The Secret Life of Us: episode guide

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The Unbelievable Truth


Episode 1.03
UK: July 10, 2001
Australia: July 23, 2001
Canada: September 25, 2002
Written by Judi McCrossin
Directed by Daniel Nettheim

Life's full of ugly realities we'd rather ignore, and sometimes we helped to create them. But when they inevitably rear their heads, how will we respond? Will we acknowledge our faults and face the storm head-on, or will we hide until it's gone?

Gabrielle struggles to cope with news of the affair between her husband Jason and her best friend Alex. Meanwhile Alex tries to drown her self-loathing and ends up in a drunken liaison with a doctor who's on the panel deciding her professional future. Her usually impressive life management skills seem to be deserting her.

Kelly comes face to face with Nerida, the wife of her former lover, Sean. She's mortified to discover that she likes Nerida more than she ever liked Sean — but can she bring herself to admit the truth and face the inevitable consequences?

Richie's landed the perfect acting job, but he's finding it quite a challenge. His complaints present Miranda with a challenge of her own — more than anything, she wants what he's got, and hearing him complain about minor details is almost more than she can bear. It starts to drive a wedge between them.

Will's still pining after his ex-girlfriend Leah and refusing to admit that she played on his affections so he'd lend her $12,000. He's convinced no other girl can compare; and when Miranda's friend Sam invites him on a picnic, his surly refusal to enjoy the afternoon turns it into an ordeal.

Starring: Claudia Karvan, Deborah Mailman, Samuel Johnson, Abi Tucker, Joel Edgerton, Spencer McLaren, Sibylla Budd, Damian de Montemas, David Tredinnick

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Benjamin McNair as Joseph, Leverne McDonnell, Oscar Redding as Eric, Sandy Winton as Vincent; Terry Kenwrick as Mr Loman, Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Kylie Risson as Pretty Medical Student, Tessa Humphries as Nerida, Serge De Nardo as Doc #2

The Garden of Gethsemane


Episode 1.04
UK: July 11, 2001
Australia: July 30, 2001
Written by Judi McCrossin
Directed by Daniel Nettheim

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went through private agony while his mates slept off the Last Supper. He knew they were his friends, he knew that they cared, but he also knew a greater truth: that there are some things you have to endure alone.

Will's surprised to find himself attracted to Sam, but his secret fantasies about Leah still stop him from making a move. It's only when Leah sends him a cheque for $12,000, without so much as a thank you note, that he finally faces the truth. He tells her he wants her out of his life — but has he blown it with Sam in the meantime?

Evan meets Carmen, an older woman with two young kids, and is stunned to find himself swept off his feet. But he keeps his feelings strictly to himself. They're way too weird to share.

Tension between Richie and Miranda escalates as Richie revels in the actor's life while Miranda's forced to work as a singing telegram in a place full of sleazy guys more interested in tits than lyrics.

Meanwhile Kelly's about to start work as a "Relationships Consultant", but she's still wondering why she can't master her own relationship with Joseph — or get him to call her, at least.

Alex's insecurities result in her missing out on valuable surgical experience, but she and Gabrielle make the first tentative steps towards mending their relationship.

Unfortunately the same can't be said for Gabrielle and Jason. Their endless sniping is turning them into the dinner guests from hell.

With: Tasma Walton as Leah
Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Benjamin McNair as Joseph, Oscar Redding as Eric, Petra Yared as Ingrid; Terry Kenwrick as Mr Loman, Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Kym Carter as Tall Girl, Ron Kamoen as Drunk, Nick Farnell as Groom

The Rules


Episode 1.05
UK: July 17, 2001
Australia: August 06, 2001
Written by Christopher Lee
Directed by Cate Shortland

Relationships are governed by a series of unspoken rules — but if you break them, brace yourself for the shouting.

Jason's breaking all the post-affair rules by pursuing Alex while at the same time trying to cling to the pieces of his fractured marriage.

Meanwhile, Evan's flying in the face of his own personal etiquette by falling head over heels for Carmen. He's completely besotted by her, and his feelings are freaking him out.

Will suffers unprecedented performance problems when going to bed with Sam. He confides in Richie but soon discovers that Richie hasn't kept his secret. Will's friends have a lot of fun at his expense, but Sam rescues him from his embarrassment with a sudden sexual ambush.

The distance between Richie and Miranda is growing, and Richie is deeply uncomfortable when his gay friend Simon suggests that he's flirting. They say the truth hurts, but sometimes it's excruciating.

Meanwhile, Kelly is relishing her job at the "Get Personal" Introduction Agency, but confused by the endless list of dating do's and don'ts. She tries to apply them to herself and Joseph, but their erratic relationship still resists every attempt to define it.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Leverne McDonnell as [Kelly's Boss]; Tim Schwerdt as Ian, Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Michelle O'Grady as Sascha, Adam May as Peter, Alec Gilbert as Aaron, Mark A Taylor as Bill, Matty Frank as Snooty Waiter

Expect the Unexpected


Episode 1.06
UK: July 18, 2001
Australia: August 13, 2001
Written by Judi McCrossin
Directed by Cate Shortland

John Lennon said that life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. He was right. The only thing we can expect from life is the unexpected.

