- Piper recalls how someone had been underlining novel passages that were also important to her
- She tells Elly that she thinks she and the Mystery Underliner™ are kindred spirits
- Piper admits to Cassius that she's been holding onto Tyler, but is ‘tired of complicated' – they kiss
- Karl says Xanthe could be a doctor if she's willing to do the work and put her mind to it
- Paul advises Sonya to weigh up bringing Andrea back into her life against loving Hugo as her own
- Sindi says Sonya is fine to look after Hugo on her own
- But as Nell distracts Sonya while she's changing Hugo, he falls off the changing table onto the floor
Karl is slightly cold when he finds Sindi with Toadie in the café. Sindi expresses her condolences about Karl's MS trials being shut down; Karl thanks her for her concern, and asks what her plans are.
SINDI: I just want to make things right.
Toadie gets a call from Sonya, telling him about Hugo's accident. Toadie, Karl and Sindi rush out.
Toadie, Karl and Sindi arrive, to find Sonya and Nell in the waiting room. Sonya explains what happened with the changing table and Nell distracting her, and says the doctors are checking Hugo for concussion.
NELL: Is it my fault?
TOADIE (to Sonya): You can't take your eyes off him for a second!
SONYA (to Nell): It's not your fault, sweetie
Toadie goes to get an update from the doctors; Sonya wants to come as well, but he forcefully tells her to wait with Nell. Karl and Toadie go off to find the doctors, and Sindi joins Sonya and Nell in the waiting area.
Cassius has come to pick up Piper for their first date, and is faced with chatting to Terese, Ned and Xanthe while he waits for her to emerge! Xanthe remarks that Cassius ‘looks great'. It's awkward.
NED: Hey, I've been meaning to ask. Did you still want to get that tattoo removed?
CASSIUS: … Err, yeah.
Ned tells him he's working at the hotel now, but Cassius could still book an appointment at the tattoo parlour he did a few shifts at. Cassius says he will, and at this point Piper emerges. Xanthe gushes at how cute they look together, and Piper and Cassius head off for their date.
Cassius and Piper are having a drink. Piper asks Cassius about his family.
CASSIUS: Umm, not much to tell.
PIPER: Aww, come on, there must be something. What do your parents do?
CASSIUS: Err, Dad's not around. Mum raised me.
PIPER: Oh, whereabouts?
CASSIUS: Erm, I grew up near the coast. But we moved around a lot, so…
PIPER: Oh. Well, you and your mum must be pretty close, spending all that time together?
CASSIUS: Yeah. Isn't everyone with their mum?
Conversation dries up, as they both look awkward.
PIPER: Siblings? Brothers, sisters?
CASSIUS: … It's just the two of us (…)
PIPER: Tell me something about yourself that I would never guess?
CASSIUS: … I have a phobia of cats.
Piper laughs, and Cassius looks deadly serious!
PIPER: Oh, no… That's okay… My cat Clementine, she thinks she's a dog half the time, so you'll be fine….
More awkward silence.
CASSIUS: I'm sorry. I guess I'm just – I'm a bit nervous, and I'm not much of a talker.
PIPER: Oh, that's fine. Apparently I can talk for both of us!
Awkward drink- sipping.
Sheila is helping Xanthe to study, but Xanthe seems distracted. She mentions that she's now hoping to become a doctor.
SHEILA: So you were serious when you were ranting and raving about that, when you were on those silly drugs! (…) What happened to becoming a nurse?
XANTHE: I changed my mind (…) I started thinking about it after I saved Karl.
SHEILA: But there's nothing wrong with nursing.
XANTHE: I know that. I mean, nurses are awesome. But so are doctors – and doctors get to diagnose illnesses, and solve problems, and save lives. And Karl and David both said that if I study hard enough, then I have a great chance – so why not aim high?
SHEILA: Well I always find that the higher you climb, the further you've got to fall.
XANTHE: Thanks for that, Gran (!) I don't intend to fall.
But Xanthe looks disconcerted by what Sheila has said.
Karl and Toadie return to the waiting area. Karl reports that Hugo seems to be fine, but that they'll keep him in overnight for observation just to be sure. Karl offers to have Nell at the Kennedys', to give Toadie and Sonya a break. Nell is keen on this idea, especially when the suggestion of ice- cream is posited – so Karl leaves with Nell.
TOADIE: I just want to say sorry about before. I was feeling a bit stressed, and I flew off the handle.
SONYA: Oh, Jarrod, stop.
TOADIE: It was an accident.
SONYA: But what if it… what if it wasn't? What if there's a part of me deep down inside that let him fall, because of who he is? Because of what he stands for?
TOADIE: Darling, please don't do this! Just chalk it up to the accident that it was.
SONYA: I've been trying so hard to accept him, but what if I can't? (…) Now you're not gonna trust me with him, and do you know what, I don't blame you for that.
TOADIE: Oh, don't do this, sweetie.
SONYA: No, come on, he's baby. He is a tiny little baby. How am I gonna forgive myself for that?
