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Magic Moments > 1996 > Danni's Departure Episode 2743

Written by Susan Bower, Directed by T. Grant Fenn, Produced by Peter Dodds

Channel Ten: 13/11/96, BBC One: 20/05/97, UK Gold: 13/05/03

Karl is worried about losing the deposit on number 22, but Susan is sure that Lou will understand eventually... Brett is surprised that Danni is giving up on her job opportunity for Luke, but she explains that she isn't and that she's emotionally blackmailing Luke so that he'll come with her...

At Chez Chez, Karl and Mal sit down for a drink - Mal is impressed with Karl buying the drinks and greasing up to the boss in the process, but tells him that he still has a way to go as a building apprentice. Karl is surprised, but Mal explains that he just needs to slow down a bit and stop rushing at everything like a bull at a gate. Lou then walks over and tells Karl that he'd had some good news from his solicitor - Karl can get his deposit back, he just needs to pay the legal bills. It's a huge weight off Karl's mind, but Lou says that he was happy to help, as he knows that Karl is having a difficult time at the moment. Marlene then chips in, saying that anyone else might have taken advantage, but Lou knows that the Kennedys are having problems and Karl must be very grateful. Karl looks mildly irritated, saying to Mal that now he feels like everyone's favourite charity case.


At the coffee shop, Debbie notices that Luke is in a bad mood, and he explains that Danni has given up on a job opportunity in Malaysia. Debbie is surprised, both that Danni is being so unselfish, and that Luke isn't happy that she's staying. Luke explains that he wants to become a teacher, so he needs to stay in Australia to get his qualifications, but he'll feel bad if Danni gives up such a great opportunity. Debbie wonders if Danni is playing on those feelings and trying to guilt him into going with her - Luke thinks she's being a bit harsh, but Debbie says that she's known Danni long enough to know that she's very determined when she wants something. She then walks away, telling Luke to enjoy Malaysia.

At number 24, Brett finds a list of alcoholic drinks, and asks Darren if he's got a drink problem now - Darren explains that it's the order for Brett's going away party. He says that he's going to miss him, and he'll never complete the job at the school without his help. Brett suggests that he swallow his pride and ask Mal for some help. Darren says that Karl is working for Mal now, and they're not exactly best friends, but agrees to think about it anyway. As he leaves the room, Marlene comes in and Brett mentions his surprise farewell party - Marlene is annoyed that Darren let it slip. Brett says that he may have convinced Darren to ask Mal and Karl for some help, and Marlene tells Brett how grateful she is for the way he's helped Darren lately - she then jokingly suggests that he should stay around for a little longer, as she's going to miss him so much.


At number 28, Susan is pleased about the news from Lou, and says that it was very generous of him, though Karl admits that it's all making him feel like a loser. Susan says that she also had some good news, and is meeting with the principal to discuss the year 12 co-ordinator job. At the dining table, Billy is trying to study, and Toadie is annoying him - so Susan sends Toadie off to clean his room. Libby and Mal then appear, and Mal asks why she's making such an effort with her hair - she tells him that it's Brett's farewell party later.

At Chez Chez, Darren hands over the alcohol order for Brett's party - Lou says that it's nice to see Brett and Darren getting along again, and Darren comments that it's never good to be fighting with someone. He then mentions that he's thinking about expanding the business, but will need some money, so he'd like to know if Lou's offer to buy him out of the pub is still open. Lou says that it is, and he'll start making the arrangements.


Later, at number 24, Darren is making a farewell speech for Brett, and tells him to stay away longer next time. Everyone makes a toast to Brett, and Luke says that it could be Danni leaving too - and he's very impressed with the way she's giving up a high-powered job for him. Meanwhile, Darren approaches Mal about going into business together again, though Mal is very reluctant given how badly things ended last time. Darren realises that he's asking too much, but Mal then says that they'd have to include Karl in the deal - and Darren jokes that they can probably stretch to keeping him on as the work experience kid. Libby is saying goodbye to Brett, and Darren looks upset as he notices them go outside for a chat.


Outside number 24, Brett wishes Libby luck in her exams - she says that it was so difficult to say goodbye to Brett last time, but this time, it's even harder. She says that she'll survive, but it's just very painful, as he's so special. He doesn't agree, but she reminds him that he's come back and helped so many people. He tells her that he's never felt so close to anyone in his life, and he kisses her. They then share a hug, and Libby says a painful goodbye. As she walks away, Brett notices that an unimpressed Darren has been watching the whole thing.


Back inside, Darren confronts Brett about trying to steal Libby away, before Brett realises that he's joking - Darren says that he knows and he understands what a close friendship Libby has with Brett, and he then hands over a captain's hat as a farewell gift for his brother. Across the room, Danni is sitting with Marlene, who's complaining that she can't take any more of these farewells - Danni looks sheepish as Marlene says that at least she's not going anywhere.

