- Izzy decides to leave Erinsborough – and to leave Holly behind with the Kennedys
- The collapse of Izzy's donation means that the hospital wing is cancelled, and Karl is jobless
- Susan tells Karl she's going away for a while – she needs a break from him
- Karl assures Holly that Susan's departure isn't her fault
- Steph advises Xanthe to keep communicating with Ben if she wants long- distance to work
- Ben beams in for remote dinner with the Cannings via video chat
- Elly's jealousy of a newcomer leads Steph to suspect that she still likes Mark
- Elly sees the newcomer rifling through Mark's wallet, and accuses his ‘skanky date' of stealing
- But Mark introduces the ‘date' as his sister, Chloe, leaving Elly looking awkward
There's a change to the opening titles today, as Chloe Brennan (April Rose Pengilly) joins the main cast, in a new shot with Mark and Aaron.
Elly and Mark are awkward, as Chloe takes Elly's accusation of skank- thievery squarely on the chin.
CHLOE: Apparently my reputation precedes me!
MARK: Why did you have my wallet?
CHLOE: I was gonna pay.
MARK: With my money? I can see you haven't changed.
At Mark's command, Chloe cheerfully apologises to Elly for the misunderstanding. Elly walks off in a mood, just as Aaron arrives; he hugs Chloe and says it's great to see her.
CHLOE: You too, you big beefcake!
Mark tells Aaron about what just happened with Elly, leading Chloe to quickly ascertain that Mark and Elly were previously an item. She demands they tell her everything at home, and walks off, leaving Mark to settle the bill at Harold's.
Xanthe is video- chatting with Ben; we learn she's flying into Toowoomba on Good Friday to spend some time in Oakey with Ben. He asks if she's nervous about her latest work experience placement with the midwifery department at the hospital tomorrow – she says kind of, and promises to keep him posted via video link.
BEN: Don't scare me with an actual birth, though, okay?
Jack randomly gatecrashes the video chat, saying hi to Ben, and rambles on to Xanthe about how he's leaving town but that another counsellor will be organised for the school. Jack also asks how Xanthe's assignment is going, and is concerned when she admits she's been writing it while video- chatting to Ben at the same time. Jack leaves them to it, but looks worried.
Chloe is impressed with the décor at No 24, and asks where her bedroom is – but is surprised to learn there isn't one available, because Piper is still living there. Chloe replies that surely this is just temporary, but Piper comes in, overhearing her, and says she hasn't decided yet. Aaron and Mark introduce her to Chloe.
CHLOE: Hope this won't be a Brennan overload for you!
Chloe asks Piper if staying in Tyler's bedroom is ‘a bit weird without Gertie'. Piper doesn't reply, but looks awkward – and Mark says Piper can stay as long as she wants. Piper remarks that it's a surprise seeing Chloe turn up – she says she wanted to see her brothers.
CHLOE: Plus, I'm kind of broke right now. Travel is an expensive hobby.
MARK: What? Hang on – what happened to your inheritance?
CHLOE: I invested it. It's all tied up. But I know you two will always look after your little sis.
AARON: Of course we will.
Piper says she doesn't want to push Chloe out, but Aaron says it's fine – Chloe can have his room, and he'll stay on the sofa. Piper looks awkward as Chloe takes him up on the offer.
Susan arrives home from her trip to Oakey, and Karl welcomes her back – but it's clear there's still some distance between them. Susan asks how Holly's settling in; Karl thinks okay, but adds that Izzy has been ringing and that Holly is refusing to talk to her. Karl isn't eager to push it, but Susan remarks that that won't help them move on, and says that they shouldn't let the situation drag on.
Holly comes in with ice- cream, and is thrilled to see Susan back. They share a hug, and Karl and Holly fill in Susan on what's going on; Holly is starting a work experience placement at the hospital tomorrow. Karl suggests they all settle down and watch the Kennedys' favourite Icelandic crime drama, ‘Glugginn', together. Susan agrees, but doesn't seem very keen, and Holly notices this sadly.
Chloe comes in from a tour of the back garden, remarking that the landscaping is coming on a treat. She prepares to head for bed, but Mark wants a serious chat with her first.
MARK: You've missed a lot in the last few months – including Dad's funeral.
CHLOE: Yeah. You know, I was in Chennai, doing this meditation course with a friend. The centre we went to was incredibly authentic. It all happened so suddenly; I couldn't get back to Port in time.
MARK: Mum said you were in Perth.
CHLOE: … Oh. Yeah. Of course. Yeah, I remember now. I'd arrived the day before, and I just had this terrible migraine.
MARK: A migraine. Are you serious? Is that the best you can come up with?
CHLOE: No, Aaron – it's fine. Go on, say it. I know what you think of me. A spoilt, irresponsible brat, right? Dad said as much the last time I saw him. And you two see me the same way.
MARK: How would you even know, Chloe? You have barely spoken to us in years. It's like you're not even part of this family.
