- David tells the Rebecchis that Kirsha's ear has been damaged by the firework explosion
- Dipi guilt- trips Yashvi over the accident
- Kirsha is overwhelmed by Dipi's attempts to recruit the RSRs to distract her from injections
- Toadie mistakes Sheila's tirade at Karl for an audition for the variety show, and gives her a spot
- Feedback to Sheila's monologue from RSRs highlights her past angst over high school bully Joanne
- Xanthe recommends that Sheila contact Joanne
- Amy decides she doesn't want a relationship with Nick while he's in jail
- But she learns that a top barrister has taken on his case, and wonders whether this changes things
Amy and Elly are having a coffee; Amy had a restless night after having spoken to Nick on the phone.
AMY: I called it off because I knew it would be difficult with him in prison. I made a decision, I stuck to it, I forced myself to move on. I don't know how I feel.
ELLY: I think that once you see each other face- to- face, you'll get all the clarity you need.
Amy wishes she knew who it is who's paid for the barrister to come to Nick's rescue. Elly asks her to consider that if there's a second chance for Amy and Nick, whether it really matters.
Xanthe is quizzing Sheila over Joanne Schwartz, and why she's never mentioned her before. Sheila insists she's not important. Xanthe says she sounds horrible, but then contradicts herself by saying she looks harmless from her social media profile.
SHEILA: She's probably just living the same life as everybody that I went to high school with. You know, still in Horsham, regular job, fluffy perm.
XANTHE: Well, she actually lives in Cheltenham now, wears designer clothes, and has probably never worked a day in her life. But her handbag is so last season.
Sheila comes to have a look at the profile, and immediately recognises Joanne. Xanthe still thinks she should contact her.
XANTHE: When I was being bullied by Alison, you were the one who told me to stand up for myself. Cannings are made of tough stuff, right? Or can't you take your own advice?
SHEILA: Of course I can.
XANTHE: Good. So, if I was you, what would you say to me?
SHEILA: Don't contact Joanne!
XANTHE: Which is why I've already done it for you!
Sheila gasps in horror.
Dipi is with Shane, Yashvi and Jimmy, polishing her ‘three wise men' ornaments in preparation for Christmas. Jimmy remarks that the figurines look different to the traditional wise men – Yashvi explains that they're the Hindu gods Ganesh, Shiva and Rama.
YASHVI: Mum's big on mashing up the faiths.
Meanwhile, Ben and Kirsha are playing their guitars on the sofa, which is making Dipi feel hopeful about her hearing improving – particularly with the steroid injections having made a big difference to her sleeping and anxiety. Shane explains that Kirsha has tests at the hospital today, to assess how her hearing is progressing.
Mishti is with Leo, telling him she loves being back on the police force, but that it's intense. Leo opines that Mishti would have cracked the Hamish case by now if she was on it full- time, but Mishti says it's a tricky case, with lots of leads that don't seem to get them anywhere. Mishti heads off to visit Kirsha before her hearing test.
Amy is with Terese, meanwhile, and mentions that she wondered if she was behind Nick's new legal expert. Terese says it was nothing to do with her. Leo overhears this, and Terese explains to him that someone has hired an impressive barrister for Nick. Nick now thinks there's a good chance he'll be released, Amy says – adding that they all know he should never have been there in the first place.
Terese says that Nick's incarceration has more to do with the officer he assaulted after his last hearing. Amy explains she's going to the prison today to talk to Nick. Leo offers to go with Amy, but given that he hates Nick, she doesn't think this is a good idea. Terese says she's going to visit Nick too, so there's no need for Leo to come along.
LEO: Keep me in the loop, okay? Especially if you find out which joker paid for this barrister.
Terese suggests it's probably just a grateful ex- patient and Amy agrees, but Leo doesn't look so sure.
Leo is visiting Paul. Leo remarks that Paul hasn't been himself since Courtney left, and that he hasn't been out of the penthouse except for appointments – like one he had with a law firm in The City™ the other day! Paul's surprised Leo knows about that, but Leo reminds him their calendars are synced for work.
LEO: You got Nick a new barrister, didn't you?
PAUL: Any point in denying it?
LEO: Why would you bother?
PAUL: I put him in jail.
LEO: He abused you! He got what was coming.
PAUL: It wasn't about revenge – it was about Amy. Look, Tim and Courtney's broken relationship just open my eyes to a few things (…) Believe it or not, Tim and I are very similar. We both have this bad habit of trying to control the people we care about. And so his actions pushed Courtney towards me, and my actions made Amy and Jimmy move out.
LEO: You were protecting her from a creep!
PAUL: Oh, Leo, she didn't need protecting. Amy assured me that she knew exactly what she was doing, and I didn't trust her. So this is my way of making up for that.
