- Sonya's morning sickness has kicked in
- Karl is appalled to hear that the ruby necklace he bought from Brooke is a cheap fake
- Karl acts resentfully towards Gary in the wake of Brooke's con
- Paul's annoyed to learn that Leo is responsible for the Men's Shed backpackers' proposal
- Paul and Terese blame one another for failing to submit their own proposal
Erinsborough City Council HQ
Sonya and Leo are having a meeting about his Men's Shed proposal. Sonya seems pretty impressed with it. Terese and Paul suddenly barge in, hoping that Sonya will consider their bid despite having missed the deadline. Leo objects vehemently, and says Terese and Paul shouldn't expect special treatment because they're friends of the mayor.
Sonya says she might consider their proposal for late submission, if their ideas are attractive to council, but says they can discuss it once she's finished her meeting with Leo.
Leo is on the phone, trying to secure a larger loan than the one he's been approved for – but to no avail. Afterwards, he invites Elly to join him at a table. He asks if Angus has moved to Sydney now, and Elly confirms he has.
ELLY: I was thinking of moving away too. But I found a couple of good reasons to stay.
LEO: Good. Cos I'm a little short on mates at the moment. I can't afford to lose one I've already got.
ELLY: Well, you are the only guy in Erinsborough who can make an amazing martini…
Sheila is having breakfast with Gary, who's listening to his music player, and a glum- looking Xanthe.
SHEILA: Funny. I don't remember ordering my breakfast with a side of moping. Or earphones!
She pulls out Gary's headphones.
GARY: I was listening to the cricket!
SHEILA: Well, you should be listening to the dulcet tones of your mother! This is supposed to be a family breakfast!
Karl comes in with Ben, and gives the Cannings an evil look. Gary sees it, but Sheila thinks he's just being paranoid – adding that Susan isn't holding the necklace incident against them. Gary explains how he overheard Karl saying that the Cannings were untrustworthy. Sheila notes Karl's hypocrisy, pointing out how he's tried to avoid paying tax.
SHEILA: And don't even get me started on his philandering!
Having worked herself into a frenzy, Sheila is all set to go and give Karl a piece of her mind. But Xanthe tells her not to add fuel to the fire.
XANTHE: We need to think of another way to get the neighbours back onside.
GARY: Yeah. Move (!)
XANTHE: It needs to be fun, and it needs to be something that we can all get involved with.
Gary suddenly yelps with excitement as something exciting happens in the cricket match he's listening to. It gives Xanthe an idea…
Erinsborough City Council HQ
Paul and Terese are selling their Men's Shed proposal to Sonya, talking about all the changes they'd make in order to turn it into a wedding venue.
SONYA: That's all well and good. But I just don't know why anyone would want to get married there. It's a shed.
But Paul and Terese persist.
PAUL: Just imagine the place after a shabby chic renovation. Rustic homestead furnishings providing a level of intimacy and comfort for the guests as they enjoy their refreshments, canapés, and romance. Just imagine, the celebrant standing with the wedding party, awaiting the beaming bride, as she glides down the aisle to join her groom…
Paul then lifts Terese to her feet to set the scene further, and they lapse into roleplay.
PAUL: And they utter their vows… Ever since I first met you, I realised that you were the most incredible woman in the world.
TERESE: I feel so very blessed to have you in my world.
PAUL: And over time, our love has managed to grow.
TERESE: And, while often it seems that we're at odds, we're proof that love can prevail.
Paul and Terese seem to be taking the roleplay a little too seriously… And so is Sonya, who suddenly bursts into tears!
SONYA: I'm sorry! I'm just so emotional. I think it must be because of the pregnancy!
Drying her eyes, Sonya asks Terese and Paul if they really want the Men's Shed, or if they're just doing it to beat Leo. She reminds them that she needs committed, reliable tenants, and they insist that they are – and go on to argue how their proposal will boost Erinsborough's economy. Sonya bursts into tears again.
SONYA: I mean, I have to admit this is a very well- considered plan!
PAUL: So does that mean we get another crack?
