Synopsis: Meg Fountain is throwing her only daughter, Jodi, a surprise eighteenth birthday party. The party is a smash with almost everybody in town in attendance. Moreover, it seems that Jodi who is worried at never having been with a man sees her coming of age a chance to fulfill her wish. Meg, on the other hand, finds it difficult to let go, and see her daughter’s heart get broken. Meanwhile, jealousy arises when Tess and Alex spend some time alone together.
Episode Summary: Jodi Fountain (Rachael Carpani) has found another reason to rant, this after learning that her mother is only throwing her a barbecue party for her eighteenth birthday. Though this clearly is not what she had her mind, it sounds a lot better than Becky’s birthday bash or the lack of it. Unlike Jodi, Becky’s parents had forgotten about her big day, and so she celebrated it the only way she knew how – drunk at the back of a truck with some guy. However, Jodi feels that she deserves better, and still could not help but be annoyed at the indifference she’s getting from the women of Drovers Run. Claire and Tess’ birthday gifts, a day-off and a loaned sweater, did not help at all. Finally accepting that all she’s getting is a barbecue party, Jodi tries to make the most of it by inviting her friends over. Unfortunately, her mother had decided on foregoing the barbecue party all together to settle on just Chinese food given that they don’t have money for a party. Furious with this new development Jodi storms away from the women and makes her way back to the house. The women of Drovers Run could not help but laugh, because what Jodi does not know is that her mother is throwing her a surprise eighteenth birthday party.
Night has fallen, and Jodi still hasn’t finished ranting to her poor best friend Becky Howard (Jessica Napier). Knowing that she will have the worst birthday ever had made her life appear more pathetic. Being stuck in a cattle farm really puts a damper on her social life that she is convinced that she must be the world’s oldest virgin. While Jodi is busy ranting about her miserable life, Meg Fountain (Sonia Todd) is hard at preparing for her only daughter’s surprise eighteenth birthday party. She shows Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) and Tess Silverman (Bridie Carter) the necklace that she is going to give to her daughter. This reminded them of the gifts they received for their big day. It seems that jewelry is a customary present to girls who are coming of age, but not for Claire. Having been solely raised by her father, she received a rather unusual present – a bottle of port, which by the way she has not opened until now. Realizing how ridiculous and inappropriate her father’s present is, Claire had unconsciously been trying to convince the two women how wonderful her gift is.
Later, their conversation moves on to the first time they were with a guy. Tess had hers on the beach under the stars, while Meg was at the drive-in where a Clint Eastwood movie was playing. Claire, on the other hand, would not divulge her own. Meanwhile, Jodi and Becky too are having a similar conversation. Jodi with all seriousness tells her how she will know that she has found the right man. She pictures him coming towards her holding a rose that he hands to her, and when their fingers touch she will feel a shudder run through her body. Becky who had experienced the best and the worst could only laugh at her friend’s fantasy, but when Jodi continues describing the perfect first time she too could not help but dream.
After a couple glasses of Claire’s vintage port, Meg realizes that she was eighteen when she met Jodi’s father Kevin. The man she was with at the drive-in. By now, Meg becomes overly anxious at the thought that her little girl will blossom into a woman by tomorrow night. The same way she did when she became eighteen.
Meg must have had a lot to drink the night before, but it was not enough to forget the daunting thought she had, and finding that her pack of condoms have gone missing from her bedside drawer gives her much reason to be alarmed. She storms out of her room to confront the only person who might have took them – her daughter. Jodi’s confusion with her mother’s sudden outrage quickly turned to anger when she realizes that her mother still sees her as a kid.
The Fountains are not the only ones who are causing disturbance at Drovers Run. The cows that have been separated from their calves have not stopped lamenting, and it is driving Tess crazy. Unfortunately, this is something that they would have to deal with for a few more days until the heifers fully adjust with the new arrangement. Jodi arrives dressed for a night out on the town, and borrows the car from Claire who absent-mindedly gives her permission. The women panic when they fail to keep Jodi, who vows to have herself a really good time on her eighteenth birthday, from leaving. Having run out of excuses, Meg had no other choice but to tell her about the surprise party that they’re throwing for her. It worked like a charm.
