Previously on Neighbours
- Matt tells Lauren he wants to try and fix what's broken in their marriage
- Lou meets Alice's gran Layla, and learns she's an avid EM Williams fan
- Federal Agent Greta Jackson sends Mark undercover to investigate Dakota's illegal activities
- Following a tip- off from Paul, Paige is devastated to see Dakota kissing Mark
- Paige warns Dakota to stay away from Mark, and pours a martini on her laptop for good measure
Lauren suggests to Matt that they go for a bike-ride together later, but he goes one better and suggests he put on a barbecue to bring the family together. They notice Paige seated on the bridge looking sombre, and Lauren explains she's having some problems with Mark. Matt suggests Lauren go and check on her, so she does. Paige admits she hasn't had any answers from Mark, but that she has done something really stupid.
Dakota is on her phone, ordering a new laptop, since Paige ruined the last one. Paul suggests he could get his Lassiter's techies to look at the frazzled one, but Dakota insists there's no need - all her documents are in the cloud.
DAKOTA: That girl, she needs a good slap.
PAUL: Yeah, look. Maybe you should just walk away from that. You take the high ground, eh?
DAKOTA: Sure. After I've slapped her.
Dakota whinges on about how Paige behaved.
DAKOTA: I mean why the hell would she think I'm interested in her Ken doll boyfriend?
Paul advises Dakota to stay away from both Mark and Paige - then seeks reassurance from Dakota that Paige has got it wrong about her advances on Mark.
DAKOTA: Why would you even ask me that? Have I done something to make you doubt me?
PAUL: No, no, course not.
DAKOTA: I'm not interested in that man.
Lou brings Bailey a complimentary milkshake.
BAILEY: Okay, why?!
LOU: Well, I've been watching you. And I thought to myself, 'Well, there's a boy who looks as though he could do with a milkshake.'
BAILEY: What's going on?
LOU: Tell me - what do you know about Alice's grandmother Layla?
BAILEY: Erm, not much. Why?
LOU: Well, it appears that the Luscious Layla is a big fan of EM Williams. Oh, that's what she calls herself online.
Milkshake-bribe dispensed, Lou asks Bailey to get hold of Layla's number for him.
Lauren and Paige come in, talking about what Paige did to Dakota's laptop. Lauren is unusually unsympathetic, telling Paige she can't go losing it every time she gets angry. Paige knows it's wrong but claims she can't help it. Lauren again tells Paige she needs to discuss the problem face-to-face with Mark, rather than tiptoeing around waiting for him to raise the issue.
LAUREN: Take it from me - when you stop talking, things fester. Go on. Go and speak to him.
Federal Agent Greta Jackson shows up to find out from Mark how his devastatingly subtle undercover operation is going. For her part, she's been investigating the coffee bean suppliers, but has been unable to find any dirt.
GRETA: We need to focus on Dakota. We know she's expecting a shipment in the next 24 hours, and we need you to find out when and where she'll be taking possession of it.
Mark starts whining on about what the operation is doing to his personal life, and is considering calling it quits, but Greta begs him to stick it out a little longer. Mark's worried that Daniel will become implicated, despite being totally innocent (though he admits he'd be less surprised if Paul was involved), but Greta reassures him that this is why Mark's on-board - he knows these people and their motivations. She promises that in 24 hours the operation will be over.
Lauren wishes Paige well in her chat with Mark, and Paige leaves - just as Brad and Terese come in. Lauren sits them down and explains about Paige throwing the drink all over Dakota's laptop. Lauren's worried that Paige's self-esteem is at rock-bottom, and that she's simply waiting for Mark to leave her for another woman. Lauren and Brad discuss whether they should get involved, while Terese feels a little left out - until Brad asks what Terese thinks they should do.
TERESE: Oh, well. I mean, she can't go around behaving like that. We all know how that ends.
LAUREN: Well I guess we should just stay available to her and try to keep her on the right track.
TERESE: Well, you can try all you want. But at the end of the day it's Paige who has to control her behaviour.
BRAD: It's not gonna be easy.
Paul and Daniel come in, Paul moaning about what a 'psychopath' Paige is. Daniel defends her, saying she thought her relationship was under threat, and wonders whether Dakota did something to provoke Paige's jealousy. Paul insists she didn't, but Daniel accuses him of making Dakota out to be a saint, and being overprotective of her.
