Previously on Neighbours
- Terese wins a generous severance package from Paul by threatening to countersue him
- Paul is disappointed to learn that Sophie and Harry won't make it to his 50th birthday party
- Mason takes a dislike to Isaac, and tells Imogen he wants her to be with him instead
Terese is talking to Imogen about finding a new place for the Willises to live, but her daughter is distracted. Imogen explains that Mason wants them to be together, but she's still sore about him ‘rushing off to Kate's side' not long after kissing her at Christmas. Imogen almost lets slip to Terese about Isaac, but stops herself, claiming Mason's simply not on her radar anymore and that she'd be crazy to go there.
No 32 (back garden)
Mason and Bailey are swimming in the pool. Mason thinks Imogen wants him, but Bailey is sceptical, suspecting that Imogen is into Isaac.
MASON: No, they are not the real deal. Nobody can share what me and Imogen share.
BAILEY: What, a bombed- out car?
Mason decides he needs to wind the clock back and return their relationship to where it was – but doesn't elaborate on how.
The Mayoral Penthouse
Paul is prancing around in his new mayoral robe and chain, showing off to Kate. She comments on his rather tatty briefcase, which she says looks 100 years old – but Paul insists he likes it. Lucy appears hovering in the background, and Kate introduces her as Paul's surprise birthday present! Paul grimaces.
LUCY: You could at least pretend to be happy to see me.
Kate suggests Lucy stay with them since Harry and Sophie couldn't make it for Paul's fiftieth birthday party, but Lucy says she's staying at the hotel, and Paul doesn't attempt to change her mind. Lucy also has some bad news – Elle isn't going to be able to make Paul's party, as Donna is having boyfriend troubles! Paul's disappointed, but Kate reminds him that Andrew and Tash are still coming. Paul cheers up a bit, adding cryptically that the whole family will be reunited soon anyway. Kate and Lucy look puzzled, wondering what he means.
Sheila is getting everyone to write their congratulations in a special book for Paul's fiftieth. Matt refuses to sign it at all at first, but Karl encourages him to write a ‘humorous spin on the truth' like he did. Matt scribbles some kind of putdown using social media slang learned from Amber, and Sheila's concerned, particularly given that Karl's own message isn't very complimentary either.
KARL: Come on, that's tame compared to Toadie's! And look at Georgia's – that's a doozy!
Sheila laments that she'll never be able to give Paul the book now it's full of rude messages from RSRs, but Matt and Karl practically wet themselves laughing at Paul's expense.
Penthouse du Paul
Kate and Lucy whisper to each other – they both think that Elle, Harry and Sophie are just making excuses as they don't really want to come to Paul's birthday. Paul comes in, and presents Lucy with a termination agreement, which would formalise his withdrawal of the hotel from the Lassiter's chain.
PAUL: Robinson's Hotel. I think Dad would be pretty proud.
Lucy points out that he might not be proud of how the hotel is crumbling at present, but Paul blames all this on Terese leaving suddenly. Lucy tells him that pulling out of the chain is a big mistake, and challenges him as to where he'll find a manager better than Terese.
PAUL: Oh, all will be revealed in due course.
Imogen gets a text from Isaac, asking if she's coming over tomorrow. Next door in the living room, Terese and Lucy are sharing a bottle of wine. Terese says she has no regrets about leaving her job, claiming a weight has been lifted from her shoulders – but Lucy's keen not to lose Lassiter's Erinsborough from the chain, and is desperate to get Terese and Paul to work things out. But Terese says it's no longer her concern, noting that she rebuilt the hotel's reputation, and got no thanks from Paul.
Terese has kept an ear to the ground as regards her replacement as hotel manager, however, and says she's learned that Paul hasn't even contacted a recruitment agency yet. Lucy puts two and two together – she recalls Paul's comment about the family being reunited, and tells Terese she knows what Paul has in mind. Back in the kitchen, Imogen gets a text from Mason, asking her what she's doing tomorrow.
Mason receives a reply from Imogen, saying simply ‘I'm busy', and angrily storms out. At the bar, Paul is doing some paperwork when he discovers the birthday book Sheila's been preparing, hidden under the cash register. Paul looks thrilled; Sheila grimaces and assures him it's not worth reading, but he laughs it off.
PAUL: Here's one from Karl, look. ‘Paul, to best sum up my feelings for you, I thought I'd start with the first letter of the alphabet – A is for a…'
SHEILA: Oh, don't take any notice of that! You know what Karl's like!