Xanthe is telling Susan how amazing her beryl necklace looks on her. She says that's why she's here – she feels bad about everything that happened with Brooke conning Karl. Susan tells her not to; she can't feel responsible for her mother's actions.
Xanthe explains she's organising a street cricket match, the subtext being that it's her way of smoothing things over following Brooke's actions. Susan says she can't play as she's having lunch with Sonya – but volunteers Karl and Ben, who have been listening in from the sofa, to play instead!
BEN: Um, cricket's not really my thing. And I've got physics prep to do.
Xanthe seems disappointed, and asks if he can't play for just a little while.
BEN: Since when were you into cricket, anyway?
XANTHE: Well, I learned a thing or two in Frankston, from my cousins Dane and Harley.
SUSAN: I'm sure Ben'll be able to make it. And Karl.
SUSAN: They'd love to!
Xanthe excitedly rushes out to set up the wickets. Susan turns to Karl and Ben, glaring.
SUSAN: Do it. And play nice.
Ben and Karl don't look pleased.
Elly and Leo are talking about his mission to woo Amy. Elly isn't surprised that Amy's gone cold on him considering all that's happened, but Leo insists he still has one ‘strike' left to impress her.
There's a knock at the door – it's Sonya. She's come to let him know that Paul and Terese's tender for the Men's Shed will be considered. Leo again objects that they missed the deadline – but Sonya says Paul and Terese have a good idea, and have worked hard on it. She insists, though, that the tender process will remain fair.
LEO: Fair would be sticking to the rules.
SONYA: Yeah, well, I just had to make an executive call on this one.
Sonya leaves, and Leo moans to Elly about how hard he worked on his tender. Now he's convinced that Paul and Terese will win the Men's Shed. Elly tries to reassure him, but he replies that he's just made enemies of two of Erinsborough's biggest players in Paul and Terese. Elly says he's still in with a good chance, and encourages him to use it as an opportunity.
ELLY: Find yourself a partner. Someone local.
LEO: A partnership is a sure way to trouble. Working on my own means I don't owe anyone anything.
Elly tells him he needs to change the way he thinks, and do what it takes to get the edge.
ELLY: You can be a lone wolf and take chances, or get a partner and possibly get everything you want.
Leo looks convinced.
Xanthe, Gary and Sheila are in their cricket whites, but none of the neighbours have emerged to take them on.
GARY: I knew it. Everyone hates us.
They're just about to give up and go indoors, when Karl and Ben emerge in slow motion from No 28 with cricket bats and shinpads on. Let the rock music commence.
XANTHE: The Ramsay Street Big Bash is on!
Karl does some stupidly exaggerated warm- ups, still in slow- motion, while Ben and Xanthe give each other loaded looks. Gary looks to be making a rather rude- looking gesture with a cricket ball towards Karl, who glares back at him, unimpressed!
XANTHE: Let's do a coin toss!
SHEILA: You shouldn't do it with that ring on, love. We don't want anything to happen to that.
KARL: Wouldn't be a tragedy, would it? Probably just a knock- off.
XANTHE: Oh, no – this is a real one. It's from Mum's sample box.
KARL: Oh, it's real. So not everyone was ripped off.
Xanthe reminds them that this is supposed to be a friendly match. She asks Karl to call heads or tails. He wins, and chooses for the Kennedy team to bat...
Erinsborough City Council HQ
Sonya has summoned Paul and Terese back to her office. It turns out that someone has made an official complaint to the council that their tender is being considered because Sonya's their friend, and the council has told her that she must stick to the rules and disqualify their bid because they missed the deadline.
Sonya goes off to her next meeting, apologising for getting their hopes up. Paul and Terese descend into bickering again, blaming each other for not submitting the proposal. Terese says she can't deal with more arguments – she has enough on her plate with Piper missing. Paul asks how they're going to proceed.
TERESE: I don't know. But I want to get my hands on the person who made that complaint. And I think we both know who that is.
Paul and Terese storm into Leo's apartment, demanding to know how he elevated his complaint through council so quickly. Leo smirks and says it was only fair, since Sonya broke the rules.
PAUL: This is the first time you've had any dealings with the council. We both know that you do not have intimate knowledge of their processes.
