Previously on Neighbours
- Steph being told the terms of her employment at the garage.
- Belinda thinking Steph is showing signs of manic behaviour which could lead to her having an episode.
- Piper still bitter at her dad.
- Sheila talking to Ben about honesty.
- Susan upset at her livelihood ending with the fire at the school.
- Ben confessing he started the fire.
“People nearly died in that Ben,” Susan points out to her grandson and he admits that he didn't tell her earlier because he knows how bad it would look and didn't want her to be angry.
SUSAN: I'm not angry Ben, I'm appalled.
Karl arrives home and can sense something is up but is met with a wall of silence.
Sonya is getting nowhere trying to persuade Nell to have a bath when Steph calls round looking for Toadie but is told he's out and she persuades Steph to come in and wait.
Ben explains that during the sleepout he was looking for something to do when he noticed Susan's office was open and so entered it alone. When he did, he saw the sprinklers and thought it would be a laugh to light a bit of paper and set them off. Susan isn't at all amused at that comment, so he continues by saying with the false fire alarms previously that night, he thought he could go one better… “only it didn't work.” Ben then swears that he blew out the piece of paper before throwing it in the bin as Karl points out it obviously wasn't, so he's responsible for the fire.
BEN: It wasn't deliberate.
KARL: Deliberate or not, you're a big part of this mate.
BEN: All I can do is keep saying sorry.
KARL: You do realise you could have killed your Grandmother or Amber or Toadie or Mrs Willis?
“I know,” Ben mutters in reply and admits he kept quiet because he was scared.
KARL: This is just so serious.
Ben wants to go to the police and confess but Karl says no, they'll wait for Toadie to arrive first so he can advise them on the next step.
Brad demonstrates to the silent watching nurse and Josh (Piper is texting Ben to say not to do anything stupid) on how to correctly change Terese's dressing. He then reassures Terese that the wound is healing up after the great job the surgeon did. Piper tells her mum to be proud of her scar as it tells a story and adds to her “mystique as a powerful courageous woman.” That comment seems to cheer Terese up!
Imogen arrives to ask Piper if she's spoken to Ben today (no) and tells them all that Ben's confessed to starting the fire (she was at work when the K's called). Terese/Josh can't believe what they've heard and Brad already looks like he wants Ben's blood. Piper tells her sister she wasn't with Ben much that day and adds her tuppenceworth that she can't believe that he'd do something so dumb.
Steph can't believe the news about Ben after Sonya tells her. “Libby is going to be devastated,” Steph says and Sonya agrees with her. Since Toadie is going to be delayed, Sonya invites Steph to stay for a cuppa and asks if she can help instead. Steph explains to her about wanting to unload on him about her ex and Sonya wants to know what the story is “on this guy.”
STEPH: Umm, actually he's a she.
Sonya looks stunned at hearing that and eventually mutters “cool” and asking several times if Steph still wants a cuppa!
Toadie arrives after Mark has already been talking to Ben and Karl explains it was the lad himself who made the call. When Toad asks if Mark has started questioning him, he replies no, but is going to take Ben to the station for a formal interview and explains it can't happen at #28 as there is procedures to follow once someone's been charged.
Susan wants to know what he'll be charged with and Mark replies from what he's heard it will be reckless conduct. “Does this make a difference if it was an accident?” Ben asks so Mark explains that if it can be proved, he may escape a custodial sentence in juvenile detention.
It's now dawning on Ben that he could get locked up and Toadie interjects to say he'll be calling for community service. Mark explains the consequences of what he's done especially the bit about having a criminal record until he turns 18.
BEN: I thought if I confessed, I'd… I know it was dumb, it's just a stupid, terrible mistake.
TOADIE: Do you know what's about to happen here? Are you ready?
Mark then formally tells Ben that he's under arrest for reckless conduct likely to place a person in danger of death.
