- Piper tells Brad there's nothing he can do about her and Tyler's relationship
- Leo lets Piper and Tyler move into the backpackers'
- Terese is worried about Piper's schooling, but she insists she and Tyler will make it work
- ‘Dee' introduces Toadie to his ‘daughter', Willow, and agrees to a home paternity test
- But it later appears that ‘Dee' faked both her DNA test and the paternity test
- Victoria drunkenly plants a kiss on Steph
- Steph reveals to Mark that she knows he lied about going for a drive with Sonya
- Annoyed to be dropped yet again for Sonya, Steph gives Mark her engagement ring back
Toadie tells Sonya he'll come home later to check on her, and suggests to Steph that she and Mark join them for lunch. But Steph reveals that she's ended her engagement to Mark. Sonya is horrified, but Steph says they haven't broken up – at least as far as she's concerned. She says she'll keep them informed, but says that whatever happens, the baby is still their number one priority.
Steph goes to work, leaving Toadie and Sonya shellshocked.
Mark stands around looking reflective. Tyler and Piper pass nearby, talking about the shopping they've just done – evidently they're struggling for cash.
TYLER: You do understand that we're shopping on a budget, right?
PIPER: That would explain all the lentils.
TYLER: Aaron said they were a great source of protein!
PIPER: Yeah, but there's only a certain amount of lentils one can eat, Tyler!
He promises to splash out on some steaks when he gets a job, and they kiss. Piper says she'll ask Lauren for more shifts at Harold's, but suspects Brad is stopping Lauren from helping her. Tyler glances over to where Mark is standing, and they briefly discuss asking him for a loan – but Tyler doesn't want to if he can help it.
They keep walking, while Mark continues to look reflective. He glances at his phone – he's had three missed calls from Steph. He looks upset.
The artist formerly known as Dee Bliss, Andrea Somers, is in her room, with Willow.
ANDREA: Oh, I haven't heard from him since yesterday.
ANDREA: Who do you reckon?
WILLOW: You mean Jarrod, Toadie, Dad, whatever I'm supposed to call him?
ANDREA: You didn't say anything to him, did you?
WILLOW: On our date? That's kind of what it was like, Mum. He was so nervous.
ANDREA: You were too, Willow.
WILLOW: Because I had to pretend to be someone else. A little girl.
ANDREA: Yeah. And with these plaits you look like a little girl!
WILLOW: Sometimes I wish that story of you raising me in the wilderness was true. Cos then you would have never met that person, and heard about how you look like Dee Bliss.
ANDREA: Willow, look at it like this. Without that, this incredible opportunity would not have landed in our laps. Think about it – missing woman, no family, all that cash just sitting there, waiting to be claimed. Look, once I get the money, I promise you, I'm gonna be the kind of mum that you want, hey? Nice and normal. No more crazy plans.
Willow looks unconvinced.
Tyler and Piper are unpacking their shopping. Tyler says they'll need to find somewhere cheaper to buy fruit and veg, as he's nearly spent the money he earned from selling his bike. Meanwhile, Piper's school boots have split, her laptop has broken – and she also needs textbooks and stationery for the new school year.
PIper says she'll manage by borrowing her friends' things and using the library, but Tyler suggests that Piper's parents might help her out.
TYLER: I know they're against us, but I'm sure they still care about how you do at school.
PIPER: I'm not asking for any favours.
TYLER: You can't just make do.
PIPER: I'll get by!
TYLER: It's Year 12, Pipes. You need to be able to give this your best shot. Can you just think about asking them? For me?
The Cannings are having breakfast. Sheila doesn't take kindly to Xanthe trying to pocket some of the bread to give to Piper.
SHEILA: Back in the basket, sister. I am not donating food to delinquents.
Piper comes in, and Xanthe goes over so they can walk to school together. But Piper has spotted Terese at one of the tables, and says she'll be along in a minute. Piper goes to speak to her mum.
PIPER: How's Clementine?
TERESE: She misses you.
Terese offers Piper some toast, and she's too hungry to refuse.
