McLeod's Daughters: episode guide
No Man's Land
Episode 5.01 (107)
Sally and her baby move into Wilgul with the help of Nick and Tess, who are trying to keep a sense of normality about the whole situation. Tess has to head back to Drovers Run to take part in a muster, and Nick leaves at the same time, in separate cars. When Nick gets a call from Sally back at Wilgul to help her with the hot water, he heads back, leaving Tess with a sense of foreboding.
For awhile, everything goes well on the muster: the girls are enjoying one another's company and Tess finds the work a welcome distraction from the troubles at home. However, when a calf becomes separated from its mother, Tess is once more reminded of her and Nick's own separation. Anxious to get home, she suggests a short cut through a river crossing. Half way across, the calf gets swept away down stream, and the unsuccessful search for it causes the girls to camp overnight in the ruins.
Luckily, Kate has brought sufficient supplies for all of them. To try and take Tess's mind off the lowing cow, calling for its calf, they find a novel way to pass the time—asking each other whom, out of each of them, they would date if they were a guy. However, Stevie is left miffed because no one choses her.
The next day, Kate and Jodi become convinced that Stevie is still holding a grudge against them about their conversation the night before. The pair decide there's only one thing to be done to make amends—take Stevie out on a date!
Meanwhile, Alex and Dave are concerned about Harry's state of mind since Sandra left.
Little White Lies
Episode 5.02 (108)
Struggling to deal with the continued presence of Sally, the mother of Nick's newborn child, Harrison, Tess throws herself into various preparations for an upcoming Wool Board Expo, placing all her hopes for a successful Expo showing for Drovers in the Colonel, and their plans to create a new line in organic wool with his progeny—plans which come under jeopardy when the Colonel develops a serious infection.
Jodi is very excited about the event—she has been selected to model some creations by a local fashion designer. Stevie, who at the last minute is also asked to model, is less enthusiastic—she's a stranger to high heels, and even more so to parading her stuff down a catwalk. Kate's put out that she's not been asked to walk the carpet, but has her own pet project to present at the Expo—sheep coats, designed to improve quality and yield.
Nick meanwhile is also struggling to deal with the emotional pull of wanting to see Harrison. He's aware that it's creating pressures on his marriage, and out of a misguided desire to protect Tess he finds himself lying to her about his increasingly frequent visits to see the child. Alex warns Nick that he's playing with fire, and Stevie alienates Tess when she tries to warn her friend that truths need to be confronted. Her suspicions aroused, Tess pays Sally a visit and comes away thinking she has misjudged Nick. That night she confesses her error to Nick, and makes it up to him in the marital bed. Nick, maintaining his deception, harbours an increasingly troubled conscience. When Stevie witnesses Nick tell another lie to Tess regarding communication with Sally, she confronts him, compounding his guilt.
Rules Of Disengagement
Episode 5.03 (109)
Meg heads home early from the city in the hope she can be of some comfort to Tess during her time out with Nick. But Meg has little success trying to get Tess to open up and talk about her problems. Jodi continues to be head over heels for Luke and her life-goals seem to have changed so that they all revolve around him. Meg is shocked to learn of Jodi's newfound enthusiasm for drag racing and is unimpressed when she learns Terry appears to have done little to dissuade her. Drawn into the family conflict as he tries to mediate between Meg, Jodi and Luke, Terry finds himself between a rock and a hard place.
On a business front, Meg hopes to harness her newfound energy for the greater good of Gungellan and the truckstop, but Meg has no more success there than on the personal front.
Meanwhile Stevie and Alex conspire to try to get Nick and Tess together. A set up of a "chance" encounter at the truckstop backfires badly when Sally arrives. Seeing Nick, Sally and baby together only confirms Tess's worst fears. She and Nick are soon further apart than ever.
But Nick finally realizes that things can't go on this way with Tess. He tells Sally that the only solution is for her and Harrison to return to the city. He will of course visit his son, but this has to be done if he is to have any chance of saving his marriage.
Luke gambles his and Jodi's holiday money in a bet on the drag race and when he is injured, she is forced to drive in his place. Will Jody win the race to save Luke and her holiday money?
Note: Henry Nixon appeared in episode 1.01 as farmhand Bruce Barry
Once Were Heroes
Episode 5.04 (110)
The passionate, stubborn side of Dave is exposed when he stumbles across an injured horse and believes he has found a descendent, a Waler, of the first settlement horses.
In taking it back to its owner, Jeremy Quaid, who is running for pre-selection in the area, Dave discovers other Walers and is appalled to find they have been neglected. Quaid goes into damage control mode and immediately lies about his intentions, fobbing Dave off with a story about a vet friend who is there from interstate and will be looking after the Walers. As soon as Dave reluctantly leaves, Quaid orders his manager, Tim, to take the horses into remote scrub and shoot them.
