"Hail Mary" is the 24th episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
The schoolboys bond with Mary as she helps them in their lives, and thinks back to when she moved to Wiksteria. Ben hears of Liz's possible feelings towards him, and he must make a choice. Joe tries to get over his past with Dr. Sonya. Josh is saddened over the recent events, but meets a new friend. And Mary tries to hide Rena from Henry.
It had been over three months since Mary Strange moved to the town of Wiksteria. Her father had tried to keep her hidden. But unfortunately because of this, most of the pupils had failed to really look at her. Sure, they saw her beauty...
Flash to Rena and Mary walking down the street, Rena looks at her googly eyed.
But they had been deprived of witnessing her caring nature...
Flash to Mary holding a door for an elderly woman.
They had been not seen her surprising insight...
Flash to Mary sitting in the house doing home-work, as Henry watches, she looks content doing the work.
And they had not noticed the extent of her generosity...
Flash to Mary throwing change into a homeless man's tin can on the street.
...But perhaps it was for the best that they had not really looked at her. For if they looked too much, they might not have liked what they saw.
Mary is sitting at the dining table, reading from the bible. Henry enters and smiles at her, then walks over and kisses her on the head, "Morning." "Morning," Mary replies. Henry begins setting the table for breakfast as Mary asks, "Dad, are we going to hell?" Henry turns at her shocked, "Why would you ask that?" "Because what we did was wrong. And you say..." Henry interrupts, "What I say, Mary, is that if we follow the words of the Lord then we cannot do any better. We carried out his wishes, that is all." Henry walks over to her and holds her hand tight, "Restrain from temptation and sins which are for a selfish cause, and all will be forgiven. I love you more than anything, Mary, I only want to protect you." Henry kisses her hand and looks at her with genuine eyes of love and Mary smiles back. However as he turns away, they both suddenly give faces of doubt over them being forgiven.
The New Girl
Mary Strange's life had always been interpreted for her...
We see Mary opening her front door and walking out of it.
...whether it was simple choices...
Flash to Mary walking down the stairs with the top button of her blouse undone, Henry intervenes and buttons it.
...or who she spent her time with...
Flash to Mary walking into her house with a boy, Mary is greeted inside by Henry but the latter pushes the boy out of the door before shutting it.
...or where she was to spend it.
Flash to Mary and Henry walking into church, the latter walks to his pew, standing proud, as Mary drags behind, looking tired and grumpy.
Still, Mary often felt that her father was just looking out for her, until it came to the big changes, that is...
Flashback. In another town, Mary walks into her old house after school, surprised to see boxes stacked around the place and her belongings not where they should be. She walks to the kitchen where she finds her father. "What's going on here?" she asks him, confused. "Did I not tell you?" Henry asks, Mary shakes her head. "My practice has been moved elsewhere... we're moving," Henry tells her. "Moving?!" she exclaims, annoyed, "Moving where?" "Wiksteria..." Henry tells her, Mary's jaw drops. "You're not serious?" she asks him, annoyed. "I'm afraid I am," Henry tells her. "Well, can't you just... not go?" she wonders, panicking slightly. "If I just 'don't go' then I'll be out of a job, and do you see any 'Help Wanted' signs around this town? It's this or living on the street," Henry tells her. "Well, the streets can be nice, this place has some nice views," she tries, realizing it's inevitable. "I understand you don't want to leave your home, honey..." Henry starts. "Oh, trust me, my qualms are not about leaving here... they're about moving there. Dad, you realize what town it is?!" she exclaims. "Of course I do," he says. "And you've forgotten what happened there already?" she asks, angered. Henry doesn't answer. "You just... we can't just... how can we just..." Mary can't configure the words. "I know, sweetheart, but as long as we stick together, this will be a challenge that we can face. The lord sends us challenges everyday; it is those who overcome them that are the strongest. And, well... looks like we're the strongest people on Earth," Henry tells his daughter who storms out of the room, annoyed.