TERESE: Have you got enough money?
PIPER: Mm- hm. Yeah, for day- to- day stuff. But I just wanted to ask you about school stuff. See, I need textbooks and a new laptop, cos my old one's busted, and we just don't have the money right now. And it'll just be a temporary loan until Tyler finds a job.
TERESE: I'll happily pay for school stuff.
PIPER: Thank you.
TERESE: As long as you move home.
PIPER: … Thanks for the toast.
Piper walks out. Terese looks upset.
Toadie is preparing lunch. Steph comes in and tells Toadie and Sonya that Mark will be here soon. Steph insists everything will be fine, but Toadie wants to know why she broke off the engagement.
STEPH: We've been having some issues lately.
SONYA: Which you can work through.
STEPH: Yeah, I know we can. But I just think we'll do it a whole lot easier if we don't have the pressure of the engagement hanging over us.
SONYA: Well, is there something I can do? Can I help you?
STEPH: I think you're involved enough, Son.
SONYA: … What does that mean?
STEPH: Nothing. Look, I just feel like Mark keeps prioritising you and the baby over our relationship. It's like when he cancelled our engagement lunch, so that he could come to you, so that you could offload about Dee. I just don't think it's the best way for him to protect our relationship. Or yours, for that matter.
Sonya is shocked by what Steph's saying.
SONYA: I don't even know what you're talking about! Mark is my friend, he's always been. There's been some pretty big stuff going on!
STEPH: Yes, I know! I just feel sidelined, Son.
SONYA: You say you're committed to this baby, but you've effectively ended your commitment to Mark. That's not very encouraging!
STEPH: No, no – I told you, we haven't broken up!
SONYA: Yeah, but if you do, this baby is gonna need a primary carer – and I need to know who that's gonna be!
Mark comes in.
MARK: I mean it. I will be there for this baby no matter what.
SONYA: So you're gonna raise it as a single dad?
MARK: I'm more than willing.
Steph laughs sardonically, saying they haven't even discussed it yet.
MARK: I'm just talking worst- case scenario.
STEPH: Yeah, but surely we need time to sort out where we stand with each other, before we go talking care arrangements for a baby.
TOADIE: We just need to know some answers, that's all.
STEPH: Yeah, well as soon as Mark and I talk about it, we'll be able to let you know.
Sonya suggests that she and Toadie head out to give Steph and Mark some space. At that moment, Sonya sees an email pop up on the laptop.
SONYA: It's the paternity test.
TOADIE: It's come through?
SONYA: Do you want to look for yourself?
TOADIE: No. Just let me know.
SONYA: … It's positive.
Toadie says he'll call Willow and Dee to let them know the results. Clearly upset, Sonya nonetheless says they should meet them for lunch, so that Willow and Toadie can talk. The Rebecchis leave.
Erinsborough High School
In the yard, Ben is taping up the split in Piper's boot. He's also purloined some food from the Kennedys' pantry for her.
PIPER: No- name lentils?
BEN: Yeah, Grandad buys them in bulk!
Xanthe asks if Piper is still enjoying her forbidden love nest. She claims she is.
PIPER: Honestly, it doesn't matter where we are. We're finally together, and we're loving it.
XANTHE: Tell the truth. There's a part of you still misses sneaking around to be with him, isn't there?
Piper says they're still sneaking, since Brad and Terese hate seeing them together.
XANTHE: But defying your parents only makes your relationship stronger, though, right?
Piper also admits that the Wi- Fi at the backpackers' is patchy. Ben asks how she'll do her schoolwork after library hours, and Piper doesn't have a satisfactory answer.
Brad appears. He's heard about Piper asking Terese for money and starts ripping into Piper, accusing her of throwing away her final year over pride.
PIPER: Dad, it's not about that.
BRAD: Then go home. Your mother misses you; I miss you.
PIPER: Will you let me see Tyler?
PIPER: Then I can't.
Brad marches off. Piper tells Ben and Xanthe that she won't let Brad and Terese break her – she isn't backing down.