Tim has a softer heart than seems likely at first meeting. He cannot shoot the horses, and instead turns up at night at the boys' cottage to tell Dave he has two days to save the Walers. And Dave fully intends to save them. Steal them in fact.
It takes some talking, and eventually a revelation from Dave's past, before Stevie is swept up in Dave's passion and agrees to help him. Alex takes even longer to join the effort, helping Dave ride a horse so he can get into the difficult terrain.
The next day they locate the horses, but are caught loading their truck by Quaid. When Quaid confronts the horse thieves, it is Dave who wants to use brawn and Alex who uses his brains. Each man respects the others strength of character and their friendship moves to another level, beyond the banter.
Jodi's life is in a downward spiral as her continued absenses from work force Stevie to fire her while her personal life takes a hit when she inadvertantly costs Luke his car when she sabotages it to keep him from racing.
Return Of The Black Queen
Episode 5.05 (111)
Harry is secretly thrilled when he hears Sandra is back in town, however their initial meeting doesn't go well with neither capable of confessing their love to each other. Jeremy Quaid is interested in Sandra's property, and when Harry catches them discussing business together, he acts like the typical jealous husband. Encouraged by this sign that Harry may still have feelings for her, Sandra strings Jeremy along, hoping it will lead to Harry declaring his feelings for her. Sandra conspires to be "caught" again with Jeremy at the pub, where Harry reacts by overbidding on Neil Thompson's Polled Herefords, led to believe that Quaid is interested in purchasing them. Meanwhile Sandra is able to do a fantastic deal on another breed of cattle.
Life on Drovers meanwhile has its own tensions. With Tess laid-up with chicken pox, Kate tries to convince Stevie to reinstate Jodi, whom she fired the previous week. Stevie won't budge unless Jodi admits she's wrong, and Jodi won't return unless Stevie asks her. And Tess will not intervene, reluctant to appear to undermine her overseer. Encouraged by Alex, Kate challenges Stevie to a game of pool. If she wins Jodi gets her job back. Only trouble is, Kate can't play. At the pub, Kate gets a few lessons from Dave and the game goes down to the wire. Kate has her shot, sinks the black, but also the white ball. She thinks all is lost. However, Stevie has had such a great time that she magnanimously offers Jodi her job. Jodi, not wanting to be thought of as a charity case and thinking she's got a hot prospect with Jeremy Quaid (courtesy of some machinations by Meg), declines.
Do You Read Me...?
Episode 5.06 (112)
Incapacitated by an injured foot, a bored Stevie has become addicted to the two-way radio. What was supposed to be a way of her keeping in touch around the farm has become an opened Pandora's Box. If she isn't bossing Kate like Big Brother, she's snooping on the conversations of everybody from South Gungellan to West Fisher. When she overhears Renegade, a two-way radio romeo, doing his line with other females, Stevie can't help but get on the air and give him a serve. He suggests she meet him for a date She has no intention of doing so but circumstances conspire to place her in the pub when he's there—they meet, and sparks do fly. He seems to be good fun and good looking!
Stevie's happy until she overhears Renegade on the two-way telling an obnoxious mate RAW4 (Joe Kershaw) that he has Tammy at his place. Stevie writes him off as another liar,—the guy isn't single as he had claimed! Next day at the Truckstop, Stevie's path crosses with Raw4 (Kershaw) and his suspicious behaviour leads her to believe that Tammy is Kershaw's wife and Renegade is holding her with intent to do her harm so Kershaw can collect insurance. Stevie ropes Alex into her investigation which grinds to a halt when she finds Kershaw's wife (Therese not Tammy) is alive and well at the Pub ready to divorce her creep of a husband.
Taking Care Of Business
Episode 5.07 (113)
The women of Drovers Run are no longer a team of four. Kate, after being head hunted by Sandra, is working as overseer at Kinsella's. Jodi, after being fired by Stevie, has gone into business for herself, selling cosmetics, the hard way. Tess and Stevie are managing alone, but only just. Sandra lets slip that she's eager to buy some cattle. Kate, wanting to impress her new boss, tells the Drovers women about the deal although no price is discussed. Tess is interested… the cash would be handy, but Stevie's not keen to sell to Sandra, especially at the price she's offering. It's ridiculously low. But Tess agrees and sells to Sandra.
It's not until Alex tells them about a deal that stock agents Worthingtons is putting together, that Stevie and Tess realise they've been taken for a ride. In a fury, Stevie goes to Kinsella's to confront Kate, who has no idea of what she is talking about. Kate is upset at having inadvertantly cheated her friends but Sandra tells her it's just business.
Meanwhile, Jodi has decided to become her own boss, as a cosmetics salesperson. But she may discover that trying to sell moisturiser and perfume to the local farmers is tougher than she'd imagined. Tess and Nick are still living apart while Nick cares for baby Harrison. But Tess is finding the separation harder to take as the weeks go by. But why won't Tess just ask Nick to come home, and why can't Nick make the first move? Will it fall on Tess's former flame Dave, who still cares a great deal for her, to try to get Nick to see reason?
