Janae sees Chris with her girlfriend.
Pepper defends her dad to the Timmins' kids, who have been slagging him off. Bree in turn points out that Pepper now resembles a lobster.
Pepper tells Chris that being with another woman is ‘icky'.
Pepper is for some unfathomable reason topping up her tan in the tanning booth thingy when Janae bursts in. Pepper explains that she's been given Janelle's permission to use the booth and that there's nobody else there. She adds that it's a good thing Janae came by – she nearly dozed off. Janae says she wouldn't want to do that again and Pepper jokes that the racoon look is so last season. Pepper suddenly announces that she has to go because it's Christmas Eve dinner with her parents – she thinks after last week when they got along so well… Fingers crossed. Janae tells Pepper not to get her hopes up about her parents' reunion and Pepper thinks it's because Janae thinks Janelle has a chance with Steiger. Janae denies it but Pepper's on one, explaining that she doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell. As Pepper storms out, Janae says, ‘Neither has your dad,' under her breath.
Sky is, of course, playing with Kerry and cooing and smiling and talking in that annoying way and blowing on her belly. You get the picture. I call it BabyMode and will refer to it as such from here on in to save me having to go into such detail every time this happens, which with Oscar, Charlie and now Kerry, is too often. Harold comments on how he remembers being like that with Sky's mother and with David. Sky says she loves Kerry so much, she didn't know that she could love anyone like it. Harold tells her it's because there's nothing more powerful than a mother's love. Sky would do anything to keep her safe; she told Dylan that she didn't want Elle looking after Kerry. Harold thinks she was only being protective – Elle was a little bit upset but she'll understand in time. Sky didn't know Elle knew and kind of asks how with the tone of her voice – Harold explains that Elle heard on the baby monitor. Sky's horrified and asks how she took it. Harold says that she was upset that Dylan agreed so quickly but he adds that it was simply Sky and Dylan putting Kerry's interests first, as they should. Harold says that in the fullness of time, when their bond as a family… Sky has worked out what he's inferring and says that they are a family and she and Dylan aren't going to get back together and she doesn't want Kerry growing up thinking there is something wrong with her family. Harold agrees that there isn't so Sky tells him to drop it.
Janae opens the door and finds Pepper, who comes in and apologises for being an idiot before. Janae asks what she's talking about and Pepper explains that it's about their big falling out. Janae is surprised she considers it a falling out and tells her she so isn't a Timmins. Pepper says she got home and realised that she sounded like one of her year sevens having a hissy but she's really nervous about dinner. Janae accepts her apology and tells her that the thought of Janelle and Steiger isn't pretty. She just thinks that with matchmaking, if it's really meant to be then…Pepper interrupts to tell Janae that it's up to her – Steiger told Pepper that he's never loved anyone like Chris and as Chris hasn't been dating anyone, it's possible. There's a knock at the door, and Janae goes to answer it. It's Chris, bringing paperwork for Steph. Janae invites her in. Pepper says hi to her mum, who asks if they're on for tonight. Pepper says yes and leaves.
Janae kind of purses her lips and Chris asks what's going on. Janae sighs and explains that the dinner is a plan to get Chris and Steiger back together. Chris isn't surprised – she thought it might be. Janae insists that Chris has to tell Pepper what's going on. Chris explains that she tried but she doesn't think that Pepper is very open to the idea of having a gay mother.
Oh thank god they've finally used the word gay. Honestly, if I'd heard one more euphemism or trailed off sentence in reference to it I'd have screamed. Next step, the word lesbian. Then it's done, it's out there and we can all get on with dealing what is potentially an interesting/amusing (Steiger and Janelle?!) storyline.
Janae thinks Pepper might surprise Chris but she has to give Pepper the chance in the first instance. The longer Chris puts it off, the harder it's going to be and the more hurt she's going to cause. Chris looks uneasy.
Sky and Lou are sitting next to each other on the the sofa, looking intently at one another.
SKY: I will if you will.
LOU: If you will I will.
SKY: No regrets?
SKY: No going back.
LOU: Never go back.
