Synopsis: Alberto, a gorgeous Italian young man arrives at Drovers Run. Jodi Fountain attesting that the young Italian saved her life falls deeply in love with him. Unfortunately, her mother, Meg Fountain learns that Alberto is an illegal immigrant, and she advises him to leave. However, the young man suffers from snakebite, and is forced to extend his stay at Drovers Run. The young couple’s feelings for each other grow, and lead to an unexpected plan of marriage.
Episode Summary: Ah, the first sign of success. Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell) could not be more pleased at the sight of new sprouts of Canola that they had worked so hard to farm. It was a project she knew would help save Drovers Run from going under. Unfortunately, her hope is just as easily taken away when a herd of Harry Ryan’s cattle tramples over the buds wiping away all the hard work they’ve put into the new endeavor that would have kept Drovers Run afloat. Meanwhile, Jodi Fountain (Rachael Carpani) is oblivious to the problem at hand, and is more concerned with the gorgeous Italian whom she attests saved her life. The truth is, the young man had merely distracted two cows grazing near the bush where Jodi had decided to relieve herself. With more serious concerns on their minds, the women couldn’t care less.
Claire wastes no time to accost Harry Ryan about his wandering herd. All she got was a quick apology mixed with a hint of insult after she had brought up the topic of interbreeding Killarney’s stallion Wildfire and Drovers Run’s mare Blaise. Having failed after the first attempt, Harry, as always, finds fault on the mare. However, Claire already upset with the man manages to bounce the problem back at the stallion, and uses Killarney’s broken electrical fence to reinforce her argument. With Nick now living in Wilgul, Harry who is not as tech savvy as his son has little patience with fixing their hi-tech equipment. Nick volunteers to take a look, and this pleases his father.
Night has fallen, and Jodi still has not stopped talking about the gorgeous Italian stranger. Left alone at the stalls, she hears a thump. Slowly, with a hook in her hand, she searches for the source of the noise. Much to her surprise, it is the Italian young man, Alberto. Alberto, set to take over his family’s restaurant business in Rome, had decided to go backpacking in Australia before he takes on the responsibility. With not much money left, he has been taking on odd jobs helping out on various farms. Jodi introduces him to the women of Drovers Run hoping that they would take him in. Tired with arguing, Claire agrees to hire the young man. In an attempt to impress Alberto, Jodi uncharacteristically volunteers to wash his dirty clothes. Immature and irresponsible, her mother ends up washing the young man’s dirty laundry, and soon learns his secret.
The following day, Harry and Alex Ryan drop by Drovers Run to confirm that the rogue cattle are theirs. In an effort to elude having to pay for the damaged Canola, Harry uses the failed breeding of his horse as an excuse. Claire, tough in business as her father, argues that he already is lucky given that they had not even charged him for the labor to re-sow the Canola crops.
Unlike Jodi, Alberto wastes no time to make himself useful starting with cleaning out the gutters. Alex, able to smell competition from yards away, immediately notices the young man. The presence of the young man is not the only one he spots as he detects a smell of perfume on an otherwise scentless Claire. The reason for the woman’s sudden urge to put on perfume comes to them in no time with the arrival of Peter Johnson.
With Jodi already planning on ways to keep Alberto, Meg Fountain finds the perfect opportunity to confront the young man about his secret. Alberto had already overstayed his visa, and is therefore an illegal immigrant. With no intention of making matters worse, Meg advises him to leave as soon as possible to save all of them from imminent trouble. Unfortunately, Jodi catches him on his way out. Trying to find reason for his sudden departure, Jodi sits and talks to the young man. Regrettably, a snake crawls its way to the young woman. With only a few inches away from Jodi, Alberto was left with no choice, but to throw away the snake with his bare hands. Jodi finds the snake, and finishes it off with a metal rod. However, Alberto was already bitten, its poison already working its way through his system. So it appears, that Jodi’s wish of keeping the young man has been granted. Though free from life threatening danger, thanks to Meg’s first aid know-how, Alberto needs a bit more time to recuperate. Burning with fever, Jodi volunteers to look after the young man who yet again saved her life.
It seems that Claire’s misfortune becomes Nick’s good luck. Harry always finding ways to save cost decides to keep the cattle in Wilgul instead of transporting them back to Killarney. Nick uses this as an excuse to borrow more of his father’s staff to help with the irrigation to provide the cattle decent feed. Learning where the cattle entered through Drovers Run, Nick informs his friend Claire about his discovery. Apparently, Claire had planted her Canola on an old stock route. Having done so, this gives Harry Ryan the right to drive his livestock through the neighboring farms, which means that he does not have to pay compensation for the damages done on Drovers Run’s crops, it being on the old stock route. Good thing, Nick has more respect for Claire than his father such that he has no intention of informing his father about his discovery.
