SeaChange: episode guide

Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3

If Fish Could Fly


Episode 2.01 (14)
Sunday, June 27, 1999
Written by Deb Cox
Directed by Ali Ali

The second series begins in the aftermath of wild storms which have wreaked havoc in Pearl Bay. The newly opened bridge is once again closed to heavy traffic. Kevin and Trevor return from their ocean adventure to find further havoc at the caravan park. Phrani, whom Kevin left in charge, cries tears of remorse as she shows him the Deluxe Continental caravan floating in the sea. Worse is yet to come, Krzysztof Chrzanowski, the backpacker who was in the van at the time, tries to sue Kevin for pain and suffering and the loss of his soon to be published manuscript on the nature of chaos.

The court is inundated with storm damage claims and the Council is in a financial shamble. Still shattered by Heather's departure, Bob has withdrawn from public life leaving the Council to call for his resignation as Shire President. Laura begins to grapple with conflicting roles as magistrate, mother, Jack's ex-wife and Dan's lover.

It's Dan who comes to Kevin's rescue in court by producing a mullet which he found on the roof of the boatshed. Dan uses the humble fish to prove that no one could have predicted the severity of the storm in Pearl Bay and the Deluxe Continental rolling into the sea was entirely unforeseeable.

Guest Starring: Matthew Green as Lionel, Paul Higgins as Weatherman, Alex Menglet as Krzystof, Tracey Williams as TV Announcer

Note: Patrick Dickerson replaces Paul English in the role of Jack Gibson

Vaya Con Dios to All That


Episode 2.02 (15)
Sunday, July 04, 1999
Written by Max Dann
Additional material by Deb Cox, Andrew Knight
Directed by Ali Ali

Laura and Dan's relationship would be perfect, if it wasn't for everything else in Laura's life. Laura is trying to balance her work, her children and relationship with Dan. However Dan feels left out and tries to tempt Laura with talk of travel to exotic places. Meanwhile, Laura struggles to find a way to fit his dream into her reality. She is shocked to realise that Dan won't compromise — he doesn't mean a holiday, he means go away forever.

The Council is in dire financial straits. Bob's impassioned speech about his financial prowess is rudely interrupted with a court summons for failing to lodge his tax return. The tax prosecutor turns out to be an attractive young woman named Katrina, who takes an increasing interest in Bob, and a surprisingly reasonable position about his fiscal impropriety.

A "family" picnic orchestrated by Rupert ends badly. Upset and frustrated, Rupert runs away. His distraught parents are joined by the town in their search for him. During Rupert's disappearance, Laura grows to realise she needs and wants to stay in Pearl Bay. Moving there was the bravest thing she's ever done and she can't run away again. What Dan wants her to do is the most romantic thing she's ever heard, also the most impossible. To stay is the wise, the noble and the only decision she could come to. Dan has given Laura an ultimatum from which he can"t, or won"t, back down.

Guest Starring: Alison Whyte as Katrina Fennessy

Note: David Wenham's final appearance

Broken Hearts and Crustaceans


Episode 2.03 (16)
Sunday, July 11, 1999
Written by Andrew Knight
Directed by Mandy Smith

Max Connors returns to Pearl Bay after an absence of many years, bringing his wife, Elena, with him. Max, a successful foreign correspondent who has spent the recent past living in war-torn countries, talks of settling down and writing a book. After twelve years, Elena expects an emotional reunion between Max and his father, Len, and his brother, Squid. However, Len seems more interested in tomato plants and Squid is too busy writing songs in order to woo Pam Nugent, the woman he has loved since fifth grade.

Pam Nugent, a local hairdresser, has no intention of being wooed by Squid or his ballads. Squid is somewhat bewildered to find himself facing charges for breaching a court intervention order, but is undeterred, believing his love and his lyrics will win Pam over.

Laura is in the doldrums about Dan. In court, Laura can't concentrate and has to keep adjourning to have a cry in the Ladies' toilets. When Elena, a professional psychologist, approaches Laura about the possibility of working with children in the court system, Laura seizes on the chance to unload.

