Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Noon, My Midnight – McLeod’s Daughters Episode Summary 3.28

Claire McLeod makes the ultimate sacrificeSynopsis: Tess McLeod had made herself believe that the sudden appearance of a white stallion at Drovers Run is an omen – a sign of death. Her grim and dreary disposition is brought about by the impending results of her lumpectomy. All do their best to appease her only to painfully learn that the white horse is meant for someone else, her beloved sister – Claire McLeod.

Episode Summary: Stevie Hall is startled to find Jodi Fountain rummaging through her things and becomes afraid that the young woman would find the gems that she had hidden. Fortunately, the only things that she found are a hair dryer, a shirt, a lotion and her knickers that Stevie is already wearing. To appease Jodi and prevent her from looking any further, she promises the young woman a half dozen new pairs of socks. As soon as Jodi leaves her quarters, Stevie quickly checks the pouch of gems that she had carelessly hidden under the linoleum floor and finds them untouched. The incident was a close call, which gave her the need to look for a better hiding place. Later that night, she sneaks inside the main house and into the cellar where she finds a loose stone on the wall – a perfect hideaway. That night a full moon shines over Drovers Run and it brought with it a white stallion.  Continue reading...

It was already morning when they first catch the glimpse of the white brumby. Tess Silverman (Bridie Carter) was one of the first to see it as the horse grazes by the windmill, but it is Stevie Hall with her shotgun who scares it away. Upset, Tess confronts the new lead station hand and tells her that in Drovers Run, brumbies are not killed. Although not wanting to hurt the wild horse, Tess becomes troubled with its sudden appearance and has made herself believe that it is an omen - a sign of death. Knowing full well that the cause of her sister’s troubles is the impending open-biopsy result, Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) does her best to appease her sister and wastes no time on devising a plan to catch the brumby. With the help of the Ryan brothers, they set a trap in Wilgul where they use a mare as lure. However, Tess is certain that the wild horse is not just any brumby and is convinced that the trap is bound to fail.

Although Tess’ disposition had been dreary ever since she found a lump on her breast, she manages to genuinely feel happy for her sister’s good fortune of finally realizing that Alex Ryan (Aaron Jeffrey) is the one man that would truly make her happy. Like everybody else who knew that it took the two mates too long to realize that they are meant for each other, Tess urges Claire and Alex to take a step further and suggests that Alex move in at Drovers. The couple could not be any happier with the idea and they waste no time to take action. Truth is Alex had already planned on taking the giant leap of asking Claire to marry him. Well, it would not be the first time, but this time she would not be able to say no. In fact, he had already bought a ring to give her when he makes his proposal that night.

As part of Alex’s moving in, Tess decides to move downstairs in order to give the couple more space, more so to avoid bumping into them at an inopportune and embarrassing time. Claire finds her sister getting ready for the move by putting her personal stuff in boxes including an old, dirty pair of work boots. It was the pair that she gave her that made Tess’ eyes light up like a kid with a new pony. Tess plans on keeping the boots forever given that her sister’s gift was what made her feel that she truly belonged at Drovers Run. Claire then finds a menu of Tess’ cafe in Melbourne and remembers the time when Tess had left them only to return home to comfort her in her time of need. A call from the doctor’s office ends their trip down memory lane. The two sisters rush to the hospital to hear the results of the lumpectomy pathology. Pessimistic Tess expects the worst given the nature of the phone call and becomes all the more convinced of her supposition when she sees the white horse running alongside them.

Omen or not, there is no doubt that the wild horse means trouble as it already knocked down fences causing more work for the farm hands. In addition, the alpacas had wandered off to the other side to feed on skinny Jims. With a lot of fencing work to do, Stevie decides to take Jodi’s advice to forget about the alpacas. She soon learns her mistake when they find the beasts lying on the grass suffering on colic. Not only did her error added more work to their already long list of things to do, it also would give Tess more reason to dislike her. To avoid having to deal with the younger McLeod sister, Stevie decides to do the drenching without her bosses’ knowledge. Helping Stevie with the task, Jodi feels that it is a mistake not to let Tess know about her alpacas’ condition. However, the lead station hand is adamant with her decision rationalizing that she is only looking out for Tess who clearly has a lot on her mind right now.

