- Xanthe announces to her family that Brooke has made contact and says she misses her
- Annoyed by Terese, a drunken Sheila texts Brooke begging her to return to a heartbroken Gary
- Paige hangs out with Piper at the backpackers'
- Xanthe is upset when Sheila bans her from seeing Piper outside school
- Sonya and Mark share a kiss
- Sonya flips out at Steph when she suggests she ought to see a counsellor
- At rock bottom, Sonya decants wine into a mug and drinks it
Steph runs into Toadie, who asks after Sonya, and whether she got any sleep last night.
Sonya wakes up, more than a little worse for wear.
Steph tells Toadie that Sonya has kicked her out of the house, and thinks it's because it's too hard having her around as a reminder of the surrogacy.
STEPH: She's a zombie at the moment. She's not thinking straight.
Sonya sees an empty wine bottle lying on her nightstand.
Toadie announces that he's going to check on Sonya, but Steph thinks it's better if he stays away as Sonya has asked.
STEPH: I think it might be better for Mark to try again.
TOADIE: If she's on the edge, I'm the one who's gonna get through to her.
Piper is at the hospital waiting for Paige, who presently comes out of a check- up – all is well with her and the baby, despite Paige constantly needing to wee! Conversation moves onto Piper not being allowed to see Ben and Xanthe; Paige reminds her that Susan didn't ban Ben from seeing her, just from being at the backpackers'.
Piper is still upset that Xanthe's not allowed to see her, but Paige assures her it won't last and that the incident with the mushroom tea was not Piper's fault.
Suddenly, Piper sees Clive Gibbons speaking to a woman – it's Xanthe's mum, Brooke! Piper surmises that Xanthe doesn't know Brooke is back in town, as otherwise she'd have heard about it. Brooke appears to be flirting with Clive.
PIPER: I have to tell Xanthe. Last time she was here, she broke her heart.
PAIGE: Yeah, not to mention ripped off half the street!
Piper takes a photo on her phone of Brooke and Clive talking…
Terese and Gary come out of Gary's room. Terese is feeling a bit awkward, having stayed the night, but Gary tells her she should feel comfortable here. They go into the kitchen, where Sheila is making a cuppa. As Gary reaches up to get some mugs from a cupboard, Terese seems to take interest in his back.
TERESE: No! Just, erm, admiring my hunky man.
Xanthe comes in, and shows the family the photo that Piper has sent her of Brooke at the hospital with Clive. Xanthe is worried Brooke might be sick, and wonders why she didn't tell them she was in town. Sheila immediately assumes that there is something going on between Clive and Brooke.
SHEILA: He is the perfect target for a Brooke Butler scam! She's probably selling medical products now!
Gary reminds Sheila about the drunken message she sent Brooke, asking her to come back and visit. Xanthe is surprised when Terese explains about the message, as she never knew about it.
XANTHE: Why? After what she did?
SHEILA: It was a mistake! It was a silly idea, but I cleared it up. I told her to ignore it. So why the heck is she here now?
Toadie comes across Sonya in the street as she brings the bin in. Steph watches their interaction from a nearby car, as Toadie tells Sonya he's worried about her.
TOADIE: You are isolating yourself. And you more than anyone knows how important it is to have people around you in a crisis.
SONYA: I don't want to hear it, Jarrod.
TOADIE: Sonya, please –
SONYA: No, just stop! I've set my boundaries and I want you to respect them.
Toadie looks upset as Sonya walks back inside. He gets into the car with Steph.
TOADIE: Maybe she should talk to Mark.
Mark is back in police uniform. He looks sadly at the framed memorial for baby Caitlin, and Aaron asks him if he's sure he's ready to go back to work – he is dealing with a lot. Aaron brings up the dream Mark had about Sonya, saying he's heard from Tyler that Mark has feelings for her. Mark insists he's fine; he just got confused.