Bob's attractive new business associate, Katrina Fennessy, has managed to sew up a deal which will make Bob's dream of a Pearl Bay Bank a reality. Bob's vision is shattered when his old adversary, Max, does some checking up on all the backers of the Community Bank and discovers that all is not as it should be.

Guest Starring: Jake Kirov as Paper Boy, Debra Low as Pam Nugent, Jim Russell as Squid Connors, Brett Swain as Griff, Doris Younane as Elena Connors, Alison Whyte as Katrina Fennessy, Frank Wilson as Len Connors

Note: William McInnes joins the series as Max Connors

Sink Or Swim


Episode 2.04 (17)
Sunday, July 18, 1999
Written by Andrew Knight and Sue Hore
Directed by Mandy Smith

Bob Jelly is contemplating suicide because Katrina Fennessy, the woman behind the setting up of a Community Bank in Pearl Bay, has disappeared, taking with her the savings of the entire town — including his.

Max takes matters into his own hands and his efforts are rewarded when Katrina is caught red-handed and remanded in custody. The locals are oblivious to all this, however when word gets out that Katrina has been arrested, they are ready to burn her at the stake — along with Bob. Matters aren't made any better when Bob provides surety for Katrina and Laura grants her bail.

Released on bail, Katrina plans her escape, asking for Bob's help to organise a plane ticket and a false passport. She puts pressure on Bob to flee with her to Vanuatu.

Max has been exercising his investigative skills and discovers Katrina placed the town's money on the stock market. Thanks to her insider trading it has made a handsome profit. Sergeant Grey has to decide whether to pursue Katrina and leave the town penniless or drop the charges and let the town receive a windfall.

Laura confronts Max over his interference in Katrina's case — but her tirade is interrupted by shocking news about Elena. The fragile nature of life and love is brought home to Laura and she seeks comfort from Jack.

Guest Starring: Greg Myles as Race Caller, Brett Swain as Griff, Doris Younane as Elena Connors, Alison Whyte as Katrina Fennessy

Head For Water


Episode 2.05 (18)
Sunday, July 25, 1999
Written by Stuart McDonald
Directed by Sue Brooks

Max won't acknowledge or share his grief over Elena's death, refusing any gestures of support and not allowing anyone to attend the funeral. Unable to express their feelings over the death of Elena directly, the town's sadness manifests itself in their reactions to the drowning of Bucket's dog — Alfonzo Domenico Jones.

Carmen returns to Pearl Bay, convinced a recent tribal workshop has helped her recover from losing her baby, and ready to embark on a career as a journalist. She approaches Max with advice on grief, the suggestion that he start a local newspaper and a requests a job. Despite himself, Max warms to Carmen.

Bob has grand plans to upgrade and rename the local pool "The Jelly Aquatic Complex". His vision is thwarted when Kevin suggests it might help Max through his grief to name the pool after Max's father, Len, a long distance swimming hero.

As Laura deals with her own sadness at the loss of Elena, she tries to offer Max comfort and support. His flippant rejection of her attempts make her feel inadequate. Laura receives some insight into Max and feels a heavy responsibility when she is given a letter in which Elena asks her to keep an eye out for Max.

Guest Starring: Denise Scott as Wilhelmina Seagull, Greg Ulfan as Couda, Brett Swain as Griff, Frank Wilson as Len Connors

The House That Jack Built


Episode 2.06 (19)
Sunday, August 1, 1999
Written by Andrew Knight and Doug Macleod
Additional material by Deb Cox
Directed by Sue Brooks

Laura visits Jack who is making a start to the house he's building and there is a strong hint the hurt between these two is beginning to heal.

Bob's concern over the decline in his sex life with Heather leads him to succumb to marriage counselling. Bob finds the counselling hard going — not only is he taking marriage advice from a gay man but the sessions are highlighting Bob's shortcomings on sensitivity and intimacy.

Meanwhile, the town is terrorised by monster crabs, let loose in suspicious circumstances from a crate being stored by Max's brother, Squid. Eventually it is discovered that the crabs were on consignment for Paula McVeigh, an old flame of Max's, and when she arrives to collect them Max finds himself comforted by her presence.

