- Warnie the wombat is kidnapped from the Erinsborough Backpackers, much to Paul's amusement
- Sindi wants $40,000 from Andrea for her role in the deception, or she'll start dropping truth- bombs
- Toadie discovers that the Bliss estate is insolvent, meaning ‘Dee' won't get a penny
- Brad and Terese refuse to help Piper by acting as guarantors for a loan
- Paige tells Brad and Terese they're driving Piper away; Elly begs Ned to intervene
- Faced with few options, Piper asks her parents to sign a ‘divorce' form so she can get state funding
We pick up where we left off at the baby shower, with Lauren, Ned, Paige and David observing the latest clash between Piper, Brad and Terese.
Piper explains that she's not looking to cut all ties with the family – she just wants ‘emancipation' so that for financial purposes she is considered independent from her parents, circumstances at home being ‘too extreme' for her to live there. Brad says that such measures are intended for people far worse off than Piper, but she says their conflict around Tyler won't go away any time soon.
Terese immediately refuses to sign the ‘emancipation' paperwork, and Paige suggests they just give Piper some money instead to make things easier. But Brad says that's a terrible idea, and Terese screws up the paperwork. Ned intervenes, saying arguing isn't solving anything. He suggests they all get some space and talk about it again tomorrow. Piper agrees it's a good idea, and leaves.
Toadie welcomes Willow and ‘Dee' in for dinner. Sonya won't be joining them, as she's Not In This Episode™.
TOADIE: It's a shame that Sindi couldn't join us either.
‘DEE': I know! Such a whirlwind visit!
Toadie goes to check on Nell, who's shouting from the other room. Andrea drops her act.
WILLOW: I still can't believe Sindi showed up.
ANDREA: At least she didn't crack.
WILLOW: Only because you promised her more money.
Willow points to the photo Toadie took with her, which is now framed and on display in the house.
WILLOW: He's trying so hard to be my dad. I don't know how much more of this I can take.
ANDREA: Just – won't be much longer, okay?
Toadie comes back in and finds them looking awkward; ‘Dee' says it's because Willow saw the photo, and he removes it, saying it was probably too much, too soon.
At this point, Toadie breaks the news about the Bliss estate being insolvent. He explains that when Dee's parents passed away, they left everything to Cecile, her sister. But when she died, it was all transferred to a charity in Tasmania – which went broke about a year ago.
TOADIE: It's gone. Sorry.
‘Dee' and Willow look worried.
Paul is telling Amy about a water leak that's occurred at the Flame Tree, making the restaurant ‘a bit soggy underfoot'. Amy says she'll sort it out, and Paul asks if she can do it by 1pm as he has a client coming round who wants to put on a ‘Pieces of Hollywood' exhibition at the motel, for some reason. Amy says that should be okay. Leo lingers by the bar, listening in.
Amy suggests that she could borrow one of Jack's youths from the Rec Centre to help out.
PAUL: Do you have to?
AMY: Don't be so snobby! They're good kids!
PAUL: No, they're delinquents.
Leo walks by.
PAUL: Oh, Warnie's feeding time, is it? You're not still relying on that sad little gimmick to disguise the fact that you have absolutely no business nous whatsoever?
Paul gets a phone call from Terese, but can't be bothered to answer it. He idly wonders what she wants.
Meanwhile, Piper comes in, crying, and joins Tyler at a table. She explains about her plan to apply for independence from Brad and Terese so she could get Centrelink payments, and how upset they were about it. Tyler's concerned, and asks if Piper's sure she wants to do this.
PIPER: No. But we don't have any money, Tyler.
TYLER: I'll get a job soon.
PIPER: But that could take weeks and months. I have to do this. I don't have any other choice, even if it means my parents hate me.
Willow is packing up to leave, while Andrea has hit the wine.
ANDREA: All that work. For NOTHING!
She flings a load of stationery off the table, and puts her head in her hands.
WILLOW: Points for trying.
ANDREA: I don't think you understand, Willow. This was our chance; this was our one chance to get on our feet.
WILLOW: There are other options, Mum. Options that don't involve deceiving people. Like getting a real job.
ANDREA: This was our ONLY option.