It was at that moment that Mary Strange realized how little influence she had, and how much she hated it.
Mary walks out of the kitchen and runs up into her empty bedroom, she slams the door shut and slides down it, crying.
Joe and the New Girl
We again see Mary walk off her porch when a voice is heard calling behind her, "Where do you think you are going?!" exclaims Henry. Mary clenches her fist, turning back around to him. "What, did I forget something? Lower skirt? Turtle neck? LESS-SKIMPY BRA?!" she exclaims, annoyed. "No, it's... well, yes, yes and yes, but not right now. I was going to say that you forgot your New Testament, I found it left under your pillow," Henry tells her, holding up the little Bible. "And what were you doing going under my pillow?" Mary asks. "Making sure you bring your New Testament with you wherever you are!" Henry exclaims. "Not the point, dad, it's creepy!" Mary exclaims. As the two of them continue to get into a screaming match, Joe is seen approaching the house, seemingly walking by, with headphones in. He stops, seeing the raging argument, and removes his headphones, "Is everything alright here?" he asks. Henry and Mary stop, "Everything's fine," Mary says, grabbing the New Testament and placing it into her handbag before her dad walks inside, happily. "So what was that about?" Joe asks Mary as they walk to school with one another. "Oh, nothing," Mary states, taking the bible out of her handbag and throwing it into a bush. "Well, are you okay?" asks Joe, a little concerned. "I'm fine," Mary laughs. "So, where are you going? School's out since the... you know..." Joe says. "Just need a few hours away from the dad," Mary tells him, "Hey, you're the kid who outted that pedo-counsellor, right?" she asks him. Joe appears a little silent, before nodding. "Whatever happened to him?" Mary asks. Joe pauses, "Well, I got him admitting it on tape, but... he ran away. Don't know where he is now, but... he's gonna be mad..." Joe states. "And you're scared he's out for revenge?" Mary asks. Joe nods but Mary gives a comforting smile, "You can't spend the rest of your life with one eye open, you gotta stop being so paranoid." "I thought like that once..." Joe says. "Oh?" Mary asks. "Yeah... that is, long before my rapist dad took me hostage and my mom shot him." Mary's eyes widen. "You're kind of a screwed up kid, aren't you?" she asks. Joe nods again. They continue to walk, "Well, I stick by it. Sounds to me like you just need to let go," Mary assures him. Joe stops, "How do you mean?" "Well, you're clearly still hung up over the situation," Mary tells him, stopping also. "You think?" he asks. "Please..." she states. They continue walking. "So how does one just... let go? I don't understand," Joe says. "Well, I guess it's not really a physical thing, but it could be. You still got things around yourself reminding you?" Mary wonders. "I guess..." Joe tells her. "Well get rid of that, it'll be a start," she tells him, smiling. Joe raises an eyebrow.
Later, Joe arrives home and walks up to his room where he looks to his printer, seeing that many of his "Dr. Sonya is a pedophile" posters are still in there. He lifts the first one and places it into the shredder, and the second, and the third, and so on and so forth until eventually, all are gone. He looks at the shredded pieces of paper within the machine, smiling.
Josh and the New Girl
Mary arrives at the park soon after her talk with Joe where she sees Josh sitting alone on the swing set, head down, seeming depressed. Curious, Mary goes and sits on the adjacent swing, asking what's wrong. "What do you think?" Josh asks, mumbling. "I saw my brother get shot in front of me... All I had to do was let him get away with his plan, and if I had, he wouldn't have taken us hostage, he wouldn't have... and Val wouldn't have..." Josh states. "Oh, that was a terrible accident," Mary assures him. "Look at me," Mary tells him, and Josh obliges, "What happened, it wasn't your fault," she assures him. Josh doesn't appear to feel any better, and Mary says, "Hey, you know what cheers me up?"