Leo points out that Nick could try and rekindle things with Amy if he gets out of jail, and that she's going to see him today.
LEO: It's great you're trying to do right by her, but it doesn't change the fact that Nick's a bad guy. He's gonna break her heart.
Paul looks reflective.
We learn that Joanne Schwartz has agreed to a meeting with Sheila, today, following Xanthe's message to her – an occasion for which Xanthe insists Sheila needs to look perfect.
SHEILA: I am so sweaty, all I look like is a glazed doughnut!
XANTHE: Well, at least you can look like the fancy, sprinkly kind.
SHEILA: This is not a fancy, sprinkly situation! The only thing worse than you sending that message is Joanne answering it!
Xanthe says the meeting's a good thing, and that Joanne probably wants to apologise about her feud with Sheila over the Daddy Cool tickets, and trying to steal Frank from her. Sheila is sceptical that Joanne is still harbouring any such regrets after 40 years, and doesn't know if she wants to meet her.
SHEILA: Her life is so much better than mine!
XANTHE: Gran, you have a great job and a lovely home, and a wonderful amazing family. And you look so on point right now, that Joanne won't even know what hit her.
SHEILA: You're just saying that!
XANTHE: I never lie about fashion. You're ready for this, Gran.
In the garden, Jimmy is helping Kirsha put up Christmas decorations. She asks how she sounded in her jam with Ben earlier. Jimmy tries to spare her feelings by saying it was good, but Kirsha forces him to admit (via hand gestures) that it was only so- so.
KIRSHA: All I can hear is this ringing. I had no idea what Ben was playing. I copied his hands and hoped it would work. You've seen my folks – they're so worried and I hate it. I just want them to be happy.
Sheila waits nervously outside the café, until Joanne Schwartz appears. They greet one another cordially, but frostily.
David has arrived to do some tests on Kirsha's hearing, and explains the methodology to Dipi and Shane. She'll be put in a room and played audio cues, and has to hit a button when she hears them. Dipi wants to be in the room with Kirsha, but David says this isn't possible – she needs to be in isolation. Still, Dipi thinks Kirsha will ace the test, as she was playing the guitar with Ben earlier.
DAVID: All we're looking for is the tiniest indication of auditory improvement.
A road somewhere
Amy and Terese are in the car, driving to the prison to see Nick.
TERESE: Nick's done some terrible things. But, you know, he's helped a lot of people too. I guess somebody just thinks he deserves another chance.
Amy gets a call from Leo. He explains that Paul is the one who's hired the barrister for Nick.
TERESE: What's the catch?
LEO: There isn't one. This barrister is honest. No strings attached. Paul's just trying to make up for what he did. Amy, I don't know if this affects things for you. But I thought you needed to know.
Amy thanks Leo, and ends the call. Amy's perplexed by Paul's change of heart, finding it difficult to believe that Paul wants to do the right thing by Nick.
TERESE: No, I think by you. Look, Paul framed Nick because he was trying to protect you.
AMY: So after all this time, he's finally realised he did the wrong thing.
Sheila and Joanne are having a coffee.
JOANNE: I was surprised to get your message.
SHEILA: Not as surprised as I was to get your reply.
JOANNE: I was curious. We were friends for a long time.
They briefly reminisce about how they ‘ruled the school', and how Sheila glued a teacher's briefcase shut.
SHEILA: It's a pity our friendship fizzled out.
JOANNE: Yes, it was a shame. When all you had to do was apologise.
SHEILA: For what?
JOANNE: Sheila! Daddy Cool!
SHEILA: You were supposed to get the tickets. And if we're talking about apologies, I'm still waiting for yours to me, for stealing Frank!
JOANNE: That muttonhead? Anyway, it doesn't matter. I saw Daddy Cool perform in America, when my Arthur and I were there on holiday. It was a dream fulfilled.
SHEILA: Lucky you (!)
Joanne makes a quip about Sheila's son being incarcerated; Sheila replies that that's all in the past, and that Gary's a chef now, while Naomi's a marketing bigwig in LA. Joanne runs through the career successes of her own kids: Simon's an accountant, Catherine's a lawyer, and Robert's an IT whizz.
SHEILA: I am so surprised you gave them such normal names. Back in the day, you were about to call your firstborn V8!
JOANNE: So why did you get in touch? Was it simply to hurl insults?
Sheila explains about her one- woman performance at the variety show.
SHEILA: It's all about my life. And like it or not, you are a big part of that.
JOANNE: Wow! I never thought you'd perform again. Not after ‘Fiddler on the Roof'. I'm not sure what was worse – you forgetting all those lines in front of all those people, or you throwing up all over Tevye!
