Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Ray Kolle   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Peter Andrikidis

Heather is crossing the road, approaching the O'Brien house. She suddenly spots Jim and Beryl unpacking Jim's car outside Beryl's house, and she walks over to them and asks them if they've just got back. Beryl tells her that they have. Jim adds that they thought they'd try and beat some of the afternoon traffic. He then asks Heather where she's been. She tells him, "Church." Looking surprised, Jim comments that he thought she only went there for weddings and funerals. Heather explains that there seem to have been so many problems lately that she thought it would be nice to just sit somewhere peacefully for a while. Beryl suggests that they all go inside and have a cuppa. Heather accepts the offer, and Jim puts his arm around her as they head into the house. As they walk up the path, none of them notices the smoke pouring out of the back of the O'Brien house next door...

Inside the O'Brien house, Susie is lying in the hallway, whining, as the fire rages in the kitchen.

In the lounge room at Beryl's, Beryl is telling Heather that they had a lovely time - the weather was prefect. Heather replies that it's been nice there, too. Beryl heads into the kitchen to make the tea, leaving Heather with Jim. He says to her that he reckons Beryl might come with him now - the few days away went really well. Heather says she's glad. Jim goes on that he knows he's dodged responsibility in the past, but he reckons he's old enough and ugly enough to cope with a few now. Heather tells him that she's sure he is. Beryl suddenly comes back in and says she's sorry but she doesn't seem to have anything to offer them to eat. Heather tells her that she made a cake and a few biscuits this morning - she'll go and get them. Beryl asks Jim if he wants to give her a hand in the kitchen. Heather goes.

Heather comes out of the front door of the Palmer house and starts walking down the path. As she reaches the gate, she turns to look at her own house and an expression of shock crosses her face as she sees the smoke streaming out at the back. She cries, "Oh my God..." and starts running towards the house at a pace. She hurries up the path, pulls open the insect guard, opens the front door and finds Susie standing by it in the hallway. She picks the puppy up and runs towards the kitchen. She watches for a few seconds, helpless as the fire burns out of control. She then turns and runs out again.

In the kitchen next door, Jim comments to Beryl that Heather looks pretty tired. Beryl agrees that she looks like she could do with a good holiday. Jim says he wishes he and Mike were on better terms, as he could talk to his brother about taking her away somewhere. Looking surprised, Beryl asks what's wrong between him and Mike. Before Jim can answer, though, Heather comes running in from the front, holding Susie, and crying, "Jim... Jim..." She then pants that the house is on fire - they need to call the fire brigade. Looking shocked, Beryl exclaims, "Fire?" Heather hands Susie to her and Jim asks her how bad the fire is. Heather replies that it seems to be mainly in the kitchen. Jim tells her that they'll see what they can get out, and the two of them run off. As they do so, Heather cries, "Thank God no one's at home."

The fire is spreading as Heather and Jim run into the O'Brien house. As they try to breathe, Jim yells at Heather that they won't be able to do much - the smoke is getting too thick. Heather yells back at him to grab what he can and she'll try and find some clothes.

At Beryl's, Beryl is on the 'phone to the emergency services, and she tells the operator that it seems to be pretty bad; can they come as quickly as they can?

At the O'Briens', Jim and Heather have managed to retrieve some belongings and they run back into the house to collect more. As they stand in the hallway, though, Jim stares at the inferno ahead of them and has to tell Heather they they can't get anymore. Heather yells that they need to get some clothes. As that moment, though, there's an explosion, and Jim pulls Heather outside. They run down the path to join Beryl, who's standing on the pavement watching the house burn. She tells them that the fire brigade should be there any minute. Looking shocked, she adds that it seems awful to just stand here. Jim pulls her back towards the road, telling her that it's too dangerous to stand so close. She then comments that it was a good thing that Susie wasn't inside. Heather, though, cries that she was inside; she got her out. A car suddenly pulls up and David and Mike get out. They stare at the house in horror. Heather, looking terrified, asks if Jeff isn't with them. Staring at the house, Mike cries, "Oh no... No..." David points out that Charlie's car is parked next to them. Heather says she's sure Susie wasn't inside when she left; someone must have let her in... Suddenly looking terrified, she runs to Mike and asks him where Jeff is. Mike asks her if she hasn't seen him. Heather cries, "No." Mike cries, "Oh my God - he could be in there." He starts running towards the house as Heather stands there, tears streaming down her face.

