- Kathy tells Lauren that she and Lou TITTNL™
- Kathy tells Lou that their relationship will always be complicated, so they should leave it behind
- Lou looks wistfully at a picture of Kathy
- Brooke admits to Xanthe that the jewellery was fake…
- … but leaves her the real diamond ring with a goodbye note when she decides to leave Erinsborough
- Elly tells Angus she can't be seen with him until a decision is made on her conduct
- Mark tells Elly that the police have exonerated her of any wrongdoing…
- … but later remembers that Angus kissed her a second time while she was drunk
Susan is apologising to Elly for having asked her to move out before, but says her hands were tied. Susan explains that she's going to speak to Sarah and ask her what to do about Angus from now on; she thinks Sarah may want him to move back to the UK, but adds that there's now a good chance Angus will be offered a recording deal in Sydney.
ELLY: I know you guys are fond of him.
SUSAN: We are. That doesn't mean that we're impressed with his behaviour. Still, I'm just glad that he was honest in the end.
Elly sips her tea pensively.
Two, one – titles.
Xanthe is reading out Brooke's farewell letter to Gary and Sheila. In it, Brooke promises to be the best mother she can be when she comes back.
XANTHE: Yeah, right.
Xanthe wants to give Sheila the ring Brooke bought her, saying she should sell it to help recoup some of the money she spent bailing out Brooke. Sheila encourages Xanthe to keep it, and Gary and Sheila try to cheer Xanthe up by distracting her, but she's clearly heartbroken, and goes to her room.
SHEILA: We gave Brooke a solution, so why did she leave?
GARY: Because she only ever thinks about herself.
SHEILA: But the way she talked, I thought – I know she loves that girl.
GARY: Or she's a very good liar.
Gary says Xanthe's been let down enough by him – she doesn't deserve it from Brooke as well.
Sheila announces they'll have a cracking Canning Christmas even without Brooke, but Gary isn't so sure – since they've still to break the news to the neighbours that Brooke conned them. Sheila suggests they get it over and done with.
Sheila's first stop is Lauren, who's annoyed that she's been flogged replicas for the bridesmaids' gifts she bought from Brooke – but when Sheila offers to reimburse her in instalments, Lauren says it's not necessary. Sheila also asks if Lauren would mind if the Cannings didn't go to the wedding, since she's worried some of the other neighbours won't be so understanding.
Lauren says she understands, so Sheila resolves that the Cannings will leave for Frankston for a few days once she's delivered all the catering. Just then, Kathy arrives in preparation for the wedding. Worried she's going to be less forgiving about the jewellery than Lauren, Sheila slinks off, leaving Lauren to explain!
Kathy tells Lauren that baby Matilda's come down with a cold, meaning she and Amber can't travel from Brisbane for the wedding. Then she drops the bombshell that Mason and Bailey aren't coming either.
KATHY: Oh, I'm sorry, darling. But you knew this might happen. They're struggling – it's not easy for them seeing a parent marrying someone else. But they send their love. And you've got me. That's something, isn't it?
Lauren looks heartbroken as Kathy hugs her.
Angus arrives, and finds Elly in the house – she explains she's moved back in, and he's pleased. He starts to tell her about his music successes, but she interrupts him.
ELLY: My memory came back from the other night.
ANGUS: You mean, when I helped you to your room?
ELLY: You kissed me, didn't you? When we were lying on my bed, you kissed me. Be honest.
ANGUS: … Yeah, I did.
ELLY: Did you not learn from my reaction the first time.
ANGUS: I was trying to comfort you.
ELLY: Angus, you comfort people with a hug, or with words.
Elly says she made a mistake in not telling anyone the first time he kissed her, after the Halloween dance. Angus warns her that if she tells the truth, she'll end up getting kicked out again.
ANGUS: It was all me, Elly. I kissed you. You were passed out; you didn't kiss me back. But if you tell Susan, it's only gonna make things harder for the both of us.
Lauren says she probably shouldn't be surprised by Kathy's news.
KATHY: Matilda really does have a cold.