Kelly's sick of not knowing what to expect from her inconsistent boyfriend Joseph — so she takes the initiative and breaks it off — and feels unexpectedly empowered.

Evan finally gives in to his feelings for Carmen and finds himself feeling blissed-out.

Alex is embroiled in traumatic events at work when a baby identified as a boy at birth is proven to be a girl. Alex fights for the little girl's rights in the face of strong opposition, and surprises herself with a victory. Meanwhile she and Gabrielle are still working to repair their friendship. They're surprised by how much they miss each other.

Gabrielle and Jason see a marriage counsellor, but it has the opposite effect that they'd hoped — it seems to intensify their problems.

Richie and Miranda's problems aren't improving either, and Richie's trying to find excuses not to go home. Late one night, he's alone with Simon. They get drunk together and before they know it, sex enters the equation.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Benjamin McNair as Joseph, Terry Kenwrick as Mr Loman, Sandy Winton as Vincent; Nell Feeney as Marriage Counsellor, Dino Marniko as Mr Konstantindis, Katerina Kotsonis as Mrs Konstantindis, Charlotte Allan as Baby Konstantindis, Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Courtenay Stickels as Bad Singer

The Road Less Taken


Episode 1.07
UK: July 24, 2001
Australia: August 20, 2001
Written by Judi McCrossin
Directed by Stuart McDonald

When you come to a fork in the road, one of your potential paths is full of potholes. And you can't always tell which one it is, until it's too late to turn around.

Richie's head is spinning after his sexual encounter with Simon. Life is suddenly pointing him in a direction he'd never anticipated. Miranda misinterprets his emotional distance. She confides to an uncomfortable Simon that she thinks Richie might be having an affair with a female friend, Ingrid.

Jason makes a huge mistake when he sleeps with Soraya, a lawyer who's opposing him in a juvenile assault case. Soraya's keen, but it's strictly a one-off for Jason. Hell hath no fury, and Soraya's determined to make Jason and his young client suffer.

Meanwhile Gabrielle presses Alex for details about what happened between she and Jason. Knowing that Gabrielle's needs are more important than her own discomfort, Alex is totally honest. It's a big step towards re-cementing their relationship.

Evan falls even more deeply in love with Carmen when she praises his lyrical turn of phrase and buys him a computerised Dictaphone.

Meanwhile Kelly's finding that her job at "Get Personal" is a challenge to her code of ethics. She's not sure whether to embrace it or reject it.

Will and Sam's plans for a sexy day in bed are ruined when jealousy rears its ugly head.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Elena Mandalis as Sarea, Leverne McDonnell, Petra Yared as Ingrid; Anthony Hammer as Noah, Judith Chaplain as Louise, Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Karen Hadfield as Magistrate, Sharon Fenech as Mrs Maher, Paul Collins as Handsome Dark Man, Frank He as Taxi Driver

What Am I?


Episode 1.08
UK: July 25, 2001
Australia: August 27, 2001
Writen by Christopher Lee
Directed by Stuart McDonald

We all define ourselves through our relationships and our careers — which is fine if both are going smoothly. But when they're not, where does that leave us? Who are we, and what are we doing here?

Kelly's reading multiple relationship questionnaires and realising just how differently people define themselves and their romantic goals. She's intrigued by Nathan, a client at 'Get Personal'. He's attractive, warm, friendly — and consistently rejected by the women on their books.

Meanwhile, Jason's struggling to re-define himself as he reluctantly accepts the end of his marriage and ponders a change of career direction. Gabrielle's sick of taking his phone messages, and demands that he tells people he's moved out of home.

Alex is caught in the middle of their bitter stoush while trying to fend off the affections of her doctor friend Eric — a guy with the whiff of 'second best' about him.

Evan is falling deeper and deeper for Carmen and tries to push her to define their relationship, without a lot of success. He wants some kind of certainty, but she seems to be avoiding it.

Meanwhile, Miranda's still trying to understand what's going on with Richie. He's withdrawing sexually as well as emotionally, and it's bringing her insecurities to the fore.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Todd MacDonald as Nathan, Leverne McDonnell, Oscar Redding as Eric; Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Michelle McClatchy as Sian, Craig Robinson as Cameron, Will Deumer as Hotel Manager, Bill Vary as Derro

The Secret Life of Us


Episode 1.09
UK: August 01, 2001
Australia: September 03, 2001
Written by Judi McCrossin
Directed by Richard Jasek

We're the sum of our life experiences, whether we want to admit it or not.

