Summary: Gibbo finally gets thrown out of the Majestic and moves in with Tom. Vic is concerned about Sharon's reputation and wants Gibbo to stop seeing her, even if nothing's actually going on between them. Hurtle, the garage owner, returns from his stay in Surfer's Paradise - only to say that he's not staying. He wants to sell the shop and move up there permanently, because he's met a woman - who then shows up in town only to dump him. Ron saves Hurtle from a snake bite. Out in the bush, old man Rabbit is mining for opals and keeps getting injured. When the mine half caves in and he's taken to hospital, Chris wants to move him to a retirement home for his own good, but Tom urges her to listen to her patient's wishes.
Recurring characters: Tom, Kate, Chris, Vic and Nance, Ron, Sharon, Gibbo, Jack, Joe, Frank.
New characters: Horace "Hurtle" Morrison.
Oh, dear overprotective Vic. You really know how to be a nuisance, even though you mean well. Poor Sharon, who can't really do what she likes. When she talks with Gibbo about not seeing each other in private, she explains to him that it's so much easier for him to disregard town chatter. After all, he's both white and a man, and both those things are valued highly out there.
What strikes me about Chris is that she's such an idealist, and she tends to see the world as black or white. Rabbit, a man who doesn't just live by but for his mine, she wants to put in a care home to get better, because she's appalled by the living conditions out by the mine. She completely fails to realise that yes, the conditions out there are poor, but they're all he's got to live for. To take that away would be like taking a part of his soul away. It just won't work. Tom has lived in Coopers Crossing for long enough now to realise when it's better to let sleeping dogs lie, and tries to imbue some of that knowledge to her as well.
Hurtle and his story was so, so sad. You could see it a mile off, of course, but he was so blinded by love that he had his blindfolds on. He comes back into town, says he intends to sell up and leave but won't say why - until it transpires he's met a woman out there. When the woman, Dot, shows up on the bus, he's ecstatic, poor chap. If only he would realise that she doesn't want to marry him at all, before she actually tells him straight out. I really felt sorry for him there.
For the first (and last?) time, we see Ron dressing up in a suit. He headed to the bank to get a loan in order to buy Hurtle's garage, but the bank manager says there's no use. Poor Ron; he did his best. It's good to note that without the local garage, people would be stuck, properly stuck - nearest filling station is 200 km or so down the road. Not exactly easy to get to when you're low on fuel!
The episode ends with it starting to rain ... except it turns out to only be a 30-second shower. Ahh, well, you take whatever you can get, I suppose.
This exchange made me giggle:
Ron: I'm not a total idiot.
Hurtle: That's a matter of opinion.
Apparently, they're always at odds with one another, but it's true for anyone to see that they're best friends underneath it all. When Hurtle gets bitten by a snake after their car has broken down, it's Ron who carries him to safety, and who waits by the side of his hospital bed. That's true friendship.