- Elly finds Paige's note in the wishing tree about still loving Mark, and wrongly concludes it's Steph's
- Paige says the letter could have been written by someone who just wanted it off their chest
- Steph assures Elly that the letter 'is not what you're thinking', but declines to elaborate further
- Nell wreaks havoc at Mark's house, turning his showhome into a bombsite
- Sonya asks Toadie if they can wait two weeks before referring Nell to a child psychologist
- But Toadie goes behind her back and books an appointment anyway
- Sheila tells Susan and Dipi that Courtney has been inappropriately massaging their husbands!
- Terese confronts Courtney for answers, but it's accidentally broadcast via mic to the whole pub
- Paige rushes out to tell Terese what's happened, and that the rumours about Courtney aren't true
A humiliated Courtney walks away from Terese, while Paige looks on sympathetically. Terese follows, assuring Courtney that she had no idea that what she was accusing her of was being broadcast to the pub. Courtney then gets a text from her dad, Tim Collins, who has heard the rumours and is asking awkward questions.
TERESE: I'll handle Tim.
COURTNEY: The damage is done, Terese!
TERESE: I'm going to fix this. And of course you're not fired. And I'll let slide the fact that you were making money under the table.
COURTNEY: You can't fix it, and you can stick your job!
Courtney storms off. Paige approaches with more bad news for Terese - the assessor for the hotel star rating review has just arrived at reception. Paige offers to take over at the business luncheon that Courtney was involved with and firefight the rumours, while Terese goes to focus on the assessor.
Steph makes tea, while Sonya and Nell play on the carpet. Sonya tells Nell that it's time to go to Toadie's, and to put her shoes on - but Nell refuses outright, twice. Sonya compromises by saying she can wear her ballet shoes and fairy wings, to which Nell agrees, and runs off to put them on.
STEPH: What's with that? The indulging?
SONYA: Parental guilt. I really wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon with her, but then Jarrod insisted that we keep to the original agreement.
STEPH: Child-sharing, huh?
SONYA: Yeah. Look, I'm sorry. I know this situation is obviously better than yours, but -
STEPH: Oh, it doesn't mean it's not challenging.
SONYA: I just don't understand him sometimes. It's like, we agreed that we need to spend more quality time together as a family, and then he just goes and he shuts me out. It just makes no sense to me.
STEPH: Have you pointed that out to him?
SONYA: I don't want to have another argument with him.
Sonya asks if Steph would mind taking Nell round to Toadie. Steph agrees.
Elly is working on the community book exchange project, when Paige stops by to say hello. Elly admits she's also trying to give Mark some space.
ELLY: When we're together it's okay, but when we're apart, my mind goes into overdrive. It's like, where is this going? Is this long-term? What would happen if I fell pregnant?
PAIGE: Are you thinking about having a baby?!
ELLY: No - it's just where my mind goes when I think about that letter that Steph wrote him. The fact that there's another woman out there, who he once loved, who he was going to start a family with, and marry - and she's still in love with him.
PAIGE: That's on her, not him.
ELLY: I don't know how to compete with Steph and Mark's history.
Paige reminds Elly of the idea that she and Mark should go on a trip together, but Elly explains that she's tried that - and that Mark said he'd rather spend Christmas with his brothers than go to Sydney with her. Paige reminds her it will be the Brennans' first Christmas without Russell, so it's no reflection on Elly. Paige advises Elly to rethink her avoidance of Mark.
PAIGE: The more time you're around each other, the clearer it will be as to where you're headed.
Susan and Dipi are grovelling to Courtney for what happened at the luncheon, saying they shouldn't have suspected the worst.
COURTNEY: Firstly, your husbands are kind, sensitive men - not that you appreciate it! And secondly - eww, as if I'd go there. They're so out of shape!
Dipi is about to object loudly, but Susan interjects, again apologising for their behaviour.
COURTNEY: You know, maybe if you spent less time judging people, and more time just listening to them, we'd all be better off!
Courtney storms out with her box of possessions. Xanthe, who has been listening, looks sad.
As Courtney leaves the spa, Tim Collins arrives, and confronts Courtney about the rumours of her 'special' spa treatments, apparently assuming that they're true!
COURTNEY: Really, Dad? Do you have that much of a high opinion of me?
TIM COLLINS: I just don't want your name being dragged through the mud. This is going to take some sort of damage control.
COURTNEY: All you care about is how this will affect your reputation! If you want to help, start believing the best of me, for once - instead of the worst!
Courtney walks away, and Tim Collins looks a little contrite.
Toadie is surprised when it's Steph, rather than Sonya, who drops Nell off. Steph admits that Sonya has been a bit upset by his being rigid about spending time with Nell. Toadie explains that it was because he's made an appointment with the child psychologist for Nell, but feels stupid as he's done it without Sonya's consent.
STEPH: Yeah, you're right - it is stupid!
Toadie says he wants to do the right thing by Nell, but doesn't want to fight with Sonya over it. Steph says that going behind her back is worse; Toadie needs to be honest with Sonya before going ahead with the appointment.
