Monday, February 11, 2008

Taking the Reins – McLeod’s Daughters Episode Summary 1.5

Claire puts Sirocco to sleepSynopsis: Much to her embarrassment Tess Silverman falls off her horse in front of everybody. This incident and her feeling of not being needed made her wonder if Drover’s Run is the right place for her. The answer to her doubt comes when Claire becomes troubled with the health of their father’s beloved horse Sirocco. At the same time, the rift between Meg and Becky widens when Jodi joins the young woman on one of her nights out.

Episode Summary: The women round-up the cattle into the pen and unskilled Tess (Bridie Carter) volunteers to open the gate, but she falls off her horse in front of the others causing her great embarrassment and the butt of jokes. The incident made Tess feel more left out than ever, which leads her to take it out on her almost perfect sister by criticizing one of Claire’s painting. Her sister’s remark causes concern for Claire (Lisa Chappell) enough to make her ask for Meg’s opinion about her artwork, but that is not the only thing that worries her. Her father’s beloved horse Sirocco has not been eating.  Continue reading...

Now that Jodi is working in Drover’s Run for an undetermined period, she spends a lot of time hanging out with Becky. Meg is concerned that she might not be a good influence to her daughter especially when the young woman starts going out to town in the Ute almost every night. Jodi’s curiosity and interest with Becky’s nights out adds to her anxiety. Truth is, apprehension looms over Drover’s Run and the greatest concern is over the health of Sirocco, which compels Claire to call for the veterinarian. The Ryan brothers arrive with the vet Greg Watson. Unable to make significant diagnosis, his solution is for Claire to walk the horse until it unloads in order for him to check his insides. This task might take all day and so Nick offers to take the first shift, but stubborn Claire refuses any help. Tess, on the other hand, is more than willing to accept Alex’s offer of teaching her to bond with the horse Oscar, since her carrot trick and literal horse whispering was a failure. Her falling off the horse heightens her doubt that Drover’s Run might not be the place for her.

Later that night, she learns of Sirocco’s condition. She finds Nick with Claire who has been walking the old horse for hours. Tess orders her sister to hand over the reins, but as Nick would attest Claire rejects any help with the task. Tess sees this as a lack of trust from her sister and only reaffirms her deduction of not being needed. To prevent a fight between the two, Nick asks Tess to drive him home and learns from him that the day her father died Jack and Claire had an argument. Jack took off with Sirocco and was later found dead having suffered a heart attack. Having heard this story, she gains better understanding of her sister’s behavior and was almost moved to tears when she catches Claire singing a lullaby to Sirocco.

Much to Meg’s chagrin, Jodi goes with Becky on one of her nights out unaware that there really is nothing to worry about, since all Becky does is watch and yell at the train as it goes by. Well not entirely. What Jodi does not know is that Becky has been coming to town to steal from the Gungellan Pub - a form of revenge that does not amount to Brian’s violation of her. It was already almost 5:30am when the two young women return from town. Furious, Meg confronts Becky and notices all the Gungellan Pub’s paraphernalia. She orders the young woman to stay away from her daughter and Becky accepts, but not without pointing out that Meg is no saint either with her running around with Terry Dodge without her daughter’s knowledge.

After a long day of walking the horse, Claire finally takes a break, but only to prepare food for Sirocco. Tess takes this opportunity to let her sister know that she now understands what the horse meant to Claire having concluded that taking care of her father’s horse was a way for her sister to make up for the fight with their father. Meg’s call interrupts their conversation. They run out to where Sirocco is to find that the horse had finally unloaded its waste. (This is probably the only time you’d see anybody so happy to see horse droppings.) Relieved, Claire let’s go her reservations and allows Tess to take charge. Her first task is to tell Becky to bring the heifers to the paddock to calf. Fully aware of her unsatisfactory horse riding skills, Tess takes the Ute to look for Becky. On her way, she finds a heifer about to give birth. She finds the girls, but her worries are not over having learned that the calf is stuck and it’s a long way back home. They are left to help the heifer by themselves. They tie a rope around the calf’s exposed feet and pull with all their might until they successfully get it out, which is what they just did.

A new life begins, while another ends. Claire’s relief was short lived as she learns that Sirocco has a tumor and that it is too late to operate. The only solution is to put the beloved horse to sleep. A daunting task that Claire resolves to do herself. With a shotgun in her hand, she walks the beast to the shed where the faithful horse stayed to watch over its master on his last hour. She lies the horse down on its side, loads the shotgun and for a moment hesitates to pull the trigger. She swallows her tears and finally puts the horse to sleep. Having learned from Meg where Claire has gone off to, she forgoes her fear of riding and goes to be with her sister in her time of need. She hears the gunshot and sees her mournful sister walking back home. Tess brings her grieving sister back home.


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