Tim Collins emerges from the bathroom, much to Paul and Terese's horror!
TIM COLLINS: Oh, but I do! And I'm more than happy to pass that information on, while massaging a few of the councillors, just to speed things up.
TERESE: Yeah – at what price?
TIM COLLINS: I wanted in on the venture. And Leo needed a backer, so it's win- win.
TERESE: You can't do this.
TIM COLLINS: Oh, hey, Terese, shouldn't you be out looking for your daughter? I'd heard she'd run off with a car thief.
TERESE: Hey, I did you a favour. You shouldn't be entering this race.
TIM COLLINS: Well, I haven't, really. That's the thing. I've just jumped on someone else's horse – and it's a winning horse, by the looks of things.
LEO: I'm still heading the company. Tim's just offering some support as a silent partner.
PAUL: Oh, come on! With this guy there's not going to be anything silent about it!
TIM COLLINS: Oh, now come on, Paul – there's no need to be rude.
LEO: Maybe next time, you guys should just try and meet the deadline, huh? Instead of relying on personal connections.
TERESE: Hey! Our idea won us that second chance. You're just clearly too scared to let the best proposal win!
PAUL: I can tell you, Sonya is not going to be pleased when she knows you're in cahoots with Timmy Two- Face here.
TIM COLLINS: Sonya's not gonna do anything about it, because we've not done anything wrong. So here's to a beautiful partnership.
Tim Collins and Leo clink wine glasses, while Paul and Terese look furious.
TIM COLLINS: Oh, I'm sorry – would you two like a glass? Or would the grapes taste a little bit sour?
Sheila is quizzing Xanthe on her relationship with Ben, and whether it's on or off. Xanthe says they haven't officially broken up, but that it's looking to be off – she was hoping the cricket match would help get things back on track. Sheila remarks that Brooke's conning of the neighbours has ruined things for them all; Gary may not be saying much, but it's clear he's miserable about what happened.
Xanthe reminds Sheila that…
XANTHE: Cannings are made of tough stuff!
SHEILA: Oh, I dunno, love. I've never seen him this gutted. He didn't crack a smile the whole time we were away in Frankston, and you know what fun that place can be. What he needs is a confidence boost – you know, he needs to win. And quickly.
Sheila heads outside for the continuation of the cricket match, but Xanthe is looking worried…
Sonya has requested a meeting with Tim Collins, after Paul and Terese alerted her to his involvement in Leo's tender.
SONYA: I'm starting to think that your sole purpose in life, Tim, is to make mine difficult.
TIM COLLINS: Well, believe it or not, I'm trying to make your life easier.
SONYA: Oh (!)
TIM COLLINS: Honestly. Look, the only reason I got involved with Leo was because I was concerned for you.
SONYA: You want my job.
TIM COLLINS: Yeah. I do. But that's irrelevant. The point is, you're stretching yourself too thin. You're not cut out for this type of work, Sonya. Bad decisions are being made constantly. And to put it frankly, you are incompetent. You've lost the trust of your colleagues, and before long you're going to lose the trust of the public as well.
Sonya looks gradually more upset as Tim Collins talks…
TIM COLLINS: You're too emotional, with everything that's going on. A heads- up – step down, before you're forced out. If not for the sake of Erinsborough, then for the sake of the baby.
Sonya is close to tears.
Paul and Terese are still stewing about Leo having snatched the Men's Shed from under their noses. Terese says that it least it will just be a backpackers', but Paul tells her not to underestimate Leo and Tim Collins – they are doing some ‘serious empire- building'.
PAUL: Trust me, I know. I was Leo. I know how he's thinking.
TERESE: And he knows me. And my business.
PAUL: Which is why we have to stay united.
TERESE: Yeah, I agree. Okay, I think we should have a strategy meeting tonight.
TERESE: Why don't you come over to my place? We'll have that dinner that we agreed on.
PAUL: Okay. Count me in. You know, today wasn't all bad. I mean, okay, the project is dead in the water. But at least something good came out of it.
TERESE: And what's that?
PAUL: You and me. Reconnecting.