Episode 5.08 (114)
When Kate organizes a reunion walk of the high school hiking club, she isn't prepared for the old feelings it's about to stir up. Jodi isn't thrilled to see her nemesis, Natalie, again, but it's Kate herself who's in for a shock when her first love and ex student-teacher, Daniel Ponter, arrives.
For Jodi, the reunion is fraught with tension with her old rival, Natalie, who is now a successful P.R. agent with a property millionaire for a fiancé. Feeling threatened, Jodi introduces Luke as the local mechanic, rather than as her boyfriend, and a snubbed Luke rebels by agreeing to go drag racing with a mate. Meg, concerned for Luke, enlists Tess and Nick's help in stopping him. The couple, which are attempting to get their marriage back on track, find Luke and attempt to convince him not to go ahead with the drag race.
For Tess and Nick, the arrival of Sally to take Harrison home brings mixed feelings. While Nick will miss his son, he's pleased for the chance to get his marriage back on track but when they return from searching for Luke, they walk in on an unexpected sight—Sally and Dave are kissing. Nick surprises himself with the strength of his reaction. He shouts at Dave, asking him what he thinks he's doing with "the mother of my child".
And in an attempt to sweeten her love life, Stevie is making a video introduction that she'll post on an Internet dating site. When she gets a response from the attractive and wealthy Troy, Stevie agrees to a date on his winery. But when Troy calls Stevie the next day and tells her he's wearing nothing but a pair of her 'very, very tight' boots, she decides that, gentleman or not, this is one boot fetishist she's not dating again.
Episode 5.09 (115)
Alex is feeling frustrated. When he and Nick returned from Wilgul after Harry's heart attack it was on the understanding that they would be there to help Harry run the place. Alex is under no illusions. Because of his blood ties to their father, Nick is obviously the favoured son.
At a family lunch, when Harry confronts Alex about not following his orders Alex decides that enough is enough.
Meanwhile, Alex approaches Jodi with a deal. If she agrees to parade his new bull at the Gungellan Agricultural Show, Drovers will get a free service. Jodi is rapt. Getting experience working the show circuit is something she has dreamed of.
Meg is running against Harry in the upcoming local elections and one of her main platforms is upgrading the train service to the area. But what Meg fails to realise is how much the upgrading of rail freight capacity may affect the road transport industry and its supporting businesses, like Terry's truck stop.
Sins of the Father
Episode 5.10 (116)
Sandra is at loggerheads with Alex over the running of Killarney, and, hurt by being overlooked by Harry, finds fault with everything Alex does, including his decision to agist Drovers Run cattle on Killarney. When she complains to Harry, he dismisses her concerns, making it clear that Alex is in charge. This leaves her seething, and quietly plotting revenge.
Meanwhile, Nick is initially hurt by being overlooked by Harry, but when Harry explains the reason, that he might have CM, Nick goes into denial. Helping Tess with the hay, he works recklessly, and has a frightful accident with the hay bales. This prompts him to go to the hospital in Fisher to have tests, without telling Tess.
Terry and Meg decide, urged on by Tess, to take the holiday they wanted to take. They have a party to farewell them, and Nick makes an effort to rejoin the fun. Clearly though, life will be different. Tess has realised their own children will be at risk—and the full implications of that are yet to be explored.
Elsewhere on Drovers Run, there is good news. The weekly lotto ticket that the girls buy has come good and they find that they have won ten thousand dollars! But the win doesn't bring them happiness after the ticket goes missing—will they get to collect their winnings?
Episode 5.11 (117)
A powerful and successful ex-local now made good in America, John Murray, is due to visit Gungellan. Murray runs a chain of steak houses in the USA and with the rumour that he is opening his franchises Down Under, the district cattle owners are keen to secure the lucrative contract for supplying the beef to Murray's restaurants.
When one of Murray's employees arrives to ensure the big event goes as planned, Stevie is stunned to see he is none other than Will Hamilton, an old boyfriend from her school days in Broken Hill. He is also the father of Rose, a daughter he has no idea exists.
Will is at first shocked to learn he is a father, but delights Stevie by wanting to know all about their daughter. But is Will really who he says he is?
Luke's grandiose plans for expanding the truckstop in Terry's absence have gone awry, and needing a fast, short term loan, he has turned to Rick Burns for help—and finds himself back on the wrong side of the law, despite the best of intentions.
Tess finds Nick has hidden a picture of Harrison in one of his drawers, feeling unable to place his son's pictures amongst the other family snapshots on display. Tess puts the photo out, telling him it doesn't seem right that his son should be banished from sight.
Episode 5.12 (118)
Jodi is excited about her growing love for Luke, unaware that at the same time he is making a deal with a local criminal to deliver stolen cigars. Luke is forced to transfer the contraband to the back of Stevie's ute and she unwittingly takes off with it before Luke can stop her.
