- Jack is concerned when Paige begins to give out leaflets at Blaze on contraception and LGBTI issues
- Paige tells Lauren and Piper that she won't be backing down on the issue
- David is grateful when Aaron grudgingly forgives him for his outburst
- Leo assures David that that if he was gay, it wouldn't be a problem
- Victoria warns Steph to think very carefully before accepting an egg donation from Sonya
- Sonya works out that now's a good time to start trying for a baby
- Steph cries in the park as she comes to terms with the situation
- Victoria tells Toadie she's seen couples' lives ruined due to surrogacy/egg donation arrangements
- But Sonya comes in, saying she's already done the deed with Mark's sample
Toadie and Sonya are in bed at night, but are struggling to sleep.
TOADIE: Are you not thinking about what Victoria said?
SONYA: Yeah, I understand why she was concerned.
TOADIE: She came over here in her own time, after hours. Is that not ringing major alarm bells for you?
SONYA: I just – I know that a lot of people would find this difficult. I do. But I know that I can do this.
Toadie reluctantly accepts this, and turns the light back off. Sonya offers to talk about it more, but Toadie says they should just go to sleep. He looks worried.
Here be titles.
The following morning, Sonya, Toadie and Nell are decorating a Christmas tree in the living room. Sonya points out that Mark and Steph might have a baby this time next year. Steph comes in.
SONYA: I thought you were staying at Mark's?
STEPH: I just felt like a night in my own bed.
Toadie and Sonya exchange a worried glance. Mark turns up; he has his latest sperm sample in a cool bag, to give to Sonya.
MARK: Can I say, this is by far the weirdest thing I've ever done in my life.
Everyone looks awkward; Toadie makes a swift exit to go to work, and Steph exits for the shower.
MARK: How to clear a room, hey?
SONYA: Yeah, yeah. We just have to focus on the big picture. Cos once you guys have a family, this will all be forgotten.
Paige is on the phone to Alex, a transgender boy who frequents Blaze Outreach. Afterwards, she tells Aaron and Tyler all about him; apparently he doesn't feel welcome at Blaze anymore, presumably because of Jack's stance on having the LGBTI leaflets about the place. She says they need to come up with programmes to make such kids feel understood, including sexual health programmes.
Paige suddenly has the idea of asking David to help with these programmes, and asks Aaron if he thinks he'd be interested. Looking worried, Aaron says he's not David's spokesman. Aaron has received a text and has to dash.
TYLER: What's the deal?
AARON: There isn't one. Not yet. But there might be very soon. Honestly – this could be huge.
Elly asks Karl and Angus if they know of any kids that need tutoring; since she lost her gig tutoring Xanthe, she's having trouble finding extra private work. Elly gets a text from Derek, her ex- boyfriend, saying he's coming over from Sydney and wants to meet up. Angus looks horrified.
KARL: It's that good or bad?
ELLY: I dunno. Why now? Why after all this time? Why is my heart beating so fast after everything he did to me?
KARL: Maybe he just wants to clear the air.
Elly decides she'll meet up with Derek for a coffee and hear him out; he's only here for the day. Angus continues to look worried.
Aaron turns up with apparent good news for Angus; Aaron has sent Angus's music video off to an independent record label, and they want to line up a meeting with him. Angus doesn't look nearly as excited as one might expect, clearly distracted by the Elly situation – but he promises to run it by his mum and Susan, and to let Aaron know. Karl shows Aaron out, promising to work on Angus.
David calls in on his way home from the night shift, and Paige is quick to ask him about whether he'd help develop an LGBTI- focused sexual health programme at Blaze, mistakenly telling David that Aaron thought he'd be keen.
DAVID: I can't.
Nor does David seem pleased by Paige's claim that Aaron said he'd be up for it.
As they set out for college and school respectively, Angus is telling Piper about the interview offer with the record label. But she's more excited than he is, and asks why. Angus explains about Elly's date with Derek today.
