- We're brought up to speed on Toadie's fertility problems since the bouncy castle accident
- Toadie admits to counsellor Sam that he'd be thrilled if Sonya said she wanted to try for a baby
- Piper is abducted on the boat by Louise, and later washes up on a remote beach
- Piper is traumatised by reminders of her ordeal, including being interviewed by Det. Graves
- Jack asks Mark to stay away from Gabriel until he sorts his personal problems out
- Senior Sergeant Lake tells Mark he's now the chief suspect in the Hamish murder case
- Mark tells Tyler that he's been suspended from work
- Paige suggests she and Mark should break up, but he says he needs her more than ever
We continue where we left off in the garden, as Paige responds that Mark clearly doesn't trust her. He says it's not about that – it's about what's best for her and Gabe. Mark insists they're not in danger – but in which case, Paige wants to know why he can't tell her what's going on.
MARK: If this was about me, I'd tell you in a heartbeat. But it's not, and it's not my place to say. I'll tell you as soon as I can – but until that happens, please don't give up on us.
PAIGE: Wouldn't all this be easier without the hassle of a relationship?
MARK: No, it would be impossible! You are the only thing that's keeping me going. I love you. I want us to be together, and to be a family.
Paige nods, and they hug. Crisis averted – for now.
Ben is literally spinning with joy in the street now he's free from exams. Piper says she thought the exams were okay, adding that it was nice to concentrate on something else. Ben asks how she is following the news that the boat has been found; Piper simply says it's a step forward.
Piper also tells Ben about a schoolies trip that Li- Kim and her friends are arranging. They're renting a house down in Lorne and have some spare rooms; Piper suggests that she, Ben and Xanthe could go. Yashvi approaches, overhearing, and says she is jealous that she isn't in Year 12, wishing she could go too. In any case, she says, she has to be here for Kirsha.
Ben says he's definitely up for schoolies if Xanthe is going, so Piper encourages her to go and ask her.
Paige tells David about how Mark talked her round and says she's happy to have resolved things. David says he's sure that whatever Mark is keeping from her isn't serious, or else Aaron would have told him about it. Paige says that if she and Mark are going to work, there have to be compromises. David accepts that, as long as Paige isn't ignoring her instincts. She assures him she won't.
Aaron comes in, and Paige hurriedly asks David if they can keep their discussion between the two of them. He agrees, and Aaron joins them for breakfast. Paige smiles as Aaron kisses David, but looks a bit worried about her own situation.
Xanthe is making a smoothie as Ben tells her about the schoolies opportunity. She seems keen – until Ben mentions that there are only two spare rooms, between her, him and Piper. Xanthe immediately starts making excuses, saying she's not a student anymore, so maybe shouldn't even go. Ben says it won't be the same without her – and says it would be nice to have time together.
But Xanthe moves away from him, reminding him of their non- co- dependency pact. She tells him to go to schoolies and have fun with Piper, and that she'll still be here when he gets back. Ben looks forlorn as Xanthe pointedly turns the blender on full whizz.
The Flametree Retreat
Toadie arrives, and is a little surprised to see Steph behind the desk as he didn't think she was in today. He explains he has an appointment with the naturopath.
TOADIE: I want to look at what I can do to improve my chances of having kids.
STEPH: … Ah! Are you gonna have fertility smoothies?
TOADIE: Yeah, if I can stomach ‘em!
STEPH: Wow, Toad. So you guys want to try again for a baby? You've only just got back together. Does Sonya know you're here.
TOADIE: No, no. I thought I'd suss it out first before I brought it up with her.
STEPH: Are you sure that's the right approach?
Toadie says that if he's done his own research first, it will show Sonya how serious he is.
STEPH: I don't want to be a handbrake, Toad. But do you think this could add a whole new pressure to your relationship?
But Toadie says counselling helped him realise they both want another kid, and he needs to be proactive to give them a chance – especially after the botched surgery after the bouncy castle accident. He has had tests done, though, and says there's a small chance they could conceive. Steph calls the naturopath to let her know Toadie's here.
Mark tells Aaron that he's managed to resolve things with Paige, even though she was close to walking away. Aaron asks him if he told Paige about wiping down the gnome; Mark says nothing.
MARK: It's just hard, balancing our relationship with the investigation. But I'm gonna take a step back. The police have found our boat, and they're on the hunt for Louise.
AARON: Good. Just let them handle it, yeah?