When Stevie discovers the cigars she burns them immediately. Kate and Stevie are put in the uncomfortable position of keeping this mess from Tess. And Stevie, her own relationship with a Morgan not far from her mind, clashes with Jodi over Luke—he's no good as far as Stevie is concerned. When Luke finds out the cigars are gone he knows he is in trouble—he now owes eight grand to Rick Burns. Luke promises a concerned Jodi that he will extricate himself from the criminal's grasp, but his problems escalate and he becomes trapped in the criminal web.
Jodi doggedly defends Luke's integrity to Stevie and Alex, who are both concerned about the poor decisions these young lovers are making. But when Jodi learns that Luke has not been entirely truthful with her, she confronts him. Luke admits he has had further dealings with the criminals, but withholds the information about the drugs. Jodi convinces Luke to extricate himself once and for all. But when Chambers makes a thinly veiled threat against Jodi's safety, Luke decides his only option is to flee Gungellan. Is it over for the young lovers or will Jodi go with him?
Stevie urges Jodi to distance herself from Luke, but Jodi needs to give one final chance. She rushes to the truckstop, and is shattered to discover the drugs hidden in Luke's wardrobe. Heartbroken Stevie, Tess and Kate support her as she makes the hardest decision of her life. But when Jodi goes to confront Luke she is faced with the unimaginable.
Episode 5.13 (119)
A new member of the McLeod clan is on her way and Tess is naturally excited about the prospect of meeting her cousin Regan, a sister of Jasmine who visited previously.
Unfortunately the meeting sours. By the time Regan gets into the homestead and feels the full weight of history, her resentment surrounding the treatment of Hugh takes over and she storms from Drovers Run, telling Tess she could never stay in a place where her father had been so cheated and dispossessed. After confronting Regan over her rudeness, Stevie finds herself laughing with the visitor. Regan comes to stay with Stevie, who is disarmed by her blunt manner of speech and quick wit.
After failing to bond with Regan, Tess looks inward for family and confronts the issue of children with Nick. Nick does not want his own children because of the genetic risks, but will not talk about other options. It is up to Alex to spell out the truth to Nick with some childhood memories—all life is a risk, if we really want something to happen we just have to shut our eyes and roll the dice.
Dave falls for Regan, which puts Regan into Kate's very bad books. Meanwhile Jodi is still reeling from Luke's arrest, and her moping is starting to drive Kate crazy, although Jodi insists she is fine.
Regan, a geologist, sneaks away in her car and takes some soil samples from a creek bed. Her car gets bogged in the mud. Stevie comes to Regan's assistance, but Stevie ends up wedged between the car and a tree trunk, in danger of being crushed. Regan is forced to confront her worst fear, and ride Banjo to get help. As Banjo takes off through the paddocks, she clings to him, utterly petrified. Now not only is Stevie's life in danger but so is hers.
Love and Obsession
Episode 5.14 (120)
Working in the new wildlife corridor, Stevie notices a beautiful horse amongst a herd of Brumbies. When Tess points out that the horse is Phoenix, Blaze's foal, Stevie decides to bring Phoenix home, despite Tess' misgivings.
Dave and Regan's flirtation steps up a level, when Dave offers to help cure her of her animal phobia. Kate's attitude towards Dave's new love interest is starting to drive Jodi mad. Concerned for her friend's niggling jealousy, she kindly hints to Kate to get and grip and move on from her crush on the handsome vet.
Kate starts to have deeper misgivings about Regan's real reasons for coming to Drovers. But when Kate starts doing some detective work about Regan's mail and involvement with a mine-related company, Jodi reaches breaking point and tells Kate that she has to stop—now, as her behaviour is getting a bit stalker-esque. Hearing Jodi's words, Kate tries to exorcise her niggling suspicions that Regan's up to something. She goes for a long jog, rationalising to herself that the email she read, which talked of soil samples, was a normal, everyday subject for a geologist to be writing about, and that Dave has every right to follow his heart, even if it doesn't lead him to her.
Alex has a stalker, of sorts, of his own to contend with when a casual one night stand is followed by a barrage of phone calls, gifts and other expressions of suffocating affection.
Tess is finding the challenge of trying to befriend her newfound cousin difficult, as Regan seems uninterested in having anything to do with her, Drovers, or their family history. Her relationship with Regan isn't the only worry for Tess, as Nick has started to over-work during the day and sleep walk at night. She eventually finds Nick sleepwalking in the study, muttering about their uncertain financial future.
One Long Long Day
Episode 5.15 (121)
With Tess and Regan developing a close friendship, Stevie feels cast adrift on the property. She jumps at the chance to help take care of Charlotte, but after a momentary distraction, must face the most harrowing hour of her life when the little girl goes missing. Panic grips Drovers Run when one of Charlotte's toys is discovered floating in the dam. The long day only gets more difficult when Tess and Stevie turn on each other in the heat of the moment, and Stevie must rely on Alex to help get her through.