Mike, David and Jim all run into the house, Mike yelling Jeff's name loudly. As they look round, Jim tells his brother that the only place Jeff could be is the kitchen. Mike goes to run in there, but Jim quickly pulls him back. Mike yells again for Jeff, but Jim and David both grab him and pull him back outside. Looking shocked, Mike cries over and over, "No... No..." They get him back down to the road. Heather anxiously asks, "Was he in there?" Mike cries, "No." Heather asks him if he looked. Mike tells her that of course he looked. They suddenly hear the sound of approaching sirens. Mike goes on that he couldn't get through to the kitchen; Jeff could be there. David points out that he could have been and gone again. Mike, though, points out that Charlie's car is still there. David suggests that he could have just left it. Mike, though, cries, "No." He and Heather both stand there, their faces filthy from the smoke, tears streaming through the grime.

Patricia is stoking the fire at the country house, but Charlie tells her that it's quite hot enough as it is; she doesn't need to put on more wood. Patricia, though, explains that she's got to keep it going if she's going to cook a meal on it. Charlie says she doesn't know how Patricia can bear to live there. Patricia tells her that she can put up with it now that she knows she's not broke. Charlie comments that she wonders what made the boy give her the bank name and account number in the end. Patricia replies that he's scared - and when the police question him again, she's sure he'll break. Charlie asks her if she means he'll admit to killing Luke. Patricia tells her, "Of course," adding that she'll be completely off the hook with the police and Roger. She goes on that it feels like the weight of the world has been taken off her shoulders: Jeff O'Brien is going to save her neck.

Beryl walks into the lounge room at her house, holding a glass of water and a tablet. Heather is sitting on the couch, and Beryl tells her to take the tablet - it contains a mild sedative which will calm her down. Heather quietly thanks her, admitting that she could use something right now. Beryl says she thinks they've almost got the fire out. Heather nods and replies that she just wants to know about Jeff. Beryl says she's sure he wasn't in there; if he was in the kitchen when the fire started, he would have had plenty of time to get out. Heather nods again and tells her that she's right: there wouldn't have been time for him to be overcome by smoke. Outside, by the front door, David is standing with a shocked looking Mike and Jim, and he helplessly says he wishes there was something he could do. Mike thanks him and he and Jim then head into the house and shut the door behind them. They walk into the lounge room, slowly, and Heather and Beryl turn to stare at them. Beryl asks what's happening. Jim tells her that they've put it out. Heather stares at Mike, her lip quivering. He doesn't say anything. Heather shakes her head and begins to break into tears as her fears overtake her. She murmurs, "Jeff?" Mike, looking shell-shocked, tells her, "He was in there. He's dead." Heather breaks down, and Beryl comforts her.

David is back at the country house. Patricia looks shocked, and she says "Dead? He can't be." David tells her that he must have been drinking and passed out in the kitchen when the fire started. Charlie comments, "His poor parents." Patricia asks David if he's sure. David explains that he saw the body. Patricia remarks that it's just so hard to believe... Changing the subject, David asks her to give him a hoy when dinner's ready; he's going outside to do a bit of work. He heads out, leaving Charlie to comment to Patricia that it's dreadful. Patricia agrees, "Yeah..." She sits down at the table and mutters that it's not fair; it's just not fair... no one's going to believe that Jeff killed Luke now; it was her last chance to prove her innocence; she hasn't got a hope in hell now. Charlie puts a comforting hand on her shoulder.

In Sydney, Wayne and Katie come in through the front door at Dural, and as they stand in the hallway, Katie asks Wayne if he's sure there's no one home. Wayne tells her that his dad and Barbara both went out this morning - in different directions; neither of them will be home for dinner. Looking surprised, Katie asks if things are that bad between them. Wayne tells her, ""Not good at all." They head into the lounge room and Wayne says, "How about some afternoon tea?" Pointing towards the far door, he adds, "The kitchen's through there!" Looking surprised again, Katie exclaims, "Chauvinist!" Wayne pleads that he's tired after walking along miles of beaches. Katie points out that she walked too, but Wayne tells her that she's younger than he is. He smiles and adds, "Go on. Quick!" Katie laughs as she tells him to get lost, but she heads into the kitchen nonetheless. The 'phone suddenly starts ringing, and Wayne answers it at the bar. To his surprise, Liz come on and says it's her. Sounding relieved, Wayne asks her where she is. Liz, who's talking from a public 'phonebox, tells him shakily that she's just come back from the police station; she had a terrible time. Wayne asks what happened; why did she disappear from the flat? Liz explains that George Perrin was waiting for her - he forced her out the back door and into his car; he took to her to an old house in the country; she couldn't get away from him - he put her through hell. Wayne asks her how she did get away. Liz, beginning to break down in tears, sobs that she... some neighbours got suspicious after they heard her crying out and they called the police. Wayne tells her that she'd better come over. Liz, though, says, "No." Wayne tells her that Gordy has been worried sick about her; he'll want to see her. Liz, though, repeats, "No." She adds that she just wanted Gordon to know that she's alright; she'll write to him sometime and tell him that. Wayne tries to explain that things have changed, but Liz says she has to to go and she hangs up. When she's done so, she breaks down completely, leaning her head against the 'phone as tears stream down her face.

