Channel Ten: 18/11/05 BBC One: 13/02/05
Episode Title: Slightly Off Key
• Karl and Jenny appear to immediately click upon meeting for their date
• Rachel and Susan protest as Alex pulls Jake away to be questioned by the police
• Joe proposes to Lyn and she accepts
Soup Kitchen: Harold serving food to local homeless people, asking his colleague to take over while he talks to someone sitting alone and wrapped in a sleeping bag. He asks if the person needs help, and the man looks up to reveal that he is Connor. Stunned, he tries to escape, ignoring Harold’s calls, but is too weak to move far and keels over.
Scarlet Bar: Karl is talking on his mobile to Jenny, checking with Susan and Alex that it is okay if she joins them for the engagement celebration. They both say they look forward to meeting her and it should be a fun night, before a slightly awkward moment follows with Karl excusing himself to go to the bar. At another table Sky looks dull as Lyn talks to Joe and Steph about leaving Oscar with Gino, although it seems inappropriate to announce their engagement at a wake. They laugh that Lil would want it, until Sky mentions that it seems a bit too out of the blue; Joe looks slightly puzzled but laughs with Lyn and Steph about what a romantic he is. Max pours more champagne for Lyn, congratulating Joe again, when Lyn mentions that Sky and Steph will now be stepsisters, neither of them overly thrilled about the idea. When they go on about how Boyd will be Sky’s step-nephew, Sky irritably asks Joe for a private word, leaving Lyn unnerved.
Soup Kitchen: Connor gets served bread and soup, telling Harold how he has been left begging since Dylan’s funeral. He plans to earn enough in order to go north to work on a farm, distractedly mentioning how a customer at the pub spoke to him about it and seemingly oblivious to Harold’s claims that there is no need to do so. He says that with Serena gone there is nothing for him to back for, apologising for the indecent reasoning and going back to his food.
Scarlet Bar: Sky scolds Joe for being a hypocrite with his constantly-changing attitudes to marriage, today of all days. He professes that he loves Lyn and s certain of the decision, asking her to be there for him; she remains unimpressed. Both Max and Steph assure Lyn that they are happy for her, Lyn apologising for Joe and Steph’s earlier issues and explaining that she is happy, despite Steph’s wishes that she would get back together with Joe Scully; Steph assures her that it is fine. Karl sits with Susan and Alex, saying he is excited about the get-together and they all agree that it proves how mature and comfortable they all are with each other, despite the divorce. Karl leaves to pick up Jenny and Susan immediately asks Alex for an alibi to get out of the party, Alex teasing her about how supposedly more at ease she is with Karl, looking forward to tonight’s display.
No. 28: Zeke enters the kitchen/dining room where Rachel is studying, his hair gelled up in a Mohican fashion. She makes fun of him and he says she is jealous just because he is in a relationship. She denies this and jokes that she is going to be sick when he makes a “whatever” gesture and calls himself the Zekester. The phone rings and he answers it to Jake, lying that Rachel cannot come to the phone until she takes it away from him. She pushes him away and Zeke, in the next room, looks worried as she talks to him.
Soup Kitchen: Harold joins Connor at a dustbin fire, explaining that all the rations are gone. Connor gets up to leave when Harold tries to stop him, asking him to let Karl give him a check-up and to come home; Connor says that he has no home. Connor is convinced that after the Bounce theft, no one will forgive him and no one will forgive him. He tells Harold that his life in Erinsborough is over; Harold should forget seeing him there and he leaves.
No. 28: As Rachel hangs up the phone, Zeke - still eavesdropping - asks why Jake would ring back tomorrow. She angrily tells him Jake is a decent boy and they are going bowling tomorrow. Zeke states that she has never played before and it might be a set-up, Rachel again defending him. Zeke swears that the bad-boy culture of The OC is responsible, just as Susan and Alex return with Lyn and Joe, Susan and Lyn complimenting Zeke’s hair. Alex announces that they are having guests to the house, Joe teasing that it is going to get messy. Rachel assures them that it is fine, looking at Zeke as she says they will keep quiet.
Scarlet Bar: Steph offers Sky another drink, Sky making excuses to leave. While Steph assures her that both Joe and Lyn know what they are doing, Sky is doubtful. Steph explains that they should be happy, and that she has made her piece with the relationship, and Sky replies that settling down with a family, as proven in the past, does not work for him - he most likely only proposed to keep Lyn happy. Sky suggests that maybe Lyn is the one for him, helplessly looking over at Max as Sky sits unfazed.
