Title: Pulped Fiction
> Sindi's Departure: Part One
by John Upton, Directed
by Nicholas Bufalo
Boyd tells Karl that he’s decided to study medicine. Janelle uses her “feminine wiles” to get the attention of a potential client for the courier business. Janae sees Karl’s two tickets for a play, but he says that he’ll probably be going on his own. Stuart tells Toadie that Sindi previously had psychiatric problems as a teenager.
At number 26, Stingray is attempting to drum up some new business on the phone, as Janae discusses with her mum how sad it was for that old guy at the General Store to fall for her business patter only when she showed some cleavage. Janelle sees her own understanding of people as making her a better writer and then Bree comes in. She’s been reading Janelle’s latest version of the novel and tells her mum that the characters are all either good or bad, there’s no grey area. Janelle says that it would just confuse her readers, but Bree think she knows better as she’s read more books. Boyd then walks in, looking for Lyn, to tell her the news about Steph’s pregnancy. Lyn isn’t home, so Boyd tells the assembled members of the Timmins family instead. Janelle promises that she won’t say anything to anyone. Janae offers Boyd her congratulations but before they can talk any more, Stingray drags Boyd out of the house to help with the courier deliveries.
At the General Store, Lou quietly walks into the kitchen with his fishing gear and Harold is delighted to see him, until he mentions that Phil has come up with a business plan that could increase their profits by a quarter. Lou then leaves, saying that he’s still on holiday. Bree runs in to find Susan sitting at a table and she asks her to help with Janelle’s book. Susan isn’t sure, but Bree insists that she’s got her mum’s permission to ask. Boyd and Stingray enter, with Stingray still trying to persuade his friend to join Speed Freaks courier service. Boyd says that he’ll think about it. Janae and Janelle then come in and Karl overhears as Janelle mentions Susan’s date with Alex. Janelle then notices Karl and realises why Susan is unhappy about talking about it, but she tells Susan that Karl’s had his chance. She then blurts out the news about Steph’s pregnancy and asks Karl how Steph is doing. A surprised Karl says that everything is fine. Bree quickly takes her mother away as Karl congratulates Susan on her date, even offering her his theatre tickets – to The Glass Menagerie – if she’d like them. She thanks him, but turns him down, as Janae listens in.
In Sindi’s room on the psychiatric ward, she and Stuart are looking through their wedding photos. He assures her that they’ll be happy again like that one day and she says that it’ll only be after they find out why she likes to push people down flights of stairs. She confesses that she was at her happiest when he was blind, as she liked having him rely on her for everything. He tells her that he still needs her now. Two of the nurses come in and Stu realises that visiting time is over. He goes to kiss Sindi, but she pulls away, then lies down and starts crying after Stu has gone.
At the General Store, Lou has explains his time and motion study to Harold, who quickly tells him that it’s not going to happen. Karl asks them if they’d like his tickets to The Glass Menagerie – although Harold is tempted, he says that he needs to stay and keep an eye on Lou. Boyd comes in with a delivery as Janae spots Karl at the counter and approaches him. She says that she was going to see the play with her friend, Karen, who seems to have stood her up – and she has the tickets. Karl offers her his spare ticket and a lift to the show, as Boyd looks on.
At number 26, Susan asks Janelle if her book is in the first person. Janelle explains that it has lots of people in it. Bree tells her mum that Susan “read thousands of books everyday” and she should listen. Susan then asks Janelle who her favourite fictional character is and Janelle mentions the villain in her story, as she’s a complete nutter. Susan wonders if the character is based on Sindi, but Janelle says that she would never do something so thoughtless. Bree takes her mother into the kitchen to make some tea, as Susan has a quick look at the novel and realises that the villain is based on her. Janelle tries to deny this accusation when she comes back, but Susan points out that the villain in the book is a teacher with an ex-husband called Karl. Susan leaves, taking the manuscript with her.
