- Susan informs Elly that Wayne has reported her for giving students exam papers
- Finn denies all knowledge of the discrepancies in Elly's marks
- But we're reminded of his creeping into No 28 and altering them by hand
- Terese is upset to see Brooke and Gary hugging
- Brooke and Gary prepare to track down Jesse at the Ridgeways Hotel
- Sonya makes a fool of herself when she gets drunk during a council policy launch
- Toadie reacts by telling her he wants Nell to stay with him until she gets better
Karl and Nell are fairy- hunting. Karl thinks he's caught the fairy queen in his net.
KARL: Do you want to look in there and tell me, is that the queen?
NELL (looking): No!
Sonya arrives, and sends Nell to look for more fairies while she speaks to Karl. She then rapidly loses her temper, taking out her anger on Karl about Toadie's plan to have Nell live with him until Sonya has recovered from her relapse. Karl assures her he had no idea about this, and at that moment Toadie arrives. He begs Sonya to talk to him, but she refuses, and leaves with Nell.
Erinsborough High School
Finn is having a meeting with Susan in her office. Among other items on the agenda is his offer to take Piper's coursework home for her while she convalesces, since he's living at No 22. Susan says that's not necessary – she'll drop in on Piper herself.
Elly comes in, and Finn leaves them to it. Susan tells Elly that Finn has been bragging about how well he's doing in his new role. She also has news for Elly; Donald Cheng, who has been reviewing her marks, has found an upwards trend in marks in all of her classes. Elly points out that this isn't necessarily a bad thing, and is upset that everything she does will be questioned from now on.
Susan agrees with Elly that all this is crazy, but says they have to dot every I and cross every T on this one. She explains that Donald has asked to review all Elly's marks from the last six months, meaning she'll have to ask her pupils to bring in their old assignments.
SUSAN: I'm sorry. It's the only way we're going to get any answers.
Outside the hotel, Brooke is with Gary. She's nervous in anticipation of seeing Jesse – particularly since Jesse and Brian haven't arrived from the airport yet. They plan to intercept Jesse once Brian has gone for pre- dinner drinks downstairs.
Meanwhile, Gary is concerned that he hasn't heard back from Terese after texting her about their dinner plans. Brooke says she's probably busy, but Gary texts her again anyway, typing, ‘sorry about before. Still up for Dins?'
Terese is looking forlorn while barely listening to Paul. He's telling her he just ran into Jasmine Udagawa as she left.
PAUL: That girl really doesn't improve as you get to know her, does she?
Terese admits that Jasmine is getting on at her about her management of the Eclipse Apartments. Paul isn't surprised, since Terese is using the penthouse as an office. Paul starts talking to Terese about Sonya getting fired, but soon notices that Terese is crying and asks what's wrong.
Terese seems to assume that Paul is just digging for information as a rival, and says it's nothing that would interest him. She tells him to drop it, before leaving.
Erinsborough High School
In the classroom, Elly asks her students to bring in their old assignments from the last six months. Xanthe thinks this is weird and asks why, but Elly isn't forthcoming. Susan then comes in, and asks Xanthe and two extras to go and speak to Mr Cheng this afternoon, so he can ask them questions about the work they've been doing with Elly.
Xanthe quickly makes the link between the request for old assignments and Mr Cheng's questions. Susan is tight- lipped but assures the girls they're not in any trouble. Elly looks worried.
Sonya and Nell are just arriving home when Nathan Grundy, a television reporter, rushes over with a cameraman and starts asking questions about her losing the mayoralty, and falling off the wagon. Sonya is clearly very distressed as she rushes Nell into the house, while Steph appears and threatens the ‘parasite' journo with a call to the police. He reluctantly backs away.
Karl tells Toadie he doesn't appreciate being caught up in his custody spat with Sonya.
KARL: Did you really tell Sonya you wanted to take Nell?
TOADIE: It's not like I want it to be a permanent thing. It's just, while she's drinking I need to do what I have to do to protect Nell (…) Sonya knows what she's like when she's drinking. The things that she's told me about who she was.
KARL: Well, I know from experience how it can change people.
TOADIE: (…) I want to do something to help, but I can't. And that's why I have to focus on the things that I can do. And that's making sure Nell is safe.
Toadie looks on his phone – it seems someone has sent him the video footage of Sonya being harassed by the journo. He looks worried.
Steph tells Sonya the journalist and his cameraman have gone. Sonya's struggling to hold it together.
SONYA: You believe in me, don't you, Steph? I mean, you don't think Jarrod's right? You would have said something if you thought that, yeah?
STEPH: Of course. Of course I believe in you, Son. You're a great mum, and you'd be the first to call it if you thought Nelly was at risk.
