- Jack pledges his support to Steph after she confesses about her freak- out with Gabe
- Shane and Dipi sense frosty relations between the Kennedys on their return from Thailand
- Karl cryptically admits to Shane that he got over- excited about some of what Thailand had to offer
- Sheila is furious when it appears Sonya has appointed Karl as head of the liveability committee
- Sonya gives Amy her permission to pursue Toadie, saying she'd be really good for him
Sonya sits at a table, looking worried. She has a flashback to seeing Toadie, Amy and Nell playing together by the lake. Aaron turns up to counsel her, guessing what she's worrying about.
SONYA: If Jarrod can find someone good for him, that will make him happy, then I'm not gonna be a roadblock to that. And I think Amy would be perfect for him.
AARON: I'm not buying it, Son.
SONYA: Maybe I was hoping that if I actually put it out there, she would just shoot me down in flames and say I was stupid for even thinking about something like that.
AARON: Isn't that exactly what happened? Didn't she tell you that they were just friends?
SONYA: No, she hesitated, Aaron. Which means she's thought about it. And so, Willow's right. She's got feelings for Jarrod.
AARON: Come on - you know how straight up Amy is. She would never actually go there.
Sonya cuts the conversation short, to go and organise the liveability meeting. Karl and Sheila are arguing by the bar when Shane comes in. Karl moans to Sonya that Sheila is angling to become head of the liveability committee when Sonya has already delegated to Karl. He also names a reluctant Shane as his second- in- command.
SHEILA: Oh, come off it, Karl! You two couldn't organise a barbecue in Hell! Whereas I have Dipi Rebecchi and Xanthe on my team!
KARL: Forget about it, Sheila, it's decided.
SHEILA: Since when?!
Sonya intervenes, saying that she has no authority to delegate the position of head of the committee - so there will have to be a community vote. They begin the meeting, with Karl and Sheila glaring at each other from opposite ends of the table...
The Flame Tree
Jack turns up to see Steph. She's on the way to her doctor's appointment and he offers to walk her there. He knows she won't have told many people about the incident with Gabe, and so says he'd like to be there for her to support her. Steph concedes that it would be less lonely that way, and thanks him.
Outside, Paige tries to convince David that she's happy for Mark and Elly in their blossoming romance. But she adds that Elly said Mark tends to go cold when Steph's name is mentioned. At that moment, Paige sees Jack and Steph walking towards the hospital, and wonders what's going on.
Sheila is presenting her pitch for head of the committee to the assembled members, including Sonya, Shane, Dipi, Xanthe and Karl.
SHEILA: As manager of The Waterhole, I am on first- name basis with most of the locals. Unlike *other* people in the community, nobody has to worry about me being snooty or unapproachable. If there is a job to do, I will roll up my sleeves and I will do it. So that's why, if you want your suburb to win the title of Most Liveable, you need to vote for me. Thank you.
Everyone claps, then Karl stands up to make his own pitch.
KARL: What a passionate address from someone who's spent such a relatively short time in Erinsborough! As opposed to my twenty- plus years - but hey, who's counting? As the trusted local doctor, I'm very aware of people's needs and aspirations. And I won't be shy about putting innovative ideas into practice. Take, for instance, my key role in the establishment of the bike lanes. And my reputation as an organic farmer precedes me, as well - although I don't want to push my own barrow on that!
SHEILA: Oh, please!
KARL: When I've finished!
SHEILA: If we live long enough!
Sonya intervenes, wrapping up Karl's pitch prematurely. They adjourn for a break before the vote. Dipi and Xanthe provide encouraging words to Sheila, but she's worried that some of the extras are Karl's patients and that they will all vote for him.
DIPI: I don't know if he's as popular as you think. I mean, where's Susan? Why isn't she here today?
Xanthe says Susan's probably just working, but Sheila agrees with Dipi that it is 'suss'...
Susan is not working, but is relaxing on the couch. She has headphones in, and can't hear the hushed conversation between Elly and Amy at the table. Amy is feeling guilty about her feelings for Toadie to the extent that she still can't directly admit them to Elly, but does say that she's a horrible person.
AMY: Sonya's my friend.
ELLY: Sonya also gave you her blessing.
AMY: Yeah, but she was just being a good person. You know, I hate the thought of coming between them.
Elly pushes Amy to admit that she feels romantic towards Toadie, and Amy grudgingly concedes that she does.
AMY: But I don't know if it's real. You know, what if it's just the idea of someone liking me that's so appealing?
ELLY: I can see that you're really worried about this. You need to find out where you stand with him.
Sonya presides over the casting of the ballots by the liveability committee, then heads out back to count the votes. Meanwhile, Sheila accosts Karl and demands to know why Susan wasn't here to support him. Karl claims she's resting at home. Sheila decides to bluff her way to victory...
SHEILA: She's not still mad at you?
KARL: How much do you know?
SHEILA: I know everything, Karl. People are very comfortable telling me their secrets.
KARL: So, you know about -
SHEILA: Oh, yeah!
KARL: I suppose it's too much to ask for you to keep it to yourself?
