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Episode Summaries > 2009 > Episode 5713
Written by Ben Marshall, Directed by Catherine Roden, Produced by Neal Kingston

Channel Ten: 17/06/09 Five: 19/08/09

• Libby, talking to Susan, realises that Karl doesn’t support using Susan as a surrogate for Libby and Dan’s baby
• Karl cancels the Kennedys’ appointment with the psychiatrist
• Zeke talks about getting tickets for the Winter Cool music festival, and invites Kate, who says she has to work
• Ben gives Dan a school form on which he has written his name as Ben Fitzgerald (not Kirk)
• Rebecca tries to look at Paul’s new scoop but he hides it from her
• Paul tells Rebecca he feels like he’s been given a second chance
• The Kennedys and Fitzgerald’s look in horror at the Erinsborough News front page: “Granny Surrogate – Does It Get Any Sicker?”

Outside Harold's Store: Paul is reading the newspaper. Libby and Dan storm up to him and Libby angrily calls him a “miserable little man”. He wishes her a good morning too. Dan flicks the paper and asks what he thinks this is. Paul flippantly replies that it’s news. Libby replies that it’s not, it’s their private business. Paul is taken aback to hear it is their business, but Libby and Dan don’t believe that he didn’t already know. Libby yells that he’s done enough damage to their family already, why can’t he just leave them alone? As they storm off, Paul tries to defend himself, but throw down his paper in exasperation.

No 30 - Living Room: Libby and Dan have been talking to Toadie about taking legal action, but he says that as no names are mentioned, there’s nothing he can do. He suggests talking to the hospital – it must have been someone from there who gave Paul the information. Suspicions are also raised about Karl.

No 28: Susan, Karl and Ben are playing snap when Libby and Dan enter. They say that no legal action can be taken about Paul and that he claims he didn’t know who the story was about, and Susan and Karl don’t believe this either, claiming he has never spoken a word of truth in his life. Ben asks what they’re all talking about but Libby says it’s just boring grown up stuff. She suggests he go and play in Zeke’s room, but before Ben can leave, Dan looks pointedly at Karl and says they need to find out where Paul got his information from. Karl jumps up, outraged that they suspect him, and vehemently defends himself. Ben wants to know what’s going on and Dan takes him for a walk, just as Steph enters. She’s holding the paper. She’s realised that it must mean Susan and Libby and Libby apologises for not telling her about their plans before. Steph shows her support for Susan and Libby and asks Karl (who is now in the kitchen, sulking) how he feels. Karl makes a disgruntled noise and gives a dismissive wave of his hand. Libby suggests they go back to no. 30 and she’ll tell Steph all about it. They leave, and Karl and Susan exchange a look.

No 30 - Living Room: On the sofa, Libby finishes updating Steph. Steph hugs her and tells her she is happy for her, and reassures Libby that she is not mad. Steph says it’s a pretty wild thing that Susan is doing, to which Libby immediately asks if it is too wild. Steph says it’s not for her, but she doesn’t know how the rest of the world will react. Libby relaxes, saying it’s okay so long as they can keep their names out of the papers. They hug again and Susan enters. She tells them that she just had a call from the West Waratah Star, who want an interview – word is out.

Harold's Store - Kitchen: Kate is preparing some food when Harry enters. She asks him where Sophie is. He informs her that she is at the community gardens with Lou – he is pruning and she is writing vampire stories. Kate wonders what it is about vampires these days and Harry replies that Sophie was doing it long before Twilight. Kate says she wishes she’d published them first, because then they’d be rich and she wouldn’t be making 50 ham sandwiches. Harry pauses, and cautiously asks about the money they had. Kate replies that money doesn’t last very long. She says she has to pick Sophie up at 11, but Harry says that’s 2 hours away. Kate isn’t happy at the prospect of 2 more hours making sandwiches, so Harry offers to help her. She declines, saying that Lou would freak, thinking he had to pay him. Harry suggests that they can go to the next Winter Cool festival, but Kate says she doesn’t think it will happen. She tells Harry to go and get Sophie and he leaves. On the counter, he sees a flyer for Michael Paynter performing at Charlie’s.

