- Paige meets boxing rival Angelina, who tells her her previous opponent ended up in hospital
- Jack advises Paige to reconsider her decision to fight, despite her assurances she's ready
- Paige is alarmed to learn that Aaron will lose money if she pulls out of the fight
- Gary wins the pigeon race, but is informed Lassiter's the pigeon has tested positive for drugs
- Mark finds the house in a state and concludes Ari has taken Steph
- Steph begs Ari not to set the Snakes™ on her
- Jack concludes that Ari has taken Steph to Blaze Outreach
- Jack rushes in just as Ari is about to release the snakes, causing Steph to scream
Steph is still tied up, but it's Ari who's been bitten by a snake. Jack is tending to the wound – but meanwhile, the snake has slithered around Steph's leg and into her lap. Jack looks worried.
The titles roll.
We return to the action, and Mark arrives – the police are on their way too. Jack tries to encourage Ari not to move so that the venom doesn't spread. Mark tells Steph to stay calm, while he unties her. The snake continues to hiss, but starts to crawl away. Mark hugs a traumatised but safe Steph.
Tyler, Page, Lauren and Brad are at a table. Tyler is encouraging Paige to focus on the boxing match tomorrow. Lauren and Brad look displeased. Once Tyler's gone, Paige brings up Steph's kidnapping by Ari, and how terrible it is.
LAUREN: Yeah, it's terrifying how your luck can change in an instant. And that's without putting yourself in harm's way.
PAIGE: Okay. I get the message. You don't want me to fight tomorrow.
Lauren reminds Paige that she's only been boxing a few weeks, and says that she and Brad have decided they won't attend the match – they don't want to see Paige being pummelled in a boxing ring. Paige looks upset.
Piper and Terese are having dinner together, but both are more focused on their phones.
PIPER: I'm gonna sign us up for a first aid refresher course.
TERESE: That's a bit drastic, isn't it?
PIPER: It'd be drastic if we weren't living in a country teeming with deadly snakes.
Piper says she's not unnerved by what happened to Steph, but that she'd want to know what to do if someone she loved got hurt. Terese agrees to attend the first aid course with Piper, who says Xanthe can do it too.
TERESE: Well, given how often she falls over it might not be a bad idea.
Gary comes in, and is bemused when Piper tells him Xanthe's going to learn how to save lives. Terese remarks that it must feel good for Gary to be free from working for Paul; he says it is, but points out that it leaves him unemployed. Terese suggests Gary email her with his CV; she's had second thoughts since he was ‘invaluable in setting up the pigeon race'.
TERESE: And I really do believe that you've turned over a new leaf. As long as there are no more skeletons waiting in the closet.
Gary laughs nervously.
GARY: Nothing too serious.
Karl has examined Steph, and while she's fine physically, he says he's concerned she may be in shock from her ordeal – so he'd like to keep her in overnight for observation. Tomorrow, she can talk to a trauma counsellor, he says. Mark and Jack are also there; Mark thanks Jack for working out where Ari had taken Steph.
At that moment, Ari is wheeled around the corner in a wheelchair by some paramedics.
ARI: Steph, I was wrong. The serpent let you go. I thought I was doing the right thing for Belinda. I was wrong. I'm so sorry.
Ari tries to get out of his chair, but Karl tells him to stay calm; he's being taken to see a psychiatrist. Jack volunteers to accompany Ari, while Mark comforts a sad- looking Steph.
Jack comes in just as Paige is closing up. She greets him as a hero, but he denies this – saying that in trying to help Ari, he hurt Paige and put Steph in danger.
PAIGE: Well, you can't save everyone.
JACK: Not even the people I care about most?
PAIGE: Look, this fight is something that I have to do. And you and my parents just have to understand that.
She explains that Lauren and Brad aren't even coming to watch the fight. Jack says that's because they love her.
PAIGE: And you don't want me to go through with it either.
JACK: Look, I wish you all the luck in the world. I'll be thinking of you.
Jack leaves and Paige looks upset.
Aaron arrives with Angelina Jackson, who he's booking into the motel for the night. Paul starts sucking up to Angelina, but she makes it plain that she couldn't care less about his motel. She adds that she's not to be disturbed with any calls, and marches off to her room.
PAUL: She's a real charmer, isn't she?
AARON: Well, she's here to win the fight, not really friends.
Aaron leaves, and Terese comes in. She tells Paul that she's going to be employing Gary, and wanted to let him know that she didn't headhunt him before he and Paul parted ways.
PAUL: Why would you bother? He's not really an asset.
Paul suggests that Terese is really here to gloat about the success of her pigeon race at the expense of Paul's restaurant opening, and from her reaction, he's right. But Paul has a new card up his sleeve.
