- Ned tells Pam he's forgiven and forgotten with Brad, but his clenched fist tells a different story
- Ned overhears Brad telling Daniel how his relationship with his mum Beth was a total disaster
- Sarah tells Susan she has stage three stomach cancer…
- … and Karl that she was planning on asking the Kennedys to take on her son Angus if she died
- Piper's shocked when Tyler announces he may have caused Josh's death
We pick up exactly where we left off – and a distraught Piper asks Tyler to explain how Josh's death could be his fault.
TYLER: I messed around with the boiler.
PIPER: No. No. Tyler, all the evidence points to Paul.
TYLER: The day before, I was down in the basement, fixing some lights for your mum. The boiler was kind of spluttering, so I thought I'd try and fix it as well. I messed around with lots of buttons and levers. Maybe I didn't put something back properly – or maybe that's why it exploded later on.
Steph shows up to invite Tyler for a post- work drink, and is horrified when Piper says Tyler thinks he killed Doug and Josh. Cue titles.
Sarah is with Karl and Susan, explaining the full story of why she wants her son to live with them after she dies.
SARAH: Angus is fifteen. He needs a lot of guidance. And you're the only people that I know that are capable of that.
Sarah explains that she wanted to tell Karl the truth at the hotel, but then the explosion threw her plans out of kilter. She explains she sensed tension between the Kennedys, and that Sheila told her about their fall- out over Nene.
SARAH: I had to find out the truth for myself if I was potentially asking you to take care of my son.
SUSAN: And that included propositioning Karl?
SARAH: I presented that as a hypothetical, to see how solid you guys were.
Sarah apologises for dropping this on them, but says Angus has no- one and she's worried about him.
SARAH: If you could find it in your hearts to take him in, I'd be eternally grateful.
Lauren, Brad and Ned are sitting on the patio, Brad having received news of Imogen and Daniel's road trip progress. Sonya turns up to talk about the Citizen of the Year Awards, which are apparently back on. She's got photos of all the nominees except Brad, whom we learned several weeks ago was nominated because of his Blaze Outreach Programme for wayward kids, and asks him to email one over.
Brad doesn't seem to fancy his chances of winning, but Sonya says it's just about recognising ‘wonderful people' in the community. Ned doesn't even try to suppress his smirk at the idea of Brad being wonderful. Sonya explains that Cameron McPhee, the outreach programme student whose life Brad ostensibly turned around after he was caught thieving flowers for Paul, has even made a video in his honour.
BRAD: Have you been this pushy with all the nominees, or just me?
NED: Wise up, Dad. She's obviously talking like this because you've won.
SONYA: There is a very distinct possibility that that may be the case, but you didn't hear it from me!
Lauren promises that Brad will be there, and Sonya leaves them to it. Once she's gone, Brad looks sceptical that he'd be picked as Citizen of the Year – but Lauren reminds him how hard he worked on the outreach programme and how many kids he helped.
BRAD: I Just don't feel like I deserve it.
But Lauren says Brad is a great teacher and father. Ned rolls his eyes.
Erinsborough Police Station
Terese arrives to join Piper and Steph, who are waiting in the foyer. Meanwhile, in the interview room, Mark tells Tyler that the sabotage happened on the morning of the explosion, not the day before, and that they already have a compelling case against someone else.
TYLER: I'm not saying Paul's completely innocent. But maybe I was involved too.
Tyler says that these things aren't an exact science, so Mark can't be sure Tyler didn't play a role.
MARK: Why on earth didn't you speak up sooner?
TYLER: … I was scared. I didn't want to believe it was true. Josh – Josh was my friend. And if it's any consolation, you can't be more angry at me than I am at myself.
Mark goes to fetch someone more appropriate to take Tyler's statement. Tyler says he can't let anyone else go down for this.
Madison shows up in the storeroom, where she finds Paul.
MADISON: You're a hard man to pin down.
MADISON: I was starting to think I'd have to book a room.
She hugs Paul, but he says he's a bit busy with stock orders etc. Madison reminds him of the last time he saw her.
