- Elly develops a spontaneous interest in Ben's love life, prompting him to realise he loves Xanthe
- Cue lots of silliness with Ben dressing up as a prince and summoning Xanthe to meet him by the lake
- At the fireworks night, Mishti sees Gary on the phone to Sheila, frantically asking her what's wrong
- Mishti decides to investigate, but claims to Leo that she's having lunch with Dipi and Shane
- Finding out Mishti was lying, Leo uses the Find Friends app to ascertain her true location
- Mishti is annoyed that Leo spied on her, but he reminds her that Trust Is A Two- Way Street™
- Amy insists on keeping the identity of the anonymous wellness centre donor from Steph
- But the Hamish investigation forces Amy to admit the truth – that Steph's mum Lyn is the donor
The Wellness Centre
Steph rants and raves at Amy for going behind her back to get money from Lyn for the centre. Amy claims it was Lyn's idea and that they were out of other options; it was for the greater good, she contends.
AMY: I only accepted because we were so desperate!
STEPH: No! Not desperate enough to accept charity from my mother!
Amy further admits that Lyn isn't on board as a donor – rather, as an investor. Steph hits the roof.
STEPH: The wellness centre is supposed to be not- for- profit – it's not a business!
AMY: I know, I know – but those were her terms! And, look, she has promised she won't interfere!
STEPH: She already has!
Amy claims she and Lyn planned to tell Steph the truth, once everything was up and running. But Steph says Amy should have told her immediately.
AMY: We were worried it would upset you!
STEPH: Yeah, well you were right!
Ben is sitting at a table, when Elly arrives, and congratulates him on reuniting with Xanthe. Ben explains that Xanthe's busy doing macramé with Sheila, hence why he's sitting alone. He thanks Elly for pushing him into rekindling things with Xanthe. But Susan turns up as they're discussing it, and asks who the lucky girl is. Once Elly leaves and Ben tells her it's Xanthe, Susan's smile fades.
SUSAN: Do you think now's a good time to do that? You're still in the middle of exams.
But Ben says he feels really good about it. Susan recalls how it wasn't always smooth sailing for Ben and Xanthe in the past; she'd hate to see him heartbroken again like he was last time they split up. Ben says that Susan's blessing would mean a lot to him; she says that of course he has it.
SUSAN: The most important thing is that you're happy. Just try and stay level- headed. Learn from the past.
Leo is in the courtyard when he sees Mishti turn up at the hotel, take her jacket off to reveal a fairly scanty sports top, and walk inside. He follows, and watches as Mishti turns on the charm with Brandon, the hotel receptionist.
Mishti is using her feminine wiles to get Brandon off the desk so she can access the hotel computer system, on the pretext of wanting to fix an embarrassing mistake she's made in Courtney's personal training schedule. But from his position outside the door, Leo can't hear what's being said, and it looks to him as if Mishti is simply making a pass at Brandon.
Leo walks off angrily, while Brandon agrees to give Mishti access to the computer – and to keep an eye out, ostensibly in case Courtney appears. While Brandon's not looking, Mishti whips out a USB stick and plugs it into the computer…
Amy has come whining to David and Aaron about how annoyed Steph is that she brought Lyn on as an investor, changing the entire business model of the wellness centre in the process. Aaron is unsurprised and unsympathetic that Steph has reacted in the way she has, but Amy says she still feels she made the right decision.
AMY: The centre's not just about me and Steph. We decided to do it because we wanted to help people going through a terrible time.
She seems nonplussed as to why Lyn being Steph's mum has to be a problem.
Ben and Xanthe are in the garden, being all mushy about how ‘right' it feels that they're back together – notwithstanding the threat to the ambiance posed by the nearby spa cordoned off with police tape! Ben says they're both going into this with their eyes open, so they won't have the same problems as before. Xanthe says Finn is to blame for their original break- up.
XANTHE: I've changed so much since then. Things are gonna be different this time; I know it.
BEN: There were problems before Finn. And who knows – maybe if we'd talked more, there wouldn't have been the same issues. He wouldn't have been able to mess everything up.
XANTHE: We just need to be one hundred per cent open with each other.
BEN: Right. And talk to each other when we have worries. Listen to one another.
Xanthe showers Ben with compliments, such as that he's ‘emotionally intelligent' and ‘smoking hot'. Ben says he really wants to get this right.
The Wellness Centre
Steph is on the phone to Jack, moaning about how she can't work with Lyn as an investor.
STEPH: I love her, but she's just hard- wired to meddle, you know? And I really want to stand on my own two feet, but my mum just doesn't respect that.
