- Sonya and Toadie learn that Nell is having serious behavioural issues at kindergarten
- Sonya blows up at Toadie when he suggests Nell's problems could date back to the surrogacy
- Jack tells Paige that the best way to work out her feelings is to write them down
- Paige takes his advice, writing ‘I can't get him go, Mark is The One™' on a bit of notepaper
- But the paper ends up in Gabe's baby bag, among Jack's submissions for the wishing tree
- Steph tells Paige that things between Paige and Mark may not be as finished as she thinks
- Later, Elly sees Steph hanging Paige's ‘wish' on the tree, and assumes that Steph wrote it
Elly is upset that Steph apparently hung her feelings about Mark on the wishing tree, where everyone could read them, and moans to Xanthe about this at length. Xanthe says it might not even be Steph's note, and it could be about a different Mark. But Elly says they know most of the ‘wishers', and that she saw Steph with this one in her hand. (Elly has taken the note with her.)
ELLY: And I saw them hugging yesterday. Has to be her. She wants him back.
XANTHE: Okay, even if she does, it doesn't mean that Mark feels the same way. And maybe it was a friendly hug. I saw how loved up you two were yesterday; he's into you a hundred percent. A thousand percent.
ELLY: I dunno.
XANTHE: Well, you could always ask Steph outright.
Elly is about to actually go to work for once – but then she remembers that Paige was hanging out with Steph and Mark yesterday, and goes to seek her counsel.
Sonya airs her concerns to Steph about Nell misbehaving at kindergarten – she's blaming herself, for all the tension there's been in the family of late because of Sonya and Toadie's separation. Steph points out that kids often act up in the lead- up to starting school, and that Nell doesn't misbehave at home – so it could have just been blown out of proportion.
Sonya calms down a bit, admitting they still have a bit of time before deciding whether to send Nell to school or hold her back at kindergarten, and that she'll be able to spend more time with her now her community service is coming to a close.
Elly has shown Paige the note from the tree, and Paige immediately pretends she doesn't know who wrote it! She advises Elly to do nothing; the person who wrote the note didn't say they'd do anything about their feelings, so there's no need to take action. But Elly isn't satisfied.
ELLY: I've had this feeling lately – whenever I'm with Mark, he's not entirely present. It's like he's thinking about someone else. What if that person is Steph? What if he feels the same way about Steph?
Paige continues to dissuade Elly from taking action, saying someone else could have written the letter. Elly says that the only other person it could be is Sonya, which she thinks is highly unlikely as she's trying to patch up her marriage to Toadie.
ELLY: I'm going to have to bite the bullet – speak to Steph about this.
PAIGE: Or you could just concentrate on Mark, and focus on the relationship you guys have. And not on a competitor that may not even exist.
Elly admits she and Mark haven't spent much time together lately. Paige spontaneously suggests they go on a getaway.
ELLY: That's such a good idea. I can always rely on you – thank you.
Elly rushes off to put the letter back in the tree, saying she shouldn't have taken it, ignoring Paige's suggestion that she should just throw it away. Paige looks worried.
Toadie is talking to David about the situation with Nell's behaviour, in absence of Karl, who's Not In This Episode™ - or as Toadie puts it…
TOADIE: … probably tucked away in a greenhouse somewhere, doing god knows what to some unsuspecting tropical fruit!
David recommends speaking to a child psychologist, who would be able to assess whether Nell is having any difficulties. Toadie's surprised, but open to the idea. David offers to give him some contact details, and Toadie says that would be good.
Jack and Xanthe chat at the counter; Xanthe is handed a tray with numerous receptacles on it. She explains she has to take all Courtney's coffee ingredients to her separately, because…
XANTHE: Courtney's uber- picky about ratios, so she likes everything deconstructed!
Xanthe finds Gary at a table looking nervous; he's had a call from the manager of Lanzini's, who's heard good things about him from the cooking school! He's invited him in for a job interview, which is perfect timing, Gary says, as he's been thinking he should be climbing the career ladder now he's about to marry Terese.
XANTHE: Terese doesn't care about what you do. She loves you for who you are.
GARY: I know. But I clean toilets at the hotel she owns. I know I should be looking to aim higher – but maybe Lanzini's is just a bit too high for the likes of me.
XANTHE: No it's not.
GARY: What do you think they're gonna say when they see ‘prison kitchen' on my CV?
XANTHE: Nothing. They'll be too busy realising what an amazing chef they have. But maybe keep that bit vague, okay? It might not even come up.
Xanthe asks if Gary's told Terese, but he explains she has cancer treatment this morning, so he didn't want to bug her. Xanthe advises him to go and get changed for the interview.