WILLOW: But now that it hasn't worked out, we need to move on.
ANDREA: What about Sindi?
WILLOW: Forget her!
ANDREA: I said I'd give her 40 grand. If she doesn't get her money she could tell Toadie everything.
WILLOW: By which time, we'll be long gone.
ANDREA: What if he sends the police after us?
Andrea notices that Willow is packing.
WILLOW: We can't stay here!
ANDREA: Where would we go?
WILLOW: I dunno. Away. Far away from here. I don't want you to go to jail.
Andrea suddenly gets teary and kisses Willow.
ANDREA: I'm sorry. Baby, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry – I didn't mean this to happen.
WILLOW: We're at the end of the line. The further we go, the more chance there is of getting caught.
ANDREA: So we should just leave.
WILLOW: It's over, Mum.
The Rec Centre
Leo comes in, to donate some stuff that was left over from the Men's Shed. Jack is grateful, and even sees an old Game Boy in the box.
LEO: I think there's Donkey Kong in there somewhere too.
JACK: Great stuff, one of my favourites.
LEO: What, the Bible's okay with video games?
JACK: Yeah, of course. I grew up on the farm; we barely had TV reception. I had to do something to kill my time.
LEO: Same. Mum was skint, and all David wanted to do was study. So I was bored out of my brains until the day some do- gooder brought a Game Boy to the church.
JACK: You went to church?
LEO: Grandma did. She brought it back for me – I was hooked. Even stopped nicking stuff.
JACK: And people say video games are evil.
Jack thanks Leo again, and he leaves.
Ned and Lauren discuss the ongoing drama in the house regarding Piper. Ned admits he's been worrying about what he'll do once his community service finishes. He says he'd like to get his own place, and Lauren says it's understandable. He was thinking of asking Brad for a loan, but reckons it's bad timing.
NED: You wouldn't be able to lend me some money, would you, Lauren?
LAUREN: Of course I can lend you some money. I'll transfer it through – would two grand be enough?
NED: Oh, that's plenty, thank you. And I'll pay it back as fast as I can.
Lauren leaves to answer the phone, and Ned sends a text, saying ‘Hey can you meet me asap'.
Toadie and Susan arrive at ‘Dee' and Willow's room. Willow says that her mum isn't in, but Toadie says they're here to see her, and introduces Susan.
SUSAN: Toadie tells me that you want to be a pilot?
TOADIE: Not just any pilot. A fighter pilot.
WILLOW: Yeah, I did. I mean, I do – I just – I dunno if it's achievable anymore.
TOADIE: Because of money?
WILLOW: Mum and I barely have enough to live on, let alone for me to go to some fancy private school.
She explains that to be a fighter pilot she'd have to go to South East Grammar School, which has a really intense cadet programme. She needs all the advantage she can get, as only four percent of RAAF pilots are female, and none of those are fighter pilots.
WILLOW: I'm gonna be the first.
Susan suggests that there are probably scholarships available, which are usually awarded on academic merit.
WILLOW: I don't have any school records. Mum taught me at home.
SUSAN: South East Grammar have an entrance exam. I'm pretty sure that if I supervise, you can do it online. If your marks are good enough, they might offer to cover part or even all of your fees.
TOADIE: Can she do it today?
WILLOW: Wait, I don't know if I should.
TOADIE: Yeah, of course you should! I mean, this is what you've been dreaming about.
WILLOW: Yeah, but I don't know how much longer Mum and I are gonna be staying for. I mean, it can't be super- easy on you and Sonya, having us around.
TOADIE: It's fine. Yeah, we've got a lot on our plate. But I love having you around… If there's a chance of getting into one of the top schools in the country, you've got to give it a shot, right?
Ned meets Piper, and hands her an envelope full of money.
NED: All yours.
PIPER: Woah, Ned, this is – where did you even get this money from?
NED: Borrowed it. It's legit, alright? I'm paying it back. I wanted to help you out, Pip. I don't like seeing you upset – it makes me upset.
Piper asks what the catch is. Ned says there is none, but adds that he'd like her to think twice about applying for independence from Brad and Terese.
