, and Gordon comments to his wife that he wishes she'd forget this idea. Barbara points out that he gave in over the present; he can't expect her not to use it! Andy comes back and hands her a helmet. Barbara looks at it in delight! She then puts it on and asks how she looks. Gordon smiles and replies that it defies description! Barbara then asks Andy if she can have her first lesson. Gordon grimly asks if he can come and watch. They head outside.

A few minutes later, Barbara is sitting on her scooter, and Andy is telling her that it's an automatic, so she doesn't have to worry about gears; she should just take it easy and watch where she's going. Gordon warns her to, for goodness' sake, be careful! Barbara starts the engine, revs it up and cries, "Whoo!" She then moves the scooter off slowly, and Andy follows her as she heads down the driveway. She bursts out laughing as she realises she can't steer the machine in a straight line, and after a few seconds, she hits the verge of the grass and falls off! Gordon runs over to her in concern, but she just bursts out laughing again! Gordon tells her that she should give up the whole idea, but Barbara insists that it was wonderful! She adds that it's like riding a horse: you fall off and then you get back on. She then tells them to stand back, and she gets back onto the machine. As she moves it back onto the driveway, Andy tells her to concentrate this time! She starts the engine again and then toots the horn. The sound causes her to burst out laughing again! She starts riding off slowly down the driveway. Andy stands with Gordon and comments that she's a terrific lady. Gordon grimly agrees that there's certainly no stopping her when she makes her mind up about something. Andy calls to Barbara that he thinks she needs training wheels! Barbara calls back to him not to be rude. She then suddenly veers off the driveway and heads down the grass verge, where she falls off again!

Patricia is at Roger's apartment. Roger tells her to forget Carter - they look shaky and they wouldn't be guaranteed a long enough term. He then tells her to go for Graton - they're small, but they're going to hit it big in a few months. Patricia quickly assures him that that's what she thought... Roger tells her that they'll have to leave it at that, as he's got a meeting with someone soon. Patricia asks him if it's another client. Roger replies that it isn't - but it's nothing to concern herself about. He stands up and then asks how Luke is coming so far. Patricia replies that he's doing very well indeed - in fact, he handled a rather dicey problem this morning like an expert; she was wondering if they shouldn't have made him manager instead of Mike, despite him being so young. Roger, though, tells her to give it a little time - she'll see why he wanted it the way it is; he knows exactly what he's doing...

Karen knocks on the front door at the Palmers', and Leanne lets her into the house, telling her that Mrs. Palmer shouldn't be too much longer. Karen says that's good, as she's got an appointment in an hour and she doesn't want to be late. She then adds that, still, there's no reason why they shouldn't chat while she's waiting. Leanne offers her some tea, and she accepts. They head into the kitchen, where Karen asks her how she gets on with the neighbours. Leanne asks her if she means the O'Briens, and then continues that she gets on with them well - although things aren't going great with them at the moment: Jeff has got into the booze a bit, and his mum and dad are trying to get him off it. She then realises that she shouldn't have said anything. Karen, quickly changing the subject, tells her that she likes her hair - it really suits her. Leanne looks delighted. Beryl suddenly arrives home and Leanne calls out to her that Karen Fox is there to see her. Beryl comes into the kitchen and asks Leanne if she's making tea. Leanne replies that she is, but there's nothing to go with it. Beryl explains that she hasn't had time to do any baking. She hands the girl some money and asks her to pop out to get something nice. Leanne takes the money and goes. When she's gone, Karen comments to Beryl that it was very good of her to take the girl in. Beryl replies that she's a nice kid - she deserves a break. She then asks Karen what brings her there. Karen explains that she believes Beryl knows Mike O'Brien and Luke Carlyle; she was wondering what she could tell her about them. Looking wary, Beryl says she doesn't think she should discuss friends. Karen replies that she understands that, but they do hold fairly key positions in Patricia's company, and she does think they should know what they're up against. She adds that she's heard that Mike O'Brien isn't all that experienced and that Luke Carlyle only got the job because they're friends. Beryl, though, says she wouldn't say that: Patricia heard a lot about Luke from a friend and thought he'd be right for the job because of the experience he's had in his father's company. Karen says she sees. Beryl goes on that Luke is a good friend of Jeff's - that's the O'Briens' boy - and they took him in when he left home because he wanted to study medicine and his father wanted him to study law. She adds that he sounds like he's a pretty tough customer to her. Karen asks her if she means Luke. Beryl replies that she doesn't - she means his father: he and Mike had quite a fight when he tried to get Luke away. Karen suggests that Mike must have something going for him, by the sounds of it. Beryl agrees that he has - but she really doesn't think that it's anything to do with the company. Karen assures her that she's been a great help - she thinks she knows exactly which way to go...

