Saturday, February 9, 2008

Don’t Mess with the Girls – McLeod’s Daughters Episode Summary 1.3

Gungellan RodeoSynopsis: The rodeo is in town and everybody is out to compete, including Claire McLeod who had entered the campdraft in order to prove herself that she has the skills and the determination to run Drover’s Run. The Ryan brothers too have a little competition of their own, and that is who wins the other McLeod sister, Tess. The rodeo brought out the best and the worst of people. Too bad for Becky Howard, she learned the bad side of her boss in the worst way a woman would have discovered, and her reputation was no help at all, which made it even harder for her to accuse his attacker of rape.

Episode Summary: The women of Drover’s Run arrive at the Gungellan Rodeo. Claire (Lisa Chappell) who will be competing in a campdraft busies herself with the horse, while Tess (Bridie Carter) people watch. Everybody seems particularly excited to see each other, and this includes Alex who had spotted Tess. He immediately starts flirting with her, and Claire is not amused especially when Alex offered Tess a tour of the rodeo. Another person whom everybody is happy to see, the men in particular, is Becky Howard (Jessica Napier) who according to Meg is wearing a skirt so short you could almost see her tonsils. She appears to be enjoying all the attention she is getting. The same thing can be said of Tess and Alex, but this changes when she spots Alex’ brother Nick. They stare at each other and their gaze seemed to have stopped the world from moving. Leave it to Tess stepping on a dung heap to bring them back to reality. Continue reading...

With the moment lost, Nick decides to confront Claire having learned about her entrance to campdraft with her father’s horse Sirocco. Knowing that campdrafting is a dangerous sport, he worries for her, but Claire is determined to show everybody that she is as good as her father especially after finding out about other people’s lack of confidence in her that was brought about by the previous incidents in Drover’s Run. Word had been flying around town that Claire McLeod could not run her father’s property and might soon lose it. In an effort to comfort her from her worries, Nick reminds Claire the solution their fathers planned long before, and that is for them to get married. However, she had put no mind to their fathers’ scheme shrugging it off as a silly joke.

The games have started, and so is the Ryan brother’s own little competition. Unlucky for Tess, she is the prize. Just when Alex thinks that he has her all for himself, Nick arrives. A big surprise for Tess to learn that the person she had a moment with not too long ago is Alex’s brother. As if things haven’t been awkward enough, Tess unwittingly remarks about the crudeness and foolishness of riding wild horses. Another surprise hits her when Alex’s turn came and she notices Nick’s limping as he walks away. Despite her reservations about the sport, she found herself cheering for Alex.

The rodeo’s hype extends to the Gungellan pub where Becky is having a drink with some of the boys. Brick who has become smitten with her watches from a distance as she kisses one of the guys who promised her a drink. At a less rowdy part of the pub, Nick and Tess eat lunch together as Claire and Alex watch. Claire looks disapprovingly at Tess particularly when their conversation shifts to selling properties. Unlike her, Nick’s father, Harry Ryan is pleased to discover about the possibility of the McLeod’s selling Drover’s Run. Now, Claire is not only upset with the attention Tess is getting from the Ryan brothers, but to her inciting rumors about selling the farm as well.

Claire is next up on the campdraft, but Sirocco is restless. To calm him down, she takes out Jack’s old shirt and as soon as the horse sensed the scent of his old master his restlessness was gone. But not for Tess who learned from Alex that Claire is competing with their father’s fiery horse Sirocco and not with her own horse Eagle who let her reach the finals last year. Tensions rise as her sister’s name is called, but Alex is preoccupied with a smudge of ice cream on Tess’ nose. Nick arrives just in time to watch Claire and to wipe off the ice cream on Tess’ nose. Claire’s time is up and everybody cheers for her as she does an amazing job handling the fiery horse and guiding the heifer. All come up to Claire to congratulate her successful run to the finals and Tess feels left out.

After partying with the boys the whole day, Becky returns to work as a barmaid in Brian’s Gungellan Pub while all the rodeo attendees have fun. A lot of the guys had already too much to drink and one of them disrespects Becky who in turn splashes alcohol at his face. This angers the man and prepares to attack the young woman, but the other men take a hold of him and Brian throws him out of his bar. Finally, the last of the drunken customer leaves and the pub closes. Brian pours a drink for Becky for a good day’s work.

The two sisters sleep under the stars. Tess opens up to Claire about her mother’s passing in the hope that her sister would do the same about their father’s death. She learns that unlike her who had stayed with her mom until her last breath, Claire did not see their father die. He was already dead when they found him by the old shed with his horse Sirocco standing over his master. She still regrets not going out to look for him sooner.

Tess wakes in the middle of the night and hears a girl crying. She follows the sound of weeping only to find the distraught Becky sitting on a swing. Tess learns that Becky was raped and she accompanies her to the police, but the poor girl runs away at the last minute. Tess is left alone to deal with the police and to report about the rape. However, without the real victim and unaware of who the attacker was, the police cannot do anything about it. Morning came and Tess asks for her sister’s help to persuade Becky to come forward or at least to divulge her attacker, but Claire knowing the victim’s reputation is a bit oblivious about the matter. Meg and Jodi overhear about the rape and start talking about it over breakfast at Brian’s pub. Worse than Claire, Meg believes that the young woman had asked for what she got. Terry feels the same way and even dares to walk into town naked the day somebody shows pity at Becky. He might have to make do with his bet sooner than he thinks, since Tess is determined to help the poor girl.

Seeing Tess talking with the police and her atypical longing to speak with Becky heightens Brian’s paranoia. He unwittingly gives away himself as the attacker when he implies that Becky is a liar. Tess immediately shares to her sister the information she uncovered, but Claire is preoccupied with winning the campdraft and proving herself worthy of running Drover’s Run. Tess might change her mind if she saw Becky’s current disposition. The young woman put on a smile and pretends that last night’s event did not happen. She returns to work at the Gungellan Pub, but Brian fires her and threatens that no one will believe her story. Claire sees her walking aimlessly and for a moment seemed to have a change of heart about the matter, but still she walks away with her horse. Becky continues to walk and is accosted by a couple of drunken men including the one who confronted her last night. Jodi sees her and tries to help, but fear overcomes her when the other men turn on her. Brick sees them and attacks the man who started the fuss, but is outnumbered when all the other guys come to the drunken man’s aid. Jodi runs for help and Claire who is up next for the campdraft overhears her cry for help and decides to forego the competition to rescue Becky. Claire rides her horse up to the men and scares them away. Tess follows her and takes Becky with her.

The rodeo is over and they return to Drover’s Run with Becky whom Claire offered a place to stay. She graciously accepts and offers to work for Claire to pay for her board and lodging. Claire agrees with the arrangement and leaves Becky alone in the shearer’s quarters where she picks up a broken glass from a mirror. Claire informs the other women about the arrangement much to everybody’s delight except for Meg who still sees Becky as nothing but trouble. To the shock of everybody, Becky arrives with her badly cut hair and wearing an oversized polo. Gone is the old Becky Howard. Although Meg is still unconvinced, and her anxiety to the new addition at Drover’s Run pushes her to take up her old habit of smoking. Terry who has come for his nightly visit is displeased with her smoking, and Meg gives him even more reason to become unhappy when she remembers about the bet he made. Terry Dodge walks butt naked on the road as Meg closely follows him with the Ute. To add to his humiliation, the Ryan’s sees him as they honk and drive passed him.

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