Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Greg Haddrick   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Russell Webb

A while later, the Judge is saying in courtroom 2, "Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?" The foreman replies, "We have, Your Honour." Gordon looks down grimly at the floor as the Judge continues, "How do you find the accused: guilty or not guilty?" The foreman declares, "Guilty." Beryl just stands there, her face not showing any emotion. Wayne looks at her. Fiona puts her hand on Gordon's shoulder, comfortingly. Susan cries out suddenly, in a distraught tone, "No! No! It's wrong. She didn't do it! Can't they see it's wrong? Mum! Please! Tell them the truth! Mum! Tell them!" Fiona puts her hands round Susan and suggests calmly, "Let's go outside." She helps Susan up and out into the corridor. Susan is in floods of tears, and Fiona sympathises, "Come on... There's a good girl." Wayne emerges from the courtroom suddenly and says in a quiet voice, "Susie..." Susan just turns and glares at him. She snarls, "Get away! It's you who should be in there. You're the one who should be on trial. Everything you've done and you're free; you can just walk out of here. It's insane. Of all the people in that room, you're the one that should be locked up. You're the one who lies. You're the one who kills. I hate you." She lunges suddenly at Wayne and starts trying to hit him. Fiona grabs her. Michael runs over suddenly, to help. Fiona says quickly, "Susie, come on, darling. Just forget about it; ignore him." She then turns to Wayne and suggests curtly, "You'd better go." Wayne walks off. Susan tries to lunge for him again as he passes her. She then falls into Michael's arms. Fiona asks him, "Would you see her home? Just settle her down a bit." Michael leads Susan away. Fiona returns to the door of the courtroom, through which Gordon is just emerging, looking dumbstruck. Fiona tells her, "Michael has just taken her home." She then asks gently, "Has anything been set?" Gordon murmurs in shock, "Fifteen years. Non-parole period, eleven." Looking astonished, Fiona mouths, "Oh dear God." Beryl is led out of the courtroom at that moment, escorted by two guards. She looks at Gordon and then says to the guards, "May I speak with my husband?" The guards let her go. Gordon puts his arms around her and murmurs, "Why?" Beryl just replies quietly, "I had to." Gordon repeats in surprise, "Why?" Beryl tells him, "I didn't have any choice." She then adds, "You will look after Robert for me, won't you?" Gordon nods, "Yes, of course I will." Beryl goes on, "Tell him... just tell him I didn't have any choice. Tell him I love him... he's got to grow up knowing I love him." Gordon assures her, "He will." Beryl then tells Gordon and Fiona softly, "I love both of you, too." With that, the guards say curtly, "OK, let's go." As they lead Beryl off, Gordon calls, "I haven't given up." Beryl just retorts, "You have to." Gordon stares at her in shock.

Michael is escorting Susan into Fiona's room at the mansion. He asks, "Would you like some tea? Water? Sometime to eat?" Susan, however, still in tears, sobs, "I couldn't eat. Why did she do it? Why?" Michael helps her onto the couch and tells her, "You've got to try and relax. Deep breaths." He then hands her a couple of tablets and says, "Take these." Susan asks, "What are they?" Michael explains, "Sedatives. They're not too strong. You've got a knot in your tummy, haven't you, and you can't stop shaking? These'll help you settle down." Susan takes the tablets and gradually begins to calm down. Michael soothes, "You feel better already, don't you?" Susan sighs heavily.

