- Sonya disguises her discomfort when Willow reveals she and Toadie have found an apartment
- Mark tells Amy that ‘nothing much came up' when he looked into Willow's father
- Sheila agrees to give dating Clive a second chance, and Paul's sure they'll have loads to talk about
- Impressed with Xanthe's quick thinking, Courtney offers her a job at the spa and she accepts
- Terese tells Paul her investors have called a meeting, but during it she throws up on one of them
Terese is explaining her sudden vomiting attack to Jasmine Udagawa, who looks supremely unsympathetic. Terese claims it must have been food poisoning…
TERESE: Remind me to never have the chicken salad again!
… but Jasmine's concerned about her recent performance more generally, and wants to know if there's another problem. She's been cancelling meetings, frequently late, and even found sleeping at her desk.
Terese apologises, and admits some family issues have come up. Jasmine's already heard about the hoax call prompting the armed police raid, and seems supremely unsympathetic about that, too.
TERESE: Nothing is more important to me than making sure this deal with the Udagawa Group is a success.
JASMINE: Look, I want to believe you, Terese. But it's actions that count, not words. After today, we'll be watching your performance closely.
Willow is chatting to Ben, and Toadie and Dipi watch from the counter. Toadie thinks it's clear that Willow's got the hots for Ben. Dipi asks if he's getting worried; Toadie denies it, saying he's simply making an observation. Willow comes over and asks if Ben can come round to the house after school. Toadie agrees, and she leaves.
DIPI: It just occurred to me that the only experience you have with raising a teenager is with a boy. This is gonna be so much fun!
The Handywoman Yard
Mark comes to see Amy. He's been doing some digging on Willow's father after what Amy said the other day, and found out that he's called Fergus Olsen and living in Port Macquarie, New South Wales. He was living in London for a while, which is perhaps why Andrea took Willow there looking for him, but is now back in Australia.
Presumably against protocol, Mark reveals to Amy that Fergus's police file contains driving offences, drunk and disorderly etc, ‘your basic ratbag kind of stuff' – but that these were all some years ago.
AMY: So maybe he's cleaned up his act?
MARK: Yeah – that, or he's still acting like a lunatic and he hasn't been caught.
Mark is relieved when Amy offers to take this information to Toadie, as he didn't react well last time Mark intervened regarding Willow. Amy tells Mark to leave it with her.
Sheila waits anxiously for Clive outside an art gallery, and he soon turns up. He goes in for a kiss on the cheek but it doesn't quite work out. Sheila happily takes his arm, but is surprised when Clive suggests they actually go inside the gallery, thinking this was just where they'd meet.
CLIVE: Unless that sounds like the most boring date imaginable.
SHEILA: Oh no! I love paintings – I love everything about paintings. You know – the paint…
CLIVE: Yeah. Me too.
Sheila excuses herself to make a quick phone call, claiming she's just checking in on Xanthe. But when Clive's out of earshot…
SHEILA (on the phone): Hello, ‘Bags? I hate it that it's come to this, but I need your help.
The Waterhole / The City™
We cut to Paul taking Sheila's call.
PAUL: I thought you were going on a date? Don't tell me it's gone pear- shaped already!
SHEILA: Clive has brought me to an art gallery!
PAUL: An art gallery? A man of class – I do like that.
SHEILA: But I don't know anything about art! I mean, what am I gonna say?
PAUL: Here's a newsflash for you – why don't you just give an honest opinion about what you actually see in front of you? You've never had a problem with that before!
SHEILA: Oh, just give me something to say!
Sheila waves at Clive, signalling that she'll just be a minute.
PAUL: So you want a crash course in the entire history of art in, what, fifteen seconds? Yeah, should be a piece of cake (!)
SHEILA: Oh, don't pretend you're not poncey enough to be all over this stuff! Just text me something, and make it good!
Sheila rejoins Clive, and they head inside.