It's now that we see they're sitting with Crimbo presents on their laps and they suddenly pounce to open them just as Harold comes running in and tells them to stop, asking what they think they're doing. Sky says it's just one and Lou explains that it's a sneak preview. Harold informs them that it isn't Christmas until tomorrow and that's when they open all the presents. What sort of an example are they setting for Kerry? Sky points out that Kerry is asleep. Lou concedes that Harold is right and Sky agrees – they both jump in and continue to open their presents. Harold thinks it's a total lack of self control. Sky's is a present from Lana – she loves it because it's ‘naff'. It's a black jumper with a white pattern on and it's woolen and a bit Mark Darcy in BJD at the New Year's Day Turkey Curry Buffet, to be honest. Lou's is from Mishka – it's a bottle of 997. One drop and the fire of the Cossacks will burn through your veins. Harold thinks it's more like through your brains. She also sent Russian Tazzle, but Lou says that as Harold has a strict no present policy he'll just return it to the box. Harold takes it, saying that as Lou's unwrapped it, far be it for him to upset the spirit of Christmas. Knock on the door. It's Dylan. Apparently, he needs Sky's help to buy a present for Kerry because everything he likes has 3+ or warning, choking hazard on it. Sky tells Dylan that it's her first Christmas so he should buy her something from the heart, not a catalogue – something she can have forever and that will resonate for the rest of her life. Dylan sarcastically says that's no pressure. Sky asks him to put her name on the card if he thinks of something. Then she asks him if he knew that Elle had overheard their conversation. She hopes it didn't cause a problem. Dylan tells her that Elle broke up with him and that it's OK because there was no real future, it was just a path of least resistance sort of thing. Sky jokes that at least now Kerry can get their undivided attention. Dylan tells Sky that it won't be long for her, the yummy mummy; she'll be beating them off with a stick. Sky sarcastically agrees that she will be, in droves. Dylan leaves and Harold looks strangely at Sky as he downs some Tazzle.
Dylan tells Bree that he needs her brain. Bree says she's using it right now. Dylan explains that he needs her help to get Kerry a present that she'll look at when she's older and think what a cool Christmas present she got from her dad. Bree asks how much he wants to spend. Dylan doesn't care. Bree tells him to do what she's doing for Zeke and make her something. Dylan says he can't knit and Bree says yes, but what can he do? Dylan suggests cooking. Bree says that when Kerry's old enough to look at it, it'll be a biohazard. Dylan suggests writing a song but Bree immediately vetoes it. Dlyan tells her to quit with insults or she'll lose her aunty certificate. Bree replies that Sky won't let him and if he threatens her again he won't get to hear his brilliant idea. Dylan says she doesn't have one. Au contraire, it just came to her, but no skin off Bree's nose – Kerry will always have her present to remember her by. Dylan surrenders and wants to know what it is. Bree says she'll tell him when they get there. She drags him out by the arm as Stingray comes in and asks if Bree has a second. Bree tells Dylan she'll meet him in the car. Stingray tells Bree that he has an AA meeting and it's a special family one – he was hoping Bree would go. Bree wonders about the others and Stingray says they're good and all but it's a lot to ask. Bree sarcastically remarks that it's ok to put her out rather than anyone else. Stingray counters that none of them get him like she does. Bree agrees and storms out. Stingray looks worried.
Pepper comes in with Steiger behind her. He's explaining that he wanted Pepper's OK because he can change it. Pepper's a bit distracted by the mail and simply says that whatever he's bought Chris will be fine. Steiger says it's a little more complicated than that. Pepper says it's true – he doesn't have the best track record when it comes to gifts. Steiger asks what she means. Pepper reminds him that one year he got her chocolates. They were Easter Eggs. Steiger pulls a ring out of his pocket as he tells Pepper that it's different. It's more of an engagement present than a Christmas present. Pepper's really happy and squeals. Steiger says that her squeal was all he needed to hear and tonight he's going to ask Chris to marry him and it's going to be for keeps.
A Hall Where An AA Meeting Is Being Held
Everyone's clapping at something and some RandomGuy comes to sit down. Stingray's been looking around for Bree, who hasn't shown, before he stands up in front of the group. He tries to speak but he tells them he's not up for it today and he can't. He's on his way to sit down when he notices Bree, Janae and Dylan at the door. Stingray's suddenly really happy and tells them all to come in and sit down. He really cheerily announces that he's Scott and he hasn't had a drink for six weeks. He says that this time of year is tough because of all the Christmas cheer but if he stays sober he'll have the best Christmas ever because he'll be spending it with his family. The other Timmins' all look at each other and smile. Stingray thinks that the fact that they'll have him is a spiggin' miracle after what he's put them through. He guesses that's what makes family special. Then he looks at his siblings and says, ‘I love you guys.' He adds that he couldn't have got through it all without them and he promises not to let them down again.
The Timmins clan, minus the matriarch, is driving along, discreetly followed by a police car. Janae is making some comment about rock cakes and the twelve steps. Stingray thanks them for going but the others shrug it off with jokey, sarcastic comments. It's only then that the police car makes its presence known. Dylan gets out and it's Steiger, naturally, who's pulled him over. Steiger asks where the new car is and Dylan tells him that it doesn't have the same grunt. Steiger asks him if he's aware one of his taillights is out. Dylan isn't, but thanks for telling him. Steiger isn't finished because apparently the noise his car made on its way up the street suggests that his muff (I think he says this, but I don't care enough to seek any sort of clarification on this) is out and the tyres need replacing, there's rust in the rear column… The vehicle is unroadworthy. Dylan's shock is expressed through the exclamation of the word ‘what' and the Timmins kids look on with blank expressions. Steiger says it'd be a miserable act on Christmas Eve, so Dylan should consider it a friendly warning. Steiger's wife will give it the once over; she loves Falcons. Steiger goes to walk off and sees fit to actually ruffle Stingray's hair as he does so. Stingray repeats ‘his wife' to Dylan and they cheer when they realise that it looks like Janelle is out of the running.
