Previously on Neighbours
- Josh kisses Ruby, then TITTNL with Amber – but is still getting texts from the journalist
- Kate presses Susan to tell Karl about her multiple sclerosis relapse
- Susan is gobsmacked when Paul uses her illness in a speech for his mayoral campaign
Susan assures Karl her MS relapse is only mild, and apologises for him finding out like that. Karl confronts Paul, who tells him the electorate has a right to know if a mayoral candidate is going to be too busy caring for his wife to look after his community.
PAUL: If I were you, I'd get Susan home; she's looking a bit fragile.
Karl tells Paul all bets are off, and he and Susan leave. Paul takes a glass of wine off the bar.
SHEILA: You've reached an all- time low.
PAUL: And cheers to you too.
SHEILA: I hope you choke on it.
Karl tells Susan she should have told him about her illness; she says she tried, but that he was too busy with his campaign. She tells him the new meds seem to be fine, but that she'll need to do some physical therapy too. Karl wonders how Paul found out, but Susan isn't sure – she admits she told Kate, but said she had to because Kate found her losing her balance at work. Susan apologises again for not telling Karl.
The phone rings; it's a reporter from the West Waratah Star wanting a comment on Paul's speech! Susan tells Karl to take the call, and he goes into the other room.
Next morning. In the garden, Terese and Brad discuss what a scumbag Paul's being to Susan. Josh is wrapping the camera he bought Amber as a present – Terese is impressed. But then he gets another text from Ruby, wanting to know when they can do the next interview. Brad encourages Josh to reply, as the Star is sponsoring him, and comments that the expensive present could have waited till Christmas. Terese thinks it's sweet, and is about to tell a story about her and Brad's courtship days when Josh encourages her to go to work instead. Brad warns her not to kill Paul!
Terese lays into Paul for using Susan's condition to advance his electoral fortunes, but Paul is unfazed. Terese says that she'd tell everyone about his dodgy Men's Shed development dealings if only she had the proof, adding that he's only running for mayor to feather his own nest. Paul denies this, saying he wants to ‘give back to the people of Erinsborough, not take from them' – adding that Jack Lassiter's death was a wake- up call for him and that his motives are good.
TERESE: Oh, I see. So you've had an epiphany.
PAUL: Yeah. Something like that.
TERESE: Your attitude always has been and always will be ‘the end justifies the means', Paul. I know you.
Terese bumps into Susan and engages her in more Paul- moaning. Terese says that what Paul did was unforgivable, and Susan agrees, admitting that it's made things difficult at home with Karl now he knows she hid her relapse from him. Paul's speech also made people think he was a hero, Susan says, since he knows how to twist any situation to his advantage. Terese tells Susan that if there's anything she and Brad can do to help with her illness, to let them know. Susan thanks her and leaves.
Karl apologises to Susan for being selfish last night and not noticing that she was struggling, having been so preoccupied with the campaign. Susan admits she's been selfish too, because she was hoping their lives were steadying down a bit, and resented Karl's decision to put them in the public spotlight by running for mayor. However, Karl has now decided he's going to pull out of the campaign. Susan tells him not to if he's going to resent her later, but Karl says he's doing it for them. They kiss.
In the garden, Josh is covering Amber's eyes and leading her towards her surprise present. Amber opens the bag and is overwhelmed by the gift, saying she can't accept it. But Josh tells her she's going to need it if she's going to be a top photographer. She thanks him, saying it's the most amazing present ever. As she fiddles with the camera, Ruby tries to call Josh's phone, but he ignores it. Amber is a little perplexed as to why Brad didn't wait until Christmas to give her such a big present, but he claims it's because he's just so happy they're back together.
Sheila has come to set up the conference room for the Lassiter's staff Christmas party, but it's been double- booked – Paul is now using it for some kind of mayoral event.
Seeing Paul outside, Terese rushes out to confront him about it, saying he needs to get his people out of there, or she will. But Paul warns her it won't be good for business if she upsets all his ‘prominent' party guests. He also reminds her that the staff party won't be helping her budget, which is way off- target for the quarter. Terese complains that the targets are impossible, so Paul suggests she raise the fees for the businesses in the complex and make her staff work harder. He adds that if she carries on failing to manage her budget, she'll soon be unemployed.