Paul's smile is gone, and he asks Sheila how many of the messages are like that.
SHEILA: … You shouldn't take it personally.
PAUL: Just get back to work, will you.
He stomps off, looking wounded.
Penthouse du Paul
Paul dumps the birthday book in the bin, while speaking on the phone to Andrew. We infer that Tash is dragging her feet about coming to the party. Paul attempts to convince Andrew to come alone, but apparently to no avail. Paul tells him to check his email in a few minutes, and ends the call.
Lucy arrives, and Paul explains Andrew and Tash aren't coming to the party as they're off for a jaunt in Stockholm instead! Lucy, meanwhile, has been speaking to Elle – and discovered that Paul has offered her the position of manager at the rebranded Robinson's hotel, and Andrew the role of deputy manager.
Lucy tells Paul that Elle is happy in New York, and that she was probably just being polite when she said the offer was tempting. She adds that Andrew's response will likely be the same, and that Paul's setting himself up for a fall.
PAUL: No – you're worried that you'll lose the hotel and that that'll look bad for you. Well you know what? You've only got yourself to blame.
LUCY: That's not fair!
PAUL: Look, I don't mind you being here for my birthday, but any business association we have is over, and the sooner you realise that, the better we will be.
Imogen is working, when Mason arrives to woo her by way of a rather laboured metaphor – namely, that their relationship is a ‘drooping flower' that needs to be revitalised. Imogen is unimpressed and, when asked what she's doing later, tells Mason she's arranged to watch a trial streamed live from the US with Isaac, as part of their bonding over their mutual interest in law. Mason tries to convince her she could have more fun with him, but she tells him to get lost.
Penthouse du Paul
Kate has been rifling through the bin and has retrieved Paul's birthday book; she and Lucy read the comments from all Paul's ‘friends' on Ramsay Street.
LUCY: What did Paul ever do to upset Chris Pappas?!
Paul comes in and Kate quickly hides the notebook; they wish him happy birthday. Kate's bought Paul a present (‘from Kyle as well') – a new briefcase, to replace the tatty one she commented on yesterday. Paul makes out that he loves it, but once Kate's gone, Lucy asks Paul if Kate knows the significance of the old one.
PAUL: No, she doesn't. And you know what, she doesn't need to either. Hey, change is good.
Paul also admits that Elle has come back to him and turned down his job offer. But he says it just means Andrew will be hotel manager instead. Lucy says she hasn't bought Paul a present, but wants to take him ‘on an adventure' instead.
Lucy reveals she is doing her ‘Ghost of Christmas Past' routine, as she takes Paul to see… Ramsay Street!
PAUL: Well, this has got to be the worst adventure ever.
LUCY: Humour me.
PAUL: What, by taking a trip down memory lane?
Terese wanders down her drive and wishes him happy birthday, and gives him a big hug, much to Paul's confusion. Terese thanks him for making her life so difficult, she had to resign – saying he did her a favour, as he's helped her to reconnect with her family. As Terese walks off, Paul reminds her she has two weeks to get out of No 22! Lucy takes Paul by the arm.
LUCY: Come on. Let's go home.
Indoors, Paul and Lucy stare nostalgically at the home they grew up in.
LUCY: A lot's changed since we were kids. Do you remember the blue wallpaper?
PAUL: How could I forget it?
We are treated to a flashback of Paul and Lucy's gran, Helen Daniels, circa 1985, walking between the living room and the kitchen.
LUCY: A lot of memories live in this place. And I was lucky to have my big brother to look out for me.
Flashback to 1991 (Episode 1494 to be exact) and a much younger Lucy hugging Paul, as he reveals that a photographer wants to do a modelling shoot with her – at Lassiter's. In the present, Lucy remarks that Paul always put the hotel first, even then.
They wander into the kitchen, with a flashback to 1985 (Episode 1) as Helen pours Paul a coffee.
LUCY: Gran was always taking care of us.
In the present, Paul looks affected by the memory. Another flashback shows Helen sketching.
LUCY: You can just see her sitting there, sketching.
PAUL: Listen, Lucy. If you're trying to impart some kind of life's lesson, you're too late. Jack Lassiter beat you to it.
LUCY: What lesson did you learn, exactly?
PAUL: To value family. And I am.
LUCY: Do you have any idea why Andrew, Elle, Sophie and Harry didn't come today?
PAUL: Well in Andrew's case, probably because he didn't realise what I was about to offer.
