- Tyler whacks Hamish with a garden gnome, and later worries his DNA and fingerprints will be on it
- Mark tells Tyler he isn't going to jail for this, and wipes the gnome in the evidence room
- Snr. Sgt. Lake asks Mishti if she's ever considered returning to police duty
- Later, Mishti tells Leo that her instinct is to rejoin the force
- Mark admits to Paige that he tampered with evidence to protect Sonya
- Realising the police are questioning Mark, Jack tells him to stay away from Gabe until it's sorted
- Gary tells Paul that there's nothing he can do to keep Gary apart from Terese anymore
- Paul suggests to Courtney that they elope, and later, she shows off her wedding ring to RSRs
- Toadie interprets Sheila's outburst at Karl as a successful audition for the variety show
Sheila is practising for her monologue performance at the variety show when Gary and Terese arrive back from their belated ‘mini- moon'. They're amused to learn she'll be taking part.
SHEILA: Apparently, Sheila's got talent!
GARY: Oh, a shame you've kept it hidden all these years!
Sheila remarks on how happy Gary and Terese are, and admits she's pleased that Terese is back in Gary's life. Sheila tells them that the police still haven't found out who's responsible for Hamish's death, or tracked down Louise McLeod.
Tyler is surprised to find Mark packing up the cot he'd been using in his room for Gabriel, and correctly guesses there have been some issues with Paige. Mark admits he told her about destroying Sonya's shoes during the backpackers' crash investigation, and that Jack has asked Mark to keep away from Gabe since learning the police were asking questions about him.
Tyler is annoyed about Jack's request, saying that he's interfering in Mark and Paige's relationship and that Paige would hate it if she knew. Mark says that's why Tyler can't tell her.
TYLER: Still, it seems unfair on you.
MARK: I deserve it. I broke the law the minute I tampered with evidence. It's probably going to blow up in my face. And Gabe doesn't need this sort of stress.
Tyler asks Mark if he thinks the police will be able to prove what happened with Sonya's shoes, and what will happen with the gnome.
MARK: Look, what's done is done. You're innocent. You need to stop feeling guilty over the decisions that I've made.
Sonya is telling Toadie about the police wanting to question her about Mark, and explains how he covered for her without her knowledge after the backpackers' accident, by burning her shoes that were found at the scene.
TOADIE: He tampered with evidence? Mark Brennan?!
SONYA: Yeah. I mean, it was a difficult time, Jarrod. I was off the rails, and we were grieving Caitlin, and he was confused, and –
TOADIE: He was in love with you.
SONYA: No, he thought he was in love with me. I just don't know what to do. Cos if I tell the truth it's gonna get him in trouble, for something he did to get me out of trouble. I just feel so awful about it.
TOADIE: Well, you can't lie to the police. That's just gonna open you up to charges too.
SONYA: Can I just refuse to answer anything?
TOADIE: Okay – you don't have to voluntarily go into the station. But if the police call you again, I advise you to be honest.
The café is bedecked with Christmas decorations, and David, Leo and Mishti are celebrating her return to the police force. She admits she's nervous and that she's volunteered to work on the Hamish homicide case, since she's already been working on it unofficially.
MISHTI: But I'm still a junior officer, so I can't expect to be automatically on the big cases.
Shane overhears this, and looks worried, suggesting Mishti ask for desk duty instead. She tells him to stop eavesdropping! Conversation turns to Paul and Courtney's honeymoon; David remarks that he's texted Paul twice since the wedding and heard nothing back.
Leo still thinks the wedding was a kneejerk reaction to Gary and Terese rekindling their relationship – but at that moment, Gary and Terese themselves walk in, and David's forced to cut the conversation short. Terese, however, has overheard the word ‘elope' and asks what's going on. She looks shocked and upset to learn that Paul and Courtney have gone through with the wedding.
TERESE: You're joking? … Right. Well, I guess it was bound to happen. Although I did think Courtney would want something more extravagant.
LEO: Well, no- one really knows what's going through that girl's head.
GARY: Whereas you can guarantee whatever Paul's thinking, it's devious and selfish!
DAVID and LEO: …
TERESE: Let's just hope Courtney doesn't regret it.
LEO: Yeah. I'll tell them you guys said congratulations (!)
At the counter, Gary takes Terese to task over her reaction to the news.
GARY: You don't care, do you?
TERESE: No! No, of course not! I just feel sorry for anyone that thinks they can have a future with Paul.
Gary seems to accept this and kisses Terese. But her face seems to tell a different story…
Later, Gary is vacuuming when Terese approaches. He goes in for a kiss, but she tells him not to crumple her jacket, reminding him they need to maintain the boundaries while at work.
GARY: Well, if you don't want to tempt me, then don't come near me – I'm only human!
They agree to head home at lunch to have the leftover stew Gary made last night, which Terese declares was ‘amazing'. He says he'd love to spend all day perfecting the recipe, but has too many odd jobs to do at work. Paul is walking past outside, and watches with envy at Terese and Gary kissing through the window.
