Channel Ten: 09/12/08, Five: 17/03/09
Steph says that Harold’s going to have the treatment. Rachel is being watched by Hamish Patrick, as Ty sings on stage. Rachel says that she’s been offered a solo music contract. Lucas wishes Elle a Merry Christmas and they kiss, before heading off to the bedroom. Andrew and Rebecca share a kiss. Rebecca kicks Paul and Sam out of the bar, saying that they’re disturbing her. Sam tells Dan that she doesn’t want Libby to have anything to do with the baby. Everyone is gathered out on Ramsay Street, wishing each other a Merry Christmas.
At number 32, Charlie and Ben are happily opening their presents, as Libby, Dan and Steph watch. Ben holds some mistletoe over Libby and Dan’s heads and they have a kiss.
Across the street, at number 22, Sam is on the phone to her mum. She lies that she’s having a nice day and will be going out for lunch with Dan and a few of their friends. She quickly ends the call as she looks across the street at number 32 and begins to cry.
At number 28, Susan and Karl are wishing each other a Merry Christmas, while Didge, Ty and Rachel are setting the table. Donna, having wished Ringo a Merry Christmas, asks him to lunch, announcing that Paul’s taking them all out, while Susan sends Karl out to fire up the Barbie. Meanwhile, Didge quietly asks Rachel whether she’s told Ty about the record contract yet – Rachel says she hasn’t.
At number 22, Elle and Lucas happily come downstairs, where they find a surprised Sam watching them. Donna then comes in, hugging Elle and Lucas and wishing them a Merry Christmas. As Lucas winces in pain, Donna asks him whether he’s been lifting heavy objects, before realising what’s happened and offering her congratulations. Elle asks Sam and Lucas along to lunch at Lanzini’s – Lucas accepts but Sam says no, and seems to be in pain, though she says that it’s just the baby kicking.
At number 28, Karl is sent off to the store for water and mince pies, as Didge also heads home. Ringo then appears in the pink shirt Donna bought him for Christmas and, as he goes, Susan reminds him not to let Paul make him pay for lunch. As she goes to get ready, Ty gives Rachel a silver necklace. Rachel starts to feel guilty and tells him about the contract. Though he pretends to be happy for her and pleased that he can be her songwriter, he’s disappointed.
At the General Store, Lucas is helping out Elle and they seem happy together, as Harold comes in to meet Steph. He soon finds himself being approached by various residents who want him to join them for lunch, and ends up agreeing to have lunch with the Kennedy-Kinskis, dessert with the Parkers, and Christmas nachos with Toadie and Callum. Harold seems quite taken aback, and not entirely comfortable, with all the attention he’s receiving.
At number 28, Ben comes in after playing on his new skateboard, whilst Ty tells everyone about Rachel’s recording contract. They all congratulate her, though she seems very unenthusiastic about it all. Dan then puts the phone down and tells Libby that Sam says she’s not feeling too good, so he’s going to go over there. Karl joins him to give her a check-up, and Libby insists on going too, despite Dan’s insistence that she doesn’t have to.
At number 22, Karl finishes examining Sam, as Dan and Libby watch. Sam admits she’s worried it could be Preeclampsia, and although Karl admits that her blood pressure is a little low, he says that there doesn’t seem to be any immediate cause for alarm. He asks her to call if anything else happens, and Dan goes to see him out. As Libby tries to ask Sam if she needs anything, Sam refuses to chat, asking her why she had to be there, explaining that she’s already told Dan – she doesn’t want Libby anywhere near their baby.
At number 28, Harold arrives, as Libby demands to know from Dan why he didn’t mention Sam’s ultimatum. She leaves him to stew, as Rachel is surprised that record executives never stop working, not even for Christmas, and that she’ll soon be getting her contract. Ty insists that she’s destined to be a singer, but she’s clearly not so sure.
