- Susan tells Karl, ‘I miss us' – he promises to make it up to her soon
- Elly is surprised to learn Liam is considering taking Jimmy to New York for six months
- Poppy continues to hassle Kirsha, but Yashvi tells her to figure out how to handle it on her own
- During a trek through The Bush™, Poppy threatens Kirsha, leading Susan to take Kirsha back
- But Susan and Kirsha get lost on their way back to the camp
- Kirsha loses her bracelet and wants to find it, but Susan says they have to get back before sundown
- ‘What if we don't?' asks Kirsha
Karl is texting Susan, telling her he misses her and loves her. Toadie, Aaron and Shane turn up and try to get Karl to come round to No 32. With David away at a conference and Dipi at the theatre, they have a blokes' beer and barbecue evening planned.
SHANE: We're gonna be talking about all the things our partners find mind- numbingly boring!
Karl is resistant and seems sad in Susan's absence, saying he wants to work on the MRI programme. But the boys persist, and he agrees to come along. Karl is surprised when his text message to Susan bounces – but Shane says she's probably just out of range. They head off to begin the festivities.
Yashvi and Xanthe are in their tent. Yashvi complains that Poppy's punishment of being sent home wasn't harsh enough; but Xanthe suspects Susan will have more in store for her back at school. Yashvi's surprised that Susan and Kirsha aren't back yet, but Xanthe says they're probably just chatting about what happened with Poppy. Yashvi is feeling guilty for what she said to Kirsha.
YASHVI: That should be my job.
XANTHE: Well, sometimes it helps to talk to an adult.
YASHVI: Yeah, especially after your big sister tells you to get stuffed, you mean.
Xanthe reminds Yashvi that she was the one who stopped Poppy from getting violent, but Yashvi says she shouldn't have let it get that far – and continues to worry about where Kirsha and Susan are. She suggests they go and look for them.
Meanwhile, Elly chats to Jimmy elsewhere in the camp; he's also worried about Kirsha not being back yet, but Elly assumes Susan has it under control. Jimmy tells Elly that he broke up with Poppy after how she treated Kirsha; Elly is sympathetic, and says that Jimmy's a good friend.
JIMMY: I just wish I never had to see her again.
ELLY: Yes, I know the feeling. You just want to run away, start a new life – never have to think about them again.
JIMMY: Yeah. Maybe. There's girls wherever you go, though! (…) Could you imagine Mum if I ran away? She would freak. She'd probably end up coming with me (…) I love Erinsborough. I mean, I've got my family – my friends. Why would I leave just because I hate my life sometimes?
Elly looks thoughtful – clearly, Liam's New York plans are weighing on her mind.
Shane, Aaron, Toadie and Karl are gathered on the patio for their boys' night. Shane says it's great to have an empty house, and fondly contemplates a bachelor's lifestyle – but Karl and Toadie both say that their periods of separation from their respective wives were pretty grim, and Aaron says he felt the same when he'd split up from David.
The conversation has dampened the mood as the boys miss their other halves. Aaron picks up his phone.
AARON: I might let Boo- Boo know I'm thinking of him.
SHANE: Boo- Boo?
AARON: It's our pet name!
SHANE: Fair enough.
Toadie texts Sonya, and Karl leaves a voicemail with Susan, asking her to call him back.
SHANE: Ah, for heaven's sakes!
Shane gives in, and goes to call Dipi too!
Xanthe and Yashvi have wandered away from camp to see if they can find Susan and Kirsha, but are having no joy. There's no reception where they are, and Yashvi suggests the same might be true for Susan; they could be lost. Suddenly, Yashvi spots Kirsha's bracelet lying on a tree stump.
YASHVI: This is Kirsha's Rakhi bracelet (…) I made it for her. It's like a security thing – she wears it when she's anxious.
Yashvi is starting to panic now, and they start shouting for Susan and Kirsha, but there's no response. Yashvi wants to continue the search – but Xanthe says they should go back to the camp and tell Elly.