Mark apologises to Steph for jumping the gun by saying he'd be a single dad to the baby – saying he just didn't want Sonya to worry.
STEPH: Because she's your number one priority, right?
MARK: No. No, the baby is. And you.
STEPH: Well, it hasn't felt that way.
MARK: I can see how I've been hurting you, focusing on Sonya instead of us.
Steph points out that Mark didn't just ditch them on their engagement lunch to be with Sonya; he lied about it and said he was at work. Mark says he understands why that made Steph feel insecure; for her part she says it wasn't the wisest choice to spend time with Victoria instead.
MARK: Why don't we just agree that we're both at fault, okay?
STEPH: I think there are bigger things we need to agree on.
MARK: Okay, just forget about what I said earlier. I was upset. We don't need a plan B for the baby, alright? We're gonna get through this.
STEPH: What if we don't? Cos I'm feeling really unsure about our future. Maybe we do need to consider a scenario in which we're not together? Maybe your idea of being a single dad isn't a bad one?
Toadie arrives for lunch, and joins Willow at a table. He says Sonya will join them soon; she just wanted to give them some time together first. Willow confirms she's heard about the paternity test results.
TOADIE: I didn't want to do it. I knew that you were my daughter as soon as I laid eyes on you.
WILLOW: Yeah, but you had to get it for everyone else. Your wife, your real kids.
TOADIE: No, you're my real kid.
WILLOW: Doesn't feel like it.
TOADIE: I know. We have a whole lifetime ahead of us. So you need to start thinking up how you want to re- celebrate your last thirteen birthdays, there, missy.
WILLOW: You don't have to do that.
TOADIE: I want to. Please.
But Willow looks uncomfortable.
Mark and Steph are still talking about their relationship. Steph accuses him of drifting back to Sonya. Mark defends this by saying she's carrying their baby, but Steph claims it's creating distance between her and the surrogacy process – and that she's struggling to feel a connection.
MARK: It'll be different once the baby comes along. We'll be a family. You, me – our child.
STEPH: Unless it binds you closer to Sonya.
MARK: That's not gonna happen.
STEPH: It might! And if it does, I'm not sure that I'm gonna be able to feel like the baby's mine!
MARK: Do you still love me?
STEPH: Of course I do.
Mark holds out the engagement ring to her.
MARK: I don't expect you to wear this. But I want you to hold onto it. To help you remember why you're here. Let's keep trying.
Steph takes the ring hesitantly, then they hug.
‘Dee' has joined Toadie and Willow, who has also been introduced to Sheila.
SHEILA: It's nice to meet you, Willow. Or should I call you… Whiting?
Everyone laughs at the mention of the Rebecchi fish names tradition, and Sheila leaves Toadie and ‘Dee' to explain the history to Willow – ‘Dee' giving the examples of Toadfish and Stonefish. Toadie, however, says they'll think of a better name for Willow than Whiting.
‘DEE': Do you ever worry you'll run out of fish names?
TOADIE: Nah, never. There's plenty of fish in the sea. Oh, yeah! Welcome to the world of bad dad jokes!
Sonya arrives, and it's immediately clear how awkward she feels about this new family set- up, though she puts a brave face on it. Shortly after, she tries to tell her own funny names story, about the time she, Callum and Toadie briefly considered merging their surnames to become the Rebitchells. But no- one really finds it funny.
WILLOW: Do I have to change my last name?
TOADIE: No. No, you don't.
Sonya offers to take care of the bill, while Toadie walks Willow and ‘Dee' back to the motel. As they leave, she sighs deeply.
Aaron and Tyler are hanging out by the pool. Aaron tries to lend Tyler some money, but he insists he just came for a swim. Mark arrives, and tells them not to get any coins in the pool filter! Aaron asks Mark for a loan on Tyler's behalf, for Piper's school things. But Mark reacts badly, saying he's not going to undermine Terese and Brad. Mark stomps off into the house.
Aaron assures Tyler that Mark is just in a bad mood because things aren't going well with Steph. Aaron thinks that Mark's in denial about his issues, and he can't figure out how to help him.
