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Magic Moments > 1992 > Rick's Arrival Episode 1696

Written by Betty Quin, Directed by Michael Sergi

Jim is shocked when Beth introduces him to her older fiancé, Rod Baker.

Jim and Todd go through to the lounge room with Beth and Rod and they all sit down together. Jim is trying to be calm about the situation, while Beth is clearly besotted with her new man. Jim brings up the fact that they’re getting married, and Beth will need her mother’s permission, but Beth thinks that it won’t be a problem, as Rod is such a great guy and everyone loves him. Jim doesn’t look completely convinced.

. . .

At the Coffee Shop, Madge arrives to find Marco still finishing closing up. He says that the day was a bit of a disaster as he tried an ‘All You Can Eat’ for $10 promotion, and he didn’t realise that Brad would eat so much. Madge isn’t impressed and tells him not to run any more promotions without speaking to her first. Marco’s younger brother Rick then comes in and Marco introduces him to Madge. Madge spots the jar full of money on the counter and tells Marco to put the tips straight into the till, but he explains that it’s actually money he collected for World Vision, by fining anyone who didn’t eat their whole meal. A despondent Madge leaves the brothers to lock up. Marco takes some dishes into the kitchen and asks Rick to lock the door and then join him. Rick instead grabs a drink and goes into the kitchen, where Marco asks him what he wants. Rick says that when their dad finds out what’s happened, he’s going to turn purple with rage.

Later, at number 24, Helen explains that Cameron wants all of Lou’s things out of number 32 as soon as possible. Madge then arrives home and Helen says she’s leaving as she’s looking forward to meeting Beth’s new boyfriend. Lou tells Madge that he has a surprise for her – he’s made a special healthy dinner. Madge is impressed, and he admits that he’s in a good mood as business is really picking up at the car lot. He tells Madge that he might have to hire an extra pair of hands to do the books and cover some of the paperwork, but she tells him not to bring in an outsider when she can do it for free.

. . .

At number 26, the atmosphere is tense as Jim passes drinks around to Beth and Rod. Todd asks what sort of work Rod does, and he explains that he has his own electricals business. Todd asks if they’ll be moving up to Queensland after the wedding, but they admit that they haven’t worked that out yet, but Rod can always open a new business down in Melbourne if he needs to. Jim thinks that sounds a bit risky and Rod accuses him of being pessimistic. Just then, Helen arrives home and is a little taken aback to meet Rod but asks him to stay for dinner. He doesn’t want to impose, but they all insist. Jim and Helen quickly go into the kitchen to share their shock about the older man, and wonder how they’ll explain this to Beth’s mum. Back in the lounge room, Rod is convinced that they don’t like him, but Beth says they can’t blame them for being surprised, but it’ll all work out.

Back at the Coffee Shop, Rick is complaining about having to help. Marco asks Rick what he did to get expelled from the private school. He says that he and some mates were caught having a party in the headteacher’s cottage behind the school, then he swapped the school flag for a pair of the headteacher’s wife’s knickers and they were raised during an important assembly. Marco doesn’t think that their dad is going to be very amused, then they hear the door closing. Rick realises that he forgot to lock it, and they go back out to find that the World Vision money has been stolen. Marco says that wherever Rick goes, there seems to be trouble.

. . .

The next morning, Lou is showing Madge an ad for Phil Friendly’s new car lot, which is his biggest competition. Madge wonders what she should wear to work at the car lot and Lou thinks that a little sex appeal might work wonders.

At number 26, Jim is in a rush so doesn’t want any breakfast and he admits that he’s worried about the state of Paul’s marriage and now Beth’s engagement to Rod. He asks Helen to try and find Bunny and get her to speak some sense into her daughter. Helen agrees to try, just as Jim leaves and Beth comes in. She kisses Helen on the cheek and thanks her for being so nice to Rod and letting him stay the night. Helen tries to talk to Beth about the situation, but Beth won’t listen and says that all she’s had from Helen and Jim is criticism. She reminds Helen of how she told Madge to grab some happiness with Lou, and this isn’t really that different. Beth says that Helen should butt out, as she’s in no position to tell other people how to run their relationships.

. . .

At the Coffee Shop, Marco is still annoyed with Rick, since he’s had to replace the money out of his own pocket. Rick says he’s sorry again, and Marco says that he knows it wasn’t deliberate. Rick then wonders if his dad is serious about sending him to Erinsborough High, but Marco points out that the private schools are just a waste of money. Todd comes in and tells Marco that he’s struggling with the 40 hour famine, so he doesn’t know how Brad is going to manage. Marco introduces Todd to Rick, and Rick asks about the school and what the principal is like. Todd makes a point of saying that she’s an old dragon and he once threw some dirt on her car and she made him clean it off with his tongue. Rick is shocked.

At the car yard, Madge is looking through the books and finds some of the entries to be a bit dubious. Lou tells her not to worry, and starts to approach a customer on the lot, with Madge joining him. She quickly interrupts Lou’s patter and asks the man if he’s married. When he says that he is, with five kids, she recommends a larger car, which is closer to his price range. Lou quickly sends her away and tries to convince the man to buy his original choice.

. . .

At number 26, Jim is telling Dorothy about Rod, and she’s quite surprised by the age difference. Helen comes in and Dorothy explains that she’s having a quick break from school. Helen tells Jim that Beth is very resentful towards their interference, and Dorothy thinks that they’re fighting a lost cause. Jim thinks that Beth is making the biggest mistake of her life, and Helen asks what they can do. Jim says that he’s just going to have to find a way to stop it.

At the car yard, Lou quickly ends a phone call when he spots Madge approaching another customer. He goes outside and drags her away as the man starts asking her for a personal tour. Lou tells Madge that the men see her as a soft touch and she’ll be giving them discounts before she knows it. He walks off, telling her to leave all of the selling to him.

. . .

At number 26, Rod approaches Jim in the kitchen, but Jim doesn’t want to talk to him. Rod stops him and says that when he got back from Vietnam, his marriage was over and he never thought he’d love again until he found Beth. Jim thinks that she’s too young for such big decisions and Rod will make her old before her time. Rod says that he didn’t force Beth to do anything and she made all of her own decisions, but Jim angrily tells him that a month isn’t long enough for her to be ready and that Rod should walk out of her life right now.

At the Coffee Shop, Rick is asking Marco who Daphne is and why the shop is named after her. He thinks it’s a daggy name and Marco tells him to stop insulting the shop when he’s using it for free food and drink. Rick then asks him for a job, but Marco reminds him about his interview at the school the next day with Mrs Burke. Just as the woman herself comes in, Rick starts talking about ‘the old dragon’ and how he’ll have her wrapped around his little finger. Dorothy introduces herself to Rick as the aforementioned dragon and says that she’s looking forward to having a long chat with his father.

. . .

At number 26, Beth arrives home to find Rod waiting with his suitcases. She excitedly tells him that she’s found a lovely suit for him, before noticing the cases. He explains that he’s moving to the hotel, as he didn’t realise how much Jim disapproved of the wedding. She asks if he’s walking out for good, but he hugs her and says he’ll call soon. Just then, Jim comes in and Beth asks him if he’s talked Rod into calling off the wedding. Jim insists that he didn’t, but thinks that Beth is too young to make such a decision. She gets angry and says that, because Jim messed up his own marriage, he can’t stand to see anyone else happy…

Summary by Steve