- Amber is horrified that Josh has fallen asleep next to baby Matilda on the sofa
- Josh admits to Sonya he feels overwhelmed by fatherhood; she encourages him to talk to Amber
- Piper is taunted by her fellow classmates, led by Ashtyn and Alison, about being an arsonist
- Piper snaps, and threatens them with the flame of a cigarette lighter just as Susan shows up
- Cue Susan's judgemental face
Erinsborough High School (what's left of it)
Susan is questioning Piper about her thoughtless behaviour, threatening the other pupils with a lighter so soon after her involvement in the fire that burned the school down. She asks if anyone else had a part in this, but Piper insists it's just her. Susan tells her there'll be very serious consequences for her actions.
Brad turns up, doing his best approximation of a competent dad. Susan tells Piper to explain what happened.
Paige shows off her makeshift engagement ring to Amber, who quickly gathers that Paige isn't exactly a wedding kind of girl.
PAIGE: We just want to keep it simple. Registry office. And a killer party. And then it's done.
AMBER: Yeah. And then you'll be married. Forever.
AMBER: Paige, this is such a huge step. I can't believe I nearly went there with Daniel.
Amber says that perhaps her relationship with Daniel wasn't enough on its own.
AMBER: Which I'm sure is not the same thing for you guys.
Baby Matilda starts crying. Paige is admiring of how she's managing, and says it's good that Amber has Josh to help. Amber looks less than enthusiastic about this, admitting it's a big adjustment for him.
A woman comes in and takes a seat in the far corner. Paige immediately recognises her as her old sparring partner Michelle Kim, girlfriend and second- in- command of hamburger Mafioso Dennis Dimato, the local crime boss that Paige and Tyler worked for a few months ago. Paige rushes off to tell Mark of Michelle's return.
Brad is angrily questioning Piper about her behaviour at school, while Terese listens.
BRAD: It's totally irresponsible – is it some sort of statement, what?
PIPER: They were just giving me a hard time, and they dared me to do it, so I gave them what they wanted.
Claiming that Brad doesn't understand, Piper screams that she doesn't belong at Erinsborough High, and doesn't want to go back there. Brad tells her to go to her room. Once she's gone, Brad and Terese discuss Piper's behaviour. Brad thinks they need to toughen up their approach to her – they haven't even punished her for her part in the fire yet, he points out. He says he'll talk to Susan.
Erinsborough Police Station
Paige is telling Mark that Michelle is back in town. He explains she was released from jail around the same time as Dimato. Paige is panicking for hers and Tyler's safety, but Mark tells her not to worry. He suggests that if Michelle's in contact with Dimato, they could question her about his whereabouts. Paige is sceptical that she'd cooperate, but at that point Michelle herself turns up.
MICHELLE: Before you say anything – I know I'm not your favourite person.
She takes off her sunglasses, to reveal a huge bruise across her eye and half of her face.
MICHELLE: But I need your help.
Amber is handing over Matilda to spend the afternoon with Josh, and gives him a load of instructions. She tells him to try giving her a ride in the car if she won't go to sleep. Saying goodbye to Matilda, Amber leaves.
Susan comes in, talking loudly on the phone to Karl about how Piper was waving a lighter around at school. This doesn't appear to be of any concern to Josh, who simply wanders absently towards the exit with baby Matilda.
Tyler comes in as Josh leaves. Susan starts quizzing Tyler about Piper, asking how she was when he saw her yesterday. He admits she was a bit stressed, but otherwise okay – then Susan tells him about Piper threatening the other kids with a lighter. Tyler can't offer any insight.
Erinsborough Police Station
Michelle is still talking to Mark, and for some reason Paige is sitting in on the conversation as though she holds some kind of honorary police status.
PAIGE: No- one wants you here.
PAIGE: Well it's true! All she does is bring misery and hurt to people.
A tearful Michelle claims that Dimato is after her, because she messed up his operation by not being savvy enough to notice Tyler's betrayal until it was too late.
MICHELLE: And he's not the type of guy who forgives.
Michelle claims not to know where Dimato is, saying she'd tell them if she knew.
PAIGE: Yeah, right!
MICHELLE: I'm scared! And you should be, too; it's not just me he's after. He hasn't forgotten about you two, or Tyler, you know.