MADISON: You were passing through Brisbane on a business trip. You only had a few hours to spare, but you took us to that really fancy restaurant. And you spent the whole time telling the waiters I was going to be the next Ita Buttrose.
Madison explains that from then on, Buttrose was her hero – after her dad, Scott.
MADISON: I knew I had to be a journalist. Just like them.
PAUL: I didn't realise I'd made such an impact.
MADISON: You did. Which is why it really hurts that you don't want to see me now.
PAUL: Oh, Maddy, I'm sorry. I do want to see you, I just don't really want you to see me.
MADISON: Because of the charges?
PAUL: Yeah, because of everything. Look, I'm not that person you remember.
MADISON: You're still my uncle. And I know you're not guilty.
MADISON: Dad always says a reporter must remain impartial until hard evidence presents itself.
PAUL: Well, that hasn't stopped the police.
Madison insists she believes in Paul, and says it's only a matter of time till new evidence comes to light. Paul suddenly gets a text, and brightens up.
PAUL: You may be my lucky charm!
He heads out, promising to be back soon. Madison smiles.
In the garden, Brad fills Ned in on the news that Tyler may be responsible for the boiler blast. Ned wants to come with Brad to the police station to support the family, but Brad inexplicably tells his son that he's ‘not needed'. Ned insists he wants to be there, but Brad says it's too crowded with Steph there!
NED: Of course. Wouldn't want to get in the way (!)
Brad then asks Ned to send a photo of him to Sonya for the awards ceremony, from Brad's laptop. Ned agrees, and tells Brad to go to the station. Once he's gone, Ned shakes his head.
Erinsborough Police Station
Terese, Piper and Steph are waiting for news, when Paul dashes in. Terese is annoyed to learn that Steph has called him and told him what's happened.
PAUL: This proves that I am innocent, like I have been saying all along.
At this point, Mark comes through with Tyler. Paul goes to angrily confront Tyler, but Mark pushes him away.
PAUL: Do you realise what you've put me through? Well, do you?!
Mark explains that they're going to show Tyler the blueprints and photos of the boiler, then have him demonstrate what he did to try and fix it to the manufacturers, to see if it could've caused the blast.
TYLER: I just want to say how sorry I am. I didn't mean to do anyone any harm.
PAUL: Oh, yeah, but you were happy to frame me.
TYLER: I didn't frame you!
PAUL: Yeah, right. You've been sitting on this for weeks. No wonder you're trying to cover your backside.
Mark takes Tyler away again. Paul continues to protest his innocence to Terese, but she says Tyler's confession doesn't explain the blueprints in Paul's briefcase, or his false alibi from Nene, or his deletion of the CCTV footage. Brad comes in.
PAUL: I knew nothing about the blueprints. The other stuff, yes – I did that because things just looked so bad for me.
TERESE: And that's your problem, Paul. They still do.
She walks out with Piper and Brad, leaving Paul frustrated.
Toadie has joined Karl and Susan to discuss the Sarah situation. Toadie explains how he thinks Sarah must have been sussing him and Sonya out as potential guardians to Angus too, since she was asking questions about whether they wanted more kids. Toadie asks why Sarah can't turn to Peter, her ex- husband and Angus's father, but Karl says they've never seen eye- to- eye.
Toadie also mentions Catherine, Sarah's sister, and the Kennedys' son Mal who's Catherine's husband. But their hands are full with baby Susannah, Susan explains. In any case, Angus has fallen in with the wrong crowd, she adds, which is why Sarah wants him out of the UK.
TOADIE: Well, you do have a good track- record with wayward teenagers.
KARL: Still, it's an incredible ask.
TOADIE: So what's gonna happen with him if you can't find anyone else?
SUSAN: I dunno. I guess he would go into foster care. It's just so sad.
Susan has summoned Sarah to tell her more about Angus. Sarah explains he hangs around with older boys who spend their time skiving from school, and has recently been expelled.
SUSAN: It can't help that he doesn't get along with his dad.
SARAH: Oil and water.
