"Think Before You Shoot" is the 30th episode of Desperate Schoolboys.
Ben has a dream of Liz, which greatly annoys Emma. Hugo's state of mind begins to become unmanageable. Josh and Dean confront Captain Marius concerning the police badge they found. And Silvia urges Joe to confront Jacob for hurting her.
Benjamin Ashdale had now been missing for little under a week, and a search party had since formed to find him...
We see a group of people roaming the streets in search of Ben. Lydia steps out in front of the people, Walter by her side, "Okay, now I say we all split up and search different areas of the town. The police have taken the West so I suggest we head to the other three compass points..." she continues to divide the people.
...This then gave excuse for other people to duck out of something that they've been avoiding...
Joe and Silvia are seen walking with one group. "So, why haven't you gone to see Jacob yet?" Silvia asks. "I'm sort of busy tonight, we're searching for my best friend," he reminds her. "Right," she says, "You've been making excuses for three nights straight, and tomorrow, it'll be something else. Need I remind you what he did to me?" she asks, going to roll up her sleeve. "Not here," Joe tells her. "I will do it," he assures her, "Tomorrow." Silvia sighs.
Josh and Dean are seen heading in a different direction, "So why have we not reported the badge to the cops yet?" Dean wonders. "Because..." Josh tries, "Are you sure we wanna go up against Captain Marius? He's a power figure here, you've seen the films. They can hush people up, make them disappear..." "This isn't a film," Dean says, "It's my dad's life we're talking about." Josh nods, "Okay, we'll report it tomorrow."
Rena and Mary are seen going in the remaining direction. "So when are you gonna confront your grandpa about this whole dementia thing?" Mary asks. "When I'm sure it's a real risk..." Rena tries. "He burned a house down, Rena," Mary reminds him. "I know, I know, it's just... I don't wanna see him in one of those homes... I've been holding this off because I'm scared of what will happen if we're right," he explains. "But if you keep holding it off, something else will happen," she points out. Rena stays silent for a while, "Okay, I'll talk to him," he tells Mary, "Tomorrow."
Yes, people were using the search for Ben as an excuse...
Liz and Katie are seen walking together, the former appears sad. "Don't worry, I'm sure we'll find him," Katie comforts. "I just don't know where he could be," Liz says sadly.
...and it would be a while yet before he was found.
We see Ben sitting down in William's summer home, Emma is seen standing at the doorframe, smiling.
As a child, Benjamin Ashdale felt ashamed when he didn't achieve perfection...
Flash to Ben coming home from school as a very young boy, he holds up a test with '99%' on it and has a massive grin. Walter, in the background, looks pleased but Lydia shakes her head and calls Ben to come and sit with her.
...And thus Ben had a strive to always reach flawlessness. An obsession to clean...
Flash to Ben walking through the school doors, he then takes out hand sanitizer and washes his hands due to touching the door.
...And a compulsion to sort...
Flash to Ben, sitting at a desk at school, he moves everything on the desk around until the amount of things on each side of the desk is symmetrical.
...It was safe to say that his fixations caused him some problems...
Flash to Ben wiping the school blackboard in a class. Kids stop to look at him and laugh which causes Ben to look away embarrassed and shake with anxiety.
...But luckily, over the years Ben learned ways to keep his impulses in check, so not to ruin his life...
Flash to Ben, Josh, Rena and Joe sitting together having their lunch. Josh is telling a story but Ben, while listening, keeps glancing at a poster on the wall which is not straight with an urge to fix it. He eventually overcomes it, ignoring it, and laughs at Josh's story with everyone else.
...However, unfortunately for Ben since his accident he had forgotten everything: including how to deal with his compulsions which had become instinct...