Tess learns Nick has been offered a job he is declining since it means being based in Argentina. However, Tess tells Nick he is not going to knock back this job - she is coming with him overseas for six months. She informs Stevie of her difficult decision she will be leaving Drovers for a time she hopes she can leave it in Stevie's hands.
As Dave and Regan's romance blossoms, Kate feels more adrift than ever. Jodi tries to cheer Kate up with a beauty treatment that ultimately produces an angry skin reaction on Kate's face. Kate wryly notices the effect has been interesting—at least Dave noticed her because of it.
Down To Earth
Episode 5.16 (122)
Drovers and Killarney are in a state of flux, if not panic, with the imminent departure of Tess and Nick. While Tess is busy handing over the reins to Stevie, Rob Shelton arrives at Killarney. Rob is Killarney's new overseer: clean cut and well mannered, if a little reserved. He's not Alex's first choice and Alex's opinion seems confirmed when Rob fails to bond over a beer and generally keeps to himself.
With Tess leaving, Stevie is now in charge of Drovers, she decides Kate and Jodi need to sort out who's going to take on her old overseer's job. Kate also has to contend with Dave and Regan's burgeoning relationship. She accepts Jodi's advice that she find herself some "man candy". There's nothing like a good-looking bloke hanging off a girl's arm to stir the other guys' interest.
Thrown into the chaos of the shearing shed on his first day, Rob soon discovers a group of contracted shearers are taking advantage of Killarney. He points this out to Alex when they find a sheep carcass near a barbecue site. Alex thinks it's not worth creating tension over. For Rob it's the principle of the matter. Rob's problems with the shearers come to a head when he witnesses their self-appointed spokesman, Ollie, pushing Kate around at Tess and Nick's farewell party.
Meanwhile, Stevie discovers that Regan is in possession of aerial photos of Drovers Run. Regan lets Stevie in on the "opportunity of a lifetime": she believes there's gold under the wildlife corridor. Stevie tells her plainly Tess will not allow it. But the notification has been lodged and the claim is going ahead.
Note: Myles Pollard's final episode as a starring cast member
Heart of Gold
Episode 5.17 (123)
It's McLeod versus McLeod as the battle to save Drovers is on. After throwing Regan off the property, the Drovers girls fight to stop Regan strip mining for gold. However, Tess feels doubly betrayed when she discovers Dave is still in Regan's bed . . . and appears to be helping her stake her claim.
With the threat of the wildlife corridor, and possibly the whole property, being destroyed by mining exploration Tess tries to find out where they stand legally. She discovers it's not as easy as locking the gate and barring the way to Regan. Regan has issued them with a notice of entry and legally there is nothing they can do to stop her digging up their land. When Alex suggests there's more than one way to get rid of pests on your farm Stevie decides they should go pig shooting where Regan is working. The Drovers girls make an intimidating mob riding up with their shotguns and Regan moves on temporarily, but she isn't going to give up that easily. Tess learns of Stevie's stunt and is furious… she wants to fight this battle through legal channels.
Meanwhile Rob, the new Killarney overseer, finds himself in a battle of wills with Sandra who is asserting her authority as the boss's wife. Rob takes a measured approach that forces Harry to rein Sandra in. Alex is at first baffled then impressed by this approach, so different to his own hot headed way.
Jodi discovers Terry is back from overseas, but he's evasive about Meg and her reasons for staying in Scotland. Jodi wants to get in touch with Meg hoping she'll have some advice about how to save Drovers.
It looks as though Tess is losing the battle with Regan—the law is on Regan's side—but Dave is doing his best to make Regan change her mind about proceeding with her claim. He takes her camping under the stars in the Wildlife Corridor and they share a romantic evening together. Dave challenges Regan over her true motives and he is confident she may be coming around. However, the next morning she goes back to her claim, ready for work. She is confronted by a mob of cattle and all the Drovers women… Tess has come around to Stevie's direct action approach. As Regan fumes there is an explosion… Stevie has dynamited Regan's fuel supply. Game on.
Episode 5.18 (124)
Today is Harry's birthday and he's in a foul mood. Sandra is also in a mood, and Alex is stuck giving her a lift to Gungellan. She'd drive herself but she injured her arm, preventing her from driving. Neither is happy about the set up, but it's only to Gungellan, from there Sandra will catch the coach the rest of the way to Fisher. Until she discovers the bus is full and is forced to beg Alex for a lift.
Alex takes his time getting her to Fisher and Sandra is close to boiling point when Alex turns off to deliver a pump to a friend near Fisher. Clearly Alex was always intending to come this way and his bargaining with Sandra was a ruse. Temperatures flare and Sandra gets physical with a gate, her arm seemingly mended. Sandra comes clean about her injury to Alex - there's nothing wrong with her arm. She was charged with Drink Driving and needs to get to Fisher for her court appearance.
