Synopsis: Claire McLeod has sunk into a depression so deep that she severs her contract with Australian Bloodlines, and sells Drovers Run to Harry Ryan. Jodi Fountain reaches out to Tess for help, but her calls have gone unheard thanks to Simon who is determined to keep Tess from going back home.
Episode Summary: Comfort Zone, the café that Tess and her friends own is bustling thanks to Tess’ take on comfort food. Simon could not be more pleased. He now has the booming business he’s always wanted, and Tess back home, but Briony is not too sure that Tess considers the city as her home. Meanwhile at Drovers Run, Claire McLeod has sunk into a deep depression. Meg Fountain worried about her condition calls the family doctor who learns that Claire has not been getting any sleep. Claire McLeod breaks into tears realizing that she is suffering from a broken heart.
Becky Howard, the messenger of the news that hurled Claire into a downward spiral, is the last person Claire wants to see. The sight of her brought fury into the woman’s eyes. Claire fires Becky, which is not a surprise for it is the third time Claire had said so that week. Their depressed employer has been taking her anger on everyone. Regrettably, the one person who can make things right is miles away from home. Meg Fountain figures that Tess’ Indonesian dish might help cheer up Claire, while Jodi Fountain has been sending emails to Tess hoping she’ll heed to their cries for help. Tess would have done so if she has seen the e-mails. Unfortunately, Simon has been secretly deleting messages from Drovers Run afraid that Tess would go running back home as she did before.
Tess is clearly missing home such that the mention of sunrise made her talk about how majestic it is over Drovers Run, but her friends are quick to distract her from thinking about home. Luckily, Claire has finally seen the light, and seems to have taken the antidepressant pills the doctor had prescribed. All cleaned up and in a far better mood than she was before, she joins the rest of the women for breakfast. Just as the women see some glint of hope, Claire makes a shocking announcement. She is terminating her contract with Australian Bloodlines, and far worse, she has decided to sell Drovers Run. Although this posed a concern, the women see it as just another one of Claire’s whims similar to her firing Becky, one that will not materialize.
Unfortunately, this is the one whim that Claire is determined to make, and she need not look far for a buyer. Claire speaks with Harry Ryan, one who has been eyeing Drovers Run since time immemorial so obsessed with getting the neighboring farm enough to push one of his sons into marrying a McLeod. Harry Ryan, at first, shows no interest in buying Drovers Run suggesting that he need not pay for it, as he needs only Nick to marry Claire. Clearly not interested with Nick, Claire declares that it will never happen, and threatens to subdivide the farm just so she can sell her property. Harry takes the bait, and agrees to buy Drovers Run.
Claire informs the women of the shocking news, while a concerned Terry informs the Ryan brothers. Alex Ryan, furious about his father’s decision confronts his old man who finds no reason to justify his actions even though it makes it look as if he has taken advantage of a vulnerable, depressed, woman who has temporarily lost her senses. With one task down, Claire goes to finish the other one. Claire bravely calls Peter Johnson only to tell him to take the horses she was tasked to train. As agreed upon, Peter arrives at Drovers Run to take the horses. Seeing that Claire is making a huge mistake, he tries to persuade her to change her mind even telling her that she could ask Australian Bloodlines to assign a different representative to handle her contract. Claire is stubborn to a fault. She and Peter haul the horses to the truck signaling the end of her contract with Australian Bloodlines. Moreover, she hands Peter her written letter of resignation as per the requirements of her contract. Peter is in disbelief that the woman is throwing her life’s dream due to the unfortunate circumstances brought about by their affair. However, Claire believes that seeing Peter will only remind her of the hurt she is suffering from, and prevent her from moving on with her life.
With their own lives at stake, Jodi has resolved to call Tess, but gets Simon instead who lies about Tess being away when the woman is right there at the café. He takes a message, one that he has no plans of relaying to Tess. Jodi is annoyed at having not heard from Tess, and has become more concerned at her fate. Worried that she and her mother would have to live in some dump in Gungellan, she tries to convince Terry to once again woo her mother.
Tess and Briony look at their sales and expenses, and are ecstatic to learn that Comfort Zone has finally earned a profit. Moreover, Tess finally sees one of Jodi’s emails. She learns for the first time that Claire ended her relationship with Peter, and has sunk into a deep depression causing her to make the worst decision of her life; selling Drovers Run. Tess also discovers that Simon has been deleting her e-mails, which explains why she hasn’t run to her sister’s side in her time of need. In an attempt to keep Tess from leaving, Simon has done the opposite. Tess wastes no time to come back home.
Tess drives back home, and the sight of Drovers Run puts a smile on her face. Finding the house empty, she walks over to the corral, and finds her sister still in her pajamas. Claire, in tears, tells her that Peter is married. The woman breaks down, and is at the same time relieved to have found someone to lean on. Claire has kept this to herself not wanting her sister to feel obliged to rush to her side, but Tess wanted to come home regardless of any circumstance.
Unaware that Tess rushed home upon hearing the unfortunate news, the women of Drovers Run could not be any happier to see her back. Tess immediately assumes the role Claire once possessed, and takes command of Drovers Run. Soon she learns that Harry agreed to buy the property. Learning of this, Tess wastes no time to get it back. Speaking to Harry she discovers that no paperwork was ever signed, and therefore there was no sale. Harry wonders what Tess would gain from keeping Drovers Run, and when the young woman steadfastly declares her right as a McLeod, Harry is uncharacteristically impressed. He agrees that Drovers is not up for sale, and it was never sold.
Liz Ryan knowing very well what Harry did to save Drovers Run pleads to Alex to apologize to his father. The only reason Harry agreed to buy the property is to prevent Claire from selling it from someone else. He has no intention of buying Drovers Run knowing very well that Claire is not in her right mind. Expecting the worse from his father, Alex is in disbelief that his father has done a noble thing. This made him think. Alex decides to return to Killarney, and his father welcomes him home.
Tess returns home to deliver the good news that Harry is not buying Drovers Run, and that the property is no longer for sale. Moreover, she managed to get back Jack’s old desk, the one proud Claire used to pay for the fences Harry fixed. All are happy except for Claire. There’s another person who is happy to learn that Tess is back home, Nick Ryan. He rides a horse risking having the muscles on his damaged leg to seize up, and is pleasantly surprised to find Tess at Wilgul. The woman has come to retrieve Madonna, the cow she left in Nick’s care when she left for the city. Nick is delighted that Tess was able to see him back on the saddle, but his display of bravado was lost when he fell dismounting the horse.
Blaze is about to give birth, and Claire has put Tess in charge of the delivery. Instead of stepping up to the plate as she could have easily done, she finds this as an opportunity to bring her sister back to life. Tess rushes to Claire who is still in bed, and feigns not knowing what to do with the horse in labor. Claire is up on her feet shouting orders as she used to do. The sisters watch as Blaze gives birth. Seeing the mare struggle, Tess wonders why her sister has not gone up to the horse to help, but Claire knows what she’s doing. It is best to leave the mare alone. First the feet came out, and soon after the foal. Blaze just gave birth to the first foal of the breeding program. Claire gives Tess the honor of naming the fill, and she names her Phoenix, appropriately so for her birth has helped Claire to rise anew.
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