|The Infants Of Spring|
|Season 1, Episode 5|
Pascalle strips for the first time.
|Air date||August 9, 2005|
|Written by||James Griffin|
|Directed by||Mark Beesley|
The Cause of This Defect
But Never Doubt I Love
The Infants Of Spring is the fifth episode of Series 1
Cheryl has sunk to an all time low. A ‘career’ in junk mail delivery finally breaks her spirit. Even her offspring are worried about her so, spurred on by Jethro’s example of how to be a loving son, they each resolve to do their bit to help out.
Of course, being Wests, this ‘help’ isn’t without an element of self-interest.
Take Pascalle, for instance. She’s still waitressing at The Champagne Club, which is not helping in her quest to be the next Rachel Hunter. Robby, the club owner, suggests that if Pascalle wants to be noticed (and earn more money to feed the family coffers) then she should consider becoming a stripper. It’s not a career path Pascalle has ever considered before, but the way Robby explains it, there are heaps of benefits – plus he’ll get her in the door of a modeling agency…
Van, meanwhile, goes to Wolf to discuss the family’s concerns about Cheryl. Wolf is less than sympathetic – she made the bed, she can lie in it. Instead he’s very keen to set Van up with a dodgy job. Van is deeply un-thrilled by this in that involves Van working with Sparky, a speed-freak psycho nutter electrician/arsonist.
This at a time when, apart from the whole thing that Mr Hong will deep-fry his balls if he finds out Van is rooting his wife, things are going real well for Van. There’s even the possibility in the wind that he’ll get to root Tracy Hong – but only if he roots Mrs Hong, which Tracy doesn’t know he is already, but which he can’t tell her because of the whole deep-fried balls thing…
Loretta’s take on helping out Mum comes in the form of trying to generate income by selling bootleg pre-release DVD’s, bought from the Hongs, through the Video Hut. The main problem with this plan is that (a) Pete, the absentee hippy owner of the store is suddenly spending far too much time there and (b) he won’t actually give Loretta a job that will legitimize her presence there. Neither of these are insurmountable obstacles, as far as Loretta is concerned.
Van, meanwhile, tries to back out of the job with Sparky. Sparky, however, wants an offsider and isn’t taking no for an answer. To add to these woes, life at the Hongs suddenly gets very complicated for Van after an afternoon park-up with Mrs Hong leads to her putting her back out, then Van putting both her and Mr Hong’s car into the river. The deep-fried fate of Van’s balls seems inevitable.
At the Champagne Club, Pascalle embarks on her new career and meets Emma – her tutor in the art of stripping. She learns the moves, the seductive poses, and how stripping actually empowers women.
Van, by contrast, is distinctly disempowered. Tracy gleefully draws out details of the accident from him – positive her father will see through Van’s feeble cover story. As Van considers his fate, a terse Mr Hong rings, sending him to pick up a package. Next thing Sparky calls to say the job’s on now. Van is bummed out – it’s like he needs to be in two places at once. Impossible! Munter, in current possession of their one key to the brain factory, points out the obvious to Van…
Which is how Jethro ends up standing in Van’s room, dressed as Van.
Night has fallen, and all the West children are all up to no good. Loretta is hidden away in the Video Hut office, burning illegal DVDs. Van is with Sparky, preparing for the arson job. At the Champagne Club, it’s almost time for Pascalle’s first strip when…
Pascalle spies Judd and Hickey, in the audience, sitting with a group of off-duty cops on a stag night. All thoughts of empowerment go out the window and it takes a major motivational speech from Emma to convince Pascalle to pop her stripping cherry, as it were. And in the audience we get the feeling that one young Constable Hickey is way more entranced with Pascalle than will be good for either of them.
Meanwhile, Jethro (disguised as Van) picks up Mr Hong’s package from a group of moody-looking Chinese guys. He then, as ordered, drops the package back at the Hong house, where he runs into Tracy. She is well pleased with his ‘work’ (i.e. rooting Mrs Hong) and kisses him. Jethro decides to go with the flow; to see where this ends up – which, as it turns out, is in Tracy’s bed.
Sparky disappears off to do the job, leaving Van parked outside the Video Hut. The name rings bells, so he calls Jethro to check where Loretta works. Jethro, distracted by a naked Tracy Hong straddling him, tells Van to call Loretta. Van does, only to find out his little sister is working inside the shop Sparky is about to burn down.
Inside, Sparky is setting the fire when Loretta confronts him. When persuading Sparky not to go through with the arson falls on deaf ears, Loretta takes matters into her own hands and clunks Sparky on the head with a fire-extinguisher, then puts out the fire. Van bursts in, late, to discover his little sister has more than taken care of the situation.
And so Van arrives back at the Hong house, having survived his ordeal with Sparky. Jethro takes his leave, having survived his rather more enjoyable ordeal with Tracy. Van is none the wiser about what has happened, just as Tracy is none the wiser about which twin she just had sex with.
Mr Hong returns to the house, with Suzy following behind. He explains how disappointed he is that Van betrayed his trust: by writing off the car and injuring his beautiful wife. Tracy can’t believe it – her father has swallowed Van’s feeble cover-story! Mr Hong continues, adding that good news has come of this – and he opens the box to reveal a cake inside, iced with a stork. Suzy is pregnant. Which, in turn, leaves Tracy apoplectic and Van flummoxed. On one hand his balls are intact, on the other he’s just got his bosses’ wife up the duff.
Next morning, Loretta confronts Pete about the attempted arson job. Pete admits all – business is bad and he didn’t know what else to do. So Loretta makes him an offer he can’t refuse – she will be running the Video Hut from now on. So Pete slinks off back to his lifestyle block, leaving Loretta in charge.
The episode ends with a family lunch. With all of her children having contributed from their ill-gotten gains into the family coffers, Cheryl is really proud at her children for rising to the challenge she set them.
In her moment of familial pride, what Cheryl doesn’t notice is that none of them can quite look her in the eye.