LAUREN: But Mum, none of the kids are really doing cartwheels over the wedding.
KATHY: They'll be fine.
LAUREN: Well, the boys texted to wish us well. And Amber's gonna give me a call later, so I suppose that's something.
Kathy gives Lauren ‘something borrowed, and something old' – it's a flower from Kathy's own wedding bouquet when she married Lou. Kathy claims she didn't even know she still had it, but found it while cleaning out some boxes.
LAUREN: So you just decided to do a spring- clean?
KATHY: It was overdue. What?
LAUREN: Are you sure you're not feeling sentimental for any other reason?
KATHY: I'm a sucker for a wedding.
LAUREN: Mm, apparently. Your own one to Dad.
KATHY: Well, maybe I was in a reflective mood. But I don't see how that means anything.
LAUREN: Right. So if I told you that Dad said that he'd been missing you, that wouldn't mean anything either?
KATHY: … Did he actually say that?
LAUREN: Mm. In his roundabout kind of way, yeah, he did.
KATHY: Oh… It's ridiculous I even went there. Now what are we going to do with this worthless piece of jewellery?
Angus is playing his guitar with his headphones in. Elly is overcompensating for being back at home by preparing dinner, and Susan tells her to give herself a break.
ELLY: I need to tell you something. Something that I forgot.
SUSAN: What's that?
ELLY: Angus kissed me before I passed out.
Horrified, Susan asks Angus if it's true.
ANGUS: It was a spur- of- the- moment thing.
ELLY: Yeah, except it's not the first time it happened.
She explains how Angus put on Mark's costume after the Halloween dance, and tricked her into kissing him.
ANGUS: It was completely one- sided. On both occasions.
SUSAN: Why didn't you say anything?!
ELLY: Because I thought he was remorseful, and that he'd learned his lesson.
ANGUS: This isn't Elly's fault!
SUSAN: I'm not suggesting for one minute that it is! But this is two very serious incidents, that you both decided to just not mention!
ANGUS: Can we not take this any further, please?
SUSAN: Angus, I'm sorry – I'm not gonna lie to your mum! This is already a police case! We're gonna have to go back to the police station, talk to Mark Brennan again.
Erinsborough Police Station
Any hopes Susan had that Mark might give Angus a swift talking to and then sweep this under the carpet are dashed, when she discovers Mark's Not In This Episode™ - and that Ellen Crabb will now be looking into the case. Susan tries to mitigate the situation by explaining Angus's behaviour, but Ellen interrupts, saying she'd rather hear it from him.
ELLEN: And please don't leave anything out.
ANGUS: Like you said. The night I walked Elly home, I kissed her.
ELLEN: Did she kiss you back?
ANGUS: No. No, she didn't. She passed out, and then I stopped. And that was it.
ELLEN: Why did you and Elly keep this secret?
ANGUS: She couldn't remember. And I decided not to tell her, because I didn't want to make things hard for her, okay? I love Elly. And I have since the first time I saw her. Everything that's happened is my fault. I swear.
Gary and Xanthe have come round to explain to Karl and Ben about the fake jewellery. Karl is not at all pleased to learn that the ruby necklace he'd bought Susan for their anniversary is in fact beryl.
KARL: Beryl – it even *sounds* cheap!
XANTHE: Well, on the positive side, that's what you originally wanted. Beryl is the official thirty- eighth wedding anniversary stone!
KARL: Yeah, you're right – that is what I wanted. Until you convinced me to change my mind!
Gary intervenes, telling Karl not to drag Xanthe into it. But Karl's still annoyed he spent $1,100, when according to the invoice Brooke had, the necklace is worth only $200. Gary says that Brooke has played them all, and apologises – but says he doesn't have the money to pay Karl back. Xanthe's looking upset, and Gary asks Karl if they can talk about it outside. He agrees.
Once they've gone, Ben says he didn't mean to make things worse with Brooke. Xanthe is understanding, but he says he should have looked after her better.
BEN: I knew she was dodgy. I just wish you'd listened to me.
