Sunday, December 14, 2008

If the Boot Fits – McLeod’s Daughter’s Episode 1.15

Tess McLeod gets new boots from ClaireSynopsis: Claire McLeod goes to an AI seminar about horse insemination in Fisher, leaving her sister Tess McLeod in charge. Unfortunately, the women including the dog Roy have difficulty taking orders from her especially when she begins to push them hard in attempt to prove that she is boss. Meanwhile, Claire too is having a rough day that started with her bad encounter with Peter Johnson whose car she ran into. However, their worries are nothing compared to Becky Howard’s family trouble. She just learned that one of her troublemaker brothers is out and about, and this time he has influenced their younger brother to be a part of his transgression.

Episode Summary: Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappelle) is packing her things or rather dumping her clothes in a suitcase. She is off to an AI seminar about horse insemination in Fisher, which means that Tess will be in charge while she is away. With Claire telling her to just sit back and relax once the basic work is done, Tess McLeod (Bridie Carter) could not help but wonder about her sister’s lack of confidence on her. This all changes when Claire surprises her with a new pair of proper work boots. With her new boots on, Tess tries to fill in Claire’s rather large ones. Unfortunately, the other women, and even the dog Roy are not yet ready to take orders from her.  Continue reading...

And so, Claire leaves with Alex to Fisher, and has the misfortune of having to listen to loud, rock music. With him driving, she is left with nothing else to do, but tolerate the loud music. Fortunately, she gets her chance to take control when Alex stops to take a leak. With him a couple of feet away from his Ute, Claire takes the opportunity to change the music, and run to the driver’s seat. He runs to stop her, but was too late. Following the rule he made earlier, he is stuck with pop music for the rest of the trip.

Meanwhile, Becky Howard (Jessica Napier) rides with one-armed Bob the Postie to Gungellan to pick-up the Ute from the shop. Though known to take his time, he appears a little edgy, and conscious about delays. Apparently, he is scheduled for a performance review, and Becky worries that she had made him late for it. However, this could be the least of her worries when they come across her troublemaker brother Mark with their younger brother Seany who had skipped school to work for his brother.

Tess tries to act more like she is in charge, but meeting the staff while she soaks her new boots in water, a technique she learned from Bob makes her look a lot less like a boss. Having learned of the flyblown ewes, she convinces the women to take on that problem despite their unwillingness. Though against her wishes, Jodi accompanies Tess on her mission, and encounters a stubborn, lazy sheep stuck in the mud. With very little help from her reluctant worker, she ends up knee-deep in mud, and single-handedly pushing the sheep out of it. Tess needs a lot more work in commanding respect, and Roy obeying Jodi instead of her gives an embarrassing blow to her ego. She confronts Jodi about her hesitant attitude, but does not get through to her. The young woman takes a break, and leaves her to start the dagging alone. Tess ends up poisoning her right eye when she slips from the mud, while holding the cotton ball soaked with the solution. Fortunately, reliable Meg is there to help her wash off the poison from her eye. Tess realizes that she should have waited for Claire, and is grateful to Meg for not saying so. Unfortunately, Meg’s tolerance had run out when the sheep ended up in her veggie patch. This after Tess panicked, and ran to the house without locking the pen.

Claire and Alex finally arrive in Fisher, and already she causes trouble. While backing up in a rather spacious parking slot, Claire manages to hit the door of a parked Ute as the driver gets off his car. It wasn’t a good start to a conference as she gets in an argument with the man whom she refers to as a knob. Imagine her shock when she learns that he is the one giving the seminar that she was enthusiastic about. So eager that she even headed to sit on front row seats. Now, it seems that sitting way in front was a bad idea, but there’s no turning back especially since all the other seats are already taken. What she once considered as an interesting seminar turns sour when she runs into another argument with the speaker, Peter Johnson. Peter mistakes Claire’s comment about AI causing a cash flow problem as a declaration that her property is struggling. Insulted, Claire feels more, and more apprehension towards the man who calls himself an expert in the field. The man retaliates with a remark that without a doubt annoys her. Peter made the assumption that Alex is her husband, and him not correcting his mistake added more fire to her already burning head. Claire’s annoyance spills over to Alex when she seems him chatting with the knob who implied that she could not drive, nearly accused her of bankruptcy, and worst of all that she is married to Alex. He could not help, but enjoy seeing Claire irritated especially when she learns that he still has not corrected the man’s false assumption. Truth of the matter, she could not bring herself to confront the man just to straighten the simple mistake.

Knowing what Becky’s brothers are capable of, Bob begins to worry when they see their truck speeding towards an empty farm. Becky makes nothing of it, and is just too happy that his brother has managed to get a job in spite of his delinquent behavior. Meanwhile, she learns that Bob takes his work seriously despite his disinclined attitude. The truth is, he cares a lot about his clients than most people realize. This she discovers when she finds him reading a letter to a customer who had recently lost his sight. He is not just a postman to him as he acts more like a caring friend.