Joanne laughs unpleasantly and prepares to depart, telling Sheila she hopes her next performance won't be so humiliating. One gets the sense she doesn't mean it.
Amy is with Elly, and explains that she changed her mind about going to see Nick at the prison once she realised Paul was responsible for hiring the barrister.
AMY: It made me think about the whole situation. And I realised me being with Nick – well, I was being just as selfish as Dad was.
ELLY: You fell in love. That's not a crime.
AMY: Well, it should be when that someone abused my dad.
ELLY: I think you're being too hard on yourself.
AMY: I just think after the whole Leo and Toadie disasters, it just felt good to be wanted. I mean, yeah, he was special. But I don't think he was The One™.
Amy goes on to say that that's why her and Elly's no- man pact is so important; she's decided to be on her own, to really work on herself. Elly asks if Amy's sure she's ready to let go of Nick – Amy replies that she is. She adds that she'll talk to Paul later, but that first she needs to talk to Jimmy about something…
Ben and Xanthe are doing some Christmas decorating. He tells her that he played some guitar with Kirsha earlier and that she seemed good. Sheila comes marching in.
SHEILA: Oh, that stuck- up traitor! She's worse than she was in high school.
XANTHE: Joanne? But her message was so lovely!
SHEILA: Oh, that nasty witch even had a dig at your father. What a waste of my time.
Xanthe points out that at least Sheila faced her bully. But Sheila's fuming, and says she's pulling out the variety show after what Joanne said about her past performing skills.
SHEILA: She's right. I was terrible then, and I'm terrible now!
Xanthe says meeting Joanne was supposed to help Sheila get closure, not scare her off. Sheila insists she isn't scared of Joanne, but nonetheless tells Xanthe that Joanne ‘has won'.
SHEILA: Our friendship, and my act, are now officially over.
Sheila storms out, as Ben and Xanthe look concerned.
Dipi is adding her Rama, Shiva and Ganesh figures to what looks like a nativity diorama she's making. David has returned with Kirsha's test results, but admits to Shane and Dipi that it's not good news.
DAVID: Kirsha didn't respond correctly to any of the cues. She's not getting any better.
Random cut to Kirsha outside in the swimming pool, looking scared, as she watches Yashvi and Mishti play- fighting. We cut back to indoors.
DAVID: In most cases, with this particular condition, improvement occurs quickly, or not at all.
SHANE: So what you're saying is, if she's not better now, then she never will be?
DAVID: It's increasingly likely.
DIPI: This isn't happening.
DAVID: I know it's a lot to absorb. But we need to keep level heads, for Kirsha's sake. And I think it's a good idea if you all begin learning sign language, irrespective of any potential improvement.
He hands them a pamphlet, and leaves them to it.
SHANE: Our first Ramsay Street Christmas isn't gonna be what we thought.
DIPI: Why do we have to tell her? (…) Why can't we just wait till after Christmas? It's not that much time. She deserves some happiness.
SHANE: … Okay. We'll wait.
Cut back to the pool, and Kirsha looking scared.
Amy and Jimmy are moving their things back into the penthouse. Terese calls on the intercom, asking if she can come up and speak to Amy, and Paul invites her up. Jimmy arranges a chess match with Paul later, and goes to unpack his things. Amy suggests to Paul that she cook tonight, so they can spend some time together and catch up.
PAUL: Are you really back?
AMY: Yeah. This is our home. Thank you for Nick.
AMY: And I want you to know that I'm not going to see him again.
PAUL: Hey, that's none of my business.
AMY: No, it is. And, look, I get that now.
Terese comes up and thanks Paul for helping Nick. Paul goes to help Jimmy unpack. Amy explains to Terese that they're moving back in. Terese says that Nick was disappointed Amy didn't come to the prison with her to see him, but that he understood. Since Amy's ruled out a future with Nick, Terese adds, he's decided to move to Darwin to start afresh with family. Amy looks sad, but accepting.
Dipi is struggling with the news of Kirsha's likely permanent deafness. Shane tells her they'll get through it, and they hug. Kirsha comes in, and is shocked to see a pamphlet from Deaf Children Australia on the side, with a leaflet about sign language.
KIRSHA: Why do you have this?
DIPI: Don't look at that, sweetie?
KIRSHA: Why do I need to learn sign language? … Dad? … It's about the test. I'm not gonna be able to hear again, am I?
Coming up on Neighbours
- Mishti asks Terese about the ‘very convenient' software problem on the hotel booking system
- Kirsha angrily throws down the deafness leaflets, and Mishti and Yashvi look worried
- An upset Kirsha says that everyone thought she'd be fine
- Piper admits to Terese that she hasn't left the house since her panic attack in the pool
- When confronted with the prospect of going outside, Piper has another meltdown
- ‘Unmissable drama'