Steph turns around to find Lyn standing behind her, looking awkward! Steph hangs up, and hugs Lyn nonetheless, saying it's great to see her. Lyn returns the sentiment, but looks upset to have heard Steph badmouthing her!
Shortly afterwards, Steph is questioning Lyn about whether she can afford to invest $200,000 in the wellness centre. Lyn explains that she has sold her café in Bendigo to allow her to invest.
LYN: Well, you are my daughter. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you, Stephie.
Steph is horrified, saying Lyn had no right to sell her own business so she could invest in and alter Steph's.
LYN: Hey, we'll work it out! You're worth the risk!
STEPH: Yeah, but it's not supposed to be a risk, Mum! This is why we're looking for donors, not investors!
But Lyn argues that the wellness centre has major profit- making potential, saying it's possible to be charitable at the same time – and that they can reframe the operation as a health retreat, both for sick people and those who need some rest and relaxation.
LYN: Love, I know you're trying to help people – but, well, financial security is also important. You have Adam and Charlie to think about. And your own mental health. Love, once we sort this initial rejig, I will be nothing other than a hands- off partner.
STEPH: Oh, please! When have you ever been hands- off, Mum?
The conversation descends into an argument, but Lyn insists the situation is ‘win- win' for both of them. Steph looks unconvinced.
Xanthe is randomly crowdsourcing romantic advice from Toadie, Sonya and Nell. She calls Toadie and Sonya's reunion an ‘epic love story', and asks them if they have any tips for her as she embarks on a new chapter with Ben. The Rebecchis say they learned a lot about honesty and communication, “how to disagree in a healthy way”, and making small romantic gestures.
Toadie uses the plant Sonya gave him as an example; he wants to take it to the office so he has a reminder of her while he's at work. But Sonya is afraid Toadie will overwater it and kill it! The Rebecchis also advise that Xanthe and Ben need to get the balance right as to how much time they spend together – including not spending too much.
SONYA: You just don't want to see your self- worth as equating with loving someone else, or being loved by someone else. You've got to get out there; you've got to have your own goals, your own interests, hobbies…
TOADIE: And that sort of thing can really help a relationship. Make it stronger.
Xanthe thanks them for their input, saying she really wants things with Ben to work.
Lyn is catching up with her old friend Susan for a coffee, and filling her in on her plans for the wellness centre. Susan is diplomatic, but warns Lyn that Steph has “pretty clear intentions” for the centre. Lyn insists she's only here to help, and make sure Steph is okay, as she hasn't seen enough of her of late.
Susan says Steph is juggling a lot, but seems happy; Lyn says this will help, financially and otherwise.
LYN: I really believe that.
SUSAN: Yeah. I know you do.
But we get a sense that Susan is quietly judging Lyn's approach.
Mishti is looking pensive at the table, when Leo knocks at the door. He storms in, demanding to know what's going on with her and Brandon, the receptionist at Lassiter's. Mishti denies hitting on Brandon.
MISHTI: I've been looking into Hamish Roche's death.
Leo is concerned by this, and tells Mishti she needs to stop and leave it to the police. He also calls her out for hypocrisy, reminding her that she was furious when Leo was flirting with Courtney in a bid to establish whether she was faking her attraction to Paul.
MISHTI: I get that it's a double standard, but I can't help it! This terrible thing happened on my street, involving people I know. And there are so many unanswered questions.
Mishti admits she hasn't found anything yet, but says she has a feeling Gary and Sheila are hiding something. She explains how she saw Gary taking a frantic phone call from Sheila on the night of the fireworks and Hamish's death, before running off – adding that Sheila is acting cagily too. Leo says she's entitled to act strangely after Hamish died in her back yard.
Mishti argues that there's more to it; she asked around at Lassiter's, and nobody saw Sheila and Gary check in to the hotel during the gala as they claimed. Leo points out that the place was swarming; nobody could have been keeping track. Mishti explains that this is why she was flirting with Brandon: to acces the computer system and download all the guest check- in data to USB!
MISHTI: If the data I've copied clears Sheila and Gary, I will drop it.
Leo says Mishti should have come to him if she wanted information from the hotel. She responds that she likes to do things her own way – adding that since Amy was questioned about Hamish's death, it wouldn't have been right to involve Leo. Mishti promises to deal responsibly with anything she finds from the hotel data. But Leo tells her to leave the investigation to the police.
LEO: If there's something to find, they'll find it – not you.
Steph is moaning to Toadie, Sonya and Nell about Lyn's interference in the wellness centre – she's stuck, as she's already spent some of Lyn's money on renovations. More than anything, she can't believe Amy has put her in this situation. Sonya points out that Lyn is right about financial stability; if Steph wants to look out for Adam, it makes sense that the centre should be turning a profit.
