Magic Moments > 1997 > Ben's Confession Episode 2842
Written by Don Battye, Directed by Tony Osicka
To Marlene's horror, Karl decides that he's going to interview Sarah
for a job at the surgery. Toadie lies about his age in order to go out
with a girl. Ben reveals to Anne that Ruth is his mother, thereby making
Anne his sister...
Anne shakes her head and says that it can't be true. Ben, remaining calm,
assures her that it is because Ruth's name is on his birth certificate. Anne is mortified and begins to sob. She runs away, calling out, 'Leave
Toadie and Rebecca, his new girlfriend, are enjoying each other's company
by the lake. They begin to kiss when Hannah suddenly turns up, yelling
'Ewww gross!'. Rebecca regonises Hannah from her and Toadie's previous
date at the movies, and is clearly unimpressed that Toadie has friends that
are still in high school. Rebecca departs for work, leaving Toadie to tell
Hannah that she has just ruined the best moment of his life.
. . .
Marlene joins Sarah at her table in the Coffee Shop, asking if she is excited
about the interview tomorrow, adding that she hopes Sarah has had prior
experience. Sarah hasn't - but she intends on doing a course in receptionist
work. Marlene deviously offers to tell her a bit about what is required
in the position. She tells Sarah that she will have to help the doctor
with his instruments, and have a good knowledge of computers. Sarah is
obviously put off by this. Marlene, having finished her dirty work, smiles
sweetly then leaves.
Hannah finds Anne sitting alone in a classroom at school, looking distressed. She asks what's wrong. Anne tells her what Ben said, and Hannah doesn't
believe it. Anne still thinks it may not be true, because her mother has
never mentioned it before. Hannah, trying to be helpful but failing, says
that it's pretty spooky because Ben knows everything about the family.
. . .
Ben walks up to Number 32 and knocks on the door, hoping to speak with Ruth
before Anne and Lance get home. There is no answer.
Lance is wandering down the school corridor, apparently enjoying his first
day back at school, when Anne comes up and tells him what Ben said. Lance
laughs it off before realising that Anne is very serious. She asks if their
mother has ever said anything to Lance about it, to which Lance replies
with a blunt, 'No.' Anne says, 'So it can't be true... can it?'
. . .
Ruth and Phil arrive back at Number 26 after having lunch together. They
mention the delicious strudel they ate, saying it tasted even better for
being in a Swiss restaurant and costing $10 a slice. Hannah arrives home
from school and tells Ruth there is something wrong with Anne, something
that Hannah can't talk about. Ruth rushes home and Phil says to Hannah
that he hopes she hasn't got Ruth worried over nothing.
. . .
Sarah phones Marlene to cancel the interview. Marlene says, 'Oh, that's
a pity, but I do understand how embarrassing it can be going for an interview
when you know you're wrong for the job.' She thanks Sarah for calling and
replaces the receiver, pursing her lips slyly. Meanwhile, Ben peers out
of Number 30's window, looking to see if Ruth has arrived home.
Marlene trots in to Karl's office, bringing him a file. She casually mentions
that Sarah has backed out of the interview. Karl says that it's odd that
Sarah pulled out so suddenly. Marlene, feeling jolly, says, 'I could see
she was wrong for the job, but you wouldn't listen.' Karl is annoyed and
quickly tells Marlene to leave.
. . .
Lance paces around the living room until Ruth finally arrives home. He
bluntly asks her if what Ben said was true; if he really is Lance and Anne's
brother. Ruth is shocked - she can't speak and can't look Lance in the
eye. Ben arrives, and as soon as Ruth sees him, the look on her face tells
Lance that it is all true. Ruth commands Lance to leave them alone for
. . .
Lance sits on the grass in his front yard as Toadie comes up. Toadie tells
Lance all about Rebecca and how he had to change in and out of his uniform
so she wouldn't know he still went to school. Lance says, 'Good for you,'
clearly with other matters on his mind. Toadie, oblivious to Lance's worried
state, says, 'Yes, it is good for me, I've actually got a girlfriend!'
Lance leaves, saying he has other stuff to do.
. . .
Inside, Ruth sits in her living room, facing away from Ben. She wants to
know how he found them, and Ben says he went through an agency. Ruth demands
to see Ben's birth certificate. He produces it, and reading the name 'Christopher
Wilkinson', Ruth begins to cry. Ben says he's not disappointed in any of
it. Ruth offers Ben a cup of tea but Ben says he just wants to talk. Ruth
asks why he has come now of all times, to which Ben replies, 'To see you...'. Ruth, still crying, begins to get hysterical, questioning Ben about his
behaviour towards Anne and the rest of the family. She cries, 'What did
you expect from us? What did you expect me to do? Apologise? Explain? What about my family?' Ben knows he has made mistakes
- but all he has is a few questions for Ruth.
A few minutes later, Ruth has calmed down and has made two cups of tea. Ben comments that he's never been so nervous in his life. He starts his
questions: he asks about his father and Ruth tells him that he has a family
in Sydney now. Ben asks if Ruth ever thought about him. Ruth says she
worried about him all the time; whether he had gone to a good home, if he
was happy. Ruth tells Ben that she didn't give him up because she didn't
love him - it was because she was so young. She starts to cry again, unable
to explain herself.
. . .
. . .
Lance and Anne sit in the Coffee Shop, still unsure what to believe. Hannah
enters and asks if there's anything she can do but is told that it is between
Lance and Anne. Hannah wanders over to the counter and bumps into Rebecca,
who can't find Toadie. She asks where he lives and Hannah is forced to
give the address to her. Hannah rushes off to find Toadie.
. . .
Karl has summoned Marlene into his office, and begins by saying, 'You know,
there could be days where I appear to be quite imbecilic. But this is not
one of them!' He has just had a long conversation with Sarah and knows
Marlene has been interfering. He says she is not to prevent him from hiring
a new receptionist. Marlene, talking quickly, tries to justify her actions,
saying Sarah is 'flighty'. But Karl won't have any of it and tells her
that he'll fire her if she interferes again. He tells her to get back to
her filing, reminding her to do it 'in surname order... that's right, Kennedy
Hannah arrives at Number 28, out of breath. She quickly tells Toadie that
Rebecca is coming over after her shift at work, when Billy, Libby, Karl
and Susan will all be home. Toadie starts to panic, realising that the
Kennedys will tell Rebecca that he has been lying.
. . .
Phil comes over to find out if Ruth is okay. Hannah has given him a rough
idea of what's happened but he thinks it sounds completely crazy. He says
he told Hannah it was a lot of nonsense. But as Ruth breaks down into tears,
he knows that it's anything but nonsense...
. . .
Notes: This episode won a prestigious Australian Film Institute (AFI) award
for Best Episode in a Television Drama Serial.
Summary by Aaron. Captures by Karl