Previously on Neighbours
- Michael resigning as principal
- Priya assigned as the new principal
- Sophie refusing Priya's order to remove her nose ring
- Sophie saying that she's going to dump Corey
- Andrew telling Sophie that she should give Corey another chance
- Summer asking if Andrew can't sign another local band without having to exploit Sophie.
- Andrew encouraging Sophie to see Corey again but she has doubts.
Sophie walks into Harold's and Corey immediately stands up to get her chair. She insists that he doesn't have to do that but he doesn't mind. Sophie asks why he isn't wearing school uniform today to which he replies that he doesn't go back until tomorrow. If Sophie had doubts before, she becomes more convinced that her and Corey aren't compatible when he says that going to a private school sucks because he has to do Sports on a Saturday – she loves Sports. To Sophie's dismay Corey takes a photo of them together which he plans to use as his new profile picture. Summer enters Harold's before Corey heads to the counter to collect their drinks.
Summer asks what Sophie is doing as Corey doesn't look like he has just been dumped. Sophie defends her behaviour by saying she thinks he deserves another chance to which Summer responds that she was convinced yesterday that she wanted to dump him. Suspicious that Andrew is involved, Summer asks Sophie what he said to her yesterday but Sophie remains adamant that it was her decision, she knows how to send a text if she wants to dump him. Corey returns with a big milkshake, obviously trying to impressive his girlfriend.
Lucas and Emilia enter the bar to find Michael, who they joke is avoiding the students on his first day back. Emilia asks him if he'd like to join her and Lucas for breakfast, but he's heading off to school soon. The pair point out that it's still quite early but he says that he wants to be there to support Priya seeing as it's her first day as principal. Emilia tells Michael not to let her lean on him too much as he gave up his position as principal to relieve stress in the first place. Emilia is a massive support for Michael, convinced that returning to the classroom will completely reignite his passion for the work. Michael heads off to face his first day back in the classroom.
Callum is getting ready for his first day at school for the new year but unfortunately he doesn't share his dad's excitement at the prospect. He can't wait for the next four years to pass so that he can leave, but Toadie reminds him that work is a lot more difficult than school to which Callum replies that he at least gets paid. Toadie jokes that Callum's only in a bad mood because he can't play dragon prophecies all day anymore, but Callum tells him that Priya's the new principal, she's really strict and her daughter Rani starts school today. Callum has preconceived ideas about what Rani will be like, thinking she'll be a spy for her mum but Toadie reminds him how difficult it will be for her as it's her first day at a new school.
Priya is standing at the entrance assessing whether students are appropriately dressed as they enter the school. Callum disapproves of the uniform checks as he and Michael approach the entrance, but Michael unconvincingly tries to defend Priya's behaviour by saying that it doesn't hurt to look neat and tidy. Priya tells Callum to tuck his shirt in to which he replies that he prefers it untucked, which causes Priya to tell him to wait at the side so other students can pass through. Rani walks straight through before Callum jibes that the ‘principal's pet' would go through without a problem.
Priya and Michael are walking the corridors of the school and she asks him how he's feeling to be back as a teacher. She's sure he'll settle right back into it and he assures her that he's there should she need anything. Priya takes him up on his offer, saying that she wants all teachers of the school to check that the students are adhering to the new uniform policy she has introduced. Michael agrees but mentions that some less fortunate students have bought second- hand uniforms to which Priya says that if any parents are having problems they can contact her but in the meantime the rules need to be followed. Sophie brushes past, saying hi to ‘Mike' as she enters the classroom which reminds Priya that Sophie needs to take out her nose ring. Michael fails to carry out the order to Sophie as he says that he gave Sophie's nose ring the OK last year. Priya remains firm and insists on telling Sophie herself, who refuses to believe that she has to take it out. Meanwhile Michael gets a text from Emilia asking if everything is ok.
