goes out to the Butler fam to check on some cattle. Owen Butler
does most of the veterinary work himself, but occaisonally calls on
George Prentis, the Burrigan vet. With Prentis away he's had to
resort to Vicky, and he is not at all friendly. She diagnoses
probable bacterial pneumonia and decides to start the cattle on a
week-long course of antibiotic injections. Owen opts to administer
them himself. Terence returns from his holiday in Sydney with a new
Anthea Garrick painting. Simon, who has been in his office since
7:30am, makes arrangements to get together with Terence after work.
Vicky finishes her work at the Butler farm. Owen seems to have
decided that she is competent and is much more good-natured than when
she first arrived. Vicky comments that she hasn't seen him around
town, and he replies that he only ever goes to Burrigan, even though
it's further away than Wandin Valley. Arnie Hodgekiss meets Nolan
Lloyd, a real estate developer, for a business lunch at the club.
Johnno is in Sydney (at the races) so Arnie is acting Shire
President. Mr. Lloyd is planning a major development in the area to
attract people from the city. He wants to construct a new road, but
it will need to go through the Butler property. He wants the council
to convince Owen Butler to sell - and Arnie will be "compensated" for
any trouble he goes to. Vicky comes into the clinic to talk to her
mother. Shirley asks if she wants to see Simon, but she declines. She
asks Shirley about Owen Butler. Shirl says that he married a woman
from Sydney, and one day years ago she just disappeared. Esme
overhears as she comes in and claims that Owen is a murderer.
Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Hodgekiss go out to Owen Butler's property. He
tells them that he won't sell, and orders them to leave. Terence
shows off his new painting to Simon, who points out that it isn't
signed. As it's getting late, Terence says that he should let Simon
get home to Vicky, but Simon replies that she's hardly ever there. He
then starts a deep conversation about the interface between medicine
and art. Esem talks to Cookie about Mrs. Butler. When she disappeared
the police dug up Owen's garden but never found anything. Esme
remarks that Owen was such an outgoing man until he got married, and
it becomes clear that she carried a torch for him for some time.
Shirley worries to Frank about Vicky and Simon. Frank tries to
convince her not to interfere, and she reluctantly agrees (for now).
When Simon arrives home Vicky is packing her bags to go out again. A
horse is about to foal, and she is going out to the farm to wait.
Simon offers to come with her for moral support, but she says he
would get in the way, and she's concerned about what the farmer will
think if she brought her husband along.
Simon is at work early again the next day. Terence comments on the
difficulty of having two professional careers in a marriage, but
Simon says that not the problem. He says that while he has made a lot
of adjustments since getting married, Vicky hasn't made any to
accommodate him. Her high degree of independence makes him feel
irrelevant. Terence advises him to talk to Vicky about how he feels.
Shirley drops in at the flat, ostensibly to return a salad bowl. She
asks Vicky what is going on between her and Simon. She has noticed
that they've been distant with each other for weeks. Vicky insists
that she's just been busy, and that she can't always let her business
take second place to her marriage. Owen cuts through fallen branches
with a chainsaw when he trips and slices his leg. He manages to drag
himself to his truck where he radios for help. Shirley and Terence
discuss painting his office (the colour of the the walls clashes with
his new painting). Shirley asks if Terence noticed anything wrong
with Simon, but he assures her that everything is fine. Brendan is
back at work after his accident, although still quite sore.
A call comes through about an accident in the bush
and Terence offers to go out there while Simon finishes rounds. Mr.
Lloyd tells Cookie that the local population will increase
substantially in a year or two, boosting the club's profits. Arnie
comes in and two men discuss Owen's property. Mr. Lloyd says that if
the council rezones the land so that the rates go up, Butler will
have no choice but to sell. Terence arrives with the ambulance to
take Owen to hospital, despite his insistence that he can't leave.
Owen is diagnosed with a torn ligament in his back and a fractured
kneecap. He will need surgery on his leg, and will be in hospital for
up to two weeks. He refuses to have anyone on his property to look
after the farm, and says that they needn't contact anyone. All his
family are dead - or hadn't they heard? After the operation, Simon
stays back at the hospital to check on some patients. Vicky arrives.