Wayne is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Dural when the front door bangs. He calls, "That you, Andy?" Andy calls back, "Yeah." He walks into the room and asks, "Heard the sentence?" Wayne shakes his head. Andy tells him, "Fifteen years." A look of shock crosses Wayne's face. Andy goes on, "I think I'll move out this afternoon. No hard feelings, but there's no point in staying on, is there? Anyway, I reckon it's about time I started looking after myself." Wayne just sits there and nods his head slowly. Andy sighs, "You are a hard man to please. You've been gunning for her for months, then, when you finally see her put away, you look depressed. I thought you'd be on cloud nine." Wayne just asks, "Why do you reckon she said she was guilty? Do you believe her?" Andy pauses before replying, "It's crazy to say you're guilty if you're not - isn't it?" Wayne presses, "Even though you were convinced she couldn't have done it?" Andy shrugs, "I suppose she wasn't herself at the time. All the stress... depression... It does do funny things to people." He then asks, "Why do you think she said she was guilty?" Wayne, staring into space, murmurs, "I have a fair idea." Andy asks, "Care to tell me?" Wayne, however, replies, "No, not yet. Figure it out for yourself. Anyway, thanks for your help. I'll see you when I see you." With that, Andy heads back out to the hallway. Wayne sits back on the couch, left all alone.

Susan is lying back on the couch in Fiona's room at the mansion, looking dozy. Michael is crouching next to her. Fiona - who's standing with Gordon - asks, "How is she?" Michael tells her, "Fine. She's sedated at the moment." He then stands up and asks, "Was it close - the outcome?" Fiona looks away. Gordon tells Michael, "She confessed." Michael gasps, "To doing it? Why?" Gordon sighs, "That is the $64 question." Fiona adds, "She won't tell us." Michael comments, "So she did do it after all..." Gordon, however, snaps, "Don't be stupid. Of course she didn't." He turns away. Fiona says to Michael, "For some reason, she said she had - but that is unbelievable; I mean, Beryl wouldn't shoot anybody." Michael asks, "Can you lodge an appeal?" Gordon tells him, "I'm going to try. I'm seeing her attorney this afternoon." Fiona points out, "That's not going to do any good unless Beryl un-confesses." Gordon retorts, "I realise that. I'm seeing her this afternoon as well. She has to tell me what's going on. I don't know what she's covering up, but nothing is worth fifteen years in prison."

Beryl is wandering along the verandah outside the main building of Bendala Detention Centre. Two other prisoners walk up to her, suddenly, and one taunts, "Hello, Beryl. Fancy seeing you back here again." Another prisoner joins them. Beryl glances around. The first prisoner adds curtly, "If you're looking for Daphne, she's in her cell. She's been finding it tough to keep the same 'control' Pam used to. In fact, she hasn't been too successful at all, really: girls like me have been having a field-day; you know: settling old scores... squaring debts..." She then continues nastily, "I've been chatting to some of the screws here, and the word is, Beryl, you pleaded guilty today. Now, some think you are and that you had to get it out of your system. Others think you're not and that you're protecting someone. Either way, it was pretty stupid." Beryl stares at her and then asks, "What have I ever done to hurt you?" The prisoner retorts, "Acted like we're criminals and you're not. We're in here together, sweet-lips, and it's no convent - which you'll soon find out..."

Debbie is standing with Craig in the lounge room at Beryl's. She has the 'phone to her ear. Looking shocked, she murmurs, "That's terrible... I don't know what else I can say. Is there anything that we can do?" From Fiona's room at the mansion, Gordon replies, "No. No, thankyou - although, come to think of it, if you could stay in the house; caretake for a few weeks, until I work out what I'm doing..." Debbie assures him, "Yeah, yeah, sure, no worries." She then listens before nodding, "I will - and please, give our love to Beryl, OK?... Bye." With that, she hangs up. She turns to Craig and sighs, "What do you say?" They head into the kitchen, where Craig sits down at the table. He comments quietly, "She's been like a second mum to me." Debbie puts her hand on his shoulder as he then explodes, "Can't they see it's not the sort of thing she'd do? It makes you want to--" He breaks off, lost for words. He then mutters, "What the hell. I'm sorry." Debbie suggests, "Maybe we could send her something? Some perfume or soap or something. I don't know how much use it would be... but at least she'd know that we're thinking of her."