Josh and Mary enter the tennis courts of a local gym with some rackets and balls. "How will this help me with anything?" Josh wonders. "Well, I'd take you to a shooting range, but, you know... sensitive issue and all... anyway, the point is, it's a great way to get your anger out," Mary explains. "Hardly," Josh says, but Mary asks him to try it. She serves on the other side of the court and Josh hits the ball back to her, "Just let your anger out through the racket, channel your emotion," she tells him. "I don't know if you know this," Josh says, hitting the ball back, "But everything you're saying is really corny." Mary nods, "I know," before returning the ball. "Do you really think this will help?" he asks her, hitting it more hard. "Worth a shot, eh?" she says, continuing to play, "After I lost my mom, I came down to a gym and started playing racquetball. I was there, hitting a ball against a wall for over eight hours, it just... it helps you forget," Mary explains. Josh and Mary begin to go back and forth as Mary says similar things. "Just... think about what you're upset about, and channel it into that ball, and then... just hit the ball away, when it comes back, you hit it again, simples." Eventually, Josh builds up so much anger he whacks the ball off the court. He sighs with relief and Mary's eyes widen as the next thing they hear is someone yelp in pain. Josh and Mary walk onto the next court, where the noise came from, and see a boy on the floor rubbing the back of his head, Josh's tennis ball nearby. "I'm so sorry," Josh says, helping the boy up. "That was you?" he asks, clutching his head. "Yeah..." Josh admits. "Need me to take you to like... first aid, or something?" he wonders. The boy shakes his head, "I'm fine," he states. Josh smiles, "Hi, I'm Josh," he says, extending a hand. "Dean," says the boy, extending his own. As the two boys become acquainted, Mary watches from afar and smiles. Her cell phone suddenly rings and she takes it out of her pocket to answer it, "Hi... Oh, sure, Liz, I'll.... be there right away."
Ben and the New Girl
Mary goes to meet Liz. She enters the park where an upset Liz is sitting on a swing. "What's wrong?" Mary asks. A teary Liz looks up, "I'm just so confused..." "About what?" Mary sits beside her. Liz wipes her tears and pulls herself together, "I know that Ben has feelings for me. At first, I thought nothing of it and just tried to put it to the back of my mind...but now...I can't put it to the back of my mind anymore...I find myself thinking about him all the time." Liz begins tearing again as Mary asks, "Liz, are you saying you have feelings for Ben?" Liz nods, "I think that I do." "You have to speak to Ben," Mary tells her. "I can't," Liz argues, "He's with Emma now. What if he no longer has these feelings for me?" Mary looks sympathetic.
The next day, Liz and Mary walk to the door to Ben's house. After knocking on the door, Liz turns to Mary, "Promise me, you won't tell Ben anything that I told you. We're only here to check on Emma." Mary nods, "I promise." Ben opens the door and welcomes them inside. "How is everyone coping?" Ben asks. "Still shaken-up obviously, but alright," Liz smiles, "We'll need these weeks off school to recover. How is Emma?" "She's still at the hospital but she's fine," Ben tells them. Suddenly Ben's phone rings. He goes to answer it, "That's actually Emma now. I'll be back." Ben smiles and then goes to pick up the phone, as he does so Mary watches Liz glance his way. Ben glances back while speaking on the phone, as Mary watches.
Later, Mary has taken Ben upstairs to speak in private. "What is it?" Ben asks. "I was watching you and Liz right now, and the look was unmistakable," she explains. "What are you talking about?" Ben asks. "You have feelings for Liz, don't you?" Mary asks. Ben looks upset, "Who told you that? I'm with Emma! I..." Mary interrupts, "Liz feels the same way!" Ben suddenly looks shocked, "What?" Mary nods. Ben turns round, "I need to talk to her!"