Steph turns up, and tells Mark that Sonya is in a bad way and has kicked Steph out of the house. Steph asks if Mark will try talking to her again. He's not keen initially, saying maybe it would be better for Sonya to talk to a professional, but then agrees to check on her.
Sonya walks into the living room, carrying the wine bottle – she's visibly feeling ill. There's a knock at the door, so she hides the bottle under a cushion, and goes to answer it.
It's Mark, come to check up on her. Sonya says she's still getting herself together, but is ‘getting there' – it's clear that she doesn't want Mark to come in. When asked about throwing Steph out, Sonya says she shouldn't have spoken to Steph like she did, and doesn't blame either of them for her problems. Sonya promises to apologise to Steph.
Mark moves on to talk about the kiss, saying Sonya can still talk to him – he doesn't want it to change anything. She nods, but is otherwise unresponsive, so Mark leaves for work. Sonya closes the door with relief, retrieves the wine bottle from under the cushion, and puts it in the bin.
Sheila is preparing to head to the hospital to find Brooke. Sheila tells Gary not to come, since his judgement concerning Brooke is hopeless! Terese asks what she's going to do if she finds Brooke – Sheila says she just wants to make sure Xanthe doesn't get hurt. A worried- looking Xanthe says she's coming to the hospital herself. Gary tells Xanthe he loves her, and Brooke does too, in her own way.
Once Xanthe and Sheila are gone, Terese tells Gary he's amazing for still wanting Xanthe to see the good in Brooke.
GARY: Yeah, well – she's the only mum she's got.
TERESE: Yeah, but she hurt you too. I mean, you're entitled to be angry.
GARY: I hate what she did to all of us – leaving us in a financial mess, everyone looking down on us. Actually, I ended up doing a few things that I'm not proud of.
GARY: As my boss, you really don't want to know. But as my woman, let's just say that I did a few cash jobs for one of my old associates (…) I got out as soon as I could. It's not a road I ever want to head down again.
TERESE: Well, thank you for being honest with me.
GARY: Hey – whatever happens with Brooke, you know that we're solid?
TERESE: Yes! Of course!
Sheila and Xanthe spot Brooke coming out of a room at the hospital with Clive, who passes a file to one of the staff on reception. Brooke is gushing about how her and Clive's watches match, and flatters him, saying how much it suits him. Xanthe whispers to Sheila that it's exactly like the fake watch Brooke gave to Gary.
SHEILA: The nerve of her, conning that poor idiot – I knew she wasn't sick!
XANTHE: Maybe we should warn him.
Brooke leaves, not having seen Xanthe and Sheila – but Clive sees them acting suspiciously and comes over.
SHEILA: That woman you were just speaking to – her real name is Brooke Butler.
CLIVE: Yes – that's what she told me…
SHEILA: Good! Because she's a scam artist. Google her if you don't believe me! Oh yes – she will sweet- talk you and then she'll just take your money!
Xanthe suggests that Clive ask Karl or Paul if he doesn't believe them. Clive seems sceptical, but says he'll look into it.
SHEILA: Oh, typical man – never thinking with your head.
CLIVE: Well, you don't mince your words, do you?!
SHEILA: Why?! I'm not making meat pie!
Clive looks baffled, and walks off.
SHEILA: Do you think we went too far?
We get an expensive- looking underwater shot of Piper swimming in the pool. She emerges and checks her phone for messages from Xanthe, but Paige, who is sitting nearby, says Xanthe will never call if Piper keeps checking.
PIPER: Yes, Mum (!)
Paige admits she's been feeling quite lonely, adding that she gets freaked out at night now she's living alone. Piper retorts that she has to sleep with earbuds because the backpackers' is so busy.
PAIGE: I think I've just had a brainwave (…) There's heaps of room here. Why don't you and Tyler move in?
Piper reminds Paige why she and Tyler left their homes in the first place – her parents wouldn't accept them being under the same roof. But Paige thinks that Brad will be more relaxed about the idea now he's moved to the Gold Coast, and says he wanted Paige to look out for Piper.