A while later, Debbie and Craig are walking along a busy street in Melbourne. Debbie says to Craig suddenly, "Hey, do you still need textbooks?" Craig nods, "One or two." Debbie indicates a shop they're passing and says, "Why don't you try in here?" Before they can move, though, they hear a sudden yell of, "Debbie!" They look round to see Michelle running across the road towards them. She joins them and smiles, "Hi! How are you both?" Debbie smiles, "Fine! Fine!" Craig adds with a slight tone of embarrassment, "Hi, Michelle." Michelle just looks at him. She then says, "Looking for books, are you?" Debbie nods, "Yeah. Craig hasn't got all his, yet." Michelle looks at Craig and asks, "Which ones are you missing?" Craig tells her, "Maths." Michelle says quickly, "You can have a loan of mine, if you like. I'll use them by day and you can take them by night. It'll save you money." Craig smiles, "No, it's alright." Michelle insists, "I don't mind." Craig checks, "You sure? I don't want to be a bludger; you paid for them. It doesn't seem fair, somehow." Michelle assures him, "We'll work something out." Looking at Craig, Debbie chips in quickly, "You could help her with her homework." Craig stares at her, looking horrified. Debbie carries on, "Michelle's got the books, you've got the flair for maths, so you share the books and you both get through. How does that sound?" Michelle smiles, "Sounds great to me!" Debbie checks, "Craig?" Craig, sounding less than convinced, murmurs, "Yeah. Great." He then suggests to Debbie, "We'd better get a move on - busy day and all that." Michelle takes the hint and says, "I'll see you later. Bye." She walks off, leaving Craig to mutter to Debbie, "Thanks a lot." Debbie sighs, "She's a nice girl." Craig retorts, "Boring." Debbie comments, "Alright, maybe she's a little shy and hard to get to know, but at least she's honest. I want to be friends; you're going to be one too. Got it?" Craig sighs, "Loud and clear."

Susan is stirring on the couch in Fiona's room at the mansion as Fiona comments to Michael, "Hit her hard, didn't it?" The two of them are sitting at the table. Michael replies, "There'd be something wrong if she wasn't upset." Fiona, however, explains, "There's more to it than that, though: her first husband was also accused of murder; did you know that? Must have been five years ago, now. Susan saw him every week for... three years, I suppose. Then Bill asked for a divorce. He died in prison last year." Michael asks, "Accident?" Fiona nods, "'Officially'. So prison means much more to Susie than the average person. It was all part of a living nightmare for her for those long three years. She knows what it's like in there; what it's all about; how it changes people. And now her own mother has to face up to it and there's absolutely nothing she can do." Susan, lying on the couch, now with her eyes open, listens as Fiona carries on, "She's much closer to it than you and I, Michael. That's why she's so distraught."

Gordon is standing with Beryl on the verandah outside the main building at the Bendala Detention Centre. He's telling her, "The jury, of course, had no choice, but I, for one, didn't believe you for a moment, and neither did Fiona or anybody else who's ever known you." A guard is standing a short distance away. Beryl looks at her. Gordon, however, says, "It's alright, she's not listening." He then goes on urgently, "Beryl, I have to know. I'm seeing the barrister this afternoon; we can hardly lodge an appeal unless we know what is happening." Beryl snaps at him, "I told you not to go ahead with that." Gordon, however, retorts, "I love you. I'm married to you. You can't expect me to take this lying down." Beryl insists, "You have to." Gordon pleads, "Why? Just tell me why." Beryl snaps, "If you want a divorce, I'll understand." Gordon retorts, "I don't want a divorce; I want you. Now, I don't know what the hell all this is about, but I think I have a right to know. Don't you?" Beryl just mutters, "I can't." Gordon asks, "Why not? Don't you trust me? Are you covering for somebody?" Beryl doesn't respond. Gordon cries, "Please, tell me that. Who is it?" Beryl still doesn't answer. Gordon appeals, "Is it all worth fifteen years of your life? Not seeing Robert growing up... not seeing your family, your friends, your home..." Beryl looks at him and cries, "Stop it! Please." Gordon just says, "Have you thought what all this is about? Have you thought about me? Is it all worth it? What the hell do I have to say to get through to you? Beryl, this is driving me mad. Give me a clue; some hint. Tell me something; I've got to know." Beryl just puts her arms round him and murmurs, "One day I'll be able to tell you, but if you can't wait for that day - if you can't wait for me...; I do love you, Gordon. Just, please, look after Robert for me; that's all I ask." Gordon growls quietly, "If you love me, why not?" Beryl hisses, "I just can't." Gordon pleads, "Please, Beryl, please. One last time." Beryl turns away, though, and refuses to answer.