MARK: Yeah, I've messed up a lot lately. But Paige is the one thing that's right – and I'm gonna do whatever I need to to make sure that nothing comes between us.
Susan and Sonya are chatting about the surprise vow renewal that Sonya is arranging for her and Toadie. Sonya searches in her bag for some vows that she wanted to run past Susan. But Susan has noticed something else that has fallen from Sonya's bag – a ‘fertility makeover' leaflet from The Flametree Retreat.
SONYA: … It's just something I picked up at the launch. To be supportive.
SUSAN: Hmm. Plenty of other pamphlets floating around there.
SONYA: … I've been thinking about having another baby.
SUSAN: Right. Do you feel ready, after Caitlin?
SONYA: Look, she's always gonna be a part of me, Susan. And I know that it's not gonna be easy. But this – this is something I want with Jarrod. It's what I've always wanted.
SUSAN: Yeah. I don't want to throw up speedbumps or anything, but you and Toadie have only just got back together.
Sonya says they've never stopped loving each other, though, and that it could take them a long time to conceive. Susan asks if she's spoken to Toadie about it; of course, she hasn't.
SONYA: It's not the easiest thing to bring up, given Jarrod's health issues.
She's aware that not talking was the root of all their previous problems, but is worried about the stress it could put on their relationship. Susan tells her to speak to Toadie.
Toadie is preparing some concoction from the naturopath, comprising banana, powdered maca root and ground flaxseed, among other things. Sonya arrives home, and asks if they can have a chat. They sit down, and chat a bit about how great things have been since they got back together, since they don't hide things from one another anymore.
Toadie looks sheepish and admits he's been hiding something – that he's been thinking about what it would be like to have another baby. He says he knows it would put a lot of pressure on them, and Sonya seems to interpret this as him saying it might not be the best idea. She agrees it wouldn't be easy, and admits it would put a lot of stress on Toadie given the low probability.
By the end of the conversation, they seem to have talked themselves out of the idea, despite neither of them having had that intention. They sadly agree to leave it. Cut to Toadie looking regretfully at his concoction.
Mark has called a meeting with Jack and Paige. He says Jack was right to tell him to keep his distance from Gabe for a while, and explains that the police are investigating him ‘because of some bad decisions I made at work'. He says he covered up some evidence to protect someone, and has been suspended, pending possible dismissal.
MARK: It was wrong. But I want you to know, I'm not gonna let it affect Paige and Gabe.
JACK: … Did you have something to do with Hamish's death?
MARK: No – no, of course not! Why – do you think I killed him?!
JACK: No, I'm just wondering if you know more than you're actually letting on.
Mark plays this idea down, saying the police were always going to question him because of the bogus harassment claim Hamish put in against him.
MARK: My focus has been on Louise, because I want to see her brought to justice. But I'm gonna take a step back, to ensure my focus remains on Paige and Gabe (…) and if it ever seems otherwise, all you need to do is say something and we'll work through it. We're family now – Paige, Gabe, me, and you. I want to be someone that you guys can count on. Deal?
Mark and Jack shake on it, and Paige hugs Jack gratefully.
A forlorn Toadie tells Shane about how Sonya seemed to think having another baby would be too hard. Shane suggests they could discuss it again down the track, but Toadie thinks he just needs to respect how Sonya feels.
Meanwhile, Piper is trying to convince Xanthe to change her mind about coming to schoolies, but Xanthe is unswayable, insisting she and Ben need to have separate lives. Piper begs Xanthe not to decide for sure yet, and tells her to keep her phone on her – she has a plan.
Paige and Mark are getting all soppy with each other, while Gabe plays with his toys on the floor. Mark is glad they've resolved things with Jack, although Paige has residual concerns that Jack may have felt bombarded by the ‘whole family talk'.
MARK: I don't want to take his place as Gabe's dad. I just want to be someone that you guys can rely on, yeah?
As they hug, Paige notices that Gabe is crawling across the floor for the first time! Mark rushes to capture it on video on his phone, saying he wants to film it for Jack so he can be part of it too. Paige and Mark get soppy again.
Sonya gives Steph back the pamphlet for the fertility makeover, and Steph surmises that she and Toadie must have had ‘the chat' by now – letting slip how Toadie was at the Retreat earlier looking for ways to improve his fertility. Sonya is surprised, and realises that she and Toadie may have got their wires crossed during their conversation earlier.
