- Belinda kisses Steph, and Steph tells Mark about it
- Elly browbeats Mark into posing for a selfie with her by the pool
- Paige admits to a devastated Piper that she slept with Tyler
- Lucy arrives to supervise the sale of Lassiter's
- Paul tells Terese that he's putting in a bid for the hotel, and that he'll fire her once he takes over
Piper and Madison are about to have breakfast, following a sleepless night for Piper. She gets a text from Paige, apologising again and asking Piper to call her. Terese comes in; she's had a sleepless night too after hearing the news that Paul is buying back the hotel. She admits to Madison that she's worried about how she'll pay her mortgage once Paul fires her.
The titles roll.
Sheila is whingeing to Gary and Xanthe about the sale of Lassiter's, and hopes whoever buys it leaves The Waterhole alone. Gary offers Xanthe a lift to school but she's still sore with him for paying Ben to take her to the formal – and says she doesn't need anything from him. Alison Gore appears, and Xanthe announces that she's walking to school with her.
SHEILA: When has she ever been considered a friend?
ALISON: Maybe since she developed a little taste?
XANTHE: And since Ben and Piper let me down.
Xanthe and Alison flounce out. Sheila tells Gary that Alison's caused a lot of problems for Xanthe in the past. Sheila admits she slapped Alison a few months ago, which Gary finds amusing.
Toadie, Steph, Mark and Charlie are having breakfast, when Steph is surprised to get a message from Terese – telling her that Paul is bidding for Lassiter's. Mark says it's obvious Paul will sell his half of Robinson's, and then drive Steph out of business. Steph isn't convinced, pointing out that people keep jumping to conclusions about Paul – and says she'll give him the chance to explain himself.
Afterwards, in the kitchen, Toadie says to Mark that he's noticed things are tense between him and Steph. Mark attributes it to the ‘whole Belinda thing'.
TOADIE: You do know the kiss was just a one- way thing?
MARK: I'd like to believe that.
TOADIE: Okay, well, believe it. I know Steph. She is well and truly over her. She wouldn't bother pretending if it was any other way.
Elly has made Karl, Susan and Ben an elaborate healthy breakfast. Suddenly she gets a text message, and decides she doesn't want any food herself – preparing instead to head to work. The Kennedys are concerned, but Elly says it's just a text message from a friend.
Once she's out of the room, Karl starts moaning about the mess Elly's made – but Susan seems happy to clear up after her, saying Elly's really trying. Ben points out that most of the kids at school love her.
KARL: What's this?
KARL: What do you do with it?
Elly gets into her car, tearful. She's clearly very upset by what she's seen on her phone, but she drives off anyway.
Paul and Lucy are in the storeroom, discussing his Lassiter's bid. Lucy reminds him that he'll have to take on some huge loans given his lack of capital, but Paul says it's worth it.
LUCY: It's still going to be hard.
PAUL: Lucy, being convicted of a crime that you didn't commit – that was hard. Or having the woman that you love turn on you, along with so many others – that's hard. And prison – that was hell. No, no – you don't know hard. You know, I still have nightmares.
LUCY: Have you thought of getting some professional help?
PAUL: Oh, I don't need a shrink. I need a goal; a purpose. Something to strive for. Come on, you know I've always been that way.
LUCY: Yeah. The most competitive little boy in the playground.
Paul says he wants Lassiter's back.
Steph and Charlie come out of Grease Monkeys. They're talking about Jimmy and how tough it must be to be recovering from surgery, and having his mum splashed all over the paper.
CHARLIE: I mean, I know how he feels. Not that you've been going round to other people's houses cleaning in your undies or anything. But there's been other stuff. I'm not having a go – I'm just saying.
STEPH: No, no, no – you've had a lot to deal with, my boy. Anyway, Jimmy's really gonna need a friend more than ever now.
Elly's driving down the road, still crying, and almost ploughs into the pavement, forcing Steph and Charlie to leap out of the way. They're fine, but shaken.
CHARLIE: Someone's gonna need driving lessons.
STEPH: Yeah. Someone called Elly.
Steph marches in and finds Mark. She tells him that she and Charlie were almost run over by Elly, and demands he do something about it.
STEPH: We both could have been killed!
MARK: Alright, I'll talk to her.
STEPH: No, I don't want you to talk to her. I want you to charge her with dangerous driving!
Mark tells her to leave it with him, and Steph goes off to see Paul.
Steph arrives and talks to Paul.
STEPH: I thought we were business partners?
PAUL: Yeah, we are.
STEPH: So why am I hearing about you buying Lassiter's through other people?