PIPER: I'm only doing it because I really need the money, Ned. It's not like I want to ditch Mum and Dad altogether.
NED: I know. But they're still getting over Josh not being around. And Imogen. And now you want to leave.
Piper offers him the money back, but Ned says she can have it regardless.
NED: I just want you to consider what it is you're about to do.
He leaves, and Piper looks thoughtful.
The Rec Centre
Amy and Jack are seeking volunteers to help Amy fix the leak at the Flame Tree. A boy called Ace volunteers, and Jack says to Amy that it will be good for him to get involved.
Amy notices the box of stuff that Leo dropped off, and when Jack explains it, asks what Leo wanted in return. Jack insists it was a donation, but Amy is more sceptical.
JACK: People don't always have an agenda.
AMY: Hey, I'm just saying – watch yourself.
JACK: Maybe he's realised he's done some bad stuff, and he's ready to make up for it?
Amy goes quiet.
Tyler comes in, on the phone to a potential employer. Terese approaches, and asks Tyler if Piper's independence request is his idea. He insists not, and says the last thing he wants is to cause any more trouble.
TERESE: You can fix this, you know. I just want my daughter back.
TYLER: She might not go through with it.
TERESE: Well she seemed pretty determined last night!
TYLER: That was before Ned came through for us. With his help and support, we're not as desperate for Centrelink. And it gives me time to find a job.
Terese is shocked to learn Ned gave Piper money.
Brad and Terese are laying into Ned for giving Piper money, thus undermining them. Lauren reveals that she gave Ned the money.
BRAD: You've got to be kidding.
TERESE: After everything we talked about? Lauren, Piper is my daughter. I will deal with her, thank you very much!
But Lauren promises she wasn't trying to intervene with Piper; Ned told her he needed the money to get a new place.
NED: I'm sorry I lied to you, Lauren.
BRAD: It is more than lying, alright? You involved yourself in a situation that doesn't concern you – just stay out of it.
Toadie and Susan are thrilled as Willow gets 92 percent on the online entrance exam for the posh grammar school.
TOADIE: You're an absolute genius! It's got to run in the family!
SUSAN: You have done incredibly well for someone who hasn't had consistent schooling.
TOADIE: Yeah, and for your age group! You are a shoo- in for that scholarship.
Susan says she'd be surprised if they didn't offer Willow a place.
TOADIE: And it's not that far away either, so I'm definitely gonna come and visit.
WILLOW: This is really full on.
TOADIE: Good full on, though, yeah?
WILLOW: People like me don't usually get opportunities like this.
SUSAN: Oh, they do if they're smart.
As Willow heads to the bathroom, Susan remarks on how bright she is. Toadie says he wishes she believed in herself more.
TOADIE: Kills me that I wasn't there every day to tell her how amazing she is.
SUSAN: Oh, Toadie. It's hardly your fault.
TOADIE: No. No, well I am here now, and she is my daughter. And I'm not gonna let her down.
The Flame Tree
Amy is instructing Ace the Rec Centre kid in the art of The Handywoman, with a view to tackling the leak. She heads to her ute to fetch tools, telling him not to touch anything in the meantime. Paul shows up and complains that she's leaving Ace unsupervised, but Amy says he's really keen to learn. Paul doesn't trust Ace since he's one of ‘Father Jack's lot'. Amy says people can change.
Elly asks Brad if he has a minute to discuss one of their pupils, but he's quite dismissive. Realising how rude he's being, he apologises and admits that his mind is too occupied with his own kids at the moment. Brad can't decide whether he's more furious with Piper for being naïve or Ned for giving her money.
ELLY: I'm sure he was just trying to help.
BRAD: Yeah, in the worst possible way.
ELLY: I actually think he was being really clever.
BRAD: And how do you figure that?
ELLY: By breaking the stalemate over money, he prevented either side from something they'll regret, right? He was willing to put himself on the line and play the bad guy, to save you all a lot of hurt in the long run. I think it's admirable.
Brad looks contrite as Elly walks away.
Brad tells Ned that Elly has made him see he was just trying to help, and apologises for losing it at Ned. Ned apologises for going behind his back.