The kids are bursting in as Stingray makes some point about life going in circles. Apparently for years anything their family touched turned to poo and now even cops let them off. Dylan doesn't buy his theory. Janae sits down and sees a big pile of mail that Janelle hasn't been through. Bree tells them there's an email from Anne. She doesn't know where she is but the email basically says merry Christmas and she thinks about them every day. Janae jokes that she's so polite. Bree wonders if she could trace her IP address. Janae says that if Anne wanted to be found she'd have told them where she was. To be honest, though, Janae has been somewhat distracted by the letter she is holding. It turns out it's a letter from Kim and Stingray says that last time they hid letters from Janelle she went ballistic. Bree points out that when she read them she went even more ballistic. Janae looks confused.
We go to an outside shot (night) before going back to the house, where the letter has been laid down on the table. They've obviously been contemplating what to do for quite some time. Stingray thinks they should burn it. Janae says they can't burn it. Stingray says that if they scatter the ashes really carefully Janelle won't find out. Dylan corrects him – she'll find out. Bree concurs that she always does. Janae wonders what Kim wants. Dylan thinks the same as always – asking Janelle to forgive him, promising to change, telling her how much he loves her. Janae asks if Dylan reckons Kim has heard about the money. Dylan thinks he'd be there if he had. Stingray suggests flushing it. Bree picks it up, saying they're not going to burn, bury or flush it. She opens the letter and the other three shout, ‘No!' in unison. Bree reads it…
Happy Christmas. It's hard not being with you at this time, you're the love of my life.
DYLAN: Here we go!
But I'm not writing to ask you to forgive me or take me back. I won't give you the grief. The fact is you're a V8 super car and I'm just a lemon who specialises in blowing smoke.
DYLAN: No arguments here.
I'm not coming back. You were right, I always make big promises and never deliver. I always pretend that this time it will be different but we all know it won't be. Give the kids a big kiss from me and tell them that I love them and I always carry photos of them close to my heart.
Have a good life and it'll be a better one now that I'm gone for good.
Janae tries to digest the fact that he's never coming back as Stingray articulates the fact that Kim's doing it for them. Dylan decides it's the first time he's ever had any real respect for Kim. Janae says she's pretty good at resealing letters but she thinks it's one that Janelle should read.
Pepper opens the door to a suited and booted Steiger. He might even have had a shower. Pepper says he looks handsome and Steiger says he's nervous as a cat – he wonders where Chris is. Pepper tells him that she sent her to run some errands so that they could have a bit of a chat. Pepper tells Steiger that she wants him and Chris to get back together more than anything but she just doesn't want him to rush into things. If he moves in too fast, he might scare her off. Steiger claims to know Chris and judging by the signals he was getting last week, she's as keen as he is. Pepper tells him to let her put out some subtle feelers and when she thinks he's good to go, she'll give him a sign. She'll sneeze twice. Chris knocks at the door with something in a jar that apparently has to be a particular brand that she had to go to three shops to trace. Pepper asks where the nice dress is and Chris, wearing a white shirt with a pink tank top, explains that she decided to go for comfort. Steiger greets Chris as he's pouring a glass of champagne and Pepper makes a point of how nice it is for them to be all together for Christmas. Chris smiles nervously.
Dylan's saying how whatever he's got is the perfect present and Bree is a genius. Bree knows. Janae says that when Janelle reads the letter from Kim they have to act surprised. Stingray's not sure it's a good idea for Janelle to let go of Kim for good. Bree thinks at least she can move on. Stingray's worried that it might be to someone like Steiger but Dylan's convinced she's off his radar. Janae, who's not totally in the room, comments that may not be for long. Dylan wants to know what she knows. Janae claims she doesn't know anything but Dylan tells her to ‘fess up or it's the typewriter. They start poking her when Sky comes in and apologises for interrupting. She tells the kids that Harold is about to turn on the Christmas lights – do they want to go and see? Yes, so they all leave.
