SeaChange: episode guide

Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3

Best Laid Plans


Episode 3.01 (27)
Sunday, August 27, 2000
Written by Deb Cox
Directed by Steve Jodrell

It seems that after countless setbacks, life is finally going to plan in Pearl Bay. Right next to Phrani's new café, Max and Carmen have established an office for their newspaper, the "Oyster", both of which are within the walls of the new beachfront co-op. Even Laura is at peace with her life.

Enter bulldozer. The town is thrown together in their fight to save MacGettigan's boatshed from demolition. Baffled and angry that the local council would sell such an historical landmark — which doubles as Max's home — the town looks for answers. It isn't long before the collective finger is pointed at Bob Jelly. Offended and outraged, Bob sets about proving his innocence, a task made particularly difficult by the fact he is one hundred percent guilty.

In the midst of the chaos, Karen returns from a six week overseas trip. Almost immediately, she begins to reassess Pearl Bay and her place within it. Even Angus has difficulty reconciling the Karen who left and the one who came back. Convinced the role of constable is no longer for her, Karen quits the police force — and Angus.

As Max watches the destruction of his home, Laura is sympathetic. Guilty that her professional obligations prevent her participating in the protests at the boatshed, Laura offers Max her couch. Remembering later her kids are spending the night with their Dad, Laura realises she and Max will be alone in the same house. All night.

With memories of Dan and Elena laid to rest with the stripped down shed, Laura and Max feel ready to move forward. Yet, even in the aftermath of such a monumental event and more importantly, a passionate moment with Max, Laura finds past lessons hard to forget and insists their relationship remains platonic.

Guest Starring: Fiona Corke as Trudi Dawson, Peter Curtin as Port Deakin Mayor, Christen O'Leary as Emily, Gary Waddell as Foreman, Mark Guerin as Suited Man, David Gould as Port Deakin Police, Aston Elliot as Port Deakin Police

How Much Greener Was My Neighbour's Valley


Episode 3.02 (28)
Sunday, September 03, 2000
Written by Andrew Knight
Directed by Steve Jodrell

Sergeant Grey is beside himself. He demands reinforcements to combat the insanity about to unfold. Relationships will be destroyed, the streets will become boxing rings — but then again the annual CFA Dance always ends in tears.

Taking advantage of this year's Latin theme, seductive flamenco dancing instructor Francesca spins into town — a spate of jealous crimes against local women following her. However, the Latino bomb instantly wins over the male population — even Max falls prey to her charm. He soon finds himself Francesca's unwilling dance student and CFA Dance escort.

Due to the "just good friends" policy she instigated with Max, Laura won't allow herself to appear jealous. Determined not to look desperate, Laura is reduced to seeking a date in Pearl Bay. Naturally, she is left with no choice but to call in outside hired help.

Angus, too, is consumed by jealousy. Still reeling after Karen called it quits, he stoops to stalking, snooping and other irrational acts. Only when Karen turns up at the dance with Griff on her arm does he breathe a sigh of relief.

After Bob has his licence suspended, Heather reluctantly takes over the running of Bob Jelly Real Estate. Jules helps out and displays all the traits necessary to succeed in property sales — insincerity and ruthlessness. When she is accused of thieving from a client's home, no one's quick to defend her. Even Heather has her doubts.

When the dreaded night of the dance finally arrives Francesca's veneer slips, exposing her true colours. Jules' innocence is proved while Laura and Max are relieved of their dates, again finding themselves alone in an impossibly romantic setting. Pity about the "just good friends" policy.

