209 & 210
AIRDATES
Original --
Showcase -- Apr 17/18, 2000
GUESTS
Wendy Strehlow (Sister Judy Loveday)
Lucky Grills (Johnno)
Brandon Burke (Wayne Higgins)
Briony Behets (Dee Dee Cash)
Gerard Kennedy (Bruce Walters)
Georgie Sterling (Irene Walters)
Susan Lloyd (Patty Hudson)
BEST LINE/SCENE
This episode is one of the most classic examples of Esme's busybody nature in the early days (she mellowed somewhat in her later years). One of the best lines (others are actually shown in the description itself) is Esme telling Frank "I'm not the sort of person to jump to conclusions. It's not my nature."
EPISODE TRIVIA
Irene Walters was married to Harold. She was born in Sydney but she and her husband moved to Burrigan after they got married because it was smaller. Then Burrigan became too big so she moved to Wandin Valley.

Irene's doctor in Burrigan was Dr. Fox

Talk about a quick turnaround -- Usually they wait a little longer before reusing an actor but only a little over a month after casting her as the old Miss Emily in the quirky colonial Wandin Valley episode "Once Upon a Time", JNP reused Georgie Sterling as the controlling mother in this episode.
 
 

Plotlines, characters, dialogue quotes, hospital name, house image, show photos, & show-specific details JNP Productions. The wording and presentation of the information on this site and all of the ACP graphics 1998-2000 Kitty MacAlpine (unless otherwise noted).
"Elementary Miss Watson"

Esme Watson is skulking, brownie camera in hand, through the brush, heading towards a watering hole. A young woman there strips her clothes off and jumps into the water. Thoroughly horrified, Esme takes photos of the indiscretions. The young woman tries to convince her male companion to join her in the water but he's too busy lighting up a smoke. The young woman is suddenly in distress and seems to be drowning. Esme begins to inch forward from the bushes as the young man starts to wade into the water. He's grabbed by the young woman, who starts laughing -- she meant to get him in the water any way she could. She says she just wanted him to be nice and clean for the lady taking photographs. She yells out to Esme to take her clothes off and join them and, as Esme scurries off, tells her not to forget to send them copies "you old degenerate". Simon is poring through medical journals over breakfast. Vicky would rather he read in his lovely new study but he thinks its lonely in there. At the clinic, Esme tells Shirley about the skinny dippers, how at 8am every day they're at the dam at the back of the Pearson farm. Shirley suggests that Esme just stop going there every day. They're interrupted by Bruce Walters bringing his mother, who is in a wheelchair, in for a checkup. Mrs. Walters talks to Esme about her garden. She talks to her son like he's a child, though he's a full grown adult. She reminds him to take Norman to the vet while he's out running his errands and he leaves. When Terence arrives, he takes Mrs. Walters into Simon's office (Terence's is being cleaned). Esme quizzes Shirley about what's wrong with Mrs. Walters -- they've lived next door to Esme for months now but Esme still doesn't know why the older woman is in a wheelchair.

At the Club, Johnno tries to tempt Cookie over to his hotel. He offers Cookie $50 a week above what he's getting now but Cookie isn't really keen. Bruce is sitting by himself at a table. The two young people from the dam walk in, very hippy-like in dress and demeanor. They order a drink and ask Cookie about the degenerate who was taking photos of them. Cookie denies knowing who it is, though he easily recognizes the description as Esme. The young woman remarks that there is "nothing worse than being perved on by someone who is fully dressed." They greet Bruce as their landlady's son. He asks them about the rent; it's 6 weeks behind. He's rather hesitant and keeps bringing his mother's name into things. The young woman tells him that they have a crop maturing and when it's ready and they sell it, Mrs. Walters and Bruce will get their money. At the clinic, Terence has examined Mrs. Walters but can't find anything wrong with her. She's sure, though, that there is something wrong. She's been nauseous and lightheaded for days. She tells him she's been in a wheelchair for 7 years, since she was living in Burrigan. Bruce was away in Saudi Arabia at the time (working as a civil engineer) but returned to look after her, never complaining. Her husband had died some nine months earlier. She grows distraught when Terence suggests he talk to her previous doctor in Burrigan, saying that that doctor was incompetent.

