- Jacka dispenses an unknown substance into Ned's tattooing ink
- Karl tells Lauren that Brad's condition could have been caused by chemical exposure
- Angus concocts a plan to get a tattoo to impress Elly, and steals Ned's tattooing kit
- Brad tells Terese that his condition is worsening, and the doctors have no idea what it is
- Terese tells Lauren that Brad has set about finalising his will
- Karl decides to take leave from the hospital while the inquiry into his conduct is ongoing
- Simone feels Paige's wrath when she interrupts a careers session at Blaze Outreach
- Jack tells Paige not to take their difficulties out on Simone
- Simone attempts to hotwire Amy's ute, but is caught in the act by Mark
Things are still frosty between Jack and Paige. Paige is still sore that Simone interrupted the kids' TAFE applications, while Jack tells Paige that the way she spoke to Simone was totally unnecessary. Jack gets a phone call – and afterwards tells Paige that Simone has been arrested, and that he's going to go and sort it out.
Here be titles.
Erinsborough Police Station
Mark is outlining Simone's bail conditions and court date to Jack, but he's trying to argue that she should be let off – and that she only broke into Amy's ute because Paige upset her. (An argument which appears to make zero sense.)
MARK: Simone is responsible for her own actions. And this isn't a once- off. She's got priors. It can't be someone else's fault every time.
JACK: Mark, it's complicated. She's had a tough life.
MARK: That doesn't mean she can go around taking other people's cars.
Jack tries to pass it off as a ‘brain snap', but Mark isn't convinced, and suggests Jack has a blind spot for Simone.
JACK: You don't know me well enough to say that.
MARK: I know Paige.
JACK: Then you would know why she had a go at Simone, then?
MARK: I didn't realise priests had such big egos.
JACK: Look, you know what the system can do to young women.
Simone is brought out, and thanks Jack for coming – but doesn't offer (and is not asked for) an explanation for her behaviour, just saying that she doesn't know what got into her.
MARK: I'll call Amy. If it's what she wants, I'll drop the charges.
JACK: Thank you.
Lauren bursts into Brad's room, and tells him that Terese has told her Brad thinks he's dying. Brad doesn't deny it.
BRAD: Look, we have to face facts, alright? I'm getting worse. My kidneys are failing; my hair is falling out.
Lauren tells him he needs to stay positive, but Brad says they need to be prepared should the worst happen.
LAUREN: I just can't believe that.
BRAD: That's partly why I spoke to Terese, because I know she will stay calm when the two of us are falling apart.
LAUREN: Yeah, but I'm your fiancée. You should be able to talk to me about things like this. That's what I'm here for.
BRAD: I am talking to you now, and you are struggling to accept what is happening to me.
LAUREN: You have to keep fighting.
BRAD: Yeah, and I will be. I'm not giving up, okay? But I'm scared. I'm scared I'm not gonna make it, and I want to make sure that everything is in order if I don't.
Meanwhile, Mark, Steph and Sonya are with Victoria Lamb, who is sending off a sample to test Steph's follicle- stimulating hormone (FSH) levels for the surrogacy process. This will provide information on the quality and quantity of her eggs.
STEPH: I feel like a battery hen! I only exist for my eggs (…)
MARK: Well, at least we won't roast you after you're done laying them, hey?
The good news is, Steph's blood tests have already come back clear – and Sonya's ‘more than ready' for pregnancy, Victoria says. The next stage, once they know how many eggs there are, is for Steph to start hormone injections to stimulate their release from the ovaries. Steph seems worried about this, but Mark promises to help.
VICTORIA: Don't you worry, Mark. You're very much involved. In fact, I need a sample from you.
She hands him a jar!
MARK: Oh, yeah. Right. Sure.
VICTORIA: Right now. I need to send it off to be tested.
MARK: … Yep. Okay. Sure.
VICTORIA: There's a room down the corridor. Third door on the left.
Sonya and Steph giggle as Mark departs with his jar.
Jack comes in with Simone. Paige curtly apologises to Simone for how she spoke to her, but walks out before Simone can respond! Simone apologises again to Jack for her behaviour, but Jack says it's his fault for causing Paige ‘a lot of confusion'.
JACK: I still love her, but I've been giving her mixed signals. She's well within her rights to be angry with me.
SIMONE: And me being here must only be making things worse.
JACK: It's got nothing to do with that.
Simone says she should probably go.
SIMONE: If I had somewhere to go.