SHEILA: I'm not a blabbermouth. Provided I get my own way.
KARL: Are you blackmailing me?!
SHEILA: If that's what you want to call it.
KARL: Come on, spit it out, Sheila. You want me to withdraw from the contest?
SHEILA: Well, it would be the right thing to do!
KARL: I'll think about it.
Karl walks off, and Sheila consorts with Dipi, who has been earwigging.
SHEILA: What do you really think he did in Thailand?
DIPI: You don't think...?
SHEILA: No! Although he does have form.
Dipi deviously suggests that they go and check on Susan while the votes are being counted, in a bid to learn more. Karl watches suspiciously as they scuttle off.
Amy turns up to talk to Toadie, who's sitting by the pool doing work. She gets cold feet and turns around, but he spots her and begs her to interrupt him. Amy admits there's something they need to talk about; Sonya thinks there's something between them.
TOADIE: As in...?
AMY: As in, more than a friendship.
TOADIE: Why would she think that?!
AMY: I dunno. Because we enjoy each other's company?
TOADIE: Well, no. No, I mean, we're just good mates! That's it. I mean, you're mates to both of us! I hope you set her straight?
AMY: Oh, absolutely! Nothing going on here!
TOADIE: Oh, no, this is crazy!
AMY: It is crazy...
TOADIE: (...) I will talk to Sonya and I will let her know that there is *no way* that I would ever see you like that.
AMY: Thank you. Yeah. Thank you. That'd be good.
Amy awkwardly pats him on the shoulder and escapes as fast as she can, Toadie still apologising as she goes!
Susan has fallen asleep with her headphones in when there's a knock at the door, but Sheila and Dipi don't hesitate to let themselves in anyway. They see her lying on the couch and Sheila goes to touch her, causing Susan to scream.
SHEILA: Thank goodness! I thought that you were dead!
Sheila quickly gets over this, and she and Dipi push a still shocked Susan onto the topic of Thailand, and what Karl got up to.
SHEILA: Don't think for a minute that you have to stay with that swine! You're a beautiful, intelligent, smart, wonderful woman. You're a great catch!
SUSAN: Hold on, hold on!
DIPI: It's okay - look, when Shane and I went to Bali, he also got himself into a bit of a situation when he agreed to a 'special massage'. But as soon as he realised, he bailed, of course.
SUSAN: Stop, stop, stop! You have both got it completely wrong!
Karl is telling Sonya that he is withdrawing his candidacy for head of the liveability committee. She's annoyed as she's just collected all the votes. Sonya gets a call on her mobile from Toadie, but ignores it and walks off. Once she's gone, Karl admits to Shane that Sheila knows some information about what happened in Thailand that he'd rather keep under wraps, and so had to withdraw.
Karl admits he didn't tell Shane the full story before. Shane doesn't really want to know any more, but Karl feels the need to unburden himself, and takes Shane to one side to explain things.
KARL: When I was in Thailand, sampling all those exotic fruits, it rekindled an old passion.
KARL: So I procured some seeds to bring home, to grow them for myself.
SHANE: Sorry, what are we talking about?!
KARL: Well, I told you about my interest in organic farming?
SHANE: Oh! I thought you'd...
SHANE: Nah, nothing. Go on.
KARL: Okay. Well, I packed the seeds in my suitcase, along with a durian fruit. I mean, it tastes like heaven, but when they ripen, they stink like baby poo. Well, how was I to know it was gonna ripen on the flight? We got to customs; it's stinking the place out; the customs officials are suspicious. So I told them the first thing that came into my head. That my wife had had an accident.
KARL: Yeah. I blamed her MS. She wasn't happy.
SHANE: Did it work?
KARL: No, no, no. They're onto every ruse in the book. They discovered the fruit, and the seeds. And they didn't leave it at that, either. They made us undergo a... a thorough search.
SHANE: How thorough?
KARL: I'm sure you can well imagine. And they confiscated the fruit and the seeds, and they hit me with a hefty fine.
SHANE: Mate, you are dead in the water!
KARL: No, I know there's a way! I'll find a way to grow them legally here!
SHANE: I mean Susan!
KARL: Oh, yeah. Yeah. How long do you think it'll take before she forgives me?
SHANE: ... Thirty years?
KARL: Okay. Okay, that's better than I had.
Steph has come out of her appointment with the psychiatrist and is explaining the details to Jack. The doctor has diagnosed probable overtiredness as the cause of her hallucinating Gabe speaking to her, as well as the emotional impact of watching Toadie give up Willow.
At that moment, Paige and David come out of the building; she's been for a check- up and is totally healthy. Paige sees Jack and Steph hugging, and again wonders what's going on. Paige thinks she should check up on Steph, but David says it's probably best to leave it alone.
Amy and Elly are having a coffee on the terrace. Amy is mortally embarrassed about how things turned out with Toadie; she should have known all along that he'd never stop loving Sonya.
AMY: But did he have to be so appalled at the idea?! I mean, he was actually offended by the suggestion.
ELLY: Don't take it personally.
