Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pride and Joy – McLeod’s Daughters Episode Summary 1.7

Claire and Tess lie under their father's deskSynopsis: A rogue bull damages part of the boundary fence that separates Drover's Run from Killarney. Harry Ryan replaces the whole fence despite Claire’s opposition. Convinced that he is up to no good, she insists on paying her share of the expenses despite Drover’s Run not having any money to cough up. Meanwhile, Tess is having problems of her own. She traded her cappuccino maker for a pale, bloated, dairy cow whose gas problems prevents it from giving off milk.

Episode Summary: Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) teaches her sister Tess (Bridie Carter) how to check boundary fences. She reckons that a good way to know whether a fence is in need of repair is to give it a good kick. Tess follows what her sister did and kicks the fence as hard as she could only she used the front of her foot instead of the side leaving her with five aching toes. To make matters worse, a bull charges at her and was left to seek refuge up on a tree, claiming that her fear of being trampled on overpowers her acrophobia. Though Claire managed to scare away the beast, it left them with a broken fence as it escaped to Killarney. Now that the bull is on the other side of the fence, Tess safely makes her way back to the ground, but forgets her hat and leaves it hanging up on the tree. Continue reading...

The two sisters return to Drover’s Run in time for breakfast and Meg (Sonia Todd) informs Tess of her delivery. Claire organizes a plan to fix the fence before Harry Ryan (Marshall Napier) notices the damage and orders Becky and Jodi to catch the Mickey bull. Tess unaware of the term Mickey, which is used to describe a bull that has not been castrated, mistakes it for its name and again becomes the center of mirth. To add another bell to her jester’s hat, she finally shows Claire her recent purchase – a dairy cow that Claire considers pale, a diagnosis that Tess finds peculiar considering the cow is all black.

The other women quickly make their way back the house as soon as Tess pulls out the milking assignments. At the same time, Harry drops by for a visit and makes the same diagnosis about the cow. Claire invites Harry in the study, the first time since Jack McLeod passed away. He looks around, sees Claire’s painting and unlike Tess compliments her for her talent. He then reminisces on good old memories of Jack. Like a flash, Claire’s plan of fixing the fence unnoticed by Harry is gone, since he had already seen the damage. She strongly believes that his intentions are suspicious and is convinced that he is planning on taking over Drover’s Run. It is for this reason that she wanted the fence fixed as soon as possible, but soon ends up a day later given that they do not have enough materials for the task.

Tess learns that the general rule is to milk the cow once in the morning and then again at night. She sets off to do the milking, but the cow would not give any. She then discovers that not only is the cow pale, it is also bloated all thanks to a blocked rumen - the first of four stomachs. By night, Tess’ cow, Madonna, still hasn’t broken wind. The other women sit and watch as she walks her back and forth until she passes gas. Unsuccessful, she decides to talk to the cow inspiring it to break wind by imitating the sound of passing gas. The women laugh at her and all start to imitate a farting sound.

Morning came and still no success with Madonna. Tess gives milking another try, while Claire and Becky set off to fix the fence only to find that the men of Killarney are already on the job. To make matters worse, Harry Ryan decided not only to fix the damaged fence, but also to replace the whole thing and even installed security cameras. Furious, Claire confronts Harry, but only ends up insisting on paying for her share of the expenses. Tess finds it difficult to understand Claire’s decision especially when her justification always involves the code of the bush. Putting aside the ways of the country, Claire’s decision is not unfounded. She explains that accepting Harry’s offer would put them under obligation to him. However, Tess is preoccupied with a problem of her own – Madonna. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Too bad for the cow, the only solution is to puncture its rumen in the hopes of releasing the gas. Unable to do the daunting task herself, Claire is left with the job, but manages to convince Tess to stick around to see how it is done. Using her anger at Harry, she easily punctures the cow’s tough hide to penetrate the rumen then she takes out the tool and releases the foul-smelling gas for the two of them to savor. Oh, the sweet smell of success. Tess runs off to throw up after inhaling the fetid gas. But the work is not over. After curing Madonna’s bloat problem, Tess resumes with the milking and ends up with buckets upon buckets of fresh warm milk.

Jodi is still sore about being stuck at Drover’s Run and Claire’s order for her and Becky to catch the Mickey bull gives her more reason to rant. Though she hasn’t lost hope of fulfilling her dream and attests of leaving the farm as soon as she is eighteen. While Jodi spends most of the time planning on taking off, Becky is busy strategizing on how to catch the rogue bull. Her plan is to keep the bull thirsty to force it to come out into the open. After learning that two Mickey bulls were caught at the Bold Hill paddock, the two head their way there. True enough, Jodi spots the beast hiding behind the bush. Becky plans to scare it off, forcing it to burst out of its hiding place at which point they will herd him back to the gate. They find the bull standing out in the open. The two walk their horses close to it. Becky jumps at the beast in a sorry attempt of catching it and as expected it escapes.