Ben, his grandparents and Toadie wait in the outer office prior to him being interviews. Once in the interview room, Mark and the silent officer begin questioning Ben with Toadie by his side. Ben confirms that he didn't see the fire start because he wasn't anywhere near Susan's office by that point, rather in a corridor and by the time he saw what was happening, says he ran for it and that he couldn't get out of the building quick enough. He also confirms he was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and Mark can check with Karl for confirmation.
BEN: Look I didn't start the fire on purpose, you've got to believe me.
After going over things one more time, Mark wraps up the interview and wants Ben to sign the papers to say the statement has been a full and accurate record of the interview.
Ben then has his mugshot taken (as a side note, it's showing the wrong name on it – rather than Ben Ian Kirk it has Ben James Kirk).
The Willises (minus Imogen) discuss bubs' forthcoming operation while having supper together but Josh doesn't want anyone sitting with him (and Amber/Lauren) while the op is taking place.
Josh leaves to go be with Amber and Karl takes his place. He hesitantly enters the room and asks if they've heard about Ben (they have) and Karl apologises to them on his behalf for a stupid prank gone wrong. Brad isn't amused but Karl is quick to add in more apologies from Ben. “That's not good enough,” Brad says but his wife chastises him.
Karl admits that he can't believe the lad's behaviour and asks Piper if she's any idea what's happening in Ben's head? Before Piper can scramble together an answer, Terese wants to know what he's insinuating, wanting it known that her daughter had nothing to do with it. Karl quickly explains that he wasn't suggesting she was, simply hoping that she can give an insight about what's going on inside Ben's head.
Piper didn't hear that last bit as she'd already bolted from the room by then, saying she was going to see Josh.
Sonya is still having no luck getting Nell to have a bath and asks Steph for her advice, so she explains that Charlie went through a similar stage and came up with a song to get him into the bath, which did the trick. She eventually recalls the song used and as she sings it, Nell is extremely enthusiastic and wants to sing it again!
Susan gives Ben the news that once she's tied up a few loose ends, Libby is coming back to Australia to take him back to Ballarat although he'll need to return for the court hearing. He desperately wants to know how his mum took the news and is met with one of Susan's looks and the comment, “what do you think!” Ben wants confirmation that she explained it was a huge mistake and that how sorry he was and she confirms she told Libby that.
SUSAN: But it's not enough Ben. I keep telling you something this huge can't end with I'm sorry, there are consequences and you're going to have to face them.
BEN: Look, I stuffed up, I paid the price, I get it. I just need you or Toadie or Grandad helping out but whatever's going to happen happen, I deserve it.
Susan now softens up by saying he's made a terrible mistake and to reassure him that he won't be abandoned. “Really?” a shocked Ben replies and she's quick to reassure him that she won't.
BEN: Then we're okay?
SUSAN: You're my grandson, I'll always stand by you.
BEN: You mean because you have to?
SUSAN: No, because I wouldn't be much of a Grandma if I didn't and because no matter what, I love you Ben.
“Can I help?” Lauren asks after seeing Piper take out her frustrations at the vending machine at the machine swallowing her money and not dispensing her chips/crisps. Lauren tries to diffuses the situation by putting her money into the machine (Piper has no more money) and comments that it must be hard visiting her mum and seeing what she's going through before reassuring Piper that she's not the only one to feel upset, others in her family are maybe just covering up their feelings better.
LAUREN: Look, I know I'm probably the last person you want to talk to but sometimes it could be the best person.
Just as she was finishing saying that, Piper started to well up with tears and Lauren reassures her that Terese will be okay.
PIPER: It wasn't just Ben, I was there as well.
Lauren has quickly put 2 and 2 together to realise the meaning of what she's just said.
A now composed Piper opens up to Lauren to say that she was in a weird mood at the sleepout (homesick for Canada, missing her friends) and that Ben helped her by being silly so they could avoid being in the gym. They saw Susan's door open and so went in and admits that Ben lied to protect her.
PIPER: I was the one who saw the sprinklers and dared Ben to set them off.
LAUREN: He couldn't refuse.
PIPER: No. Mum's burnt because of me and Toadie almost died and Amber went into labour and Paige and Tyler… I'm so sorry.
LAUREN: Hey, you're going to have to tell your parents.