Elly is facilitating at a Trust™ exercise, whereby the kids have to catch each other falling backwards, to help ‘nurture support in a team environment'. After Jimmy's turn, he and Elly get chatting again – we learn that Liam is Not In This Episode™, having taken another group of kids fishing. Jimmy admits he's getting on with Liam better than he thought.
ELLY: Have you thought about spending more time with him, or possibly staying with him?
JIMMY: Oh, sometimes. It would be alright – I mean, we'd probably end up getting takeaway every night.
Yashvi and Xanthe return to camp, and report that Susan and Kirsha are still missing, showing Elly the bracelet they found. Elly decides it's time to call an urgent assembly. Elly asks Jimmy to go and see if Liam's phone is in his tent, as he had better reception.
ELLY: We're going to call the police.
Soon, after a head- count, Elly confirms over the phone to Shane that Susan and Kirsha are the only ones missing – and that the police are on their way.
A worried Shane thanks Elly for the update; he's already preparing to go out to the camp to help search for Kirsha and Susan. Karl announces he's coming too, but Toadie reminds him he's on blood thinners for his deep vein thrombosis – it's not a good idea. Shane and Toadie manage to talk Karl around, and he agrees to stay put – but makes Shane promise to give him regular updates.
The camp is now swarming with police and SES personnel, and Elly is arranging for parents to come and get the pupils. Xanthe thinks they should stay to help search, but Elly says she needs to consider everyone's safety – they should leave the search operation to the professionals.
Shane arrives, and Elly introduces him to Brett from the SES, who's managing the search; Elly has already briefed Brett on Kirsha's anxiety, and Susan's MS. Shane is keen to join the search effort – Elly and Brett are hesitant as there's only 30 minutes of light left, but Shane insists he's going out there, and asks for a briefing. Dramatic montage of lots of orange- jacket action.
Aaron arrives to help out, with Amy in tow, who's come to pick up Jimmy. But Jimmy is keen to stay and help too. Amy isn't keen, as he's just come out of hospital – but we're told that Liam has already said it would be okay for him to stay, provided Amy agreed. Jimmy points out that Liam ‘helped find Grandma in the Blue Mountains', so is well- qualified to find Kirsha! Amy agrees that they can stay.
While Jimmy shows Aaron around the camp, Amy asks Elly if Jimmy and Liam have been getting along. Elly confirms that the camp seems to have been good for their relationship.
AMY: I just hope Liam does the right thing. How's it been for you?
ELLY: Yeah, fine.
ELLY: Honestly, we haven't had that much time together.
AMY: Look, I'm sorry. Here I am, banging on about Liam, and you've had to deal with Susan and Kirsha, and –
Amy gives Elly a hug. Elly looks worried, probably about whether she should mention Liam's New York offer to Amy.
The sun is beginning to set, and a worried Karl is leaving another voicemail for Susan, asking her to call him back.
KARL: I love you.
Toadie comes over, and reassures him that everything will be fine. Mishti turns up with news; the SES is calling off the search for the night, as it's too dangerous in the dark. Karl is annoyed, and starts mouthing off at Mishti about why they're not doing more.
MISHTI: Karl – my niece is out there. I want them found too.
KARL: Of course. Of course – I'm sorry.
Mishti gets a text from Dipi, and goes off to deal with it. Karl feels sorry for himself.
KARL: What sort of husband sits around on his backside when his wife's in danger?
TOADIE: One that is taking sensible precautions. Mate, I will drive you down there myself first thing in the morning.
KARL: A week ago, Susan accused me of having a lack of energy for our marriage. I promised her I would do better. I just never got around to it... Toad, she is literally my better half.
Toadie puts a comforting arm around Karl.
TOADIE: Susan is the toughest and the smartest woman I know. She's going to find a way through this.
Night has fallen, and Xanthe and Yashvi are tucked up in their tent, in sleeping bags. Yashvi is quietly upset.
YASHVI: I wish I believed in… God, or something. So I could pray.
XANTHE: Why don't you pray?
