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Magic Moments > 1996 > Madge's Return Episode 2739

Written by Scott Taylor, Directed by Tony Osicka, Produced by Peter Dodds

Channel Ten: 07/11/96, BBC One: 14/05/97, UK Gold: 07/05/03

Hannah decides to make a casserole for the new neighbours... Brett tells Marlene that he can't continue to clean up Darren's mess... Helen tells Lou that she needs to contact Madge and let her know that Harold is alive and in Erinsborough...

Hannah arrives at number 32 with her casserole, and Ruth is delighted, though Lance isn't happy she he'd already been promised a takeaway. As Ruth takes the casserole into the kitchen, Lance complains to Hannah that he never gets to have takeaway, and she soon changes the subject to the puppy, and asks if he's thought of a name yet. He says that he's hardly had time to do anything, and then gets an idea - he tells Hannah to go and keep Ruth busy in the kitchen, and tries to make a phone call. Ruth then appears and asks what he's doing - he says that he was seeing if the phone's been connected, but Ruth tells him that she hasn't paid the connection fee yet. Lance then decides that he really needs to go out and get some food for the puppy, but Ruth tells him that they've already got a casserole and there are bound to be leftovers. As Ruth returns to the kitchen, Hannah offers to go home and get some of Holly's food, but Lance explains that it wasn't actually the food he needed to go out for.


At number 26, Marlene is borrowing some magazines from Helen, when the phone rings. Helen is delighted to realise that it's Madge, who's been away and only just got the message. She tells Helen that she's coming down to visit, and Helen asks Marlene to write down the flight details - Helen assures Madge that someone will be at the airport to pick her up. Afterwards, she tells Marlene about Madge, and how she, Lou and Harold all went to school together and had a bit of a love triangle; Marlene loves the gossip and is very surprised to hear that Madge and Lou were even engaged at one point.

At the pub, Susan asks Lou if he has any news about number 22 - he explains that he's been talking to his solicitor, but it's a large amount of money and he'll need some time. Susan understands, and apologises if it seemed like she was pressuring him. As she leaves, Brett comes in, and is telling Lou about his day, tutoring Libby and dealing with Darren, when the phone rings. It's Helen, who tells a surprised Lou about Madge's visit, giving him the flight details and asking if he could pick her up. She also explains that Madge is staying at number 26, and is very nervous about seeing Harold again.

Helen hangs up the phone and goes into the kitchen, telling Marlene that now they just need to find a way to persuade Harold to meet with Madge. Marlene says that his name is Ted now, but Helen tells her that there's no such person as Ted - and they're going to need to come up with a foolproof plan.

At number 32, Lance is sick of unpacking, but Ruth says that the sooner it's done, the sooner it'll feel like home. She sends Lance into the kitchen with a box, and goes to answer the door - it's Hannah again, this time with some dog food. She says that Holly has some old food bowls too, if they need one, and Lance quickly tells his mum that he's going across the street to get a bowl. Ruth reluctantly lets him go, telling him not to be long, but once her back is turned, he grabs his rollerblades and helmet, and Hannah asks him what he's doing.


Outside, Billy and Toadie are heading to the garage, planning a game of cricket in the dark. Across the street, Hannah and Lance are sitting on the kerb, and he's putting on his rollerblades - he says there's something he has to do, but he'll only be 15 minutes and he might need her to cover for him with his mum. She wants to know where he's going, but he says that he doesn't want anyone to know, and skates off down the street. Billy and Toadie then come over, with Toadie joking about her being stood up by Lance, and Billy asks if she wants to join in with the game. She says that it's stupid and they can't even see what they're doing, and she goes inside. Billy then bowls the ball to Toadie, but it goes wide and ends up halfway down the street.

Back at the pub, Lou and Brett are chatting about Darren - neither of them sees him as their responsibility, but Brett points out that it's Lou who Darren has the biggest problem with. Lou explains that Darren has been nothing but rude and aggressive towards him since he came back, and he's tried to be his mate and help him out financially by giving him work at the pub, but it's all been thrown back in his face. Brett suggests that Lou could buy out Darren's share of the pub, but Lou tells him that his friendship isn't for sale - he says that Brett is a nice kid and is just trying to help, but he really doesn't think he stands a chance of turning Darren around on this.


The next morning, at number 28, Toadie is taking another booking for his pet minding business, and Susan is impressed with the work he's putting in, and that he genuinely seems to care about the animals. She says that it was a shame about the mice having to go back to the university - Toadie quickly changes the subject and calls Billy to see if he's ready for school. As they leave, Luke arrives to get a lift to school with Susan, so he can give the kids a talk on his battle with cancer. He admits that he's worried that they won't be interested, but Susan tells him not to worry.

