- Naomi tells Imogen that Paul framed Josh to prompt his arrest for illegal peptide dealing
- Paul tells Susan that Erinsborough High will be shutting down
- Amber presents Paige with photo evidence that she has more chemistry with Tyler than Mark
- Tyler encourages Mark to ask Paige how she feels about having kids
- Mark asks her, and Paige is a little freaked out – prompting Aaron to be suspicious of Tyler
Aaron quizzes Tyler about why he was so keen to give Mark relationship advice. Tyler points out that Aaron was the one who first got Mark worrying about having kids; all Tyler did was prompt a conversation with Paige before things ‘got too far down the track'.
AARON: So you're not deliberately stirring him at all, are you?
TYLER: What? No! How was I supposed to know she'd go all weird?
AARON: You're still into her.
AARON: I saw the way that you were looking at her this morning.
TYLER: You have a sick imagination.
At that point, Tyler lifts his papers off the table, and Aaron sees the photo of Tyler and Paige that Tyler picked up when Amber dropped it. Tyler explains he was going to return it to Amber, but Aaron gives Tyler a look.
TYLER: Think what you want.
He storms out.
Steph turns up unannounced at the door, which Sonya is visibly not pleased about. Steph just wants to check on how Amy and Jimmy are; Sonya says they're good, but that they've gone to the library. Steph is about to go, but Sonya's better nature kicks in and she grudgingly invites Steph in.
Toadie's glad to see Steph, and remarks that she's the local hero after a write- up in the paper about her finding Jimmy. He suggests they head to The Waterhole for drinks; but Sonya, who's making her presence felt in the background by vigorously cleaning, says she will stay here and look after Nell while Toadie and Steph go to the pub. Sonya looks worried as they leave.
Paul is talking to Susan and Nate. He contemptuously rejects their request to support the ‘mickey- mouse sleepover protest' that Susan has arranged in a bid to help save the school – particularly since Sue Parker, as head of the Parents & Friends Association, isn't on- board with it. He tells Susan that the school closure is going ahead; she's simply ‘rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic'.
Paul goes to leave, ‘hoping' that there are no ‘pesky little council bylaws' that will obstruct Susan's protest – adding smugly that he'll ‘be sure to check'.
NATE: Real man of the people, that one (!)
Susan says she's not surprised that Paul isn't supportive. Nate asks how Josh found out about the school closure, but Susan says she's still not clear on this – Josh won't say since he is ‘protecting his source'. Susan and Nate leave.
Toadie turns up with Steph, and is humiliated when local walking plot device Hayley Hahn (previously of ‘fancies Brad' and ‘just got married' fame) tries to help him through the crowd in his wheelchair, and ends up spilling a drink on him instead. She sends him on his way, calling him ‘really brave' – leading him to complain angrily to Steph that there is always someone trying to help him when he doesn't need it. Steph's taken aback by how tough Toadie's finding life in the chair.
Nate runs into Josh, and asks him how he learned about the school closure. Swearing Nate to silence, Josh explains that Naomi gave ‘someone' (Imogen, but Josh doesn't tell Nate this) a USB stick full of incriminating dirt on Paul, who then gave it to him. Josh explains that the USB contained a letter about the sale of Erinsborough High to Eden Hills Grammar.
NATE: So Paul knew about it, but kept it quiet.
He asks what else is on the USB. Josh replies that he doesn't know, as the files are encrypted. Nate concludes that some of it must be pretty juicy, or else why would Naomi pass it on. Nate suggests they try to crack the encryption.
JOSH: I've been in enough trouble lately.
NATE: And all because of Paul.
Nate explains that Paul is refusing to support the protest sleepover, meaning he supports Susan losing her job. Josh therefore agrees to help try to decrypt the USB, on the proviso that if they find anything worth showing to the police, they do it anonymously – and that they keep his ‘friend', who Naomi gave the USB to, out of it under any circumstances. They agree to reconvene later at No 28.
Aaron comes in just as Nate is leaving, and gives him a kiss on the cheek for having picked up some lunch for him. Aaron speaks to Paige about her ‘misunderstanding' with Mark, who he says is ‘pretty bummed about it'. Paige is unsympathetic; she still can't believe Mark would bring up the subject of kids given how young she is.
AARON: You can't blame him. His paternal clock's ticking.
PAIGE: And the window of opportunity for men is much bigger than women, okay? And I never said never. I said one day. Tyler gets it.
AARON: Sorry, Tyler? When did you talk to Tyler about this?
Paige explains they got onto the subject of babies earlier on, then rushes off to serve customers. Aaron is suspicious again.
Steph turns up again, to talk to Sonya. She explains that Toadie only stayed for one drink, then went to the office, following the incident with Hayley. Steph admits she's concerned that Toadie isn't coping, and is using his black humour as a front.
STEPH: It's about people treating you like you're not normal. It can make you feel really lonely and alienated.
SONYA: Well I would never let him feel that way.