A while later, Gordon, Fiona and Robert are sitting in a café, drinking afternoon tea. Fiona sighs, "Where do we go from here?" Gordon just shrugs, "I don't know. Any suggestions?" Fiona comments, "She has to be covering for someone." Gordon nods, "I think so. I know that she's innocent and that is about it. Oh, I feel so useless. She says keep an eye on Robert; she's the one he needs." Fiona looks at the boy and remarks, "He misses her, doesn't he?" She then asks, "Does he understand what's going on?" Gordon, however, admits, "Nobody's really told him." Fiona offers, "I will, if you like." Gordon, however, murmurs, "No, I'll do it. No time like the present." Fiona stands up and says, "I'll leave you to it." She walks off. Gordon looks across at Robert, sitting opposite him at the table, and says softly, "Hey, young fella... I've got something to tell you." Robert looks at him. Gordon goes on, "You know we've all been saying mummy's coming home soon? Well, it looks as though we were wrong: she isn't. It's not that she doesn't want to, but that she can't - for some reason; but she said to tell you that she's thinking of you and she wants you to be a good boy and she wants you to be happy. I'll be here and Fiona will be here and... mummy will be home as soon as she can. But it won't be for a while; in fact, it mightn't be for quite a while. But you won't let me down, will you?" Robert sits there, staring at him.

It's evening time. Craig throws a folder and some books down onto the living room table at Beryl's. Debbie emerges from the kitchen and asks, "Tough night?" Craig sighs, "It wasn't too bad. It's this teacher we have, though: he's alright, I suppose; he knows his maths, I'll give him that." Debbie asks in surprise, "What's the problem?" Craig explains, "He's just weird. You ask him a question and he looks at you like you should be on a 'Wanted' poster or something!" He then carries on, "I went to Michelle's after dropping the book, but she wasn't home." Debbie nods, "I know. She's on her way here." Craig, looking annoyed, asks in surprise, "Now? What, to pick up the book?" Debbie replies, "That's what she said." At that moment, there's a knock on the front door. Debbie warns, "Look like you're interested when she talks to you this time." With that, she heads out to answer the door, leaving Craig to chuckle to himself, "Interested? Right!" Out by the door, Debbie smiles, "Hi, Michelle, come in." As Michelle steps inside, Debbie continues, "Craig was just telling me about his maths teacher. Have you got the same one?" Michelle shrugs, "I don't know. I don't think so." Debbie adds, "Bit weird. Doesn't like questions." Michelle remarks, "Doesn't sound like Miss. Parker." Debbie comments, "'Miss'? No, it definitely isn't the same one!" The two of them head into the lounge room, where Michelle smiles at Craig, "Hello, Craig." Craig just asks, "Isn't the same what?" Debbie explains, "Maths teacher - as Michelle." Craig murmurs, "Oh. No." There's an awkward silence. Michelle then looks at Craig and pipes up, "Did you understand how integration helped with problem-solving?" Craig nods, "I think so." Looking embarrassed, Michelle asks, "Could you explain it to me? I didn't follow a word of it." Craig, however, says quickly, "I'm just a bit tired at the moment. How about tomorrow afternoon sometime?" Michelle smiles, "Sure!" Craig adds quickly, "I'm not trying to wriggle out of the deal or anything." Michelle insists, "No, it's OK. Tomorrow's fine - really." Debbie looks at her friend and says, "You're still going to stay for supper, aren't you? I'm just trying a recipe out of the book you gave us." With that, she leads Michelle into the kitchen. As she closes the doors behind her, she gives Craig a look of disgust. In the kitchen, Michelle comments, "Craig doesn't like me, does he?" Debbie smiles, "Of course he does!" Michelle, however, retorts, "I can tell he doesn't. I don't blame him; I know I never say the right things." The two of them sit down and Debbie insists, "Don't be dumb." Michelle, however, tells her, "I don't; I know I don't - not around boys. I try to act smooth and elegant and look what happens: my hands start to sweat and my brain races two minutes ahead of my mouth and out comes all this nervous gibberish!" Debbie insists, "It doesn't sound like gibberish." Michelle murmurs glumly, "It doesn't sound too natural, though, does it?" Debbie assures her, "Yes, it does. I think you're being a bit hard on yourself." Michelle, however, retorts, "Am I? Remember when we used to share a room at the hostel? You had boys calling for you every night. They didn't come to see me, did they?" Debbie insists, "They came to see both of us." Michelle retorts, "They'd talk to me, but they were chasing you. Can't think why, though: take away your easy-going, fun-loving nature, your beautiful hair and great looks, and you're really just like me, aren't you?" Debbie looks at her. Michelle cries, "It's true, isn't it?" Debbie soothes, "Hey, cheer up. There is nothing wrong with you - or your looks. It's just your confidence, that's all. If you splurged on a really good outfit and bought some nice make-up, you'd be surprised what a difference it would make. Guys notice when you take a bit of an effort." Michelle murmurs glumly, "Sure." Debbie insists, "You try it. You'll see."