YASHVI: Because, I don't even know if God exists, or if I'm Christian or Hindu, or… I dunno.
XANTHE: Why don't you just pray to both?
YASHVI: It feels silly.
XANTHE: It's not silly if it's just the two of us. Just give it a go.
Yashvi is fighting back tears.
YASHVI: Dear… Jesus, or… Vishnu… I know that we don't talk much. But I was wondering if I could put in a last- minute request? Please look after my little sister… because I really like having her around.
Yashvi is crying now. Xanthe gets out the map, and says they should start to plan their search route for tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, Jimmy is bunked in between Elly and Amy!
JIMMY: They say in blizzard conditions you can last three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food. There's a lot of variables.
AMY: Look, they'd know to get shelter.
JIMMY: But what if they had an accident? They'd be so scared.
Amy promises they'll bring Kirsha and Susan back safely tomorrow. Jimmy asks if he can go and check on Liam; Amy hesitates, then says yes, but tells him to come straight back.
AMY: Hey, I love you, mate.
Evidently, she's in protective mode. Once Jimmy's gone, she admits to Elly that…
AMY: When I heard Kirsha was missing, my first thought was, thank goodness it's not Jimmy.
ELLY: It's normal to think that way.
AMY: I mean, my second thought was, poor Dipi. To have something happen to your kids…
ELLY: It'd be the worst.
AMY: When Jimmy was first born, he snuggled right into my chest and… he looked straight at me. God, I swear he was saying, ‘there you are, Mum. I found ya.' And I told him I'd always look after him.
ELLY: … He'll have to go away one day. Maybe to uni, or travelling, or… You'll finally have time for yourself. You'll get to do all those things you wanted to do.
AMY: Yeah, but I don't need that for a few more years. Pretty much every decision I've made since Jimmy was born has been based on what's best for him. I can't give that up yet.
Amy is getting tearful.
AMY: You think I'm a helicopter parent, don't you?
ELLY: I think you… You're a lioness, who loves your cub. And you would fight anyone who got in the way.
AMY: A lioness, eh? I like that.
Elly looks worried again.
In a third tent, Aaron and Shane are camping out too; Shane hopes Kirsha and Susan have found shelter for the night, as the temperature is forecast to drop below six degrees and there could be rain.
SHANE: Apparently, some people with MS don't cope very well in the cold.
AARON: Yeah, well – thinking like that is not going to help.
SHANE: You know what would help? Night searches.
Aaron reminds him that the experts advised it was impossible; Shane seems keen to give it a go, but Aaron says the first rule of rescue is not to get hurt yourself, or you're no good to the missing people. Shane admits that's exactly what he said to Karl, and they agree to get some sleep and head out at first light.
The next morning, Toadie is on the phone to Shane, who is updating him on progress.
TOADIE: Hey, you haven't heard from Karl, have you?... I've just come from his place, and I can't find him, and his car's not there, and he's not answering his phone (…) You're probably right, yeah. He wouldn't do anything stupid.
But Karl is traipsing through The Bush™ on his own, shouting for Susan! He doesn't seem to be the picture of good health, either – he's coughing, and short of breath. We see an obligatory shot of a kangaroo! Karl looks worried.
Elly is on the phone, arranging counselling for traumatised students! Amy heads out with Yashvi and a group to start a search, much to the disapproval of SES guy Brett – but Elly tells him he can't stop Amy. Aaron alerts Elly to the fact that Karl's car is in the car park, meaning he must be out searching too. Brett is concerned to learn that Karl is being treated for DVT and is on blood thinners.
AARON: If he gets cut out there…
ELLY: And Toadie said he's probably on his own, too…
Karl stops for a breather atop a steep bank – he's clearly unwell. As he begins to climb down towards the river, he trips and falls, tumbling down the bank and crying out in pain. He clutches at his leg in agony.
Coming up on Neighbours
- As the search fails to yield results, Yashvi goes it alone, much to Dipi and Xanthe's concern
- Karl cries out in agony, and Xanthe hears him – but he's coughing heavily and in a bad way