Piper is with Xanthe and Ben, trying to colour in her taped- up boot, so that the taped bit matches the rest of it! She is also having trouble logging onto the school portal on her phone, since her laptop's broken. Xanthe says she can borrow her laptop, and gives her an ancient- looking biology textbook too.
Tyler comes in – he hasn't found a job, but has found some ‘pretty sweet stationery' in the form of Rebecchi Law letterheads! Piper says she feels like a charity case. Leo turns up.
LEO: That's exactly what you are!
TYLER: I did ask you for a job, you know?
LEO: Yeah, and the answer's still no. Sorry mate – overheads. But as far as the charity angle goes, I say milk it. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so our mum used to apply to the school for special consideration. You can get heaps of freebies and discounts and things. Maybe you're eligible for that?
Tyler proudly says they're not at that stage yet, but Piper holds up her boot and insists they are!
Toadie is with ‘Dee' and Willow in their room. He asks if he could take a selfie with Willow, since she is his daughter and he doesn't have any pictures yet. Willow agrees, and Toadie takes one. He then tells ‘Dee' that her DNA results have sped up the claim on the Bliss estate, and asks her to come over later to help him with the paperwork. She says she will, and Toadie leaves. Andrea drops her act.
WILLOW: I hate this.
WILLOW: You're pretending to be Dee; I'm pretending to be thirteen. This has to be illegal. Or at least cruel.
ANDREA: Willow, you are a ray of positivity in that man's life, okay? Come on, the poor guy. His marriage is seriously in trouble.
WILLOW: I didn't get that.
ANDREA: Are you serious? Sonya is having another man's baby. Ah, whatever. We're not gonna be here long enough to cause any problems, alright? I promise you, I am not gonna try and split ‘em up.
WILLOW: Yeah, I know. You're just gonna wanna get your money and run. Do you really think it's gonna be that easy?
ANDREA: Yeah! Getting in here was the difficult bit – getting out, that's gonna be a piece of cake! Look, we'll just tell them that we're gonna give them some space, leave them alone – and we'll be out of here. We'll be gone.
ANDREA: Willow, what do you always tell me is the single most important thing that the air force looks for in its pilots?
ANDREA: Motivation! Yes – use that here, okay? The flying lessons you need – the school that you have to go to. It all costs money, and we don't have any! We just play this out for a little bit longer, we are gonna have all the cash we need to give you what you want. That's what this is all about.
Andrea strokes Willow's face reassuringly, but Willow still looks uncertain.
Toadie finds Sonya alone in the living room.
SONYA: I'm sorry if I made things awkward at lunch today.
TOADIE: No. No, no, no. Please. They kept saying how nice it was to spend some time with you.
Sonya doesn't look convinced.
Steph pushes a trolley towards the laundry room, as Toadie and Sonya's conversation continues, overlaid.
TOADIE: I know that you are really worried about Steph and Mark.
SONYA: Well, I'm trying not to think about it, but I can't stop.
We see Mark sitting forlornly in his bedroom as the Rebecchis' conversation continues.
SONYA: Seeing Mark just standing there, declaring that he's going to raise a baby on his own.
TOADIE: Yeah, I know. But I mean, it might not come to that.
Steph looks at her engagement ring, as Toadie and Sonya's conversation continues.
SONYA: If this is the way things are between them, it wouldn't surprise me.
Mark looks at the picture of the unborn baby from the ultrasound, and smiles.
The conversation continues.
SONYA: And if the worst thing does happen – if Steph bails, Jarrod – I don't know if I'm gonna be able to just hand the baby over to him.
Toadie looks shocked.
- Sonya looks at a letter from the DNA lab, and says she feels she's going down a rabbit hole
- Toadie asks Steph if she's going to leave Sonya literally holding the baby
- Karl tells Toadie to go gently with Sonya, since she's struggling
- Steph asks Victoria if she's going to tell ‘her' about the kiss
- Josie Lamb is back! And she knows there's something going on between Steph and her mum