Today is also the day of the Third Annual Gungellan District Eight Hour Twitch-a-thon. Speed bird spotting competition, to the uninitiated. And Kate is registering to compete. When Dave finds out she's entering, he registers as well, not because he's a particularly mad bird watcher, but because since his encounter with Regan, things have been tense between Dave and Kate, and Dave wants to put things right.
Jodi's interest in Rob, muscled man of mystery and Killarney's new manager, continues to grow. Stevie, on the other hand, as Drovers new manager, finds herself at loggerheads with him.
Despite being determined to prove Tess's trust in her, Stevie finds the day turning into a shambles. She tries to put it all down to Rob. By day's end, and after giving Rob a lambasting which is both very public and completely unjust, Stevie finds herself having to apologise. She learns a little more about Rob as well, and chooses to leave Rob and his secrets alone.
Episode 5.19 (125)
Kate's grandmother, the powerful matriarch of the Manfredi family, is on her way to Drovers Run and Kate is mortified. She is forced to come clean to her friends - she has been exaggerating parts of her life to her grandmother, implying that she is the boss of Drovers and that she has is practically engaged to the local vet.
While Kate is desperate to keep up the facade, and involve Jodi and Dave in an elaborate hoax, it is Kate's grandmother who has the most surprising confessions to make.
At Killarney, Alex is determined to learn more about his secretive overseer, Rob, and prove that he is just as competitive and reactive as any other bloke with some explosive results.
Heaven and Earth
Episode 5.20 (126)
Stevie is struggling to keep Drovers Running in Tess' absense. She is unprepared for the arrival of an important potential client and tries to impress him with lies while trying to hide a potentially deal-breaking problem.
Moira drops a bombshell on Terry when she reveals Harry has purchased the truckstop and has hired her on as the new manager leaving Terry to question his future. He approaches Harry to try to get his old job back but receives no sympathy from his former, and now current, employer.
The approach of a raging dust storm adds to the troubles at Drovers and Stevie struggles to save the life of Tess's horse Oscar who has gotten sick after eating the contaminated feed she bought.
Rob's secrets are on the verge of being exposed when he is reognised by a delivery man, causing his to contemplate moving on.
Episode 5.21 (127)
The full moon over Drovers stirs old fears and new jealousies resulting in near catastrophe.
Meg makes a surprise return to the Truckstop only to find Terry and Moira are getting on better than expected. And with no job, Meg can't help but feel left out. The discovery of notes about Jodi in Jack's old ledgers only put Meg more on edge. Is there something she's not telling her daughter?
Meanwhile, Stevie is roped in by Alex to accompany him to the annual Farmer's Council Ball. But when Alex is contacted by an old flame, Harry thinks it's a perfect opportunity for Alex to start mixing with 'wife material'. When Stevie shows up to borrow a water pump to clean out an old tank on Drovers, she learns Alex will be taking her to the Ball instead of Stevie. Too proud to admit jealousy, Stevie storms off with the pump and forgets to take the right hose.
Kate and Jodi rashly use an inadequate hose, causing the tank to fill with toxic gas. When Alex shows up and tries to help, he is inadvertently overcome by the fumes. When she discovers the terrible accident, Stevie puts her own life at risk when she climbs into the tank to save him.
If You Build It...
Episode 5.22 (128)
The middle of a drought, and bad blood threatens to erupt between Stevie and Sandra when, seeking water, some of Drovers Run's cattle push through the fence onto Killarney. Sandra's reaction is out of all proportion to the event. It transpires that, secretly, Sandra has been deeply effected by news of her mother's death. Rather than deal with her feelings, Sandra denies them. She takes her anguish out on Stevie and the women at Drovers Run.
Matters come to a head when Sandra has a meltdown and admits to Stevie that her mother is dead, and she has never understood how her mother abandoned her at an early age. Stevie is able to use her own situation to help Sandra make sense of it. The bad blood between them eases&$8212;but Sandra soon reverts to type.
Charlotte comes to stay for the weekend, and Alex child-proofs the boys' cottage. Charlotte's presence resonates with Sandra and for a brief, unguarded moment, she finds herself bonding with the little girl. Rob, however, is less than thrilled with Charlotte's presence, and snaps at her when she gets into his personal things. He later apologises to her. Alex, watching, is impressed at Rob's gentleness with the little girl and gleans some information that sheds a glimmer of light on Rob's mysterious past.
Jodi is positive she's finally got Rob figured out, using some tangential logic to wonder whether Rob bats for the other side. Sneaking into the boys' cottage for a shower, Jodi overhears Rob arranging a meeting with another man&$8212;Roger&$8212;on the phone. Jodi concludes that she's right, and Rob is gay. Kate and Jodi follow Rob to his meeting with Roger and spy on him. However, they fail to see anything conclusive. Later, Rob gives Jodi back the hairclip that she inadvertently left in the boys' bathroom. Jodi is mortified at being found out&$8212;and she still doesn't know if he's gay...