Erinsborough Police Station
Paige is on the phone to Terese - she says she is working to get things back on track after the luncheon, but hasn't been able to get hold of Courtney.
Once Paige has finished her call, Mark emerges. He's about to head to the spa to investigate Courtney's activities, despite Paige's assurances that nothing untoward has gone on. Paige also talks to Mark about Elly, whom she says needs more TLC from him!
MARK: Right. And why are you taking so much interest in my relationship?
PAIGE: Because she's my friend. And I care about her.
MARK: So do I.
PAIGE: Good! Then show her that (...) There's no excuses. You've got to make more of an effort, Mark. Or you might lose her.
Mark looks thoughtful as Paige leaves.
Things are a little frosty between Susan and Karl, as he appears to be holding the spa rumours against her. Susan adopts a conciliatory tone.
SUSAN: You know, I really didn't think that you and Courtney were doing anything wrong!
KARL: Mm. Didn't do anything to hose it down, though, did you? The only thing that got hosed down were Shane's pants!
SUSAN: I am sorry. I just don't understand why you couldn't come and talk to me. Is it because I haven't been taking you seriously lately? It's just, all your plans for the big durian - it was pretty hard to keep a straight face!
KARL: You know, that's part of it.
SUSAN: Well, what's the rest of it?
KARL: Darling, when your MS returned, you were struggling. And I was worried about what our future looked like. But I couldn't burden you with that.
SUSAN: Oh, Karl.
KARL: I didn't realise how much I was holding in, until my first therapy with Courtney. I cried like a baby! But afterwards, it was an enormous relief.
SUSAN: But you know you can talk to me about anything. Even the things that you think might be hard for me to hear.
KARL: Yes, I know that. But I can't burden you with this - your health is too important.
SUSAN: We're in this together. Can you promise me that next time, you'll talk to me?
KARL: It's a deal. You might have to give me a bit of a nudge, though.
They hug, and Susan says she reckons she could replicate the massages Courtney was giving Karl so as to continue his emotional therapy. They kiss.
Sonya is furious when Toadie tells her about Nell's appointment with the psychologist. Toadie explains his position; as well as Nell's misbehaviour at kindergarten, she threw a huge tantrum while Mark was looking after her. He went ahead and made the appointment, he claims, because he knew it would force him to talk to Sonya.
TOADIE: I am sorry. But I'm not gonna back down, okay? This is what Nell needs.
SONYA: Okay. And look, I agree with you. If Nell's behaviour is getting worse, we should try counselling. I would just like to see if we could get it done here, though, okay? Somewhere she feels safe and secure.
Toadie agrees with this, saying he can arrange a home visit.
Terese is showing the star rating assessor, Anna Nguyen, the work that's being done in the courtyard, much of which is fenced off by barriers while construction is in progress. Anna wants to see the renderings of how the complex will look after the work's been finished. Spying Courtney nearby, Terese sends the assessor up to her office, saying she'll meet her there shortly.
Terese once again tries to talk to Courtney, saying she's mortified she put her in this position.
COURTNEY: *You're* mortified?
TERESE: You know, in my defence, you were doing cash-in-hand jobs at the day spa!
COURTNEY: Only because you wouldn't listen to my ideas!
TERESE: Alright, look - I've got a lot to make up for. But I really want you back - you're an asset.
COURTNEY: Oh. And everyone thought I was working my assets for cash!
TERESE: It'll die down. I'll handle it.
COURTNEY: You told the whole world!
Courtney tells Terese not to bother explaining to Tim Collins either, and says Terese only hired her in the first place because she couldn't hold down a spa manager.
COURTNEY: Lassiter's is going down the toilet because of you, and I'm lucky to get out now, before that whole place falls apart!
Courtney walks off, but behind Terese, we see that Anna has been listening to the exchange by the hotel entrance - and she doesn't look impressed.
Dipi is leaving a message on Shane's voicemail, grovelling for having thought he was getting inappropriate massages from Courtney! Xanthe comes in, with some books for the community book exchange, which she gives to Elly. Elly's surprised to see that they are Xanthe's science textbooks from school, and points out that if she decides to go back, she might need them.
Xanthe says that's not likely, as she's loving the day spa - although it may be shut for a while now Courtney's left, which will give her a chance to focus on her dad's wedding. Nonetheless, Xanthe takes Elly's advice and holds onto the textbooks for now.
Elly sees a piece of screwed-up paper under the table, which she mistakenly thinks Xanthe has dropped - and Xanthe unscrews it. It's the first draft of the letter Paige was writing about still loving Mark. Xanthe and Elly are all set to assume it's Steph's again, but Dipi comes over and tells them that she saw Paige writing it the other day! Elly is shocked and upset.
Karl is lying on the couch in his undies, while Susan massages his back, attempting to replicate Courtney's technique.
KARL: That's really good - that's my happy place!
SUSAN: Oh, really? I always thought it was somewhere else!
KARL (laughing): That's it - just look for knots, darling.
SUSAN: Oh, Karl, you are as hard as a rock down there!
KARL: Yeah, just keep the pressure on, darling - both hands!
SUSAN: How's this, then?
KARL: Oh, yeah - yes! Oh, yes!