Gary is chatting to the Lanzini's manager, John, in a warehouse area. John is looking at his CV, but decides he's wasted his time bringing Gary in – being a cleaner ‘doesn't scream go- getter', he says. In addition, Gary's vagueness about which kitchen he worked in isn't helping matters – and when he finally admits to it being the prison kitchen., John doesn't look impressed.
Gary says his manager at Lassiter's will give him a reference, but John is aware that Terese is his fiancée, so doesn't think that will hold any water.
JOHN: You've done well there, marrying up like that. I'm afraid you're not what we're looking for.
Gary looks disappointed as John walks away.
Paige is at the wishing tree, looking at the note she wrote that's now back hanging there. She glances around furtively, then grabs the note out of the tree and walks off.
Paige visits Steph, to explain what's happened with the note. Steph seems unconcerned, and says that if Elly approaches her she can just deny writing it – it wouldn't be a lie, after all.
PAIGE: Unlike the one by omission I just gave her.
STEPH: Would you rather she knew?
PAIGE: Elly's my friend, and I do want her to be happy. But listening to her worry about Mark thinking of someone else, part of me was hoping that he was. I want him to be thinking about me. Isn't that awful?
STEPH: No! No, the connection you and Mark have is still there. These things are not always cut and dried.
Paige leaves for work.
Sonya has come to meet Toadie at his request. She'd assumed it was to clear the air between them, but instead he's told her about David's suggestion to take Nell to a child psychologist. However, Toadie says he wants to clear the air too – he hates how things were left this morning. He apologises, and Sonya does too, for letting her emotions get the better of her.
Sonya thinks it might be jumping the gun to take Nell to a psychologist; if she's having issues, it's because of the tension and instability that they have created. So if they work on resolving that first, perhaps that will solve the problem before they need to take things further. Toadie's surprised Sonya feels this way, given how much counselling has helped them and Callum in the past.
SONYA: Don't get me wrong. If Nell needs counselling I'm not gonna stand in her way. But she's only exhibiting this behaviour at kinder. She hasn't been like this with us, at home.
TOADIE: I don't want to push the issue. But maybe we could talk about me moving back in.
SONYA: I just don't think now's the right time. I think after this morning, it's very clear that we've still got a lot of stuff to work through, Jarrod. And look, I'm not saying that this is forever. I just think if we try and move back in together too quickly, and a fight breaks out or there's some kind of tension, it could make things worse.
Sonya asks if they can give it two weeks before booking anything with the psychologist, and suggests they all hang out later today as a family. Toadie agrees.
Meanwhile, Xanthe comes to meet Gary, to find out how the interview went. He explains what happened, and Xanthe says not to let it get to him.
XANTHE: You're an amazing person, and an incredible chef. And if this is something that you really want to do, then –
But she's interrupted by a text on Gary's phone. It's John from Lanzini's – he wants to meet up again.
Elly joins Mark at a table, who seems pleased to see her. Elly has been thinking about Christmas, and wonders whether Mark wants to spend it with her and her friends and family in Sydney. Mark hesitates before saying that sounds great, then looks like he's trying to think of an excuse! Elly senses this.
ELLY: Are you sure?
MARK: Well, actually, it's gonna be our first Christmas after losing Dad. So maybe I should be here for Tyler and Aaron.
Elly says she understands, but Mark says he isn't ruling it out – he'll talk to his brothers and get back to her. Mark suggests Elly come over this evening for a meal. Now it's her turn to hesitate, but she eventually says it sounds great. She dashes off, claiming she has to be somewhere. Could Elly finally be going to work today?
No, of course not! She's gone to the spa instead, for a ‘tightening mask', and more advice, from Xanthe! Elly admits her relationship feels imbalanced – she wants to spend time with Mark, but is a bit put off by him being ambivalent about Christmas. If the situations were reversed, she'd be depending on Mark for support, she says.
ELLY: In Steph's letter, she mentioned it was the baby that kind of kept them apart. What if that's creating distance between us as well?
XANTHE: Maybe. Have you talked to Mark about having kids? I mean, you'd obviously make very cute ones.
ELLY: My gosh, can you imagine? But no, we haven't spoken about it. But maybe we should. If we're gonna be together, we really need to be on the same page with this stuff.
Toadie is on the phone to the child psychologist, asking if they can book in a chat, to see if referring Nell is the right thing to do.
TOADIE: Actually, her mum's not on board with it yet, so it's just gonna be me.
The psychologist offers to see Toadie this afternoon, but he's not sure if he can make that, so says he'll call back. Hanging up, he explains to Mark that he needs to make an appointment (but not what for) but is stuck, as he needs to pick Nell up from daycare. Mark offers to pick up Nell instead, as he has the afternoon off. Toadie's unsure, explaining that Nell has been acting up at kindergarten.