When Sergeant Grey discovers the loose crabs have ingested drugs planted in the crates they were travelling in, he's quick to order them off the menu at the Tropical Star. Although, some are unaccounted for — such as those Heather and Bob are feasting upon. Whether it's the counselling or the crabs, Heather and Bob head back to the bedroom.

Jack's keen for Laura to rethink their relationship, but Laura's still haunted by the memory of his affair with Trudi. Though, just when things start looking brighter, Jack is forced to confess he's just discovered Trudi is pregnant with his child. Laura is devastated and wants Jack out of her life forever.

Guest cast: Christopher Christo as Constable Justin Constantine, Stephan Freidrich as Jager, Robert Grubb as Barry Boston, Phillip Reilley as Spurt, Jim Russell as Squid Connors, Brett Swain as Griff, Nicki Wendt as Paula McVeigh, Pixie Jones as Joan

Looking Forward to the Past


Episode 2.07 (20)
Sunday, August 8, 1999
Written by Andrew Knight
Story by Tim Pye
Directed by Steve Jodrell

Things are not running smoothly for the annual Pearl Bay Pork Festival. This year Bob has roped in a multinational called "Tony's Hot Ribs" to sponsor the event but Meredith is adamant the town can celebrate its traditions without a sponsor for the festival. Bob points out the festival is a dying event, as hardly anyone turned up last year, and sponsorship is the only way forward. Meredith is furious when Laura agrees with Bob that a sponsor seems a sensible idea.

Max has decided to return to life as a foreign correspondent and accepts a dangerous assignment in Kosovo. However, he is involved in a car accident as he leaves town and is forced to stay in Pearl Bay for the court case. The other driver is a very attractive woman called Imogen Wilkes, the public relations spokesperson for Tony's Hot Ribs. In court, Imogen denies responsibility for the car accident and faces prosecution by an unusually ruthless Karen.

Stuck in town for Imogen's court case, Max enlists Carmen's help in digging up some dirt on Tony's Hot Ribs. He publishes a damning article which causes the company to withdraw sponsorship and it looks like the festival is doomed. Meredith reminisces about past Pork Festivals and discovers a story Max wrote as a child about the delights of the festival. Carmen uses the story to remind the town of the significance of the event and the community rallies to save it. Laura wins Meredith's forgiveness with the lemon butter she made for her, and an offer to judge the Pork Queen Competition.

Guest cast: Paul Cheyne as Young Max, Alex Schepisi as Imogen Wilkes

Manna From Heaven


Episode 2.08 (21)
Sunday, August 15, 1999
Written by Deb Cox and Andrew Knight
Directed by Steve Jodrell

Pearl Bay is turning to dust as voracious insects devour wooden structures all over town. Bob has hauled the local pest exterminator before Laura in court for failing to eradicate the bug that's eating Pearl Bay.

Miranda ropes in Meredith and her phenomenal memory to help with a school project about the history of Pearl Bay. After hours of Meredith recalling each day in excruciating detail, Miranda is amazed when Meredith suddenly has a blank. Max is intrigued by Meredith's memory loss but when he investigates further, realises the same date has the same effect on many other locals — it is missing from their memory.

An old friend of Meredith's arrives in town. Mabel Pearson, now Tenzin Jetsunma, has spent many years away from Pearl Bay searching for enlightenment. As Tenzin espouses the benefits of truth, the town hides a guilty secret from the past. Everyone was in on it, except for Bob. Those involved make a pact to keep the secret but the evidence coming out in the court case threatens to reveal the truth. Worse still is the discovery that the secret the town is hiding is connected to Tenzin and a shipload of sacred wood. This explains the town's crumbling buildings.

Heather's secret about her real parents is killing her and Tenzin's resemblance to the woman in Kevin's dreams is haunting him. Just when it looks as though the town's secret is going to be blown, Heather upstages them all by revealing who her real parents are.