Harold's Store - Kitchen: Toadie is talking harshly down his phone, claiming that if any names are mentioned, the West Waratah Star will be sued for everything they have. Next to him, Rebecca is wiping the table. When he hangs up, he tells her that they’re all vultures, including Paul. Rebecca replies that he was just doing his job. She insists that he didn’t know who the story was about, but Toadie doesn’t believe it for a second. Rebecca walks away, saying he can have his own opinion. Toadie leaves as Harry enters. He approaches “Miss Napier”, who tells him to call her Rebecca. He does, and asks for two tickets to the gig that night. She gets them and charges him $40. Harry looks in dismay at the money in his hands – he doesn’t quite have enough. Rebecca realises and quickly says that what he has will be okay. He says he can’t, but she insists. Rebecca asks if he’s bringing a date and Harry says no. Rebecca wonders why, saying he’s a good looking boy, and has all that hair. He says he was going to bring his sister, as she deserves a break. Rebecca asks how things are going for hard-working Kate, and Harry replies that she stresses about the money. He goes to leave, thanking her for the tickets. Rebecca calls him back, and gives him some of his money back, saying he can do a few nights’ dishwashing. He doesn’t want to take handouts, but Rebecca says she always needs a dishwasher.

As he leaves, Rebecca hurries over to the table that Paul has just sat at. She picks up the paper and tells him that he is going to have to do something. He says he didn’t know who was involved, but she insists that he still has to fix it. She says he must retract it, but Paul stands by it. He tells her that he doesn’t think what they’re doing is right. Rebecca asks what he would think if it was her doing it for Declan. Paul replies that Declan clearly has no fertility issues. Rebecca says that that’s not the point – what if someone wrote about her like this? He says he’d want to kill them. Rebecca says “exactly” and walks off.

Erinsborough & District Hospital: Karl storms in and begins arguing with Jodie (the head nurse), calling the hospital a disgrace and saying he’s ashamed to work there. Jodie says that it’s not much fun for her either - they’ve been fielding phone calls all day. She insists that it was none of her staff who spoke to the paper and doesn’t appreciate Karl’s assumption that it was a nurse. Dr Olenski enters and attempts to calm Karl down. She says that the hospital is under attack too. She suggests they put the surrogacy plans on hold, but Karl hotly argues against giving into the mob. He leaves the room they were in and asks Jodie (who has returned to the desk) if Dr Levi is in. He wants her to make an appointment for his family to start the psychological assessment straight away. Dr Olenski doesn’t think it’s a good idea, with the stress everyone is under. He says “to hell with the mob” and leaves.

Erinsborough & District Hospital - Dr Levi's Office: Karl is in his appointment with Dr Levi. He says that Susan would do anything for their children. She’d even put her life on the line, as would he. But he says that this isn’t an emergency, it’s just Libby’s grief at losing Grace that’s driving this.

In Susan’s appointment, she tells Dr Levi that she can’t bear to see Libby as she is, like a shell. She says she knows that time will change that, but if there’s something she can do, then why shouldn’t she? It’s Karl she’s worried about. She also adds that she just wants everyone to be happy.

In Libby’s appointment, she says that she knows there’s no such thing as happily ever after. She says she’s been bargaining with God: “Please just let this be okay and I’ll never ask for anything else.” But it’s her family she needs help from, not God. She says she can’t let go and trust that things will work out, because things don’t always work out.

In Dan’s appointment, he says he doesn’t believe in fate and that he’s lost two children already. What Susan offers seems wonderful, but he worries about practical things such as how Susan will handle being birth mother and grandmother, whether they’ll be able to raise the child the way they want to, what it will do to Susan and Karl’s marriage.

Back with Karl, he says he couldn’t put himself at risk like Susan is. He would worry too much about the others that he is responsible for. Susan says she knows she has other children to take care of – but she could be hit by a bus tomorrow. Libby says that Susan is so generous that sometimes it makes her feel like she is the most selfish person in the world. Dan says he just hopes that they can find a way through this that everybody is happy with, but he knows that that’s a lot to ask.