Amanda and Mitch are walking along the corridor at the boarding house, talking as they do so. Amanda comments to Mitch that that Sergeant of his sounds like quite a character. Mitch agrees that he was one of the best, was Barney. Amanda knocks on a door and Fiona opens it. Looking surprised to see who her visitors are, she says a curt, "Hello." Amanda tells her that Mitch would like to have a talk to her. Fiona snaps, "Really?" She then more calmly suggests that they'd better come in. She closes the door and remarks to Mitch that she didn't think she'd see him again. Mitch tells her that he reckons he should have come before; he and Amanda had a talk and Amanda made him see that he owes her a fair bit, so he'd like to bury the hatchet. He adds that he knows she must be upset about him leaving Woombai. Fiona snaps that, these days, she doesn't know how she feels about him. Amanda assures her that he's doing quite well now. Fiona sarcastically says, "Working for Karen Fox?" Amanda explains that it's the job he had before. Fiona, looking distinctly unimpressed, mutters, "Oh." The 'phone suddenly rings and Fiona asks her visitors to excuse her. She answers the call, STD pips sound and Heather then comes on, sounding upset. She asks if Katie is there, but Fiona says she's afraid she's out for the day. Heather, her voice beginning to crack, asks Fiona if she can tell her where she can get in contact with her. Fiona hesitatingly replies that she's with Wayne Morrell - Katie might get her at his place. Heather thanks her and says she'll ring there. Fiona cheerfully asks how everyone is in Melbourne. Heather just mutters that they're alright and she hangs up. Fiona looks at her 'phone in surprise. Amanda asks if something's wrong, but Fiona says she's not too sure. Amanda then goes on that, anyway, they were wondering if she'd like to come to dinner on Tuesday night. Fiona accepts and thanks her.

At Dural, Katie is talking on the 'phone at the bar in the lounge room, and, looking shocked, she asks her mother if she's sure there's no mistake. Heather, in the lounge room at Beryl's, sobs that she's afraid not - it was Jeff. Katie cries "Oh mum..." Mike takes the 'phone from Heather and tells Katie that it's him. Katie cries that she can't believe it. At Dural, Wayne looks at her. Mike tells her that he and Heather want her to come home - they need her. He starts to break down and Heather takes the 'phone again. She explains to Katie that they're at the Palmers'. Mike stands there, resting his head on her shoulder, sobbing heavily. Katie says she'll be there as soon as she can. Heather hangs up. Mike cries to her that he's sorry. Beryl looks at Jim for some sort of help. Jim suggests that he could book into a hotel and Mike and Heather can stay there. Beryl, though, tells him that that's not necessary - there's plenty of room. Turning to Heather and Mike, she adds that they can stay as long as they want. Jim points out to Beryl that it'll be a while before they can move into their house again; what the fire didn't damage, the water did. Heather, though, suddenly growls that they'll never live in that house again; she never even wants to go back in there. Mike says they shouldn't impose on Beryl, but Beryl tells him that they're staying. She adds, "OK?" Mike nods gratefully.