Peter's also refused to pay Angus's school fees, Sarah reveals. Susan asks how Angus is coping with Sarah's illness – but as they reach DeadKate's Gazebo™, Sarah explains that Angus doesn't know about the cancer yet, as she didn't want to put additional stress on the situation. Susan admits she'd probably have done the same thing.
SARAH: Who'd be a parent, eh?
SARAH: Actually, that's not true. Of all the millions of mistakes I've made in my life, becoming a parent wasn't one of them. That's what's so frightening – the thought of dying. It's not about me. It's about the worry. Who's gonna love them? Who's gonna keep them safe?
Sarah breaks down in tears, apologising to Susan – who puts a hesitant hand on her shoulder.
SUSAN: I completely understand.
While waiting for Paul to return, Madison is fielding telephone calls to the motel.
MADISON: Robinson's is a fine establishment and the owner has done nothing wrong… Okay, go ahead and make a booking on the website. We look forward to you staying with us.
Paul and Steph come in, and tell Madison the police are still investigating Tyler's claim. Paul says it doesn't matter, as the person who matters the most doesn't believe him.
Terese, Brad and Piper wait pensively for news.
Erinsborough Police Station
Tyler is describing his actions on the week of the blast to Mark and the boiler people. All he did was mess around with a few levers, by the sounds of it.
Ned is on Brad's laptop…
Susan gazes at the picture of her biological kids, Mal, Libby and Billy, on the wall – and then takes a panel off the wall, exposing the area on which her foster/adoptive kids and other waifs/strays have signed the plasterwork (which also appeared earlier, in Episode 6985). Susan smiles. When Karl comes in, she says…
SUSAN: I think we should do it. I think we should look after Angus.
Karl doesn't exactly look thrilled.
Ned flicks through pictures of Brad looking happy with all his other kids, but can't find any of him. He finds a video file that interests him – though we don't see what's in it. When he gets an obnoxious text from Brad reading ‘Sorry mate. Won't be home for dinner. Need to be with the family', Ned finally sees red, and sets up a false email account under the name of Cameron, Brad's outreach kid.
Smiling, he types out an email, posing as Cameron, with the subject line ‘Blaze Outreach Video'. ‘Dear Mayor Rebecchi,' he types, ‘here is the final mastered version of the Blaze Outreach Video for the awards ceremony. Thanks.' Renaming the video file as ‘Blaze Outreach', he then attaches it to the email, and presses ‘send'.
NED: Let's see how much they love you now, Dad.
Erinsborough Police Station
Paul, Steph, Terese, Brad and Piper are waiting in the reception. Mark comes out with Tyler, and informs them that the boiler manufacturers don't think Tyler's interference had any role in the explosion. Paul's sceptical, but Mark insists they've confirmed that Tyler didn't go anywhere near the gas valve, which was what caused the explosion.
Paul insists that Tyler's involvement still creates reasonable doubt, but Terese isn't buying it – and Steph takes a despondent Paul to the exit. While Mark takes Tyler away to do some paperwork, Brad says that Paul could be right – if it gets to court, it could create reasonable doubt, and he might get off as a result.
TERESE: Well, we'll just have to make sure that he doesn't.
Paul has returned and is talking to Madison. She reveals she's found his whiteboard, on which he's been plotting his own private investigation into the boiler sabotage. Paul explains Mark told him to get rid of it, but Madison says not to. The prime suspect to Paul's mind remains Tom Quill, and when Madison asks about ‘coma man' – Paige's John Doe – Paul says he was in hospital at the time the blueprints were planted.
MADISON: Are you sure about those timings?
PAUL: Well, you know, I can only guess when the briefcase was accessed…
MADISON: You need to force the police to look more closely into this guy. A total stranger in the hotel, the morning of the explosion. Think about it.
Madison kisses Paul goodbye and is about to leave him to ponder this curious train of logic, when he says…
PAUL: Maddy, I am glad you came.
MADISON: Me too. And now that I've seen the place, I have a feeling I'll be back.
Karl, Susan, Sarah and (for some reason) Toadie convene in the kitchen.
