> Ben's Departure
by Meaghan Rodriguez, Directed
by Gary Conway, Produced
by Neal Kingston
Channel Ten: 02/09/10, Five: 21/10/10
Ben complains about his classes not being interesting, and Libby suggests that he do an online test, to prove his teacher wrong... Summer worries about Andrew and his part in Paul's accident... Summer tells the police that Andrew
wishes his father dead... Andrew is taken away for questioning...
Natasha follows Summer into number 26, asking her what she did. Summer insists that she didn't do anything, but Tash says that she's not leaving until she finds out the truth.
Lucas arrives at the police station to sit in on Andrew's interview. Andrew is frustrated that he has to be doing this, while the person who pushed Paul is still out there. Brennan wonders if
Paul made Andrew this angry too, and whether he just wanted to get rid of him.
Back at number 26, Tash is still looking for an explanation, and the girls argue, as Lyn comes into the room, demanding to know what's going on. Tash says that Summer dobbed Andrew in to the police, but Summer insists that they asked her and she told them the truth.
Tash doesn't believe her, and Lyn tells Tash to go home. As Tash leaves, she wonders what sort of friend would do something like this.
Back at the police station, Brennan continues to interview Andrew, waiting for him to answer the question of whether he pushed his father. Andrew doesn't admit to it, but says that he might
as well have pushed him, after what he said. Lucas begins to wonder if they should get a lawyer, as Andrew becomes tearful.
Lyn insists that Summer only told the truth, and did what she thought was right in the situation. Summer says that it doesn't feel like that, and runs off out of the house, telling her nan that she needs to sort this out.
Lucas and Andrew walk out of the police station, where Summer is waiting. Lucas tells Andrew to call him if the police ask him in again, and Andrew walks off, with Summer
going after him. She says that all she did was tell the truth, but Andrew points out that the police now think he tried to kill his father, because of what she said. She explains that she was confused, and the detective knew exactly how to get the truth
out of her, but Andrew says that she just thinks it's the truth, and tells her to stay away from him.
At number 28, Libby is delighted to get the test results back - she shows her parents, and Zeke who walks in wanting to know what all the fuss is about. Libby can't wait to show Ben's teacher and prove that he isn't as useless as she was making out - Zeke asks if he's going
to this arts school now, but Libby explains that he just did the entrance exam to prove a point, but he won't be going to the school as it's in the country. Susan is very impressed, then points out to Libby that the school has offered Ben a place. Libby sits down to look,
saying that this was never her intention, as Donna and Ringo walk in, back from their honeymoon. They tell Susan, Karl and Zeke that they had a lovely time - Donna mentions that nobody was replying to her texts, and she asks why there was a reporter hanging around outside
Martine, the reporter, and her photographer continue to wait, and Sophie, Callum and Ben watch from their bikes. Andrew walks up the street, and they ask him if he knows what's going on, but
then Martine spots Andrew and runs over to him. Tash also spots this from across the street - Martine follows Andrew to the front door, asking him about the accident and his history with Paul. Andrew ignores her and goes inside, and Martine is about to go around the
back of the house, when Tash comes along and says that Andrew had nothing to do with any of this, because she was with him.
At number 32, Martine is interviewing Tash, who lies that she went back to Charlie's that night, to get her phone, and she saw two people on the mezzanine, but she doesn't know who. She assumes one of them was Paul, and then she heard the crashing glass. Martine thinks that
this is very important evidence, and that Tash should go to the police, but she wants her name kept out of it, and says that she doesn't like attention.
At number 22, Andrew is on the phone to Toadie, who's checking up on him, and then Donna walks in and gives him a hug, closely followed by Ringo. They both offer their
sympathies, and Donna wants to go to the hospital, but Andrew doesn't see any point. Ringo mentions that he just saw the reporters leaving Tash's house, and Andrew goes outside to see what's going on.
Martine is getting into her car, with Tash making sure that she's not going to print her name. As the car drives off, Andrew crosses the street, and Tash explains that the reporter was hassling her, but she sent her packing. Andrew is pleased to hear it, then Michael
returns from a run. Andrew tells him what Tash did, and he asks Tash not to speak to the media again, without him present, as they're not to be trusted.
At Harold's, Summer is on her laptop, looking on the West Waratah Star website for any mention of Andrew. Lyn thinks that she's just torturing herself, but then Summer spots a story about a
mystery witness in Paul's case. As she reads out the story, Tash walks in and overhears, looking very worried. She walks out, as Ringo, Donna and Zeke come in. Donna is upset after seeing Paul so helpless, and wishes that she could do something to help.