Lucky for Tess, she has a lot of people looking out for her and one of them is Nick. Determined to catch the white brumby for his troubled, superstitious friend, he enlists the help of Terry to finish the trap since Alex is too busy packing his things for the move. Soon after they set up the trip wire, the brumby appears. They sit and watch as the wild horse paces back and forth waiting for the right time to pursue the mare. After much waiting, the wild horse finally makes it move and unsuspectingly locks itself in the trap.

The doctor explains that Tess’ family history of cancer was the cause of the thorough check, and was more than pleased to announce that the lump is totally benign. However, Tess who had psyched herself to hear the worst failed to hear the good news and went on and on about the type of treatment she would like to undergo. Confused, the doctor repeats himself to assert the good news that no cancer cells were found. Only then did Tess understand and with a deep sigh all her worries are gone.

At long last, Tess is back to her old, normal, bubbly self as the two sisters happily make their way back to Drovers Run with her standing on the seat of her Vdub and screaming like a crazy lunatic without a care in the world. Meg and Jodi receive the two along with their good news, and they could not be any happier. To celebrate her good fortune and also Alex’s moving in, they decide to have a party. However, Tess’ jubilation was cut short upon learning of the alpacas’ indigestion. Despite Stevie’s success at saving the animals from serious danger, Tess is still upset with her. Caught between her sister and her friend, Claire is left with no choice but to ask Stevie to leave making herself believe that her friend who had always been on the road was not planning on staying long anyway. Although knowing full well that Claire’s decision is truly brought about by the tension between her and Tess, Stevie like a true friend accepts without holding a grudge.

Unlike Claire who has all the luck in the world having her own farm, an adorable daughter, good friends and a sister who would always be there for her and finally finding a man who truly loves her; Stevie has no home and no family, and now even lost the only wealth she has – the gems. A friend leaves, while a lover arrives. Alex arrives at Drovers Run hauling with him boxes upon boxes of his junk. Good thing Claire is too excited with having him around that she sees past the clutter. Realizing that the right moment to make the marriage proposal had arrived, Alex sits Claire on her bed to surprise her with the ring only to discover that he had misplaced it. In his frantic search for the ring, he inadvertently reveals the gun rifle collection that he had hung on the wall of their bedroom. Not wanting to upset Claire, he agrees to take them down to the cellar without inciting an argument and continues with his search for the promised present enlisting Nick’s help on looking for it. Nick finds the ring in the glove compartment of his Ute, and makes his way to give it to his brother, but the couple is already in their room. To avoid spoiling their evening together, he decides to forego handing the ring to his brother and decides to check on Tess who after a long, exhausting day had already fallen asleep on her bed.

As soon as Nick leaves, Stevie sneaks down to the cellar to retrieve her precious gems only to find Alex’s junk blocking the wall. Hearing that Alex is on his way down to the cellar to add more to the rubbish he had brought with him, Stevie is left with no other choice but to leave before getting caught.

Aggravated for having been trapped, the now restless white stallion runs around the gate and successfully jumps over the enclosure to free itself. It was already morning when Stevie informs Nick that the brumby had escaped his trap. However, having learned the result of Tess’ lumpectomy, he believes that the worst is over with or without the brumby that Tess had been superstitious about. In fact, there soon will be much rejoicing when Alex finally gets to propose to Claire.

The purpose of Stevie’s visit was to see if Nick is looking for a station hand to help with running Wilgul. Although she would be a good addition, Nick just does not have enough money to hire her. Though unlucky with her job hunt, her visit was not in vain, since the Ryan brother had told her to stick around for a little longer hinting that wedding bells will be ringing not too long for Alex and Claire. Actually, Alex’s luck in love seemed to have rubbed on to him as Tess now free of her troubles comes riding on her horse all the way to Wilgul to give him a kiss on the lips and to inform him of the festivities at Drovers Run.