She and Simon were supposed to be having dinner at the Jones', but
he'd forgotten. At dinner, Simon and Vicky are both subdued and
barely interact with each other on any level. Brendan and Molly both
notice their awkward behaviour.
Simon and Vicky arrive back at the flat, still hardly talking. Vicky
asks Simon if he still loves her, and he quickly replies, "Of course
I do," then goes to bed. She doesn't seem to be reassured, though.
Esme tells Frank that he should dig up Owen Butler's cow paddock
while he has the chance. Frank says that he has no grounds for doing
so, and denies his father ever digging up the garden back when he was
the local police officer. Vicky visits Owen in hospital and offers to
keep an eye on his farm. She'll have to go out there to give the
cattle their antibiotics anyway. Owen asks her to watch out for
trespassers on the property. Terence visits Frank at the police
station to ask about Owen. Frank found a report written by his father
20 years ago, when Owen's wife first disappeared. Owen claimed that
she had left him, but didn't give an address where she could be
contacted. When the rumours started he cut all contact with Wandin
Valley and its residents, and has lived in isolation ever since.
Vicky drops into the clinic to see Simon, but he is out on rounds so
she leaves a message with Shirley. She has to go out to the Butler
property so she will be home late. Terence tells her that Frank has
also gone out to the farm to meet her. Vicky is dismayed since Owen
specifically asked for the police to stay away, and Shirley believes
that the rumours will now get worse. Molly charges into the club to
show a newspaper article to Cookie. It details the council's plans to
subdivide farming lan for development for hobby farms. When Arnie
arrives she lights into him, accusing him of putting local farmers
out of business. He tells her that everyone has a responsibility to
make money in these times, and even Cookie agrees that the hobby
farmers would bring a welcome boost to the local economy. At the
Butler farm, Vicky gives the cattle injections while Frank goes to
the house "to check the doors and windows." he sees an open window and
detects movement inside, so he climbs in through the window. From
outside, Vicky hears a woman screaming and Frank frantically calling
out her name.
arrives back at the clinic after rounds. Shirley gives him
Vicky's message, but he doesn't seem very interested. Vicky enters
Owen's house through the window and finds Frank struggling to
restrain a hysterical woman. The woman screams, "Get out of my
house!" before fainting. Nolan Lloyd and Arnie Hodgekiss visit Owen
in hospital and try to convince him to reconsider selling the farm.
Their loud arguing brings Brendan into the room, and he forces the
men to leave. Terence goes out to the Butler property to see the
woman who claims to be Mrs. Butler. A lot calmer now, Mrs. Butler
explains that she never leaves the house and asks that her privacy be
respected. As Terence leaves, he notices a half-finished painting of
a familiar style.
Vicky visits Simon in his office and tells him about Mrs. Butler. She
bought him a present in Burrigan (a black jumper), and although he
insists that he likes it, she doesn't believe him. Their
conversation, while polite, is like that of mere acquaintances.
Brendan tells Molly about Arnie and Mr. Lloyd harrassing Owen. They
are both sure that Arnie is getting some sort of kickback for
arranging the rezoning, since he is so heavily in support of it.
Molly suggests they start a campaign - organise petitions, protests
and write to the paper. To her surprise and delight, Brendan
immediately agrees. Mr. Lloyd drives to the edge of the Butler
propery and drops off two men by the fence. Owen explains to Terence
that when his wife developed agoraphobia it was easier to shut
themselves off from the community than try to battle the rumours.
Terence asks his permission to visit her again. He gets confirmation
that Mrs. Butler is actually Anthea Garrick, as he'd suspected.
Anthea is painting at home when she hears the sounds of glass
smashing. Upon investigation, she finds that a fire has broken out in
the kitchen, and the room is filled with smoke. Esme asks Shirley
what Frank found at the Butler property, and Shirley replies, "Mrs.
Butler." After momentary confusion, where Esme believes Owen kept a
corpse in the house for 20 years, she is disappointed to learn that
Anthea is actually alive and well. To escape the smoke, Anthea is
forced to run outside. She sees smoke billowing out of the top floor
of the house, and goes back inside to try to extinguish the fire.