XANTHE: Are you saying this is my fault as well?
XANTHE: Dad didn't want me to come, but I thought you and Karl would understand.
BEN: Your mum did the wrong thing. You can't expect people to forgive and forget in five seconds.
XANTHE: Yeah, like the guy who picked her as a total loser from the start (!) I know I shouldn't have given Mum another chance. But I did, and you don't need to rub that in my face.
Xanthe storms out.
Kathy is putting on some earrings.
KATHY: They're from a reputable dealer. Do you think they accentuate my neck? Your father always said it was my best feature.
Lauren tells Kathy that she thinks she and Lou are missing an opportunity by not giving things another try.
KATHY: One night together does not warrant a reunion!
LAUREN: Is that all it was? Didn't you spend weeks in Brisbane reconnecting, going on picnics, outings with the grandchildren…
KATHY: Yes, yes – we did get along.
LAUREN: Yeah. And then something meaningful happens, and the next morning you both run a mile.
KATHY: Yes, because we both knew it wouldn't work.
LAUREN: Have you really given it a chance? Look, I know there's a lot of water under the bridge…
KATHY: And a few mistresses!
LAUREN: Okay, I'm not gonna push it. But just remember there is a wedding on tomorrow. And if there is any chance that you and Dad might be happy together, don't throw it away.
Susan is on the phone to Sarah, saying that ‘he' might be able to sort out this mess. Elly comes in once Susan's finished; Susan explains Angus is across the road with Aaron, discussing the music opportunity; the police interview went ‘as well as could be expected'.
ELLY: I thought I had it under control. I swear, I didn't remember that kiss – not the second one, anyway. I shouldn't have drunk so much.
SUSAN: Well, you might have a few issues to deal with there. But that's completely separate to this. Angus should have respected your boundaries.
ELLY: I should've shut him down sooner.
SUSAN: You wouldn't be the first teacher to underestimate the intentions of a student.
Elly suggests she write a statement for the school board, detailing exactly what happened – but Susan suggests they wait for word from the police. At that moment, both Susan and Elly get a text from Ellen, asking them to come to the station…
Gary is in the garden, looking forlornly at the watch Brooke gave him. He overhears Karl talking to Ben in the neighbouring garden; Karl is saying that his chat with Gary earlier didn't go well, and Ben says the same about his conversation with Xanthe.
KARL: Maybe it's not a bad thing that you two keep your distance. I know this situation isn't Xanthe's fault, but her parents aren't exactly the healthiest of influences. I guess it's my fault for trusting that family.
Gary looks upset.
Erinsborough Police Station
Angus is on the phone to Aaron, talking about the music contract. Once he's finished, he tells Susan and Elly that he's been offered an artist development deal by the music firm – he'd have to move to Sydney in order to pursue it, but there's a good chance they'd release his song. Elly manages a smile for him, despite everything.
ELLY: That's great.
ANGUS: This is all I've ever wanted. This timing is so wrong – I can't believe how much I've stuffed up.
Ellen comes in to update the three of them, and says the news is not good.
ANGUS: How many times do I have to tell you? She's done nothing wrong!
ELLEN: I agree, she didn't. But you did. Now, Elly may be the adult in this situation. But you took advantage of her when she was not of sound mind.
SUSAN: Does this mean Angus could be charged?
ELLEN (to Elly): With assault. But only if that's what you want.
Elly looks upset.
Susan, Elly and Angus have returned home. Angus asks if Elly has decided what to do, but she shakes her head. Susan comes in; she's just spoken to Sarah, who is open to discussion about Angus taking up the music opportunity – depending on whether Elly takes further action.
SUSAN: But Sarah doesn't want you to feel pressured, Elly. And neither do I.
ELLY: Do you understand that what you did was wrong?
ANGUS: I was out of line. Way out of line.
ELLY: Are you sure, Angus? Don't say it if you don't mean it.
ANGUS: I'm not gonna apologise for falling in love with you. Or thinking that you're amazing, because I still think that. But I shouldn't have kissed you. And I did it because I thought that maybe, deep down, you might feel the same. But I was deluded. And I'm truly sorry for that.
