- Gary proposing to Terese
- Paul asking Leo to back off from Sonya for a while
- Leo refusing to stand down
- Leo telling Steph that Paul's on his side re: Sonya
- Callum returning to Erinsborough to encourage Sonya to come home
- Sonya telling Toadie she won't forgive him for involving Callum in their problems
Yashvi shows Kirsha the new app she's put on her phone – Dalek Siri – while Shane and Dipi fold the washing. The family's pleased when Toadie walks in and tells them that Sonya's returned home. Dipi wants to invite Sonya and Callum around for a BBQ but Toadie thinks Sonya's not in the right frame of mind. Dipi just says to leave it with her: Sonya won't be able to resist her “low- key, no pressure” approach.
Steph has a go at Paul over the Sonya and Leo situation as soon as he walks into reception. She tells him that Sonya needs the stability of the nursery in her life. Paul understands Sonya's plight but he says Leo has already compromised with Sonya by keeping the matter out of court.
STEPH: Then tell him to compromise more, to just wait until…
PAUL: (yelling) Steph! He is my son. Sonya nearly destroyed the two things most important to him in this life: his brother and his business. So what sort of father would I be if I sided with her? If I let her win this?
STEPH: I get that there's family loyalty, but it's you and Leo against me. It's exactly what I thought was going to happen and you promised me that it wouldn't.
PAUL: It is a specific circumstance.
STEPH: Oh is it? Or is it just the new normal? Blood is thicker than water, hey.
PAUL: Steph come on…
STEPH: No! I get that you want to have a relationship with him, but if you're going to automatically side with him every time, even when he's wrong, I want out of this arrangement.
Terese, Gary and Tyler gather in the corridor after visiting Piper (who'll finally be discharged again next week). Gary notices Terese itching at her ring finger and is aghast to see that her engagement ring has given her a rash.
TYLER: Piper gets a similar reaction from cheap metals.
TERESE: Which isn't to say that the ring is cheap!
GARY: Too right it's not! This is a family heirloom. Great Aunt Ethel's one of the most stylish birds about, there's no way she'd just pass down a knock- off.
Terese tries to placate Gary and says that the rash will die down soon enough, but Gary's mortified that Terese is allergic to the ring. He says he'll get it checked out or buy her a new one if need be. They walk off mid- conversation leaving Tyler alone standing awkwardly in the corridor.
TYLER: … Probably shouldn't have used the word cheap.
Sonya and Callum sit with Nell, who asks her mum where she's been all this time. Sonya says she's been ill so Nell cutely offers to fix her with kisses. Dipi pops in with flowers, groceries and a hug for overwhelmed Sonya and also introduces herself as “Aunty Dipi” to Callum. She invites the family over for the BBQ (vegetarian options for Sonya of course). It's a yes from Callum but Sonya isn't too enthused about the idea and says she'll see how she feels. Thankfully Dipi doesn't push her and says if they need anything she's “right across the fence”.
Steph gets Mark up- to- date on the latest with the Leo/Sonya saga. Mark's not surprised to hear that Paul has sided with Leo on the matter. Steph's annoyed for Sonya's sake but also at herself for not trusting her gut when she entered into the hotel partnership with Paul and Leo. Mark asks Steph if she can get out of it but Steph says she checked and she's locked in. Mark doesn't understand how Sonya's supposed to cope with this latest disruption in her life.
Shane can see Toadie's rattled by Sonya's anger towards him over Callum and tells his brother he did the right thing. But Toadie says he still feels awful about it, nevermind the fact he hasn't had a proper chat with Cal yet. For all he knows his son may resent him too. Dipi returns and says she didn't push Sonya for an answer, which makes Toadie believe he should make himself scarce so Sonya will feel more comfortable. However, Shane's having none of that negativity from his bro.
SHANE: Toad, lay off the self- pity. You've already kicked yourself out of your own home. You've done everything in your power to help save Sonya from herself, and you've beaten yourself up enough for your own mistakes. It's time to stop punishing yourself. You're allowed to be here. Until you get all this sorted, this is your home.
David and Leo are sitting out the front of Harold's discussing Sonya. Leo can't believe that David's still so sympathetic towards her.
LEO: Why is everyone so obsessed with this woman? She could have killed you!
DAVID: She's sick! Addiction is a mental illness.
LEO: If some random drunk had done this, no one would have been making excuses.
David says that isn't true – he's seen enough people at the hospital whose lives are ravaged by addictions. But Leo says he's tried being generous with Sonya, “I've got nothing left to give.”
Aaron spots Gary sitting at another table, looking like a sad sack, so Gary tells him all about the ring (the engagement ring, that is, not the 2002 psychological horror film, although perhaps this engagement is just as cursed). Great Aunt Ethel's heirloom turned out to be a piece of junk so Gary shows Aaron the new ring he purchased with his limited funds.
AARON: … Is there even a stone in there?
GARY: Fair go, mate! That's a diamond. Well, no, they said it's, um… diamond trace. Do you think she'll like it?
AARON: This might be a little more modest than what Terese is used to.
Gary frets because he's broke so Aaron tells him to win a few pigeon races or pick up some more shifts – anything. “But you have to get a better rock.” (Spoiler alert: who else is glad this didn't end in Azz inviting Gaz to join his dance troupe?).
Callum tries to gently encourage Sonya to join him at #32 but Sonya says she'll be fine at home, plus she's got Steph to look out for her. Sonya can see Cal's worried so she sits him down for a chat. She admits her and Toadie have shielded him from a lot of stuff but he's old enough to know just how bad things got between them.