STEPH: Do you want another baby?
STEPH: So, did you actually tell him that?
SONYA: … No, I guess I didn't.
Sonya gets a call from Toadie…
Piper brings Xanthe into the garden for a ‘pre- schoolies' party, in an attempt to convince her of the delights to come in Lorne. Yashvi and Ben are by the pool, are in swimming costumes and Hawaiian- style garlands. They head indoors to get some drinks, and Xanthe tells Piper to ‘stop this right now'.
PIPER: Do you seriously not want to come to schoolies?
XANTHE: It's not schoolies. It's Ben.
PIPER: What about him?
XANTHE: Two rooms – the three of us? I can't share a room with him!
PIPER: Is this about you not wanting to be with him?
XANTHE: No! I mean, yes – of course I want my first time to be with him. Just not yet.
XANTHE: I just feel like if we go to Lorne, and we share a room together, then that's what he's gonna expect.
PIPER: Xanthe, Ben would never put pressure on you!
XANTHE: I know. I just – I don't want to be a disappointment.
PIPER: Xanthe, you could never be a disappointment.
She encourages Xanthe to talk to Ben about this – she could come anyway and bunk up with Piper instead. But they're interrupted by Ben and Yashvi returning with drinks.
Paige is trying to get Gabe to do his ‘new trick' so that Jack and Steph can see it. But Gabe seems supremely unconcerned with crawling any further, and just sits there looking at them. Jack then gets the video in a message from Mark, ruining the surprise. Jack is clearly disappointed to have missed the first crawl, and Paige is disappointed for him too. She makes a swift exit with Gabe.
Once Paige has gone, Jack admits to feeling left out because Mark was there for the crawling when he wasn't.
STEPH: Jack, Gabe's gonna give you so many moments that are just for you (…) And in the meantime, Mark's life is not exactly a picnic right now. So if Gabe's bringing him a bit of happiness, is that such a bad thing?
While Yashvi half- jokingly tries to persuade Piper to let her come to schoolies with them, Ben chats to a pensive- looking Xanthe nearby.
BEN: You've hardly said a word since you got here.
XANTHE: I know that you want me to go to schoolies, Ben…
BEN: You don't want to go. It's cool.
XANTHE: No, no – I do. That's not the problem. I just feel like, if we share a room together, then we're supposed to – you know. But I just thought that, when we did, it would be not because there's a bed and we're in it.
BEN: Alright, look – whatever happens, whenever it happens, I want it to be meaningful too. For both of us. And that means not rushing.
XANTHE: So does that mean I can go to schoolies and…
BEN: Just bunk with Piper. Just come. That's all I want.
Xanthe loudly declares that she's coming to schoolies, and Piper leaps up in celebration, then throws herself backwards into the swimming pool. Under the water, scary music begins to play, and Piper has what looks like a panic attack. She eventually bursts to the surface, gasping for air, and Ben leaps in the pool to help her out. Wrapped in a towel, Piper rushes out of the garden to get home.
Toadie and Sonya reconvene for another chat about having a baby. Sonya admits she's been thinking about it too, but understands if Toadie thinks it's too hard.
TOADIE: What gives you the idea that I think it's too hard?
SONYA: Cos that's what you said.
TOADIE: No, that's what you said… Do you want to have another baby?
SONYA: … Well, I'd like to try.
TOADIE: Even though it's gonna be a long shot?
SONYA: We just don't have to put any pressure on it. It could just be us loving each other, and if we have a baby, we have a baby!
Toadie grins delightedly, and they kiss.
Xanthe and Ben come in to find Piper breathing heavily, and very tearful. Piper says her chest went tight, and she felt like she couldn't breathe. Xanthe says she thinks Piper has had a panic attack. Ben says that's understandable; she's been through a lot of stress lately. But now they have schoolies booked, they can chill out.
PIPER (crying): I can't go to schoolies! I mean, what were we thinking?
XANTHE: It's fine – just take some time to breathe.
PIPER (crying): I don't – I don't need time. I can't do this! I've never felt like that before!
Coming up on Neighbours
- Piper's still looking upset, and Xanthe tells Ben they need to help her despite their promise
- Amy asks Elly what happened to their pact
- Elly sharing a passionate smooch – with Aaron?!
- Sheila is alarmed when the name Joanne Schwartz is mentioned by Xanthe
- Amy looks worried on the phone, and says she'll accept the call
- ‘Unmissable drama'