Ben runs downstairs and heads for Liz. Liz looks at him suspicious at what's going on. Ben stutters, "I was just talking to Mary..." Liz interrupts, "Oh, no! She promised she wouldn't say anything!" "It's alright..." Ben tries. But Liz interrupts again, "Why?! So we can talk about it? I..." Ben interrupts this time, "No. I'm glad she told me, because I love you." Liz's eyes widen. Ben continues, "And you have no idea how long I've longed to say those words." Liz stops him, "You shouldn't say that." Ben shakes his head, "It's the truth. God knows that I have tried to deny it. But not a single day has gone by since I met you that I haven't thought about you." Liz stops him, "Then why did you never say anything before? You're with Emma now!" Ben explains, "I would never have asked out Emma, had I known there was even the slightest chance you would ever share my feelings. Liz, I promise you, just say the word and I will leave Emma in a heartbeat." Liz begins to tear, "We can't..." Ben persists, "Liz..." But Liz shouts back, "WE CAN'T! I do love you, but Emma is my friend, and I can't hurt her like this." "Believe me, Liz, you don't want to regret not taking a shot for happiness," Ben pleads. "I'm sorry. But my mind is made up. I think I should leave now, Ben." Ben stutters, "Bye, Liz." A teary Liz turns and walks out the door, Ben watches with devastation. And Mary, standing atop the staircase looks disappointed.
Rena and the New Girl
It's night. Mary is sitting in the house alone, but she is all dressed up in pretty clothing. She checks herself out in the mirror when suddenly the doorbell rings. She opens the door, and Rena is standing, dressed up too and with a flower in hand. "Hi," he smiles. Mary's face is overcome with joy, "Hi," she replies as she takes the flower. She takes him inside and asks, "How's your leg?" "Alright," Rena smiles as he takes off his coat and walks into the dining room to see it laid with elegant food. His eyes widen, and Mary smiles.
Later, the two are sitting at the dining room table. They have just finished eating, and Rena smiles, "That was wonderful." "I'm so glad we finally did this," Mary replies. They both smile at each other and then lean in to kiss, but just before their lips touch there are interrupted. They hear the rattling of keys outside. Mary turns her head to the door, terrified. She stands up, "Oh, no! It's my dad!" Rena looks confused, "He won't be that angry, surely?" Mary pulls him off the chair, "I need to hide you!" "What?" Rena responds. "Don't argue!" Mary shouts as she pushes him into a closet. Suddenly the front door opens and Henry enters, "Princess, I'm home! Finished early..." he stops as he sees the set table and Mary in her dress. "What is going on?" he asks. Mary lies, "I just wanted to look nice." Henry doesn't buy it, "There's a boy here, isn't there?" Mary shakes her head, "Of course not." Henry shouts, "How can you lie to me?! AFTER WHAT HAPPENED!" He begins kicking open the doors to each room. Mary begins crying, "NO! PLEASE DON'T HURT HIM!" Henry then opens the closet door, to see Rena standing. Rena waves innocently but a look of fury overcomes Henry. He grabs Rena forcefully. Mary pulls at her father's arm, "STOP!" But Henry smacks her across the face and Mary falls to the ground. The basement door is then kicked open by Henry's foot and he throws Rena violently down the staircase, and watches as Rena tumbles down them and lands on the basement floor. He then turns to Mary and picks her up by the arm, throwing her down too.
Over the past couple of days people had got to really know Mary Strange. And so they had really looked at her. They had seen her beauty, but realized it came with dangers...
Mary and Rena look up from the basement floor as Henry shuts the door behind them and then they hear it lock. They are trapped in the dark room.
They had witnessed her caring nature, and it had rewarded them with new comfort...
Josh and Dean are walking down the street, smiling and talking.
They had seen her surprising insight, and it had help them move on...
Joe is in his room, looking pleased.
And they had noticed the extent of her generosity...
There is a knock at Ben's door. He opens it and sees Liz. He looks flabbergasted, "Liz?" Liz leans in and kisses him, and he kisses her back.
...Generosity through helping, which had given them everything they had ever wanted.
Ben and Liz continue to kiss. "Are you nervous?" Liz asks. "The only thing I'm nervous about is that I might wake up," Ben replies. Liz looks touched and they lean forward to kiss again.