PAUL: Steph, it just came about so suddenly. I was going to tell you.
STEPH: Well, I should've been the first to know!
Paul apologises, and says she's right. Steph asks what this will mean for the motel; Paul says he's hoping Steph will look into finance to buy him out, so he can use his share of the motel as leverage in buying Lassiter's.
STEPH: What?! I thought we were in this together!
PAUL: Steph, you don't need me – you can handle this yourself.
Steph points out they've just had loans approved for a courtyard restaurant, and says that she does need Paul. Paul replies that she's underestimating herself – he has faith in her to handle it.
STEPH: Right, so suppose I do take you up on your offer, what then? Are you gonna buy Lassiter's and run me out of business?
PAUL: No. Steph, you stuck by me when nobody else did.
STEPH: Uh- huh.
PAUL: I'd never do anything to hurt you! (…) If you do decide to run with this, I will do anything I can to help you. Because I want you to succeed, okay? And whatever happens, you're gonna be protected under that agreement that you and I both signed. So you've got nothing to worry about.
STEPH: Well, if I do, I guess I'll be the last to know about it.
Gary, who's heard some of the conversation, comes in with his caretaker's trolley. Paul thanks him for his discretion regarding the Lassiter's bid. Gary thinks he should have told Steph sooner, but Paul says it was best that no- one knew. Paul says this is all about getting back what was rightfully his, and teaching Terese not to mess with him.
PAUL: Anyway, it's good to know that I can rely on you. Especially since you left me for dead in prison.
GARY: Everything's different inside. You know that.
PAUL: Yeah, I do. Which is why I think we should just put it behind us, you know. Look to the future. Besides, I might have a few more jobs for you now I know where your loyalties lie.
But as Gary walks away, Paul has an evil smile.
Lucy comes round for a catch- up with Madison. Lucy explains she will have to finalise her recommendations for the hotel sale very soon, and has been going over the motel books, which have really impressed her.
LUCY: I know Paul is a controversial choice, but he's experienced. He's motivated. And that's what makes him such an excellent businessman (…) Besides, I've sort of been feeling bad about everything. His time in prison – I really think it's taken its toll.
MADISON: Yeah, well, he hasn't exactly been a saint ever since he got out.
LUCY: See, Paul's a take- no- prisoners sort of guy. That's what makes him such an astute businessman.
Madison points out that Paul will sack Terese if he gets the hotel. Lucy thinks it's a shame, as Terese is such a good manager – but says that Paul will have the right to choose his staff if he wins the bid, and that there's nothing she can do to help Terese.
Terese is moaning to Madison about Paul's hotel takeover; she's thinking she might as well just quit now. But Madison has had a brainwave.
MADISON: What if somebody other than Paul got Lassiter's?
TERESE: Well you just confirmed that he's the only contender.
MADISON: Someone else could put in a bid.
TERESE: Like who?
MADISON: Like you.
Terese laughs it off, saying she doesn't have that sort of money. But Madison points out that Paul doesn't either – he's relying on investors and loans. Terese thinks owning a hotel would be way out of her league, but Madison points out all of her relevant experience, especially of working under Paul. She adds that Lucy thinks very highly of Terese.
MADISON: What have you got to lose?
Erinsborough High School
In the corridor, Ben and Piper are discussing Tyler and Paige's hookup. Ben thinks Tyler's behaviour is uncool. Alison and Xanthe pass them, totally blanking them.
PIPER: First I lose Tyler to my sister, and now I've lost my best friend to a bully.
Elly approaches, and sees that Piper is looking unhappy.
ELLY: Oh, cheer up. Boy dramas are over for now, right? At least till the next one.
PIPER: I guess you're more used to having guys move on from you than I am. It might be your normal, but it'll never be mine.
Elly appears shocked by Piper's outburst, and rushes off, looking upset.
BEN: Good one.
Ben rushes off to see if Elly's alright – then returns a few minutes later.
PIPER: She's really upset, isn't she?
BEN: Yeah, well, she's human, Piper. She has feelings.
PIPER: I just wasn't thinking. I didn't mean that she'd get upset. I feel really bad.
BEN: Yeah, you should.
Alison and Xanthe turn up – we learn that Xanthe is doing some kind of project with Alison and Cooper, Alison's date from the formal. Alison tells Ben and Piper that the corridor is ‘our space'.
Susan interrupts to chastise Piper for being rude to Elly. Piper is contrite and says she knows she was way out of line. She promises to apologise, but Susan tells her she's also getting a detention. Alison looks pleased, Xanthe and Ben less so.