Terese is still feeling nauseous when Paul comes to see her, and warns him she may throw up all over him. Paul tries to convince her to go home and rest up, but Terese explains that the Udagawas are already on her case – she can't make things worse. Paul reveals he's found out that Val had been spying on Terese for the Udagawas the entire time, which she says makes a lot of sense.
TERESE: This makes me so angry, but what can I do?
PAUL: Get rid of him, for starters.
TERESE: He's a friend of the Udagawas!
PAUL: So shift him into development!
TERESE: I don't have a development department, Paul!
PAUL: Well, make one! Make him a special assistant in charge of resource consulting – it's a nonsense title that he will think is a promotion! You're gonna have to wear an extra expense, but trust is more important at the moment. Then, sometime down the track, when his contract ends – “Oh, that didn't work out, what a shame. Bye!”
Terese says she can't get by without an assistant, so Paul tells her to hire a new one, who's capable and has her back.
PAUL: Because I tell you, Terese, without someone like that by your side, there is no way you're gonna keep this condition secret.
In a rotunda near the gallery, Sheila is frantically reading text messages, presumably from Paul. Clive rejoins her with coffee.
CLIVE: So, what do you think so far? If we had to go back inside, and grab one to smuggle out and put on top of your mantelpiece, what's your top choice?
SHEILA: Well, we'd have to figure out which piece provokes an awareness of the universality of our consciousness!
CLIVE: … What's that?
SHEILA: Whilst at the same time using a meaningful symbolism to execute an abstract idea!
CLIVE: Okay… So as an art thief, I'm still a bit confused, which painting you would choose?
SHEILA: Oh, well that's easy. We would need to consider which one transforms… ahh, look at the rotunda! It's so beautiful, isn't it?
CLIVE: Yeah it is. Architectural… sculptures… in the gardens. Greco… It's like a forest... This is a good rotunda.
While Clive looks awkwardly around the gardens struggling to make his own intellectual observations, Sheila has a chance to check her phone again!
SHEILA: As I was saying, we need to consider which piece transforms the transparent into the opaque, relating it back to the human condition, and then – then we would almost be there to make some sort of meaningful decision. Don't you think?
CLIVE: I do. Yep.
Eager to end the conversation, he suggests they head back inside to see the rest of the artwork!
We cut from one budding romance to another, as Ben and Willow sit by the pool, dangling their feet into the water. They're talking about home- made planes – presumably a result of Willow's interest in aviation and Ben's in mechanics. Toadie emerges and comments on the lack of homework being done. Ben remembers he has an assignment to do and leaves. Toadie takes his place at the poolside.
TOADIE: So – he's The One™, isn't he? The guy you had your eye on last time that you were here?
WILLOW: Can you blame me? He's the reason I did all that stupid stuff with the fake IDs before. I wanted to impress him.
TOADIE: Yeah. None of that stuff this time around, please.
TOADIE: Alright. If we get the apartment, maybe we could have a farewell party, and invite some of the neighbours. And maybe, some of them could be called Ben.
WILLOW: I like that plan.
TOADIE: Great. You guys can hang out, I can keep an eye on you – no funny business. It's a win- win!
WILLOW: You're such a dad! In a good way. Thanks for not tossing me aside like my parents have.
TOADIE: I never would. In fact, I've started the application for a long- term care order. I'd like to make this official.
WILLOW: Me too.
Willow heads off to get ready for her nursery shift, just as Amy arrives to talk to Toadie. Shortly afterwards, in the house, Amy is filling him in on what Mark has found out about Willow's real father, Fergus. Much of the information is from court documents from when Fergus tried to deny being Willow's father, she explains.
TOADIE: He denied paternity?
AMY: Right up until they ordered him to submit to a test.
TOADIE: What I don't understand is why you and Mark decided to track him down without even talking to me?
AMY: I had a conversation with Willow; her dad came up; and it got me thinking. Neither of us imagined that he was actually around.
TOADIE: Neither of you had any right!
AMY: Don't you think Willow deserves to know about her father?
TOADIE: He fought paternity. And after everything she's been through with her mum?
AMY: You want to protect her – I get that. But you don't have his side of the story.