PAUL: You're about to be embroiled in a scandal – and quite a ridiculous one at that. Pigeon- doping.
TERESE (laughs): What are you talking about? I mean, that's not even a thing.
PAUL: Yeah, it is a thing. And you see, the authorities have discovered something in little Lassiter's system (…) You enjoy managing Gary. He's got a bit of a knack for causing these sorts of disasters.
Terese looks annoyed.
The next day, Terese confronts Gary about the pigeon- doping. Gary insists he has no idea how Lassiter's the pigeon was given drugs. Terese thinks Paul was to blame, but Gary is concerned that this doesn't tally with Paul's attempt to murder the pigeon! Terese is more worried about the hotel becoming a laughing stock, and says employing Gary was a silly idea from the start.
TERESE: I'm sorry.
GARY: I understand.
Terese walks off. Meanwhile, Aaron presents Paige with a derisory portion of toast and bananas – she can't eat too much before the big fight. Paige admits Brad and Lauren aren't coming to the match, and Aaron asks if she's having second thoughts. She insists she isn't.
PAIGE: I couldn't be more ready for this.
Mark and Tyler are discussing Steph, who apparently had a restless night. Mark has spent all night in the waiting room. Conversation moves on to Paige's boxing match; Mark asks why Aaron arranged a match for Paige which put her so far out of her depth. Tyler explains how they were tied into the contract; Mark says they should have come to him, as he'd have sorted something out.
Tyler admits he's worried about Paige, but says that she's got her mind set on competing, and can't be talked round.
MARK: What, so you just gave up on her? You should be doing everything you can to make her see sense!
TYLER: I'm not sure it's my place.
Lauren is trying to convince Karl to go to Paige's boxing match, in case there is any injury. Karl says there will already be a medic there, as it's a legal requirement. Lauren would rather someone who knew Paige were there, but Karl says boxing's ‘senseless' and not his thing – adding that he's seen so many injuries coming into the hospital as a result of such events.
KARL: That's obviously extreme cases. I'm sure nothing will happen to Paige. I just don't want to be there to see it.
LAUREN: You and me both.
Gary comes in, and has a go at Paul, who's sitting at a table, for telling Terese about the doping scandal. Paul just thinks it's funny. Gary demands to know how Paul drugged Lassiter's the pigeon; Xanthe tries to interrupt him, but Gary continues to accuse Paul. Paul denies any involvement, but says he's looking forward to seeing what the papers make of it.
PAUL: ‘Disgraced Lassiter's accused of fowl play.' Did you see what I did there?
Xanthe tries again to interrupt, but Gary is threatening to report Paul to the RSPCA. Paul again insists he didn't do anything.
XANTHE: I think I know what happened!
Gary and Xanthe come in to speak to Terese. Xanthe explains how she was behind the pigeon- doping scandal, not Gary.
XANTHE: And Lassiter's is innocent too. I mean, she didn't take anything on purpose (…) After Clementine ate all of Lassiter's friends, I could see how devo she was feeling. And I could totally relate, because at the time, I thought Ben was hooking up with Maddie, and…
TERESE: Can you please just get to the point?
XANTHE: Right. Well, obviously I'd given up all hope for myself. But I thought the least I could do was help out poor little Lassiter's. I know that when I'm feeling sick, a paracetamol helps. So I crushed up a quarter of a tablet and I fed it to her.
TERESE: Paracetamol? To a bird?
XANTHE: I know. I checked online to see if there would be any side- effects, but it never occurred to me that it would be performance- enhancing, or, you know, like, illegal! I'm sorry – I've ruined her career, and your race, and – and I'm a criminal!
Terese suppresses a chortle, and says at least they now know there was nothing malicious behind the doping.
TERESE: It's actually quite funny!
Gary explains he's already used the prize money to pay off his debts to Paul, but Terese promises to talk to the racing officials and sort everything out.
XANTHE: Great, okay, thanks – bye!
Xanthe makes a hasty exit. Gary asks Terese if she would also reconsider giving him a job at Lassiter's. She says it would be on a trial basis, and she'd have to show he was being supervised.
TERESE: Perhaps you'd like to go over the details of your employment – I dunno – over dinner?
GARY: As a kind of… date?
TERESE: … Sure! Yeah, why not?
They part awkwardly, suppressing smiles.
As the boxing ring is prepared for the big fight, Aaron and Tyler are helping Paige glove up in the dressing room. Angelina and her manager Lenny show up, and Angelina proclaims it her dressing room – since the contract stipulates that she has first choice.
PAIGE: You're just doing this to mess with my head.
Aaron tells Paige that Angelina's right – she has the pick of the dressing rooms. So Paige, Tyler and Aaron vacate. Once they're gone, Lenny pulls a bag of white powder out of a supplies box he's brought. Angelina begins dipping her fists in the powder, but Tyler comes in to collect something he'd forgotten, and sees what's going on.
