- Off Air is subject to a Notice of Possession, and Daniel quits after an argument with Karl
- Belinda tells Toadie that being back in Erinsborough may cause Steph to have a breakdown
- Steph and Sonya work together to pull Toadie from the burning wreckage of the school...
- ... while Brad saves Lauren, leaving Terese trapped under a row of lockers
- Amy reluctantly accepts Sheila's offer to move in at No 28. Jimmy's pleased; Kyle less so
There's an awkward morning encounter between Kyle, who's wandering around in his undies, and Amy, who's wandering around in a towel. They each cast a cheeky glance at each other as they go their separate ways.
Daniel and Aaron are on the balcony of No 24 with mugs of coffee, as Daniel tells Aaron about his decision to quit Off Air. Aaron encourages him to stand up for himself and not quit.
DANIEL: Yeah well, better quit now than watch Karl ruin it with his lame ideas.
Aaron says Daniel and Karl can fix this together if he goes back and apologises to him. But Daniel's fed up of Karl 'acting like he owns the place'.
AARON: He does own it, right?
DANIEL: A part of it, Aaron!
Aaron's next suggestion is for Daniel to ask Paul for a loan to help pay the debts, while the bar gets back on his feet. But Daniel says Paul gave him the bar so he could run it independently, without his uncle's help - and says he's 'done with that place'.
Mark comes out of the house, on his way to work. He asks Aaron if he could give him a witness statement for the day of the fire at the school. Aaron says he left before the whole thing kicked off, so wouldn't be any help - but he's shaky on the details of when he left. He says he was supposed to be on a corridor patrol late-shift, but that the fire had already started by then.
MARK: So you didn't see any sign of the fire?
AARON: Obviously not.
MARK: You didn't hear any alarm, you didn't smell anything...
AARON: Yeah, there was the alarm earlier on. But that was all a prank. I didn't smell anything, though.
Mark leaves for work, and Aaron goes to fetch Daniel another coffee.
Kyle and Amy are now fully clothed, albeit still awkward around each other. Amy remarks that it's strange waking up in a new bed.
KYLE: I know what you mean. Always awkward. Not that I sleep in a lot of different beds.
We learn that Jimmy, who is Not In This Episode, hasn't been sleeping well since Liam left town. Paul turns up, and demands to know why Amy and Jimmy have moved in at No 26, when they could have opted to live at the penthouse with him. Amy apologises, saying Sheila offered and Jimmy was keen.
Paul says they could still move to the penthouse if she wanted, pointing out Jimmy's need for stability and being around people he can trust. Kyle, who has been shaking his head since Paul's entrance, intervenes.
KYLE: And that's you, is it?
KYLE: I'm just saying. You don't have any right to throw your weight around when it comes to Jimmy.
PAUL: What, and you do, do you? What is this - you're stepping up to the plate as the replacement dad?
Amy tells them to stop arguing. She says staying at No 26 is the least disruptive thing for Jimmy, and tells Paul she'll catch up with him later. He leaves. Amy asks Kyle what that was all about, but he avoids the question, and goes to see if Jimmy's awake.
Mark is having a meeting with Kerry Foley, a woman from the fire service - in Harold's, naturally. Kerry tells Mark that they think the fire originated in the principal's office, but that it's too early to say whether it was deliberately lit or an accident. Mark asks about the explosions that some people reported hearing during the blaze; Kerry says they could have been gas lines combusting, or chemicals in the science labs. Mark thanks Kerry for her help.
Aaron is coming out of the new toilet, when Paul accosts him and asks how Daniel's doing. Assuming Paul already knows, Aaron lets slip that Daniel's quit Off Air and is no longer the owner. Paul is angry, especially when he learns that Daniel was locked out by the sheriff's office for unpaid bills.
PAUL: I knew I couldn't trust him with a business. He's clearly incapable - and I suppose he wants me to bail him out, does he?
AARON: Yeah, why wouldn't you? You are his uncle.
Paul says Daniel's an adult, but Aaron says he could still do with Paul's support about now.
Mark comes to find Tyler to ask him some questions about the fire, but he's Not In This Episode either. Instead he finds Steph, labelling up a jerry can in the garage van.
MARK: Mind if I ask you some questions while I'm here?
Steph says she's busy, but reluctantly agrees when pressed. Mark asks Steph to explain how she helped Sonya get Toadie out of the burning school.
STEPH: Well, I heard Sonya calling for help, and then I saw her struggling to drag Toadie out of there. So I raced over, and together we just managed to drag him clear.