Ben is in the kitchen, moving things around. William enters and asks, "What the hell are you doing?" Ben replies, "Things aren't straight. I can't explain it...I just need to fix it." William then exits the room after grabbing an apple, shaking his head as he takes a bite. Emma enters with a tray of breakfast, "Here, Ben." Ben smiles at her as they sit and beginning eating together. "I had a weird dream," Ben says, "I dreamt that you had strawberry blonde hair." "Oh?" Emma asks. "And you were pretty," Ben adds. Emma looks up with hurtful eyes, which Ben senses as he then tries to correct it, "...different. You were pretty different looking." Emma nods, accepting the amendment. "What is it maybe of someone else?" Ben asks. Emma shakes her head, "I'm the only girlfriend you've ever had." Ben nods, when suddenly a cat jumps up on the table. Ben jumps up in alarm, with a frightened face, "What is that?!" "It's my cat, Pixels. We love Pixels," Emma explains. "Oh, we love Pixels," Ben repeats, accepting this as fact. He sits back down and pets Pixels who gives a massive growl, causing Ben to jump back in alarm again. "Are you sure I do?" Ben asks.
Ben then has a vision in his head. It's Liz, smiling.
...Yes, Ben had forgot many things which were causing him confusion. But there was one perfect thing in Ben's life, that he could never forget.
Ben stumbles around, puzzled.
After school, Josh and Dean are seen going into the police station's visitor's room; the two of them sit at a table opposite Adam. "We've found something," Dean tells his father. "Oh?" Adam asks, intrigued. "A badge. Marius'. We found it at the scene of the crime, it's got blood on it," Josh says. "What? Where?" Adam asks, excited. "In the car," Dean explains, "We wouldn't be able to get it past those metal detector guys." Adam nods. "Do you think it'll be enough?" Josh wonders. "I do, boys. You did good work," he smiles. As visiting hours are declared over, Adam is escorted back to his cell as Josh and Dean make their way into the entrance of the station. They pass Marius on their way to get the badge and Dean comments, "We're gonna take that son of a bitch down..."
Joe and Silvia are seen walking into the latter's apartment. "So why'd you invite me back?" Joe wonders. "Well, you said yesterday that it'd be today. Go see Jacob. I have his address if you need it," she states with a smile. "Right..." Joe says, reluctantly, "I'll just... head there now." He begins heading for the door when Silvia stops him. "Joe?" she says. "Yes?" he asks, turning to her. She places the revolver into his hand. "Don't forget this." Joe takes the gun in his hands and walks out the door, as he hears it close behind him; he takes a deep breath before walking away.
Hugo and Rena are sitting in one of the Belindros' living rooms, looking at pamphlets of retirement homes. "What do you think of this one?" Rena asks. "Oh, lovely and look at the title: "Golden Acres: We Care So Your Relatives Don't Have To."," Hugo replies, mockingly. "It doesn't say that!" Rena says. "Well it might as well," Hugo shouts, "I don't need someone to look after me!" Hugo bangs the table with his fist, getting red with fury but then he notices something on the pamphlets and his heart sinks, "Look at this: "No Pets." I can't take Rocky! That dog means everything to me!" Rena looks at his Granddad, beginning to also get upset, "I'm so sorry, Granddad..." Hugo interrupts, "No, you're not. If you were then you wouldn't be doing this to me. You seem to have forgotten that I was the one who took you in when you had no one. Well, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, then I would still be living in my cabin in peace. Instead of getting shipped off to God's Waiting Room." Hugo stands and walks out the room in self-pity. Rena watches him, saddened.
Josh and Dean are seen talking to another cop in the station. "We're here to talk about the drug-gang murder case," Dean states. "What about it?" the cop wonders. "We have a new piece of evidence on the matter," Josh tells them. The cop chuckles, "Oh? What is it?" Josh takes out a zip-lock bag containing the blood-splattered police badge from his pocket. "I think you'll find it belongs to Captain Marius, proving that he was there at the scene of the crime," Dean states, happy with himself. The policeman inspects the badge. "This proves nothing," he states. "What do you mean?" Josh asks, confused. "Well, Captain Marius has been on the numerous investigations of the crime scene, this could have been dropped during any of those searches," the cop points out. "But if it fell off during the search, how would the blood have gotten on top of it?" Dean wonders, "It was nowhere near any. The only way I can think is if it got on there before hand. I'm sure if you run some tests; it'll prove it belonged to at least one of the victims." "It's not enough evidence to go on, kid. There's not even proof that this is the captain's. It could be anyone's," the cop says. "But Marius wasn't wearing his badge the other day," Josh points out. The cop says that that could be for a number of reasons and that they're just grasping at straws. "Well, in that case, we'll have that back then," Dean says, making a grab for the badge, however, the cop pulls it away. "We'll hang on to this, thank you very much. As you said, could be evidence," the cop smiles. "You're nothing but a pawn, are you?" Josh asks. "On your way, boys. We'll handle this. This is police business... not kids'." Josh and Dean walk away annoyed.