TOADIE: She doesn't deserve to feel rejected again.
AMY: When I look at Willow, I can't help but think of myself at her age. It was just me looking after my mum, thinking my dad was a total deadbeat. And I wonder how different my life would have been if Paul was in it during those years. You know, maybe it would've been easier.
TOADIE: Willow has been through hell. She doesn't need any more upheaval.
AMY: It's her dad, Toadie! Don't you think Willow deserves to know?
Terese comes home to find the house immaculate, home- made soup on the stove, and Paige busy proofreading documents for her – she explains she's had some spare time with Gabe having been asleep for a while. Terese is impressed.
TERESE: Hey – do you want a job?
TERESE: No, I'm serious. Do you want to be my assistant?
Paige says she's not qualified.
TERESE: But Paige, you're efficient, and you're smart, and you've got my back. And that's what I need! Please, just consider it.
PAIGE: Yeah. I promise I will.
Toadie comes to see Mark – he wants to know what he plans to do with the information he's learned about Willow's dad. Mark says he isn't making it official – it's up to Toadie what he wants to tell Willow about Fergus. Toadie wonders about Andrea having been a victim of domestic violence in the past, but Mark assures him this was long after Fergus was out of the picture.
TOADIE: This could throw Willow, and I really don't think that's what she needs.
MARK: Right... And have you thought about what Sonya needs? I mean, with Willow in Erinsborough, it's kind of like this whole thing with Andrea never ended.
TOADIE: Sonya accepts the idea of Willow – she's offered her a job.
MARK: … Maybe she's just trying to please you. Kind of like, you trying to please Sonya with the whole surrogacy thing.
TOADIE: What are you bringing that up for?
MARK: I'm not criticising, Toad. Quite the opposite. You buried your feelings for Sonya's sake in that instance. Maybe she's trying to do the same thing for you now.
TOADIE: So I shouldn't help Willow.
MARK: No, I'm just saying it's a complex situation. If reuniting with Sonya is your top priority, then maybe you should explore other options for Willow if they're good ones.
TOADIE: Are you trying to get Sonya and I back together?!
MARK: Toad, I care about everyone. And I'm the first to admit, I've made mistakes too.
TOADIE: Right. Well, yeah, Sonya is a priority. So's Willow. And I can't sacrifice one for the other.
MARK: Yeah, I'm not saying you need to make a decision straight away. But maybe just weigh them up before you do, yeah? There's a lot at stake.
Meanwhile, at the art gallery, Clive is looking more and more bewildered by Sheila's art expertise!
SHEILA: It's like a love letter to the inner psyche. And by reimagining a new dialectic that highlights the ancient Roman motif, we could then find a new –
CLIVE: Sheila, Sheila, please – sorry. I must confess, I do not have the foggiest idea what you're talking about. They just looked like blobs of paint on canvas to me. I know, I'm a philistine, I get it – that's what you're thinking! (…) I didn't realise you were such an art buff. I've been trying to keep up with you, but I just can't do it!
Relieved, Sheila comes clean – and admits that she's been probing Paul for profound- sounding artistic commentary to impress Clive.
CLIVE: I didn't bring you here as some kind of test!
SHEILA: I'm sorry. I am just so out of practice with this whole dating thing. I haven't been out with another man for over two years. I'm really, really sorry.
CLIVE: Don't be. But from this point on, I am dating Sheila – not Paul Robinson, okay? Tell me what you think.
SHEILA: Well, there was a café in there. Maybe we could eat!
CLIVE: Great idea. That is my idea of art.
SHEILA: I really liked the pictures with the people and the faces.
CLIVE: The portraits?
SHEILA: Yeah. And one of those would really match the cushions on my couch…
They head back indoors, arm in arm.
Xanthe is in the back garden with Gary, showing off her new beautician's outfit. Gary is still trying to convince her to go back to school, but Xanthe wishes he could be happy for her for getting the job. She says she'll still be studying by doing a beauty therapy course part- time, and will learn heaps on the job.
XANTHE: Laser hair removal will get me much further in life than algebra, Dad – trust me!