Mark asks what Steph was doing at the school that night. She claims she was supporting the sleep-out, and says she was given permission by the hospital to be out for the night. Mark accepts this and leaves, glancing at the jerry can in the van as he walks away. Steph notices this and sighs, before covering the can with a blanket and closing the van.
Mark's investigation continues with a chat with Sonya, who gives her own account of how she and Steph rescued Toadie. She explains that Steph was outside the building when she heard Sonya calling for help.
SONYA: I have no idea where she came from. I mean, I'm glad she appeared when she did - but she wasn't even supposed to be at the school that night.
Sonya explains that Toadie told Steph not to come to the school sleep-out, because of the woman (Belinda) who approached him and said she knew Steph from the hospital in Bendigo, and that she still wasn't well.
SONYA: Do you think she could be involved?
Mark says it's too early to make assumptions. Sonya wonders why Steph would help Toadie if she was responsible for the fire.
MARK: Well, that's what we're not sure about.
Amy again tries to talk to Kyle about his row with Paul earlier. She's politely trying to imply that he overstepped the mark, but Kyle thinks they should discourage Paul from coming around. Amy makes it clear that's not going to be possible, as Jimmy will want to see him. Kyle acts all standoffish.
AMY: Look, if there's something wrong, I need to know.
KYLE: Jimmy didn't want me to say anything.
AMY: About what?
Kyle explains how Jimmy overheard Paul paying off Liam to leave town for good - and says that's why he's been avoiding Paul.
Mark joins Steph at a table.
STEPH: I've already told you everything I know.
MARK: That's not entirely true, now, is it? Sonya told me that a woman spoke to Toadie on the day of the fire. She said she knew you from the hospital. Any idea what that's about?
STEPH: I really don't see how it's any of your business.
MARK: Well it is, if it affects your reason for being in the area.
STEPH: It doesn't.
MARK: Is it true that Toadie asked you to leave the sleep-out?
STEPH: Yes. Because he was worried I wasn't up to it.
MARK: Right. And this woman - apparently she gave Toadie some warning about you?
STEPH: What kind of warning?
MARK: Well that's what I was hoping you'd be able to tell me.
STEPH: Look, it's personal. It's between me and her.
MARK: I'm gonna need a little bit more information than that.
STEPH: I can't tell you anything else. I had nothing to do with the fire, and neither did she.
MARK: And I'm supposed to take your word for it, am I?
STEPH: I'm telling you the truth.
MARK: Right. So you won't mind if I call the hospital and make some enquiries?
STEPH: Well, I'd prefer you didn't.
MARK: Well, if you give me a good enough reason not to...
STEPH: I've told you. Neither of us had anything to do with that fire.
Daniel is cleaning his car, when Paul shows up to more or less gloat about his troubles with the bar, thinly disguised as avuncular concern. Having spelt out how badly Daniel's messed up, Paul goes on to tease the prospect of giving him a loan - before announcing that he won't be doing so, as Daniel needs to learn from his mistakes.
PAUL: And if that means crashing and burning, so be it.
DANIEL: So you would rather stand by and watch me fail.
PAUL: If it's the only way you're gonna learn, then yes.
DANIEL: Great. It's nice to know you've got my back.
PAUL: It's the way it has to be.
Daniel slams down his cloth angrily as Paul walks off.
Mark's investigation takes him to the back garden at 26, where he speaks to Kyle about the fire. Mark tells Kyle that it seems the fire was deliberately lit, and asks if he's seen anything suspicious happening at the garage lately. Kyle immediately realises that Mark has Steph in his sights as a suspect again, and reminds him that they were all wrong about her kidnapping Jimmy.
MARK: I'm following up on an empty jerry can of petrol found on the Oval. It had a Fitzgerald Motors label, and this morning I saw Steph at the garage with a new one that she'd just labelled.
He explains he's keen to talk to the woman who warned Toadie about Steph - he's called the hospital in Bendigo, but was unable to ID the woman. Kyle recalls that he and Nate saw Steph having an argument with 'some chick' yesterday...
Aaron is apologising to Daniel for letting it slip to Paul about what's happened at Off Air. Daniel explains that Paul refused to give him a loan, and just gave him a lecture instead. He adds that they haven't been getting on ever since he found out that Paul framed Josh for peptide-dealing, and says that Paul's refusal to help him financially shows that he thinks Daniel's a loser.
AARON: Oh, hey, hey, hey. You know that's not true.
But Daniel's convinced that Paul has given up on him. To cheer him up, Aaron decides that as a pair of unemployed bludgers, they should combine their remaining (lowly) funds and splash out on beers and grub, to help them forget about their woes. Daniel says that sounds great.
