Saturday, March 22, 2008

Haunted – McLeod’s Daughters Episode Summary 1.10

Claire McLeod stays beside the dead victimSynopsis: Claire McLeod and Tess Silverman come to the aid of victims of a fatal car accident. Claire stays with the victims as Tess runs to call for help. Unfortunately, one of the victims dies on Claire’s care. Unable to grieve, the tragic accident continues to haunt her. Meanwhile, Becky’s traumatic violation has returned to haunt her given the suspicion that she might be pregnant with her attacker’s child.

Episode Summary: In the wee hours of the night, Becky Howard (Jessica Napier) is in Gungellan stealing the tires of Brian’s truck. Imagine his shock the following morning when he finds all the brand new tires gone. Meanwhile, back at Drovers Run unsuspecting Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) notices the new tires on their Ute. Worried that it must have cost them a lot, she asks Becky about it, but the young woman reassures her claiming that she got them from a bloke who owed her. Claire believes her station hand’s statement, which in a way is not entirely false. Brian does owe her, in fact more than all the tires in the world, for his forceful violation of the young woman. However, the end does not justify the means. Though nobody has accused her yet, her punishment seemed to have come in a form of a cute, pudgy, needy, orphaned lamb that was left to her care.  Continue reading...

The orphaned lamb is not the only animal at Drovers that is causing trouble, since Ruth Silverman’s old, dead and stuffed cat Taffy has come to haunt allergic Meg Fountain (Sonia Todd) when it arrives at Drovers Run with all of Tess’ and her mother’s things not to mention Ruth’s ashes. Though the dining room would sooner or later need some clearing up from Tess’ junk, the women are left with no choice, but to save it for later given that farm work takes top priority especially with the docking of the sheep. The last thing Claire needs is more dead sheep due to wool maggots. Becky could not agree more. She would not want more orphaned lambs to follow her. Dinner came, and so, the task of putting away Tess’ junk has begun. Jodi (Rachael Carpani) ends up with a deck of Tarot cards, while Becky with a full-length mirror. Later, Meg finds the young station hand in her quarters checking her belly with the recently acquired mirror. It was not difficult for Meg to deduce the young woman’s troubles given that there could only be one thing that could explain Becky’s skipping dinner, and beer – pregnancy.

Brian’s abuse has returned to haunt the young station hand. Following Meg’s suggestion, Becky asks Tess (Bridie Carter) in confidence to buy her a pregnancy test kit. On their way to town to sell Tess’ things, Tess and Claire come across a car accident that Jodi though unknowingly had somehow predicted through her Tarot cards. The two sisters rush to the victims’ aid – a man and a woman. With petrol leaking from the car, they are left with no choice, but to move the unconscious husband out and to safety. However, the wife remains jammed under the steering wheel. The only option they have left is to get help, but with the Ute stalled Tess has to go on foot to Killarney while Claire stays with the badly injured though conscious driver. Tess does her best to quickly get help from the Ryan’s, and she does just that. Liz Ryan finds her on the phone calling for an ambulance, and immediately calls Harry, and the boys. With the ambulance still hours away, the Ryan’s take it upon themselves to help with the rescue. The miles trek on foot had finally taken its toll on Tess who collapses due to exhaustion, but with Claire still at the scene of the accident she is determined to return to be with her sister.

Claire does the same for the victim as she remains by the woman’s side in her time of need. The driver who is on her way to Sydney to visit her sister worries that she would be unable to attend her sister’s wedding, and that her accident would delay the marriage ceremony. She does her best to comfort the ailing woman, and thought that the news of help arriving would provide great relief, but the woman’s fatal injuries was too much to endure. With Claire still holding her hand, the victim takes her last breath. Tess and the Ryan’s arrive to find her sister still beside the dead woman still holding her hand. Nick tries to comfort Claire, but not wanting to break her promise she refuses to leave the woman. The husband comes out of unconsciousness calling for his wife. In order not to add more to his trauma, they conceal his wife’s condition, and bring him to the hospital by means of the chopper. Claire finally lets go of the dead victim’s hand, and she unsuccessfully tries to wipe off the blood on her hand.