PAUL: Look, it has been a while since I felt this way about somebody. Things ended badly with Rebecca and I don't want that to happen again.
Paul admits it's probably his fault Paige started on Dakota, as he told Paige that Mark was hitting on Dakota. He regrets it now, having seen how much it hurt Dakota. Mark comes in, and Paul rushes over to confront him.
PAUL: I have seen the way you've been sniffing round Dakota like a desperate little puppy-dog.
MARK: You know, you're really starting to get under my skin.
PAUL: You know what, you've got no chance. So why don't you just stick to little schoolgirls like Paige?
DANIEL: Alright, that's enough - calm down.
MARK: You should really get him away from me.
PAUL: The next time that she has a crack at Dakota, she's gonna have me to answer to.
Paul tells Mark about how Paige threw a drink on Dakota's laptop, and is amused to learn that Mark didn't even know about it - remarking that that doesn't reflect well on the solidity of their relationship.
Mark comes in and asks Paige about what happened with Dakota, and Paige admits she saw them kissing. Mark reminds her of the time he saw another man kissing her, but says he acted like an adult about it - unlike Paige, who went and attacked Dakota.
Mark claims he backed off after Dakota kissed him, and asks Paige to promise not to go near her again. But Paige isn't satisfied, and demands to know what's going on.
MARK: It's a work thing.
He promises to tell her later, but in the meantime she'll just have to trust him.
PAIGE: Not good enough. You need to decide what's more important. This work thing, or me.
Bailey has heard from Alice that Lou and Layla are going on a date together, and asks Lou about it. Apparently they're going to the ballet, at Layla's suggestion. Bailey admits he's perturbed by the idea of Lou and Layla dating.
LOU: Get over it!
Sonya comes in, and sees Mark at a table looking pensive. She comes over and starts telling him some story about Callum getting locked in Alcatraz after hours, as an in-road to some serious sticky-beakery. Mark's then forced to spill his own story, about how Paige misinterpreted what she saw between him and Dakota and has flown off the handle.
MARK: Which is Paige all over.
SONYA: Yeah, Lauren has mentioned that she's had a pretty rough upbringing. Maybe she's used to reacting in a certain way.
MARK: Yeah, like a kid.
Sonya says it sounds like Mark is keeping Paige at arm's length a bit - it won't be helping and isn't fair. They need to communicate properly if they're in a relationship, she advises.
Matt comes in, and finds Lauren writing in a journal. She slightly tetchily explains that she's started it up since she and Matt haven't been talking about things like they used to. She pointedly gives him the opportunity to ask her not to use the journal, and to talk to him instead, but Matt doesn't take the bait - and says he thinks the journal's a good idea. He heads outside to start the barbecue.
Brad thanks Terese for being understanding about Paige today. Terese says it wasn't easy, but she wants to get past their problems and support Brad. Brad tells her he thinks they're doing okay under the circumstances. He takes her hand and kisses her on the cheek. Terese half-heartedly agrees, but says they now need to focus on Josh - and pulls her hand away.
Mark comes to see Dakota, who's wearing only a bathrobe. She's a bit sarcastic with him at first about what happened with Paige, but Mark insists Paige is a good person.
DAKOTA: All I see is someone who's invested in you more than you're invested in her.
Mark asks if they can forget the laptop incident - and Dakota says she'll think about it, while they have a drink together, before inviting him in. Mark tries to persuade her to go with him to her new bar instead, but she seems keen to keep him in the hotel suite. He sits next to her on the bed. He seems nervous, and she accuses him of being scared. He denies it, and goes to make her a drink.
Later, they're still sitting on the bed talking. Mark admits Paul had a go at him before, in an attempt to defend Dakota's honour. He remarks that Daniel kept him at bay, but seems very protective of his uncle - then quizzes Dakota about what a good employee Daniel must be, given his devotion to protecting Paul's interests. Dakota becomes uncomfortable, saying she's fed up of talking about Paul, and goes into the bathroom.