In the lounge room at Dural, a shocked Katie cries that someone you've lived with all your life... how do you get used to the idea that you're never going to see them again? Wayne gently says he knows. Katie cries that it seems such an awful time: lately, everything that could go wrong has - and now this; it's just not fair - and it's half her fault. Wayne asks her how she works that out. Katie tells him that if she'd gone back with Luke, this mightn't have happened. Wayne points out that she doesn't know that. Katie goes on that she might have been able to get Jeff out. Wayne asks how. Katie snaps that she doesn't know; somehow. Wayne tells her that there's no sense blaming herself. Katie, though, snaps that she called Luke selfish, but she was just as bad. Wayne snaps back at her that it's not her fault. Growing more and more hysterical, Katie yells that she let Jeff down when he needed her and now he's dead. Wayne warns, "Katie..." Katie, though, rants, "He's dead, Wayne. He's dead and it's my fault. It's my fault because I was so selfish." Her voice growing louder and louder, she yells, "It's my fault. It's my fault--" Wayne suddenly slaps her round the face really hard. Looking shocked, she puts her hand to her face and then breaks down. Wayne holds her as she sobs that she stayed there because she wanted to be with him. She quietly tells him, "I love you." Wayne comforts, "I love you, too."

Mitch and Amanda arrive back at the Morrell apartment. As they do so, Amanda asks Mitch how long he thinks it'll last. Mitch looks at the watch he's wearing and replies that, for four bucks, he'll be lucky if it lasts the day. Amanda, going to the bar and starting to prepare drinks, asks him why he bought it, adding that those guys who flog them on the street were trying to put one over him. Mitch explains that it reminded him of his dad - he used to be a street spruiker, but he was really a con man. He tells Amanda that, sometimes, his dad used to take him along for sympathy value - one of the supposed eight mouths he had to feed. Amanda asks, "How many were there?" Mitch tells her that it was just him and his sister - their mum shot through when he was about six and he and Sally ran pretty wild; their dad tried to keep them in line whenever he wasn't off with one of his girlfriends. Amanda comments that it sounds like he had a rough time. Mitch agrees that it wasn't a lot of fun. He then goes on that joining up was the best thing he ever did, though: he had good mates and plenty of action...; he knows 'Nam was hell for some blokes, but for him he was in his element; it hit him pretty hard when he was wounded and invalided out - he really misses his old army mates. Amanda asks him if he didn't keep in touch. Mitch replies that he did keep in touch with Barney for a few years until he got in trouble and went inside; then he let it drop. Amanda asks where Barney lives. Mitch tells her that it's there in Sydney, if he's still at the same place. Amanda asks him why he doesn't get in touch with this Barney, then. Mitch points out that it might be a bit hard to pick up the threads. Amanda, though, tells him that it mightn't be. She adds that she bets Barney will be pleased to hear from him. Mitch says he's got Barney's number; he guesses he could try. Amanda tells him that of course he could - and he could invite him for dinner on Tuesday night; it could help smooth things over with Fiona. Mitch agrees, "Yeah," adding that she wasn't exactly falling into his arms. Amanda assures him that she'll come round - she just has to see what a really nice guy he is!

At Fiona's flat, Fiona is arranging some flowers as Wayne stands there waiting for Katie. She asks him if it's a good idea going down to Melbourne with Katie, but Wayne assures her that he's only going to give her moral support - he's not going to intrude on her family. Fiona admits, "Fair enough." Katie comes out of her bedroom and announces that she's ready. She then adds that she wishes she had a strap for her bag, as the zip is broken. Fiona tells her that she can give her one, and she goes to get it. Katie walks over to Wayne and he puts his arm round her. She tells him that she's dreading seeing her mum and dad - she won't know what to say. Wayne assures her that just being there will help them. Katie tells him that she doesn't think she could have got through this without him - he's become very important to her. Wayne replies, "Likewise." He then adds that that's why he's asked his solicitor to start divorce proceedings with Amanda; he wants to be a free man for her. Katie hugs him gratefully.

It's nighttime, and Gordon arrives back at Dural and walks into the lounge room. He spots a sheet of paper on the bar, resting under a glass, and he goes and picks it up. He reads:

"Dear Dad, Katie got some very upsetting news from her parents: her brother, Jeff, died in a fire today and she and I are going straight down to Melbourne. I don't know how long I'll be gone but I'll stay with her as long as she needs me. Something else: Liz rang. She's alright but she's been through a dreadful time."

Gordon puts down the note.