Guest Starring: Natalia Novikova [Natasha Novak] as Francesca, Michael Muntz as Hugh, Adam Zwar as Constable Velos, Matt Hetherington as Mark Lawrence, Jean-Jacques Potail as Kovacs, Laura Fitzpatrick as Shannon, Rhona Rees Azucar as Flick

Note: this episode yielded AFI Award nominations in the categories "Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, TV Drama Series" (Tom Long) and "Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role, TV Drama Series" (Natalia Novikova)

Hungi Jury


Episode 3.03 (29)
Sunday, September 10, 2000
Written by Andrew Knight, Sherri McIver
Directed by Mandy Smith

There is trouble in the ranks of the Pearl Bay Football Club's women's auxiliary. Newly elected president Vicki Drury has rejected former president Heather Jelly's hungi proposal. The tension in the air could be cut with a cake fork. Laura couldn't have picked a worse time to become a member, besides the fact that a) she isn't married and b) she doesn't have a husband. Meredith did try to warn her.

Max busies himself with the newspaper and spatting with Carmen. Their squabbling continues when they're on assignment, the argument taking a personal turn. Both come to realise they are united in grief. The toxic waste dump under investigation then serves as the backdrop for a night of heated passion… and the beginning of an affair.

After deciding real estate was not her vocation, Karen starts work as the new barmaid at the Tropical Star. She accuses Angus of being too predictable. In an attempt to break his unwavering, if not slightly boring, routine, Angus takes leave from the court. Kevin's world is thrown into a tailspin, no longer being able to rely on Angus as his human sundial.

Banished from the women's auxiliary after daring to move the coffee urn on game day, Laura finds herself in the power seat — in court. Vicki's husband, cricket legend Dave Drury, is accused of vandalising his own sports store. While Vicki is humiliated in front of the town the real jury awaits her in the committee room.

Max does his best to avoid Laura, knowing how badly she will react to the Carmen situation. Max's luck runs out when Laura invites him over for dinner. Over the blue eye with garlic mash, Laura implies she might have room for Max in her life after all. Max takes the opportunity to announce he has met someone else, careful to keep Carmen's identity a secret. Tension fills the room — you could almost cut it with a cake fork…

Guest Starring: Deborra-Lee Furness as Vicki Drury, Andrew Clarke as Dave Drury, Maree Hingston as Joy

Note: two more AFI Award nominations in 2000 came from this episode: "Best Episode in a Television Drama Series" and "Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role, TV Drama Series" (Deborra-Lee Furness)

Bonfire of the VCRs


Episode 3.04 (30)
Sunday, September 17, 2000
Written by Deb Cox, Graeme Koetsveld
Directed by Mandy Smith

As the news of Carmen and Max's affair infiltrates the town, Carmen heads to the city, feigning excitement about a job interview. Max feels guilty, but Carmen insists she's not leaving town because of him, in fact she has no regrets. Furious that Max has broken her niece's heart, Meredith, along with the other local women send him to coventry — except Laura. No-one is brave enough to tell her.

An Administrator is appointed to replace the now defunct Port Deakin Council. Max is at the press conference where Morton Tregonning is introduced to the world, revealing plans for a tunnel to connect Pearl Bay and Port Deakin. Meredith fears for the local economy and surprisingly unites with Bob, when he calls for a complete Port Deakin boycott.

Dennis Dreeble, former nature documentary presenter turned disillusioned guru burns all the TVs and VCRs members of the commune have been secretly stashing. Dennis and Harold form an unlikely alliance and it's Harold who eventually helps his hippie nephew to mellow.

The townsfolk scratch their heads when Bob makes a 180 degree shift in attitude to Port Deakin. Bob couldn't be more supportive of the new Administrator when Morton reveals he had no intention of stealing Bob's local thunder. In fact he wants to join forces with Bob and dedicate the tunnel to him.

Carmen returns on the heels of Laura discovering the truth. Carmen takes full responsibility for the affair, describing Max as one of the most sensitive men she has ever met. She would have never let him go if he wasn't so obviously in love with Laura. While the town's women forgive Max immediately Laura struggles to let him off the hook so easily… until she witnesses a shattered Max: Carmen did leave town because of him after all.