The next morning, at number 28, Libby and a very panicky Billy are preparing for their exams that day, Susan is dressed for her interview, and Mal tells Karl that they'll be working with Darren at the school today. Karl isn't happy about having to work with Darren, but Billy is very upset that his dad's going to be digging holes in the school grounds all day - he says that he's stressed enough without this embarrassment too. Karl is offended, and Susan tells Billy to pipe down and suggests that he eat some toast, which Toadie then snatches from him as they all leave the house.


At the high school, the kids are all waiting to go in for their exams, and Billy is doing some last-minute cramming. Libby goes over to Mal, Karl and Darren, who wish her luck in her exam. One of the other kids, Adam, goes over to Billy and starts goading him about how his dad used to be a doctor and now he's a labouring apprentice. Billy tries to ignore him, but then Karl hurts his back pulling out a fence post, and all of the kids laugh at him.

Danni arrives at number 30, and Luke is surprised to see her up so bright and early. She says that she has a lot to do, and she tells Luke that she hasn't spoken to the fashion company yet. Luke suggests that she tell them soon, as she can't string them on forever - she says that she needs to talk to Luke about something first. He tells her that he already knows what she's been doing, making him feel guilty so he'll come with her. She asks him to come with her, but he says that he's finally figured out what he wants to do with his life, and he's planning to do the teaching course at uni next year. Danni again asks him to come, but he again says no. She asks if this means that they're breaking up, but Luke tells her that he'll be waiting for her when she comes back. He tells her that he loves her and that he has lots planned for them before she goes, but she reminds him that she has to go to Sydney today, and that she still has to break the news to Marlene.


Back at the school, Karl is struggling with digging holes for fence posts, though he insists that he can cope, and Mal and Darren try to get him to mix the concrete instead. Libby then comes out of her exam, telling Karl and Darren that it went well, closely followed by Toadie, who's equally confident. Karl runs over to Billy, to see how he went, but Billy doesn't want to talk to his father at the moment, and tells him to leave him alone.

At number 24, Marlene is shocked by Danni's news - Danni explains that she has to leave today, at the same time as Brett. Brett and Danni start making plans to meet up in Asia, but Marlene is shocked that she's losing someone else. They both promise to call and write, and Danni says that she should be back in 6 months. Marlene tells them that she loves them both very much, and will miss them.


Luke and Danni sit by the lake, and she says that she loves this spot, and has a lot of happy memories. Luke says that they'll be able to make more memories one day, but she reminds him that they're going to be in two different countries for the foreseeable future. Luke says that, if she wants to call off the long-distance thing, he'll understand, but Danni insists that she wants this, and isn't going to be selfish this time. Luke promises that he'll stick around, like she stuck by him when he was ill and pushing everyone away. She says that she loves him, and he says the same back, then kisses her.



At number 24, Lou has finished loading the bags into the car, and Brett and Danni are saying their final goodbyes to Marlene and Darren. They check that they have their passports and traveller's cheques, and Marlene hands over a little extra cash for both of them, thanking Danni for how supportive she's been since Cheryl died. Darren admits that he's going to miss having Brett around, and Brett warns his brother that he's in danger of becoming a nice guy. Danni, Brett, Luke and Lou then leave, and Marlene puts her arm around Darren, and says thank goodness she still has him.


At number 28, Susan arrives back, in a bad mood as the year 12 co-ordinator job went to Andrew. Karl tries to be supportive, but she snaps at him that she doesn't have the luxury of opting out of her job like he did - she says that she would have appreciated a bit more support before now, and storms off to the bedroom. An equally annoyed Billy then comes in, and Karl tries to talk to him - Billy says that he messed up and only finished half the exam, but it doesn't matter as he doesn't need qualifications, he can just become a labourer like his dad. He tells Karl that it was a stupid decision and everyone thinks so, saying that he used to have respect, but he threw it all away because of a stupid mid-life crisis.

Featured Regular Characters: Marlene Kratz, Lou Carpenter, Darren Stark, Danni Stark, Luke Handley, Karl Kennedy, Susan Kennedy, Malcolm Kennedy, Libby Kennedy, Billy Kennedy, Toadfish Rebecchi, Debbie Martin

Guest Cast: Brett Blewitt as Brett Stark, Nathan Godkin as Adam Young

Trivia Notes
Final regular appearance of Eliza Szonert as Danni Stark, after three years in the role, though Danni would later make a cameo appearance in the 20th Anniversary documentary in 2005
Danni's final words are "Bye nan."
Brett Blewitt also departs, after a six-week guest return as Brett Stark. Brett is credited with the regular cast for this episode
Nathan Godkin, who plays Adam in this episode, has previously appeared as John Krokos in 1994, and would later return in the recurring role of Craig 'Pinhead' Pinders
Past characters Cheryl Stark and Andrew Watson are mentioned

Summary by Steve

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