Sheila turns up, and Xanthe excitedly asks how the date went, declaring Sheila ‘in love' purely from the look on her face. Sheila denies this, but says Clive was a complete gentleman. Xanthe rushes off to get her phone to take a picture of Sheila's ‘post- date glow'!
While she's gone, Gary voices his concerns to Sheila about Xanthe quitting school for a spa job. But Sheila thinks that Xanthe will be running back to school as soon as she ‘hits the daily grind'. Gary gets a phone call from Terese and rushes off to take it, leaving Sheila a letter that came for her in the post. Sheila looks at the return address with concern – it's from Russell Brennan, in Port Lincoln.
Gary arrives to find Terese and Paige celebrating – Paige has accepted Terese's offer to become her executive assistant!
GARY: What happened to Val?
TERESE: I didn't trust him. So I got rid of him, and went and found the most loyal, reliable person I know! No pressure.
Paige promises to make herself the best EA Terese has ever had – and it will all be flexible, to fit in around Gabe's needs. Gary's still concerned about Terese working during her illness, but she says that with Paige on board, she can handle it. Gary smiles, unconvinced.
Sonya is training Willow in the art of juicing. Willow hopes she won't stuff it up; Sonya says it doesn't matter if she does, as it's just juice.
WILLOW: Mum always goes nuts when she thinks I'm doing something the wrong way… But you don't need me talking about her.
SONYA: No, really, it's fine. Do you know what – she's still your mum, okay? And if you need to talk about her, then you talk about her.
Sonya hugs Willow, who goes to tend to a customer just as Toadie turns up. He thanks Sonya again for giving Willow the job. Sonya asks if he's heard anything on Andrea, but he hasn't.
SONYA: She's just such a good kid, Jarrod. She deserves better than this.
TOADIE: Well, hopefully she'll get that. This can't be easy for you, though – watching us set up a different life, separate from Ramsay Street?
SONYA: You know, I understand that you need to do what you need to do, Jarrod. And it's probably good. It's a new beginning for all of us, yeah?
Paul finds Sheila sitting at a table, and asks her how her date went.
PAUL: I'm sure it was a huge success after my artful insights, hey?
SHEILA: In spite of it, more like it. Off you go!
She shoos a bemused Paul away! Dipi brings Sheila a meal, and sees her looking at the letter from Russell Brennan, which she hasn't opened yet. Sheila explains to Dipi about Russell's backstory, including him hitting Tyler when he was younger.
SHEILA: I believed that he'd go home and get help. But when the boys and I reached out to him months later, no reply. And then out of the blue, this turns up.
DIPI: See, that looks like trouble. I would throw that out if I was you.
SHEILA: I'm not sure I can. But then, there's no real point in reading it, is there?
Sheila sets the letter to one side, and looks worried.
Toadie has come to see Amy. He explains he's spoken to Mark, who asked him to factor Sonya into his decision, which he has.
TOADIE: And I have decided to not tell Willow about her father. I just don't think that she needs another bombshell dropped on her.
AMY: Don't you think Willow should be the one to decide whether or not she's up to it?
TOADIE: Whether or not she can handle another unreliable parent? By the sounds of this guy, he's gonna cause nothing but trouble.
AMY: You don't know that for sure.
TOADIE: I'm gonna hazard a guess.
AMY: And how does Sonya factor into all of this?
TOADIE: Sonya is a good person. She understands. And for months, I thought that Willow was my daughter.
AMY: Well, what if Willow finds out that you've kept this information from her? She won't be happy.
TOADIE: Well, maybe in the future we will tell her about this Fergus guy. But not now.
AMY: I have to say, I think you're making a mistake.
TOADIE: Amy, this decision is mine. It is not up for grabs. What I need to know is, can you not tell Willow about her father?
- Aaron sees a guy with David, and thinks he must have been in his apartment the other day
- Aaron tells Leo and David about a karaoke night he's hosting, which will have ‘so many cute guys'
- Leo tells Amy not to get involved with Toadie and Willow's family matters