Late that afternoon, Patricia is with Mike and Luke in the study at Toorak, and she tells them that she's decided which account to follow up: they should forget Carter and go after Graton - they may be small at the moment but they'll be a big hit in the next few months. Looking surprised, Mike insists that he thought Carter would be a consideration-- Patricia interrupts and retorts that, no, it's too shaky. She then goes on that she's going upstairs to get changed; they can help themselves to a drink if they like. She goes, and Mike mutters to Luke that he'd at least like the chance to offer an opinion. Luke comments that he thought Mike said that she didn't have a clue this morning who to go after. Mike replies that she didn't. Luke says he wonders who she's been speaking to this afternoon. Mike comments that it's obviously someone whose opinion she values more than theirs. Changing the subject, he tells Luke that he can pack it in if he likes - he wants to stay back and tidy up a couple of things. Luke tells him that he might see him at home - he's supposed to be seeing Katie. Mike then tells him that he wants to apologise about this morning: he's sorry - it's been hard going with Jeff and he brought his problems to work with him and he shouldn't have. Luke tells him not to worry about it.

A while later, Katie is peeling carrots in the kitchen at the O'Briens'. Luke is with her and he asks her if he's in her bad books. He adds that he hates them not being friends. Katie assures him that she knows he didn't mean any harm - and it was good of him to take her to Ararat. Heather comes in and offers to take over the peeling, but Katie assures her that she's alright. She then goes on that she just hopes that, with Jill taking Fee to see Terry, it will make a difference to the way he's being treated; with a bit of luck, she should get a letter in the next couple of days. Looking worried, Heather asks her if she can set the table. Katie leaves the room. Luke goes to follow her, saying he'll have a word with Jeff. Heather, though, stops him and says that, before he does, Beryl Palmer told her something today: Terry has asked Jill to marry him, and she's worried about how Katie will take it. She goes on that a letter did arrive from Terry today, but she didn't give it to Katie as she doesn't know how she'd take it. Luke agrees that she'll be hurt. Heather explains that that's why she thought it would be best to give it to her when they're by themselves; at least she can have a good cry in private then. Luke says he reckons it's the best thing that could have happened to her. Heather, looking worried, says she just hopes she doesn't take it too badly.

Karen arrives at Roger's apartment. Roger tells her that he won't offer her a drink, as his time is short. Karen retorts that she'll come straight to the point, then: she knows he's backing Patricia Morrell and why: somehow, he wants to get back at Mike O'Brien for helping his son - and of course, he has his son working for him without him knowing it. She goes on that her guess is that he's hoping Luke will get to the point where he likes it enough not to care that his father is his boss. Roger, raising an eyebrow, comments, "Very good." Karen then tells him that he must realise that all she has to do is talk to both of them - which is why she thought they might come to an agreement. Roger, though, retorts, "No agreements, Mrs. Fox." He goes on that he knew that as soon as she discovered that Luke is his son, she'd work the rest out for herself - so he's been doing a little investigation himself about her. He then asks her if it's true that she had her start in business by blackmailing a company's Director because of her somewhat questionable relationship with him. He adds that he can give her names and dates if she likes - there could be quite a scandal if all the facts came out, to say nothing of the criminal charges which he's sure would follow if he chose to reveal one or two other titbits he managed to uncover. As Karen stands there stony-faced, he tells her, "No agreements, Mrs. Fox. At least, not if you want to stay in business."


    Links:  Episode 473    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 475