At the store, Harold is mocking Lou, timing how long it takes him to serve a customer. He then tells Lou that it isn’t hygienic for him to sleep in the kitchen. Lou denies that he did, saying that he just used the pillow to sit on when he was working in the kitchen. Toadie comes in and a winking Lou asks him to confirm to Harold that he’s spending a few nights at number 30 until he finds something else. Toadie confirms this and Harold walks away, at which point Toadie starts winking back and asks for a free pie.
At the hospital, Boyd is chatting to Karl about medical school. Karl says that it was the best time of his life and he’s glad to see a teenager so focused on doing well. Boyd asks if he was implying that Janae is slacking off a bit and Karl assures him that he wasn’t being specific. Boyd refers back to the night before and seeing Karl take Janae to the theatre. Karl explains that Janae is studying the novel, but Boyd tells him that only year 12 is doing The Glass Menagerie. Just then, they’re interrupted by the arrival of Susan, Toadie and Stingray, who’ve come to visit Sindi. Stingray asks why Boyd is there and he explains that he wanted advice from Karl. Once the others have gone, Karl asks Boyd why Janae would have lied. Boyd doesn’t know, but asks Karl what he thinks.
In Sindi’s room, Susan is telling her about Steph’s pregnancy and sadly says that the street isn’t the same without her. Stingray tells her to get well soon and come back, but Sindi says that they have to face facts – she isn’t at all well. She asks Toadie and he agrees, but tells her that she will get better. Toadie then tells her that Stu will be along later, but he had to go into work for something. Sindi forces him to tell her that Stu has given up on the undercover programme and she realises that it’s all her fault. She’s about to start crying and she asks them all to leave. Susan and Stingray give her a hug and, as they go out the door, Sindi breaks down in tears.
At number 30, Lou drops in with some beers, to thank Toadie for covering for him. He sits on the couch and starts chatting to Bob, as Toadie reminds him that it was just a story and he isn’t actually moving in.
At the hospital, Karl gives Janae her plastic surgery referral and she thanks him for both the referral and their evening at the theatre. Karl reminds her that their relationship is just a professional one and she takes offence, telling him that he’s old enough to be her dad. Karl confronts her about not studying The Glass Menagerie and she apologises, saying that she just wanted to see the play and talk to someone, as nobody listens to her. She infers that the plastic surgery will make her better and will make people stop and listen. Karl isn’t impressed and Janae accuses him of being like everyone else.
At number 26, Bree answers the door to Susan, who grins at Bree then approaches Janelle and says that she’s read the book and she’s come to an important realisation. She says that she’s seen herself in a whole new light, she’s cold and ruthless and a snob and she wants to change into a better person. Janelle offers to rip up the manuscript, as she doesn’t want to be responsible, but Susan says that she can’t do that, but she must promise not to use her real name, as she couldn’t cope with the public humiliation. Janelle agrees and Susan hugs her, before leaving. Janelle decides that writing is harder than it looks and from now on, she’s going to invent characters rather than base them on her neighbours.
At number 30, Lou is begging Toadie to let him use the spare room, but Toadie says it’s not much more than a hot water cupboard and he can’t have it. Toadie also points out that Stu is stressed right now. Lou reminds him of all the great times they’ve had together, but all Toadie can remember is him being the boss from hell at the pub and the landlord from hell when he owned number 30. Lou insists that it’ll only be for a few nights, as he has nowhere else to do. Toadie agrees to put in a good word with Connor and Stu and Lou thanks him as he wheels his bags off to the spare room.
At the store, Boyd sits down with Janae and asks how she is. She says that she’s sick of people judging her and he tells her that she should think before she speaks. He tells her that he saw her last night with Karl and she realises that he was the one who dobbed her in. She gets angry, saying that he ruined Kayla’s life, and now he wants to ruin hers. She warns him that one day, he’ll have a whole new respect for her and she storms out.
In Sindi’s room, Stu asks why she’s so quiet. She then asks him why he comes to visit everyday and he tells her that he loves her. She mentions him giving up his undercover training and announces that she wants an annulment. She produces the forms and he refuses to sign them, so Sindi says that it’s best if he doesn’t visit her anymore. Stu reluctantly gets up and Sindi starts shouting at him to get out, which he does. Sindi sits on the bed, in shock.
To see the next episode in this sequence, click here.