Previously on Neighbours
- Jack Lassiter is back in Erinsborough after more than 25 years' absence
- Amber breaks down at an unconscious Robbo's bedside over how he treated her
- Toadie visits the hospital too, and is convinced he's responsible for Robbo's accident
- In finest soap tradition, a timely cardiac arrest prevents Robbo from telling Georgia something crucial about Mason
Robbo is dead, and Matt interviews Karl and Georgia about the circumstances - but they don't yet know why he suddenly died, given that he was expected to make a full recovery. Matt declares his intention to harangue the coroner about fast- tracking an autopsy.
MATT: Well this is at least a manslaughter investigation now, so that should be enough to put a rocket under them.
Georgia, looking worried, asks whether Matt will be working on the case. Matt says he'll step back once he's briefed the homicide detectives, and that they may want to talk to Georgia about the time during which Robbo was conscious. Matt lumbers off to inform Robbo's next- of- kin of his demise.
KARL: Georgia, are you okay?
KARL: You did your best to resuscitate him. There's no more you could have done.
Georgia unconvincingly insists she's okay, no doubt foreshadowing many weeks of psychological trauma, of the kind that witnessing the death of a speaking character is bound to provoke. She's about to leave the room, when she decides she needs to talk to Karl.
GEORGIA: Before he died, Robert Slade was trying to tell me something. He mentioned Mason Turner.
Karl takes time out to deliver the news of Robbo's passing to Toadie and Sonya, explaining that they're still not quite sure why he died. Karl is highly concerned to learn that Toadie was at the hospital earlier, unattended in Robbo's room, not long before he died - and Toadie panics about what the police will think when they find out. Karl explains that Georgia has gone to make a statement to the homicide detectives who have taken on the case, helpfully breaching his confidentiality duties to explain that Robbo spoke to Georgia before he died.
SONYA: What did he say?
KARL: He only got out a couple of words. He said "Mason did."
Sonya and Toadie seize on Robbo's final words as a possible get- out- of- jail- free card for Toadie - the lawyer expertly declaring that dying declarations 'carry a lot of weight'.
SONYA: Well this could change everything!
KARL: Particularly for Mason.
Erinsborough Police Station
Matt is introduced to homicide hotshot Detective Sergeant Ellen Crabb, and her partner- in- crimefighting, Detective Senior Constable David Oakley. Enunciating the thoughts of viewers everywhere, Crabb immediately 'puts it out there' that Matt's family has a history with the deceased - but accepting his assurances that he's not finding the case difficult to work on, they sit back as Matt delivers a summary of the investigation to date.
MATT: The deceased was last seen at a function at the university earlier in the evening. The 000 call came through at 1.34am. The caller, female, refused to identify herself, and the number she called from was blocked.
CRABB: So a passer- by calls in the accident and moves on. It happens.
OAKLEY: Did the door- knock turn up anything?
MATT: Nobody heard or saw anything out of the ordinary. The one piece of physical evidence we do have - broken glass from an indicator light.
OAKLEY: Any luck locating the collision vehicle?
MATT: We're working on it.
Oakley goes on to ask about CCTV footage, and the deceased's phone and Internet history.
CRABB: I'm sure Senior Constable Turner's across all that.
Matt assures her they're following all leads, and hands her the full report...
MATT: ...including a full disclosure of the relationship between the deceased and my family.
Scanning the paperwork, Crabb asks who Jarrod Rebecchi is, and Matt summarises his involvement with Robbo. Suddenly, Georgia turns up, wanting to make her statement. She tells the assembled cops that Robbo said something before he died, which involved Mason.
CRABB: Mason? Are we talking about your son, Senior Constable?
Matt looks worried.
Evidently remembering how Lauren reacted the last time Sonya's family grassed Mason up to the police, Sonya goes round to give them a quick heads- up about Georgia's statement - and this time Lauren is much more understanding. Sonya pleads with Mason to tell the police if he has any information about the accident, but Mason insists he didn't see Robbo that night. Bailey looks suspicious, and Sonya doesn't seem to be buying Mason's assurances either - but Lauren insists Mason would speak up if he knew anything.
Amber comes in, and asks what's going on. Sonya leaves, and Lauren breaks the news to her of Robbo's death. Amber looks horrified.
On the phone, Terese matter- of- factly threatens a supplier with loss of business, and Jack Lassiter, who is sitting in the foyer, overhears the conversation. He saunters over and asks whether she isn't about due to go home for the day, but she explains she has staff off sick, so has to cover for them. Jack tells her that his advice is always to put her family before business concerns, but admits he rarely got the work- life balance right himself.