One night over hand-made pasta and wine, Alex, Kelly, Evan, Miranda, Richie, Will, Jason and Gabrielle share formative experiences from their past...

Alex remembers beating her arch-nemesis Brenda Butcher in the 'Fast Ladies' roller skating event at the age of fifteen.

Kelly remembers two beloved mice from her childhood — "Eenie" and "Meenie" — and how her grandma gave Meenie some 'magic' medicine that brought him back from the dead.

Evan glows with pride as he tells how, at the age of seven, he read his story 'The Adventures of the Stamp' to the big girls in Year Six.

Richie and Will share the beginnings of their friendship when Will as a nine year old 'new kid' stood up to a bullying teacher.

Jason and Gabrielle reminisce about falling in love in the midst of university politics.

Miranda remembers discovering her father's secret second family, and the devastation that followed.

With confidences shared, friendships deepen.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Nina Shadforth as Grade 2 Teacher, Sage Butler as Michelle St Clare, Christina Saunders as Kelly's Grandmother, Tony Ladiges as Uni Student, Janet Foye as Nurse, Tricia Dennis as Mrs Green, Rex Walsh as Mr Green, John McCormack as Miranda's Dad, Stephanie Power as Sabrina, Tracey Callander as Sylvia, Callie Grey as Fiona, Lorraine Kindler as Fiona's Mum, Christina Collard as Fiona's Sister, Neil Pigot as Mr Mad Dog, Ashley Manini as Cabrio, Anthony Stagliano as Everett, Linda Keane as Mrs Lizens, Ezra Bix as Evan's Dad/Mr Wylde

State of Limbo


Episode 1.10
UK: August 08, 2001
Australia: September 03, 2001
Written by Judi McCrossin & David Ogilvy
Directed by Kate Dennis

When you're in a state of limbo, your instincts stop working. You can't decide which way to jump, so you find yourself glued to the ground.

Richie's still in a state of confusion about his encounter with Simon. He finds himself drawn into another sexual liaison with a man. Distressed and confused, he confides in Will.

Meanwhile, Miranda's involved in a Long Term Unemployed working programme that's eroding her self-esteem even further.

Evan tells Carmen that he loves her and anxiously awaits a response. He's in emotional limbo. Paranoia sets in.

Kelly runs into an old school friend, Maree, who invites herself over for dinner. Maree arrives with a whiteboard and an accomplice. She's selling a message about network marketing, and before Kelly knows it, she's buying.

Jason arrives on Gabrielle's doorstep to collect his belongings. Gabrielle's conflicted. She feels like he's backing her into a corner, forcing her to finally end the relationship — but she knows that's what she demanded of him. In the meanwhile, she's embarked on a steamy affair with a muso called Mac.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Oscar Redding as Eric, Leverne McDonnell, Damian Walshe-Howling as Mac; Jenny Schwinghammer as Shop Assistant, Lucy Slattery as Marie, Kat Stewart as Chiara, Daniel Mckenna as Band Member #1, Nick Larkins as Band Member #2, Richard Gillard as Band Member #3, Justin Brady as Band Member #4, Bruce Hughes as Naris, Matt Robertson as Eduardo, Jason Buckley as Big Guy, Jessie McKinnon as Ella, Aiden Orr-O'Farrell as Tom, Peter Lazer as Good Looking Guy

Note: Damian Walshe-Howling received a 2001 AFI Award Nomination in the category "Best Actor in a Guest Role in a TV Drama Series" for this episode

Love Sucks


Episode 1.11
UK: August 15, 2001
Australia: September 10, 2001
Writen by Christopher Lee
Directed by Kate Dennis

Love strikes joy into your heart, then strikes a fatal blow. Love sucks.

Gabrielle's casual affair with Mac intensifies as her arguments with Jason escalate. They're dividing up the spoils of their marriage, and it isn't pretty.

Kelly is deeply disillusioned with her job at the 'Get Personal' Introduction Agency. She decides that love isn't something that can be controlled or manipulated. It just happens.

Meanwhile Alex decides to give up on love and become successfully single.

Carmen breaks up with Evan. She doesn't love him the way he loves her. Evan's furious with himself for saying those three fatal words. He goes into a downward spiral.

Miranda's testy with Richie, not sure what's going on, but still deeply in love with him. Richie breaks down and tells her about his encounter with Simon. She's stunned.

Meanwhile Will's finding that his love for Sam is making him irrationally jealous. She hates this side of him, and it's damaging their relationship.

Special Guest Star: Catherine McClements as Carmen
Guest Starring: Jess Gower as Samantha, Oscar Redding as Eric, Leverne McDonnell, Damian Walshe-Howling as Mac; Glen Moriarty as Damien, Terry Kenwrick as Mr Loman, Katrina Baylis as Rebekah

Note: Catherine McClements won the 2001 AFI Award for "Best Actress in a Guest Role in a TV Drama Series" for this episode

Episodes 1.12 - 1.22