No. 28: Lyn offers to help Susan and Alex in the kitchen, and they assure her that it is fine for the guests of honour to relax. Joe jokes that Lyn can stay in the kitchen as much as she likes when they get married, Rachel and Zeke looking concerned, obviously for Susan marrying Alex, who assures them that Joe is joking. As Lyn asks about Jake, Rachel and Zeke glance at each other while Susan mentions that it has all been taken care of. While they and Joe joke about prank calls being a stage of development, Alex is unimpressed and Zeke urges Zeke not to tell Alex about her and Jake meeting up. There is a knock on the door and Rachel and Zeke go to bed, Alex answering to Karl and Jenny; both Susan and Lyn looking dubious. Jenny introduces herself to Alex and gives him a bottle of wine, when Karl leads her to meet the rest of the group. Susan and Jenny shake hands and Jenny mentions that she has heard lots about Susan. Susan makes an awkward joke about everything Karl tells Jenny to be lies, quickly asking about her job. While Karl tries to avoid them getting too deep in conversation, Jenny talks about her government career being how she encountered Alex’s economic reports, both of them immediately disagreeing about certain objectives. Joe immediately offers wine as everyone laughs awkwardly.
General Store: The store is closed for the night as Harold leads Connor in, gathering food from the shelves and warning that he will not be caught out. He complains about Connor’s dishevelled appearance, saying that he cannot just assume he will be okay while his parents are going through hell; Harold should know.
No. 28: Everyone is seated in the living room, now joined by Max and Steph, praising the chocolate cake for dessert. Max jokes about Steph’s novice cookery skills while Lyn gets embarrassed when everyone starts praising her cooking. They joke about sharing everything within the community, until a tipsy Lyn talks about both her and Susan dating Max’s father Bobby, saying it is still nice to have a new face. Jenny suggest they liven things up, and drops her car keys into the centre of the coffee table, hinting that she is hopeful for Joe. Everyone stares at her, no one else putting their keys in.
General Store: Harold offers Connor money for travelling, which Connor refuses. Harold begs him to reconsider and Connor, not wanting to get into it, starts to leave saying that he can never forgive himself; Maddy is better off without him. Harold implores him not to throw his life away.
No. 28: Jenny covers up her actions, saying that the game was all a joke while everyone laughs forcefully, disbelieving. Lyn starts to “clarify” that she and Susan both dated Bobby separately and not at the same moment, only making things more uncomfortable. Karl insists that it is not too early for him and Jenny to leave and she does so, apologising again. Karl appears embarrassed as Susan throws him Jenny’s keys, and the others absorb what just happened.
Erinsborough Hospital: The next day, Karl talks on the phone at reception when Jenny appears behind him, asking if he is avoiding her. She insists that she did not mean to embarrass him but just wanted to warm up to his friends. She also believes that they are a good match, and gives him some chocolate, saying they should go on a one-on-one date again. She persuades him that she means well, saying it is not easy to find someone so compatible, and that they should not give up before giving things a proper go. He agrees and smiles as he watches her go.
General Store: Sky serves Joe and Lyn their food as they joke about Lyn changing her name to Scully-Mangel or Mangel-Scully. Sky is blatantly displeased and Lyn worries about what she thinks. Joe assures her it will be fine and plays with Oscar as Max and Steph enter, joking about Joe leaving his keys on the table. Susan and Alex join them, asking what they are all talking about and they agree that Jenny is a bit too outspoken for Karl. Karl overhears them all, disregarding their banter and announcing that he will be seeing her again; everyone is suddenly wary.
No. 28: Zeke is practising “cool” dialect from a film when Rachel enters, dressed to go out. He tells her he will not cover up for her and she threatens to tell Bree that he “dobbed” again; holding this over him, she leaves.
General Store: Karl is eating alone when Susan joins him, apologising for judging Jenny and saying that aside from some minor political opinions, she got on fine with her; he could do worse. She encourages him to not care about the opinions of others and, realising she is patronising, leaves. Susan returns to the main group’s table, everyone scolding Joe for his continued teasing. Serving the group, Sky scolds Joe and Lyn on their public displays of affection. At this, Joe has had enough and demands to know why Sky is so irked by this relationship. As both Joe and Steph urge her not to start anything, Sky tells Joe to do what he does all the time, tell Lyn he is only marrying her for a good impression, and end it.
Regular Cast Credits
Featured Regular Characters:
Susan Smith, Connor O’Neill, Max Hoyland, Stephanie Hoyland, Lyn Scully, Oscar Scully, Harold Bishop, Sky Mangel, Karl Kennedy
Mark Little as Joe Mangel, Andrew Clarke as Alex Kinski, Caitlin Stasey as Rachel Kinski, Matthew Werkweister as Zeke Kinski, Carrie Barr as Jenny McKenna
• Rachel has never played ten-pin bowling before
• Zeke refers to the character of Ryan in The OC as a stereotypical bad boy-turned-good
• Sky mentions Melanie, Barbara, Connie and Celia as Joe’s previous “true loves.”
• Susan mentions that Jake has been having counselling sessions with Karl and that his prank calls have stopped
• Max and Steph compare Joe and Lyn to Ozzy Osborne and Sky to Kelly Osborne
Summary by Brendan