1.07 Square Pegs by Howard Griffiths
Summary: Chris comes second in a shooting competition. Someone's broken into the Nomad only to steal a particular kind of painkiller. Turns out to be the son of the farmer who won the shooting competition (for the 6th year running), who is depressed because his mother left him and he's not living up to his father's expectations. The boy's good at playing violin, not sheep shearing, but his father won't realise they're two different people. The boy ends up shooting himself in the shoulder by accident. On the outskirts of town, a woman with emphysema has set up camp with her mentally disabled adult son. The son ends up introducing himself to everyone in town, and when his mother dies, he's shipped off to an aunt who can look after him, as he can't look after himself.
Recurring characters: Chris, Jack, Ron, Tom, Hurtle, Vic and Nance, Gibbo, Violet, Kate, Joe, Sharon.
You'd think everything is so peachy out in the Outback, save for drought and the hardship that comes with it and just in general from the heat and isolation and heavy work, so that there's substance abuse comes as a bit of a surprise. Just the whole concept of someone breaking into the Nomad takes a bit of getting used to!
I'm not sure I agree with the resolution between the father and the son, because when the father said to the boy it was okay to follow his dreams, and that the son should go to the city and pursue the career he so wants, playing the violin because he's so good at it, I thought "aww, that's sweet, that's what he should've done ages ago, all will be well now". And then Tom tells the father that no, that's not what he should do, he should tell the boy to stay. Umm ...? So the son should stay and do something that was never his forte, and leave his actual skill at the wayside and forget all about it? And, strangely, when the father says "I don't want you to go", the son is fine with it. Okay that all he wanted was some kind of approval from his father, but does that make him want to take up sheep farming suddenly?
The woman with emphysema and her son was both a touching and funny storyline. Touching in the way that she's looking after her boy (who has the mental age of, say, a 5-year-old), and his response to her dying is absolutely heartbreaking to watch.
Hugh, as the boy/man's name is, walks around Coopers Crossing saying hello to everyone, buying sweets from Violet and hanging out at the garage, where he declines the offered beer because his mother would be very cross with him if she knew. He then goes to the pub and gets cajoled into drinking rum and coke by Lionel ... and hell breaks loose. Sober Hugh is a friendly, infantile giant. Drunk Hugh is a shouty, potentially dangerous giant you'd need a tranquiliser dart to calm down before he hurts someone, possibly himself.
Overall, it feels like a rather sentimental episode, but both storylines are handled with style and dignity.