Vicky gets a call to go out to the Bartlett farm as Bruce comes in with his mother's dog, Norman, in his arms. The dog can't walk anymore. He's 15 years old. Vicky hasn't got time to look at him right now but Bruce won't leave him with her. She tells him that she doesn't know if she'll be able to do anything, that it might be more humane to put the dog down. He leaves with Norman. At the clinic, Mrs. Walters chats to Shirley and Esme while waiting for Bruce to pick her up. Esme wonders that Bruce isn't married by now. She starts to pry a little more but is sent gently on her way by Shirley. Vicky almost hits a wandering goat while driving. When she gets out to move it out of her way, she sees that it doesn't seem quite right (it's very docile). Downtown, Esme overhears Bruce talking intimately with Patty, a female clerk from the Muldoon hardware store. Patty is insisting that Bruce has to deal with his mother if they are ever to be together. When she sees Esme paying attention, she switches to a more impersonal tone, as if he is just another customer, and returns to the store. Esme tells Bruce that his mother is waiting, that he is late. He leaves in his car.

At the Club, Esme complains to Cookie about the skinny dippers. He doesn't understand the fuss. She tells him she's also worried about the people next door. Frank and Shirley walk in at that point and Frank asks if there is something he should know. Esme takes the opportunity to express her concerns about the skinny dippers but is informed that she shouldn't have been up there in the first place. As she hurries away, he tells her he met her neighbours and they seem nice. Later that night, Esme reads alone in her living room. One of the window shutters begins to bang against the house in the wind. As she goes to close it, she can see the silhouette of Bruce and Mrs. Walters through their shades. Mrs. Walters is chastising Bruce for not being able to deal with the hippies. She puts him down, calling him soft and weak. She continues to treat him as if he's a child and he finally gets fed up and leaves the house. At the Bowen apartment, Simon has trouble reading with the goat starting at him. It barely moves or blinks. He asks Vicky if she's sure it's alive and jokes about turning it into a lawn ornament. At the Jones farm, Brendan finds a handmade belt that Molly had hidden in the fruit bowl. She was conned into buying it from the hippies but it's so ugly she can't bear to look at it. He throws it in the garbage for her. Esme is still watching the house next door. Bruce is back, with shotgun in hand (the shade is up now). Mrs. Walters is still calling him weak. Insists that he can do whatever it is that needs to be done and wheels her out of view of the window, telling her to close her eyes and not look. A shot rings out. Esme falls back from the window in horror and hurriedly tries to ring the police station. There is no answer and she can't resist going back to the window for another look when she hears a noise outside. It's Bruce, carrying shovel. He looks up towards her window and she tries to hide behind her lace curtains. He begins to dig a hole in the yard. Esme decides she can't see well enough from the window and goes outside. She lurks in the shadows, watching Bruce's movements. She sees him big up a large limp item and carry it over to the hole. Esme can't stand it anymore and gets in her car and drives away. Bruce lays the blanket covered object on the ground. At the Club, Cookie, Bob, and Frank discuss the Watsons. They agree they're a little odd. Esme rushes in completely distraught. Cookie get her a drink to calm her down while she blurts out her news. She says she saw Bruce shoot his mother before her very eyes. At the Walters house, Bruce is sitting in his mother's wheelchair, whistling and happily polishing the silver tea service when Frank arrives with Esme. Frank tells him he's investigating a gun shot and asks to speak to Mrs. Walters. Bruce insists she's sleeping and doesn't like to be woken up. When Frank demands to see her, Bruce goes into his mother's room and shuts the door behind him. Frank and Esme can hear Bruce and a female voice talking -- Esme is sure that the female voice isn't Mrs. Walters. Frank knocks on the door and Bruce finally walks out with his mother in his arms. She tells Frank that the shot Esme heard was Bruce putting down the dog. Frank gives Esme an angry look, for having brought him all that way for nothing. Bruce, on the other hand, looks smug.

