975 & 976
Original -- Feb 8/9, 1993
Showcase -- Jan 20/21, 1999
Daniel Lapaine (Alec Lacey)
Erick Mitsak (Matthew Long)
Bruno Walter (Farmer Gino)
Chris Simpson (Taxi driver)
Roger Ward (Inspector Poulos)
Nan Vernon (Mary Reed)
Gerry Tacovsky (Cst. Ken Waters)
Betty Lister Davis (Cecily Townes)
Clarrie Thane (Kevin Mead)
"None of them are, really, but they do like to play at it"

-- Rosemary to Anna, in response to the comment that "Harry isn't really the hunter-gatherer type."

[In the final scene of the second part]
Billy --
"Lots of people have kids that aren't their own biological offsprings."
Anna --
"Do you think he's worth really owning?"
Tom and Anna together --

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 1998/1999 Kitty MacAlpine (unless otherwise noted).
"The Prodigal"
Tom and Anna return from a police outing and Tom is a little tipsy. Perce's birthday is here but he won't tell anyone his age. He tells Bernice that Lennie Sawyer has come up with a gimick for his B & B -- he's spread around rumours that there is gold there and has called his place "Flash in the Pan". Perce then tells Bernice the story of Crazy Clem Cooper, who supposedly found gold on the Hudson property about 80 years ago but disappeared before he could mine it. It was supposedly big enough to pay off the national debt and the main shaft was said to be behind the barn. Bernice's Frank and Hugo bring Perce a birthday cake. Darcy gets a flat tire but discovers that her spare tire is flat as well. She runs up to a nearby taxi, whose passenger is in a phone booth. The passenger argues on the phone and then rushes past her, back into the taxi. Darcy calls him a moron. Tom is a bit hungover the next day as he arrives at an accident scene. Harry is already there. The victim is injured but tries to resist the pethadine injection. Anna talks to Tom about Duchennes -- she's trying to track down her brother Alec. The boys are looking forward to their big trout fishing weekend.

Bernice and Hugo hunt down the mine shaft entrance and discover that it is blocked by a cave-in. Bernice has a big scheme to convince the guests that there is gold on the property. Perce is highly amused. Darcy arrives with her flat tires and Perce helps her out. Billy counts out his savings and Anna wants to know what he's spent some of his money on. A surprise guest arrives -- it's Alec, Anna's brother (and it turns out he was the taxi passenger that Darcy bumped into). Harry gets the injured accident victim, Matthew Long, to the hospital. He has needle tracks on his arms. Alec talks to Anna. He stopped in Sydney before heading to Wandin Valley and has had the blood tests. He tells her he's home for good. Hugo and Bernice start to dig out the cave-in. Bernice finds a rock with gold flecks in it and is sure she's hit the motherlode. Alec gives Billy the $11 he needs to buy the computer game and Anna is annoyed. Alec's wedding pressie to Tom and Anna arrives -- it's a teak coffee table from India. Matthew tells Kate he's been clean for 6 months, since he left the city. He begs her not to give him any more needles. Alec walks into the kitchen with a pot cigarette and Anna freaks out. She shoos Billy away so he doesn't see it and she and Alec begin to argue. She puts the cigarette in a flower pot, soaking it, and Alec retrieves it and puts it in the microwave to dry out. He later apologizes. Bernice and Hugo try to blow up the cave-in and it works. They find the tools, etc., supposedly left behind by the gold miner.

Billy tries to convince Alec to come on the fishing trip. Kate talks to Matthew about his life. He's in pain and Harry thinks Naproxen will help -- Kate talks to him about acupuncture but Harry wants to see if the pills take effect first. Alec gets a furtive phone call about a shipment for Charlie -- it's in the box that the table was shipped in. He scrambles to keep Tom from digging in the box. The boys' fishing weekend includes Terence, Frank, Tom, Billy, and Alec. Bernice and Hugo inspect the contents of the mine. Hugo reads an article about the 1988 bicentennary, confusing Bernice (wasn't this place closed off after the cave-in 80 years ago?). Perce arrives and explains that he lied about the gold miner. This was Perce's little hideaway until the cave-in and he wanted someone to escavate it for him. Kate does an acupuncture treatment for Matthew. Harry is a bit noncommital about the efficacy of it but he decides to go with Kate for her conference in Melbourne. Billy falls off a log and gets soaked. Bernice, Perce, and Hugo enjoy the "mine". Perce gives Bernice her mother's jewels, which he put in the mine's fridge for safekeeping after she died -- it included a lock of Bernice's hair. Billy thinks Terence and Frank are angry with him for moving the log and scaring the fish. Alec compliments Tom on his parenting skills. While the boys are away, Anna decides to unpack the coffee table and finds a stash of drugs.