PAUL: Yeah. Lucy, I know I've made mistakes but I have changed, alright? I happen to have a very good relationship with everyone now.
LUCY: That's only because they don't live near you. Don't you see? They're scared to even return for a visit, because they know things will go back to the way they were. There's always strings attached.
Paul gets a call from Andrew and looks smug, before disappearing into the garden to answer it.
Outside, Paul is sitting by Sheila's veggie patch, looking sadly at his phone. Lucy comes to join him.
LUCY: He said no.
PAUL: Well go on. Do your little ‘I told you so' dance.
LUCY: Why don't we talk about your real problem? Me. This all happened the day I became your superior.
PAUL: Oh, that's not the issue.
LUCY: I pulled rank and you have resented me ever since. Why do you think I took this job running head office?
PAUL: The wardrobe allowance?
LUCY: Yeah, well there's that too! It was so I could reconnect with you. When I heard what was going on in your life, I was really worried. So I put things in place. Not because I was on a power- trip, but because I love you. We all love you. And if we don't do it on your terms it's impossible.
PAUL: Lucy, is it so bad that I want to offer my kids an opportunity?
LUCY: An opportunity for them, or for you? You only learned half the lesson from Jack Lassiter. It's great to value family, but you can't control them.
PAUL: Who says I'll do that?
LUCY: Look at how you treat your friends and your colleagues!
PAUL: Excuse me, friends?
LUCY: The ones that wrote messages in Sheila's book.
PAUL: Hang on, how did you know about that?
LUCY: Well they may not have said nice things about you, but at least they went to the effort. It shows that they care. You don't make it easy.
PAUL: Alright, Luce. What are you trying to say?
LUCY: You're getting older.
PAUL: Yeah. Thanks.
LUCY: Maybe it's time for a new approach. Treat people differently. They may just surprise you.
Penthouse du Paul
Lucy and Paul arrive home, and Kate asks Paul if he'd have preferred a brown leather briefcase. Paul insists the one Kate's bought him is great.
LUCY: Oh, for goodness' sake. The other compendium belonged to our father, Jim.
KATE: Paul, why didn't you say so?
PAUL: Well, the other one does have some sentimental value attached to it, yeah, but…
Kate goes off to find the receipt for the new one.
LUCY: What do you think Dad would say if he could see us now?
PAUL: Well, he's about to get a whole hotel named after him. I think he'd be pretty chuffed myself.
LUCY: Has nothing I've said made a difference?
PAUL: I've thought about some of the things, yeah.
PAUL: Well, as far as Robinson's is concerned, the wheels are already in motion.
Terese is packing up the Willises' possessions in preparation for moving house, and nostalgically looks at her Lassiter's business cards.
Penthouse du Paul
Lucy tells Paul that if he wants to pull the hotel from the Lassiter's group, she won't stand in his way – but tells him he'd be crazy not to get Terese to run Robinson's for him. Paul insists he couldn't trust her, but Lucy reminds him that Terese has always had the hotel's best interests at heart; and that now he's mayor, he'll need Terese more than ever.
A musical interlude ensues as Paul assesses his empire, and looks thoughtful.
Terese continues to pack, looking at a photo of the family as she puts it in a packing box.
Paul stands outside the hotel, ruminating.
Terese answers the door – it's Paul. She assumes he's here to hurry up the eviction, and tells her they'll be out of the house soon.
PAUL: It's my birthday.
PAUL: So I find myself in a very forgiving mood. Well, I'd take advantage of that, if I were you. You can have your old job back!
TERESE: Excuse me?
PAUL: And the hotel will be staying Lassiter's. Well?
TERESE: Is this meant to be an apology?
PAUL: Oh, okay fine. You know what? I can't stand you. In fact you are probably the most annoying person on this planet. But I need you.
TERESE: Keep going.
PAUL: You can have your old job back, there will be no unreasonable targets, and you can stay on living here.
TERESE: I wasn't kidding before. I'm happy now. And my family needs me.
Terese shows Paul the door.
PAUL: Great. Well you know what, I won't wait. The offer's only good until the end of the day. The choice is yours.
Paul leaves, and Terese sighs.
Tomorrow on Neighbours
- Will Paul and Lucy convince Terese to return to work, or is she happy being a stay- at- home mum?
- Kate and Kyle agree that ‘this whole thing seems weird'
- Mason chats Imogen up on the pretext of discussing the environment
- Having being called an idiot by Imogen, Mason asserts to Bailey that he's totally in with a chance