Erinsborough & District Hospital: Karl is sitting in the waiting area. Susan joins him and hands him a coffee. She says she can’t believe he still hasn’t organised a decent coffee machine after working there for so long. Karl says he can’t fix everything. Susan says he tries. Karl says that he’s spoken to Zeke and explained what’s going on. He was surprised, but supports what they’re doing. Susan tells Karl that she’s proud of him, but Karl doesn’t understand why. She says that this is happening because he was able to change his mind. He disagrees – it’s happening because of her; he just got in the way. He says that they owe Paul, because it was his article that made him understand that family is everything. He says he can’t possibly stand in her way when there’s something she wants so much that she’s prepared to put herself at risk. He apologises for being selfish and says he was just thinking about what he’d lose, but realised that if he didn’t support her, he’d lose her anyway. Susan says he’ll never lose her.

Dr Olenski appears and wants to borrow Karl. She takes him to an empty room and closes the door. She says she’s just been to a board meeting and they’ve all been instructed not to talk to Karl until lawyers have been consulted. There have been lots of calls from the media and she puts out that Susan has been fast tracked. Karl says that this is because of Susan’s health and age, which Veronica understands, but says it doesn’t look good from the outside. Karl says they should have the media advisors put out a statement. Veronica says Brian (the head of the board) thinks the hospital should be seen to do the “right thing”. Karl is furious, saying that that would be discriminating against his family just because he works at the hospital – a problem which he says is easily fixed, as he’s always wanted to work in a bookshop. But Veronica tells him that Brian really wants to just pull the plug. Karl is angry, pointing out that Brian has always been against IVF, which he thinks is playing God. Veronica is aware of this. Karl suggests that it was Brian who leaked the story, since all media attention allows him to do what he’s always wanted to. He ends the conversation with Veronica, saying it never happened – he doesn’t want her to get fired. He thanks her.

Charlie's: Paul is typing on his laptop. Rebecca approaches and asks if it’s a retraction. Paul says no; sales have been high with this story – they even had to reprint an afternoon edition for the first time ever. Rebecca mocks his outlook: “Friends trashed, profits up, hooray!!” Paul reminds her that he didn’t know who he was writing about – it was Libby who broadcasted that, yelling outside Lassiter’s. Paul continues to defend his story – he’s very excited by the hundreds of emails he’s received, that networks have picked up the story, and that the hospital is giving press releases. Rebecca tries to get through to him – it’s not just an issue, there are people involved. Paul’s reply is “oh, boo hoo.” It’s his job to rattle the cages, and the experts battle it out. Rebecca asks if this is his version of a social conscience. Paul presents the issue: “Finite healthcare resources versus subsidising a grandmother getting pregnant for her own daughter, who already has a child!” Rebecca strides off, as Karl enters. Paul is exasperated and fed up with the criticisms. He prepares himself for whatever Karl is about to say, suggesting pistols at dawn. But Karl hasn’t come to yell at him – he wants to know who gave him the information. Paul says he can’t reveal his sources. Karl tells Paul that he thinks the information came from a man who wants to shut down all IVF treatment at Erinsborough Hospital, and Paul’s article is helping him to do that. Paul doesn’t see what the problem is. Karl says he wants Paul to help him stop it.

Harold's Store: Kate is hurriedly tidying up as Harry tries to persuade her to come to the Michael Paynter gig. He says that Steph will look after Sophie. Kate protests that she’s working till 5. Harry says that this gives her two hours to “shower, eat and pour make up all over your head.” Kate says she has nothing to wear and Harry accuses her of being such a girl. He tells her they’ll get to see live music – does she remember fun? Kate still says no. She says they’re the local freak show and everyone will be staring at them, but Harry tells her they’re yesterday’s news. He shows her the newspaper and Kate is surprised at the story, wondering how the child will know who its mum is. Harry says there’s plenty of mums who aren’t real mums. Annoyed at this, Kate puts the paper down and continues clearing up. Harry asks again if she’s coming and she still says no. Getting exasperated, he tells he’s already got the tickets, which annoys her even more. He says it was going to be a surprise. He says they don’t have to be boring the whole time, just because they look after themselves, and he walks out.