Elly approaches, and asks him where Courtney is, saying she thought they'd be joined at the hip. Elly reveals that Courtney has told everyone how great the wedding ceremony was, and Paul seems surprised – but covers, saying they're pretty pleased with how things went. Elly congratulates Paul and leaves; he looks perplexed by what he's heard, and continues to watch Terese and Gary.
Paul comes in to find Courtney having barely started packing – we learn that they never went through with the wedding after all, and that Paul has asked Courtney to leave the penthouse! He reveals that he knows Courtney has been telling people they went through with it. He asks why she's wearing the wedding ring that he said she could keep.
COURTNEY: I like it. And it reminds me that I belonged somewhere. Once.
PAUL: Courtney – in a few months' time, you will thank me for letting you off the hook. Alright, what's really going on?
COURTNEY: I bumped into my father. And I was sort of backed into a corner, and I told him that we were married. He already thinks that I'm an idiot. And if he knew that Paul Robinson refused to marry me, he would've laughed in my face.
PAUL: Showing up your dad doesn't qualify as a good enough reason to marry the wrong person.
COURTNEY: Says who? Look, please just don't tell anyone we didn't go through with it. Just, please?
Paul nods reluctantly.
PAUL: The secret's not gonna hold, though.
Terese is having a coffee by the new Christmas tree when Steph shows up. Steph reveals that the wellness centre is now being called the Flame Tree Retreat, so it matches with the restaurant. They're almost ready to open, despite all the setbacks and what happened with Hamish, and are now pitching it as a health retreat and rethinking the restaurant menu to make it healthier.
On the topic of food, Terese remarks that Gary has been preparing some sensational dishes for her recently, and jokes that he must have been a chef in a past life. Steph replies that if that's his calling, it isn't too late to answer it. Steph gets a phone call from Sonya, and rushes off. Terese is thoughtful.
Meanwhile, Leo is walking Mishti to work – she's all ready to go in her constable uniform.
MISHTI: I feel like it's the first day of school.
LEO: No, you're gonna rock at this job, and catch all the bad guys.
MISHTI: You'd better watch out, then!
They walk past a ‘have you seen this woman?' poster for Louise McLeod. We close in on it, as ominous music plays.
Erinsborough Police Station
Senior Sergeant Lake is giving Mishti her induction, and informs her that they want her to do some legwork on the Hamish homicide case. Lake passes Mishti a bundle of files to read through, to see if anything jumps out. On the first page she opens, we see a photo of the gnome in an evidence bag; Lake confirms that the gnome is the murder weapon, as it matched paint flakes in Hamish's hair.
MISHTI: But no fingerprints or DNA on it?
LAKE: No. The evidence wasn't collected until after Gary Canning came forward and confessed to tampering with the crime scene. So between the time of the murder and Gary coming forward, anyone could have accessed it and wiped it clean. So as you can see, there are a lot of blanks to fill in. And we're relying on your knowledge of the street and the suspects to find what we're missing.
Lake asks Mishti to start re- interviewing people, and to see what jumps out from the evidence.
Gary is cleaning the hotel signage when Terese approaches. He remarks on how unglamorous his day has been so far, but Terese has good news for him – she's been talking to the chef in the kitchen, who is looking for a new sous chef. Terese says he's willing to give Gary a trial. Gary is cautious, aware that Terese is pulling strings to get him preferential treatment.
GARY: I'm honestly the best candidate?
TERESE: … Well, you know what they say. Right place, right time. Look, honey, it's just a trial. I mean, you'll have to get the job on your own merit.
She tells him to go home and get showered, as she's arranged for him to go into the kitchen this afternoon. She explains that one of the chef's first tests for new recruits is to see how many onions they can chop in five minutes.
GARY: I can't believe you're doing this for me.
TERESE: Hey! I'm doing it for us both. If you're happy, I'm happy.
We cut straight into a dramatic onion- chopping montage, as Gary fights back the tears while practising for the trial later! Just as his five minutes are up, Mishti turns up at the front door.
GARY: You're in uniform!
MISHTI: You're in goggles!
She wants to ask Gary a few questions, so he invites her in.
Steph and Sonya are visiting Mark for a cuppa and a chat. He reveals he's temporarily slowing down his relationship with Paige, due to ‘a few things going on at work'. Sonya explains that's why they're here – she had a call from the police last night, asking about the allegations of Mark evidence- tampering after the backpackers' crash.
The police didn't give Sonya much detail about what they know, she says, but she declares that she is willing to cover for Mark if he wants her to. Steph adds that she did push Mark into doing it. Mark thanks them for their loyalty, but tells them they should just tell the truth – after Mark has spoken to the police himself.
SONYA: This could get you into a lot of trouble. And what about Steph?
MARK: Steph will be okay. I'm the police officer that should have known better. Ellen was involved too, but she's no longer on the force.
Sonya's upset at the prospect of Mark losing his career over this.
MARK: Son, I can't keep lying – and I certainly can't drag you into it.
SONYA: Yes, I know! But you could lose your badge, yeah? Or even worse!
MARK: Well, it's probably long overdue.
Gary is walking Mishti around the garden, showing her what he did to tamper with the crime scene.
GARY: I came through the gate here, and he was lying in the spa.