PAIGE: I just have to make him realise that this is the best place to do that. Unless you want to continue sharing toothpaste with hairy tourists.
PIPER: Ugh, no. Please, no.
PAIGE: Okay, then let me handle Dad. It'll be fun!
Piper looks excited.
Steph is on the phone, telling someone to stop hassling her. Once she's finished, she tells Aaron that it was Paul, moaning about some missing invoices. Deciding Steph looks stressed, Aaron demands that she give him her hands, and tells her that one of his clients used to practice acupuncture. He massages her ‘spirit gate', in a bid to relieve her stress.
AARON: You feeling better?
STEPH: Invoices are still missing – nope!
Aaron wonders aloud whether Steph has more on her mind than just work. She admits that she's hated seeing Mark and Sonya suffer – and that she can't help wondering whether she and Mark could have worked things out if they'd had more time.
STEPH: Has he said anything to you?
AARON: I just want my brother to be happy. And at the moment, I think he's just a bit confused about everything. And hey, maybe you are too? Steph, don't push yourself with all of this, alright? Maybe give yourself a bit of time, and everything will sort itself out.
Sheila and Xanthe arrive home; Xanthe's now wondering whether Brooke's text saying she missed her was just a big fat lie. Sheila says she's sure Brooke meant it, but Xanthe's upset at the prospect she's scamming someone again.
XANTHE: I just miss her hugs, you know?
Sheila hugs Xanthe.
XANTHE: I mean, it's great having you and Dad and Ben. But sometimes I just want her.
SHEILA: I know, sweet pea, I understand. But you're gonna have to have a little think now, okay? About whether you want to call your mum, or just let it go. It's totally up to you.
But then Gary and Brooke appear from the laundry – he's been giving her a guided tour of the newly renovated house!
BROOKE: Honey- bunch!
Some time later, Brooke is reciting a mea culpa to the Cannings.
BROOKE: The truth is, when I first came into this house and asked for a second chance, I wasn't being sincere.
SHEILA: Oh, we knew that!
GARY: Mum, just hear her out.
BROOKE: My plan was to clear my debts, then take off with Xanthe. But then I saw how wonderful you all were, and I couldn't go through with it. I was scared I'd let you down again. And then, after the jewellery incident, I just didn't think I deserved your kindness.
Sheila reminds Brooke that she offered her a job at the pub so she could pay back the money she owed people, but Brooke says it wasn't just about the money.
BROOKE: After I read Xanthe's diary, I realised that I needed to work on some personal stuff. And then I got to Adelaide, and I couldn't stop thinking about you all. I wanted to come back and prove myself to you (…) I hated myself for the way I treated you. And I wanted to get back in all your lives again. So I started Googling some self- help blogs, and they were really inspiring. So that's why I came back to Erinsborough on the quiet, so I could get a proper job, and be the kind of mum you deserve.
Brooke explains she went for a job interview with Clive at the hospital, as a fundraiser for the new spinal unit.
BROOKE: There was a lot of sucking up involved. I had to flatter him, his hair, his watch…
Sheila and Xanthe both look worried, realising that they've probably just cost Brooke the job!
BROOKE: What's the matter?
XANTHE: Nothing! We're just really glad that you're back.
Sheila announces there's something she needs to do, and rushes out of the room!
Mark is recounting his conversation with Sonya to Steph, who thanks him for checking in. But Steph says it's not just Sonya she's worried about.
STEPH: You and me had a moment. Just after bubs passed away, you let me help you, and it felt just like it used to. But now I feel like you're pushing me away again.
MARK: I'm trying to move on, Steph.
STEPH: I know. And I haven't made that easier, by asking you to keep checking in on Sonya.
Toadie emerges from the law office, just as Mark heads back to work. Steph tells Toadie that Sonya has apparently turned a corner – but that Mark doesn't seem to have.