Which of course prompts an offer from Jack to stay with him. He won't take no for an answer, and Simone hugs him.
Angus is telling Ben about his latest plans to tattoo himself to impress Elly. Ben suspects Elly will just find it creepy, but Angus won't be dissuaded.
ANGUS: It's the perfect statement.
BEN: Of stupidity.
But Angus has found a step- by- step guide online – and announces that he wants Ben to be the one to do his tattoo! Ben is horrified.
ANGUS: You don't want me to be disfigured, do you? If you're not gonna do it, then I'll just do it myself, and I'll probably stuff it up.
Ben and Angus disappear into their room with the tattoo kit box, just as Karl comes out of his room to answer the front door. It's a tearful Lauren. She explains to Karl that Brad thinks he's dying.
LAUREN: He's so scared, and so am I. I can't lose him now, Karl. You have to help us. You can't let him die. You're a good doctor.
Paige is with Brad in his hospital room when Lauren comes in, with Karl in tow. Karl announces that he's back on the case, and wants to go back through everything with Brad that could be relevant to his condition.
Lauren mentions that Brad has been having some hair loss, which Karl apparently hadn't been aware of. He decides that Brad should be tested for exposure to heavy metals, as hair loss is sometimes an indicator of this, as is impaired kidney function.
Nurse Fisher comes in, and Karl asks her to do a full set of blood tests urgently. She's not happy to see Karl back at work, and says he's not Brad's doctor.
BRAD: He is now.
NURSE FISHER: He's on leave.
KARL: Not any more. Could you do as I ask, please?
Angus and Ben have the tattoo kit out again. Ben is trying to find any excuse not to tattoo Angus, and reads the online guide again to ensure he knows what he's doing…
Paige is just closing up, when Simone comes in to speak to her about Jack.
PAIGE: Are you here to tell me to let him go? Because believe me, I'm trying.
SIMONE: Try harder. Please.
PAIGE: Why? Because you want him to yourself?
SIMONE: Yeah. Look at you. You can have anyone you want. I can't. He's it for me. My soulmate. Has been ever since we were kids, and he found me crying at the bus stop in town. I'd run away from the farm, and couldn't afford a ticket to Brisbane where some long- lost cousin lived. And Jack offered to buy me one. My parents weren't very nice. Neither were his. So we got each other. So every week, we'd meet up in our back paddock, and he'd give me his pocket money. But by the time he'd saved enough for a ticket, we didn't want to be apart. We've been in each other's lives ever since.
PAIGE: Except recently.
SIMONE: Well, that doesn't mean we're not meant to be together.
PAIGE: He's a priest.
SIMONE: I don't care. You'll be fine – you'll get over it. I won't – ever. You need to leave him be, so he can see the person he should be with is me.
Mark and Steph are in bed. Mark's a bit embarrassed that Victoria asked him for a sperm sample in front of Sonya.
MARK: What if I don't have good swimmers? I could be infertile!
STEPH: You're fit, you're healthy. There's no way anything could go wrong. I wish it was the same for me.
Steph admits she's worried about the hormone injections, and in particular what effect they'll have on her mental health.
STEPH: What if they make me crazy again?
Mark tries to reassure her, but Steph points out that the whole reason for choosing surrogacy was to avoid creating any mental health issues for Steph – and now this could have the same effect.
STEPH: I don't want to drive you away.
MARK: Oh, come on – don't be silly. It's only for a short time. Just until we get some eggs. And then nine months later, a baby!
STEPH: Can you believe this is actually happening?
MARK: We're making a little person!
Toadie and Sonya are also in bed. Sonya's pleased about the good news from the fertility test results.
SONYA: I'm just so happy that I can do this for our friends, you know.
But Toadie admits he's finding it weird thinking about Sonya carrying another couple's baby.
SONYA: But it's not like I have to sleep with somebody else to make it happen.
TOADIE: Okay, that didn't really help. And it's not just Mark, it's Steph as well. And the baby. They're all having this claim on your body, and it's just kind of freaky, lending you out like this.
SONYA: If you've changed your mind, then…
TOADIE: No. No, no, no. It's fine. I just, you know – I feel like I'm kissing a crowd at the moment. Sorry.
Lauren thanks Karl for taking on Brad's case. He's come to take a look at the tattoo kit, wondering again whether that could be responsible.
Ben is still reading the online tattooing guide, and Angus is getting impatient for them to get on with it. Ben's still trying to talk him out of it, but Angus insists he wants to go ahead, and rolls up his shirt sleeve.