This is not the only dilemma that Claire McLeod is facing. Having agreed to give the horse breeding at Drovers Run another go, Harry had brought Wildfire back to Drovers Run expecting results in less than no time. Hearing that Claire is pressed for time, Peter volunteers his services to help with the horse breeding. He suggests the use of artificial insemination if the day passes, and traditional breeding still has not worked.
Meanwhile, Meg has problems of her own. Knowing the state of his visa not to mention her daughter’s growing attraction with the Italian boy, and the unexpected delay in his departure, Meg tries to remind the young man of the need for his leaving. Moreover, she attempts to keep her daughter away from the man given that Jodi is already spending too much time caring for Alberto, and is neglecting her chores. However, Jodi has found ways to be with the gorgeous Italian. Seeing the sketches the young Italian drew, Jodi asks the young man to make her portrait. It was then when their innocent flirting goes a step further as Jodi and Alberto kiss.
Love is in the air at Drovers Run, and Cupid has struck an arrow at Claire. Having agreed to take Peter on his offer, she offers him a room at the homestead. Meanwhile, Alberto already feeling better agrees to sketch Jodi’s portrait. Hours pass, and Jodi grows impatient as the young man toils away with his drawing. She falls asleep on his bed, but still a gentleman he does not take advantage. Jodi sneaks back to their house, but is caught by her mother. Feeling that her daughter has fallen deeply in love with Alberto, Meg finds no other choice, but to tell her the truth that the young man is an illegal immigrant. There is no future with the two of them given that he would soon have to leave.
There is, however, still hope for Claire McLeod. Unable to sleep, she walks down to the kitchen to find comfort in a tub of ice cream. Much to her surprise, she finds Peter sitting in the dark. The two got to talk, and soon learns that they have many things in common. Both love the country, and find it weird that the city folks feel lonely with having only the view of a big open sky. Peter warms up to Claire, and decides to share an ice cream with her; taking a spoonful of vanilla that the woman had offered.
Alex having also spent the night at Drovers Run checks up on the other man of the house – Peter Johnson. Men, always finding time to boast, the two starts taunting each other with Peter having the last say after mocking Killarney’s stallion Wildfire who appears to be unable to perform. Alex makes nothing of it, and runs downstairs to give Claire the payment for the damages to their Canola. Claire knowing full well about the stock route, and how that gives Harry an excuse not to pay compensation for the ruined crops finds herself unable to accept the payment. Luckily, Tess takes the check before Alex could even suspect anything.
Meanwhile, Jodi finds her portrait that Alberto drew, and a letter along with it. The young Italian had decided to leave. With her heart broken, she confronts her mother blaming her for the young man’s decision. On horseback, Jodi finds Alberto walking down the dirt road. The young man tells her the reason for his departure, and his unwillingness to go back to Italy. Not wanting to drag the women of Drovers Run into trouble, he found it best to leave given that he has every intention on overstaying in Australia. He confesses the real reason for his extended stay. Being an Italian young man of age, he is to serve the army for a year. It is a task that he best wants to avoid given his detest at having to take another man’s life for a battle he does not want to fight. Jodi finds a solution to his problem. She suggests that they get married. Convinced that they are indeed in love with each other, the two confronts Meg with the news.
Meg informs the other women about her daughter’s crazy idea, and Claire becomes the unlikely person who does not appear to object as she too has fallen to love’s foolish ways; putting on perfume and make-up, which she would otherwise not do if Peter were not around. Having run out of ideas to dissuade her daughter from making the biggest mistake of her life, Meg allows Tess to step in before it is too late given that Jodi and Alberto has already been calling ministers to officiate their marriage. Luckily, there aren’t any ministers in their right minds that would preside over a quick, and dirty ceremony, but they haven’t lost hope. The tables turn as Tess tries to put some sense into the young woman. Jodi appears to truly have fallen in love with the Italian boy despite having only met him a day before. The young woman’s justification of taking the leap of faith for a love she feels to be genuinely real makes Tess ponder about her relationship with Alex. With no one else to turn to, Meg asks the last person she would ask for help, but also maybe the only person her daughter would listen to – Becky Howard.