AMY: Yeah, well, it's hard not to. I mean, I must've built up hope, or something.
ELLY: I think part of you always suspected it was the idea of being with him, rather than, you know, being with Toadie himself.
AMY: Hmm. The thing is, I like my life. I mean, I don't need a guy to make it complete!
ELLY: Yeah, but there's no shame in admitting you're a bit lonely.
AMY: Yeah. I guess it'd be nice to have someone to share things with.
ELLY: Well, that's what friends are for!
Elly issues an open invitation for 'coffee, or dancing, or whatever', and adds that at least they know Amy's type now.
AMY: Yeah, except none of those guys like me. And sometimes I think I have this aura around me that only attracts guys who are unreliable.
ELLY: You need to stay positive. Cos there are good guys out there.
Jack and Steph come in. Jack says Steph shouldn't be ashamed of her psychological condition.
STEPH: Yes, but having a reputation for stealing babies is a pretty tough one to shake. People have still got their reservations about me.
JACK: Yes, maybe so. But don't let that change the way you see yourself. You're a strong, intelligent woman that has risen up through incredible hardship. It was just a slip (...) Your dosage has been sorted, everything is back on even ground.
Steph suggests they call Sonya to see how the committee meeting went, but Jack has a better idea - he's due some time with Gabe, so he suggests they pick him up and go for a walk together.
STEPH: You want me to spend time with your son after what happened?
JACK: What, you think avoiding him is the answer? Come on - I will be there with you, and if you feel at all uncomfortable, you can just take a step back. I trust you. You just need to trust yourself.
Sonya announces that since Karl has withdrawn, Sheila is now head of the liveability committee. Everyone claps - except Karl. But rather than being gracious in victory in her acceptance speech, Sheila rubs salt into the wound.
SHEILA: There is a lot to do from here, but if we all hit the ground running, we can't fail. And as Dr Phil says, no dog ever peed on a moving car - though sometimes it smells like one did around here. Erinsborough is a wonderful place to live, but there are still some things to do - clean up. You know, like litter, illegal activity, people that are on the nose...
XANTHE (to Dipi): What's she talking about?
SHEILA: But together, we can make a difference. And we can all move forward from here. Planting our seeds for a brighter future.
Karl fumes silently.
Sonya runs into Elly. She's looking for Amy, and Elly directs her to the terrace - but admits that Amy told her what Sonya said to her.
ELLY: If you still love Toadie, why did you tell her to go for it?
SONYA: I don't know.
ELLY: Now he's freaking out - she's caught in the middle...
SONYA: So Jarrod knows what I said?
ELLY: Amy told him.
Elly insists there's nothing going on between Amy and Toadie.
ELLY: But what if she took your word, and he went for it? How would you feel then? Son, I know you're dealing with some really big issues right now - but maybe it's time to figure out what you want. For everyone's sake.
Toadie is still working by the pool when Sonya shows up, wanting to give him an explanation about Amy.
SONYA: I convinced myself that she was good for you, Jarrod. And once I got it in my head, I just didn't want to stand in your way.
TOADIE: ... Well, I hope that wasn't easy for you?
SONYA: Of course it wasn't. It was excruciating.
Toadie assures Sonya that he and Amy are Just Good Friends™.
TOADIE: If you were to take me back, I'd be back there in a second.
SONYA: You know it's not that easy, though.
TOADIE: Are you open for it?
SONYA: ... Look, before I could even consider us getting back together, I need to be completely healed first, okay? I need to understand why I made the decisions that I made before and after we broke up, because I can't let anything like that ever happen again.
TOADIE: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean - yeah, there's some stuff that I need to work through, too.
SONYA: Yeah. So if you're willing to do that, then... I'm open to counselling.
SONYA: Well, yeah. I mean, let's not get ahead of ourselves, or anything like that. But yes. What do you think about that?
TOADIE: Yep. Yeah, I think that's a good idea. I'm up for that.
Jack and Steph arrive to collect Gabe from Paige.
JACK: We came to take him for a walk.
JACK: Yeah. Just to give you a break.
Paige says she saw them at the hospital earlier, and asks what was going on. Steph explains she was seeing her psychiatrist, and explains what happened at the backpackers' when she hallucinated about Gabe speaking to her. Jack says that it should be fine now Steph has had her meds adjusted. But Paige is worried that it could happen again, despite the psychiatrist's confidence to the contrary.
PAIGE: You're a mother. And I'm sure you can understand how this makes me feel.
STEPH: Mm- hm.
PAIGE: I'm sorry. I just can't have you around my baby right now.
STEPH: I get it. That's cool.
Jack looks like he's about to object, but Steph pre- empts it, and departs. Paige looks awkward.
- Amy trips outside the church, and a mystery man comes to her aid
- Later she tells Tyler he was 'so great', but that she never got his name
- Paige tells Jack and Steph she can't relax until she's 100% sure everything's under control
- Sonya tells Mark that she and Toadie are having a counselling session
- Sonya tells an emotional Toadie that everything he's choosing to ignore 'leads back to Dee'