In The Classroom™, Elly is looking sad and eating chocolates. Mark comes in, in uniform.
ELLY: Let me guess, you want to see if I'm free for a coffee?
MARK: Actually, I'm here in an official capacity. I've had a complaint about your driving.
Mark says that ‘a pedestrian' saw Elly swerve onto the wrong side of the road and nearly hit them. She claims that she doesn't remember an incident, but says she was upset and had been crying. Mark says she should have pulled over. Elly apologises and explains why she was upset.
ELLY: My ex- boyfriend is so happy with his new girlfriend. They've been posting photos all over Instagram.
MARK: There's no excuse for dangerous driving.
ELLY: I understand.
MARK: Though I do sympathise for your break- up.
Mark tells Elly about his break- up with Paige, and how afterwards he reacted badly too, by hitting the drink excessively.
MARK: I tried calling her.
ELLY: The drunken phone call.
MARK: Yeah. The problem was, I accidentally called Susan. It was pretty embarrassing! But look, break- ups are never meant to be easy. Especially when there's emotions involved. But that's no excuse for reckless behaviour.
ELLY: So what now? Are you gonna fine me?
Mark reports back to Steph, revealing that he gave Elly a formal warning about her driving. Steph is furious that he didn't do more, but Mark says she has a clean record and showed genuine remorse for her actions.
STEPH: So you took pity?
MARK: I made a judgement!
STEPH: Elly did the wrong thing! She could have run down My Boy™.
MARK: She knows what she did was wrong, and she was actually really shaken.
STEPH: What happened to Mr Black & White? Believing that people should be punished when they're in the wrong?
MARK: Well, you're the one who showed me that there are grey areas sometimes.
STEPH: Nah, you never let anyone get away with anything. Including me. So what's really going on here?
STEPH: Are you punishing me? Is this payback for Belinda?
MARK: It's got nothing to do with that!
Mark says he's confident that Elly will drive responsibly from now on, and tells Steph that she needs to be satisfied with that.
Erinsborough High School
In detention, Piper gets a text from Paige, again asking her to call. ‘I just want to explain', it says. Piper puts the phone down and carries on working, when a cat appears at the door.
PIPER: Hey, what are you doing here? Don't let any of the teachers see you. You look lonely too. I can't believe I'm talking to a cat. Are you hungry, buddy?
Piper gives the cat some meat from her sandwich, and strokes it.
Terese is talking to Lucy; she says she couldn't work with Paul even if he changed his mind about firing her, because of all the history, so has decided to leave Lassiter's. Lucy has to leave to collect baby Annie from the nanny – but as she leaves, Susan arrives.
Susan has come to talk about Piper's behaviour at school, which she says is appalling.
SUSAN: She's just carrying around so much anger. And she's acting out against authority, she's backchatting – she's being rude to teachers.
Terese says she's been preoccupied with the situation at Lassiter's, and explains that Paul is bidding for it.
TERESE: You know, Madison's got this naïve notion that I should pull something together myself, and give Paul a run for his money. Crazy, huh?
SUSAN: Why is it that powerful, capable, intelligent women have so much trouble believing in their own abilities? Men don't have that problem.
TERESE: It's that kind of self- belief that comes easily for people like Paul.
SUSAN: If you can manage the hotel, and I'm guessing that's the hard part, why shouldn't you bid for it? Madison's right – I know you'll have to find people to back you, but if it's something you want to do, you should do it. There's no- one more qualified.
Steph is feeling overprotective of Charlie since the near miss this morning, and so has brought him home for lunch. She tells him he needs to be aware of road traffic, and never to be distracted by his phone while crossing. Charlie promises to be careful, and says he's sure Elly is feeling bad – she wouldn't do something like this on purpose.
STEPH: Oh, you've met her? When?
CHARLIE: One day, when she was hanging out with Mark by the pool. She seemed pretty friendly.
Later, Steph is cleaning up after lunch, and suddenly decides to check out Elly's social media page. Among the pictures on her timeline are a picture of her with Paige at the No 32 party, and the photo she took of her and a topless Mark by the pool. It's simply captioned: “This guy!” with a heart emoji followed by a flame emoji. Steph gasps at the audacity.
- Mark turns up at the Kennedys' to find a towel- clad Elly
- Mark is unrepentant to Steph about having his photo taken with Elly
- Susan is surprised to learn Sonya is now on board with Karl's campaign
- Susan tells Sonya that the West Waratah Star has asked her for a comment
- Someone has spray- painted the word ‘DIE' on a car windscreen, much to Karl and Sonya's concern