To their utter disgust, Terence and Frank have no luck catching any fish but Billy catches many. Bernice picks up Kate and Harry's vacuum cleaner (she had arranged to borrow it). Billy shows Anna all the fish he caught. Tom has to go in to work to clean up a few loose ends. Anna has Billy go outside and look after his fish then she confronts Alec about the hash she found. He tries to explain it as being strictly to raise money for his friend Charlie who is stuck in a Malaysian jail. He says he didn't know it was there but Anna doesn't believe him. Harry wants Hugo to go for a followup assessment. Terence arrives at the hospital with the sad news of his atrocious luck at trout fishing. Rosemary asks him how big "the one that got away" was and then says "As big as the one I've got marinading at home in white wine and herbs?" and invites him to dinner. Hugo asks how much his physio will cost and they learn that he's let his private health insurance lapse. Alec insists that he didn't know about the drugs until a few nights ago, that he's not a bad person and not to blame. Anna lectures him about never taking responsibility for his own actions, that he's never to blame for anything he does. She tells him to leave...now.

Inspector Nick Poulos is at the police station for Operation Caliban -- they know the hash is in the Valley but are looking for the link to the big blokes. Tom suspects Alec when he learns the drugs are just in from Malaysia. Mrs. Reed gets a letter from an old friend, Cecily, who is coming for a visit. Mrs. Reed is a bit of a snob and hates the idea of her friend seeing her living in the hospital's Gilroy Wing, with no house or anything. Cecily married well. She's due to arrive today. Frank gets a call from Telecom -- their phone's been cut off because the bill wasn't paid (Hugo was supposed to pay it but just never got around to it). Hugo gets upset over it and Frank lectures. Tom comes home and asks Anna where Alec is. She says they had a fight but won't say what about. Mrs. Reed tells Kate about her old home and garden and Kate realizes that she is talking about Eden. She and Harry offer to take her there for a look, which she enjoys.

Operation Caliban is coming down. Bernice returns Kate and Harry's vacuum -- she's used it to spray paint the old bathtub using a vac attachment and has clogged it up (it was a housewarming present from Kate's mom). Kate hits upon the brilliant idea of making it look as if Mrs. Reed still lives at Eden with Bernice as maid (as partial payment for wrecking the vac), Kate as housekeeper, and Harry as gardener. Tom gets to the scene of the drug bust to find Alec being led away in handcuffs. Anna is surprised by the police coming to search their house. They tear it apart. Mrs. Reed puts on a good show for Cecily. The police find nothing at the Newman house and leave the place in shambles. Anna goes upstairs to start cleaning up and Tom follows. He puts a hand on her shoulder and she breaks down. He holds her. Hugo wants to talk to Rosemary about borrowing money to return home to Cobourg. She asks him to meet her at the Club. The police grill Alec but he sticks to his story about being there to return a lost and found wallet. He asks to see a lawyer but Insp. Poulos tells him he's being released. He tries to trick Alec into spilling the beans by saying the fella already in the cell was going to spill HIS but Alec doesn't fall for it (the fella in the cell is Sgt. Grace, another cop).

Alec arrives at Anna's and is jubilant at being free and (he thinks) clear. He still refuses to accept responsibility for the whole situation and Anna starts yelling at him. She insists he turn himself in and when he refuses, threatens to turn him in herself. Hugo tells Rosemary that he's sure there are troubles with the bakery and he's been sending money to his parents. She tries to convince him to stay. Alec arrives at the station to give his statement. The hash is buried in the back garden, under a jacaranda tree, and the table is in the dam (where Anna put them). Anna tells Alec that she loves him (no matter what) and she talks to Grant, her ex, about representing him. Billy is upset that Alec is in jail and Tom has to explain that sometimes good people make bad mistakes. Billy starts crying into Tom's shoulder and that sets Anna off again. Anna tries to explain her own actions to Tom but he says he doesn't want to know.

The test results from Sydney aren't good. Anna is definitely a carrier and decides not to have kids. Frank offers to let Hugo live rent free but Hugo's pride is too great. Rosemary hits on the idea of Hugo working extra hours in lieu of paying rent and he agrees. Darcy is going to a competition with someone other than Hugo. Tom and Anna explain the "no kids" thing to Billy and he decides that they should adopt him, like the foster family of a kid he knows at school (they really own him now). Anna and Tom are highly amused.


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