CALLUM: What he did to you, mum, I'm so sorry.
SONYA: No, really, it's not that simple.
CALLUM: I hate it.
SONYA: Sweetie, I did some awful things too. During the surrogacy I stopped listening to him.
CALLUM: Mum that's no excuse for cheating.
SONYA: No but we both did things we shouldn't have done. I've got regrets. I hate that you saw me in that caravan. Things had gotten so dark for me I just wanted to escape and it was unhealthy and it was destructive. But thanks to you I really want to try and fix things properly, and it's just going to be hard. For a little while at least, I'm going to be a bit up and down, OK?
Steph chimes in and tells Cal that it's important for Sonya to take things at her own pace. Cal offers to stay home too but Sonya wants him to take Nell and enjoy the afternoon with the Rebecchis. When Cal's out of the room, Steph sits with Sonya.
STEPH: Shane, Dipi and the kids, they're your family too.
SONYA: Not anymore. And I'm not ready to play pretend.
Gary's collecting rubbish in the reception area when he finds a discarded hat on the ground. He takes it to the lost property box in the office, but when he opens the box he spies a very fancy- looking ring sitting in there unclaimed. One guess where this is heading.
Gary shows Aaron the ring he just procured, but when Aaron finds out the truth he's less- than- impressed that Gary just straight up stole a stranger's ring. Gary tries to make out that the universe just gave up an offering to him, but Aaron facepalms and insists that Gary return the ring to Lassiter's.
AARON: You cannot hold onto that thing, it's as good as theft.
GARY: No it's not, I found it.
AARON: You found it in the lost property drawer!
Aaron then asks if Gary can live the rest of his life knowing that Terese is wearing a ring that belongs to someone else. Gary puts the ring box in his shirt pocket and begrudgingly says he'll return it first thing in the morning.
Mishti, Yashvi and Kirsha are playing in the pool (during the dead of winter no less) while Shane, Dipi and Toadie get lunch ready. Toadie's stoked to see Callum and Nell arrive and introduces Cal to the rest of the clan. Yashvi asks Cal about his tech stuff in America and Kirsha says that Yashvi's obsessed with tech too.
YASHVI: Yeah like everyone else! I'm not a nerd! … No offence.
CALLUM: Nah, that's OK. I am a nerd.
Toadie asks Cal if Sonya's coming but Cal says no. Dipi says she'll take her over a plate afterwards. Shane offers Callum a beer but Cal says he doesn't drink. “Addiction runs in families so I'd rather just not touch the stuff.”
Steph gives Sonya a lavender- scented candle as a gift to cheer her up.
STEPH: I wanted you to know I fully realise how long this process will take, and I'm here for you every step of the way. I'm not going to rush you or push you; you take it as slowly as you need, OK? And if things get stressful, and they probably will because that's life, I want you to remember that I'm here for you. And I will help you get through this.
SONYA: That really means a lot to me, Steph. Thank you. Thank you for everything that you've done.
Sonya says what she really needs to do is get back to simple things she's passionate about to help her through, like being outside, being around animals and having the nursery. Steph smiles along with her, but her face is like, ‘oh crap'.
Mark strides into reception and tells Leo and Paul he wants to talk to them about Sonya's nursery. Leo sighs and says his mind is made up and it's a straightforward business transaction – there's nothing Mark can do about it. Mark's like, look mate, I agree with you that you need to get your business back on track and that Sonya did the wrong thing, but I still can't let you go through with it. Leo's about to protest further when Mark whips out a cheque for $10,000 to pay him off. He says he's good for the rest of the money, he just needs to sort it out with the bank, “just leave Sonya alone.”
Number 32/Number 30
Yashvi and Kirsha want to show Callum their dad's solar powered lawn mower. Shane's a bit embarrassed by the attention because it's a dud, but he has a laugh when he realises Yashvi's hidden her phone on it to make it sound like a Dalek. Little Nellyfish reminds her dad that “mummy loves swimming” and Toadie says with some sadness in his voice that he knows, and that hopefully Sonya will come next time.
Sonya's sitting at her kitchen table, staring at her lit candle, while the sounds of fun and laughter and splashing around in the pool can be heard next door.
SHANE: Alright, attention everyone. Now that we've filled our growling bellies I'll be taking requests for a bush ballad.
(Yashvi and Kirsha start to groan)
CALLUM: Hang on, hang on, is that like Karl and the river songs?
TOADIE: It is worse, mate. Way worse.
SHANE: Don't listen to your dad, he's just jealous.
Meanwhile, Sonya stares at her candle some more.
Steph's astounded after hearing about Mark's offer to Leo. Mark says he couldn't just stand by and do nothing after everything Sonya's been through. Steph can't help wondering if it's also because of his feelings for Sonya.
MARK: Listen, I've accepted that my feelings for Sonya were not real. I was caught up with Caitlyn. And I know that Sonya and I are never going to be together. But if I can do this for her, why not after everything we've been through?
Gary works up the courage to tell Terese that Great Aunt Ethel's ring was a fake, but Terese is like, ‘yeah I already gathered that'. She adds that it didn't matter, though, it's about their love, not a piece of jewellery. But she definitely perks up when Gary says he got her a replacement ring. He rambles and says he did the best he could with what he had, but Terese interrupts him and tells him to stop being a tease. She can see the ring box in his shirt pocket and grabs it before Gary can stop her, opening it to find the lost property ring. Terese is so in awe of it Gary can't bring himself to tell her the truth and give her the crappy- looking ring in his other pocket. This will end well.