Guest cast: Ian Henderson as Newsreader, Brett Swain as Griff, Yvonne Virsik as Gavin's Lawyer, James Wardlaw as Dr. Foley, David Wicks as Gavin Clooney, Julia Blake as Tenzin Jetsunma

Note: for her work in this episode, Jill Forster (Meredith) won a 1999 AFI Award in the category "Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Television Drama"

Playing With Fire


Episode 2.09 (22)
Sunday, August 22, 1999
Written by Stuart McDonald
Directed by Brendan Maher

The fireworks intended for the centenary celebrations go up with a big bang, blowing the church hall they were stored in to smithereens. Felix, the expert employed by Bob to prepare the fireworks for the celebrations, is suspected of arson and charged. His evidence in court shows that he may fit the profile of a pyromaniac and that he gains sexual gratification from lighting fires — but none of this puts Miranda off. From the moment she sees Felix twirling fire on the beach, she wants him.

The prolonged heatwave is causing some strange behaviour among the residents of Pearl Bay. All the men in town find themselves inexplicably attracted to Laura. Laura accepts a dinner invitation from Max. Although Laura thinks fondue is a strange choice for such a hot night, conversation goes smoothly until Max bluntly suggests he and Laura go to bed. As Laura goes to leave in disgust, her skirt catches fire and Max knocks her to the floor and lies on her to smother any flames. Laura realises that she's enjoying the close physical contact she was craving. Max also enjoys the contact and the two stay entwined long after the threat of fire has passed.

Meanwhile, the discovery of a rocket Rupert and Trevor have built dramatically changes the outcome of Felix's court case.

Guest cast: Brett Swain as Griff, Bow Tasic as Felix Lewinski

Not Such Great Expectations


Episode 2.10 (23)
Sunday, August 29, 1999
Written by Chris Hawkshaw and Andrew Knight
Directed by Brendan Maher

It's vocational guidance time for the younger citizens of Pearl Bay. Craig has failed a maths exam and Bob jumps at the chance to convince Craig to leave school and follow his father's footsteps into the glorious career that is real estate. However, from the outset, Craig has trouble with the world of real estate jargon and finds the whole process of evicting a tenant a bit distasteful. The tenant is Theo Lawrence, an old bloke who's rented the run-down property from Bob for twenty years.

When Sergeant Grey tries to enter the property, Theo assaults him and finds himself in court. His refusal to stay away from the property leaves Laura no option but to remand him in custody. When he tries to kill himself in the cell that night everyone is shocked.

With Theo out of the way, Bob gives Craig the task of staying in the house and preparing it for a quick sale. During his overnight stay, Craig is woken by a ghostly figure who rattles off slick real estate prattle. Maybe Miranda's right and he should just return to school. Max and Craig make a gruesome discovery at Theo's house, and questions about cousin Jim Jelly's whereabouts for the past twenty years are finally answered.

The ghost of Craig's future continues to haunt him until finally he realises life as a real estate agent is not for him. With Miranda's help he begins to recognise his talents and a career outside his father's business.

Guest cast: Jacinta Brearley as William's sister, Thomas Bromhead as Home Bidder, Christopher Christo as Constable Justin Constantine, Myles Geddes as William Bogle, Matthew Green as Lionel, Monty Maizels & Norma Brown as Home Owners, Rachel Maza as Mrs Armistead, Ian Scott as Theo Lawrence, Steve Vidler as The Ghost

Kitty Litter


Episode 2.11 (24)
Sunday, September 05, 1999
Written by Andrew Knight
Directed by Paul Moloney

Miranda suddenly decides she doesn't want to stay at her father's house any more and Laura is horrified to learn a very pregnant Trudi is now living there with Jack. From now on Jack must visit the children at her house, on her terms. It takes a long while for Laura to realise what pressure she is putting on her children and admit to herself that she is worried about being replaced as their mother.

In court Laura is faced with another case of divided loyalties and ownership of disputes. Cynthia, Harold's estranged wife, is charged with assaulting her neighbour, but the case appears to be more about ownership of a mangy cat.

