Previously on Neighbours
- Daniel sending the damning evidence on Paul to the newspaper.
- A dead rat being delivered to Paul.
- Aaron being hired as Paul's bodyguard.
- Brad reaffirming his feelings for Lauren despite moving back to the family home.
- Piper telling Ben they need to go home and face the music for what they've done.
- Toadie finding evidence to prove Steph isn't losing her mind.
- Toadie telling Steph that Vanessa has been asking questions about her.
Both Steph and Toadie are having difficulty with the news that Vanessa has been spying on Steph, especially since it happened 3 weeks before their meeting. Steph feels it's revenge for taking Paddy, "she's trying to send me into a spiral," and she reminds Toad that they've got keys for the garage. Toad wants them to ask Vanessa outright, rather than making accusations.
Paul seeks Aaron's advice on buying an armoured car and his first reaction is to scoff and then ask if it's necessary! He reminds Aaron that whoever sent the rat is still out there, so he agrees to enquire about test-driving some cars in the morning.
After ending the call to Karl, Brad gives Piper an update on Ben - he's being detained in the hospital overnight as the fractured rib was putting pressure on the lung, causing inflammation, hence the breathing difficulty.
"It's not like you Piper," Terese tells her daughter and wants to know why she didn't own up to it. "I couldn't bear to see that look in your eyes," is her honest reply. Brad interjects to say they just want to understand. Piper is blaming herself for all the RSR's that suffered in the fire and the grudge she held over her dad.
BRAD: We all wish that night had played out differently.
PIPER: Please don't hate me. I can handle Juvie, I can handle anything but I can't handle you guys hating me.
"We don't hate you," Terese replies and reassures her that they love her "no matter what."
Number 32 (next day)
Lauren wakes up startled on the sofa and goes over to stare at the sketch of Matt hanging on the wall after she dreamed she'd woken up and was looked starry-eyed into the sketch of Brad.
Amber picks up that her mum is miles away and she confirms that it's just due to not sleeping well rather than Brad not calling with an update. Lauren then steers the conversation away from Brad and onto Matilda and Amber admits she can't wait to get her home.
Sheila thinks Aaron must be really on the money after seeing the car brochures lying on his table but Aaron quickly explains it's not for him, Paul wants to upgrade to something bulletproof. Aaron is feeling guilty at what he's doing but Sheila reminds him that if the roles were reversed, he wouldn't feel a "rats toss about what was right or wrong."
AARON: Paul might be used to lying and deceiving but I'm not.
He wants to come clean about who the rat was intended for but Sheila tells him to keep going, Paul can afford it!
Terese lets Susan, Karl and Ben into the room in the hostel and Ben immediately apologises to Terese. Terese is quite cool with them all and explains Brad/Piper are out on a walk. She asks if they want to stay in the room while she heads out to get a coffee. "Just make yourselves at home," she says while exiting the room.
Ben is dejected that saying sorry doesn't seem to have changed anything (going by Terese's attitude towards him) and Susan tries to reassure him that it's just the first step towards showing Terese he will do better.
Vanessa admits to Steph, Sonya and Toadie that she did check up on Steph primarily because she wanted to know where her head was at since Lucas was hiring her. "Why are you trying to make me relapse?" Steph asks but instead of replying, Vanessa goes all defensive and wants to know what Steph is accusing her of. Toadie steps in to say "nothing," but Steph ignores him and suggests she planted the speaker playing Greensleeves to make her think she is having a psychotic episode. Vanessa is puzzled, so Toadie explains that Steph thought it was all in her head until they found the evidence to prove it wasn't adding that Tyler confirms that it wasn't there when preparing the garage for sale.
TOADIE: We are not saying that it was you.
STEPH: It was all in my file though.
"I really don't know what you are talking about," Vanessa says, adding that they didn't give her any information because of confidentiality. Steph doesn't believe her and again asks why she "is messing with my mind." Vanessa interprets this as meaning Steph isn't stable and before Steph can reply, Toadie confirms that she is and the doctors are happy with her progress. Sonya backs up Vanessa's claim that she isn't capable of doing something like this.
STEPH: Can't you see what she's doing here, she's trying to make me think I'm losing my mind, she's trying to make everyone else think it too!
VANESSA: And by the looks of it, I wouldn't have to try very hard!
STEPH: I told you, I came back here to make up for the past, I am getting better!
"I was getting better," she the quickly yells out and Sonya tells her to calm down as she is getting extremely agitated.
SONYA: I know you don't want to hear this but I really think you might need help.
The K's finish packing Ben's belongings just as Piper returns and decide to go put the bag in the car to let them chat in private.
"How are your ribs?" she beings with and he replies that's the least of his worries and concedes she did the right thing sending him to the hospital, potentially even saving his life. "You took a chance running away with me, so it's the least I can do," she replies back and agrees with him that they couldn't keep on running. Ben confirms he's got a lot of making up to do to his grandparents and Piper admits that she feels worse because her parents have been so well towards her. Ben confirms that he's heading back to Ballarat too via a detour to the airport to pick Libby up and she jokes that they could perhaps face each other in court! He hopes they go easy on her and she wishes he wasn't going, she needs a buddy for going back to school with... "if I'm allowed back."
Ramsay Street/ Number 30
In the driveway, Toad suggests to Steph that just because it isn't Vanessa, they should still keep looking to discover who it is and reminders her that she's worked hard on her recovery and "isn't sick anymore."
Inside the house, Vanessa rants off to Sonya about Steph's accusations and isn't taken by Toadie thinking that she has recovered. She then asks Sonya what her thoughts are.