Ben is sitting in the living room of the luxury cabin, as he looks out the window to see Emma attending to her pet horse in the stable. She is brushing the horse's hair, with her arm around it and smiling with affection. Ben smiles, watching.
Emma then enters the cabin and greets Ben, "How are you feeling?" "Good," Ben replies, "But...I'm still having flashes of this girl." "It's nothing. Just forget them," Emma tells Ben. "I don't know if I want to," Ben replies. Emma looks confused. Ben explains, "The truth is, I don't like myself very much. I have all these weird compulsions and anxieties. I feel nervous all the time. I don't understand it. But, when I think of this girl, I suddenly feel better. It's like she gives me some kind of comfort." Emma looks at Ben with saddened eyes, his words breaking her heart.
Suddenly another flash in Ben's head occurs. It's the date on the rooftop of the school. Liz is sitting across from Ben, smiling. Ben then says, "I love you Liz."
As the memory ceases, Ben stands confused and utters, "Liz?" Suddenly Emma's face is overcome with fury and her eye begins twitching. She picks up a nearby ornament and throws it against the wall, smashing it, as she screams, "WHY ARE YOU ASKING FOR HER?! WHAT CAN SHE GIVE YOU THAT I CAN'T?!" Ben stares at her, absolutely bewildered and speechless. Emma then lets out a massive groan as she turns for the stairs, knocking everything off a shelf on her way, and running up them. She runs into her room and jumps on her bed, crying uncontrollably.
Downstairs, Ben is still standing in shock.
Rena and the Belindros are all sitting playing a game, with Rocky at their feet. Rena looks over to see Hugo emerge from the kitchen and announce, "We're out of milk. I'm going to the shops." "Alright," Rena responds, "You want me to come with you?" "I can get milk myself!" Hugo mumbles, exiting and slamming the door behind him. Christina then comments, "Odd...I thought you just got milk, dearie?" "I did..." Miguel replies. Rena then stands and walks into the kitchen. He opens the fridge door to see two full bottles of milk, and gives a concerned face for Hugo.
Joe's hand is seen knocking on an apartment door and Jacob answers. "Who are you?" Jacob wonders. "I'm Joe. I believe you know my girlfriend?" Joe says. "Um... who's your girlfriend?" Jacob asks. "Silvia..." Joe states. "Ah, of course. She sends her boyfriend to do her dirty work. You can't trust her, you know? You don't know her," Jacob assures Joe. Joe walks into the apartment, past Jacob. "Excuse me; did I say you could come in?" Jacob asks. "No, and you didn't have to. Now you and me, we're gonna have a chat," Joe says. "Oh?" Jacob asks, "What about?" "You're gonna leave Silvia alone and stop bothering her!" Joe exclaims. "Oh, and how are you gonna make me?" Jacob wonders. At this, Joe takes the revolver from out of his pocket and aims it at Jacob whose eyes widen.
"Well that was a failure," says Dean, sitting down next to Josh at the station. "I'm sure there'll be something else. If you're dad's really innocent he won't be convicted," Josh says. "'Really'?" Dean asks. "I didn't doubt him, I was just saying..." Josh states, "I'm sure it was this Marius guy, and if it was, the truth will come out. It always does." "You're right," Dean tells him, smiling. A couple policemen soon come running into the station. "What do you think's going on?" Josh wonders. Dean shrugs as they try to listen in. "Five. We found five bodies today," a policeman states. Josh and Dean look at each other worriedly before turning their attention back. "Five?" another policeman asks. "We have men at the crime scenes but..." "But what?" a policeman asks. "I'm pretty sure they're all connected to the drug gang case. All of them were people we took into questioning." "Seems pretty convenient..." says a cop. "Indeed," Dean says to Josh.