While she's out of sight, Mark goes in her handbag and finds her phone. Among the messages are two with the subject line 'Coffee Delivery Confirmation'. He opens the message, which gives a delivery date and a list of serial numbers, along with a cryptic message suggesting that the 'decaf' will be 'just as good as the last batch'. He takes a photo of the message with his own phone. All the while Dakota is flirting with Mark through the bathroom door, suggesting they should 'work up an appetite' before getting room service.
When Dakota emerges from the bathroom, Mark tells her there's a boiler problem at home and that he has to leave - despite her attempt to get him to stay and have a 'long, hot bath' with her. Mark leaves, and Dakota looks frustrated.
In the lift, Mark calls Greta and tells her he knows the time of the next coffee shipment, along with the list of serial numbers - adding that he has no idea what they mean. He arranges to meet Greta tomorrow morning.
As Mark steps out of the lift in the lobby, he encounters Paige, who's just about to step into it. He demands to know what she's doing there, and Paige doesn't reply.
Mark and Paige enter - we learn that Paige was about to go and see Dakota, in an attempt to get to the bottom of what's going on with her and Mark.
PAIGE: Which I wouldn't have to do if you'd just been honest with me.
Mark sticks to his line that he'll explain when he can, and that Paige should stay away from Dakota. Paige is still concerned he's not telling her the whole truth, but Mark says he can't reveal Dakota's role in the job he's doing - it's confidential.
MARK: And I don't know if I can trust you with it. That came out wrong, I'm sorry.
PAIGE: So you don't trust me? But you trust that skank?
Paige gets up and walks out.
The following morning, Bailey asks Lou how his date went with Alice's gran.
LOU: Oh, what a woman, eh? So much passion and intellect. I feel like a new man this morning.
BAILEY: So you really like her, then?
LOU: Yes, I think I'll ask her out again. See if I can get to second base!
BAILEY: Gramps!!! Look, I'm happy for the both of you, but please do not fill me in on the details.
LOU: Oh, spoilsport. Okay, I promise. I won't mention Luscious Layla again.
BAILEY: Thank you. And please stop calling her that!
Lou chuckles as a traumatised Bailey goes off to school.
Meanwhile, a visibly lovestruck Paul is telling Daniel about something that he's done for Dakota, which will show her he cares. Daniel is impressed, and leaves him to it as Dakota comes in. We learn that Paul has bought them a pair of tickets to the Seychelles, where he recalls from their Brazil days that Dakota always wanted to go. Dakota thanks him and says she's looking forward to it; her reaction is slightly underwhelming, but Paul doesn't seem to notice. He tells Dakota she's helped him make a decision about something, and in standard Neighbours fashion, disappears off to see it through without explaining what on earth he's talking about.
Paul is standing on the bridge, looking pensively at his wedding ring from his marriage to Rebecca, when Terese approaches and asks if he's okay. He explains he's finally ready to move on.
TERESE: Moving on with Dakota?
PAUL: Mmm. Yeah, we were good once. I think we can be again.
With wearisome predictability, he drops the ring into the lake. Paul smiles at Terese.
Erinsborough Police Station
Federal Agent Greta Jackson briefs Mark, Matt, a clutch of police extras and viewers on the plan for their next move against Dakota's criminal activities. She says that thanks to Mark's detective work, they're confident Dakota will be receiving 'a shipment' this morning.
GRETA: We believe that it is the final batch, and that Dakota will be receiving it herself.
Dakota comes in and speaks to Daniel.
DAKOTA (to Daniel): I'm expecting an important delivery this morning, but I can't be there. Can you accept it for me and keep it somewhere safe?
DANIEL: Yeah, sure.
DAKOTA: Perfect, thanks.
Erinsborough Police Station
The briefing continues.
GRETA: It's crucial that we catch them in the act. This is our one shot. Then we can finally shut down this operation for good. So whether it's Dakota or an accomplice...
We cut again to a shot of Daniel, looking blissfully ignorant, as Dakota smugly watches him, then goes to make a phone call. Greta's voice is overlaid.
GRETA: ... Whoever receives this shipment is going to be facing serious criminal charges.
- Dakota continues to flirt with Mark
- Mark tells someone on the phone that they have a 'serious problem'
- Paul kisses Dakota, and Mark tells Matt that Paul could be involved
- Chris asks Nate 'are you sure?'; Nate replies 'this isn't how we saw things going'
- Matt tells Daniel he's going to have to detain him, causing Amber to throw a strop