- Chloe learns that Fay's having to sell her house as a result of funding her endless holidays
- When Paul calls her a liability, Sheila tells him to stick his job – she quits
- Steph wants to move to Sydney to be near Adam, meaning she needs a manager for the Retreat
- After being caught TITTNL™ with Leo by Brandon, Chloe begs him not to say anything
- But Brandon embarks on a series of blackmails, including demanding to borrow Paul's car from Leo
- Later, Leo is furious to see that Brandon has broken the car roof
Chloe and Leo worry about the damage to Paul's car; since Leo has been in meetings all day, Paul will know he lent it to somebody else. Chloe wonders if David or Amy would be willing to take the blame, but Leo doesn't want to put them in that position.
They see Paul approaching, and Leo goes over to distract him, by asking him to fetch him a coffee from Harold's. Leo then rejoins Chloe by the car. She suggests that Leo keep an eye out for the post, so he can intercept Brandon's speeding fine when it arrives – and that, in the meantime, she'll take the car to the garage to get Mark to fix it. Leo points out she's already on thin ice with her brothers.
CHLOE: I'll just have to wear it. If I lose this job, I'm done for.
She explains about Fay having lost her house because of Chloe's debts, and that she's determined to pay her back. Chloe drives off in the car, and Leo looks worried.
Fay is catching up with Sheila over a cuppa; they're gossiping about all the drama at the school camp. They exchange stories about their daughters, Naomi and Chloe.
FAY: Chloe's more whimsical. One day she's off to a remote Buddhist retreat, and the next I'm transferring money for a boat party in Ibiza.
Conversation moves on to jobs, which both of them are looking for at present; Fay explains to Sheila that she's staying with her kids because she had to sell her house and couldn't afford rent, so needs work soon. They resolve to keep an eye out for job opportunities for one another should they arise. (Which of course, means they will arise later in this episode!)
Mark isn't sure whether his auto- electrical skills will be sufficient to fix Paul's car, suggesting to Chloe that the garage in Anson's Corner may be a safer bet. Chloe's forced to admit she needs the work doing cheaply, as Paul doesn't know about the damage to the car. When Mark asks who was driving, Chloe simply replies that she is responsible. She begs Mark to help her out.
MARK: Alright. I'll take a look. But no guarantees.
Fay meets up for a drink with Aaron, who introduces her to a passing Leo; she tactfully remarks that they've already met, without explaining to Aaron exactly how! Aaron invites Leo to join them, and goes to the bar – leaving Fay and Leo to acknowledge the awkwardness of her walking in on him and Chloe.
LEO: This is embarrassing!
FAY: Forget all about it. I have.
Aaron brings over some wine, and Leo notices what an expert Fay seems to be. She explains she used to run a cellar door back in Adelaide, but has taken a leave of absence. Leo looks thoughtful.
The Flametree Retreat
Sheila pays Gary a visit in the outdoor restaurant area. They briefly discuss Xanthe, who's apparently worn out from her traumatic life- saving adventures in the bush. Steph turns up – she's on the phone to her ex Dan, Adam's dad. Afterwards, she explains to Gary and Sheila that she wants to move to Sydney to be near Adam, but that she's not sure it's viable to pay a manager for the Retreat.
SHEILA: What if this manager was prepared to do a half- pay trial, just until you get a job?
STEPH: In my dreams! There's no way anyone skilled enough is even gonna look at the wage I can offer.
But Sheila says she may know the very person…
Sheila turns up and finds Aaron alone at his table. She asks where Fay is, explaining she's found her the perfect job opportunity. However, she's aggrieved to see that Leo is already showing Fay the ropes behind the bar! Evidently, he's clocked her wine expertise and decided she's perfect to be the new manager at The Waterhole. Sheila is not a happy bunny – and shortly afterwards…
SHEILA: So, this is what you call teamwork? Stealing my job?
FAY: I was going to come and see you. I hoped you'd understand.
SHEILA: I understand alright! It's a dog- eat- dog world, and it's every bar wench for herself!
Fay insists she didn't chase the job – Leo asked her to try out for it. Leo backs up Fay's story, saying he couldn't keep the job open for Sheila even if he wanted to.
SHEILA: First you bring in Chloe as your PA, and then her mother to manage the pub. What is this – the Brennan Bunch?!
Leo says that Fay's skills align with the professional, family- friendly image they're trying to build!
SHEILA: So much more than the loudmouthed bogan who knows this pub and the clientele like the back of her hand!
Aaron intervenes, and encourages Sheila to look at different kinds of job opportunities – she might find a new career that suits her better than the pub ever did. Sheila looks thoughtful.
The Flametree Retreat
Steph is talking to Paul about her management problem at the Retreat, when Sheila shows up again – and announces herself as the perfect candidate! Paul openly laughs at this idea. Steph is more polite, but after some cursory questioning of Sheila's knowledge about yoga and reflexology…
SHEILA: You know me. I can sell ice to the Eskimos, and I'll have people standing on their heads if they think it has magical healing properties!