She walks out of the hospital, wracked with guilt. Toadie looks worried.
The date from hell continues, as Piper and Cassius play darts. She asks if he's always wanted to be a gardener.
CASSIUS: It's a pay- cheque.
PIPER: I'll take that as a no!
Piper explains the nursery gig isn't her ideal job, either – she had plans to go to uni, but it all got messy due to Tyler's jail sentence, and she had to re- evaluate her life. Cassius looks annoyed.
PIPER: I'm sorry I keep oversharing about him. I don't mean for it to happen – it just does. We went through so much together, and it was just so intense. So yeah, I guess I've got baggage.
PIPER: I'm still doing it, aren't I?
CASSIUS: Little bit.
Mark comes in, and Piper takes him aside to talk to him. She tells him the date is going disastrously. She's not ready; it's too soon after Tyler, and she's going to go home. She asks Mark to tell Cassius she's ill, before rushing out of the door!
Sonya comes in, looking tearful. She sits down on the couch, then has a flashback to seeing Toadie and Andrea about to TITTNL™ on Skype! Then there's another flashback, to Sonya telling Toadie that their marriage is over – and a third, to Sonya telling Toadie she wants another child.
A fourth flashback recalls Sindi turning up on the doorstep with Hugo. Finally, we flash back to Toadie saying he wants to put the IVF on hold. In the present, overwhelmed with emotion, Sonya grabs her keys and heads out of the house...
The next morning, Ned finds Piper reading ‘The Girls', the novel where she first found the mystery underlinings. She explains how she thought the underliner was a kindred spirit, but now she just thinks it's another example of her reading too much into things.
Piper then admits that she bailed halfway through her date with Cassius – the forced conversation just became too awkward. She says she won't be dating again in a hurry.
Xanthe is quizzing Cassius about how his date with Piper went.
CASSIUS: She got her ex-boyfriend's brother to tell me she was sick, so that way she could ditch me.
Xanthe is incredulous and suggests that Piper really was sick.
CASSIUS: No. She jumped ship, plain and simple. I can't really blame her, though; the date was a bit of a dud (…) I clam up when it comes to talking about myself; and Piper, she kept talking about her ex. Also not great.
Xanthe wonders if she shouldn't have convinced them to date after all; Cassius insists it isn't Xanthe's fault.
CASSIUS: It's better this way – not getting too close. And, hey, if I need a mate to talk to, I've always got you, haven't I?
Xanthe looks at Cassius, infatuated, then snaps out of it and announces she has to go and study.
Karl is with Nell, when Sheila comes over to join them; Karl explains Nell's been staying with them because of Hugo's accident. Sheila mentions Xanthe's hopes of becoming a doctor, and asks Karl exactly what he said to her. Karl replies that he said being a doctor isn't all about saving lives, and that Xanthe should think hard about what she really wants.
Xanthe is telling Chloe all about her Feelings™ for Cassius, and how she's tried to put them aside to help him get together with Piper.
XANTHE: But every time I see him, I just…
CHLOE: Want to tap that? If that's the case, you should go for it! All's fair in love and war.
XANTHE: No, I can't. I need to stop feeling like this. It's wrong – Piper's my best friend.
CHLOE: And their date was a dud. If that's not an opening from the universe, I don't know what is.
XANTHE: I feel like they were just nervous. Piper's definitely into Cassius, and Cassius is just… definitely not interested in me.
CHLOE: Or, he's just been so caught up with the wrong person that he hasn't noticed the right person who's been in front of him all along!
But Xanthe says this isn't a rom- com; Cassius is Meant To Be™ with Piper, not her.
CHLOE: Why not you?
XANTHE: Because I'm destined to become Dr Xanthe Canning, and that isn't gonna happen if I don't stick to my studies.
When Toadie arrives home in the car, he sees Sindi coming out of his house, and asks what she was doing in there. Sindi claims she came to check on Sonya, but that she found the front door unlocked and nobody home. Sindi checked every room, but Sonya wasn't there, and hadn't left a note as far as she could see.
SINDI: She's probably fine; she probably stayed at a friend's place.
TOADIE: I can't assume that. I need to find her.
He makes a phone call…
Xanthe is studying again, and Sheila once again airs her doubts about Xanthe becoming a doctor – asking if it's really what she wants to do. Xanthe insists that it is – but Sheila says she should be prepared in case it doesn't all go to plan. Clearly irritated by Sheila's lack of confidence in her, Xanthe says she's in with as good a chance as anyone.
SHEILA: I think your ambition is great. But in medicine, they really only take the people with the very top marks. And so I was wondering whether you should try something, you know, a bit more achievable?
XANTHE: Gran, do you really think I can't do this?
SHEILA: Of course you can! It's just that medicine is such a cutthroat area.
XANTHE: I'm going to become a doctor, okay?
SHEILA: But you've always said that nurses are the real doctors anyway.
XANTHE: Gran, why don't you just admit it, okay? You clearly don't think that I'm smart enough to do this.
