- Marisa helps Chloe put up Christmas in July posters, despite the fact they feature Yashvi and family
- Dipi finds one of the posters defaced, and accuses Marisa of being responsible
- After being fired, Marisa protests to Chloe that she didn't do it, but Chloe doesn't believe her
- Karl and Mark realise that Bea's boyfriend and Rita's assistant ‘Patrick' was Finn Kelly all along
- Karl tells Mark that he thinks Finn tampered with the MS trial data
- Clive tells Sheila to stop ignoring the fact that Xanthe's in no fit state to sit the UMAT exam
- Xanthe insists to Sheila that she won't defer the exam
- But during the exam, Xanthe begins to have agonising seizures
Xanthe's seizures seem to have stopped – and Clive tells her, Sheila and Gary that he's going to Run Some Tests™ to get to the bottom of what happened. Xanthe now seems to have accepted that she's been pushing herself too hard; she explains she was having intrusive flashbacks of Finn as the seizures hit.
XANTHE: I'm so stupid!
SHEILA: You are certainly not stupid.
Clive says he should have stepped in and stopped the exam from happening – and says Xanthe now needs some rest.
SHEILA: Your dad and I are here for you, love. Remember, us Cannings Are Made Of Tough Stuff™.
But a broken- looking Xanthe clearly isn't feeling it…
Karl is chatting with a patient outside Harold's, when Toadie emerges with a coffee. We learn that Sonya and Susan are Not In This Episode™, so won't be attending the Christmas in July gala tonight unlike their husbands. Neither will Willow, who's on her way back to Port Macquarie.
Karl gets a phone call from Clive, saying he has some good news and asking him to come in to talk about it. Karl wonders excitedly if the hospital is restarting the MS trial.
Meanwhile, Terese and Leo are discussing preparations for the gala dinner. The Rebecchis, as the Face of Lassiter's family, are due to arrive in an hour. Terese says they're key to this, as it's the first event where they're really marketing their family hotel credentials. They've even been given special Christmas jumpers to dress in. Terese prematurely declares that all is going to plan.
In the garden, Dipi, Shane, Yashvi and Kirsha have foregone the Lassiter's Christmas jumpers, and instead are dressed in 1920s outfits, as part of Dipi's plan to promote her musical, Flapper! Mishti, ever the killjoy, isn't convinced that Terese will be very pleased about this change of plan – but Dipi dismisses her concerns. Kirsha is looking anxious.
KIRSHA: Should we really be going to this dinner? Our posters were wrecked. What if we're really unpopular? Or what if we get egged, or booed?
Yashvi says they have nothing to worry about – Marisa was responsible for the posters, and she's been fired. But Kirsha still looks worried.
Gary is telling Amy about how he's blaming himself for Xanthe's seizures – he was shooting his mouth off about Finn yesterday, which he's worried put her off her game. Amy says he can't blame himself.
AMY: If you want to be angry at anyone, be angry at Finn.
GARY: I am! I can't think of anything else except what I want to do to that mongrel!
Amy insists that the police will find Finn and put him back in prison where he belongs. Gary thanks her, and walks out, rushing straight past Karl who tries to ask after Xanthe as he arrives. While Amy updates Karl, Gary makes a phone call in the corridor outside.
GARY: Have you ever heard of a bloke called Finn Kelly?
Karl heads into Clive's office for their meeting. Clive explains that one of the GPs at the hospital is retiring, so a position has opened up if Karl wants to return to his old role. Karl is disappointed; he was hoping Clive had called him in to talk about the MS trial, and asks if there's any hope of that restarting now it's been shown Karl wasn't at fault.
Clive tells Karl that Rita has cut ties with the hospital, and is doing the trial elsewhere now. Karl's upset he hadn't been informed.
CLIVE: You were dropped from the project.
KARL: Yeah, but only because Finn Kelly set me up. I mean, the police have the evidence; wasn't that passed on to the board?
CLIVE: All of those decisions were made before any of that evidence came to light. Look, I'm sorry; that's done. The GP position would be the same hours –
KARL: I can't really come back to the hospital with my reputation in tatters. I need a public apology.
CLIVE: If you'd been thorough, Kelly wouldn't have duped you.
KARL: That's not entirely fair, Clive!
CLIVE: Either you want the job, or you don't. Let me know by tomorrow.
The Sluggett Residence
Gary is in the back garden of a man named Jeremy Sluggett, whose name has been passed to him by an old prison acquaintance. Gary is keen to find information on Finn, who apparently shared a cell with Jeremy.
JEREMY: Sorry, I don't associate with any mate of his.
GARY: Oh, he's no mate of mine. Far from it. That dog hurt my daughter, and I want to make him pay (…) I need some help tracking him down. If you've got any idea where he might be – and I'm not asking you to break the law – but I need to find him. Please.