… Steph makes it clear that she's not sure Sheila is the right fit for the job. Sheila looks disappointed.
Mark arrives, joining Fay and Aaron, and congratulates Fay on her new job as bar manager. However, Fay is down in the dumps because Sheila is upset with her about taking the job.
AARON: Don't worry. She's just a grumpy little garden gnome.
Mark tells them about Chloe wanting Paul's car fixed, but says she seems to be keeping some kind of secret. Fay admits that she knows something about Chloe.
FAY: I don't know if it's to do with the car, so you'll permit me to refrain from sharing.
Mark is annoyed, reminding Fay that her ‘enabling behaviour' as regards Chloe is what got her into so much financial strife. Fay says she knows that, but intends to respect Chloe's privacy in this particular matter – she'd do the same for either of the boys if they asked her.
The Flametree Retreat
Sheila is moaning to Gary about Paul's vendetta against her, which she thinks has impacted Steph's decision not to hire her. Gary tells Sheila not to take it personally; she just doesn't have the skill set to manage the Flametree.
Sheila asks why Steph didn't offer Gary the job – and suggests he should put himself forward. Gary says he's just a chef, but Sheila reminds him he's worked here long enough to know all the wellness jargon. She gives him a motivational speech.
SHEILA: With my coaching, and your winning personality and good looks – which you get from me, by the way – we are in with a huge chance!
Mark is repairing Paul's car, when he makes a concerning discovery under the passenger seat – Chloe's bra!
Steph is moaning to Sonya about her problems finding a manager for the Retreat; apparently her mum Lyn is not keen on leaving Bendigo to manage the place, and Steph doesn't want to miss out on any more time with Adam. Sonya says that Steph should consider giving someone untested the chance to prove themselves.
Leo and Paul are talking about Fay's recruitment; Paul seems pleased with Leo's decision to hire her, although remarks that the jury's still out on her daughter! As Leo leaves, Chloe arrives, and is thrilled to learn from Paul that they are hiring Fay as bar manager, grabbing his arm excitedly. Mark sees this interaction from a distance, and begins to jump to all the wrong conclusions…
The Flametree Retreat
Steph is fondly scrolling through photographs of Adam on her phone. Gary appears in a suit and tie, having decided to present himself as a potential manager, and anxiously looks through a series of cue cards – before going over to talk to Steph. She seems hesitant at first, but Gary makes a good argument as to why he has the skills and experience to take on the job.
GARY: I've never been happier than I am working here, and a lot of that has got to do with you. You've created a place that's special (…) You've created a place where people can come to learn to feel good about themselves (…) And now it's time for you to do something that makes you feel good. Going to Sydney to be the mother that Adam needs. I get that, because I'm still trying to be the father Xanthe deserves. Now, I might not be the conventional candidate, but I want this. And I'll work hard not to let you down. All I need is a chance.
STEPH: Well, look – I'd have to run it by Mum… But how about a trial?
Steph explains she'll have to take a day in Sydney to make arrangements, and will leave Gary in charge to see how she gets on. If all goes well, they can look at making it permanent. Gary's thrilled.
Gary excitedly returns home to report to Sheila that he's been given a trial as manager of the Flametree. Gary's already nervous about everything he'll have to do, and what could go wrong – but Sheila is confident he can handle it.
SHEILA: Gary Francis Xavier Canning – will you stop worrying? Steph will show you the ropes – and when she's gone, you'll have me! And just like I coached you through this interview, I will be with you every step of the way. Just think of me as the wind beneath your wings (…) When the Canning combo get together, they can do anything!
Gary tries to look positive, but is still worried.
Chloe comes to see Leo in the office. He tells her that all the paperwork's been completed for Fay's new job, but Chloe seems worried; she thinks that Leo only gave Fay the job so she'd keep quiet about walking in on them. However, Leo assures her this isn't the case, saying Fay's the perfect candidate with all her wine knowledge.
CHLOE: As long as you know you don't owe me anything. We're just having a bit of fun. We're not a couple.
LEO: Yeah, I completely agree.
CHLOE: I am categorically not doing this for the perks. I mean, the work perks, anyway.
LEO: Yeah. Got it. And I promise you – Fay was hired based purely on her merit.
This reassurance given, Chloe and Leo get down to some pashing!
Aaron has joined Mark at the garage, where he has finished fixing the roof on Paul's car. Mark's annoyed Chloe hasn't come to pick it up yet, given she made such a fuss about getting it done today. Aaron remarks that Chloe's been doing a fair bit of overtime lately, which arouses Mark's suspicions further – he suggests she's using work as a cover for something else.
AARON: For what?
MARK: I think our sister is having an affair – with Paul!
Coming up on Neighbours
- Toadie concocts a plan to smuggle Dipi into Yashvi's football match
- Elly tells Susan and Karl that she could have sworn she just saw ‘Bea'
- Later, Susan sees an unfamiliar woman walking through the Complex and looks concerned
- Sheila is hosting some kind of dinner at the Flametree – Piper, Xanthe and Yashvi are present
- Freya Stone turns up, and announces she has brought something to get the party started…