Michael is introducing himself to the class, saying that addressing him as ‘Mike' or ‘Michael' is fine, before telling the students to welcome the new student Rani to the class. Upon asking the class how their summer holidays were, they remain silent before Michael realises the new rules have left some students unhappy and asks them to discuss it with him. Sophie makes her views clear that she doesn't agree with the policies on uniform and Callum is confused as to why anyone cares whether his shirt is tucked in or not.
MICHAEL: Look, it's a new year, a new set of rules. You all...we all have to get used to it so no more complaining alright?
Priya enters and asks how everyone is but a cold silence fills the room. She tells Michael that she's just dropping off some announcements and Michael thanks her. She asks Michael if she can have a word with him outside, and makes it clear that he should address her formally in future when they're in front of the students. This causes Michael's liberal instincts to come to the fore in defence of his actions. Priya, however, remains convinced that it's important to establish clear boundaries between the teachers and students. Michael goes back to the classroom, and informs the students that teachers have to be addressed by their title and surname for the new academic year, his body language revealing that he's clearly uncomfortable with the strict new rules. The students groan.
Michael is taking his English class using the quintessential teaching assistant: a textbook. He reads a paragraph from the book before asking Callum to take over, but after Callum's read one line, he tells him to stop and decides to approach the subject from a different perspective. All the students put their textbooks on the floor.
Michael is soon trying to convince the students that English is more than just a textbook: there are great examples of the use of language and drama in everyday situations. Callum suggests The Simpsons as relevant to the discussion and Sophie mentions the relevance of song lyrics. The bell rings and Michael asks the students to write down their favourite song lyrics to discuss after lunch.
Sophie is deep in thought, trying to decide on her favourite song lyrics to write down as Corey enters, joking that it's only the first day back so it's too early for homework yet. He goes to kiss her but she pretends she's ‘in the zone' and doesn't want to be disturbed. Corey is happy to have uploaded his new profile picture and says his friends thought Sophie was cool. She's less than impressed with the comments under the picture, seeing as his friends don't even know her. He defends them saying that his friends know she's his girlfriend. Corey adds that his school is having a formal soon and he'd love Sophie to go with him. Sophie can't seem to take it any longer, revealing that she thinks Corey's really nice, but that they should break up. He tries to take it in his stride, but asks why she wants to break up. Sophie mentions that they don't have anything in common; as he doesn't know much about music and likes that ‘geeky computer game' that Callum plays.
COREY: You're dumping me because I like a computer game?
SOPHIE: Look, I thought you were like your brother but you're not, and then it was too late.
COREY: So you went out with me because of my brother's band.
SOPHIE: No...well not exactly.
COREY: Well, what did you want? Tickets to their gigs, autographs? I mean, you know I would have got you that stuff anyway.
SOPHIE: I wasn't doing it for me. It's my cousin.
SOPHIE: He wants to manage Red Cotton.
COREY: So...you used me.
SOPHIE: I'm sorry.
Sophie leaves and heads back to school.
Sophie comes in to find Andrew on the phone to Griffin who no longer wants him to manage the band. Andrew is absolutely furious, asking why Sophie couldn't stay with Corey for one day before he got to manage the band. Sophie says that she had no choice because Corey was really upset and deserved an explanation. Andrew says that they had a deal and claims that Sophie's actions have cost him a lot. Summer descends the stairs and tells Sophie that lunchtime's nearly over and she should head back to school. Sophie exits.
Summer is disappointed with Andrew's actions, saying that Sophie's only 14 years old and he manipulated her into staying with a boy she didn't like. Andrew says that she's old enough to make her own decisions and Summer shouldn't get involved, but Summer won't back down, reminding Andrew that he's the closest family Sophie's got right now and she doesn't deserve to be manipulated like that after everything she's been through with Kate recently. Summer is disgusted at the fact that Andrew would choose money over family.
ANDREW: All I wanna do is get enough money so I can pay my dad back. I wanna get rid of this stupid tattoo and I wanna get rid of that junk car. I wanna quit Lassiters before I'm old and I'm grey. All I wanna do is spend time with you. And go to uni like we'd planned.