JEREMY: Well, as it happens, he did mention a place he'd used to lie low. I'm happy to share… but you're gonna have to earn it.
Leo presents Paul with a USB stick in a box, which he says is Paul's Kris Kringle present for Terese! Leo explains that the USB contains a movie; all Paul needs to do is take Terese home after the gala tonight, show it to her, and take all the credit.
PAUL: Are you sure she's gonna be into this?
LEO: Well, yeah – I've spent a lot of time with Terese, and listened to her. Nothing that you couldn't have done. Which is why this'll work.
PAUL: Okay. So what is this movie, then?
The Sluggett Residence
Jeremy Sluggett explains to Gary that he needs him to hold onto some cash for him; Mrs Sluggett doesn't want it in the house, he explains, as she doesn't want to be an accessory to whatever crime procured it!
Jeremy shows Gary his ankle tag, saying he can't leave the house to hide the cash elsewhere until next week – so Gary needs to keep hold of it until then, at which point he'll give him the info on Finn. Gary is desperate to find another means of getting the info.
GARY: Please, cut me some slack. My daughter is eighteen years old.
JEREMY: Mate, I know. Kelly's a piece of work. But you want something from me, I need to get something back.
Gary asks how much money is involved; Jeremy says it's $100,000.
GARY: If I get caught with that amount of cash, I'm going straight back inside!
JEREMY: Then don't get caught.
Terese is raging at the Rebecchis for dispensing of her Christmas jumpers in favour of the 1920s costumes. Dipi remarks that the jumpers were daggy!
TERESE: You're the Faces of Lassiter's. You're contractually obligated to wear whatever I pick out for you!
This is all making Kirsha even more anxious. But Leo turns up and says they don't have time to get changed now – they need to shoot the promotional photos before the dinner gets underway. Terese is annoyed, but Leo convinces her that the costumes are sufficiently whimsical for their purposes. Terese smiles.
Toadie thinks it's great that Karl has been offered a GP role again, but Karl is whingeing, saying he might not take the job because he feels butthurt over the MS trial debacle.
KARL: I don't know if Clive even wants me back.
TOADIE: He asked you, didn't he?
KARL: But he was very short when he did. Rude, even. Clive and I have been on rocky ground for a while.
TOADIE: You can't turn down a perfectly good job just because you're not best mates with the boss.
Clive is briefing Xanthe and Sheila on the results of the tests he ordered. He says the fact the seizures are getting worse could suggest a long- term problem. They'll start her on new medication, but it could take a while to get it right – and in the meantime, things could get worse. Xanthe assures him she won't less stress play a factor, but he says she'll need regular neurology check- ups regardless.
Clive also suggests they consider an insurance claim, as they may be entitled to compensation. Sheila asks for a word with him outside, and they go into the waiting area.
SHEILA: Insurance, really?!
CLIVE: Well, yeah – money can take the pressure off.
SHEILA: That's the best we can do for her right now?
CLIVE: No – you'll want to try and keep her spirits up, and avoid stress this time.
SHEILA: This time? So you're still judging me for letting her take the test?
CLIVE: No – look, it wasn't the best decision, but –
SHEILA: How dare you! If you think this the time for ‘I told you so', you are not the man I thought you were!
She stomps off.
The table for the Christmas in July dinner has been laid, and Paul tells Terese it looks ‘absolutely spectacular'. Guests include Dipi, Shane, Yashvi and Kirsha, as well as Karl and Toadie – and also Mark, who is randomly In This Episode™. Terese opens the dinner with a speech, introducing the Rebecchis as the Face of Lassiter's family. Kirsha looks unenthusiastic as Shane says a few words.
DIPI: And if you're looking for a gift for that special someone, come see us for tickets to our musical, Flapper!
Terese quickly wrestles the mic away from Dipi before it becomes a feature- length plug! The turkey arrives at the table, just as Terese puts the mic in front of Kirsha, asking her what Christmas presents she's hoping for. Being unexpectedly in the spotlight sends Kirsha into panic – leading her to let go of Clancy the dog's leash. Clancy promptly leaps on the table and makes a beeline for the turkey!
Leaving a trail of smashed crockery and glasses in his wake, Clancy next heads towards one of the Christmas trees. Toadie and Shane try to stop him, but end up knocking the tree over, causing more chaos. Terese and Paul look most unimpressed!
Erinsborough Police Station
Gary comes in to speak to Mishti, demanding to know if the police have any new leads on Finn. She says they haven't found him yet – but Gary is none too impressed when Yashvi comes in and asks if any progress has been made on finding Clancy!
GARY: Are you kidding me? The police are prioritising finding a dog over a criminal?!
Mishti assures him they're doing everything they can to locate Finn, and that he's just going to have to be patient.