Out Of Time
Episode 5.23 (129)
Stevie faces the biggest decision of her life: should she tell her daughter Rose who her real mother is?
Stevie thrilled at the prospect of a visit from Rose but things sour when Stevie's sister Michelle arrives with her. Protective of her adopted daughter, Michelle doesn't want the usually rash Stevie to take matters into her own hands and tell Rose the truth. It doesn't make her feel any better to see Stevie so settled and in control at Drovers: Michelle realizes that for the first time ever Stevie in a position to take Rose from her. With the threat of the truth hanging over them the sisters get off to a bad start which is compounded when Michelle realizes everyone else at Drovers knows the truth and Stevie finds out that Michelle and her husband are unable to have children of their own and they want to renege on the original deal and never tell Rose Stevie is her real mother. Devastated, Stevie refuses to believe Michelle's claim that she has Rose's best interests at heart. But when Rose's crush on Alex sees her on the back of a rampaging stallion which bolts and injures Michelle, Stevie sees the depth of the bond between Michelle and Rose and realizes that Michelle is right and that the family secret must remain hidden.
Betwixt And Between
Episode 5.24 (130)
Rose, who adores her grandparents, is curious to know why Stevie won't mend her long estrangement from them. What did she do that was so bad that she never spoke to her own parents again? When Rose's enquiries are deflected, she snoops around to find something that will fill in the blanks. Caught off guard when Rose discovers a baby's hospital bracelet, Stevie tells a half-truth - she did have a baby, but she adopted it out. Rose is shocked, unable to understand how Stevie could be so callous as to give up her baby.
In desperation, Stevie finally reveals that the child was actually Rose. Devastated by the news, Rose takes off in the ute, accidentally reversing into the cattle yard gates and putting the new embryo transplant program at risk. Finding her on the side of the road Alex shares his own experience of finding out Harry wasn't his real father. But will he convince her to go back to Drovers to face Stevie? Stevie faces an uncertain future with her daughter who seems unable to forgive her.
Truth Or Dare
Episode 5.25 (131)
Outside appearances can be deciving. When a parachutist floats down from the sky onto Drovers Run, Kate is swept away. Patrick, Dave's fun loving adventurer brother, has taken a break from bungee jumping in Nepal to make a brotherly visit. Or at least, that's the cover story.
Sparks fly between the pair with Dave convinced his younger brother is only back for money, and Patrick is hurt to discover that Dave has never mentioned him and is refusing to acknowledge the anniversary of their father's death. But while Patrick is charming Kate on a night-time swim, Dave must deal with the painful memories of his father that Patrick's appearance churns up.
In a heated debate brought on by Dave's discovery of Patrick's neglected medication, Patrick accuses Dave of denying both him and their father. Their arguments come to a head when Dave reveals a shocking family secret that he has been hiding for years.
The King And I
Episode 5.26 (132)
It's Jodi's twenty-second birthday, and she's not looking forward to it at all. She sees it as the beginning of the downhill slide to thirty, and what has she achieved in the last year? Nothing! Jodi's mood improves, however, when she receives a most unexpected letter: it seems Jack McLeod has gifted her a trust fund worth $1000.
Dave jokes to the Drovers' girls that his new veterinary student Catriona is pretty green and will need to learn a lot before her week of practical training is over. However, Catriona quickly proves herself to be intelligent and highly motivated, but perhaps too much so.
Alex wants to get out of doing an interview for local radio, which Harry has delegated to him. Alex gets Harry to re-delegate the interview to Rob. Rob desperately wants to get out of doing the interview and uses some cunning reverse psychology to convince Harry that Alex is the best man for the job.
Episode 5.27 (133)
Dave is forced to question his behaviour when his former student, Catriona, threatens him with a sexual harassment suit. After seeking the opinion of the girls on Drovers Run, Dave realises that his manner of speaking is borderline, albeit tolerated by those who know him.
Desperate to get away from things, Jodi goes Droving with Rob Shelton and is thankful when he doesn't question her reasons for wanting to come with him. But as they make camp for the night, Jodi finds she needs to talk about things and although Rob is the last person she would normally open up to, she finds him a good listener with some sage advice.
All of Meg's fears have proved to be well founded, for not only has the revelation caused a rift in her relationship with Jodi, it now threatens to tear apart her relationship with Terry as well. Although Terry manages to keep up a façade of the supportive partner in front of Meg, he admits to Moira just how much he's been rocked by the bombshell.
Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 5.28 (134)
Moira's prediction that a ringing bell will herald an accident for someone appears to be accurate as a series of near misses, all accompanied by a ringing bell of some sort, befall the residents of Drovers Run and Killarney.
Harry finds fault with Alex's failure to secure a lucrative contract, making unfavourable comparisons with Nick, and Alex recognises the familiar game of playing the brothers off against each other, despite Nick being absent this time. When Alex refuses to pursue another potential deal, Harry instructs Rob to negotiate with the client in Fisher instead.