Michelle asks for police protection, but Mark wants to know why they should help her. She suggests she could find out where Dimato is for them, from ‘friends in low places'.
MARK: You were together with this guy, and now you want him stitched up. Why should we believe that?
MICHELLE: I don't expect you to. But he's dangerous. And I've got nowhere else to go.
Tyler has come round to see how Piper's doing. She whines about how her parents went crazy at her. Tyler encourages her to talk about her feelings.
PIPER: I didn't mean to scare anyone. I just wanted them off my back.
She says she tried to tell her parents this, but that they just see her as a monumental failure – adding that Imogen and Josh would never do something like this.
TYLER: I know what it's like to be the problem child. I was a loser brother to everyone. Except for Dave Andrews, the footie coach. He came from Port Augusta, so he didn't know my brothers. We'd talk about footie, school, girls, whatever. To him, I wasn't some family disappointment. I was just Tyler.
PIPER: That's nice.
TYLER: You need to find your Dave Andrews.
TYLER: I may give dumb advice, but I'm a good listener. And you don't have to threaten me with a lighter to get my attention.
Tyler takes a call from Mark. He says he has to go, but tells Piper to come over whenever. She smiles as he leaves.
Paige is filling Tyler in on what's been happening with Michelle. Apparently, her black eye was given to her by Dimato. Tyler concedes that Michelle is untrustworthy, but says they can't ignore something like that without looking into it. Mark comes out of the station – it turns out Michelle placed an intervention order on Dimato yesterday.
PAIGE: Wow. Maybe she is telling the truth.
TYLER: Did she seem scared?
MARK: I think she did. At this stage she wants protection in exchange for intel on Dimato's whereabouts.
Paige suggests they leave it to others in the police department to sort out, but Mark says he wants to know what Dimato has planned if he really is coming after them.
MARK: I need to see this through.
Susan has come round to talk to Piper, Brad and Terese. Piper apologises, saying she didn't mean to scare anyone.
SUSAN: Is the lighter really yours, Piper? Is there anything you want to tell me?
PIPER: You saw what happened. There's nothing more to say.
Susan seems like she doesn't believe her, but says it's time to talk about consequences. Over the summer, she wants Piper to help retrieve salvageable books from the library following the fire. Piper starts moaning about a ‘summer detention', but Susan points out it could be much worse – she could have been suspended or even expelled.
PIPER: Maybe I should be. I'm pyro- girl, remember?
SUSAN: You can't take what the other students say to heart.
PIPER: Well what am I supposed to do – ignore them?
Susan suggests Piper talk to a counsellor, which the Willises say they're looking into. Terese also says they've decided to ground Piper, ban her from communicating with Ben, and also ban her from all electronic and Internet devices. Piper kicks off, saying she has no friends in Australia and needs to keep in touch with those back in Canada.
PIPER: If you do this, I'll have nothing.
BRAD: Well we can reconnect as a family.
Piper barely stifles a snigger.
TERESE: We care about you.
PIPER: You care about me? Because it feels like you're concerned that I'm not like you.
Terese finally flips and starts screaming at Piper.
TERESE: Okay, enough! Enough! I have had it up to here with you! Just drop the attitude! Didn't you see me in hospital? Don't you remember all those people you almost killed in the fire? Have you not learnt anything? Honestly, Piper, I love you. But I simply can't look at you right now. Go to your room!
Piper storms off, upset.
Brad has followed Terese in, and suggests she go home and talk to Piper. Terese is feeling bad for losing her temper, but says it's hard to watch her keep getting into trouble. Brad says she's no worse than Josh or Imogen, but Terese says she's at a vulnerable age, and feels they're letting her down. She says Piper reminds her of herself when she was young.
TERESE: And I barely got through it.
BRAD: The difference between you and Piper is support. You know, you hardly had any. Your parents were distracted, your brother was always away at school. She has us. And as long as she understands that, we'll get through this.
Terese agrees, and goes home to speak to Piper.
Erinsborough Police Station
Mark has managed to secure police protection for Michelle, who seems grateful. Paige is still sitting in on the discussion, no doubt against all protocol.
MICHELLE: Thank you.
MARK: You want to thank me? Help us find him.
MICHELLE: I'll do my best.
PAIGE: You'd better! ‘Cause Mark's gone through a lot of effort to get this done for you.
Michelle discerns from their body language that Mark and Paige are an item.