Steph insists this isn't a criticism of Sonya, but says Toadie already feels that way. Steph wonders if ‘a bit of alternative therapy' would make him feel better. Sonya thinks they should leave therapy to the experts.
STEPH: I care about Toad too, Sonya. Like it or not, that's something we will always share. I've got an idea.
Nate and Josh are trying passwords to get into the encrypted files on the USB.
JOSH: Nah. No go, ‘BouncerNumber2'.
NATE: Damn. I was sure it was gonna be that.
JOSH: That's what you said about all Paul's friends, family, ex- wives, hundreds of variations of their initials…
NATE: It's all a part of the process. Remember Thomas Edison. ‘I have eliminated the ways that will not work – I will find the way that does. Work.'
JOSH: Thomas Edison?
NATE: What? I like biographies.
They decide they could spend all day guessing, so Josh asks whether Nate has some friends in the military who could help decrypt it. Nate says he does have a friend who might be able to help, and grudgingly agrees to ask.
Aaron confronts Tyler again, accusing him of setting Mark up, as he already knew Paige didn't want kids yet when he suggested Mark spoke to her.
TYLER: I was just looking out for him.
AARON: Yeah, right!
Tyler argues that Mark shouldn't waste time on a relationship that will end in tears.
AARON: So you split them up? Then what? Oh, you idiot – you'll never get her that way. You have to let them work it out… or end it in their own time.
TYLER: So you agree?
AARON: No, I didn't say that. Mark's been a good brother to you.
TYLER: What, having me arrested?
AARON: Still doesn't mean you can go and steal his girlfriend!
TYLER: I'm not stealing his girlfriend!
AARON: Come on, Ty. Even Nate's seen the way you've been looking at her.
TYLER: Do you think I'm proud of myself? She comes around here; I see her all the time. Bro, I can't get her out of my head.
AARON: You just have to learn to live with it. Leave Mark and Paige alone.
Toadie is heading towards the garage, leaving Sonya a message on his answerphone about a strange message he's had from Steph. When he rounds the corner, he finds Steph, Sonya, Kyle and Karl all waiting for him at the garage – in wheelchairs!
TOADIE: I thought we agreed – no more bouncy- castles in the street?
But the gang haven't, in fact, been painfully crippled in a freak accident. Instead, Karl explains, they wanted to find out what it was like for Toadie being in the chair. He realises it was Steph's idea.
STEPH: Don't judge me till you've wheeled a mile in my chair. You know what they say.
TOADIE: Not quite, but thank you.
A wheelchair basketball match commences – the stakes, a pepperoni and a meat lover's pizza. Naturally, Toadie is the first to win a point.
Paige has come round to see Mark, but Tyler's home alone – so she probes him for information on what Mark's said about her. Tyler says that Mark wishes he hadn't brought up the whole issue of having kids.
PAIGE: Oh, I've got to sort this out!
TYLER: What's there to sort? Mark wants kids, you don't – end of story.
PAIGE: I never said never. And he never said right now. I don't know why this has blown into such a big thing.
Tyler makes out that Mark's ‘licking his wounds', and suggests that she give him some space. When Paige wonders if Mark wants to break up with her, Tyler says that walking on eggshells around your partner is not a good sign.
TYLER: Have you ever considered that maybe you're just not compatible enough for him?
PAIGE: So you think Mark and I should break up.
TYLER: I just want what's best for both of you.
PAIGE: Or best for you?
PAIGE: Do you really think that if I was single – ?
But Tyler goes on the defensive, saying Paige has always said he and her are just friends. All he's doing is trying to be that friend, he claims.
TYLER: I shouldn't have bothered.
PAIGE: You're right. I'm sorry. It's not your fault.
Tyler reiterates that she should just let Mark cool down.
The wheelchair basketball match continues, as Toadie trounces the opposing ‘Wheely Woefuls'. The event appears to have attracted an audience of captivated extras, some of whom have even brought refreshments. But one of the observers, a woman, isn't grinning along with the rest – and a close- up on her face suggests she's a good deal more important than the others…
Nate has called Josh back round; his military friend has given him some codebreaking tips, and now he's got into some of Paul's files. One of them is an email from Tim Collins, which reads: ‘Hi Paul – quick heads up re Freestyle.' Josh quickly concludes that Freestyle is a codename for him. ‘The contractor (which Josh guesses means Conrad or Forrest, the guys who helped frame him for the peptide dealing) has come back to me, saying he has been underpaid for the job. Wants you to…'
NATE: Oh no! The decrypting software's crashed the system!
The rest of the email, and the other files, are still encrypted. Josh wonders if the fragment they have is enough to prove that Paul framed him. Nate doubts it's conclusive evidence, but says that they might be able to use it to persuade Paul to change his mind.
NATE: He doesn't have to know this is all we've got.
JOSH: Yeah – if we rattle him enough, maybe he'll mess up and admit what he did to me.
Josh decides it's worth a shot – someone has to show Paul he's not above the law.