SONYA: Thank you for saying that.
Sonya tells Nell that she's not going to be the mayor any more, which means she'll have lots more time for them to spend together.
SONYA: I know it's been a bit weird, not having Daddy around here all the time. But we love you so much, yeah? You're our first priority. You're the only thing that counts. You're our number one, yeah? So, would you like to make some Play- Doh cookies?
Nell seems pleased at this prospect, and Sonya gives her a cuddle and a kiss.
Paul finds a still- tearful Terese in the courtyard, and presses her to explain what's wrong. She tries to fob him off, saying her contact lenses are playing up, but he's having none of it.
PAUL: I'm not leaving till you tell me everything.
TERESE: I don't need a babysitter, Paul.
PAUL: Okay, what about a friend? Could you do with one of those?
TERESE: I just hate myself for being that upset. It's like history's repeating itself, and that's what gets me. It's like the whole Brad and Lauren thing again.
Brooke and Gary are still hanging about outside, waiting for Brian and Jesse to show. They're starting to thing something's gone wrong – and sure enough, Brooke gets a message from an unknown number. It's a picture of Brooke and Gary, taken from inside the hotel. The accompanying message reads, ‘LEAVE ME ALONE. PLEASE. WE ARE CHANGING HOTELS. JESSE.'
Brooke is desperate to call Jesse, but Gary says she's made it pretty clear she doesn't want to see Brooke.
GARY: At least she knows you tried. I mean, that's something.
Brooke is upset.
A tearful Terese explains to Paul how she was spying on Gary and Brooke.
TERESE: And all those old feelings just came back. The paranoia; the disbelief. How can this be happening again? I mean, what is it about me that makes men do this?
PAUL: Oh, no, no. Don't you dare go there. Come on, don't do that to yourself.
TERESE: Yeah, but there's obviously something that draws them back to their exes' arms.
PAUL: Oh, I see. So Brad and Gary, who have no self- control or personal responsibility whatsoever – what, that's your fault, is it?
TERESE: Feels like it.
PAUL: Oh, come on, Terese. You can't blame yourself for their actions.
TERESE: Doesn't change the situation, though, does it? I've still been cheated on. I swore – I swore this wouldn't happen again.
She gets a text from Gary, wondering why she isn't replying to his earlier messages.
PAUL: Ah, you know, I'm gonna hate myself for saying this. Cos as much as I'd love to stick the boot into Gary for what he's doing… you don't know for certain what's going on.
Erinsborough High School
Donald Cheng is having a one- to- one with Xanthe, asking if she's noticed anything out- of- the- ordinary in Elly's lessons – such as, did she get extra reading material, or extra help?
XANTHE: Is this because of what happened with Piper?
DONALD: What do you mean?
XANTHE: Miss Conway marked Piper down because of the issues between them.
DONALD: Ah. Actually, I didn't know anything about that.
XANTHE: … Umm, well, that's because it's all in the past now. And if you didn't know about that, then that's great, because that means that this has nothing to do with it, right? Because my marks have been going up, and not down, so… You know I'm probably remembering it wrong anyway!
Meanwhile, in the corridor, Elly tells Susan how humiliating all this is.
ELLY: All my students are going to think I'm the worst teacher ever.
Finn approaches, and Susan warns Elly not to let him see her upset. Once he's gone…
ELLY: He has orchestrated this whole thing. I just wish I could prove it.
Sonya and Steph praise Nell's Play- Doh creations. There's a knock at the door; Sonya goes to get it.
It was Toadie. In the front garden, he shows Sonya the video that the journo has published. Sonya says she did everything to protect Nell, and promises Toadie the journos will not be back. But he says it proves his point; Sonya wouldn't be being targeted by journos if she wasn't drinking again.
SONYA: You drink, everybody else drinks. Drinking is not illegal!
TOADIE: Not to excess.
SONYA: Okay! I know I went overboard. But I – my daughter needs me, okay? And I really need her. Please.
Steph comes out to announce the latest batch of cookies that Nell's whipped up, and Sonya goes inside to help her.
STEPH: Toad, she's a great mum. She is not gonna be drinking around her daughter.
TOADIE: Mate, I love you, but this is between Sonya and I. Don't get involved.
Brooke is with Gary and Xanthe, telling them how upset she is that she didn't get to see Jesse. Xanthe asks why they didn't tell her what was going on; Brooke says they weren't sure it would come off, and it didn't. Xanthe points out that Brian could have made Jesse send the text, or sent it himself.
BROOKE: It's wishful thinking, honey. The truth is, Jesse's making it very clear she doesn't want me in her life.
GARY: Yeah, right now. But it won't be like this forever.