The next morning, the door to Fiona's room at the mansion opens and Susan pokes her head out into the hallway. Finding it empty, she dashes out through the front door.

A short time later, Susan is walking along a footpath when someone hidden in some bushes at the side of the path steps out and taps her on the shoulder. Susan jumps, looking startled. She then turns to find Wayne standing behind her. She growls, "You following me now, are you?" Wayne explains, "I wanted a chance to talk to you alone." Susan carries on walking. Wayne follows her and asks, "Don't you want to hear what I have to say? I think you might be interested." Susan keeps on ignoring him. Wayne then says, "I know you did it." Susan stops in her tracks. She then turns to face him and demands, "What on earth are you talking about?" Wayne taunts, "You know." Susan snaps, "Stop playing cat-and-mouse, Wayne. Just tell me." Wayne muses, "It's rare to see gestures of true affection, don't you think? I mean, I thought a really genuine sacrifice was a thing of the past - but it's good to see that the human spirit can still prevail." Susan snarls, "Get to the point, Wayne. You might like the sound of your voice, but I certainly don't." Wayne looks at her and says, "Beryl's covering for you, isn't she? You shot me and she knows it." Susan just stands there and retorts dismissively, "It's a wonder you haven't been certified, Wayne. Given the dangerous way your brain works, I seriously think you could be deranged. Or maybe it's the onset of Huntington's disease; that's not out of the question, you know?" Wayne growls, "Methinks the lady protests too much." Susan snaps, "If someone accused you of attempted murder, what would you do? Pat them on the shoulder? Act your age for once." With that, she storms off. Wayne raises his eyebrows.

A while later, Susan is bending down by Glen's grave. She starts sobbing, "What have I done?" She then suddenly picks up a plant pot that's resting next to the grave and pulls a pistol out from beneath it. She brushes off the dirt that's begun to cling to it. She then looks at the grave and murmurs, "I should be in jail." She stands up and clutches the gun to chest. All of a sudden, she appears to have second thoughts. She bends down again quickly, and hides the gun back beneath the plant pot. She then looks up to the sky and, looking anguished, cries, "Oh God, help me. Help me..."


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