SHEILA: That's not what I said!
XANTHE: Well, it's clearly what you meant (…) I don't need your support. I have David's and I have Karl's, so it doesn't matter if I don't have yours!
Sheila walks away, upset, and Xanthe looks stressed.
Chloe is paying Mark a visit at the garage. She asks if he wants to be her partner for Dipi's scavenger hunt tomorrow, but Mark is too busy here. Mark suggests she should partner with Xanthe, but Chloe explains she's already paired with Susan – and decides she might ask Amy instead.
MARK: Yeah. If you want her to run you into the ground for the win!
Mark tells Chloe about Piper's bad date with Cassius, and how she ran off home pretending to be ill, having decided it was a mistake to go on the date. Chloe seems excited by this news, and rushes off.
Outside the Community Centre
Sonya is thanking Terese for letting her stay at her place last night, after she was tempted to turn to drink to deal with the Hugo situation. Terese says the important thing is that Sonya didn't drink; she contacted a fellow AA member for help.
TERESE: If you want to stay sober, you need to start looking at the positives in your life.
SONYA: I am – I am. You know, even after Hugo arrived, I wanted to continue on with our IVF plans, but it was Jarrod who wasn't ready for that.
TERESE: Look – having had twins, I can tell you now that having two babies isn't always that easy. But Hugo's a baby. Even if it's not the one that you want.
SONYA: I just don't know if I'm prepared to make that trade. Playing happy families with Andrea's son is just…
TERESE: You couldn't try? I mean, Toadie was looking after Callum long before you turned up. Look at it as an opportunity – a way to repay your karmic debt. Taking in Andrea's son the same way that Toadie took Callum in. Hey, I know you want to extend your family. But at the end of the day, you want a baby and… Hugo needs a mother.
Sonya looks thoughtful.
Toadie is on the phone asking someone to let him know if they hear from Sonya. At that moment, Sonya herself comes through the door. She explains she went to an AA meeting with Terese, after being tempted to go out drinking last night. Toadie hugs her. Sonya can tell he's exhausted, so tells him to go and have a rest while she looks after Hugo.
Toadie hesitates after Hugo's recent accident, but Sonya tells him she's had good advice from Terese and Paul – and that while she's struggling with the situation, she can't let that affect Hugo.
SONYA: That's why I think you're right; I think we should put IVF on hold.
TOADIE: Are you sure?
SONYA: It makes sense.
Toadie kisses her.
TOADIE: Thank you.
SONYA: Hugo's what we've got. So we've just got to make that work, okay?
Sonya promises she won't take her eyes off Hugo, so Toadie is about to head to bed for a rest. But he's interrupted by Karl arriving to drop Nell off. Sonya invites Nell over to say hello to Hugo. Toadie watches, emotionally, as his two kids become acquainted.
NELL: I like Hugo, Mumma.
SONYA: Do you? Well, do you know what? Hugo's not just any little baby, sweetie. He's your little brother. Hey? You should give him a big cuddle. Yeah?
Toadie and Sonya glance at one another as Nell hugs Hugo.
Xanthe comes in to put up a poster for the scavenger hunt; she's on the phone to Yashvi, asking if she could stay at hers tonight as she had an argument with Sheila. It sounds as if Yashvi has agreed, so Xanthe ends the call – as she notices Cassius in the living area, reading a book…
Chloe pays a visit to Piper, who is reading ‘The Girls' again.
CHLOE: So I hear your date with Cassius was a flop?
PIPER: Wow – word travels fast!
CHLOE: Yeah. Well, seeing as things didn't work out between you two, I thought you should know, Xanthe has a thing for him.
PIPER: What?! No, she thinks he's attractive, but it's not serious! She just likes to window- shop.
CHLOE: Hmm, but this time, she wants to buy.
PIPER: Sorry, is this any of your business?
CHLOE: Oh, no – I just thought you should know. She's been into him since they first met, but she's been too busy putting you ahead of herself to actually do anything about it.
Cassius is reading one of the ‘Agent Nomad' novels by Skye Melki- Wegner, and is unaware that Xanthe is approaching him from behind.
Chloe asks if there's a spark between Piper and Cassius.
PIPER: I don't know. I just really thought there was something there. But yeah – maybe it was just surface- y.
CHLOE: Who doesn't like his surface, right? Is he someone you think you could have an actual relationship with?
CHLOE: Maybe you should do what Xanthe would do in the same situation – step aside and let your friend be happy?
Xanthe watches in shock as Cassius produces a pink highlighter pen, and begins to highlight passages in the book! The line in question is, ‘And this time, my family might be broken for good'…
Coming up on Neighbours
- Piper wants to ask Xanthe something, and tells her to be honest in her answer
- Finn watches Xanthe, Susan and Elly on his TeaCam™, and is also seen breaking into Harold's
- We hear his voice saying that you've got to take risks when opportunities present themselves
- Elly says something doesn't seem real; Bea insists it is. Elly says ‘he hasn't proven his commitment'