CHLOE: I am sorry, believe it or not. This isn't how I wanted things to turn out between us. The truth is, the more time I spent away, the harder it was to come back. When we were kids – when Mum and I moved to Adelaide – you guys became like strangers.
AARON: Hey, that's a bit of an overstatement!
CHLOE: Well, I'm not blaming you. But when I came for visits, I never fit in. So when I heard about Dad, and then Tyler… I didn't know what to do. I couldn't just waltz in and hug it out with you all. But I wish I could have gone through it all with you – I really do. And that's why I'm back. I want to fix things between us – and for myself. Before it's too late.
AARON: Hey. That sounds pretty good to me.
MARK: So you're gonna stay for a while?
CHLOE: As long as it takes.
MARK: Good to hear.
Mark smiles, albeit a little cautiously…
Xanthe is reporting to Ben from the maternity ward as promised – she's excited at the prospect of seeing some real- life births.
XANTHE: One of the births is a breech as well, so that will be really interesting.
BEN: For you, you mean!
One of the doctors, Rob Carson, walks by – he's disapproving of Xanthe chatting to Ben, and tells her to do it in her lunch break. But when Xanthe asks Dr Carson about how they deal with breech births and demonstrates that she's been researching the topic, he softens towards her, and invites her to come and observe an epidural.
At breakfast, Elly offers Holly a lift to the hospital for her placement. Susan asks if Holly's settling in okay – she says she is, but seems concerned about something. Susan presses her.
HOLLY: I just wanted to say I'm sorry about you and Dad, and how you've been fighting.
SUSAN: Oh, Holly – that's not your fault!
HOLLY: I feel like it is, partly.
SUSAN: No, no, sweetheart. You're not responsible for anything that's happened. Not with your mum – certainly not between your dad and me.
HOLLY: And you don't mind me staying?
SUSAN: No, of course not! We're here for you – we wouldn't want it any other way.
Holly seems reassured, and prepares to leave for her work experience. Karl emerges from the bedroom and kisses her goodbye, telling her to call him if she has any questions about anything. He says he may see her at the hospital later, as he's going in to see Clive. Holly and Elly leave.
Once Karl and Susan are alone, he suggests they spend the day together. But she makes excuses, saying she has to do some work for the China exchange student programme, and find a replacement for Jack. Karl looks disappointed as Susan leaves the room.
Holly is pushing a trolley around on her work experience, when Xanthe appears and starts telling her about the epidural she's just witnessed. Holly seems less enthusiastic about her own placement, as she's just been given filing to do. Holly remarks that it beats being at school, though, as at least she isn't being laughed at behind her back.
XANTHE: Holly, if someone's giving you a hard time at school, you should tell Susan.
HOLLY: … No, it's no biggie.
Xanthe directs Holly to the west corridor, where the filing room is – adding that only the medical research trial files are in the east corridor, and pointing to a door ominously labelled ‘restricted access'.
XANTHE: We had to put them all in the restricted access after all the chaos with the funding and the trial. But I'm sure you already know all about that, right?
Holly looks awkward, and pushes her trolley away towards the non- restricted filing area – but glances at the restricted door as she walks past…
Chloe and Mark are heading for a coffee, Chloe not being fond of the brand Mark buys in at home! Piper is with them, but announces she's heading to the book exchange, followed by spending some time with Paige before she leaves town.
PIPER: Oh my god, you didn't know. I'm so sorry – I just assumed… Yeah, she's leaving. She's going with Queensland with Jack, to be closer to Dad and Lauren.
MARK: Right. So they're going together.
PIPER: Yeah, I'm so sorry.
MARK: Yeah, no – it's okay. I'm fine.
But he's not. Once Piper's gone, Chloe offers to talk about it – but Mark says he has things to do, and tells her he'll see her for dinner if she's around.
Mark walks past Elly on his way into Harold's. Elly's on the phone to Jack, asking him to meet her at school shortly. Chloe approaches, and Elly is wary.
CHLOE: Relax. I come in peace! I wanted to apologise, properly.
Elly accepts Chloe's apology, somewhat half- heartedly, and starts to walk away.
CHLOE: Can I offer you some advice?
CHLOE: Mark. It's obvious you're into him.
ELLY: No. We're just friends.
CHLOE: Sure. The thing is, you don't want to make it too easy for him. No matter what guys say, they love the chase – and Mark has always loved a challenge.
ELLY: As I said, we're just friends.
CHLOE: So, does that mean you're single?
ELLY: … At the moment, yeah.
CHLOE: Men around here need their eyes checked!
ELLY: Er… thank you?!
CHLOE: Give me a call if you ever want to mix it up. I would totally be up for that.
Chloe winks at a bemused Elly and walks off!
Karl is coming out of the hospital just as Holly is getting a coffee. She asks after Karl's meeting with Clive; he explains it didn't go very well.
KARL: I offered to analyse the data from the trial for free. Not interested.
HOLLY: Why not?