Paul comes in, and immediately recognises Jack, greeting him warmly.
PAUL: So what brings you here, then?
JACK: Well, nostalgia, actually. Yes, I'm getting sentimental in my old age.
Jack praises Terese for how well she's been looking after him, but Paul chastises her for not telling him Jack had arrived. Jack insists he's not looking for any special treatment, but nonetheless Paul offers to give him a full guided tour tomorrow.
Amber is talking to Mason and Imogen about Robbo's death.
AMBER: There were moments when I could see someone else in Robbo. The person he was before he got so messed up. It's just so sad. No- one deserves to die like that.
AMBER: You still haven't told me what you were doing on the night of the accident. Is there something you want to tell me?
MASON: We made a pact.
AMBER: And what if that doesn't feel right anymore?
Amber says she won't say anything regarding Mason's whereabouts - but that she won't lie if Matt 'asks enough questions'. Mason looks worried.
Kyle and Georgia chat about Robbo's death. Apparently it's the first time Georgia has lost a patient while nursing them, but she insists she's okay and that it's part of the job.
Kate bursts in; Sticky- Beak Sonya, who's evidently been smearing Mason to all and sundry, has filled her in on Georgia's visit to the police station, and Kate tears strips off Georgia for putting Mason "in the spotlight for manslaughter". Georgia insists she didn't have a choice.
KATE: Come on, there's always a choice.
Yes, Kate, like the choice of whether or not to sleep with your best friend's boyfriend. How's that for a guilt- trip? Anyhow, Kate stomps off, and Kyle tells Georgia she'll calm down. Georgia doesn't blame her for being upset - and Kyle tactfully suggests that Georgia didn't need to pass on what she heard.
KYLE: You could have protected Mason, and his family.
GEORGIA: What about Toadie, and our family?
Georgia says that if Kyle had information that could help Toadie, he'd pass it on too. Kyle looks worried, but says Toadie's innocent so will be okay. Georgia reminds him that innocent people can go to jail too.
Penthouse du Paul
The next morning, following their grand tour, Jack compliments Paul on his hotel- running skills, and the recent renovations. Jack asks after Gail, Paul's second wife, but Paul explains they split years ago - explaining he's been married again since, and that commitment isn't his strong point! Obviously developing a theme, Jack hints at his own relationship woes, saying he's often put ambition ahead of the people he cared about.
PAUL: There's nothing wrong with that.
JACK: No. But it can fade. Take it from an old man - the love of family, friends, your life partner - nothing else matters. Nothing even comes close.
Paul looks bemused.
Kate apologises for having a go at Georgia last night; she says she understands she was in a tough position. Georgia asks if Kate's spoken to Mason about what Robbo said, but Kate says she's barely seen Mason since Robbo's accident, and suspects he's avoiding her - or vice versa. Georgia asks if Kate's having doubts about Mason.
KATE: I don't know what to think. I mean, any of us are capable of snapping. It just takes that one moment - you cross the line - and then things just happen.
GEORGIA: Someone hit Robbo. They drove away and they left him lying there. That is not who Mason is.
Kate agrees, but looks far from convinced.
Erinsborough Hospital (car park)
Matt's on duty, and phones Lauren to report that Hermione the car has shown up in the hospital car park, and appears to be undamaged. That's until he looks at the front of the vehicle and sees that the indicator light is cracked. He asks Lauren to hold off telling Mason about the car for now, and hangs up, looking worried.
Erinsborough Police Station
Crabb and Oakley are interviewing Imogen, who's being accompanied by Terese. Imogen's glad that the car has been found, but Crabb says they're holding into the car for now. They show her the fragment of indicator light that Matt found at the site of Robbo's accident, and explain that Hermione has a broken indicator. While it could be a coincidence, they're asking forensics to look into it. In the meantime, they ask Imogen if the light was broken prior to the car being stolen. Terese, who's tetchy and obviously impatient to get back to work, intervenes, saying Imogen would know if there was damage - but Imogen says she's not sure.
Crabb goes over Imogen's statement: she said her car key was stolen while she was at the Dads of Erinsborough exhibition, but Crabb reveals that Imogen's key was found in the car.
CRABB: Looks like the thief wanted to save you the expense of going to a locksmith. Oh, and by the way, did you know Robbo Slade?
Terese demands to know how that's relevant, but Imogen says she met Robbo a couple of times, and admits she dislikes him, saying Robbo tried to hit on her the other day. Terese is surprised Imogen hadn't told her. Crabb says they can go home - but before they do, she wants to know where Imogen went after she left the exhibition.