The group are counting down from five until Harold turns on the lights (who turns their lights on on Christmas Eve?) and his entire house becomes illuminated. Harold wants to say a few words. ‘Christmas. It's a time for family, and extended family. It's a time to give thanks and a time to reflect. Now this time last year I couldn't find it in my heart to do this but this year I just wanted to put those lights up. Not just as a celebration for our little baby Kerry but as a tribute to David, Lilijana and my lovely little granddaughter Serena. We feel their loss everyday but for the time that we did know them, we are eternally grateful. So if you'll just join me in a very simple toast. To family, and Christmas.' They all toast.
Lou looks at a card and kisses it. It turns out the card is from Mishka, who he wishes was there. Harold comes out from the hallway and asks if Lou is ready for church. Lou isn't in the mood but Harold tells him he's not going to sit around there feeling sorry for himself, he has to go. They leave as Sky and Dylan come out into the living room. Dylan asks Sky if she wants to open a present because she's allowed one. Sky explains that she already has. Dylan tells her that it's for Kerry anyway so he wants to show Sky what he got her. He pulls out one of those mobile things that goes above the bed and tells Sky to check it out. Apparently each bit that drops down represents a member of the family. The palette is Sky, the whisk is Dylan, the spoon is Scott, Harold is the tuba, the spanner is Janae, the skull is Bree and the booty is Janelle. Joe and Toby are the pig and the cow. Dylan hopes Kerry likes it and Sky says it's great. Dylan kisses Sky on the cheek and then they look at each other before kissing.
Scott is getting into the tanning booth but finds that Dylan is already in there. Scott thought he was supposed to be over at Sky's. Scott's worried that Sky didn't like the present. Dylan says she liked the present…
Harold comes into a house that is in total darkness and is chastising Lou for snoring in the church service. Lou turns the light on and finds Sky sitting on the sofa. Harold asks what Sky is doing sitting in the dark but Sky avoids the question by asking how church was. Harold says that apart from Lou going to sleep it was lovely. Is Dylan still there? Sky explains that Dylan has gone. Harold hopes they haven't had an argument. No, nothing like that. He made Kerry a great present and she gave him a thank you kiss and…
They were all over each other for about five seconds, according to Dylan. Scott thinks it's way to go.
Harold thinks it sounds encouraging. Sky says it wasn't, she felt…
SCOTT: Nothing? You felt nothing?
DYLAN: I felt…nothing.
SKY: No spark. Gone! And the worst thing is, he looked so happy.
DYLAN: She looked stoked.
SKY: So I pretended I was too.
DYLAN: I just stuck a big goofy smile on my face.
SKY: What am I gonna do? I'm gonna have to tell him.
DYLAN: The last thing I wanna do is cause any hurt.
SKY: All over again.
Pepper, Chris and Steiger are enjoying their meal. Chris says the chicken was lovely and couldn't work out why she needed the pickled onions. Pepper sneezes and Steiger jumps to attention. She sneezes a second time and Steiger lurches at Chris, pulling the ring out of his pocket. Pepper tries to say something to Steiger but Steiger says it's alright, he's been getting the same vibe. Chris asks what he's doing. Steiger says that they're both adults and they both know what they want and he's pretty sure it's each other.
STEIGER: I love you. I've never stopped loving you. (He opens the box to reveal the ring) Will you marry me?
Chris looks away. Pepper looks at her mum expectantly.
Harold thinks that Sky may just be having misgivings but Sky says no, there was nothing there. Lou thinks Dylan needs to brush up on his technique. Sky says that Dylan is a great kisser – he just didn't leave a lasting impression. Harold starts to say something but Lou interrupts him, telling him not to forget what nongs they made of themselves last time they tried to push them together. Harold thinks it would have made a lovely Christmas present but either way, she needs to speak to Dylan before he gets his hopes up. Sky looks anxious.
Steiger's pacing and wondering why Chris is taking so long. Pepper doesn't know, as she points out, she's not in the bathroom with her. Steiger wants to know why she didn't say anything. Pepper thinks Chris must be in a state of shock but Steiger thinks that it can't have come as that big a surprise. Pepper thinks Steiger could have been a little bit more patient. Steiger points out that Pepper sneezed. Twice. Pepper counters that it was accidental just as Chris returns from the bathroom. Steiger immediately tells Chris that she would make him the happiest man in the world but Pepper stops him by explaining that Chris doesn't need that kind of pressure. Chris thanks Pepper before Pepper announces that to take the pressure away, she's organised a weekend away for them with separate rooms, of course. It's her Christmas present. Steiger thinks it sounds, wait for it, ‘magical'. I can't actually believe that Sergeant Steiger just said that something is, or could be, magical.
CHRIS: I didn't want to have to tell you like this.
STEIGER: Tell me what?
CHRIS: Allan, I am so glad that we've become friends but I can't marry you.
STEIGER: Why not?
CHRIS: There's someone else. I've been in a relationship for almost a year now. With a woman.
Steiger and Pepper look shocked.