LENNY: Oi, get out!
TYLER: What's that stuff?
ANGELINA: Skin condition.
TYLER: I didn't think you were allowed to put anything inside your gloves?
LENNY: Well, whatever you're thinking, you're wrong. Now get out!
Tyler does as he's told, but looks suspicious.
In the other dressing room, Paige has headphones on, and is listening to music while she's warming up. Tyler comes in and asks Aaron if he's ever heard of fighters putting powder on their hands before a match. (Paige can't hear the conversation.) Tyler explains what he saw, but Aaron says Angelina's explanation was probably true – she can't afford to be breaking the rules.
TYLER: Maybe we should mention it to Paige?
AARON: No. No, she's already shaky cos her folks aren't coming. We don't want to break her focus any more.
Paige has taken off her headphones, and asks what they're whispering about. Aaron says it's nothing, and asks if Paige is ready to go.
Toadie, Piper, Jack and Brad are at a table, while Lauren mans the counter in the background. Toadie is comparing boxing to wrestling, but Piper points out that boxing isn't rigged or choreographed – adding that combat sports aren't really her thing.
PIPER: I'm only going today to support Paige. I know how hard she's worked for this.
Lauren comes over, and asks Piper to text them when the match is over so they can come in. Brad nods along, and says that they will also call Paige before the fight begins. Jack says he feels the same as Brad and Lauren, but Piper points out that she knows he likes boxing.
PIPER: So it's not really about that, is it?
Without waiting for an answer, Piper drags Toadie off to watch the match. Once they're gone, Brad says that he'd hoped their not going would change Paige's mind. Lauren agrees. Jack looks worried.
Paige waits alone in the dressing room, looking nervous. She begins to speak.
PAIGE: Well, God – I'm not completely convinced that you exist, but seeing as though you stole my man, I figure you owe me one. Please don't let me get too hurt today. Umm… That's it. Thanks.
Angelina comes in.
PAIGE: Don't tell me you've come to demand this room too?
ANGELINA: Calm down. I'm a professional. I'm just doing my job which is to win no matter what.
PAIGE: Me too.
ANGELINA: But we can't both win, can we?
PAIGE: All I'm saying is, you'd better be ready to take as much as you dish out.
ANGELINA (laughing): You're shaking.
PAIGE: No I'm not!
ANGELINA: You don't have to pretend. Going up against me for your first fight – it's a big ask. I'd be shaking.
PAIGE: Well, I'm up for it.
ANGELINA: There's no shame in backing out.
PAIGE: No. But I'm going through with this.
ANGELINA: Are you worried about losing face? Because, you know, if you just happen to pull a muscle before the starting bell, you'd get out of this without getting hurt. Otherwise, the second that bell rings, my mission will be to destroy you.
Angelina walks out. Paige looks rattled.
Shortly afterwards, the boxing club begins to fill with spectators. Tyler gives Paige a pep- talk as he massages her shoulders, telling her to stay focused. He tells her she's more agile than Angelina, and faster, so can outmanoeuvre her. Paige notices Jack at the other side of the room, talking to Aaron. They make eye- contact. Jack smiles at her. Paige decides Tyler's right; she can do this.
Later still, Aaron is all suited up and introduces the event, while Paige and Angelina warm up. (Banners adorning the room read ‘Brand Enthusiasm presents Girl Fight'.)
AARON: Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for today's main event. A proven favourite will strive to show that she's still got what it takes. And she faces a young hopeful fighting to make a name for herself. Will history be made today?
While Angelina grunts and shrieks in her warm- up, Tyler asks Jack about the powder he saw her dipping her hands in.
TYLER: It might've just been talcum powder, but I've heard some fighters use plaster of Paris?
Aaron introduces Angelina, and she storms onto the stage, whacking punchbags as she goes.
TYLER: So when they sweat, the plaster turns rock hard.
JACK: If she had a habit of doing this, she would have been found out by now.
AARON: And now for our challenger. Originally from Adelaide, now she's a hometown girl. A young lady with a very bright future. In the red corner, put your hands together for Paaaaaaaaige Smiiiiiith!
Paige enters the ring.
JACK (to Tyler): I can't watch this, man. Please look after her.
Jack leaves. Tyler looks worried, as Angelina and Paige continue to warm up.
- The boxing has begun. Toadie, Piper, Aaron and Tyler are on the edge of their seats
- Tyler asks Paige if Angelina's gloves feel heavier than they should
- The match is getting intense – both fighters are battered and bruised
- ‘We suspect a brain haemorrhage,' says Karl at the hospital. Piper and Tyler look worried.