PIPER: And that affects your career how?
ANGUS: I don't want her to make a mistake. I mean, he treats her like dirt.
Angus suddenly has an idea, and asks if Elly would have Piper's number saved in her phone. Piper replies that they're not exactly friends, so Angus asks Piper to text Elly, pretending to be the mum of a student who needs tutoring tonight – thereby scuppering Elly's date with Derek.
PIPER: Let me think about that. No!
ANGUS: Come on. She'd have no idea it was you. And plus, you'd be saving her from a complete jerk who treats women like second- class citizens.
PIPER: Ok, yeah. No need to appeal to me on basis of the sisterhood.
ANGUS: That's exactly what's happening. You are saving another woman who's in way too deep.
PIPER: … Fine, I'll do it. This better not blow up in my face.
Piper goes to text Elly.
It appears that the Festive Timewarp™ is definitely upon us, as Lassiter's is decked out in tinsel and baubles. Aaron is telling Toadie about how he's going to try and seal a deal with the record company after Angus's meeting, and wants Toadie's help looking over the particulars.
Toadie heads off to the office, while Aaron joins Elly who's at a table in the courtyard. Aaron asks Elly if she could have a chat to Angus about the record company meeting, in the hope of persuading him to go ahead with it. Elly gets the text from Piper, not knowing it's her, and explains to Aaron that a student wants tutoring tonight. She needs the cash but it would clash with her date with Derek.
AARON: Elly, this is the guy who broke your heart.
ELLY: Yeah. That's him.
AARON: I think tutoring might be a little bit better for your mental health.
ELLY: I know, I know. It's just – I feel like I'm meant to do this.
Elly heads off, promising to chat to Angus about the music meeting if she gets a chance.
Nearby, Karl accosts Toadie and suggests they go for a bike ride later. Toadie eventually agrees, and they arrange to meet at one- ish.
Erinsborough High School
Elly is teaching a classful of students, including Piper. Elly sends a reply to the request for tutoring, asking if they can schedule it for another time. But when she sends the message, it's Piper's phone that makes a noise – and Elly confiscates it.
ELLY: Why are you prank texting me that you need a tutor?
PIPER: Why are you texting in class? You're supposed to be teaching.
ELLY: Tell me why.
ELLY: Fine, you're on detention.
Aaron is pestering Angus to think seriously about the meeting with the record label and get back to him. Aaron then goes over to talk to David, asking if they're okay following their row the other day.
DAVID: I really don't appreciate people volunteering my time for me. And for the record, I don't want to be the new poster boy for your issues.
Aaron tries to explain that it was Paige's idea for David to be involved in the LGBTI programme, not his. But David ignores this.
DAVID: I don't like people offering up my time when I have so little of it.
AARON: Well, I didn't, alright? So move on.
Aaron walks off. Piper comes in and has a go at Angus, telling him that his plan to sabotage Elly's date has led to her being put on detention. Angus apologises, but says Elly will get hurt again if he doesn't stop her seeing Derek.
PIPER: Can you just stop being so invested in her life? Angus, you're making a fool of yourself over someone who's never gonna appreciate the effort.
A road somewhere
Karl and Toadie are out for their bike ride, and Toadie says it's been a welcome distraction. He admits he's really struggling the idea of Sonya having Mark's baby. Karl reminds Toadie that he's been there, and suggests they talk it through.
KARL: Painting on a happy face and ignoring the situation is not a strategy I'd recommend.
TOADIE: That's the only one I've got at the moment.
KARL: There's no shame in admitting it's gonna be tough. And I'm not saying that letting it out is gonna change the situation – just maybe it'll make it easier to cope with.
TOADIE: So what should I do? Yell, scream, cry?
KARL: All of the above, if it helps. It's called primal therapy. It's dealing with things in a vocal way.
Toadie screams out loud suddenly!