Leo is redirecting the Christmas in July guests up onto the mezzanine as part of a damage limitation plan, while Terese sits at the table looking embarrassed. Paul sits down to join her, as she laments about what a disaster the event has been.
PAUL: God only knows what Tim Collins is gonna write about it in tomorrow's paper!
But he assures Terese that it's not her fault, and presents her with the Kris Kringle gift to cheer her up. Terese is quickly buoyed, as Leo watches from a distance, smiling. She's curious as she opens it and finds the USB. Paul explains it's a movie – but no ordinary one.
Paul and Terese are back at her place, watching the movie. It's a montage of video and photos of Terese's dead son, Josh, mainly from his swimming days – including pictures of him with Brad, Terese, Imogen, Piper, Doug and Amber, and footage of his interview with Nicole Livingstone in Episode 6804, after qualifying for the Commonwealth Games.
It ends with a caption which reads ‘Josh Willis – never forgotten…' Paul looks at Terese cautiously as she watches the film; she's streaming with tears, but it appears to have been cathartic for her.
TERESE (crying): Oh, Paul. That was incredible. How did you manage it?
PAUL (flinching): Well, it took a bit of effort, but it was worth it.
TERESE: I was just thinking today about how hard Christmas is without Josh. How did you know I needed this?
PAUL: I spend a lot of time with you, and I listen.
TERESE: Did you see the picture of him at his first swimming tournament? He was so little. That's the best present anyone's ever given me.
Paul smiles as Terese holds his hand – but there's also guilt and regret in his face, presumably as he wishes he'd thought of it himself.
Clive is working late when Karl drops in for another visit. Clive's stressing over Sheila, confiding to Karl that she's furious with him, despite him only ever having had Xanthe's best interests at heart. Karl advises Clive to ‘take his doctor's hat off' and be there emotionally for Sheila and the family, rather than dispensing medical advice. Clive says Karl may be onto something.
Karl explains the reason he's come by is to accept the offer of the GP position.
KARL: And thank you. For thinking of me.
CLIVE: That is great news. Welcome back, Dr Kennedy.
They shake hands.
The café's closed up, but Shane comes in and finds Kirsha sitting on the floor, looking forlorn. He explains Clancy's been found ‘down by the lake, in a food coma', and that nobody's mad with her for dropping the leash by accident. But this doesn't cheer Kirsha up.
KIRSHA: Dad – I'm the one who vandalised the posters of our family.
KIRSHA: I've already been bullied at school. I don't want to give anyone a reason to start up again.
SHANE: Oh, Kirsh, you should have said something.
KIRSHA: But everyone else was so excited about it. I thought, if the posters were damaged, Lassiter's might let us go. But now someone's been fired, and Mum's going to be so mad at me for trying to ruin this chance for us.
Shane hugs her reassuringly.
SHANE: You know what? Let's just keep this a secret, hey? Between you and me.
KIRSHA: What? But what about what happened to Marisa?
SHANE: Well, I think Marisa kind of got what was coming to her, after everything she said to Yashvi. What you did can just stay between us. Nobody else needs to know.
Xanthe asks Sheila where Gary has got to; she's tried calling him but to no avail. Sheila says he's probably asleep at home.
XANTHE: I'm really sorry that I'm not gonna become a doctor. But I just want to thank you for believing that I could.
SHEILA: Oh, don't worry about that, darling girl. You just need to get some rest, and know that I love you.
Sheila kisses her goodnight, and leaves the room. In the waiting area, Clive appears with a bunch of flowers from Sheila, and apologises to her.
CLIVE: I spoke to you like a doctor before, and not the man that loves you. So whatever you need, I'm here – even if that's just shutting up and giving you a big hug.
SHEILA: That's exactly what I need right now.
They hug. Clive suggests they go back to his place for dinner. They kiss.
Gary comes in with a rucksack, and hides it (poorly) behind the sofa when he hears a knock at the door. It's Mishti – she's come to apologise for being abrupt with him earlier, saying she knows how hard it must be waiting for news on Finn. She's just inches away from the rucksack as she stands by the sofa, and Gary looks nervous. Mishti assures him the search for Finn isn't over.
GARY: Good. Thanks. And I promise I'll let you do your job from now on. I won't come in and yell at you again.
Mishti leaves him to get some sleep, and Gary sighs with relief as she leaves. He opens the rucksack, which contains the $100,000 from Jeremy, and looks worried…
Coming up on Neighbours
- Aaron asks an excited Chloe to let him talk to David; he thinks he ‘might go for it'
- Leo chastises Ned for saying ‘that stuff about Terese'
- Paul tells Leo he may never get another chance like this
- Paul tells Terese that all he wants is to make her happy
- Bea accuses Elly of making everything about her, as usual