Outside, Steph is already pre-empting Sonya's reply by commenting that she already thinks Steph has lost it. "You're not crazy," Toad tries to get through to her but Steph's fear is that there is nobody to blame.
STEPH: It means that I really am going mad.
Paul arrives home and discovers a hand delivered letter awaiting him and when he reads it, doesn't like what it says.
As they walk back towards the room, Terese admits to Brad that she can't but help feel that they are responsible, however Brad wants to shoulder the blame himself since he was the one that caused all the upheaval. Terese thinks that there is a cry for help behind it but what gets Brad is the lying and covering up. Just at that, Piper exits the room and walks off with her parents after saying a bye to Ben.
Lauren contemplates contacting Brad on her phone but eventually decides against it.
Steph/Toadie re-enter the house and she apologises citing that the stress has gotten to her. Vanessa accepts it and then tells her that Lucas received a complaint about her, and in consultation with Tyler, she's "not stable enough to stay on at the garage." Toadie butts in to say there is no medical evidence to support that but it's not washing with Vanessa, she's seen enough and indicates that Sonya has concerns too. Toad doesn't look amused at his wife so she explains that she doesn't think Steph is coping.
STEPH: You're not giving me a chance.
SONYA: All I see is you blaming other people and I just... I think that's part of what the real issue is here.
VANESSA: Which is why after talking it through with Lucas, I have to tell you that your trial period is over, you're going to have to find work elsewhere.
Aaron returns and hands over some brochures for Paul to look at after test driving a few cars, however Paul is more than waiting for him. He can tell the game is up but before he can say something himself, Paul explains about the letter he got (from the dance party guy) and that the dead rat was for Aaron! "I was about to explain," Aaron pleads but Paul has more up his sleeve too - he's found the USB stick amongst Aaron's possessions and wants to know where he got it from. "Naomi," he eventually replies and Paul thinks that it was her who leaked his files too. Aaron puts him right that it wasn't her and when he stalls Paul on who it was, is threatened by having a conversation with Mark to bring forth the information.
Karl reaffirms to ben that they still love him and will let the courts/Libby punish him and gives him a heads up that she is incredibly angry. Susan goes soften it up by adding that Libby was through incredibly relieved to hear that he was safe. "Thank you for everything," Ben tells them which warrants a painful hug with Susan before they exit the room.
Lauren decides against sending a text to Brad (asking if he was home) and Amber reassures her that he still loves her. "It's not your job to reassure me," she chastises her daughter with but Amber reminds her she constantly reassures her. Lauren wants to know if the support she is giving is out of obligation and the response is "you're my mum!" "Are you doing it because you want to or because you have to?" Lauren asks seeking better clarification. Amber admits she's not really thought about it and declares her mum has been overthinking and orders her home... no arguments allowed!
Meanwhile Toadie tries to apologise to Steph about what his wife said but she just wants to move on, however he's still trying to work out who is harassing her. "But who? Who could be bothered going to so much trouble?" Steph asks and Toadie thinks Belinda because she is the only person with an intimate knowledge of her condition.
STEPH: I know you want to believe the best in me Toad but I think we need to face facts, the most likely explanation for all that's going on is that I'm relapsing. Simple as that.
Paul has a plan for Aaron to make up for what he's done - he hands him a mobile phone with instructions to be at Fitzgerald Motors before Steph gets there and, staying well out of sight, to press play. "Why?" Aaron asks but is told just to make sure she's on her own. "What are you up to?" he tries again but is told not to ask questions, just do what he's told otherwise they'll be having a chat with his brother the policeman!
Brad walks into #32, explaining that he's just back and apologises for not calling. Lauren cuts him off before he can explain why, to ask how Piper is. "She feels pretty bad about everything," Brad replies and mentions that he plans on taking the girls down the coast for a much needed break. She thinks it's a good idea but then starts to clam up, and after Brad asks her if everything is okay, tells him about the dream she had about his sketch being there instead of Matt's.
LAUREN: It was like he'd been erased then I woke up and realised that he hadn't.
BRAD: You know I never wanted to replace him.
"Yes I know that," she replies then goes on to tell him that something stopped her from calling him.
LAUREN: It was like my eyes had been opened. I realise I'd been ignoring all these things for weeks.
BRAD: About us?
LAUREN: Yes. Matt's only been gone six months, your marriage has been strained.
BRAD: We both know we didn't go about things the right way.
LAUREN: Yes bit I think we compounded it by getting together.
BRAD: I thought that's what you wanted?
LAUREN: Yes but is it what you really wanted or were you just trying to salvage something out of a bad situation?
BRAD: My feelings for you are real.
LAUREN: Yes, as are mine for you I promise you but I think we've forced everyone to be okay, and I think we might have forced ourselves too.
LAUREN: But one of the worst things is, I hurt my friend.
BRAD: I hurt my whole family!
LAUREN: Look we can't turn back the clock but we can decide how we go on from here and I don't think we can move forward with all of this hanging over us.
(Brad shakes his head)
LAUREN: I'm sorry but it's over.
Brad just stares at her, having trouble accepting what she's just said to him.
- Paige asking "so you've ended it just like that?" as Brad looks at a picture of Lauren on his phone.
- "All the drama, that confusion, this is what it's come down to?" Terese says to Lauren.
- Steph telling Amy about being fired.
- Paul filling Aaron's head with wrong information about Jimmy/Steph.
- Steph telling Tyler about Toadie's suspicions that someone is setting her up.
- Amy saying that "someone is messing with her [Steph's] head."