Guest Starring: Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning, Kym Gyngell as Dennis Dreeble, Ross Thompson as Hector Stokes, Myles Collins as Suited Lackey, Paul Pontian as Swarthy Man, Clare Larman as Alternative Lifestyler




Episode 3.05 (31)
Sunday, October 08, 2000
Written by Deb Cox
Directed by David Cameron

Laura is tired of being let down by the men in her life. Aside from Max's recent dalliance with Carmen, Angus" voyage of self discovery has left her without a court clerk. If only people weren't so damn complicated and her office so messy. When Warwick Munro, a consultant employed to review the effectiveness of the magistrate's court arrives, Laura is forced to employ Karen to give the illusion of order in her court. Warwick is handsome, affable and velvet voiced but above all, uncomplicated.

Angus has what is akin to a religious experience. An associate of surfing legend-cum-business magnate, Mark Richards, approaches him with a proposition. The town rallies behind Angus to impress Mark's entourage by converting the co-op into a make-shift surfboard factory. However, his prospects of making boards for his god are dashed when his template surfboard is stolen, prompting Angus to take the law into his own hands. With Griff and Kevin as accomplices it is no surprise Angus ends up in court facing his ex-boss and ex-girlfriend.

Warwick witnesses as Laura presides over Angus' case, which borders on the absurd, even for Pearl Bay. Angus confesses he used Karen's hip measurements as inspiration to shape the board. Karen is moved, it appears Angus is making up some ground.

Redemption is also on Max's mind. Max befriends Warwick and claims Laura single handedly reinstated law and order in the once troubled community. When Warwick reveals to Laura that Max has been singing her praises, it appears as though Max's ploy to win back Laura's affections has worked.

However, when Warwick makes it known his interest in Pearl Bay's magistrate isn't strictly professional, Max can't help but stage a sabotage. When Warwick professes his deep attraction for Laura, she is flattered until he discusses his willingness to help her along with her "personal battle with alcohol". Laura recognises Max's sneaky handiwork, sending Max back to square one.

After successfully defending himself in court, Angus goes to the city for his big meeting with Mark Richards. Overwhelmed by business jargon and the prospect of moving away from Pearl Bay and its surf, Angus realises he is more comfortable in a wetsuit than a twin breasted Armani.

Guest Starring: Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Tiriel Mora as Derek Brewer, Frances Greenslade as Simmo, Frank Magree as Simon Lloyd, Lesley Baker as Mrs Chatham, Marty Fields as Mitchell Chatham, Frank Kennedy as Tyson, David Gould as Port Deakin Cop, Mark Richards as himself

Adversely Possessed


Episode 3.06 (32)
Sunday, October 15, 2000
Written by Andrew Knight
Directed by David Cameron

Warwick Munro has prolonged his stay in Pearl Bay, but no-one seems to mind. In fact, the entire community is falling for his charms, not to say everyone is responding to him as well as others. Max would very much like to see the back of him. Even Laura isn't warming to him as easily as she would like, yet she is convinced she will fall for him any moment. Soon. If only Warwick's endless line of new friends would stop interrupting them every time they get close to achieving any form of intimacy.

Apart from Warwick, the town's attention has also turned to Still Waters, a city newspaper column telling the life and times of a small country town. The parallels between the fictional town and Pearl Bay are uncanny. Yet no-one seems to recognise themself.

Miranda's interest in journalism increases too, fancying herself as a prime candidate for a cadetship at the Oyster. Max would love to take her on if he hadn't had Karen forced upon him. Not one for giving up, Miranda shows her true investigative reporter grit and identifies the real author of 'still Waters". When Miranda shares her discovery with Max, she is hired on the spot.

Morton Tregonning holds a secret meeting with Bob to discuss the proposed Port Deakin-Pearl Bay tunnel. He informs Bob a property in the path of the development must be purchased at whatever cost. The fact Griff is the tenant is only a minor consideration for Bob. After all, Griff hasn't paid rent for thirteen years and decency should never get in the way of profit. Bob decides to buy the property, mark it up and sell it on to Morton.