As Libby comes in with the washing, Susan and Karl asks if she's given any more thought to Ben's enrolment offer. Libby tells them that, even if she wanted to, she couldn't afford the fees. Susan and Karl offer to pay, so Libby then says that he's too young to be away
from home. Susan points out that he'd be doing all the things he loves, and make lots of new friends - but Libby says that she's just not ready to let him go. Susan points out that no parent is ever ready, and Libby starts to cry and hugs her mum. Ben walks in, asking what's
wrong, and Libby asks him to come and sit with her - she reminds him about the test he did, and says that the school has offered him a place, but it's in the country. Ben says that he doesn't want to go, and a relieved Libby hugs him, as a concerned Susan and Karl watch.
At Harold's, Sophie and Callum are telling Ben that he's the smartest kid in his school, but he says that he just doesn't want to go. At another table, Ringo and Donna are
waiting for her dad to arrive - when he turns up, he says that he's heard about Paul and he'll do what he can to help. Donna asks if he would help her to run Charlie's, until Paul is better. Nick is surprised by this, and reminds her that he has his
own bar to run, but Donna says that Paul and Rebecca are like family to her, and she needs to do something. He says that he'll go and make some calls.
At number 32, Michael is going out for dinner, and asks Tash if she's ready to join him, but she's just staring at the newspaper article about the mystery witness. The police then arrive at the door, and Tash wrongly assumes that it's about the newspaper article.
She blurts out that the journalist twisted her words, and Michael asks her what the hell she's done.
Tash is sitting with Michael and Brennan, explaining that she was just trying to help Andrew. Brennan thinks that she might just have done more harm than good, and tells
her that these are very serious charges, and next time she'll be getting more than a warning. He and the other detective leave, and Michael asks Tash if she realises how serious this is. She says that she feels sick about it all, and Michael tells
her that stunts like this can destroy people's lives. Tash blurts out that she's sorry, and that she was just trying to help her friend.
At Charlie's, Donna and Nick are serving behind the bar - where she's doing a terrible job of pouring beers - and Ben is playing pool with Sophie and Callum. Libby watches them, in a daze, and starts thinking back over events of the past decade.
At number 28, Ben asks Libby if they can watch a DVD, but she tells him to sit down with her. She says that he should go to the new school - he tells her that she doesn't want to. He admits that
it's because he saw her crying, and he doesn't want her to be sad if he leaves. She says that she'll miss him a lot, but she'd be much sadder if he wasn't doing something that makes him happy. He then tells her that he really wants to go to the school, and Libby says that
he can start next week - she'll go with him and stay for a while, to make sure he's settled in. Ben tells his mum that he loves her, and they hug.
The next morning, at number 32, Michael is still being cold with Tash, but he tells her that he isn't angry, he's just worried. Tash doesn't understand why he's still going on about this, as it's over, but he tells her that she needs to start thinking before she
acts, otherwise she'll end up in all sorts of trouble. There's a knock at the door - it's Lucas, who realises that Michael hasn't seen the newspaper yet, and shows it to me. There's a photo of Tash on the front page, with the headline 'Teen lies to protect ex' -
Michael shows it to his daughter.
At Harold's, Summer and Lyn are looking at the newspaper headline, and Summer realises that this is going to make things even worse for Andrew. Tash comes in, leaving a voicemail for Andrew,
and Summer can't believe what Tash has done. Tash points out that she was trying to help Andrew, and none of this was meant to happen. As Tash tries to explain, Andrew comes in behind her, looking completely disgusted - Tash sees him and tries to apologise, but he tells
her to shut up, and asks both her and Summer to never talk to him again.
Featured Regular Characters: Natasha Williams, Summer Hoyland, Lyn Scully, Ben Fitzgerald, Libby Kennedy, Susan Kennedy, Karl Kennedy, Andrew Robinson, Sophie Ramsay, Callum Jones,
Ringo Brown, Donna Brown, Zeke Kinski
Guest Cast: Brian Vriends as Leigh 'Nick' Nixon, Scott McGregor as Detective Mark Brennan,
Lily Hall as Martine Crossley
• Final appearance of Blake O'Leary as Ben Fitzgerald
• Ben's final words are "I love you, mum."
• Ben scored in the top 95th percentile in the entrance exam
• Libby has flashbacks to events including her going into labour in the barn, and Ben's birth, his first birthday and her wedding to Dan. Past characters Drew Kirk and Darcy Tyler both appear in the