Molly brings Chloe to the vet surgery to visit Vicky to find Vicky trying to figure out the goat...it hasn't blinked in 24 hours. Molly invites Simon and Vicky to dinner. Thinking about how attached to his reading Simon is, Vicky suggests instead that Molly and Brendan come over to the flat instead. At the Club, Esme defends herself to Johnno and Bob. She still thinks that there is something odd going on there, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The young hippies come in to have a chat with Esme. Their...um...crop has gone missing and they think Esme is an undercover drug squad cop who's taken it. They want to come to an arrangement with her (50/50 split? 75/25?) so that they can get enough money to pay their rent. When they realize that Esme didn't take it, the young woman yells at Esme for wasting their time and storms off. Bruce stops in to visit Terence. Terence tells him he's spoken to the Burrigan doctor Mrs. Walters was seeing and he agrees that the paralysis is probably psychological. Bruce tells Terence that his mother fell ill the day before he announced his engagement to a young woman, Sue Henley, but only announced it to him once she learned of the engagement. He returned home right away and never married Sue. Bruce doesn't seem surprised by Terence's words. Patty arrives at the Club to have a drink. Esme stops by her table to chat (i.e. meddle) but is interrupted when Bruce appears at the Club door and Patty suddenly leaves. The Bowens and Joneses enjoy their dinner at the flat. The goat is still not very peppy. They joke about what to do with it. A knock at the door heralds the arrival of the hippies, complete with their load of handicrafts to sell. While the young woman is giving her selling pitch, the young man (Wayne) gets down on his knees in front of the goat. He calls the goat Donavan and tells it they thought he'd been kidnapped. To the surprise of the onlookers, he kisses it and strokes it's head, like a long lost pet and friend. He looks it deeply in the eyes and proclaims "Out of sight. Donavan's stoned off his brain. You lucky Donavan, eh." Wayne is very cool with this situation but the young woman is terribly upset -- Donavan is obviously the culprit who stole their crop and now there's no getting it back. Now they have to leave town quickly before Mrs. Walters gets the law on them. She tells them to keep the goat as she herds Wayne out the door.

Esme is reading again in her living room when she is disturbed by shouting next door. Bruce is finally asserting himself to his mother and she's not taking it well. When Mrs. Walters sees Esme watching them, she draws the shade. The argue continues and the silhouettes on the shade show Bruce lifting his mother out of the wheelchair and shaking her, all the while yelling that he won't let her possess him. Esme rushes to call Frank but decides against it after remembering Frank's words to her the last time she called him out to the Walters place. Simon and Vicky are awoken by the thumping noise. They creep into the living room to find Donavan eating Simon's medical journals, which are shredded all over the room. Esme can hear Patty's voice next door urging Bruce to hurry and she rushes out of her house. She sees them get into the car and drive away. She gets into her own car and follows.

A thunderstorm is raging through the Valley tonight but it's not raining right now. Esme continues to follow Patty and Bruce in her car. They turn off the road at a side road and Esme is perplexed since there's nothing much down that road. She stops her car and gets out. Lightning flashes and moonlight light her way through the darkness. Dee Dee and Wayne drive down the road in their VW van and are pulled over by Frank in the police car. He clocked them going 70 in a 60 mile per hour zone and they are outraged. The fine is $80. Esme continues to trudge down the pathway. She finally reaches Bruce's car and overhears Patty trying to bolster Bruce's courage. She says that his mother's had it coming to her for a long time and that they're going to go home and act as if nothing has happened. Esme's suspicions grow.

The next morning, Esme talks to Frank outside the shops. Patty hasn't come in to work and Esme is sure that she has fled the scene of the crime. She insists on talking to Frank at the police station, in private. By the time they reach the station, Frank has gotten the full story but doesn't see why Esme is so suspicious. She thinks they've murdered Mrs. Walters and dumped her body in the river. There's no sign of movement at the Walters house. Esme is very disturbed and Frank tries to mollify her. He tells her to advise him of any further developments. At home later on, she tries to read once more but can't resist a peek out the window. She sees the silhouette of a figure sitting in front of the window. She rushes to call Cookie, to tell him that Mrs. Walters has returned. She wants him to come over but he says he's too busy. She hangs up, gets her binoculars, and takes a closer look at the neighbouring window. To Esme's shock, the figure in the chair gets up and walks out of view. Esme slams her window shut and hurries over to knock on the door to the Walters house. The doors are unlocked and Esme lets herself in. She calls out to Mrs. Walters and, upon receiving no reply, moves further in the house. The sound of the bedroom door banging shut sends Esme fleeing from the house.

Esme rushes over to the Club and tells Frank, who is sitting at a table with Shirley and Terence, about the odd goings on at her neighbour's house. She's frantic. Shirley tells Esme that Bruce and Irene were planning a business trip to the city but that doesn't explain the shadowy figure Esme saw. Terence is amused when Esme describes entering the Walters house but Frank lectures her. Esme implores Cookie to come with her while she takes another look around the house. Her promise to never ask him to do another thing for her as long as she lives wins him over. Simon isn't pleased about Donavan, who is eating newspapers. Vicky wants to keep an eye on him for another 24 hours but Simon insists that at the very least, the goat should go in the shed out back, not their lounge room. After Cookie finishes up at the Club, he and Esme return to the Walters house and begin their investigation. The wheelchair shouldn't be there if Irene is in the city, should it? They find no one in the house but Esme is determined to find some clues. There is mud near the wheelchair and Esme collects it. While going through cupboards looking for a dustpan for Esme, Cookie sees a female hand peaking out from under a blanket. He opens up the other cupboard door and then calls out to Esme. The body of Mrs. Walters falls out of the cupboard. Frank quizzes Esme at the police station about what she's seen or hasn't seen going on at the Walters house. She swears she saw no one but the shadowy figure on the blind, a figure that couldn't have been Mrs. Walters because the figure walked. Terence walks in at that point and tells Frank his theory that Mrs. Walters could walk all along. The point is moot, though, because his examination showed that Mrs. Walters had been dead for at least 12 hours. Esme is triumphant that her suspicions have been proven right, even if some of the details are different than she thought. Poor Cookie is not feeling too well after the night's events.