Griff's eviction sparks outcry from the community and as Bob Jelly Realty's only licensed agent, Heather bares the brunt of it. Racked with guilt, Heather encourages Griff to challenge her in court. Running out of time to pull off his scheme, Bob is forced to pay Griff off. However, Morton loses interest in acquiring the property, leaving Bob with a title deed for a shabby shack, no money and Griff as house guest. Bob finds himself approaching rock bottom and Morton hasn't even begun to play for real.

Just when it seemed Warwick couldn't make any more friends, he does the impossible and becomes buddies with Jack. Laura is immediately suspicious of Jack's easy going approach to her love life, until he announces he has found true love himself — with Trudi! Laura is sickened. But why should she care? She is about to fall for Warwick any minute now. Soon. Really.

Guest Starring: Fiona Corke as Trudi Dawson, Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning

Blowing In The Wind


Episode 3.07 (33)
Sunday, October 22, 2000
Written by Stuart McDonald

Directed by Stuart McDonald

A strange wind blows into town leaving the locals unsettled and with a couple of visitors. Tama, a Pacific Island prince and Mad Girl Madigan, a renegade sailor with an aversion to compasses and itinerary, make their presence felt.

Although work commitments keep Warwick out of Pearl Bay, Laura feels his presence courtesy of a constant stream of flowers and gifts. Thanks to Griff's new job as flower delivery boy, Max is able to intercept Warwick's deliveries, amused by the hopelessly written notes attached. Horrified to learn of Max's breach of privacy, if not disappointed that he may be right, Laura defends her admirer's attempts at romance. How can romance be boring?

To show how interesting things could be, a drunk Max jokingly constructs his own "version" of a Warwick love letter. When it is accidentally delivered moments before Warwick arrives at Laura's doorstep, Miranda warns Max of the trouble he is about to cause. Max's attempts to placate Laura fail.

Griff is luckier in love. Spurred on by his immediate affection for feisty drifter Madi and the bribe money Bob handed him, Griff decides it's time to settle down and become a home owner. Heather throws herself into finding just the right place for him, his wife-to-be and his yet to be born children. However, just as the contract is about to be signed Griff and Madi sail out to sea.

Heather is ready to shake up her life as well. Encouraged by her success as an estate agent, Heather sees life outside the kitchen, suggesting she and Bob become business partners. Bob is horrified. There is only room for one visionary in the Jelly household.

Guest Starring: Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Rene Naufahu as Tama, Emma Strand as Madi, Kurt Geyer as Roger

I Name Thee Bay of Pearls


Episode 3.08 (34)
Sunday, November 05, 2000
Written by Andrew Knight, Andrea Denholm
Directed by Stuart McDonald

Laura's mother, June, arrives in town during a geriatric traffic crime spree. June's suspiciously sudden appearance is more of an inconvenience than a pleasure for Laura, who is too caught up in her own life to sense her mother's sadness. When Laura eventually discovers her father's declining health has forced June to place him into respite care, she is forced to reassess her priorities.

Max begins to spend more time with his father and his friends, learning of Pearl Bay's real, great, textured history. However, Bob has his own interpretation of the town's past and plans to turn Pearl Bay into Ye Olde Pearl Bay — a sure-fire tourism hit. Max plays along with Bob's redundant plan for his own entertainment. When judgement day arrives and the city tourist agents descend on the town, instead of letting Bob hang himself, Max turns an inevitable disastrous slide show into a tribute to the older citizens of Pearl Bay.

Meanwhile, Harold feels the grip of old age tightening. His frustration is worsened by representing elderly drivers caught in the recent, unexplained traffic crime spree. Meredith reminds him being comfortable with yourself defies age, presenting him with a nude portrait of herself. One look at the picture and Harold is young again.