MISHTI: Did you check if he was breathing?
GARY: He was gone.
MISHTI: Were there signs of a struggle?
GARY: Yeah, well, the table was knocked over here, and there was a champagne bottle lying on the ground. So I picked it up, and I was taking it to the bin, and I saw the gnome was here. So I picked up the gnome as well, and I put the bottle in the bin – and I put the gnome back in the garden right about here. I moved the gnome cos I was hoping it would look like Hamish had slipped, hit his head and drowned.
MISHTI: Did you wipe it clean?
GARY: No, no – nothing like that.
MISHTI: But you were cleaning up the scene?
GARY: Yeah. I figured it would only have my prints on it or Mum's, and that wouldn't look suspicious. But it would look suss if I'd wiped it clean.
MISHTI: Did Sheila wipe the gnome, do you think?
GARY: No, no – Mum didn't touch anything.
MISHTI: Did anyone else know about it?
GARY: No. Well, apart from Mark and Tyler. I told them that you guys had collected the gnome for evidence. I just felt bad about screwing up the case.
Mishti looks thoughtful.
A tearful Courtney is still packing, but tells Paul she has nowhere to go.
COURTNEY: This may have started as an arrangement, but it grew into something more, and I poured everything into being Paul Robinson's fiancée. Now I am back to being nothing. Nobody.
PAUL: Oh, Courtney – you have never been nothing or nobody. You know, I didn't want to listen when Amy told me that we shouldn't settle for anything less than love. Either of us. And especially you. But in time, you'll see that we made the right decision, eh?
COURTNEY: Maybe for you, but what about me? I have nowhere to go – I'm gonna be on the streets. From penthouse to the gutter.
PAUL: Alright – if you're really stuck, I guess you don't have to move out right this minute.
COURTNEY: Really? I can stay a little bit longer?
PAUL: Yeah. Yeah, if it'll make you feel better. But only until you find somewhere else to go, okay?
Paul looks worried as Courtney dries her eyes.
Gary is crying when Terese opens the door and she thinks something dreadful's happened – but he tells her they're just onion tears from his practice session! He's managed 21 in five minutes, as compared to the world record of 27! Gary declares that he's ready to give the chef trial a ‘red hot crack' and Terese is thrilled.
TERESE: That's great, and what's the worst that can happen?
GARY: I don't get the job, and we have to eat onion soup for a week!
Looking through the window, Terese notices Mishti snooping around the garden. Gary says she's reassessing the crime scene – and seems to be taking her time about it, too.
Mark is on the phone to Ellen Crabb, telling her that he's heading to the station to confess to tampering with the shoes, so she needs to be ready for a phone call. From what we can gather, she's not too happy about it, but Mark says he has to confess.
Tyler comes in, and Mark explains about the police wanting to question Sonya. He repeats that he has no choice but to own up. Mark leaves, and Tyler looks worried.
As the Hamish murder theme, ‘Getting Away with It', kicks in again, Mishti emerges from No 26, and sees Mark hesitate before climbing into his car. She looks suspicious.
Erinsborough Police Station
Mark arrives, and tells Lake that he wants to make a formal statement about his involvement in the backpackers' crash investigation. She invites him through to the interview room. He turns his phone off before following her in.
Paul is having a coffee with Leo, explaining how he came to his senses at the last minute in the registry office – and how Courtney feels humiliated, and doesn't want to lose face in front of Tim Collins. Paul says he owes Courtney more than just turfing her out when she has nowhere to go.
LEO: Courtney's a tough cookie.
PAUL: So I thought. Which is why she seemed like the perfect partner in my little subterfuge.
LEO: She was, wasn't she? I mean, she carried it off so well.
PAUL: Yeah. Well, everyone has their limits.
LEO: All the more reason to end this now, then. Before she gets even more hurt.
Erinsborough Police Station
Lake is interviewing Mark about his past evidence- tampering in the Sonya case.
MARK: I truly believed that Sonya Rebecchi was innocent.
LAKE: Well, that's irrelevant. And it's not how it turned out, is it, Constable Brennan?
MARK: No, and I take full responsibility for what I did. Will there be any action taken against Ellen Crabb and Stephanie Scully?
LAKE: Well, we'll be speaking to both of them. But as a serving officer, you're facing more serious consequences. You're suspended, pending full investigation.
Mishti has been waiting outside, glancing through the window – and now Lake summons her in to join the interview.
LAKE: So, last week you entered the station early for one of your shifts. Is that right?
MARK: Err, yes. You saw me.
LAKE: So, I should also say that we have a witness saying that you knew a garden gnome had been seized as evidence from the Hamish Roche crime scene. That evidence was wiped clean. Was it you?
LAKE: Okay. Save it for Detective Graves – he's on his way in to interview you now. As of this moment, you are now the chief suspect in the Hamish Roche murder case.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Terese introduces Gary to the head chef at Lassiter's, Aleksander
- Tim Collins tells Paul that his relationship with Courtney has been a sick joke from the start
- Tyler is worried when Gary tells him that Mishti has been to his place investigating
- Mishti asks Mark what he was trying to hide by wiping the gnome clean
- ‘Unmissable drama'