Meg agonises over Jodi's rejection of her, following the revelation that Jack McLeod is possibly her real father. The arrival of advance copies of her novel only increases her woes. Terry, trying to play peacemaker, visits Drovers. He gives her a copy of Meg's novel, hoping that it may act as a peace offering. Meg is horrified to learn Terry has done this: it's not just a story, but a thinly veiled historical account of a housekeeper who goes to work for a wealthy pastoralist, and ends up having his illegitimate child. The parallels with Jodi's own story are obvious. Mortified, humiliated, Jodi confronts her mother. Jodi feels she has no alternative but to leave town to avoid being the brunt of gossip, so Meg offers to go instead. Good, replies her daughter.
Twelve and a Half Hours Behind
Episode 5.29 (135)
A wave of mixed emotions washes over Drovers Run with the exciting return of Tess from Argentina. She has some unexpected news - Nick has been offered a fantastic promotion and the pair are considering moving to Argentina indefinitely. Stunned, everyone can hardly believe the news, but their shock is put on hold though when Tess suffers a series of mysterious collapses. Is it just jet lag as she suspects or something else entirely?
And while still on the hunt for a sample of Jack's DNA, has Jodi finally found the right time she has been waiting for to let Tess know they may be sisters? All concerns are put aside with the joyous news that Tess' illness is not an illness at all - she's pregnant!
Tess' happiness is short-lived though - a call comes from Argentina. A light plane Nick is travelling on has been reported missing. When the watch Tess has been wearing, Nick's watch, suddenly stops Tess can feel deep in her soul that something very, very bad is about to happen.
Episode 5.30 (136)
Tess has been holed up in her room since the news of Nick's death, and Alex and the Drovers women feel helpless, having tried everything to assist her in her grief. Jodi feels that learning she has a sister may help Tess but Stevie is adamant she must wait for the DNA results or risk yet more disappointment for Tess. Tess then surprises them all by suddenly reappearing, strong and composed, throwing herself back into work and declaring she wants to hold a party to celebrate Nick's life.
The girls decide to go along with whatever Tess wants, but Alex is thrown, apparently not needed for the role he wanted to play of comforter and protector. Of course this is largely because he himself is unable to deal with his own loss and after Tess points this out, he lashes out at Harry, blaming him for Nick's death. Sandra defends her husband, but later feels pushed aside when Sally and Harrison arrive and are doted on by Harry.
Body And Soul
Episode 5.31 (137)
It's the morning after Nick's life celebration and Tess has thrown herself back into work. It's time to move on. But when Tess receives a letter from Nick—delayed by the international postal system—she realises she cannot put her past behind her so easily.
Meanwhile, Stevie is worried about Alex; he went a.w.o.l after the life celebration and hasn't been seen since. Despite making many enquiries, Stevie can find no trace of him. Her concern betrays her strong feelings for Alex—feelings she is finding it harder and harder to deny…
Over on Killarney, Sally and Sandra are bearing the brunt of Harry's controlling behaviour. Determined that the Ryan empire continue despite Nick's death, Harry quickly sets about organizing his grandson's future. Sally and Harrison are to stay on at Killarney under his watchful eye. Sally almost accepts his offer, but decides that her independence is more important than Harry's money and returns to Melbourne. But Sandra senses that Harry won't take Sally's 'no' for an answer…
Kate and Jodi are stepping on eggshells around Tess at the moment, and for Kate, Nick's death is uncharted territory. She's never known anyone who died before. And when a batch of newly born chicks dies on her watch she pours all her energy into saving the one surviving chick.
Tess finally gets the courage to read Nick's posthumous letter. From the letter, Tess draws the strength to emotionally welcome the new baby, and heads off to Fisher for an ultra sound, later delightedly announcing to the others that she's having a girl.
Episode 5.32 (138)
Stevie is in Alex's arms - the kisses are tender, the declaration of love sincere. The two are clearly soulmates - until the alarm goes off and Stevie wakes. She's never dreamt such things before, and all day long she avoids Alex just as she avoids the big question - how can she wake up and feel so differently about a person? Tess nails it for her - it's all about the slow burn, and old friends becoming lovers. It's time for Stevie to grab some happiness - if she dares.
Sadly, Alex is on quite a different journey. Harry is on the rampage, determined to install Sally and Harrison in a renovated shack on Killarney. He's pushing away both Sandra and Alex, and the pressure is building. Terrible arguments send Alex to the shack with a stack of beer, and when Sandra also arrives in a rage against Harry, their shared misery leads them to an unexpected liaison. A fire breaks out, Stevie comes to the rescue, but is she too late to tell Alex her heart?
As Jodi finally learns the truth of her parentage, Tess is having a strange dream of her own. It's a dream with more meaning than she realises, for Nick's watch has started ticking again.
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