Terese is talking to Piper about her having spotted Brooke at the hospital earlier. Piper says she would have told Xanthe in person, but didn't want to give Sheila more reasons to hate her.
TERESE: She doesn't hate you, darling. I think it's more about your lifestyle choices at the moment.
PIPER: Well, great! Cos that all might be about to change…
Cut to Terese marching furiously towards Paige!
TERESE: You asked Piper to move in?!
PAIGE: I imagined that you wouldn't love the idea. But I've got plenty of room here.
TERESE: Right. So the moment your father turns his back, you set up a love shack for them?
PAIGE: Hey – that is not fair. They've got it really tough at the backpackers'.
TERESE: That's exactly the point! They're meant to know how hard it is living independently, or she won't move back home!
PAIGE: Oh, so you want to bully Piper into breaking up with her boyfriend?
TERESE: Oh, come on, it's not like that.
PAIGE: Sure it is! And it hasn't worked! Piper and Tyler love each other, and they have proven that they are committed.
TERESE: You know, if you can't see how inappropriate their relationship is, then at least respect our wishes!
PAIGE: Not at the expense of their happiness. Look, if Piper and Tyler want to move in here, I'm not gonna stop them. And there's not a whole lot you can do about it.
Sheila turns up to talk to Clive, trying to backtrack on everything she said about Brooke earlier. She explains Brooke is her ex- daughter- in- law, and that it's all just silly family politics. But it's too late – Clive has already spoken to Karl and Paul, and they've both backed up Sheila's allegations against Brooke. As a result, he won't be offering Brooke the fundraising job, despite Sheila's protestations.
Sonya comes out of the bedroom to find Steph in the house, searching for the lost invoices for the motel. Sonya coldly says they're on the desk, and sensing there's still tension between them, Steph is about to leave. But Sonya apologises, saying she hasn't been herself lately, and shouldn't have blamed Steph and Mark.
STEPH: You said it was harder for you, having me around. Is that true?
SONYA: In some ways, yes. You and Mark wanting a baby was the beginning of all this. But that's not a bad thing. Caitlin wasn't a bad thing.
STEPH: I just wanted to be strong, for you. And Mark.
SONYA: Oh, yeah. Honestly, I need to be strong. I need to be strong for myself. I've got to stop relying on everybody so much.
STEPH: No, I'm choosing to be here for you. Mark is too.
SONYA: Well, Mark needs to look after himself. And what I need to do, is I need to focus on us, and getting our friendship back to the way it was, because – I really don't want you to move out.
Steph hugs Sonya, who continues to apologise.
Xanthe and Sheila are apologising to Brooke for having lost her the job at the hospital by telling Clive about her past. But Brooke is understanding, saying that they were only telling the truth anyway. She says something else will come up, and heads off to make a coffee. Once she's out of earshot, Gary assures Xanthe and Sheila that they had every reason to assume the worst.
Sheila says that they should support Brooke until she gets a job, if she's serious about getting her life back together – she is family, after all.
XANTHE: Do you think that we could let her stay here? I know that it's a lot to ask, but I think that she's really trying this time.
Gary doesn't look thrilled at the prospect, but says if it's what his princess wants, he'll let Brooke stay. When Brooke comes back in, complimenting the renovations, Sheila asks her to move in.
BROOKE: Because I like your style?
XANTHE: Because you're my mum, and we love you.
GARY: Only until you get things sorted.
Brooke thanks the family for letting her move back in, saying it's more than she deserves – but at that moment, Terese turns up, and is surprised to see Brooke in the house.
TERESE: What's going on here?
- Piper and Paige agree that something is ‘totally happening'
- Terese comes to talk to Paige about Piper
- Sheila tells Brooke that Terese makes Gary happy
- Brooke tells Xanthe she's not going anywhere
- Paul admits to Amy that he's worried about Leo
- Leo getting out of a taxi
- Paul and Amy look worried as they see Leo talking to Elly