PIPER: What admit I almost killed my mum?!
LAUREN: If you don't deal with this, it will never stop.
PIPER: I've been taking it all out on dad. I guess I just needed someone else to blame.
LAUREN: That's what I mean, if you sit on this secret, it's going to eat away at you forever.
PIPER: It already is.
LAUREN: Piper, it'll never stop, you'll have to tell your parents, it's the only way.
Toadie is stunned not by the singing from Steph/Sonya when he comes home but the fact Nell's had a bath! Sonya explains it's due to Steph's magic song and wants her to stay for dinner as a thank you. Before Steph can respond, Toadie points out she's due back at the hospital and Steph goes to get her stuff together. Sonya is rather bemused about what is going on and eventually Toadie comes clean - that Vanessa is coming to stay over (prior to attending a meeting at the baking company) and is arriving to join them for dinner. “That's fine,” Steph replies and asks for them to pass a message onto her – that she's grateful to Vanessa for giving her the job, and hopes one day that she can give that message to her personally. “Maybe next time,” Toadie reassures her with and Sonya wonders whether they should ask Vanessa about meeting Steph tonight?
SONYA: I think it could be good for the both of you.
Lauren drops by to give Terese an update on bubs operation (she didn't like to ask Josh) – the surgeon isn't yet sure whether to stich the hole up or use a patch but will know more after the operation. She then apologises for what Paige said to Terese and comments that they expect daughters to “say or do stupid things at some stage in their live.”
Terese is a bit bemused by that last comment and wonders if Lauren has something else to say, if so wants her to come out with it. “No,” Lauren mutters and Terese denies she's using any of what's happened to get back with Brad. “I never thought there was,” Lauren confirms and thinks it's sensible Brad will be spending time at #22.
LAUREN: I get the feeling that Piper really needs the two of you right now.
TERESE: I didn't ask for parenting advice nor do I need it!
LAUREN: Sorry, I didn't meant to cause offence.
TERESE: Piper's a little bit rattled at the moment but she's coping, so please don't jump to conclusions about my kids.
Piper has been standing watching them outside in the corridor for the last few moments but disappears when Lauren goes to exit the room after her ticking off from Terese.
Ben answers the door to Piper and explains he's been uncontactable as Susan took his phone. After he confirms nobody else is in, she enters the house and Ben explains why he confessed. In one breath she thanks him for keeping quiet then admits that she's fessed up to Lauren because she couldn't keep it secret either for the exact same reasons.
PIPER: We're both to blame. Once Lauren tells dad, dad will tell my mum and I can't face her knowing I've done this.
Ben tells her that the police say he could be sent to Juvie but thinks they might go easy on her. That isn't what is worrying Piper.
PIPER: It's seeing the disappointment on mum and dads face.
BEN: There's nothing you can do to avoid that.
PIPER: There is, I can leave!
BEN: What leave home?
PIPER: Yes, my family will be better off without me, so I guess this is goodbye.
BEN: No its not. I'm going to come with you.
PIPER: Are you sure?
Steph confirms that the hospital have extended her curfew, which is good because Sonya too confirms that Vanessa wants to see her adding that she sees how much Steph wants to make up for what she did.
STEPH: I finally get to say everything I've rehearsed for so long.
Steph is still somewhat in a state of shock at how fast things have moved but wonders if Vanessa won't listen to what she wants to say. “What if she's only agreed to come so she can tell me what she thinks of me?” Sonya reassures her that isn't the case and that she will be fine and suggests practicing what she plans on saying while they put Nell to bed.
Sonya heads off to join Toadie and before Steph can practice, her mobile goes off but when she answers, the caller doesn't say anything. Eventually we hear a child saying I miss you mummy. Steph wonders if the voice is Charlie and asks for confirmation that it is him.
- Vanessa concluding that Steph isn't okay.
- Ben and Piper taking off.
- Karl discovering Ben's left behind his pain meds for the cracked ribs.
- Piper admitting she hates herself because they've hurt so many people.
- Lauren hearing that Ben's run away.