1.11 Do You Read Me by Galia Hardy
Summary: We meet Mrs Cook, a School of the Air teacher, and her teenage daughter Margie. Margie is dating Max and asks Chris to get the pill, and Chris prescribes it without hesitation. When Margie goes to get the prescription fulfilled, she's overheard by Violet, and soon half the town knows about the girl and her supposedly immoral behaviour. Meanwhile, Mrs Cook is courted by George, who decides to help - and is told to back off. There's also a winch bursting, dropping some heavy pipes on a drill worker, and Kate, Tom, Gibbo and Max (who was helping out) have to clear a path for the plane to land. Margie then suspects she's pregnant and she and Max try to run away to get it checked out by a doctor somewhere else but get into a car crash, and Margie loses the baby.
Recurring characters: Joe, Kate, George, Tom, Chris, Sharon, Gibbo, Violet, Nancy, Ron, Vic, Frank, Emma.
Sometimes, I really don't envy young women living in the Outback. Margie goes to get the pill, so that she can have a physical relationship with the one she loves but without having an unwanted pregnancy, and what thanks does she get? None. Her morality is brought into question, because, as Violet points out, when she was Margie's age you didn't do that sort of thing until you were married, and that's that. It also doesn't help that Violet is Violet and spreads the news to Nancy and the rest of the town, meaning Margie's mother is the last one to know about it.
Telling Nancy also means that the thought of how Margie might rub off on Sharon and lead her into temptation is brought up. Oh dear gods.
When Mrs Cook finally tells George to stop interfering, he's already complained to Tom about Chris's "irresponsible" behaviour. Who does Chris think she is? She "shouldn't get away with it". Welcome to the stone age! I hope you hit your head on a rock!
I wasn't very taken with this episode, as it felt lacking, somehow. It wasn't short on drama per se, but there was too much talking and not enough doctoring, in a way. Tom got to tend to a young boy's dog, and help the man crushed under the pipes, but that was basically it.
On the plus side, Chris got to make a good argument for why she prescribed the pill, and why she should prescribe the pill, and Tom agreed with her ... but reminded her that it's a small town. For a small town, they seem to have no medical confidentiality, considering how Violet overheard the prescription being filled in the store. Then again, Violet isn't bound by doctor-patient confidentiality, but STILL. She really gets on my nerves, but what else is new?