SUMMER: It still doesn't justify what you did to her.
ANDREW: I completely disagree with you.
Sasha's favourite song is playing on her iPod and as it comes to an end, Michael describes it as a ‘simple pop song with a beautifully profound message'. Michael asks an unconvinced Sophie her opinion and she challenges the meaning of the song. Callum asks who is right about the meaning of the song out of Sophie and Sasha to which Michael replies that there is no right or wrong answer: different messages often arise from the same material. Priya enters the room asking if she'd be able to sit in as she's observing classes over the course of the week. When Michael asks who'd like to volunteer next, a cold silence enters the room once again. The students look uncomfortable, knowing that Priya would disapprove of Michael's lesson. Just as Priya is about to suggest that Michael go back to his textbook, Rani offers to go next. She has chosen her favourite Bollywood film and describes a story of forbidden love. A call prompts Priya to exit the room which leaves Callum elated as the class can ‘go back to bludging'. Michael insists to Callum that the class is learning something from the lesson whether he believes it or not. Bollywood music ensues.
As Callum exits the school, he sees Rani at the outside lockers and tells her that he thought what she did in the classroom was great, ‘pretending' to like Bollywood films to defend Michael's lesson. She informs him that she wasn't pretending, and that he perhaps shouldn't make judgements in future about people he doesn't know. He tells her he thinks she's pretty cool, and asks if she and Sophie would like to come to Harold's later for a milkshake. Rani says she has to go, and Callum asks Sophie what's wrong with her.
Callum is informing Toadie of the day's events. He disapproves of the new rules once again, saying that he doesn't like having to call teachers by their titles and wonders how he is supposed to know who is married and who isn't. Rani enters Harold's and Callum groans. He explains to Toadie that he thought she'd be principal's pet at first, but his opinion of her changed when she stuck up for Michael in front of her mum. Callum continues by saying that she hates him though but she is quite weird anyway.
CALLUM: What kind of stupid name is Rani anyway? And seriously, no- one's hair should be that clean.
TOADIE: (glancing over) She is kind of pretty.
CALLUM: Pfft, pretty weird maybe.
Toadie's unconvinced and Callum grins in Rani's direction.
Priya catches Michael just as he is about to leave. She suggests a debrief on his classes for the day and enquires about his decision to deviate from the syllabus with Year 9. Michael tries to explain his liberal approach to teaching but Priya remains firm that his methods aren't appropriate for Erinsborough High. Priya hands Michael some templates for lesson plans insisting that teaching without structure is not the way forward. The tension between the pair is clear to see, but Priya's clear stance forces Michael's hand.
Michael is sitting in his empty classroom staring into space and playing with his pen as Priya interrupts, enquiring about Michael's progress in regard to the lesson plans. She looks at his plan for Year 9, impressed with his work and insists that she never doubted his ability and respects his energy and experience while also appreciating how difficult it might be to be back in the classroom full- time rather than being principal. She soon heads off, leaving Michael to make plans for his Year 7, 8 and 10 classes for the morning.
Emilia enters the room literally bearing fruit: an apple for Michael. He wonders why she's there but she explains that Lucas had to drop off some paperwork, followed by an invitation for dinner at Charlie's. Clearly disillusioned with the new rules in place, Michael promptly takes her up on the offer and bins his plans for the morning in favour of socialising with his sister- in- law and best mate.
Tomorrow on Neighbours
- Priya trying to convince Kate to return to Erinsborough High
- Karl at no.30 looking for Susan
- Priya telling Lucas there are a few problems with the paperwork he left on her desk
- Lucas telling Emilia he's not going to Sydney
- Michael telling Emilia that Priya is running things totally different at the school now
- Lucas saying he thinks you've got to go for it when you find the one you want
- Michael telling Emilia, in the dark, that he can't believe what they're doing but he likes who he is when he's with her.