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Magic Moments > 1990 > Kerry's Funeral Episode 1287

Written by David Phillips, Directed by Tony Osicka

Infuriated by Amber's comments about Kerry, Joe forcefully throws her out of number 32 and is comforted by Matt...

Matt shows Harold into number 32 where Joe is sitting in the living room. He asks if there's any news on the inquest and Joe gets up in order to call and find out. As he dials, Harold mentions getting in touch with the Reverend Richards to organise the service but Joe cuts him off reminding him that Kerry wasn't religious. Harold asserts that Kerry was raised a Christian but Joe yells that he doesn't care. Matt cuts in telling the pair not to take it out on each other and Harold suggests discussing the details another time.

At number 24, Gemma clears up dishes as Madge tries to get through to the Mangel house. She asks when the funeral's going to be but Madge doesn't know as there isn't even a date for the inquest yet. Giving up on the phone, she decides to go over there but accepts Gemma's offer to go instead, not caring about her seeing Matt. The ban's over as far as she's concerned because life's too short. Assuring Madge she can be trusted, Gemma gives her a hug.

. . .

An excited Melissa turns up at Daphne's to see Josh and declares herself a witness to the frozen tuna being used at the Lassiter's Brasserie. She recognized the brand name from a pamphlet Kerry gave her and is planning to protest. When she ponders asking Kerry how to proceed, Josh looks surprised -- he thought she knew. He fills her in on Kerry's shooting leaving her stunned. No one she's known has ever died before and Kerry was teaching her so much. She was her friend.

Matt leaves the house to find Amber on the doorstep wanting to talk to Joe. He is apprehensive but doesn't stop her and Amber assures him she found somewhere to stay last night. They go into the house where Joe is talking to a journalist on the phone. He puts it down and Amber speaks up apologizing for what she said. Joe admits over reacting and Amber asks about the funeral but Joe suddenly rages that he doesn't want her there. Amber begs him but he shouts at her that Kerry would have been okay if she'd never arrived. Quickly, Matt hustles Amber out of the house leaving Harold to comfort Joe.

. . .

Gemma sits next to Matt on the driveway of the Mangel house, announcing her ban has been lifted. He doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic but dismisses it as being down to a rough morning. Gemma goes on to apologise for what she said to him the other day after he left her at the library but Matt doesn't know what she's talking about and distractedly informs her that he never got a note from Ryan. He gets up to go and Gemma prepares herself to talk to Ryan.

Inside, Harold gets off the phone and tells Joe that the funeral parlour is ready for Kerry's service in two days. He agrees that it should be a non-reglious service in keeping with Kerry's beliefs but is flustered when Joe asks him to perform the eulogy. Joe points out that he's no good with words and he wants it to be good so Harold concedes.

. . .

Two days have passed and Kerry's family and friends are gathered at the funeral. They are all seated and Harold goes to the podium to say a few words:

"Kerry was my daughter...born to my first wife Mavis. We raised her together and she was a very happy uncomplicated child. Until the day she learnt to talk. From that moment she never took anything for granted. She wanted the world to justify itself. To stand up and be counted. As she grew up I found myself disagreeing with her about almost everything. For a time my own stubborn conservative nature prevented me from seeing just how lucky I was...lucky to have a child with a free, generous spirit, keen intelligence...a great capacity for love. I certainly wish I had more time to get to know my little girl, my daughter. To tell her how much I love her."

. . .

. . .

Harold breaks down as Jim and Madge go up to help him. Jim leads him back to his seat and Madge takes the podium. As she speaks of Kerry and her devotion to her principles, Matt and Joe turn to see Amber entering the service.

. . .

Ryan has turned up at number 24 where Gemma is looking after Sky. He says he hasn't seen Gemma for a couple of days and she lies that she's split up with Matt after the library incident. She accuses him of lying about the note as Ryan squirms. When she confesses to crying herself to sleep at night since it happened, Ryan pipes up that Matt didn't lie -- he didn't get the note. Her manipulation having worked, Gemma calmly demands an explanation.

Josh and Melissa are in her bedroom talking about the service. Melissa feels like she should do something and Josh tells her Joe wanted people to plant trees. Melissa thinks they'll just get chopped down and Josh accuses her of being negative. He tells her to do something about the tuna being used at Lassiter's as a result of driftnet fishing and vows to back her unlike the incident with the mice at school. She thinks there's no point if you can't win -- look what happened to Kerry.

. . .

Madge continues to speak at the service as Joe becomes restless in his seat, visibly resenting Amber's presence at the back. When Madge steps down, the guests are asked if anyone else would like to say something and Amber walks towards the podium. Matt stops Joe from jumping out of his seat and he holds back tears as Amber begins:

"I knew Kerry a long time. She was my oldest friend. We grew up together. We argued together. Laughed about boys together. She was a shoulder when I needed to cry a little. She was stronger than I was. She believed harder. I guess that's why I needed her so much. When I came to find her, I found that she had a home, a family, a husband. A complete suburban set up. I thought she'd sold out. I was stupid. And I was wrong. Before Kerry had always shown me what we needed to do to make this place better. Then I realised how much she loved Joe and the kids...how special they were to her. She was trying to teach me something new. You see...that's what all this struggle and protest comes down to. Love. And if that isn't at the heart of it, then what's the point? I was lucky to know Kerry...and I think she was lucky to have someone like Joe. Even if it was for a very short time."

Joe lets himself cry and Amber steps down from the podium.

. . .

Back at number 24, Ryan tries to squirm out of what he did by pretending he was doing Gemma a favour what with the ban and everything. When she makes it clear she doesn't believe a word of it, he confesses to doing it so he might have a chance with her and is hopeful they can make a go of it now that Matt's out of the picture. Gemma tells him she lied to get the truth out of him and pointedly lets him know that she's with Matt. Even Madge has accepted it so he should stay out of it.

Josh comes into Melissa's room with Greenpeace material from the library and regales her with stories of their missions. He relates it to the driftnet tuna at Lassiter's and pressurises Melissa to do something about it. She is dubious about going up against Paul Robinson but agrees to do it for Kerry.

. . .

Matt is crying at number 32 when Gemma turns up and asks if he's coming over for the wake. He doesn't really want company but she tries to comfort him, explaining that he feels so bad because he's been keeping Joe going for the last few days. Going off at a tangent, she begins to discuss Ryan but Matt cuts her off and says he wants to be alone to deal with what he's going through. He mentions the things Kerry's done for him and doesn't know what he'll do without her. Gemma worriedly asks if he was in love with her and he admits he was. Even though she was Joe's wife, he knew nothing would come of it but he's still in love with her. Apologising, he gets up and leaves Gemma in shock.

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Comment: This was a particularly moving episode and showed how the death of a Ramsay Street resident could profoundly affect the community through Melissa's crusade to Gemma's ultimate surprise. It also has more resonance now that Sky has returned to the show which would be well served by delving into Kerry's history with both Amber Martin and Sky's father, Eric Jensen.

Summary and captures by Jay