NED: It's just hard to know where the line is sometimes, you know? I want to be involved with this family stuff, but I don't want to overstep, so…
BRAD: Well I want you involved.
NED: Really? Cos before, you…
BRAD: I was angry, okay? It's just all this stuff with Piper. I dunno what to do. And I'm tired.
Piper turns up, and returns the money Ned gave her. Apparently, Paige has got Tyler a bartending job in The City™. Piper also tells Brad that she's decided not to file for independence from him and Terese.
BRAD: Now you've got a new source of income?
PIPER: It's not about that. I just can't bear to hurt you and Mum more than I already have. I know it's hard enough for you guys as it is. Can I have a hug?
Brad gets up and hugs Piper.
PIPER: Please know that whatever happens, Dad, I love you.
BRAD: I love you too.
Willow and Toadie are telling ‘Dee' about the online test Willow took.
TOADIE: She is on par with other kids in Year 9. Isn't that fantastic?
‘DEE': … It's amazing! Not that I'm surprised – she's always been the smarter of the two of us.
‘DEE': You have.
Willow goes to the bathroom, and Toadie says he knows ‘Dee' is probably worried about money for schooling.
‘DEE': I don't think we can afford it.
TOADIE: Yeah. Okay, Susan thinks she'll be eligible for a scholarship. And in the meantime...
Toadie hands ‘Dee' a wad of cash.
TOADIE: Take that. Think of it as me making up for not being around for the last thirteen years.
‘DEE': No, I can't.
TOADIE: Please, I insist. This is for Willow. And I've spoken with Steph. Your bill for staying here – I'm covering it.
Willow re- emerges, and Toadie hugs her. Willow thanks him for today, and he leaves.
ANDREA: Why did you take that test?
WILLOW: I got carried away. Toadie was being so nice and encouraging. Same with Mrs Kennedy. But it's over now. We need to leave before this gets way more out of hand.
ANDREA: Mm. Or we could stay a bit longer. Check out this scholarship.
WILLOW: Keep being someone I'm not?
ANDREA: Oh, you're you. And you're smart. There's nothing pretend about that. I think you should think about your future.
WILLOW: Yeah, that.
ANDREA: Yeah. That. And you're the one who said to me, there's always other options.
Andrea smiles as, unseen by Willow, she drops the money Toadie gave her into her bag.
Outside, Paul is meeting up with Terese following her call last night – he apologises for not being around to talk things through with her. Terese gets a text from Brad, saying that Piper has backed down over her bid for independence. Terese is relieved, but sad Piper's still not coming home.
TERESE: You know sometimes I wonder if it'd just be easier if I backed down. I'd have my baby girl back with me.
PAUL: Terese, if you honestly believe that Tyler and Piper shouldn't be together, stick to your guns. Find peace in the fact that you are being the best mother you can by protecting your child.
TERESE: You always know the right thing to say.
Terese heads back to work, and Amy rushes up to Paul.
AMY: Dad, quick, turn off the mains!
PAUL: Why, what's happened?
AMY: The water pipe's burst! Just turn them off, now!
The Flame Tree
Paul is going mad as he finds out that Ace has burst the pipe, and made a hasty exit – leaving a complete mess of the Flame Tree!
PAUL: People change, you said! Have faith, you said! Now look where that faith gets you!
AMY: I am so sorry! I don't know how he messed it up so badly!
Leo is handing Ace some cash.
LEO: I only asked for a bit of damage, but a flood? Good work, buddy!
ACE: Should've seen the look on Amy's face!
LEO: I said I didn't want her involved.
ACE: Is she your girlfriend?!
LEO: Shut your mouth!
ACE: Chill, dude!
LEO: I said, shut it, alright? If I see you around here again, there'll be trouble! Got it?
Leo shoves Ace away, and sighs angrily.
- Amy tells Jack that she left Ace alone unsupervised – it's all her fault
- Jack tells Leo he has a nerve, feigning charity to get at his Rec Centre kids
- Xanthe tells Gary that she thought someone was watching her
- Xanthe tells Ben they can't tell their families as they hate each other
- Gary tells a bloke, ‘tell him to come after me, and leave my family out of it'