No 28: Dan and Libby are at the table whilst Susan is on the phone to a reporter, telling them no comment. She hangs up, and wonder how she ever thought being a journalist was a worthwhile career. The phone rings again and she puts it in the fridge. Dan jokes that she is giving them the cold shoulder. Karl walks in with Paul, to the protests of Susan, Libby and Dan. Karl tells them to calm down – Paul is going to help them. He repeats once more that he didn’t know who he was writing about, and they still don’t believe him. Paul hands over the file that he was given, saying he doesn’t know who it was who gave it to him. Karl says he showed Paul some staff photos and Paul identified the man as someone who works with Brian Road. He explains Brian’s views. He goes on to say that Paul will print a story in tomorrow’s paper that exposes this, which would bring the debate into the open. They all grudgingly thank Paul, who says that it’s a one-off and the paper is still against the surrogacy. He adds that he’s doing this out of cowardice – he’s afraid of Karl.

Charlie's: The bar is all set up for the gig. Harry is already there when Kate enters. Harry grins, and she says she’s just there so he won’t keep accusing her of not having a life. Harry asks Rebecca for two of her very best OJs. Michael Paynter begins to play, and Kate pushes Harry off to the front, but holds back herself. But as the music plays, she gets into it and moves forward, beginning to dance along.

No 30: Music is blaring loudly. Steph opens the door to Steve, who is wondering what the noise is and asks where Dan and Libby are. She tells him that they’ve gone to the hospital. Steph and Steve enter the living room, where Ben and Charlie are pretending to play instruments along to the music. Ben introduces them: “On the drums, it’s Charlie Hoyland! And on the guitar, it’s me, Ben Fitzgerald!” Steph and Steve are confused to hear Ben call himself Fitzgerald and not Kirk, but just then Libby and Dan return. They announce that they have passed the psych evaluation, meaning that they can go ahead with the IVF (so long as the hospital doesn’t shut the unit down). Steph and Steve congratulate them, but Steph quickly pulls Libby into the hallway. She demands to know what’s going on with Ben. He’s a Kirk, she says, not a Fitzgerald.

No 30 - Living Room: Slightly later, the music has been turned off and Steve, Dan, Ben and Charlie have gone. Libby and Steph are standing on opposite dies of the room. Libby says that Ben asked her if he could change his name. Harshly, Steph says that he’s just a kid – she wouldn’t let him have a tattoo if he said he wanted one. Libby calmly says that she changed her name to show that she and Dan are family, and he just wanted to do the same thing. Steph heatedly replies that it’s not the same thing – Libby chose Dan, Ben didn’t. Libby responds that since Ben asked to change his name, that shows that is choosing Dan. The argument begins to escalate as Steph asks about honouring the past and Libby replies that Drew will always be Ben’s father and he knows that. Steph won’t let it go, saying that Drew was so proud of Ben and Libby, getting angry, says that she knows that, she was married to him. Steph declares that now she’s betraying him. Libby is shocked at Steph’s accusation, as she goes on to say that now Libby’s in love with someone else, Drew doesn’t matter. Libby’s appalled at what Steph is saying and tells her that it’s none of her business. Beginning to leave, Steph says it’s lucky that Drew’s still got her to protect his memory. Libby is left standing in the living room, taking deep breaths.

Regular Cast Credits

Featured Regular Characters: Susan Kennedy, Karl Kennedy, Libby Kennedy-Fitzgerald, Dan Fitzgerald, Ben Kirk, Steph Scully, Charlie Hoyland, Kate Ramsay, Harry Ramsay, Toadie Rebecchi, Steve Parker, Paul Robinson, Rebecca Napier

Guest Cast: Caroline Lloyd as Dr. Veronica Olenski, Mary Annegeline as Nurse Jodie Smith, Roger Neave as Dr. Jeremy Levi, Woodrow Wilson as Camera-Wielding Passer-By

Trivia Notes
• Susan mentions Paul’s numerous articles on the subject of Rachel and Angus
• There is an advertisement for the Winter Cool festival on the back page of the Erinsborough News
• Australian singer Michael Paynter cameos, performing his song Go at Charlie’s
• References are made to Ben’s father, Drew Kirk, who Steph was once in love with and who died before Ben turned one

Summary by Sian