BROOKE: Well, if it is, then I've only got myself to blame.
Xanthe suggests Brooke send Jesse a text to explain, but Brooke thinks that will just upset her more.
BROOKE: If and when she wants me in her life, then I'm here.
Sheila, who has been earwigging, joins them, and puts the boot in for Gary and Brooke trying to track Jesse down despite her advice. Gary prepares to text Terese; he doesn't want to leave Brooke when she's feeling like this. But Brooke insists she has all the support she needs in Xanthe and Sheila, and encourages Gary to go and find Terese. He leaves with a smile on his face.
BROOKE: He's a good man.
SHEILA: He's one of the best.
Toadie follows Sonya into the bedroom.
TOADIE: I don't want to be the bad guy. I am just trying to do the right thing as a father.
SONYA: You know, you just make it sound so reasonable. Like it's just the most natural thing in the world to just rip a child away from its mother!
TOADIE: No, that's absolutely not what I'm trying to do! I just think that I should be the primary carer until you get yourself better.
SONYA: And how long are you talking? Are you talking a month? Six months? What?
TOADIE: I dunno. All I know is I'm not comfortable with you looking after her.
SONYA: I just don't need you to try and save me from something that I know is never going to happen, Jarrod!
TOADIE: You broke your sister's arm; you stole money from Callum. You yourself have said that you're a different person when you drink –
SONYA: Missing out on Callum's life was one of the biggest regrets of my life! And for you to stand there and remind me of that is just low!
TOADIE: I'm not trying to hurt you.
SONYA: Well, I would never hurt Nell! And I never, ever hurt Callum!
TOADIE: You let your grandma look after him when you knew that you couldn't!
SONYA: I was a teenager! I know myself better now! I know how to be a parent – I mean, she's happy! She's safe! And God, let's not forget that you're the one who cheated! So don't you walk in here and tell me that I'm the bad guy!
TOADIE: I couldn't hate myself any more for what I've done, or the fact that what I have done has actually caused this! All I can do is try to fix it!
SONYA: What, by taking Nell away from me? I'm sorry, but that is just never gonna happen, Jarrod.
TOADIE: Let me move back in.
TOADIE: Come on, let me come home. And then I can look after Nell. I can support you. We can work on our relationship. We can be a proper family again. Please. Let me come home. Let me help you.
SONYA: Please, stop. No – no. Our marriage is over, Jarrod. It's done. I'd like you to leave now, please.
TOADIE: … Well I'm not letting Nell stay with you till you're sober, so…
SONYA: Well then, you're gonna see me in court. Because that's the only way I'm gonna hand her over.
Toadie leaves, and Sonya sits on the bed, tearful again.
Erinsborough High School
Finn is filling Donald Cheng in on the ‘special tea' incident at the backpackers', presumably as further evidence that Piper has been neglected by the school. They're interrupted by Elly approaching, and Finn cuts the conversation short, leaving Donald to talk to Elly.
DONALD: I heard that there was a situation with Piper Willis a little while back?
ELLY: That's right…
DONALD: The thing is, I can't find anything on file about it.
ELLY: Well, I was disciplined and the matter was settled. And it's got nothing to do with the situation you're investigating now.
DONALD: So there's no paperwork? Ah, Susan's kept it off the books.
ELLY: Susan used her discretion.
DONALD: I really wish she hadn't.
ELLY: (…) This marking thing, it's a total beat- up. I know I've done nothing wrong.
DONALD: I get that. But this puts me in a really tough position. I think you're great, and Susan too. But if there's a problem and Susan didn't report it, I'm obligated to tell The Department™. I'm sorry.
Elly looks worried.
Finn arrives home and finds Terese looking a bit forlorn. Terese tells Finn she needs to speak to him about something, but that it can wait until tomorrow. He goes upstairs.
Terese answers the door to Gary. She says she's tired; he suggests takeaway.
TERESE: This isn't gonna work.
GARY: Well, we can go out if you want.
TERESE: I mean us. Gary, I don't think we can see each other anymore. We're just so busy with our families, and I really need to focus on Piper. It's for the best. And listen – this won't affect your employment at all. You don't have to worry about anything on that front.
GARY: If this is about Brooke, I promise there's nothing going on there.
TERESE: I can't have a relationship with you, Gary. I'm sorry.
She closes the door, leaving both of them upset.
- Sheila turns up to have a go at Terese about dumping Gary
- Piper doesn't think Gary is ‘that sort of guy' – someone else says that they all are, eventually
- Brooke looking meaningfully at Gary
- Finn leaves Susan's office, leaving her looking annoyed
- Karl accosts Finn for ‘what he did to Susan' and says it's not on
- Paige tells Jack she's terrified of having the baby