Lauren can't find the tattoo kit – she knows Ned didn't take it with him, and it was definitely in the sun- room as Steph said she left it there.
Ben has the electronic tattoo device out, and turns it on – but he can't bear to touch Angus's skin with it.
BEN: My hands are sweating, okay – I can't…
ANGUS: Come on!
Lauren is still searching for the kit. Karl asks what it looks like, and when Lauren describes the box, he remembers that he's seen something like it at his house earlier today…
Ben is finally about to begin work on the tattoo, when Karl bursts in.
Karl explains to Brad, Lauren and Paige that they've tested the tattoo ink, and found very high levels of arsenic in it, as well as in Brad's blood tests. Now they know what it is, they can treat it – and Brad should start to feel better in a few days.
Karl says the ink must have been tampered with. Paige remembers what Jacka said to her – ‘I hope you like surprises' – and everyone concludes that Jacka must have poisoned the ink while he was out on bail. Karl goes to update Mark.
Mark and Steph are out for a walk. Steph's still worried about the injections and the possible side effects. Mark assures her they'll be fine. They watch a couple of extras with a young child across the lake, and imagine themselves in the same position. They kiss. Mark gets a phone call.
MARK: Victoria, hi… Really? … Well, that's great news!
He explains to Steph that his fertility results have come back, and they're all fine. Steph's results aren't back in yet, but he's sure they'll be all good. They kiss and hug.
In the kitchen, Paige and Lauren are talking about Jacka. Paige thinks he'll confess to the ink poisoning, as he'll want to gloat about it. Lauren's just relieved that Brad is okay.
Meanwhile at a table, Karl is explaining to Angus what happened.
ANGUS: Arsenic? That stuff's deadly, right?
KARL: Yes. Brad's tattoo was tiny; it pretty much had him at death's door.
ANGUS: Mine was gonna be way bigger.
KARL: Why would you want to get one in the first place?
ANGUS: It's okay. You had me at arsenic.
Back in the kitchen, Paige is whining to Lauren about Simone. She explains how Simone begged her to stay away from Jack, so she could have him. Lauren encourages Paige to tell Jack.
LAUREN: Darling, I think you have to. I mean, you love him.
PAIGE: Yeah, I do. But so does she. And I don't want to end up like that – besotted by a man that I can never have. Mum, I'm done – I can't do it anymore (…) It feels right this time. Like a sense of relief. Finally, I can let him go.
Simone is asleep on a couch, and appears to be having some kind of nightmare, as she's murmuring. As Jack comes in, she cries out.
SIMONE: No, stop! Stop, no!
SIMONE: No – no!
JACK: Simone, wake up! It's alright. Wake up.
We see from Simone's perspective, as she opens her eyes and focuses on Jack's dog collar. She screams.
SIMONE: Get away. Get away!
JACK: It's alright. It's me. You're okay.
Simone bursts into tears, as Jack tries to comfort her – telling her she's just had a bad dream.
Steph and Mark are back with Victoria, who has more news for them. She explains Steph's FSH levels were raised, which indicates low ovarian reserves. This means the chances of harvesting a viable egg are ‘very small', albeit not impossible.
VICTORIA: I'm so sorry. I know this is not the news you hoped for.
MARK: … Okay. What can we do to fix this?
VICTORIA: Unfortunately, we can't treat egg quality and quantity. Not yet, anyway.
STEPH: Alright, but there is still a tiny chance. It's better than none?
VICTORIA: Yes. But given the cost of the harvesting procedure, not to mention how invasive it is, and also the stress of the hormone injections – I just think it's time to review whether you still want to proceed with the surrogacy plan.
Sonya is doing some paperwork, when Steph comes in, looking distraught. When Sonya asks how the appointment went, Steph says that she's broken up with Mark.
STEPH: I've told him I don't want to be with him anymore.
STEPH: I can't talk about it. I can't.
SONYA: No, Steph, let's just –
STEPH: I can't!
Steph rushes off to her room.
- Toadie tries to get Steph to talk about what happened
- Mark tells a Halloween- costumed Elly that she makes a very attractive witch
- Ben and Angus are doing some kind of Halloween performance at Blaze Outreach
- Tyler accuses Angus of being ‘a piece of work'
- Susan and Elly looking alarmed
- Elly tells Angus that the little game he's playing is trouble
- Elly tells Mark to come over if things don't work out