The next morning, Simon is sure he can smell goat in the apartment. Vicky tells him she had to bring the goat in because it ate a shirt off the clothesline. It's in the bathroom right now but Simon has to go. He opens the door and is trampled by Donavan, who has eaten part of the shower curtain. So much for removing all the edible things from the bathroom. Simon and Vicky agree that the goat has to go. Frank questions Patty about her relationship with Bruce. Bruce had told her he needed time to think. Frank realizes that Patty was at the Watson home looking for Bruce last night and was the figure Esme saw. At the Club, Esme tells Bob and Cookie her fears that whoever killed Irene Walters is going to be after Esme next. They try to console her. She bids them final goodbyes and goes home. Every strange noise she hears outside her window startles her. She can't help herself -- a noise next door brings her to the window again. Bruce Walters is home and Esme phones Frank to let him know. She hears knocking at her door as she's talking to Frank. The knocking stops and Esme thinks he's gone away. She arms herself with a candlestick and watches the front door. A knock at the living room window and the appearance of Bruce's face causes Esme to faint dead away.

Terence tends to Esme who is still passed out on her couch. Frank takes Bruce away with him. She asks if Frank rescued her but Terence says no, Bruce did. Bruce had come over to ask Esme if she'd seen his mother and was worried when he saw her faint. He was the one who called Terence to come look after her. Esme is still sure that Bruce killed his mother, though. Frank questions Bruce about his whereabouts since Patty last saw him. He had wanted some time to himself so he dropped her off and went to a motel who's name he doesn't remember. He tells Frank he was planning to tell her that he and Patty were going to get married. He admits being angry with Irene but not enough to kill her. Frank asks him point blank if he killed her and he hangs his head in silence. At the clinic the next morning, Shirley asks Terence about the autopsy. He tells her that Mrs. Walters died from a blow to the temple, that it was probably from a fall. Shirley's overactive imagination starts weaving stories of someone pushing Mrs. Walters from her chair and then hiding the body. It doesn't look good for Bruce. Frank comes to the Walters home to talk to Bruce and Patty. They'll have to talk to detectives from Burrigan later on that afternoon. He warns them not to leave town. Esme uses her binoculars to spy on Bruce and Patty after Frank leaves. She sees him waving a tea cozy around before he pulls down the shade.

Wayne, the hippy, shows up at the police station. He wants to talk. He and Dee Dee split up and he has something to confess. He tells Frank that Mrs. Walters is dead. It was an accident. They had gone over there to have it out with her over kicking them out. She wouldn't let them in and yelled at them. Her eyes were puffy and her hands were shaking, like she'd just had a argument with someone. They decided to leave but she followed them in her chair. She'd forgotten there was a step. She hit the concrete and never moved. Wayne wanted to tell Frank but Dee Dee convinced him to leave so he hid the body in the cupboard. Frank asks him why he came back and Wayne admits to feeling guilt, guilt over the body and the fact that Dee Dee stole the silver tea pot on the way out (it's OK to rob little old ladies but not dead little old ladies). Esme rushes in with her newfound suspicions of the missing tea pot and he shows her the one brought in by Wayne. Terence talks to Bruce in the Club. Esme arrives as Bob and Cookie are discussing the death of Mrs. Walters. She apologizes to Cookie for dragging him into things and then offers her apologies to Bruce. He's all smiles. When Patty walks in, he hurries over to her. Simon has put two padlocks and a bolt on the shed in the hopes of keeping Donavan locked in. He and Vicky try to come up with someone who would want to take the goat. "What sane, rational, levelheaded human being is going to willingly take charge of that...goat?" Guess who comes immediately to mind? Molly and Brendan are awakened by the sound of Donavan eating their laundry. Brendan pulls an article of clothing over the goat's head and mouth, effectively containing his rampage.

 

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