IMOGEN: I went straight home.
CRABB: And did you leave the house again?
TERESE: No, she didn't. Is that it?
Crabb nods, and the interview ends. Imogen looks worried.
Some time later, Mason has come in, and Crabb is going over his version of events.
CRABB: And the next day is when you realised that the car had been stolen from outside the garage?
MASON: Yes. Imogen Willis told me.
CRABB: And then you found out Mr Rebecchi woke up in your car on Fairfax Road?
MASON: Yeah, it's pretty crazy, right? Imogen went to pick up the car and it had been stolen again.
CRABB (laughing): What are the odds?
MASON (laughing): Yeah!
But Crabb is lulling him into a false sense of security, and rewinds to the night before, asking what time Mason got home. He says he was home at about 1am, and that Amber can verify this. Crabb asks where he was before that - just so they can get a complete picture of the night. Mason says he was hanging out at Kate's. Crabb asks for Kate's number so they can verify this with her, and he writes it down, while Matt watches worriedly.
Crabb asks Mason why he thinks Robbo mentioned him to Georgia before he died; Mason says that Robbo hated him for turning him in over the attempted robbery of Lassiter's. Crabb asks if Mason could make an official statement now, but he says he's busy, promising to drop back in later when he has a moment. As he leaves, Crabb asks Mason if he still has a key to his car. He says he does, but when he asks if she wants to see it, she says it won't be necessary.
Once Mason's left, Crabb comments to Matt that Mason seems like a good kid. Matt admits he went off the rails through his association with Robbo, but that now he's settled down with a job and a girlfriend. Crabb cryptically says that whatever happens, Matt has her word that she'll treat Mason fairly, and her henchman Oakley gives Matt a deadpan stare as the homicide detectives leave.
Callum is home for lunch, and worriedly asks Toadie what will happen now Robbo's died. Toadie says the culprit could face even heavier charges, but assures Cal he'll still be here when he gets home from school - adding that the police would have come already if they had something. Sonya comes in and agrees with Toadie, but Cal points out that he can see Toadie's already working on his defence - and tells Toadie to stay out of jail until he gets home!
Once Cal's gone, Toadie translates some Latin legalese from his papers for Sonya, which means that what Robbo said to Georgia on his deathbed is admissible in court. This is good news for Toadie, Sonya points out; but Toadie says Robbo could merely have mentioned Mason because he has a grudge against him, so Toadie could still be responsible. Toadie says that whether he ran down Robbo or not, he will still have to fight to protect himself.
Jack gossips with Sheila about Paul. Sheila expresses her forthright views about how Paul tramples on others, and Jack doesn't disagree, adding that he seems lonely up in his 'ivory tower'.
SHEILA: Well whose fault is that?
Jack formally introduces himself, and leaves Sheila a generous tip, before leaving.
Over on a sofa, Matt and Mason are talking about Mason's run- in with Crabb.
MASON: The smiling detective - she's gonna come after me, isn't she?
Matt says she might, and that they can organise a lawyer if needs be, but that Mason needs to be clear on his movements in the meantime. Matt asks why Mason didn't give his statement straight away, as it made him look suspicious. Mason explains it's because he's on probation; he doesn't want the police to use anything he says against him. But Matt says they'll be hounding him about it, and tells him to get it over with. Matt goes back to work, leaving Mason looking worried.
Mason arrives to see Kate; she's annoyed to have received a voicemail message from the homicide squad, asking her to make a statement. Mason explains about Hermione the car turning up, and how the police think it was involved in Robbo's hit- and- run. He also reveals he's used Kate as a false alibi for the night in question, and told the police he was at No 26 with her all evening. Kate understandably hits the roof!
KATE: Why would you say that?!
MASON: Because I didn't want to go to the exhibition, so I told Dad that I was spending time with you, and I couldn't go and change my story for the detectives.
KATE: Yeah - except I was here alone that night! Where were you?
MASON: It's not a big deal.
KATE: Well it is! To the police, and to Toadie. Look, I could stop right now - I could stop asking you questions - but I have to know. Did you do it?
Mason doesn't reply - just throws her a cliffhanger- stare.
Tomorrow on Neighbours
- Kate begins to think that Mason's hiding something, as he tries to persuade her to lie for him
- Imogen is worried the police will 'catch her out', but Mason tells her to stick to her story
- Georgia's struggling to get over Robbo's death, and confides in Karl
- Kate asks Paul if he thinks Mason could have been involved in Robbo's hit- and- run