Terese tells Brad about how Paul continues to undermine her, and regrets signing the new contract with him in the first place – saying Paul can legitimately fire her if she doesn't meet the targets. She's considering leaving before Paul forces her out, but Brad reminds Terese how respected she is within Lassiter's and how she's earned her position there. Brad tells Terese that the family moved from Perth because they believe in her, and so does Lucy, or she would never have insisted Paul appoint her here. Brad says he would support her if she decided to walk, but that she can play this game as well as Paul can. Terese thanks Brad for giving her an idea of how to get out of the fix she's in…
In the garden, Josh ignores his bleeping phone as he and Amber kiss. She's still worried about the present he bought her, and wonders aloud whether he felt he had to buy it because they TITTNL, which makes her feel cheap. Josh insists that he loves her, and just wanted to make her happy. She says he has, and kisses him. Terese comes in, talking loudly on her mobile – and tells the kids that she's now ‘dealt with' Paul. Josh and Amber go elsewhere as Terese continues her phone- calls.
Sheila and Susan are having a cuppa. Susan reiterates that she didn't tell Karl about her relapse because he was so busy with the campaign, but Sheila thinks it's an excuse – and Susan admits she may have been partly in denial about the MS coming back.
Sheila admits she's been lucky with health over the years, but says that she had regular ups and downs with her husband Frank – adding that they always got through in the end. Susan explains that Karl's pulled out of the mayoral race, and that she thought that was what she wanted – but she says she doesn't want Karl to quit out of guilt. Sheila advises Susan that life can't stop because of her illness, and that she needs to manage the bad days, and make the most of the good ones.
Josh and Amber are lying on a deckchair in the garden. Josh's phone starts bleeping again – and Amber snatches it jokingly, asking who keeps texting him. Josh tries to get it back, while explaining that it's Ruby, contacting him to arrange more interviews. But Amber sees Ruby's text on the screen, which says: ‘Need to talk about the kiss. Call me.'
AMBER: What kiss? The band, Kiss? Is she talking about a movie called The Kiss? A book? A kiss involving anyone other than her and you?
Amber is angry when Josh admits that Ruby came onto him. He insists it was meaningless, but Amber asks whether it happened before or after they slept together.
JOSH: Before – before.
AMBER: How long before?
JOSH: … Same day.
AMBER: Well, that explains the camera. I knew there was something going on! You were feeling guilty about cheating on me.
JOSH: Well, no – I wasn't cheating on you because technically we weren't even together.
AMBER: Yeah, somehow that doesn't make me feel any better.
JOSH: I'm not interested in her, okay? Amber, come on.
Amber walks off.
Susan comes in and Sheila nods over to a table, where Karl is sitting. He's writing down what he's going to say to the campaign people about pulling out, and Susan says she's glad she caught him. Having asked for a list of reasons why he wants to be mayor – all of which are altruistic – she announces she wants him to run for mayor after all. Karl objects, saying he wants to be there for her.
SUSAN: You're already there for me. Well maybe not so much this week. But we can work on that.
SUSAN: Life can't end because I've got MS. Okay, there's gonna be some bad days, and I'll manage them. And if I can't be at every event, and every opening with you, people are gonna understand. It's like you said – we can't let a man like Paul Robinson become the mayor. Not when there's a much better option.
KARL: You're wonderful.
SUSAN: You are.
They kiss, and Sheila smiles at another piece of advice well issued.
At reception, Paul taunts Terese about having gotten his way with the conference room – she's had to reschedule the staff Christmas party. Terese says she's been considering her position, because she's sick of having to fight Paul over every little thing; he's made it a personal quest to try and force her out, and made her job impossible in order to do it.
TERESE: Well I've had enough.
PAUL (smiling): Does this mean you're going to resign?
TERESE: No, actually. It means that I'm bringing in the big guns. I've called Lucy. She's on her way to sort you out.
Terese walks off smugly, and Paul looks worried.
Tomorrow on Neighbours
- Lucy Robinson is back, and threatens to cut Paul out of the chain if he doesn't cooperate with Terese
- Drama for Sonya and her new friend Jacob when baby Elliot's pram starts speeding down a hill
- Lucy pokes her nose into the awkward relationship between Lauren and Brad
- Ruby tells Amber she's not interested in Josh, but many other people will be – can she handle that?