The cat in the middle of the ownership dispute is confiscated by Laura and somehow ends up with Max. He's allergic to the thing and despises the affection it shows towards him. Another arrival in Max's life causes more upheaval. An old television journo mate, Brent Cauchi, arrives in town. Good looking and charming, Brent turns his attentions to Laura and she agrees to a date. As Laura and Brent spend a night together, Max is left sneezing and sniffling with the cat, experiencing more than a hint of jealousy.

Laura tries to employ the wisdom of Solomon in an attempt to solve the cat ownership dispute between Cynthia and her neighbour. However, her plan backfires and Max realises he could be stuck with the cat for life.

Guest cast: Reg Evans as Lewis Murphy, Marion Heathfield as Cynthia Fitzwalter, Mark Lee as Brent Cauchi

Note: Harold's wife was previously portrayed by Dawn Klingberg in episode 1.02 (see image 5)

Other People's Opinions


Episode 2.12 (25)
Sunday, September 12, 1999
Written by Andrea Denholm and Doug Macleod
Directed by Paul Moloney

Laura wakes up to find Max lying beside her wide awake and wondering what happened the night before. Laura assures him it was the alcohol and the antihistamines and that nothing happened. To avoid having to explain the situation to Rupert and Miranda, Laura insists Max leave via the bedroom window. Unfortunately there has been a small but strange fire in the caravan park and the crowd that has gathered to see it also witnesses Max's exit from Laura's window.

Angus and Karen finally set a wedding date. With Sergeant Grey on a well-earned break, Karen is left in charge. Her first assignment is to investigate the caravan park fire and her prime suspect is none other than Ravi Kapoor, the handsome Indian film director, who has selected Pearl Bay as the location for his next film. Karen suspects a link with Phrani who has been acting strangely. Karen finds her encounters with Ravi leave her with gnawing doubts about the plans she has made for her future.

The speculation that began when Max climbed out of Laura's bedroom window escalates and Max and Laura are the subject of the hottest gossip in town. Laura is horrified by what people are saying and demands Max do something. Max publishes an article in "The Oyster" denying the allegations. Laura is furious at being portrayed as a femme fatale. Max pleads innocence and publishes another article, describing Laura as a middle-aged, strait-laced magistrate.

Guest cast: Matthew Green as Lionel, Francis Greenslade as Simmo, Maree Hingston as Helen Morgan, Raj Ryan as Ravi Kapoor, Brett Swain as Griff, Adam Zwar as Constable Valos

Law and Order


Episode 2.13 (26)
Sunday, September 19, 1999
Written by Deb Cox
Directed by Deb Cox and Paul Moloney

With the bridge about to re-open, the powers that be decide to close the Pearl Bay court and transfer all the cases to the new Port Deakin legal complex. The town embarks on a civil disobedience campaign to increase the case load and save the court at Pearl Bay.

Amalgamation of the Pearl Bay council into Port Deakin threatens the very existence of Pearl Bay. Desperate to make the world understand the town's plight, a distraught Meredith grabs a gun and heads for the courtroom. Some quick-thinking by Max sets up a most unlikely siege. Police and media attention is suddenly focused on Pearl Bay court, where a mad gunwoman has Max, Meredith, Heather, Karen, Angus, Kevin, Phrani, Harold and Laura hostage.

Outside the court, experts decide how to deal with the gunwoman's demands while Trudi announces to Laura and the world that she needs Laura's forgiveness before her baby is born. Max gets news that his publisher has dropped him. Laura and Max bond over their disappointments and a bottle of peach brandy.

Bob's anguish over Heather being held hostage intensifies when he realises the truth behind the council amalgamation. He devises a plan to save Pearl Bay. The siege ends leaving the authorities bewildered, Sergeant Grey suspicious, and the hostages safe and sound. After a confession from Max, Laura decides staying in Pearl Bay might not be the worst option for her.

Guest cast: Fiona Corke as Trudi Dawson, Peter Curtin as Port Deakin Mayor, Terry Kenwrick as Senior Police Officer, Jeremy Kewley as Geoff, Brett Swain as Griff