At this moment, Mark walks in to drop something off for Elly - and from his vantage point, all he can see is Susan bobbing up and down on the couch! Apparently thinking Karl and Susan are TITTNLtm, he makes a swift exit!
MARK: Aaron always did tell me to knock when I came in this house!
Susan laughs, and slaps Karl on the bum!
Pauline Asp, the child psychologist, turns up for the session, and Toadie introduces her to Sonya. Nell's in her room, so they take the opportunity to go over the background. Sonya explains it's been a rough year for the Rebecchis due to their marriage collapse, and her addiction relapse, which she's now recovering from but which she's sure will have affected Nell.
Toadie intervenes to say that none of this was Sonya's fault, saying he was to blame for putting her under so much strain and that he takes full responsibility. Sonya says that's not necessary, and we get the impression that the psychologist thinks this is all too much information - so she diverts conversation back onto the topic of Nell.
They explain she's been playing up at kindergarten and with Mark, which is out-of-character for Nell - but that she seems fine when she's with them. Toadie continues to beat himself up for his role in all this, and Pauline once again refocuses on Nell, asking if she can speak to her now. Sonya goes to fetch her.
TOADIE: We really just want Nell to be that beautiful, happy little girl that she was, you know?
Sonya returns with Nell, and introduces her to Pauline.
PAULINE: It's nice to meet you, Jellyfish.
NELL: It's nice to meet you too!
Nell immediately drags Pauline off to see her bedroom, and Sonya and Toadie look relieved that things have started out well.
Steph is on the phone to Amy, saying that she'll soon be in a position to buy Leo and Paul out of the motel. As she finishes the call, Elly turns up, and apologises to Steph for accusing her of having feelings for Mark.
ELLY: I know Paige wrote the letter to Mark.
STEPH: ... Right.
ELLY: You and Mark are friends. I'm just wondering, do you have any clue about his feelings for her?
STEPH: Oh, Elly, this is really not a conversation you should be having with me.
ELLY: Paige won't tell me the truth. And Mark doesn't say anything at all.
STEPH: Well, there you go. There must be nothing to it.
ELLY: If you know anything at all, I'd really appreciate it if you told me.
STEPH: ... Elly, Mark's committed to you. He's not a cheating guy.
ELLY: I know he's not, but... Thank you.
Elly leaves, looking very upset.
Anna, the star rating assessor, is making notes in the courtyard, while nearby, Paige and Terese worry about the impact that the construction noise and Courtney's absence from the spa may be having on her impressions of the hotel. Anna comes over to join them, saying she's seen everything she needs.
ANNA: I'm afraid it's not good news. The assessment puts Lassiter's at three stars. I'll email the full report to you.
Anna walks away, leaving Terese fuming.
TERESE: I can't go down to three stars! This will be the nail in the coffin with the Udagawas - I'll lose the hotel!
Xanthe finds Courtney sitting on a bench, looking upset. Xanthe says she's sorry about everything, and that she doesn't want Courtney to quit her job - and nor does Terese. Xanthe even thinks Courtney could get a pay rise if she plays her cards right. But Courtney's crying because some uni friends have been sending round a horrible meme about her 'special' massages.
Xanthe says Courtney can't blame Terese entirely - she got bad intel, via Sheila, who then took her suspicions to Gary. This does nothing to assuage Courtney's upset.
COURTNEY: This place is a cesspool! Everyone in it is just as bad as each other! I'm getting out of here!
XANTHE: No, Courtney, it's not like that!
Courtney walks off, despite Xanthe's protestations.
Paige is in the garden with Gabe.
PAIGE: Sometimes I wish my life was as simple as yours, little man!
Right on cue, Elly arrives, still looking upset.
ELLY: I know you wrote that letter to Mark.
PAIGE: ... Yeah. Yes, I did.
ELLY: Why didn't you tell me?
PAIGE: Because I wasn't going to do anything with it. I just needed to get it out of my system.
ELLY: How long have you felt this way?
PAIGE: ... Since Queensland. When he came to visit me.
ELLY: You kept that quiet.
PAIGE: We kissed. And everything that was happening with Jack - I mean, that was so intense. And Mark was in the back of my head, and I honestly didn't think that my feelings for him would ever resurface. And I didn't want to come between you two. That is why I didn't say anything. You and Mark could be really, really happy together. And you deserve to be with a man like Mark.
Both of them are crying now.
ELLY: So you're just stepping aside out of pity?
PAIGE: No. You - you are an amazing woman, and you deserve the best. And I was just trying to be a good friend.
ELLY: No, no - you should have been honest. Honest. And then you would've been a good friend.
PAIGE: And I'm really sorry.
ELLY: You know what, Paige? Go after Mark - I will not stand in your way. But if you do - if you do, our friendship is over.
- Sonya is concerned when the psychologist asks to speak to Toadie alone outside
- Paige tells David how hurt Elly was
- Elly admits she's worried she'll lose Paige if she keeps dating Mark
- Paige tells David that Mark is all she thinks about and wants
- Mark wanders around Melbourne
- Elly wonders if she is not what Mark wants