KARL: Because the information's confidential, and I'm not an employee. Now the data's just going to sit there with no- one to look at it.
Holly feels bad for Karl, but he assures her he'll find something to do – and says he'll see her at home. Once he's gone, she heads back inside and straight for the ‘restricted access' area. She's about to sneak in, when Xanthe approaches, and tells her about a birth she's just seen. They arrange to have lunch together, and Xanthe walks off again. Holly enters the ‘restricted' door.
Shortly afterwards, Jack is thanking Dr Carson for giving Xanthe the opportunity to do her placement at the hospital. Carson tells Xanthe that if she sticks to her studies, she'll be an asset. After Carson's gone, Xanthe gushes to Jack about how much she's enjoyed the placement, and confirms that it's reinforced her wish to work in nursing.
Jack says that, in that case, they should speak about Xanthe's marks, adding that her results have been dropping over the last few weeks – including the assignment she handed in last night, which Elly told him felt like it had been thrown together at the last minute. Xanthe admits she may have been distracted chatting to Ben while working, and promises to refocus.
Jack suggests that Xanthe may want to consider dropping a subject if she's not coping with the workload. Xanthe is worried that this will affect her ATAR score, but Jack says not if she does well in her other subjects. Xanthe looks unsure.
Elly is also talking to Susan about Xanthe's grades; they both feel it's likely to do with Ben leaving, but Elly assures Susan that Jack is on the case. Susan remarks that once she's found a replacement for Jack, she'll want Holly to see the new counsellor – admitting that she's slightly worried about her since Izzy abandoned her. Elly assures her that the Kennedys' love will get her through.
SUSAN: I hope so.
ELLY: You guys are stable, right?
SUSAN: Oh, you think I would give Isabelle the satisfaction of breaking us up again?
ELLY: You're not answering the question.
SUSAN: … He did the right thing in the end, but it just – it just took him so long!
ELLY: Yeah. I was angry with him, too.
SUSAN: You know, if he had said no to Isabelle straight away – if at the very beginning, he had told me that she wanted to have another child with him – it would've been so different. But he didn't! Anyway, I am going to get past it right now. I just need to focus on making sure that Holly is not impacted by this.
Chloe comes in from the garden wearing a giant inflatable swan, and declares it's pool party time. Aaron is enthusiastic, and Mark says he'll join in too. He apologises to Chloe if he hasn't seemed very welcoming, saying he appreciates what she said about wanting to fix things.
CHLOE: You know I mean that, right?
MARK: Yeah. It's just been a tough few months, that's all. The last thing we need is any more disruption.
CHLOE: Yeah, I get it.
MARK: Tyler going away hit us pretty hard; I've had a bad breakup. I just don't know if I can handle any more drama, yeah?
CHLOE: It's fine. I don't want that either. I promise.
Karl and Susan are at opposite ends of the room, in silence, when Holly comes in. She presents Karl with the files from the cholesterol/fertility trial, which she's swiped from the restricted access area!
HOLLY: I thought that you could do the work, and then go back to Clive and show him what he's missing out on.
KARL: Holly! This is highly confidential information!
SUSAN: What have you done?
HOLLY: Don't worry – no- one saw me take them.
Holly is surprised that Karl isn't pleased!
KARL: Pleased?! You've stolen from my former place of work! This is the sort of ludicrous thing your mother would do!
HOLLY: I'm sorry. I'll take them back.
KARL: Yeah, just – take a deep breath here. I will take them back. Before anyone notices they're missing.
Karl leaves the room. Holly tells Susan she just wanted to help, as Karl seemed so unhappy – but Susan says it isn't her problem to fix.
HOLLY: I really am sorry.
Xanthe and Piper are in the garden, chatting about new arrival Chloe, who can be heard from over the hedge having a great time in the pool!
XANTHE: What is she like?
Piper admits she's not a fan of Chloe so far, accusing her of kicking her out of Tyler's bedroom and acting like his chair is hers! Conversation moves to Xanthe's work experience; she reports that she had a great day, but that Jack told her her grades were slipping. Xanthe has no intention of dropping a subject as Jack suggested; she wants to get into a good university and study midwifery.
XANTHE: I just need to figure out a way to study more without cutting down time on Ben. Because that's non- negotiable.
Holly apologises to Karl again, as he takes the files and prepares to go to the hospital to return them. He's still concerned by the seriousness of the situation, but says he'll be back soon. However, he then gets a message on his phone from Clive – saying he wants to see Karl about the research data.
HOLLY: Do you think he knows?
Coming up on Neighbours
- Shane and Dipi are annoyed at an unrepentant Toadie for pulling a prank
- Sheila digs for hints from Clive about a special surprise she's arranged
- Clive and Paige emerge from The Waterhole office with singer- songwriter Ross Wilson
- Clive opines that Sheila is going to love this
- Susan tells Karl that Holly already has one bad role model in Izzy; does he want to be another?
- Karl replies ‘of course not', but Susan says she hopes he's prepared for the consequences