Guest Starring: Esme Melville as Ruby, Christopher Connelly as Travel Agent, Monty Maizels as Lou Farotti, Carol Raye as June Dawson, Frank Wilson as Len Connors

Note: more AFI Award nominations from this episode: "Best Direction in a Television Drama" (Stuart McDonald), "Best Screenplay in a Television Drama" (Andrew Knight & Andrea Denholm) and a winner for "Best Episode in a Television Drama Series"

Eminent Persons


Episode 3.09 (35)
Sunday, November 12, 2000
Written by Hannie Rayson and Andrew Knight
Directed by Ben Lewin

The Port Deakin councillors sacked earlier under accusations of fraud and money laundering are finally brought to trial before Laura. It becomes apparent to her, and all involved, that the entourage of legal eagles — headed by an old associate of Laura's, Q.C. Hilary Tonks — have the case so manipulated and under control there is nothing they can do to prove the obvious guilt of those charged.

Max is quick to realise all is not right and he works hard to figure out exactly who is financing such an extensive case, while Morton Tregonning lurks suspiciously about, adamant he too, wants justice to prevail.

It's not only Laura's impotence to deliver legal justice which riles Max. After a disastrous dinner where he can't resist needling the pretentious Hilary and ruffling the unrufflable Warwick, Max attacks the company Laura chooses to keep. An emotional argument ensues which catapults Laura into accepting Warwick's proposal of marriage… far from what Max had intended. He's left devastated.

Laura's even more furious when Max publishes an emotionally charged article written by Miranda about the case over which she is presiding.

At home, Laura is furious and put out to discover she's not included in the list of eminent local people chosen to address Rupert's class at school. Kevin is speaking, as is Phrani, and even Bob Jelly has been asked. Much to Rupert's horror, Laura heads off to the school to find out why. Along the way she also discovers a fraudulent thing or two Rupert has been up to.

Heather Jelly is excited to discover she's been offered a real estate award. Bob's peeved, assuring her it's of no real consequence — that a pre-existing date with Sid Farley is of more importance to him than accompanying her to the award's night. Buoyed by her parents, Heather grows to realise the significance of what she's been offered. Shunned by his wife, Bob plummets to an even deeper low when confronted by Morton and threats of possible jail sentences he intends to instigate against Bob.

Guest Starring: Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning, Katrina Foster as Hilary Tonks, Maryanne Fahey as Kerry Philby, Simon Gleeson as Constable Storey, Alicia Gardiner as Secretary, Adam Zwar as Constable Valos, Hamish Hughes as Mr. Virgo, Steven Smith as Instructing Solicitor

Checks and Balances


Episode 3.10 (36)
Sunday, November 19, 2000
Written by Deb Cox and Andrew Knight
Directed by: Ben Lewin

When Kevin's sister, Suzy, suddenly appears in town it becomes apparent to Phrani the reason for Kevin's recent secretive behaviour. His father has died and if it wasn't for the arrival of Suzy demanding from Kevin a precious guitar which belonged to their father, it's unlikely she would ever have heard of Kevin's loss. Things are not to be settled easily between the siblings and the case ends up in the magistrate's court. Reluctantly discrepancies over the memories of their father come out and Suzy's adamant belief their father was a member of the famous "Master's Apprentices" is shattered by Kevin.

Laura is reluctant to spread the news of her impending marriage, being particularly adamant to the wary Miranda that Max shouldn't be told yet. At the same time she tackles Jack — now that their divorce has been finalised she's anxious to square financial debts he owes.

Bob's worried about Heather's failure to return home, but of even more concern are the impending criminal charges Morton has threatened him with. A desperate man, Bob can't believe his fortune when, in an apparent turnaround, Morton offers to back him in his quest for the mayoral robes.

Meredith shocks both Heather and Karen when she reveals a secret rendezvous she has with an old lover each year. She's got nothing to hide — Harold knows all about it. It's about honesty in a relationship, she tells them and Karen is immediately alerted. She confesses to Angus there are pages missing from the diary she once showed him of her overseas trip. Angus is shocked to find what was missing was a spicy account of an affair with a rich Italian count. Desperate to counter the balance Karen suggests he have an affair, but is horrified to discover he's chosen local bombshell Janice Goldman.