PAIGE: Like that's any of your business!
MICHELLE: It's not. I just thought you'd end up with Tyler.
MICHELLE: I'm sorry you're angry at me, Paige.
PAIGE: I'm not angry at you.
MICHELLE: You are angry. I can tell.
PAIGE: Oh, can you?
MICHELLE: Yes, because I used to be like you. I used to be angry at everyone.
PAIGE: Used to be? What happened?
MICHELLE: I found Jesus. And he saved me.
Mark and Paige exchange a surprised glance.
Terese comes in. Piper is reading The Trial by Franz Kafka. Terese apologises for shouting at her before. Piper says she knows she's a disappointment, but Terese insists not.
TERESE: You have always followed your own path, Piper. You have always made your own choices, and I respect that. But it's a difficult road to travel. And it's one that I sympathise with. Back in Darwin, when I was about your age, I was a nightmare – I was out of control.
PIPER: Did you burn your school down as well?
TERESE: No, not quite. But almost practically everything else. I hated being told what to do. What to think – how to act. And I look at you, and I see the same person.
PIPER: Is that such a bad thing?
TERESE: No, no – it isn't. But I see you making the same mistake over and over, and that is why I'm so worried about you.
Piper insists she can look after herself, but Terese thinks she's had way too much independence way too young. Piper says she's glad to be home; she's just finding her place, that's all.
TERESE: Okay. Well never doubt how much I love you. And how proud I am of you. And I'm gonna show you that more.
PIPER: And I guess I could try and stop myself pulling so many crazy stunts.
TERESE: Yes, yes. That would be a wise idea.
Terese won't shift on the digital ban, though, despite Piper's best efforts. They hug it out, and Piper goes to read her book outside.
Piper is reading as Tyler approaches. He's on the phone to Paige, discussing the Dimato/Michelle situation, and ends the call as he reaches his driveway. Piper comes over; Tyler invites her round for a swim, but she explains she's grounded. However, she admits she's had a good chat with Terese, and they're no longer mortal enemies.
Comparing parental notes, Tyler hints at his problems with his dad, but doesn't give Piper any details, saying he still can't get his head around it. Piper tells him to ‘come over whenever', just like he said to her earlier. He says he might take her up on it.
Josh is sitting in his car, while baby Matilda cries in the back. She's crying, and nothing he says seems to calm her. Josh seems incredibly spaced out, distracted and tired, as he begs the baby to stop crying.
JOSH: What do you want from me? What do you want me to… I've changed your nappy, you're fed, I've done everything I can possibly do for you. What more do you want from me?
Amber comes in, and is horrified to see Josh just sitting there, ignoring Matilda's crying.
Amber comes in with Matilda, followed by Josh. She demands to know what he was doing in the car.
AMBER: You were just sitting there. Like you'd checked out.
JOSH: Yeah. I was just having a bad moment. Everyone has those, right?
Amber says they need to accept that they're on a learning curve when it comes to parenting. Josh admits it's different to what he's been expecting.
JOSH: I thought I'd be a little bit more closer to her. That I'd be – that I wouldn't feel so alone when I was around her. And then we've got this added pressure, and… I haven't had the one- on- one quiet time with her that you've had. And I'm just worried that I'm letting her down, or that I'm letting you down, or… I guess I'm just feeling a little bit overwhelmed with it all.
Josh appears to be extremely distracted and emotional by this point, as if he's falling apart.
JOSH: But I'm sure you're sorting through the same sort of feelings.
AMBER: Yeah, it's hard. But Josh, I manage. I'm managing. What I saw out there scared me. You're not in control.
JOSH: Yeah, but it's not gonna happen again. I'm sure now that we've spoken about how I feel, it's gonna get better.
AMBER: And what if it doesn't?
JOSH: It will. I promise.
Josh seems almost tearful by this point, lip trembling.
AMBER: Matilda is my responsibility, and I need to do what's best for her. Until you can get your emotions under control, I don't think it's a great idea that you're around her by yourself.
Josh looks hurt and upset.
- Aaron is looking for the car involved in the hit- and- run, and Amber takes an interest
- Aaron gives Josh a flyer about the hit- and- run, and says whoever did it should be caught
- Shay tells someone on the phone that Terese is ‘sus' because she's checked her CV
- Terese catches Shay rifling through papers in No 22, and demands to know why she's there