ELLY: Okay. I'm not going to take it further, then. In saying that, I need you to learn from this. No means no, and assume it in the absence of yes. You can never, ever do anything like this again. No matter how you feel.
Angus looks contrite.
Later, Angus is sitting on the sofa, feeling guilty. Ben comes to join him. Angus says he's leaving tomorrow for Sydney; it wouldn't be right to have a farewell party, he says, when Ben suggests it.
ANGUS: She told me she wasn't into me. And I just wouldn't listen. I can't believe what I put her through.
Susan comes in, with a familiar face – it's Peter, Angus's dad, who's unexpectedly back in the country. Ben and Susan leave them to it.
PETER: Are you surprised? I'm the one that's gonna be taking you to Sydney.
ANGUS: It's not like you've made time for me before.
PETER: I suppose I deserve that.
ANGUS: You didn't even care when I went missing – remember, the last time we were together, on the Gold Coast? Why are you so interested now?
PETER: Well, I heard about what happened between you and Susan's niece. I'm worried about you. What you did, that wasn't right. But I guess poor choices come from bad parenting. And you haven't had anyone to guide you through life, and set you on the right path. And that's my fault. I should have been here for you, and I wasn't. Things got so toxic between your mother and me, I just disappeared. I want to be here for you now. Spend proper time together. That is, if you'll let me.
Angus smiles, and hugs his dad.
The next morning, Sheila is preparing food for Lauren and Brad's wedding later today, when Xanthe comes in. Xanthe says she's sad to miss the wedding, but is glad the Cannings are laying low as it would have been awkward, like it was with Karl and Ben yesterday. Sheila assures her things will improve soon.
SHEILA: And who knows, you might even forgive your mum.
XANTHE: Not a chance.
SHEILA: Brooke leaving hit me for a six too, love. But I honestly believe she wanted to be a good mum to you.
XANTHE: Yeah, so did I.
SHEILA: So, take back the ring. I really believe she loves you. And she went away to become a better person, and a better mum. The kind of mum you deserve.
Xanthe takes the ring from Sheila. Her phone rings.
A phone box somewhere
An emotional Brooke listens to Xanthe's voice.
XANTHE: Hello? I can hear you breathing.
Brooke hangs up, sadly.
BROOKE: Goodbye, Xanthe.
Peter thanks Karl and Susan for what they've done for Angus.
SUSAN: I don't know how good a job we did. I missed some major red flags.
Still, all's well that ends well, hey, Suze? Peter says that missing the red flags is better than ignoring them; he has a lot of making up to do. He explains he's moving to Sydney to be a consultant for the Flying Doctors – and says it's time for him to focus on family. Angus and Ben emerge from their room. Angus is all packed, and Peter, Karl and Ben head out to the car, leaving him alone with Susan.
ANGUS: I don't know if you realise, but I do look up to you. You're like the grandparents that I never had.
SUSAN: Well just remember, we're always here for you.
ANGUS: Thank you. For being so kind, and never giving up on me. I love you.
SUSAN (emotional): I love you too.
Elly comes out of her room, and at Angus's request, Susan heads out to the car to give them a moment alone.
ANGUS: I want you to know I'm sorry. So sorry. What I did was wrong, and I know that now. And it'll never happen again with anyone… The first song that they want me to develop is the one I wrote for you. I hope that's okay.
ELLY: Yeah. Thanks for checking.
ANGUS: Merry Christmas, Elly.
ELLY: Merry Christmas, Angus.
Later, Elly is alone at the table when there's a knock at the door. She opens it – it's Ned. He smiles.
- Elly tells Ned that the wedding starts in an hour. ‘You have to go and tell him'
- Ned tracks down Brad at the Complex
- Brad tells Ned that he must ‘sort this out'
- Piper and Tyler agree to see one another at the wedding, exchanging longing glances
- Lou asks Kathy if ‘it's a crazy idea'
- Lauren is in make- up for her walk down the aisle; the family awaits her arrival on the patio…