Hugo is walking through the busy streets. His vision is blurred and he is dripping of perspiration, as his head looks around rapidly for his whereabouts. The buildings and people all around him begin to merge together in his vision, as does the sounds around him. He clutches his head in frustration and looks around desperate to know where he is. He turns to see a park, he enters and sits on the bench looking terribly afraid and stressed. "Help...help..." he begins mumbling to himself pitifully. "You need help, sir?" a passing couple of boys ask. "I can't find my home," he replies. "Where do you live?" they ask. "I...I don't know," Hugo admits. The boys give an innocent smirk, but Hugo looks at them and shouts, "Don't laugh at me!" The boys look afraid and turn round, leaving him looking around in distress alone.
Later, Mary is walking past the park with Liz and Katie. Mary looks over to see Hugo sitting in the park and she excuses herself, before leaving the girls and going to sit with him. "You okay?" Mary asks. "No," Hugo replies, "You know, the day that Rena moved in with me was my 80th birthday. I told myself then that I had to begin taking it easy...that I was now middle age...but people don't live to 160. I just didn't want to admit that I couldn't look after myself. Because I've always been happy on my own. But now, I'm not alone. When I heard that Rena was coming to live with me, I couldn't have imagined a bigger infringement on my life. But...Rena coming to live me, was the best thing that ever happened to me. I need to think of Rena, this isn't fair on him. I know he just wants what's best for me." Mary smiles as she holds Hugo's hand, comfortingly. Rena then walks past the park and approaches them, "Hey." "Hey," Mary greets him. Hugo replies, "I'm ready."
Ben is sitting in his bed, with the lamp on and reading a book. He then looks up to see Emma enter dressed in sexy lingerie. "I wanted to apologise for earlier," Emma smiles. Ben puts the book down as his eyes widen at the sight. "I want to show you that I can be everything you need," Emma says, "I love you, Ben." Emma gets into the bed with Ben and bends towards him. However as Ben doesn't reply, she urges, "Now you say it..." Ben stutters, "I...I'm sorry, Emma. I don't really know you. Also, honestly...you kind of terrify me." Emma looks humiliated as she slides out the bed silently and heads for the door with a gloomy face. Ben watches her, apologetically.
"You don't know what you're doing," Jacob says, backing away from Joe, who still has the gun firmly pointed. "You need to leave Silvia alone, alright?" Joe states. "I've only seen her once since I got to town, I swear," Jacob professes. "Are you kidding me? She showed me the burn on her arm! You attacked her!" Joe exclaims. "I... didn't do that... she's lying to you, you stupid boy..." Jacob tells him. "Shut up!" Joe exclaims, "You're not gonna go near her again." "Okay, so I won't," Jacob says, "But what if I tell the cops you harassed me with a gun? Who's gonna be in trouble then?" Joe hesitates with the gun, his hand shaking. "You've not thought this through much, have you?" Jacob asks, smiling. "You can't trust her, you know? I'm sure you've had your doubts. She made me do the same thing, would you believe? She dumps a boyfriend and gets rid of them by making her new one kill them. An efficient method, I guess..." Jacob says. "Shut up!" Joe shouts. "I think you're little gun threat is losing its novelty," Jacob tells him. Joe keeps the gun aimed still. He hesitates; it still aimed at Jacob, before lowering it. At this, Jacob runs at Joe and tackles him and the two wrestle on the ground, the gun still in Joe's hand. As the struggle continues, and gunshot is heard.
Our lives are filled with many regrets and we often wish that we had more time to think about the decisions we make, which leave us asking, if only I had more time... Could I have taken care of him by myself?
Flash to Rena at the Belindros' house calling an old folks' home.
...Could I have convinced him to love me?
Flash to Emma standing at the doorframe watching Ben sleep alone.
...Could I have done a better job at helping?
Flash to Josh and Dean leaving the police station without the evidence they went in with.
But most of us don't have that time and end up making decisions that we will look back on and wish we had contemplated...
We see Jacob with a bullet wound reaching for the phone but Joe snatches it from the receiver. "You're gonna tell me everything you know about Silvia, because you're right, I have had my doubts..." Joe states. "Are you crazy?! I need to go to the hospital!" Jacob exclaims weakly. "Well then," Joe says, placing down the phone, "You better talk fast."
...Because decisions made without thought can often have disastrous consequences.