Jodi receives distressing news
Episode 134 - 'Stranger than fiction'
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. Jodi is injured in a car accident and it seems that the prediction has been fulfilled. Though Moira has a feeling there is more to come…
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. Rob feels awkward being forced to step on Alex’s toes, and wants nothing to do with the Ryan’s internecine squabbles. Alex, well aware that Harry is expecting him to react furiously to the news that Rob has been instructed to pursue a client, and go in his place as a result, refuses to play the game.
His inaction confuses Harry, as intended, prompting Harry to make a counter move by inviting the client to come to Killarney instead. He is determined to force Alex to see the sales rep, and to concede that Harry still knows best. Unaware of this ploy, Alex decides to accompany Rob to Fisher the next day, intrigued to see how Harry is going to extricate Rob from the task, convinced there is no way he will let a man of few words like Rob negotiate anything. Harry learns Alex is not at Killarney as expected to meet the client. A furious phone call between them ensues, with Rob eventually interceding, angry at being used as a pawn.
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.
Fleeing the distressing meeting with her mother, Jodi races to beat the warning bell at a level crossing. Her car makes it through just before the train hurtles past… but around the corner another peril awaits, with a tree branch and power lines down across the road. Jodi’s car spins out of control and comes to rest dangerously close to the fallen power lines, where she remains at risk of being electrocuted. Alex and Rob come across her and go to her aid. Rob is particularly distressed by the sight of injured Jodi, which prompts subliminal memories of another woman, injured and trapped in a car. In her dazed state, Jodi is trying to climb out of the car, unaware she will electrocute herself if she does so. Rob breaks through the rear windscreen to reach her, then, with memories of another car accident crowding in, seems to forget where he is. Suddenly he is anxious to get her out of the car as soon as possible, and calls her Anna. Jodi corrects him, which brings him back to the present. Alex queries if Anna was Rob’s wife, his traumatised silence appearing to confirm this.