Jodi spends the rest of the day preparing for her surprise eighteenth birthday party. Claire, on the other hand, probably spent less than five minutes fixing herself. This seems to worry Tess especially after finding her sister wearing jeans. Well, they are not just ordinary jeans they are in fact party jeans clearly a different one from the ones she wears for work, home and the rodeo. Claire does not seem to mind given that it’s an eighteenth birthday party held in a shearing shed, but Tess does not see this as an excuse not to look your best. Good thing, Jodi is unlike Claire, and she looks lovely on her simple pink dress. Meg leads her to the shed. Despite knowing what’s coming, Jodi could not help but be surprised when the lights were turned on to reveal the whole town is in full attendance.
The party is a smash, and Jodi got her wish of having a really good time at her eighteenth birthday party. Craig Woodland asking her to dance was just the cherry on top of the sundae. The Ryan brothers and Claire could not help but be relieved that they have outgrown the awkwardness of such parties. However, Tess grabbing Alex to dance with her before Claire finishes asking the two brothers who is going to ask her first seemed to put them back to that awkward stage. Nonetheless, most of the partygoers appear to be having fun. Thanks to Troy, the DJ that brought the music and provided the night’s entertainment.
However, it does not seem like that is the only thing he brought with him. Jodi, who while still dancing with Craig, had started flirting with Troy who is up on stage. Intuitive Meg clearly sees what’s happening, and immediately senses trouble. She gets another anxiety attack when Claire hands her the condoms that she found lying by the kitchen door, and she realizes that her daughter had not taken them. Meg storms out of the shed to get some air, and hears the lamenting cows. They like her miss their babies.
Meanwhile, Tess and Nick are put in an awkward situation when Alex asks Claire to dance, and they were stuck to dance with each other. To make matters worse, the lively dance music was replaced with a slow love song. Jodi who has become smitten with Troy decides not to slow dance with Craig. She becomes more infatuated with the guy when he puts her in the spotlight, calls everyone’s attention and starts singing to her. Moreover, he hands her a rose and gives her a kiss exactly how she had pictured it in her fantasy.
Having had enough of teenage hormones, Tess decides to get some air unaware that Alex Ryan (Aaron Jeffrey) had followed her outside. Claire sees this and immediately becomes jealous. Alex horny as always decides to make the moves on Tess, and blatantly asks her to go skinny-dipping with him, but Tess always a talker would like to know a man first through conversation. She tries to convince Alex that not all men are like him, and that she had spent nights with guys where all they did was talk. In turn, he tries to convince her that they were either gay or it was a trick to get women. Realizing that Alex is a lost cause, Tess decides to make her way back to the shed. Alex who always gets his woman tricks her after declaring having seen a snake. Tess falls for the trick, and into Alex’ arms, and they kiss.
Back at the shed, Craig’s angst against the flirtatious DJ continues to grow. Jodi not wanting to dance with him fans the fire. Accepting defeat, Craig settles with just playing with the guy. He brings the DJ a pitcher of beer, and dares him to drink it all. To prove his manliness he gulps the whole pitcher, which only makes Jodi even more smitten. Alas, they have brought out the cake. The sound of everybody singing alerted Tess and Alex whose mouths are still locked with each other. Quickly they run back to the shed to join the others with wishing Jodi a happy birthday. Overcome with jealousy at the sight of Alex and Tess together, Claire all of a sudden wraps her arms around Nick and gives him a passionate kiss. Alex and Tess watch in disbelief. Realizing what she had done, she runs out in embarrassment.
The party has finally come to an end, and only then did Tess decide to ask her sister about the scene she made earlier. Claire bounces back the question to Tess whom she very well knows spent a considerable amount of time alone with Alex. She becomes upset when Tess jokes about her keeping time. Meanwhile, Brick had finally got the courage to tell Becky that he will walk her home. Jodi, on the other hand, has no plans of coming home. She has her eyes fixed on the DJ whom she has become taken with. Meg sees this, and tries her very best to stop her daughter from getting her heart broken. Realizing that her daughter is all grown up now, and that she has made up her mind, Meg lets go. Her only request is that she be careful. Knowing what her child intends to do, she hands her a condom.