Strangely enough Meredith encounters Angus when both are supposedly on their respective dates. They reveal to each other the true purpose in being there and share a warm moment of understanding. It's all about checks and balances, they decide.

Guest Starring: Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning, Kaarin Fairfax as Suzy; Masters Apprentices: Jim Keays, Doug Ford, Colin Burgess, Tony Day; Bianca La Serra as Janice Goldman, Bruce Paterson as Security Guard, Barry James as Minister, Jamie Marsh as Waiter

Love in the Time of Coleridge


Episode 3.11 (37)
Sunday, November 26, 2000
Written by Hannie Rayson and Andrea Denholm
Directed by Ian Watson

Laura's on a one way track to the altar, she's made her commitment and standing by it. No amount of doubt on Miranda's behalf is going to dissuade her. Celebrants are interviewed, the dress has been chosen.

Max has been offered a lucrative job deal with a prestigious international newspaper. Old colleague, Ian Cameron, can't believe Max would contemplate returning to the lifestyle which not so long ago nearly cost him his sanity. Nor can he believe how desperately someone wants Max out of Pearl Bay. Max has no doubt as to who that someone is… Morton Tregonning. Not that there's much reason to stay. Laura has made her decision, and the town have refused to speak to him since he was revealed as author of the satirical 'still Waters" articles.

Max's announcement he's leaving shocks them nonetheless and Meredith tries to gently question his history of being drawn to life's tragedy. The words of the "Ancient Mariner" are dragged back from his past. Has he too 'shot the albatross" in letting Laura slip away from him?

At the eleventh hour Max forces Laura away to hear what he must confess — aptly they end up careering downriver in an out-of-control dinghy. Amid all Max reveals his feelings and it's only Kevin's offer to tow them back to safety which stops Laura in her tracks. Her commitment to Warwick must stand firm.

The hen's night and buck's nights unroll — one as appalling as the other. Unable to take it any more Laura finally makes a hasty exit… straight into the arms of the awaiting Max. At last…

Bob's on the campaign trail for mayor and Morton's in control. In the hands of Astrid, the sexy image consultant, Bob becomes putty. Bob tries to warn Heather she's letting a tiger on the loose by ignoring him, but she fails to respond so Bob limbers up for Astrid. He's out of his depth, however, and sweating over the prospect of having to "perform" for the brazen Astrid, Bob looks for an escape.

Guest Starring: Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning, Fiona Corke as Trudi Dawson, Robert Grubb as Barry Boston, Francis Greenslade as Simmo, Daina Reid as Astrid Moore, Anh Do as Quan Tho, Russell Kiefel as Ian Cameron, Elspeth Ballantyne as Coral Kiss, John Dicks as Rev. Neil Snark, Tony Le Nguyen as Van Nguyen, Justin Lehmann as Cadet Journalist, Christine Chua as Wendy Chin, Jentah Sobott as Carol Stephens, Eric Ho as Baby Lewis

Note: AFI Award nominee for "Best Screenplay in a Television Drama" (Hannie Rayson and Andrea Denholm)

To Thine Own Self Be Relatively True


Episode 3.12 (38)
Sunday, December 03, 2000
Written by Matt Cameron and Andrew Knight
Directed by Ian Watson

Laura wakes up in Max's bed and is immediately wracked with guilt. Determined as she is to tell Warwick what has happened, the moment seems to constantly elude her. To make matters worse a distraught Jack, trying to fathom his life now that Trudi has deserted him, appeals to Laura as the "good"" Gibson sister — the one that would never cheat or deceive.

Although Barry Boston is preoccupied with a broken heart himself he does what he can to counsel Bob in his quest to get Heather back. Unfortunately Bob's appeals to Heather ring a little insincere as he seems more concerned about getting his Lady Mayoress back than his wife. So when Meredith decides to stand for election herself a furious Heather's dilemma resolves itself — she"ll back Meredith! Not even Morton Tregonning's attempts to coerce her back have any sway.

