Previously on Neighbours
- Lauren tries to make peace with Terese, who isn't having a bar of it
- Tempestuous kissing with Mark and Paige
- After Brad worries Josh may lose his job, Terese intervenes and gets Lassiter's to acquire the gym
- Karl tells Georgia that the damage to her vocal chords means she will likely Never Sing Again™
Georgia is talking to her surgeon, Jessica Girdwood, about the damage to her voice, while Karl stands by listening. Jessica points out that there are always risks with surgery – Georgia has just ‘drawn the short straw' and been unlucky that scarring has occurred. Georgia's regretting going through with the operation, but Jessica reminds her that the risks were fully explained to her. Georgia starts getting sarcastic and bitter, and Karl intervenes on Jessica's behalf.
GEORGIA: I was supposed to sing at my wedding, Karl.
Jessica reiterates that the damage to Georgia's voice is unfortunate, but not something they had any control over.
Terese has summoned Brad to help her and Josh celebrate the Lassiter's acquisition of the Dingoes' Gym with a bottle of champagne. Josh pretends to be happy that his mum's his new boss, but clearly isn't – and makes an excuse to leave. Brad notices, and asks Terese whether she spoke to Josh before deciding to buy the gym. She says she didn't want to get his hopes up in case it didn't go through, and was ensuring the safety of his job; the family can't afford any more setbacks. Brad falls into line and pretends to be pleased too.
Josh moans to Naomi about how having Terese as his boss will be hell.
NAOMI: Yeah, I'd definitely have that reaction if Mum became my manager.
Naomi advises Josh to tell Terese that he's not happy with the idea, but Josh says it's the first time his mum's been happy in ages after the revelation about Brad and Lauren's kiss, and Josh doesn't want to let her down. Naomi understands, but says Terese wouldn't want Josh to be miserable. She says he can still do something about it.
Mark comes in for an afternoon coffee and a smooch from Paige, but they quickly separate when Lauren comes out of the kitchen. Mark asks if Paige would like to go for dinner with him this evening, on a date. Paige is a little coy as it's their first official date, but agrees willingly. Mark says he'll book a table at Lanzini's (where else?) but that they could meet at the Waterhole first for a drink.
As Mark takes a seat, Lauren makes it known to Paige that she saw them kissing. Paige admits that she and Mark are a couple, and a thrilled Lauren hugs her.
Naomi tells Josh that Ricky obviously doesn't want to sell the gym, given how much he's invested in hiring Josh – and that he could still prove his worth by pulling in the punters, thereby negating the need for Ricky to sell the gym to Lassiter's.
NAOMI: You just need to look him in the eye and tell him he doesn't need to sell. He just needs to trust you to get this place back on track.
JOSH: Why do I feel like you're about to sing ‘Eye of the Tiger'?
NAOMI: Oh, come on. I think if there was a theme song it would definitely be ‘Chariots of Fire'. But can we please focus?
JOSH: Do you really think I can do this?
NAOMI: I think you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Naomi begins training Josh in the arts of eye contact, confidence and posture, in preparation for his meeting with Ricky.
Karl finds Georgia sitting pensively on a bench. She's still worried about the scarring to her vocal chords, and thinks Jessica Girdwood talked at her, so she couldn't ask any questions. Georgia points out that her stitches burst, and wonders if something went wrong with the surgery. She thinks she can detect uncertainty in Karl's reaction too, but Karl says Jessica's a top surgeon, and that he has faith in her abilities. Georgia says she needs to know exactly what happened, and says Karl can't be sure Jessica didn't make a mistake. She therefore asks Karl to talk to Jessica about it.
Josh comes out of his meeting with Ricky, and gleefully relates their conversation to Naomi. Ricky has admitted he'd rather not sell the gym, so has given Josh an extra month to change his mind by increasing gym memberships. Josh isn't sure he can do it, but Naomi reckons he has it in the bag. Josh is also feeling guilty about how Terese will react, given how excited she was.
Karl pops in for a word with Jessica about Georgia's surgery, saying she wants to know the full story. Jessica is offended, asking if Karl thinks she's trying to cover something up. Karl denies this, but says every patient has a right to know if there's something they're not being told.
JESSICA: I'm telling you there isn't!
KARL: Nurse Kriptic expressed some reservations about the surgery.
JESSICA: Nurses always criticise doctors – are you going to believe her word over mine?
Jessica insists to Karl that nothing she did caused the damage to Georgia's vocal chords – it really was just luck of the draw. Karl accepts this, and tells Jessica he won't ask her any more awkward questions.
JESSICA: Good. Because otherwise you're on your own for the AMA function.
KARL: No, no. You can't do that to me. I rely on you to prod me awake during the boring bits.
JESSICA: You're on!
They both laugh.
Brad whinges to Lauren about Terese deciding to buy the gym, saying he was hoping Josh would find the challenge of running it himself character- building. Lauren points out that he'll have an easier time of it with Terese in charge – but admits it can be easy to become too involved in your kids' lives, recalling something her writing teacher once told her about not taking a horse out to pasture without taking off its bridle.
LAUREN: Your kids won't ever find their path if you're still holding onto them.
BRAD: Do you think your writing teacher could come and talk to my wife?
Paige comes out of the kitchen, and Lauren tells Brad the good news about Paige and Mark being an item.
BRAD: Right! So is this where I go round and warn him not to hurt you?
But he's only joking, and says he's really happy for Paige. Paige invites both Lauren and Brad (with their spouses) over for a barbecue with her and Mark, but Brad awkwardly turns down the invitation, given that Terese is still angry about his kiss with Lauren.