Amy confronts Paul about whether he bribed Liam to leave town. Paul admits he gave him funds to send him on his way, but says he had no idea Jimmy was watching their exchange.
AMY: Now Jimmy thinks his dad would choose a pay-off over him.
PAUL: Yeah, because he did! So come on - now he knows his dad is a deadbeat. He was gonna find out eventually - you couldn't protect him forever. Come on, Amy - you said you wanted Liam to go away.
AMY: Not like this.
PAUL: Yeah, but this was the cleanest and simplest solution.
He says it would've been far worse for Jimmy knowing that his dad was a criminal, so he decided to do something about it. Paul says he's sorry for going behind Amy's back, but insists it was the best thing for everyone.
PAUL: And I guess if Jimmy's gonna blame me for sending his dad packing, then that's a cross I'm willing to bear.
Aaron and Daniel are returning to the house, drinking beers. Aaron is still trying to keep Daniel's spirits up, and asks him to hold the punchbag in the drive, while Aaron practices on it - to prove they 'still have fight left in us'. Aaron manages 16 punches in five seconds, but when Daniel has a go, he only clocks up 12.
AARON: Winner, winner, chicken dinner. How do you like that, loser?
DANIEL: What did you call me?
AARON: You heard me, you big loser.
Aaron is only joking, but Daniel suddenly loses it, pushing the punchbag hard into Aaron from behind, and again shouting: 'What did you call me?!' He grabs Aaron by the collar.
DANIEL: You're the loser, mate.
Aaron is shaken as Daniel walks off.
Amy tells Kyle she's sorted everything out with Paul. She says Paul was just trying to protect her and Jimmy; and that, even though she doesn't agree with how he went about it, Jimmy's better off without Liam.
KYLE: Oh, how do you work that out?!
AMY: Liam stole from Toadie and Sonya, and tried to steal from Lauren. If they'd pressed charges, he could've gone to jail.
KYLE: You don't think he'd deserve it?
AMY: He would. But Jimmy wouldn't. Look - Jimmy overheard something that painted Paul in a bad light, and made his dad look weak. But at least he was spared the full run of the truth.
KYLE: You think that's a good thing?
AMY: Clearly you don't.
KYLE: My dad shot through when I was eight. No warning - boom. No-one told me what happened - I had to figure things out for myself. You know, where he was, what he was doing. And I didn't find out the truth that he was a criminal until it was too late to close the gap. I'd have been better off if people were upfront. I would've taken a useless jailbird dad over no dad any day.
AMY: Well, I guess that's where we're differing. I want positive influences in Jimmy's life, not someone who's gonna drag him down.
KYLE: Amy, even if Jimmy has to visit Liam in prison, at least he'd be in his life.
AMY: It's my decision, not yours.
KYLE: Yeah, you've made some great decisions lately, haven't you? (!)
AMY: What's that supposed to mean?
KYLE: You hooking up with Liam, for one. That was really putting Jimmy first.
AMY: Oh, good to know what you really think.
Amy storms off, while Kyle looks annoyed.
Steph is talking to Sonya about her 'friend', still not referring to Belinda by name. Steph says that while Belinda can be persuasive, she's wrong about Steph. Sonya doesn't see why she would make it up, but Steph isn't saying any more - other than that she wishes Sonya hadn't told Mark about Belinda. Sonya says she didn't have a choice.
STEPH: I'm trying really hard here to get everyone to trust me again.
SONYA: Yes, I know that. And you know how incredibly grateful I am that you helped me save Jarrod. But you've got to understand how this looks. I mean, this woman turns up, you won't give us any details about her, and then there's a fire. I mean, who is this woman, Steph? Who is this friend of yours?
STEPH: I'm sorry. I can't say.
SONYA: Well until you're willing to open up about it, how do you ever expect us to trust you?
Mark comes in to talk to Steph.
MARK: There's been a new development in the fire investigation. I'm gonna need you to come down to the station for a formal interview.
Daniel is in the middle of texting Aaron, writing that he's sorry and saying he's going through a rough patch. He thinks again, and deletes the text, before leaving.
Meanwhile, Paul is on the phone to someone as Mark marches Steph towards the police station.
PAUL: Yeah, I know you have a lot at stake. But like I told you, I will take care of it.
When Paul sees Steph with Mark, he winds up the call quickly, saying he has to go.
- Imogen praises Brad, telling Terese how he rescued her from the fire while Terese knows better
- Mark asks Steph where she was on the night of the fire; she asks if he's going to charge her
- Toadie suggests to Paul that someone who was pushing for the school to be sold could've torched it
- Nate shows Aaron some of Paul's emails from Naomi's USB, and Aaron is shocked by what he reads