Elly is in her bedroom, looking at various garments in the mirror in preparation for her meeting with Derek. Finally settling on a glamorous red dress, she goes out into the living area, where Angus is hanging out.
ANGUS: Wow. You look amazing!
ELLY: That's the plan.
Elly talks to Angus about the record label meeting that Aaron's setting up for him, to try and convince him to take up the offer.
ANGUS: I dunno. Maybe. I mean, you hear all this stuff about signing a record deal and signing your life away, and you just never get that back.
Elly says Angus doesn't have to sign anything away – but that he could just hear them out. He agrees, and says he'll get Aaron to set it up.
ELLY: Maybe it'll be fate. Like me and Derek.
ANGUS: I can't believe you're giving this guy another chance.
ELLY: Well, people change. I'm just giving him the benefit of the doubt.
ANGUS: But it's like you've lost your mind. You gave up a tutoring job so you could see this guy.
ELLY: … You got Piper to send that message?
ANGUS: I didn't want you to make a mistake!
ELLY: You're just a kid, Angus. This is none of your business. Stay out of my life.
Elly storms out of the house, leaving Angus looking despondent.
A road somewhere
Toadie and Karl are on a bench, still talking about the surrogacy. Toadie explains he thought he'd dealt with his doubts, but that Victoria's intervention last night has reawakened his concerns about the whole thing. But when he brought it up with Sonya, he found himself saying everything was okay, because it was easier that way.
KARL: I know the two of you want to help Mark and Steph. But you know, you have to prioritise your own relationship.
TOADIE: Yeah, that. See, it's even having an impact on that already, in terms of… intimacy. No, I don't want to sound selfish. I'm going to support Sonya through this, of course I am. I can deal with this. Come on.
Karl looks concerned, as Toadie gets up to continue the ride.
David is walking towards the building to visit his great gran, when he sees Jack coming in the opposite direction.
DAVID: If I wanted to talk to you about something, how would I go about that?
JACK: I'm listening now.
DAVID: Does it need to be, like, confession? Or…
JACK: Yeah. It can be. Otherwise it can just be like two friends talking. Either way, I'm happy to give my guidance, and it wouldn't go any further.
Shortly afterwards, David is confiding in Jack.
DAVID: I don't even know how to say it.
JACK: Well, I'm not easily shocked, if that helps.
DAVID: I'm scared about if I put it out there, what happens next? … Sometimes I think about men in a way that I shouldn't. And I try to stop myself, but… I can't help it.
JACK: If you're being true to your feelings, then nothing else matters. God loves us no matter what.
DAVID: Wow. I was expecting a lot more fire and brimstone.
JACK: I'm here to listen. Not judge you.
Mark is talking to Tyler and Aaron about the surrogacy. He says that he found it weird at first accepting an egg from Sonya, but now he thinks it's the right solution.
TYLER: Besides, what's a few bodily fluids between friends?
MARK: Toadie is actually being pretty cool about it.
AARON: That's pretty progressive of him. I mean, you are knocking up his wife.
MARK: Well, not technically!
AARON: No, technically, yeah. Knocked up is knocked up.
Elly comes in in her red dress. Tyler is agape – as is Aaron!
AARON: I'm gay – I'm not blind!
Elly comes over, and says she's worried she's made a terrible decision in meeting Derek.
ELLY: I just wanted to show him what he's missing out on.
AARON: If that's not obvious to him, then he is a fool.
Elly spots Derek at a nearby table, and heads over to join him. He seems pleased to see her, and they cheek- kiss and hug briefly before she sits down.
Toadie is having a cuppa when Mark comes in.
TOADIE: Haven't you already done that today?
But Mark has coming bearing not more bodily fluids, but some beers for Toadie, to thank him for allowing the surrogacy to happen.
TOADIE: My wife's gonna have your baby. The least you could do is spring for the whole slab.
MARK: Look, Toad, I know we've already spoken about this…
TOADIE: Yeah, we have…
MARK: But seriously, I dunno what I'm gonna do to say thank you.