Meanwhile, at Drovers Run, Becky’s little lamb continues to pester her. Already haunted by the thought of carrying Brian’s child, the lamb becomes a sad implication of what is to come. Though not having any intention of killing an unborn child despite it being a result of an offense she tried so hard to forget, Becky worries about her future. Meg though not admittedly still unconvinced of the young woman’s rape claim tries to comfort the troubled station hand. Unsuccessful with her effort, she leaves the young woman alone to herself to go face troubles of her own. Believing that Tess had already brought with her to town the stuffed dead cat, Meg with her incessant sneezing is convinced that it had scattered its fur all over the house to torment her. Soon she discovers that Tess had lied, and in fact had hid her mother’s beloved cat in one of the cabinets. It is no secret that Meg disliked Ruth for the woman’s loathing of the country life; lucky for Tess she already proved herself to be nothing like her mother in that respect given her resolve to fit in. However, her latest stunt with Taffy might prove otherwise.

Up on the tractor on top of one of the paddocks, Becky spots the Killarney Ute hauling the Drovers Run’s Ute with all of Tess’ things still on it. Quickly the women receive them to find Claire covered with blood. Tess informs them of the accident, and thanks Becky for the stolen tires without which they could have been on an accident of their own. In addition, she acknowledges her sister’s deed even though she was unable to save the woman. Upon hearing this, Jodi is convinced that the Tarot cards had predicted the fatal accident, but no one puts any mind to her especially since Claire is obviously still bothered with the death of the woman. Nick attempts to convince her that there was nothing any of them could have done to save victim. Also concerned for Tess’ well being and remembering how she collapsed earlier, he advises her to soak her feet to relieve the swelling.

Still disturbed by the traumatic event, Tess is not herself, and like her sister seems to blame herself for the lack of knowledge on emergency care. However, it is Claire who was devastated the most, and does her best to keep to herself and conceal her emotions. Her actions prove otherwise, starting with her frantic attempt of scrubbing off the woman’s blood from her hands to her undressing in front of the other women and throwing out her blood-soaked clothes in the trash. Resuming work on the farm is her way to escape her troubles, while Tess finds consolation by grieving and talking to her dead mother. Clearly, Tess’ was a better solution, and already she is back to her old normal self. Regrettably, not the same could be said about her sister who was painfully reminded of the car accident by the sight of a sheep’s carcass.

While the sisters are away mustering sheep, and Meg is on the road to Gungellan to buy vaccine, an uninvited guest arrives at Drovers Run. The tires that Becky stole is the reason for Brian’s unlikely visit. Jodi sends the man away, but is unsuccessful. She becomes even more distressed when Becky arrives aiming a shotgun at him, and finally divulging the identity of his attacker. Brian refuses to leave, and Becky declines to put the shotgun down. The old man continues with his provocation, and suggests that given her reputation no one will ever believe the young woman. His remark was the straw that broke the camel’s back; Becky shoots him on the leg to Jodi’s shear horror. Only then did Brian leave, but not without threatening to return with the police.

To avoid more trouble, the two clean up the rifle and the blood left on the ground to cover up the incident. Unfortunately, Claire finds Becky in her bathroom with the rifle, but Claire’s unstable condition caused by the tragedy saved the station hand from serious trouble. Meanwhile, Jodi is also not acting herself given the recent incident, and the discovery of Becky’s attacker. However, her mother’s refusal to believe that Brian attacked Becky proved to be more unsettling than her discovery.

Meg might be wrong about Becky, but she is right about Claire. She perceives that the accident continues to disturb reticent Claire. Unwilling to grieve and knowing full well how she keeps her troubles to herself, Meg subtly encourages Claire to let go. All gathered together for another day of sheep docking, Meg finds the perfect opportunity to talk about the accident to the unease of the other women. True enough, Claire finally breaks down at the realization that although she stayed with the victim on the last hours of her life, it never occurred to her to ask her name. Meg’s plan worked though she could have chosen a less dangerous time to execute it given that Claire had badly cut herself after being utterly shaken back to reality, but nonetheless it did the trick.

At last, the haunting had ended, and not only for Claire. Becky too had escaped the awful threat of carrying Brian’s child. Though Meg and Becky’s relationship is not what you would call dear; the motherly housekeeper was thoughtful enough to buy the young station hand the kit, and was pleased to learn that there really is no need for it. So it now boils down to Tess to finally let go of her mother’s precious, dead, stuffed cat. With a little, brief burial ceremony gone is the feline, and so are Meg’s allergies.

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