Series 2 Episode 17 - Wherein Our Saviour’s Birth is Celebrated
Outrageous Fortune: The Movie (Christmas Special): A traditional Kiwi Christmas with a uniquely West family twist.
It’s the festive season once again in New Zealand and the West family is divided on their annual Christmas-New Year sojourn to their favourite holiday spot, Tutaekuri Bay.
Cheryl is a walking emotional disaster zone. She’s worried about Judd; she’s furious with Wolf for framing Judd; she’s pissed off with the legal system for keeping Judd in when he should so clearly be remanded at large; then there’s the whole Christmas thing getting on top of her…
Judd, for his part, is being incredibly honourable and optimistic about everything. His appeal to the High Court about his remand conditions is scheduled for tomorrow and he and his lawyer are both confident that he will be released
on his own recognisance. Thus he thinks Cheryl should hold all thoughts of revengeand blame and concentrate instead on Christmas.
Van is raving to Aurora about how choice Tutaekuri Bay is – and the really great things they get up to every year they go there.
Ever since the operation (for his brain tumour), Grandpa has been a changed man – full of life and mischief.
Pascalle, meanwhile, is having a major ethical dilemma. Should she follow her sense of duty to her family? Or should she stay in Auckland with her beloved Dr Bruce, who will be spending Xmas on call.
On the fringe of the family, the two usual/unusual suspects, Eric and Munter, are raring to go on holiday. Eric has even cleaned the bus this year. (He has an old bus at his disposal, which has traditionally been the centre of operations for the West family at the beach.) Munter has just got back from the Coromandel where he’s had his traditional early Christmas with his Mum so he can spend his real Christmas with the Wests.
Jethro has decided this is the year he will decline the tempting offer of camping and the worm composting toilets and other luxuries of the Department of Conservation camping ground at Tutaekuri Bay.
And of course Loretta is a more stubborn nut for Cheryl to crack. Now that she’s got a boyfriend and has discovered sex, she’s looking forward to having the house to herself (and Hayden) and treating it as a sexual gymnasium until… Hayden tells her that he’s going to spend Xmas with his Mum and family in Australia and Loretta reneges on her position and decides to join her much loved family in Tutaekuri Bay.
Thus the cast of players are almost assembled, poised, ready to go….
On the day of departure, a military operation is underway with not very military efficiency. The motley crew has assembled at the house, but before they set off Cheryl has lone last piece of business to take care of – and one more passenger to pick up. Cheryl takes off, leaving last minute instructions for the others – which they promptly ignore.
Cheryl arrives at the High Court to be greeted by Judd’s lawyer. It is looking highly unlikely that Judd’s appeal will be heard before Christmas which means he will spend the festive season behind bars.
On hearing this, Cheryl is gutted. She suggests to Judd’s lawyer that he get her man out as soon as possible. Wilting under her onslaught, the lawyer promises to do his utmost.
Back at the West house, the preparations for departure continue in their own haphazard way. But the arrival of an unexpected visitor disrupts the maneuver. It’s a woman…who looks a lot like a plainer, more Amish, version of Cheryl.
When Cheryl arrives home it is revealed that the woman is none other than her identical twin sister, Jeanette. It is further revealed that Jeanette has left the farm in Wairarapa; left her husband Kees and their 16-year old twin sons, Luke and Matthew; and left the Exclusive Brethren.
Cheryl and Jeanette haven’t spoken for years and there is clearly a deep, dark rift between the siblings. Already in a bad mood as result of the Judd fiasco, Cheryl is in no mood to mend bridges with her sister. In fact the very presence of Jeanette at the time they’re heading to Tutaekuri Bay just reopens the wounds from their initial falling out.
It is only after Pascalle intervenes that Jeanette is allowed to accompany the family on holiday. Cheryl wants nothing to do with her sister, so Pascalle assumes responsibility for the reintroduction of Jeanette into society.
And so the convoy sets out, bound for Tutaekuri Bay which is a beautiful little bay on the east coast of Northland. There is a Department of Conservation camping ground there. Oddly, not many people go there. Certainly not as many as used to – even though it is truly a wonder of the world; an unspoilt paradise.
Tutaekuri Bay’s resident Park Ranger, Graeme Harkness, knows the reason for this – why many people come for one summer and never return: the Wests. It seems they won’t be coming this year – after the series of incidents that led to the Police being called in last year, they are not on the list of those who have booked – not that they’d be allowed anyway.
Graeme is a nice guy who’s loves the outdoors, animals, plants and hiking. This year, Graeme is looking forward to a nice quiet summer, as he welcomes two lovely trampers in their 50’s – Beverley and Vivian – to Tutaekuri Bay. He’s running through the rules and guidelines for accepted behaviour, when he hears the rumblings of a Barbarian invasion. It’s Eric’s bus, leading the convoy into camp.
In the rather testy negotiation that follows, it transpires that: (a) the Wests took this ‘ban’ as a suggestion they were free to ignore if they so wished – which they did because (b) they’ve been banned heaps of time in the past and that’s never stopped them before, and (c) Eric has booked them in under an assumed name – all paid for in advance. It’s a done deal – they’re in.
Graeme is left a crushed man and the Wests are feeling all smug as they trundle across the camping ground to their “Usual Spot” which is right by the beach, looking out over the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. But the smirks soon fade when they spot some tents in their spot. Who would have the gall to pitch their camp there?
With Mr and Mrs D, Draska and the Doslic Brothers ensconced and refusing to move, the Wests are consigned to the “Spot Next-door to the Usual Spot” – and war is declared.
And so the great West family Christmas begins…
As well as the turf-war with the neighbouring campers, there’s romance in the air for some, sibling rivalry that spans generations and a newly installed barrier to the gravel road that leads to the really cool bay next door which no-one knows the name of.
And, as always, there’s beach volleyball, barbecues, Christmas lunch by the beach, plenty of booze, the traditional Christmas night bonfire…and a touch of legendary Kiwi rock band, Hello Sailor.