Meg’s problem with her daughter is the least of Claire McLeod’s concerns. Moreover, she appears to rather spend time with Peter who had yet another suggestion about the horse breeding problems she’s been having. His plan is to introduce a new, feisty mare. His theory is that stallions prefer a more submissive mare. Given two choices, Wildfire would soon appreciate the quiet, submissive mare, Blaise having been turned off by the rather feisty one.
While all are busy with work, Becky sets out to learn if Alberto is the nightmare Meg fears him to be. She invites him to her room under the pretense of him having to fix her broken refrigerator. Having sent Jodi away to check the fences, Becky’s plan is to seduce Alberto to find out if he is only using the young woman to avoid getting deported. Unfortunately for her, Jodi comes across Claire who tells her that the fences do not need mending. Meanwhile, at the shearer’s quarters Becky makes her move, but first she tells Alberto to remove his shirt with an excuse that Meg would throw a fit if he’d soil it with grease. She moves closer, and makes it known that he’d be better off with her given that Meg would not allow him to marry her daughter, which means he would not get his papers. Alberto pushes Becky away, making it clear to her that he is marrying Jodi for love. Still half-naked he steps out of Becky’s room. Unfortunately, Jodi sees him leave Becky’s room while still putting on his shirt with the young woman right behind him. Distraught with the wrong she thought that was done to her, Jodi Fountain calls the Department of Immigration & Multicultural Affairs to report Alberto.
Tess Silverman (Bridie Carter), brought about by her previous conversation with Jodi, appears to have second thoughts with her relationship with Alex. Her pondering leads her to Nick Ryan, who obviously is the one whom she really loves, but somehow could not bring herself to admit. She realizes how different the two brothers are, but Nick tells her that both of them actually share the same goals only they take different routes. Luckily, Wildfire and Blaise who seem to have the same problem have overcome their obstacle. Claire and Peter walk back to the paddock with the feisty mare in tow only to learn that there is no need for it. The two horses have finally done it. As the two ponder what made the horses change their minds, the reasons appear to apply to them as well. Claire reckons that the two horses liked each other all along with the mare playing too hard to get than she really was, while the stallion was overly careful not to come across as too macho.
With Tess already having doubts with her relationship with Alex, finding the bathroom in complete disarray, and learning that it was her boyfriend, and not Peter who caused the mess just added more to her misgivings. Meanwhile, Becky who is unaware of what Jodi saw runs to pay a visit to her friend to give her the good news only to learn that the young woman saw Alberto leaving her room. She explains that it was all a test to find out whether the young Italian was only using her in order to avoid deportation. In addition, she makes it known that Alberto truly loves Jodi. Jodi’s delight at learning how the young man had fallen deeply in love with her is short-lived. She realizes the huge mistake she had done having reported him to immigration services. Jodi wastes no time to confess the terrible thing she had done, and urges Alberto to run away with her. However, the young man disagrees. Alberto had already put some thought to their situation, and has decided to do the right thing. That is, accept the consequences of his illegal stay, fly back to Italy, and do his duty to his country. With the legalities squared away, he vows to return to be together with Jodi, and live free of worry and fear.
Soon after, the police arrive to take Alberto away. He goes with them with full submission. Meg realizing that the young man feels genuinely for her daughter apologizes to him. Jodi says her final goodbye with Alberto promising to write to her everyday. Full of guilt for having turned the man she was to marry to immigration, Jodi apologizes, but Alberto tells her that there is nothing to forgive. To the young Italian, she did it all out of love. With a final kiss, the police drives Alberto away as Jodi tears in her eyes painfully watch.
Peter, too, leaves, since the work he came to help with is done. However, what is blossoming between him and Claire has yet to develop. Meanwhile, having learned that the horse-breeding task was a success, Harry drops by to pick-up his stallion. Claire takes the opportunity to return the check to him without divulging the stock route discovery, and instead using her disinterest at growing crops as an excuse. However, Harry pleased with the breeding decides to let her keep the check, and even suggests that if all goes well with their horses’ first foal that they must take upon the same task all over again. Meanwhile, Tess realizing what a submissive fool she has been; cleaning up after Alex, and meekly following his every request, decides to put her foot down by handing his boyfriend’s dirty laundry, which she would have washed herself. Meg, on the other hand, with her problems solved with a quick deportation could not be more relieved at her daughter’s misfortune. She comforts her hopeful daughter with a bowl of ice cream knowing that it will take no time before Jodi forgets about Alberto.
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