Back in the kitchen, Lauren feels guilty that her kiss with Brad is preventing Paige from spending time with him, and is also upset about having lost two good friends in Brad and Terese. In the meantime, she encourages Paige to wear a fancy frock for her evening with Mark. Paige is happy with what she's wearing, saying she refuses to spend money on clothes – but grudgingly decides to see what she can find in her wardrobe.
Mark runs into Naomi in the gym, and they get talking about his date tonight with Paige. Mark admits he didn't expect to be in a relationship so soon, especially since Paige is so young. Naomi says age doesn't matter, as long as you're happy. Mark has a moan about Paige's bad points, not least her messiness, and admits they're poles apart – but says he wouldn't change her for the world. Mark enquires after Naomi's own love- life, and she says she's currently indulging in some meaningless fun with someone, before glancing over at Josh.
MARK: Maybe it's a slow- burner.
NAOMI: Maybe it's going absolutely nowhere. Don't feel sorry for me, though. Maybe fairy- tale endings aren't for me.
Naomi insists she's happy for Mark, but looks less happy as he leaves.
Terese comes in, and moans to Josh about Ricky having second thoughts about selling the gym. Josh admits that he convinced Ricky not to sell, and she demands to know why.
Outside Harold's, Georgia is still feeling sorry for herself about not being able to sing, and Kyle comforts her. Kyle's feeling guilty for convincing Georgia to go ahead with the operation, but she insists he was right to, especially given the history of cancer in her family.
Georgia suddenly spots Karl and Jessica all dressed up, crossing the courtyard together. She assumes they're going out for dinner, recalling that the pair dated ages ago when Karl was separated from Susan. Georgia starts becoming suspicious of Karl's motivations in defending Jessica, pointing out that if they're best friends, of course he would.
KYLE: Are you saying Karl would be covering for her?
Georgia nods, and Kyle looks concerned.
Paige brings Mark a coffee, and he demands to know where his kiss is! While they have a smooch, Terese comes in – she's leaving a message on Brad's voicemail, saying they need to talk about Josh.
Terese gives Lauren a quote for the ceiling repair work, saying it should be finished by next week, but says she's still waiting to hear from Paul about what went wrong in the roof in the first place. Paige approaches, saying she overheard Terese mentioning Josh on the phone, and Terese admits that Josh asked Ricky to reject Lassiter's offer to buy the gym. Lauren says Josh was probably just trying to be independent, repeating the phrase she told Brad about horses and bridles. Terese seems unwilling to talk about it, and hurries off.
Outside Grease Monkeys
Josh tries to hand a flyer for the gym to a potential customer, Max, but the guy says he's not interested. Naomi, who is also handing out flyers, reminds Josh about eye contact and posture. But Josh is worried about how Terese reacted to the news that he convinced Ricky not to sell. Naomi insists he did the right thing, and that Terese will see that in time. Naomi also suggestively tells Josh she'll figure out a way for him to pay her back for her help, and kisses him – but at that moment Paige approaches, and they rush into Grease Monkeys to hide!
As Paige jogs past, she notices a rail of clothes on sale outside the Bric- a- Brac Shop, and stops to have a look through them.
Karl and Jessica come in for a drink following the AMA function they attended together, and Karl remarks that it wasn't as bad as he thought – they should do it more often. Georgia sees them laughing and chatting, and comes over.
GEORGIA: Well this is cosy. I didn't realise you guys were such great friends.
KARL: Well we've just been to an AMA function.
GEORGIA: Sticking together – why am I not surprised?
GEORGIA: Karl, she's your friend. Of course you're not gonna admit that she stuffed up my surgery!
Jessica says she's sorry Georgia is struggling to adjust, but says blaming her won't help matters.
GEORGIA: I spoke to Sandra Kriptic. Don't worry, she towed the line. But I could tell that she was not happy with the way you conducted my surgery.
JESSICA: I am aware of the rumours that Nurse Kriptic is spreading…
GEORGIA: Rumours are usually based in truth, Jessica! What are you not telling me?!
KARL: You're jumping to conclusions!
GEORGIA: No, I'm not, Karl! And I will not let you cover up your mistakes.
Georgia marches off, leaving Karl and Jessica looking shocked.
Terese comes in, and is annoyed that Brad thinks it's good that Ricky has given Josh a chance to prove himself before he sells the gym. Brad says Josh would never have stood on his own two feet if Terese had been his boss, making sure he didn't fail.
TERESE: I'm sorry, but is there something wrong with wanting your son to succeed?
BRAD: Of course not. I'm just looking for a silver lining.
TERESE: What, by calling me an interfering mother who's overstepping the mark with Josh?
BRAD: That's not what I'm saying. You can't let a horse out to pasture if you're going to leave its bridle on.
TERESE: … You've been speaking to Lauren. About me. About our family.
Brad admits he mentioned it, and Terese goes off on one, saying he couldn't help but rush off to complain to Lauren about her, despite Terese having told him to keep his distance.
TERESE: This family is falling apart. I'm trying to help our son. I'm trying to keep you close – whatever I can do to hold this family together. And you're just oblivious to it all!
Brad insists he wants to fix things between them more than anything, and tries to comfort Terese. But she can't be around him, and rushes off upstairs.
Paige comes in, wearing a stunning red dress, and approaches Mark at the bar.
PAIGE: So you're kind of hot. Wanna hang out?
Mark smiles, but then clocks the dress – and has a spooky black- and- white- except- the- dress flashback to his late fiancée Kate wearing the exact same garment.
MARK: What the hell are you playing at?!
MARK: Why are you wearing Kate's dress?
PAIGE: No – I bought this.
MARK: Get out! Just get out of here!
Shocked, Paige rushes out of the door, while Mark looks upset.