Sonya and Karl come in, discussing how Karl managed to get all the wheelchairs for the basketball match. He suggests drag- racing as the next wheelchair- based event, but Sonya doesn't want him giving Toadie ideas! But they agree it's given them a better perspective on what life in a wheelchair is like for Toadie, and Karl says it was a great idea on Steph's part, saying it helped her connect too.
KARL: More and more, she's like the old Steph.
SONYA: Is that your professional medical opinion, or is that just wishful thinking?
KARL: Ah, it's a bit of both, really. It's hard to be a hundred percent sure when you're dealing with a psychiatric illness.
Karl seems convinced that the prognosis is good, however, saying he hasn't seen Steph so stable and settled in ages. Sonya says she hopes it stays that way.
Paige is talking to Amber.
PAIGE: I'm definitely not anti the idea of rug- rats. Mark just needs to meet me halfway, that's all.
AMBER: How do you meet someone halfway about having a baby?
PAIGE: Well, he says two years, I say fifteen. So a compromise would be like, nine. Or ten.
AMBER: That's way too late for Mark. And that is not fair on him! Or you.
PAIGE: What, so you think we should just call it quits?
AMBER: I did not say that.
PAIGE: Well you basically said that I'm with the wrong brother.
AMBER: That's just what your body language says.
PAIGE: To you, because you think I should be with Tyler.
Amber says that she's seen the proof, which is why she spoke up. But Paige says Tyler drives her crazy, and not in a good way; and that he's still not over her, despite what he claims. Paige says she and Mark want to be together, but Amber points out that age difference can be a real deal- breaker when it comes to having a family.
AMBER: If you wait another fifteen more years to have kids, Mark is gonna be pretty much retiring by the time they're in university. Have you thought about that?
PAIGE: Can you please not talk about Mark retiring?
Amber says it's a good thing the baby conversation has come up, as Paige should be thinking about it.
Susan is delivering a motivational speech to a bunch of extras who've agreed to sign her petition to keep the school open, and encourages them to come to the sleepover protest. Paul slinks in like a pantomime villain.
SUSAN: Oh, ladies and gentlemen – his worship the mayor has come to lend us his support (!)
Everyone takes Susan at face value and claps. She goes over and talks to Paul, browbeating him into signing the petition by reminding him that all the extras are potential voters at the next election!
PAUL: Oh, what a shame – looks like your pen's run out!
But one of Paul's trusty bar staff waves another pen at him, and he reluctantly signs the petition.
PAUL (hushed, to Susan): You've got five minutes to get those posters down, and get them and your freedom fighters out of here, okay?
SUSAN: Or what?
PAUL: Or I will have you marched off the premises by security for hawking without permission.
Susan gasps, saying Sheila gave her permission. But Paul says he couldn't stop the school closure even if he wanted to.
SUSAN: Oh, Paul, you're the mayor. You could put a spanner in the works any time you want to. And given the level of support here, I suggest you do just that if you want to hang onto those mayoral robes.
PAUL: The only works I'm gonna be putting a spanner in is yours. Now cancel the school sleep- out, or I will.
SUSAN: You can't. It's a community facility.
Paul is then disturbed to get a text from an unknown number, which reads: ‘We know about FREESTYLE! Shall we spread the word???' As Susan continues to rally the troops, Paul calls Tim Collins, and leaves a message, asking him to call back – since someone knows about Freestyle.
Steph is leaving Harold's with a coffee, when the woman who was watching the basketball game earlier appears from the shadows.
WOMAN: Hi, Steph.
STEPH: Belinda? What are you doing here?
BELINDA: Special trip to see you.
STEPH: From Bendigo?
BELINDA: Yeah. I got the day off work. You haven't been answering my calls.
STEPH: Yeah, I've been busy. New job – you know how it is.
BELINDA: Yeah. I figured if I hung out in Erinsborough long enough, I'd run into you. And here you are.
STEPH: Yep. Here I am.
BELINDA: I read the article about you finding the missing kid. You're quite the celebrity around here.
STEPH: It was just lucky I was able to help.
BELINDA: Lucky? A child goes missing and you're the only one who knows where to find him?
STEPH: There is more to it than that.
BELINDA: Yeah, I'm sure there is.
STEPH: Belinda, don't do this.
BELINDA: Listen, I'm just worried about you, okay?
STEPH: Well you don't need to be!
BELINDA: Well, I think I do. With you back here? You're not ready, Steph. Come on – you know it as well as I do. This is only gonna end in tears.
- Steph tells Belinda that her life is no longer any of her business, and she doesn't need her help
- But Belinda tells Toadie that there's something he needs to know
- Nate encourages Josh to send Paul another message, to keep the pressure up
- Paul asks Sue Parker why he's getting ‘these texts'
- Ben is back, and Tyler suspects that there's a girl on the scene for him
- Ben reacquaints himself with Piper
- Toadie tells Steph that she should go back to the hospital tonight
- Susan and Brad kick off the sleep- in protest at the school
- Steph warns Belinda to stay away from her and her friends