MARK: So what do you want to do? Do you wanna talk about it some more?
TOADIE: Do you?
MARK: No. No, as long as we're all good.
TOADIE: It's all good, mate.
They sit down to open the beers.
Derek and Elly are catching up. He takes her hand.
DEREK: The way I treated you, after the miscarriage… There's no excuse. You don't just offer a woman money, and hope that that'll solve the problem.
ELLY: I was devastated.
DEREK: I think I was just a bit thrown that you got your auntie to text me, rather than call me yourself.
ELLY: I'm so sorry.
DEREK: Don't be. Like, we all deal with things in our own way. I ended up seeing a counsellor.
ELLY: That's all I ever wanted to hear. I just wanted to know that you cared.
DEREK: I did. And I hate that I put you through that. And I wish I could change it.
ELLY: I don't think it's something you ever get over. But being here, it's been good for me.
Derek says he's thinking of opening up a dealership in Melbourne. He says he wants to know more about her life here.
ELLY: Why don't I show you? I have a nice bottle of red at home, and no- one's there.
Paige is having a meeting with Jack and Sonya about the church's involvement in the outreach centre. Sonya asks when Brad is back, but Paige isn't sure.
SONYA: So you are questioning the church's involvement in Blaze?
PAIGE: Yeah, look – I'm just concerned that there are members of the community that don't feel welcome here anymore.
JACK: That is ridiculous.
PAIGE: But you've got to admit that there are some serious areas of conflict?
JACK: We don't pick and choose who comes through that door.
PAIGE: What about a young woman, who isn't sure whether she wants to go through with her pregnancy? Or an LGBTI kid who wants to come to us and talk about some issues?
JACK: Everyone is welcome here.
PAIGE: Yeah. Okay. Well, what about what Sonya's doing for Mark and Steph. The church doesn't agree with that.
SONYA: Look, this isn't about me.
PAIGE: I'm just pointing out that this possibly is not the best fit.
Sonya promises to put it on the agenda for the next council meeting, when they're also discussing the Blaze lease arrangements. She leaves.
JACK: Can we not let personal feelings get in the way here?
PAIGE: That is not what this is about. You have to accept that your religious beliefs are at odds with the part of the community that we are trying to target.
JACK: Some people feel more comfortable talking to a church representative, even when it comes to sexuality, Paige.
PAIGE: I'm just saying that I want everyone to feel included.
JACK: You are not willing to see anyone else's point of view.
PAIGE: It's not up to me, Jack. It's up to the council now. We'll see what they have to say.
Paige walks off. Jack looks worried.
Elly is pouring two glasses of red wine, as Derek emerges from the bedroom, buttoning up his shirt.
DEREK: Well, I probably better get going if I'm gonna make my flight. I promised Lyndsey we'd go Christmas shopping tonight.
DEREK: My fiancée.
ELLY: … Are you serious?
DEREK: Yeah. I mean, not even I thought I'd get married either. But we wanted to make it official, before the baby gets here.
ELLY: You didn't tell me you were seeing anyone.
DEREK: I thought you knew.
ELLY: What about what just happened in there?
DEREK: That was just two old mates catching up.
ELLY: I thought we were getting back together.
DEREK: I never said that.
ELLY: What about the dealership in Melbourne?
DEREK: That's just business. Come on. Don't hate me.
ELLY: No, don't. Just get out, okay?
Elly looks upset as Derek leaves.
- Brooke tells Xanthe she won't let her down
- Brooke tells Gary she's made some terrible choices
- A tearful Elly tells Angus about Derek's fiancée and baby, and he steps in to comfort her
- Piper sees Elly crying on Angus's shoulder at DeadKate's Gazebo™
- Piper says Elly used to be Angus's teacher, and should be the responsible adult
- Angus is upset to see Tyler and Elly drinking together. Tyler says he's attracted to Elly