Meg finds Claire in the study and she is reminded of Jack McLeod. Having promised Harry to pay for half the fence he installed, Claire is bent on finding a means to get the money. Left with nothing else, she decides to sell Blaze. Leave it to Meg to straighten her out, as the sensible housekeeper reminds her of the dream. That is, Blaze is supposed to be the showpiece for Drover’s Run’s breeding program, the one that Claire had always dreamt of starting. Meg’s suggestion is to call the bank for a loan, which had always been Jack’s solution to money problems that inadvertently lead them to serious financial ruin. With no other options to take, she does just that leaving her with no money just more agitation.

Tess is finally finished with the milking and decides to give Meg a night off at making dinner. She serves them various Indonesian dishes all cooked with milk. The first two were a success, but after the fifth course all except Jodi are nauseous. Later that night, Tess catches Claire in an uncharacteristic good mood. The reason being, she had found a way to pay Harry for the new boundary fence. The next morning, she tells Harry her proposal and manages to urge him to accept it.

Jodi and Becky talk about what males go after. Jodi believes big brown eyes and long eyelashes would to the trick, but Becky argues that large breasts are more fitting. All their talk is directed at choosing the right heifer to use as bait in order to catch the elusive Mickey bull. Their plan worked, since the bull had already made its way at the poor heifer that was tied to a tree. Becky goes after the bull, now with a rope at hand, but was distracted by Jodi who had become sick due last night’s dinner.

Knowing his father full well, Alex (Arron Jeffery)like Claire is suspicious of Harry’s intentions on replacing the whole boundary fence. To add to his disgust, he learns that his father had accepted Claire’s offer to pay him with Jack’s old desk. Harry argues that Claire had insisted, but Alex disputes that he could have found another way to let her off the hook. Despite his opposition with the whole arrangement, he is left to do the distasteful job of taking the desk out of Drover’s and into Killarney.

Tess and Claire prepare the desk for the movers and end up reminiscing about their childhood, this after seeing the bottom of Jack’s desk with the twenty-year old bubblegum they used to stick on it when they were kids. Claire remembers holding tea parties under the desk with her plastic tea set and sometimes letting her younger sister play with her. Tess notices Claire’s inscription of their names – Claire McLod and Tess McLod and both have a good laugh, but the memory of the time of its inscription brought back the sad recollection of Ruth and Tess leaving. Realizing all the memories that came with the desk, Claire realizes that giving away the desk is a mistake, but it is already too late. Alex had already arrived to fetch the desk. As the men of Killarney are loading it on Alex’s Ute, Tess sticks a bubblegum on it vowing that it would still be there when it returns. Seeing that taking away Jack’s desk is slowly breaking Claire’s heart, Alex tells her that he could tell his father that she had changed her mind, but with Tess’ support she keeps her word. Both sisters painfully watch as Alex drives away with their father’s old desk.

Claire deals with the loss the only way she can, and that is to take her ill temper on other people. Meg becomes her first victim, when she makes the mistake of reminding her of what Jack used to say to her when things go bad. Claire considers it as pillow talk. She knowing full well about Meg’s fling with her father. Her remark surprised the faithful housekeeper who was unaware that Claire knew about her affair. Jodi happened to walk into the kitchen and becomes the next victim of her foul mood. She learns that they still haven’t caught the rogue bull and decides to get everybody on board to finally finish the task. Their plan is to lure the bull with water knowing that it hadn’t drunk for days, but that too was a failure. Tess has an idea. It is rather a peculiar one, but it might just work. She goes inside the gate and calls out for the Mickey bull to come and get her, since it did charge at her once. The other women hide in the bush to wait and painfully listen to Tess’ speech about having a connection with the bull. Just when she was about to throw the towel in, the bull comes charging at her. As soon as the bull enters the gate, the women make their way to close it, while Tess jumps over the fence and climbs up the tree. Tess’ plan was a success and even managed to retrieve her hat.

The next morning, the alarm and Madonna’s mooing wakes Tess. Claire, on the other hand, is already up and about to attempt a task beyond her skills – cooking breakfast. It is her own little way of showing her remorse at pouncing on Meg yesterday. Though she did manage to cough up an apology enough to set things right again. Alex too, has found a way to somehow mend the anguish caused by taking Jack’s old desk. She finds Claire in the study, in front of the computer sitting on the floor. He takes her by the hand, covers her eyes with his hand and leads her out to the driveway. He takes off his hand from her eyes to reveal Harry’s desk. No good deed goes unpunished. Claire is painfully reminded of Jack’s desk and her mistake at giving it away. In her anger, she shoves Alex and breaks down. Alex comforts the ailing McLeod daughter.

Later, Claire sees Tess hauling buckets of milk up to the bathroom. She follows her and finds her soaking in a tub filled with cow’s milk. She jokes that if it is good for Cleopatra then it is good for a McLod. Claire takes the opportunity to ask her sister’s opinion about her decision of paying Harry with their father’s desk. Tess, in support of her sister’s actions, affirms that Claire was left with no choice, which makes her decision agreeable. She still vows of getting it back and kids about taking over Killarney. With her business studies from her hospitality degree, who knows? In addition, having seen how Alex provided comfort in her sister’s time of need, she resolved to ask her if there is anything going on with the two. As expected, Claire insists that there is none.

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