TOADIE: If you did go with the business model, there's nothing stopping you from donating some of the profits to charity.
This would mean Steph could retain her ‘core vision', Sonya adds. Steph looks thoughtful.
Mishti arrives in the back yard, calling out for Sheila. Getting no response, she heads over to the spa, which is still cordoned off, and begins taking photos on her phone. A suspicious Amy emerges from the house, and Mishti quickly pockets her phone. She claims she thought she heard someone in the garden, so came straight around rather than knocking at the front door.
MISHTI: I was dropping by to check on Sheila – I thought she might like to talk?
AMY: I think it's too raw. Every time someone brings it up, she gets quite upset.
MISHTI: And Gary – how's he doing?
AMY: I dunno. Man- coping, I guess. He's not too chatty these days either.
MISTHI: Yeah, it's just so full- on.
AMY: You're telling me!
Xanthe has come round to talk to Dipi about helping out with Kirsha. Dipi says Xanthe's done loads to help already – and when Xanthe starts randomly offering to do chores around the house instead, Dipi asks her what's going on. Xanthe admits she feels she needs some hobbies outside seeing Ben, to keep their relationship healthy.
XANTHE: As much as I want to spend every waking moment with Ben, I am forcing myself not to.
Dipi tells Xanthe about her plans for a community variety show, which she wants to happen before the end of the year. While its origins were in the liveability campaign, Dipi says she now wants to do it for Kirsha, as an opportunity to play the guitar in front of an audience.
XANTHE: How is she supposed to play guitar if she can't hear?
DIPI: Well, she's getting better every day now. And it gives her something to look forward to.
Xanthe calls Dipi ‘incredible', and commits to coming up with some ideas for the variety show.
Amy has joined Susan and Lyn for a crisis meeting over the wellness centre. Lyn apologises to Amy for Steph being so upset with her, but assures her that Steph will calm down. Susan isn't so sure.
Steph herself arrives. She announces that she's decided to accept Lyn's offer of investment – with conditions.
STEPH (to Lyn): I value your input, and I'll come to you when I need it. But other than that, you'll be a silent partner. No meddling, no unsolicited advice or opinions –
AMY: Steph –
STEPH (to Amy): I'm not finished. We can't work together anymore.
STEPH: A business partnership is based on trust. And this kills me to have to say it, but after everything that's happened, that's not there anymore. I'll get you back your 15 grand as soon as I can.
AMY: Steph, please don't do this.
STEPH: This really wasn't an easy decision for me to make. And I hate that I've had to do it. But I can't rely on you. I'm really sorry.
Amy nods disappointedly.
Xanthe is hanging out with Ben at the garage. Ben suggests they go on their first date as a reunited couple.
XANTHE: Well, I think I can fit you in on Sunday at 4pm. If that works for you?
She explains she had a chat to Sonya and Toadie about relationship longevity, and that they warned her to avoid co- dependency. To this end, Xanthe has booked in lots of ‘non- couple activities' to ensure she has her own life.
XANTHE: But don't worry. I've still left plenty of room for Benthe time!
Ben is all for this approach, and reveals that Dipi has spoken to him about her theatre group and variety show. Xanthe says they can both take part, as long as they're bringing their own ideas to the table.
XANTHE: That way, we're being individuals, but we're still, like, a team. It's gonna be perfect! Oh, and I read somewhere that having a healthy relationship means not asking the other person to change.
BEN: Sounds good to me.
XANTHE: (…) And never go to bed angry.
BEN (flirty): What do you mean, ‘go to bed?'
XANTHE: Well, I don't mean like *that*! I mean, not never. I just – you know what I mean!
She laughs, and Ben hugs her.
Dipi asks Mishti why she's not out with Leo. Mishti says she needs a quiet one. She's working at her laptop, and plugs in the USB stick with the data from Lassiter's. Dipi reports that Yashvi is keeping her head down since Kirsha's accident, and that things seem to be healing between Yashvi and Shane which is a relief. Mishti looks alarmed as we see her typing at the laptop.
DIPI: What's up?
MISHTI: I don't know for sure – but I think Sheila and Gary are lying about where they were on the night of Hamish Roche's death…
Coming up on Neighbours
- Leo tells Mishti to leave it to the police; she replies that she ‘couldn't sit on good intel'
- Courtney is reading questions from a sheet of paper; Paul tells her to ‘just stop'
- Lyn asks Jack if he's Stephie's new man
- Paul reminds Gary about their ‘little deal' regarding Terese
- Gary and Sheila look at each other worriedly in the No 26 garden
- ‘Unmissable drama', says the voiceover