To buy supplies for the party, Claire and Tess with BOM make their way to Gungellan. Getting used to spending a lot of time with Claire, Alex asks his girlfriend to return soon realizing that he could hardly live without her. Not too long, Claire and Tess make their way back to Drovers Run with the supplies. After a long trip to town, BOM had started to act up and cry. To calm the restless baby, the two sisters happily sing to the child only to learn that keeping silent is a better solution. All seems well until the white stallion comes running in front of them causing the Ute to swerve, but Claire manages to regain control of the truck. Still distracted with the close call with the brumby, Claire fails to see the pothole such that she again loses control over the Ute, but this time its side hits a tree. Claire’s foot gets stuck under the pedal, which made it very difficult for her to put on the breaks. The Ute runs over a fence and makes its way to the edge of a cliff. By the time Claire manages to hit the breaks, the front of the Ute is already hanging over the edge of the cliff.

The two sisters sit in horror as they gaze at the bottom of the cliff. Slowly, the Ute continues to slip. With no time to waste, Claire asks Tess to take BOM out of the car to safety, since her leg is stuck under the steering wheel. As Tess slowly reaches for the baby, Claire though badly hurt tries her best to calm her distressed daughter. However, Tess could not reach the child. Claire tells her sister to get out of the Ute in order to safely take her baby out of the truck. Tess refuses to leave her sister, but Claire already in tears begs her to save her baby. Tess does as she is told and takes the child to safety. Relieved that her baby is free from imminent death, Claire in tears thanks her sister for saving her child. Tess sets BOM on the ground and rushes to get her sister out of the Ute, but Claire’s door having hit the tree is stuck. She then decides to tie the truck to a tree to prevent it from falling over, but the rope is too short. Slowly, the Ute continues to slip. Left with no choice, Tess struggles to pull the truck with all her might despite knowing that none of her efforts would save her sister. Tess continues to hold on to the truck persuading her sister to pull her leg free, but it was too late. Knowing that nothing can be done to save her, Claire entrusts her child, Charlotte, to Tess and tells her that she loves her. To prevent her sister from falling over the cliff with her, which is what Tess intended to do, Claire pushes her away to safety. Tess watches as the Ute drops and hits the bottom of the cliff with her sister still inside it.

Tess carrying Charlotte with her tries to make her way down the cliff to help her sister, but it was too steep. She decides to make her way back to Drovers Run on foot to get help. Unaware of the tragic accident, everybody gets ready for the party, while Alex prepares for his marriage proposal now that Nick had handed him the ring that he misplaced. He was struck with an idea of surprising Claire by putting the ring on her pillow. Excited he carefully puts the ring on her pillow and waits for Claire’s return. Having been out for quite a while, they presumed that Claire had just decided to pamper herself for once and get her hair done. The sad truth comes when distraught Tess arrives on foot with Charlotte. Alex and Nick rush to the site of the accident to find the Ute at the bottom of the cliff. Alex risks hurting himself when he rushes down the cliff to rescue his beloved mate. Jodi, Terry and Tess arrive and watch as Alex runs to the wreckage. There he finds Claire still strapped on her seat with her eyes still open. Alex in tears embraces her lifeless body.

Meg left with Charlotte anxiously waits their return, but their sullen faces gave her the painful answer to what she feared. All return without Claire. Meg comforts her daughter who broke down to tears after the painful realization that she really is gone. Together they wept the death of their good friend. Tess, on the other hand, has not wept since their return. Alex finds her in Claire’s room sitting on a chair holding Charlotte in her arms. Full of guilt and grief, she tells Alex that she should have stayed with her. However, Alex overcome with sorrow could not say a word. He turns to Claire’s bed to find the ring he had put on her pillow and tries to hold back his tears. He walks away. Tess sees the ring that Alex was going to give her sister and only then did she weep again.

Previous episode: To Catch A Thief
Next episode: The Long Goodbye
More McLeod's Daughters Episode Summaries

1 Pennies for your thoughts:

banini said...

I dreaded having to watch this episode again as this really broke my heart. My Noon, My Midnight though how painful it was to watch my favorite character die brought about superb acting from Lisa Chappell and Bridie Carter. This is probably the most moving death scene I've seen on television...well actually on any form of entertainment. The most heart wrenching part was when Tess as a last resort attempted to pull the Ute by hand in the hopes of keeping it from slipping.