Meanwhile, at Drovers Run, the women managed to herd the sheep back to the pen, and Tess is relieved. Her relief is short-lived when she learns that she should have counted them after the first muster. This angers Meg, since now they are unsure as to whether they got the whole flock back. Tess’ errors had given them more reason to disobey her orders. Feeling the heat, she decides to confront the women, and put her foot down. She believes that she has finally commanded respect, as they help her with the dagging. What she does not know is that they only did so to appease her. In fact, despite knowing that wearing her new boots too long would put a strain on her feet, as already marked by her limping, the women nevertheless do not to say a word. The dagging commences, and not long after turns for the worse when Jodi cuts her hand so deep that it requires stitches.

On their way to their next mail drop-off, Bob and Becky spot Mark’s truck speeding through the road for a second time. Suspicious, he asks her as to what sort of job her brothers are working on. His suspicions are confirmed when they learn that the creek has been poisoned. One of the farms already has cattle that have fallen victim to this. Becky urges Bob to drive her back to Drovers Run, but he refuses since they already are hours away from it. Moreover, he tells her that she has first to settle her family problems.

Soon after the dagging accident, Tess receives a call from Becky warning her of the poisoned creek. She instructs the supposed boss to get the stock near the creek out of there, and into the yard. All alone with feet aching, Tess is left with no other choice, but to single-handedly herd the cattle away from the creek. Confronted with the distressing situation, she seems to have finally gotten her bearings, as she gathers the cattle with the help of Roy. However, her work is not yet over. A calf has gotten itself stuck in the muddy creek where its mother lay dead. Tess rushes to save it from meeting the same fate, and jumps into the cold water. With a quick soak, and a little push she manages to rescue the calf. When that is over, it did not take her long to successfully secure all the cattle in the coral away from the creek.

Bob helps Becky realize that her brothers are responsible for the poisoned creek. It was their job to dump the chemicals in a land hours away from their pick-up points. Having learned of the empty farm nearby with access to the creek, they decided to just dump the chemicals there. Becky is faced with a dilemma of turning her brothers in. She finds no problems having Mark arrested, but her concern is with Seany whom she believes could still be saved from following the fate of their troublemaker brother. The time she makes the decision arrives when they meet them on the road. In order to stop them, she stops in front of their speeding truck daring them to stop or run her over. Successful with her plan, they halt giving her the chance to check their load. Bob was right. The truck is filled with drums of chemicals waiting to be disposed. After a bit of urging, Bob follows her request and they drive back to the farm that had lost cattle. She makes a deal with the man who after learning that the perpetrators are her brothers was considerate enough to grant her request of keeping the cops away. Her plan is to have her brothers pay him for the poisoned cattle.

Unaware of the alarming situation in Drovers Run, Claire’s only worry is the knob, and she goes on and on about the ridiculous mistake of Peter assuming that Alex is her husband. Seeing that he is not far from them, and enjoying his friend’s humiliation, Alex keeps their conversation around the topic long enough until Claire makes another misstep. Unaware that Peter has made his way to where they are at, she embarrasses herself once again when she refers to him as a mindless idiot.

Claire’s worries are nothing compared to Becky’s who had to admit her brothers’ crime. She finds them at the empty farm lot in the act of dumping the harmful chemicals. Sticking to his word, the man only accosts Mark, and leaves Seany. Becky believes that Mark only influenced their younger brother, and tries to keep him from spending time in jail. It was for this reason that she made the deal with the man. However, she still has to find a way to repay Claire of any cattle that died due to her brothers’ wrongdoing. Thanks to Tess’ efforts, she would not have to worry about that. This leaves her with only her family problems to fix. Seany fails to see the sacrifice that she had to take to keep him away from trouble. Upset for having their brother arrested, he blames her everything - his angst born out of her leaving her family. In addition to her family worries, Becky had made Bob miss his performance review. Afraid that she might have cost him his job, she gives him license to tell them what truly happened even if it will be at her expense. Bob, truly kind-hearted, assures her that there is nothing to worry about.

Meg and Jodi return, and find Tess with the cattle. Guilty for Jodi’s accident, Tess apologizes for pushing them hard in her dumb attempt to prove that she is boss. However, after learning that she had single-handedly rescued the cattle from the poisoned creek, the women find new respect for her. Meg is more than happy to prepare her bath, but finds that she had already fallen her sleep in her muddy work clothes with her new boots still on. Meg tries to remove the worn out new boots, but Tess unconsciously does not let her. And so, she just puts a blanket on her to keep her warm, and leaves the tired young woman in peace.

Meanwhile, Claire is still up as she and Alex share pizza in her room. In spite of all the insults she hurled at Peter Johnson, he teases her that the man might think that she actually fancies him. She could not fathom how a man would think that the woman he patronized, damaged his car, insulted and made fun of him the whole day would develop feelings for him. In addition, Peter still thinks that she and Alex are married. Too tired to figure out his twisted mind, Claire gets Alex to leave. Although he does not resist, he ends the night stuffing his mouth with pizza and asking his supposed wife to give him a goodnight kiss. She could not help, but chuckle at her best mate. Alas, the next day arrives, and Claire is back at Drovers Run to learn that all is fine despite all the incidents, and accidents. With her sister back, Tess has finally removed her new, but smelly and worn out boots. All is in place except for the sheep that managed to make its way inside the bathroom.

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