TERESE: … I'll see you at seven.
She walks away, smiling.
PAUL: I'll bring the dessert.
Paul smirks to himself.
It's the Kennedys' second innings in the cricket match, but as Umpire Xanthe reminds everyone, they'll have to do pretty well to beat the Cannings after Sheila's stint with the bat.
BEN: So this new sporty version of you, it's, umm… it's just a phase, right?
XANTHE: Why, ben? Which version of me do you prefer?
Gary prepares to bowl.
KARL: Don't hold back, Canning. There hasn't been a bowler born yet that's got the best of me.
SHEILA: Go on, Gary – give it a red hot go!
GARY: Prepare to eat your words, Doctor!
Gary bowls, but overshoots – and Xanthe decides (somewhat dubiously) to declare LBW!
BEN: No, it wasn't!
XANTHE: What? You don't even like cricket – what would you know?
BEN: I know enough to know that that wasn't LBW.
KARL: Xanthe, my legs were nowhere near the stumps.
XANTHE: I am the umpire, and you need to respect my decision.
The Kennedys grudgingly accept it, and the Cannings go in to bat…
Sonya has filled Toadie in on her meeting with Tim Collins, and Toadie's doing all he can to convince her not to quit the mayoralty because of what he said. Sonya says that all the rushing around can't be good for the baby.
TOADIE: Tim's just trying to psych you out. You know how he works! Imagine if he ended up in your position. That'd be horrible for the community!
SONYA: I know. I know it's not fair, but I have to put the baby first!
TOADIE: Honey, this isn't our baby. Steph and Mark aren't expecting you to make life- changing decisions to accommodate the next nine months.
SONYA: I know, but until the baby's born, I have a responsibility!
Toadie is desperate that they should come up with a strategy to deal with Sonya's stress, so she doesn't have to quit a job she loves and excels at – suggesting that he could help more around the house and with the cooking. Sonya agrees, and Toadie tells her to sit down while he makes her a cup of tea and does the washing! But Sonya still doesn't look comfortable…
Tim Collins pays Leo a visit. He explains he's heard from a contact at the council that Leo's tender for the backpackers' has been approved – he'll get an official phone call in the next few minutes. Leo tells him how much he appreciates it.
TIM COLLINS: Oh well, it'll take a little bit more than just appreciation. Nothing comes for free.
Eager to please, Leo offers to go through their partnership details now, so there's no confusion – but Tim Collins says they can do that later.
TIM COLLINS: Let me make it simple for you, Leo. I own you.
TIM COLLINS: Well, I didn't get into this venture for the joint financial profits. I did it for favours. So I expect you on call.
LEO: That's not how I operate.
TIM COLLINS: It's how I operate. So between the newspaper and my influence at the council, I suggest you do things my way.
Tim Collins leaves, and Leo looks worried.
The cricket match continues, and the Cannings are ten runs away from winning. Gary is batting, building on his fearsome reputation from the Frankston Beach Ashes! Sheila whispers to Xanthe that it's good to see Gary so relaxed and happy.
Karl apparently bowls Gary out, and he and Ben are triumphant. But Xanthe declares it a no ball. Karl objects, and so does Ben…
BEN: You're only saying that so your family can win! Xanthe, you can't keep doing this. It's not fair.
SHEILA: Oh, calm down, it's just a game!
KARL: Sheila, Ben has got a point.
GARY: Remember, it's all supposed to be a bit of fun. No point getting upset about it.
BEN: How can it be a bit of fun if the umpire keeps cheating? You're just like your mother!
Stunned intakes of breath.
XANTHE: What did you just say to me?
Ben looks instantly ashamed.
XANTHE: You just called me a cheater like my mother.
GARY: We're going. Game's over.
The Cannings march off. Ben looks guilty.
- Paige and Courtney see Jack, Amy and David moving stuff out of Blaze Outreach
- David and Paige go out in The City™ to pretend their lives are simple and not full of secrets
- Paige encourages David to talk to a man in the Back Lane Bar
- Xanthe tells Ben she's sick of being the girl that's not good enough for him
- Lingering smiles between Steph and Victoria Lamb!