At number 26, Helen, Lou and Marlene are putting the final touches to their plan - Lou will meet Madge and bring her to Chez Chez, and Marlene will spend the morning helping at the op shop, where she'll talk Harold into lunch at the pub, where hopefully he'll see Madge and his memories will come flooding back. Ruth and Lance then arrive to return the casserole dish - in the kitchen, Lance complains to Hannah about how far away his school is now, but she says that it's only for a few weeks, and he can come back to Erinsborough High next year. She asks him about his mysterious disappearance the previous evening, but he doesn't have a chance to tell her anything before Ruth drags him away. Marlene then leaves too, and Helen remarks that, by the end of the day, Harold and Madge could be back together again.


Lou rushes into the pub, where Brett is working, and says that he's on his way to the airport, but needs to grab some money first. Brett then asks him to a family dinner that night, but Lou's face drops when he hears that Darren will be in attendance. Lou says that he's busy all day, but Brett asks him to at least make the effort - Lou says that he'll make a fine young man one of these days, as long as he starts using his powers of persuasion for good instead of evil, and he agrees to come to dinner.

At the school, Billy and Toadie walk into the classroom, wondering what today's lecture will be like. Susan then arrives with Luke, and tells the class that this is the third in their series of talks designed to give them an idea about some aspects of life that they might not otherwise experience. She introduces Luke and explains that he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but is now in remission. A nervous Luke then starts to talk, but nobody can hear him, and Susan asks if he could speak a little louder. He does, but he continues to stumble over his words, and Susan looks worried.


At the airport, Lou checks his watch and then walks through to the arrivals area, seeing that Madge's flight has landed.

At the Salvation Army shop, Marlene is helping 'Ted' to sort through the donation bags. She asks him if he likes making a difference, and he says that he wouldn't do it otherwise, and Marlene must feel the same way. He then asks if she needs a break, and she takes the opportunity to suggest lunch together, but he says that there's still lots more work to do before then. She says that she knows a nice place where they could go, but he explains that he's brought some sandwiches with him, and the tomato will have made the bread soggy if he doesn't have them. Desperate, Marlene tells him that she doesn't like to have her lunch alone - she's delighted when he agrees, but annoyed when he then tells her to go and buy some sandwiches and they can sit outside and eat them together.


Back at the school, Luke continues his talk is talking about his diagnosis and is about to talk about the medications he was on, when Toadie interrupts and asks about the difference between Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Susan tells him to save the questions until the end, but Luke thinks that some questions might help - Toadie then asks him what he would have done if he'd been told that he wasn't in remission. He says that he'd probably have gone through a lot of emotions, and thought about how unfair it was. Billy asks if he had a plan of what he'd do if he needed more treatment, and he admits that his emotions changed everyday. He says that life's back to normal now, though he still tries to think about how he felt when he was ill - and he tries to make sure he doesn't waste any time anymore. The kids are all interested now, and some of them put their hands up to ask questions.


At the airport, Lou greets Madge with a big hug, and she's delighted to see him. He tells her that she looks wonderful, and she asks if he's seen this man who looks like Harold. Lou says that it's really him, joking that there can't be two men unlucky enough to look like that. She says that it took her so long to get used to life without Harold, and she feels settled with her new life, and her role as 'gran' in Queensland, but now she doesn't know where she should be. Lou tells her that she's amongst friends now and that's all she needs to worry about - then says that they should get her bags and take her home to Ramsay Street.

Back at the shop, Marlene is talking about lunch again, but 'Ted' still has lots of work to do, and says that there are people depending on these clothes. Marlene doesn't think that an hour's break will do any harm, and he tells her that she can go, if lunch is that important to her. She says that her pestering must seem strange to him, but she's so lonely, and even a sandwich with another person would mean a lot to her. 'Ted' finally agrees to go with her, but says that they'll have to go somewhere where he can eat his sandwiches, and it'll have to wait until they've finished these tasks. He rushes off to help a customer, and Marlene rolls her eyes.


At Chez Chez, Madge returns from her third trip to the bathroom, complaining about how nervous she is, and wondering what's keeping Marlene. Madge wonders if Harold has found out the truth and has refused to see her, but Lou calls over to Susan and Luke, asking if they've seen Marlene. They say that they haven't, and Madge admits that she's been looking forward to this all day, but now she's beginning to change her mind. As someone comes in the door, Madge jumps and looks around, but it isn't Harold, and she looks worried.

Featured Regular Characters: Helen Daniels, Marlene Kratz, Lou Carpenter, Hannah Martin, Ruth Wilkinson, Lance Wilkinson, Susan Kennedy, Billy Kennedy, Toadfish Rebecchi, Luke Handley

Guest Cast: Anne Charleston as Madge Bishop, Ian Smith as Harold Bishop, Brett Blewitt as Brett Stark

Trivia Notes
Anne Charleston returns to the cast after a four-year absence
Madge's flight number is QF419 During the final scene, Lou calls Susan 'Sue', one of the few occasions when someone has shortened her name, something Susan later expresses a dislike for, when Lyn Scully moves in
Although still only a guest character, Brett Blewitt is credited with the regular cast for this episode

Summary by Steve

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