Later, after lunch, Susan and Karl stop Harold from helping with the clear up, insisting that the kids will do it. Susan asks Libby where Dan’s got to, but she admits that she neither knows, nor cares. Harold mentions to Steph that they should get going if they’re going to have dessert with the Parkers. Meanwhile, Susan watches Libby taking her frustrations out on the washing up, and quietly tells Karl that their daughter seems upset after seeing Sam. Karl tries to tell her to keep out of it, but Susan’s too annoyed to listen.
At number 26, Steph and Harold have joined the Parkers for dessert, but Harold is clearly struggling to keep up with everyone else. Didge suddenly rushes off to the bathroom, announcing she feels sick. Steve runs after her, as a concerned Steph watches over Harold.
At number 30, Harold has arrived to join Toadie and Callum for a giant pile of nachos, decked out with red salsa, green guacamole and white sour cream, and entitled Mount Nachosaurus. Harold looks worried at the thought of more food, while Steph receives a call from Elle, who announces that the store’s new sign is ready to be unveiled. Steph says that it can wait, as they’re in the middle of lunch, but Harold snaps at her that he’s sick of everyone making decisions for him. Steph tells Elle that they’re on their way and they all get up to leave.
Outside the store, the window is covered with a giant bow and a gift tag to Harold. Various people are gathered outside, as Elle asks Lou and Harold to say a few words. Harold looks uncomfortable, so Lou speaks instead:
”Today, we honour one of the best loved members of our community and the very best friend I've ever had in the world. Harold Bishop. The General Store rose from the ashes of Lassiter's and it's been a big part of Harold's life, and mine too for that matter, for many years. A lot of you come for a chit-chat and to have a few words of wisdom and counselling from a warm, dear-hearted person. Harold, it's been great working with you, mate. And it's also been an honour being your friend all these years. No one deserves a more fitting tribute than you in our community, so here it is.”
Lucas and Elle remove the wrapping to reveal the new ‘Harold’s Store’ sign, but Harold doesn’t look too pleased:
“Thank you for your kind thoughts. Although I believe it's customary to wait ‘til after someone's dead before you start handing out eulogies and memorials and so forth. I wonder if you'd afford me the same courtesy.”
He goes inside, and Didge follows.
Inside, Harold tells Didge that he needs some time alone, and the last thing he needs is more sympathy, but she says she’s not there for that. She reminds him that they’re all his family, and they all want what’s best for him – they just wish he could be around forever, and you can’t blame them for that.
In the park, Callum and Ben have joined the Parkers for a game of cricket. As Callum goes to bowl, Steve starts trying to put off Didge from her batting, talking about Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Didge calls out to the umpire – Harold, sitting with Lou on the sidelines with a big hat on, back to his old self and declaring that he’s keeping his eye on Steve.
Rachel goes over to number 32 to show Ty the contract. She tells him there’s no mention of his songs, but he thinks it’s just a mistake and not to worry. She accuses him of patronising her – she says that they want a puppet, not a singer, as she didn’t even open her mouth when Ty was singing. Ty tells her to calm down, but she says that this isn’t what she wants. She tears up the contract and walks out.
At number 22, Susan arrives to give Sam a warning about leaving Dan and Libby alone. She tells Sam that Dan’s moved on and she should accept that. Sam asks if Dan will be able to move on that easily from being a father, but Susan sees that as an excuse, and says that she’s known people like Sam before and she’s seen the harm they can do. Susan warns Sam that she’ll be watching her, but Sam tells her that it’s really not wise to threaten a lawyer…
Regular Cast Credits
Featured Regular Characters: Libby Kennedy, Daniel Fitzgerald, Ben Kirk, Stephanie Scully, Charlie Hoyland, Susan Kennedy, Karl Kennedy, Rachel Kinski, Ty Harper, Donna Freedman, Ringo Brown, Elle Robinson, Lucas Fitzgerald, Jarrod ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi, Callum Jones, Lou Carpenter, Bridget Parker, Steve Parker, Miranda Parker
Guest Cast: Ian Smith as Harold Bishop, Simone Buchanan as Samantha Fitzgerald
• The General Store is officially renamed Harold's Store, with the new signage unveiled