Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dirty Pool – McLeod’s Daughter’s Episode 1.14

Gungellan Pub's stolen pool tableSynopsis: A string of robberies plague the neighborhood, and Claire McLeod is angered. However, her anger turns to embarrassment after learning that her sheep only wandered off to the National Park, and were really not stolen. Then again, it was only a matter of time before they too become real victims of the thievery, and the women decide to catch the culprit on their own. Meanwhile, Jodi Fountain is anxious about the constable knowing that Becky Howard shot Brian Cronin. Her anxiety heightens after learning that her friend had stolen the Gungellan Pub’s pool table to get back at him.

Episode Summary: It was late at night when a man gets out of his Ute and starts shooting Killarney’s security cameras. The next day the McLeod’s hear the news that the Ryan’s cattle have been stolen. Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappelle) is particularly angry about the string of robberies especially since some of their sheep have also gone missing. Senior Constable Cook arrives looking for Claire about the matter. Jodi Fountain freezes at the sight of the police car. Having full knowledge of the incident where Becky Howard (Jessica Napier) shot Brian Cronin on the leg, terrified Jodi starts to blab despite Becky’s instructions to keep her mouth shut. Fortunately, she only mentions about a gun accidentally going off. The constable ignores the strange encounter with the girls, and only asks them to point him to where Claire is. Senior Constable Cook leaves, but Jodi is convinced that he knows that Becky shot Brian. He finally finds Claire, and informs her that her sheep have been found. Embarrassingly, her sheep were not stolen as they only wandered off to the National Park where a park ranger later found them. Tess dwells in delight of her sister’s mistake, while Claire broods. Meg Fountain (Sonia Todd) is having a bad day of her own. Already up to her neck with housework, Claire orders her to come help muster the lost sheep.  Continue reading...

Meanwhile, Tess McLeod (Bridie Carter) is fixing the fence when she sees smoke. She rides off only to find an old, dingy hut owned by Sidney Angus Connolly. Old man Sid used to be Drovers Run’s head stockman before he injured his back. After learning that Sid knew her father, Tess somehow develops a soft spot for him. Unlike her sister, Claire only feels aversion towards the man whom she believes to be crazy. Reading right through her sister, she forbids Tess from bringing the old man to the house even before she makes the suggestion.

After hours of brewing, Meg finally has had it, and Jodi’s simple request of her putting the kettle on was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Meg with her packed luggage storms her way to the car, but ends up riding to town with Claire, Jodi and Becky. They arrive in Gungellan where Meg informs them that she will be staying in town indefinitely, and she also does not want to be disturbed. Meg has finally found her peace at the Gungellan Hotel’s honeymoon suite. She wastes no time to call Terry, and ask him to keep her company.

Knowing full well about Becky’s position with Brian, Claire decides to stay away from the Gungellan Pub to avoid an awkward situation. However, Becky who is not easily scared away insists that they still have lunch at the pub. Then again, she finds that Brian has found a new girl to replace her, and this troubles her.

Nick Ryan arrives from his trip to Adelaide where he paid a visit to his doctor. After seeing that no one has come to pick him up, he goes straight to the pub where he finds his brother Alex who informs him about the stolen cattle. Nick could not believe how this could happen given their expensive security measures, and he appears to blame Alex for not making good use of their technology. The tension between the brothers dissipates with the embarrassing news that Claire’s sheep were found wandering around the National Park, and therefore not really stolen.

Meanwhile, nervous wreck Jodi begins to worry when the constable arrives. Becky gives her more reason to be anxious when she stands up to Brian after he tells her that she is not welcome in his pub. Jodi’s anxiety seemed to have rubbed off to Brick who has been playing pool with the girls. The deepening tension between Becky and Brian, and the girls’ constant whispering has caused him to lose focus. As a result, he ends up with a foul when his ball jumps the table.

At Drovers Run, Tess disobeys her sister’s explicit order, and brings old Sid to the house. Not only does she let him take a bath, she makes her lunch, and even offers him some of Jack’s old clothes. It appears that Tess feels sorry for the old man whom she presumed to be lonely. She later finds out that Sid is perfectly content with his isolated living, but also learns that there is some truth to Claire’s belief that the man has lost his marbles. This she discovers after he attests seeing a spaceship plus his obvious memory loss, but despite this she still finds him harmless.

At the pub, Becky finally sums the courage to warn the new girl about Brian. However, her best intentions were not taken justly as she thinks that Becky is only scaring her such that she could get her old job back. Brian sees this, and he follows Becky to the ladies room to threaten her. Although he has not attacked her again, the intimidation alone had caused her knees to buckle. Good thing, Brick had also followed her, and was outside the door waiting for her.