SUSAN: Well, we've decided that we will look after Angus.
Sarah gasps with surprise and emotion.
SARAH: Oh, thank you – thank you so much!
KARL: None of us should look at this as a permanent arrangement. Not because we only want a short- term houseguest, but because we want you to get better.
SARAH: And I want that too. But if I don't, and he needs a permanent home…
SUSAN: We'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.
Sarah leaps up and hugs a surprised Susan, who casts Karl a meaningful glance.
Piper is coming out of No 22 to head to the Citizen of the Year Awards, when Tyler approaches.
PIPER: You should know I'm really happy you're innocent.
TYLER: Not half as happy as I am.
PIPER: I just wish that you'd told me the truth from the start.
TYLER: I know. I'm sorry. I was so afraid of losing you as a friend. I mean, the only reason I tried to fix the boiler in the first place was because I wanted to impress your mum.
PIPER: What for?
TYLER: Well, I thought that if she liked me, she'd feel better about us hanging out. Being friends with you – it's really important to me.
PIPER: It's really important to me, too. But after this, everything feels different. I don't – I can't explain it, I just feel like I don't know you any more, Ty. I feel like I can't trust you.
Despite Tyler's protestations, a tearful Piper walks away, storming past Brad on the drive without even answering his question about whether she's seen Ned this morning.
Ned is visiting Josh's grave.
NED: I know we never really knew each other. I'm not even on your gravestone.
We see a shot of the stone, which reads ‘Adored Son of TERESE & BRAD, Sibling of IMOGEN, PAIGE & PIPER, Father of MATILDA.'
NED: But we do have the same father, so I guess that's something. Today he's gonna win an award for being Citizen of the Year. Can you believe that, after everything he's done to me? You know, just when I feel like I'm getting over it, he does something else – and now I just can't help it. All this rage. I just want the world to see him exactly like I do.
Sonya is announcing the Citizen of the Year winner to a roomful of extras, as well as fellow nominee Sheila, and Lauren, Brad, Terese, Ned, Piper and Toadie. The winner is of course Brad, and he comes to the stage to accept his award.
SONYA: We know it's been a very difficult time for you, with the loss of your father Doug and your son Josh. But Josh was one of the many people that nominated you for this award, and he did it via video message.
A video of Josh begins to play on a large projector. Lauren, Terese and Piper look emotional, and Ned looks like he's feeling guilty.
JOSH (video): Getting mixed up kids to sort out their problems through physical activity is a simple idea, but not one just anyone can pull off. But because my dad, Brad Willis, is such a down- to- earth, humble, easygoing guy, he can talk to kids. And that's what makes him a great mentor. Someone everyone can look up to. So, vote for Brad Willis for Citizen of the Year, because he's the man, and the best father a son could ever have. Love you, Dad.
Sonya invites Brad to say a few words.
BRAD: Thank you so much. It's fair to say that I wouldn't have been able to achieve this if it wasn't for my partner, my family, and most recently my son, Ned. We haven't spent a lot of time together over the past couple of years, but if there's anything positive to come out of this awful tragedy, it's the bond that we've been able to forge. Thank you, Ned.
Sonya says the ceremony will conclude with another video tribute, this time from Cameron McPhee. But Ned continues to look guilty as the video that actually plays is not Cameron's tribute, but the council drone footage of Brad and Lauren kissing in the No 32 backyard – the event which led to Brad and Terese's marriage breakdown! Brad is humiliated as everyone laughs.
Lauren sees Ned reach over to unplug the projector from the laptop, and puts her head in her hands. Ned looks worried.
- Lauren asks a defensive Ned to tell her the truth
- Aaron stresses to Nate about the ‘creep out there' who knows what he did
- Nate thinks that ‘she' is the one sending Aaron the threatening text messages
- Julie Quill turns up in Ramsay Street looking for Aaron
- Paul asks Mark whether he's questioned John Doe about the boiler blast
- Mark questions John, and Paige asks if he's being treated as a suspect
- During an interaction at the motel, Julie tells Paul to get his hands off her