MARK: I can handle it! Hello? It's Uncle Mark! Me and Nell are like this!
Toadie reluctantly agrees, and thanks Mark. They both leave; meanwhile, Gary is leaving a voicemail message for John from Lanzini's, asking him to confirm where they should meet. He then calls Lanzini's to see if he can get hold of John that way. But it's evident the person he speaks to has never heard of John Rotondo.
GARY: What do you mean, he doesn't work there?
Elly arrives for her evening with Mark, but he explains he's just put Nell down for a nap, and had been meaning to call her to cancel – explaining that Toadie really needed a hand.
ELLY: That's okay. Do you not want to hang out?
MARK: No, it's not that. It's just that she's not gonna be down for much longer. And I know that a kid isn't your first choice of entertainment.
ELLY: We had so much fun when we looked after Gabe!
MARK: Yeah, I know. But when she wakes, she's gonna want all of my attention. It's gonna be kid- land. It's not really your thing.
Mark suggests he send Elly a text when he's ‘child- free', once Toadie has picked up Nell. She agrees, but it's clear she's been upset by Mark's apparent assumption that she's not a ‘kid' person.
John and Gary meet up again; John explains there's another opportunity that might be more suited to a man of Gary's skills, which is a bit more delicate than a kitchen job. John says he has a job for a ‘slightly creative fisherman', and remembered that fishing was on Gary's CV as a hobby.
JOHN: How would you feel about fishing for oysters?
GARY: (…) Well, that depends. Would it be legal?
JOHN: This I can neither confirm nor deny!
But he says there could be a chef job at Lanzini's down the track, if Gary did well in the oyster- catching role. Gary's bemused, and asks if he can think about it. John agrees, but says not to think for too long. He walks off, leaving Gary wondering what on earth is going on.
When Toadie arrives to pick up Nell, he's surprised to see that she has lain waste to Mark's house!
MARK: Sorry for calling, but she was pretty upset (…) We were having a nice time. She had a nap. I read a couple of stories. Then I suggested we do something else, and she just cracked it. I mean, she was screaming, and crying, and throwing things.
Nell, who is colouring in, gives Mark an evil glance!
MARK: I don't know what's going on, but I have never seen her like that before.
TOADIE: Neither have I!
Elly's phone bleeps with a reminder to take her contraceptive pill. She hesitates briefly before she puts it in her mouth and swallows it. Steph and Jack arrive, and Elly asks if she can have a chat with Steph. Jack goes to the bar while they talk.
STEPH: What's up?
ELLY: I dunno. Letters on trees, underhanded behaviour – take your pick, I guess.
STEPH: I'm not sure what you're talking about.
ELLY: Of course you do, Steph. It's one thing that you wrote that letter to Mark, knowing that we're together. But what about Jack? You're meant to be with him. He could've read that letter just as easily as I did. Don't you care about people's feelings?
STEPH: That letter is not what you're thinking.
ELLY: What is it, then?
STEPH: Look, I can't say. But just trust me, okay? Just put it out of your mind.
Steph rejoins Jack at the bar, leaving Elly looking perplexed.
Toadie is surprised when Nell seems reluctant to take on a fairy- catching mission. She seems upset.
TOADIE: So you got a bit upset at Mark's earlier. That's okay. I get it. I mean, sometimes our emotions are too big for us, and it's like, they just come spilling out. So, you know, I'm not angry at you. But honey – do you want to talk about it with Dada?
Nell shakes her head vehemently!
TOADIE: No? That's okay. You don't have to. You know what, though? I swear that's the Queen Fairy over there. Could you at least go and look for me, please?
Nell indulges him, and runs off with her net. While she's gone, Toadie calls the child psychologist.
TOADIE: Thank you so much for talking me through the process. I'd really like to book an appointment for Nell… Well, as soon as possible, please…
John, the purported manager of Lanzini's, comes into reception and says he believes he's expected. The receptionist, Brandon, sends John to the lift. Gary, who's been following John, goes in and asks Brandon who John is seeing, pretending he's dropped his wallet outside.
BRANDON: He was headed up to the penthouse to see Paul Robinson.
Gary smiles, beginning to understand what's going on…
- Leo asks Paul, ‘what if you get caught?', but Paul just smirks
- Gary tells Terese that Paul is setting him up
- Hamish gets a text from ‘Louise', saying she's on her way
- We hear Hamish saying that money attracts a certain type
- Sheila says she's never experienced anything like that; Hamish says it's never too late
- Paul tells Terese that nobody will ever love her the way he does