Bob's campaign, however, is powering along… Bob Dole style. And Morton is definitely in control. He's finally got Max rattled with threats of exposing a "breakdown" Max apparently had in his past. Bob's been pacified with a platinum credit card and supposed involvement in important business transactions with overseas "interests". Bob, though, is quick to spread word of his secret business deals and Max's investigations reveal exactly what Bob has got himself involved in. Pearl Bay is to become a chemical waste dump for the nuclear industry!

To add to Bob's woes Craig decides he might be gay. Some strange logic leads him to believe a touch of the "unexpected" will make him attractive to Miranda. Besides, in a fit of compassion, Bob has invited the bereft Barry to live with them for a while in his mother's absence and there's something about those dinners he cooks, the way he dresses.

Guest Starring: Shaun Micallef as Warwick Munro, Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning, Robert Grubb as Barry Boston, Francis Greenslade as Simmo, Marco Chiappi as Ari Dascarellis, Eslpeth Ballantyne as Coral Kiss, Janet Foye as Val, Stephen Jenkins as Lafont, Jonathan Pasvolsky as Head Waiter, Dennis Manahan as Singing Telegram Man, "Vardos" as Gypsy Violinists



Episode 3.13 (39)
Sunday, December 10, 2000
Ratings: 2.4 million viewers
Written by Deb Cox and Andrew Knight
Directed by Ian Watson

Laura and Max may well have sorted out their love life, but all is not running smoothly otherwise. While Laura's left to take the wrath of Warwick's unknowing parents who have arrived for their son's wedding, Max is confronted by criminal charges and the closure of his newspaper. Morton Tregonning has come down hard on the town as he sets about launching his chemical waste dump in Pearl Bay. Just as soon as that tunnel from Port Deakin opens it"ll be up and running.

Max works out a plan with the town on how to keep the newspaper operating. All will be fine so long as they can keep moving the printer to different locations and changing editor-in-chief daily…

Meredith, meanwhile, is growing increasingly frustrated by the town's inability to realise just how dangerous the waste dump will be for Pearl Bay — her passion drowned out by promises of new jobs. A sense of doom prevails. Until the town suddenly comes to a halt when Meredith collapses. She's had a stroke and lies in hospital with very little hope of recovering.

The town is devastated, unable to comprehend life without their Meredith. While Heather and Harold keep up a bedside vigil, others decide to rally to her cause. Heather shames Bob into restanding for the mayoral election — on an environmental, anti-Morton platform, Max has the unenviable task of promoting Pearl Bay's new David Suzuki, while Miranda and Craig take the law into their own hands by attempting to interrupt work on the tunnel.

Miranda and Craig are arrested and when Laura learns that all police and legal authority within the town has been taken over by Morton's Port Deakin stooges, she's furious — quits as magistrate and decides to defend Miranda in court herself. The court case goes badly until Max discovers an anomaly which saves the day, but not the fate of the town. That comes from another source…. As Meredith's life support is switched off, an earthquake rattles the area. Morton's tunnel is suddenly out of kilter and he's forced to watch his vision wash out to sea.

Amid all Karen has been heading sadly towards the inevitable "surf wedding" but can't believe her eyes when the day finally arrives. Led by Angus, the town have secretly created the wedding she's always dreamed off, and apart from the sad reminder Meredith is not with them, the happy event draws everyone together.

Guest Starring: Mark Mitchell as Morton Tregonning, Francis Greenslade as Simmo, Brett Swain as Griff, David Bradshaw as Frank Tucker, Robert Morgan as Sgt. Odgers, Gary Waddell as Foreman, Charlie Powles as Priest, Erik Donnison as Lindsay Gould, Oscar Redding as Doctor, Marijke Mann as Natalie Munro, Ralph Morrison as Ron Munro, William Houten as Police Prosecutor