At Beryl's, Heather hugs Katie tightly and Mike tells her that they're so glad she's there. Katie gives him a hug and assures him that she wanted to be there with them. She and her father pull apart and Heather helps Mike sit down on the couch. Beryl and Jim come in and Katie goes and gives her uncle a hug. Jim is holding two cartons of milk. He quietly asks Katie if that's Wayne outside. Katie admits, "Yeah." Jim growls at her that it wasn't very bright bringing him there. Katie murmurs that he only wanted to stand by her. Mike overhears some of the conversation and asks, "Who's outside?" Katie explains that it's Wayne - he doesn't want to cause any trouble; he only came for her sake; he'll stay outside. Mike, though, tells her to tell him to come in - it's alright. Katie looks at her mother and Heather nods at her, repeating that she can bring him in. Katie thanks them and heads outside. Jim walks forcefully into the kitchen, and Beryl quickly follows him and asks what the matter is. Jim snaps that that bloke shouldn't be there. Beryl points out that he obviously means a lot to Katie. Jim growls that after what he's done to his family, he's got a damn gall even coming near the place. Beryl tells him that the most important thing to Mike and Heather at the moment is having Katie back in the family, and if that means accepting Wayne... Jim mutters that he still reckons Wayne has got a hide.

Out in the hallway, Wayne tells Katie that the last thing he wants to do is cause more trouble. Katie assures him that there's not going to be any trouble - they want him to come in. The two of them head into the lounge room and Heather quietly says, "Hello, Wayne." She adds that it was good of him to bring Katie. Wayne tells her that he's very sorry about what's happened. Mike offers him a seat. Beryl and Jim come in from the kitchen and Beryl asks Wayne how he is. He replies, "Fine." Beryl suggests that, now that they have some milk, she'll make a cup of tea. Heather, though, quickly says she'll do it, and she gets up and heads into the kitchen. Katie comments to her father that her mum seems to be coping pretty well. Mike says he doesn't know how he'd manage without her - she's been a tower of strength.

Heather is alone in the kitchen and she sobs as she puts the kettle on. She suddenly notices Beryl's bottle of sedatives on the shelf in front of her, and she picks it up, opens it, takes out a tablet and swallows it.

At the country house, David is sitting in the kitchen, reading a newspaper as Patricia washes up and Charlie dries. Charlie comments that at least one good thing came out of a dreadful day: the money will come in handy. David looks round and asks, "What money?" Patricia quickly chips in that Charlie rang home this morning and discovered that she'd been left some money. David dismisses this and tells Charlie to let him know when she's ready and he'll take her to a motel; he'll get her car from the O'Briens' tomorrow. Charlie says that's fine. Patricia, though, tells David that Charlie would rather get away now. Looking at her friend, she adds, "Wouldn't you?" Taking the hint, Charlie mutters, "Alright." David says he'll get the car, and he stands up and walks out. As soon as he's gone, Charlie asks Patricia what she means about the money being left to her; she was talking-- Patricia interrupts and snaps that she knows, and she asked Charlie this morning not to mention it to David - she doesn't want anyone to know where that money is. Charlie points out that she'll have to tell the police in order to get it back, but Patricia retorts that she won't: all you need to operate a Swiss bank account is the number, and she's got that. She goes on that, at the moment, it's better that everybody thinks she's broke, as she gets more sympathy that way and the money's there when she needs it. Charlie, looking shocked, exclaims, "Darling!" Patricia, though, snaps at her not to start moralising - she doesn't intend to spend years in jail and she doesn't intend Roger's men to get her; she may need that money to disappear. Charlie snaps back at her that she's in a big enough mess as it is; won't she make it worse by lying? Patricia tells her that the money could make all the difference to her life. She then asks Charlie if she's going to stand by her or not. Charlie replies, "Of course, but--" Patricia interrupts again and snaps that there are no 'buts'; if she's going to stick by her, pick up her car first thing in the morning and come there. Charlie asks her what she has in mind. Patricia replies that she has to talk to the police and convince them that Jeff killed Luke. Looking shocked, Charlie tells her that she can't do that to the O'Briens; not now. Patricia insists that she doesn't want to hurt them, but what choice does she have?

Gordon is sitting in the lounge room at Dural, reading through a file. There's suddenly a knock at the front door and he gets up to answer it. To his surprise, he finds Liz standing there. He invites her in and asks her if she's alright, adding that he knows all about it as Wayne left her a note. He goes on that that he went straight round to her flat but she wasn't there. Liz, looking upset, explains that she couldn't face going back there again - the last time she did, George Perrin was waiting for her. She continues that she knows it sounds silly, now that the police have him, but she doesn't think she'll ever be able to open a front door again without being frightened that there might be someone there waiting for her. She then cries at Gordon that she knows she shouldn't have come there, but she had to see him. She tells him, "I love you so much..." She rests her head on his chest. Gordon stands there and tells her, "I love you too." Looking surprised, Liz sobs, "I never thought I'd hear you say that." Gordon looks worried.


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