Jodi goes over to the DJ to thank him for his services. The boy replies with a borrowed line from Prince who would have made any other girl guffaw, but not Jodi. They kiss, and the boy invites her to his van. Knowing full well what she’s getting into, Jodi agrees. Meanwhile, Brick and Becky arrive at her quarters. Brick says goodnight and leaves Becky, but a few moments later returns. Becky having been used to sleazy guys thinks ill of him only to learn that he had only returned to give her back the necklace that she dropped in the sink. She could not help but smile at having found a true gentleman. Meanwhile, Tess sets out to prove Alex wrong. Motivated by the conversation she had with him, Tess begins calling the man whom she spent a night with just talking, and learns that he is as Alex predicted is gay.
Jodi, on the other had, is on her way to fulfilling her birthday wish. Troy’s Techno Retro Rock van begins to rock, but then abruptly stops. He runs out of the van to get some air. Jodi follows him outside. Later, Troy asks Jodi to come close to him so they can resume kissing and hopefully fulfill Jodi’s wish, but as soon as she walks close to him the boy who had more beer than he could handle throws up all over the poor birthday girl. In tears, Jodi runs back home to her mother who after hearing the story could not help but be relieved. Meg assures her daughter that the time will come when she will truly fall in love.
Jodi has trouble imagining her mother in a pub to see a band, but hard it is to believe that is where she met her first love. Meg tells her how the crowd somehow parted and she found him just standing there. The man walked over to her and they danced as if they were the only ones in the room. Meg knew that the moment he touched her, that he is the one. It was Kevin, Jodi’s father. What started as a fairy tale story did not seem as such, since he ran out on them, but Meg tells her daughter that there’s not always a happy ending. However, she relishes the good times they had, and that is something she will always treasure.
Morning came, and it is back to work at Drovers Run. Actually, it is back to where they started from, since the cows have been joined back to their mothers. Claire knowing full well about Tess’ stand on the separation angrily confronts her sister who denies the accusation, but Claire is convinced that there is no one else who would have done so. The partygoers from last night too drunk to make their way back home have not left Drovers Run, and have camped by the shed. Becky, on the other hand, is already up and busy with work when Jodi arrives. She asks about her night, and immediately knows that Jodi’s wish had not been fulfilled. Troy spots Jodi and immediately tries to lure her back to his van. After last night’s fiasco, she no longer has the hots for him. Knowing full well that his plan of getting Troy drunk worked, Craig taunts the humiliated DJ. Craig sees his chance, and immediately makes the move on Jodi. Egos fly, Troy and Craig start a fistfight.
Meanwhile, Claire fully convinced that it was Tess who brought the calves back to their moms continue to drop hints about her sister’s previous mistake of leaving the gate open. By now, Tess and Claire have started arguing. Claire wants her sister to admit her offense, while Tess continues to plead innocence. Meg knowing full well that it is she who brought the cows together tries to confess, but Jodi’s news of the fight had prevented her from telling the truth. The women go over to the place where the boys are fighting, and the crowds are cheering. Claire hoses the two, and immediately ends the fight. Troy leaves, followed by Craig, and Claire demands that everybody leave her property. Jodi new to the kind of attention she’s getting could not help but smile at learning that the two guys were fighting for her.
Later, the two sisters reminisce about their own eighteenth birthday. Tess feels sorry for Claire for not having one, but Claire who did not know any better was content with spending a nice evening at a fancy restaurant with her father. Tess tells her sister that she remembers blowing out the candles and wishing that Claire was there. In fact, that had always been her birthday wish, and now it has finally come true. Claire, always afraid of people seeing her cry, evades an emotional moment by giving her sister a gift. She hands her earplugs, which she says helps her get by the weaning season, but Tess still attests that it was not her who let the calves out. It was in fact Meg. Meg sits by the paddock where the calves are calling out for their mothers, but now having learned to let go assures them that it will be okay, since mothers ought to let their kids grow up some time.
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