Overcome by smoke, she passes out as she reaches for the phone.
Terence sees the smoke as he drives up to the house. He finds Mrs.
Butler unconscious inside and takes her to the hospital. Brendan and
Terence treat Anthea for smoke inhalation. She has regained
consciousness and is frantic at being away from her home. Brendan
brings Owen into the room but his presence doesn't calm her down.
Simon and Vicky arrive home. Vicky makes a comment about Anthea
refusing to seek help, and Simon tells her that she is always judging
people. He says that she thinks she is always right and never
considers anyone else's opinions or feelings, including his. He
complains that she won't commit to him on any level, and even
questions why she married him at all since she manages "so goddamn
efficiently on [her] own."
The next morning Simon and Vicky get ready for work with barely a
word exchanged between them. Owen and Anthea Butler share a hospital
room, and Anthea explains the progress of her illness to Terence. She
couldn't cope with the fame her painting brought her and withdrew
from public life, even refusing to sign her name on her paintings.
When she married Owen, they both thought country life would be good
for her, but she found she had nothing in common with the locals, and
was happiest staying inside all the time, painting. Molly drops off
fliers at the clinic about the protest. After she leaves, Shirley
asks Simon if he sorted things out with Vicky. He tells her about
losing his temper the night before, and complains that Vicky won't
communicate on any level. He is afraid that he doesn't make her
happy. Owen tries to convince Anthea to get help for her agoraphobia,
saying that he gave up his whole way of life for 20 years for her.
However, she is too scared and wants everything to stay the same.
Molly hands out fliers at the club. Nolan Lloyd confronts her about
being a hobby farmer herself, but Cookie and others stand up for her.
Lloyd accuses them all of standing in the way of progress.
Owen tells Anthea that they will have to sell the farm. Frank arrives
to ask Owen some questions. He has been investigating the fire and it
appears to have been deliberately lit. Vicky visits the Jones' farm
to see Molly, but she is still out organising a protest. While Vicky
waits for Molly to return, Brendan goes outside to feed Doris. A
group of farmers confront Arnie at the club. If the rezoning is
enforced, they will blackban Johnno's pub and force him off the
council at the next election. Brendan comes back inside to find Vicky
crying. She tells him about her problems with Simon, and Brendan
suggest that she may be afraid of letting Simon come too close. Vicky
admits that she has never been good with emotions. Terence drives
Anthea home. He asks her again to get psychiatric help, a much for
Owen's sake as her own.
Simon is writing an article about farm safety for a magazine. Vicky
tries to engage him in conversation, but his responses are short and
cold. Frank drops in and tells them that he's planned a surprise for
Shirley - a holiday to India. However, he knows that she won't go if
she's still worried about Simon and Vicky's marriage. They assure him
that it was just a silly argument, and that everything is fine. The
farmers visit the Jones' to thank Molly for organising the action
against the rezoning proposal. She is ecstatic at being accepted into
the farming community at last. Frank and Shirley discuss Nolan Lloyd.
Although there was not enough evidence to charge him, he is suspected
to be behind the fire at the Butler property, and has left the
district. Frank gives Shirl her present. She is thrilled, until she
remembers Simon and Vicky. Frank assures her that they have made up
after their fight. He then requests that she not return from India
with her head shaven and wearing yellow robes. Some time later (a
week after Shirl left for India), Terence brings Owen home in a
wheelchair. Anthea has spoken to Vicky, who has kept coming out to
administer the antibiotics to the cows. Anthea has also arranged for
someone to come out to the farm three days a week to help out while
Owen recovers. She asks Terence for a referal for the psychiatrist in
Burrigan. As Terence leaves, he is pleased to see Anthea walk outside
to wave him goodbye. Simon arrives home to find Vicky reading his
article. She loves it, but admits that she wouldn't have the courage
to write jokes like he has, in case no one laughed. He replies that
sometimes you have to take a chance. A lot closer than they had been,
they decide to enjoy a quiet dinner at home together.