The women except Meg arrive home only to find Sid who still appears crazy only cleaner. What they do not know is that Tess had let him use the bathroom. No good deed goes unpunished as she ends up cleaning up his mess. With Meg away, and Tess preoccupied with other things, the girls end up with Claire’s awful cooking – gray tuna casserole. Not only did they end up with inedible food, they too had to clean up her mess, which appears to be the whole kitchen. Meanwhile at the Gungellan Hotel, night has come, but Terry still has not arrived. Meg all dressed up waits for his arrival only to learn that he is stuck at work, and won’t be coming until the next night.

Morning came, and Jodi is in charge of breakfast. Unfortunately, she’s no better than Claire as she tries to poach eggs without water causing the kitchen to be filled with smoke. Used to having everything ready and in order, the women finally begin to realize all the work that Meg does for them after learning that there is nothing prepared for them to eat. Tess hasn’t lost hope, and volunteers to get eggs from the chook they keep at the shearing shed. However, she drops the one egg it laid, this after seeing the pub’s pool table at the shed. Tess confronts Becky, but Claire’s appearance, and Sid’s arrival put a stop to it. The old man had walked all the way from his hut to deliver news that some stockmen led by Gary Dobson have been loitering about their boundary fence. With the thieves unmasked, Claire rounds up the women for a stake out.

Later that night, they camp out waiting for the thieves to return. Stuck outside in the cold with Claire, the women make the best of their unpleasant situation by making fun of the ram that hasn’t got a single ewe. Their conversation ends up with stories of their own pilfering after Claire declares that she could not stand thieves, and could never steal. In disbelief, the women grill her about it. Feeling out of place, Claire remembers the time she stole a stamp at her boarding school. So, she who attests to have not stolen anything in her life realizes that she did. Somewhat excited at her own realization, Claire eagerly tells the story of her misdemeanor only to end up being laughed at, since as Tess put it - nerd crimes don’t count.

Following Terry’s promise, Meg lies in wait. Finally, a knock on the door, Meg opens the door with a flirty growl only to find Brian instead of Terry. Brian had come to deliver the message that Terry is stuck with the mustering, and would not make it. He, nonetheless, brings a bottle of champagne, makes a pass at Meg, and invites himself in. She tries to keep her cool, and successfully gets rid of the man. Alarmed with the whole incident, she blocks the door with a chair as a precaution.

The women including Claire who had organized the stake out had fallen asleep only to be awakened by the sound of a truck. Claire spots the truck full of sheep, and she wakes her team. On horseback, they ride to catch the thieves. Each with a shotgun on her hand, they line the road to block the truck. Old man Sid was right, Gary and two other stockmen get out of their vehicle to confront the women. Cocky, and sure that they would not shoot any of them, he somewhat dares them to. Claire being a very good shot shoots at the truck’s front tires. Unafraid, Gary smugly walks closer to Claire at which point she shoots his hat off. Realizing that she means business, the men surrender. With no intention of imprisoning them themselves, they end up painting the thieves’ heads pink. Meg returns home only to find the women up early on horseback. All are ecstatic to see her back, and are more than happy to let her know how much she is missed. However, the joyful reception is short-lived after seeing that the kitchen is a complete mess.

With the thieves’ pink hairs, it did not take long for the constable to arrest them. He drops by Drovers Run to personally deliver the news. He, however, has another matter to discuss with them. The Gungellan Pub’s pool table has gone missing, and Brian suspects that it is in Drovers Run. Being the only one who finds no reason for it to be found there, Claire offers the constable a quick check around the property as an assurance. Tess, and Jodi who know full well what Becky has done tries to stop the search, but fails miserably since Claire insists. They start with the shearing shed, but with the lights off, and Tess and Jodi blocking the view, the pool table appears out of sight. The two are relieved not until Claire turns on the light accidentally revealing the stolen pool table. Her jaw drops in utter disbelief at the sight, and moreover at Senior Constable Cook for turning a blind eye and pretending to have not seen it at Drovers Run.

Although Meg would have been the first one to turn Becky for her misbehavior, she has a change of heart given the previous night’s incident. She is now on Becky’s side, and she urges the young woman to report the crime done to her. Moreover, Meg appears to provide full support to back her up.

All’s well that ends well, Tess drives down to old man Sid’s hut to bring him a bottle of whiskey, and finds that he had stolen one of their rams, but since he helped them catch the sheep duffers she decides to let it pass. Meanwhile, Claire proves that she really cannot steal, not even a stamp. Even after years have passed, and although whomever she stole it from might not even remember it, Claire decides to mail the stolen stamp back to its owner. Also, although she is against stealing she has forgiven Becky for doing so, and even invited the Ryan brothers to come for a game of billiards. It is for good reason, since the Ryan’s have brought their own cues, since theirs are locked inside the table. Moreover, they had brought with them Brick who turned out to be the one person who helped Becky steal the pool table.

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