- Jeremy Sluggett's mother, Nance, arrives at the Flametree Retreat to collect his dodgy cash
- Gary explains he spent the money on Xanthe; Nance says she'll keep quiet if Gary keeps her happy
- Ned tells a humiliated Yashvi that Bea is the one he cares about
- Yashvi accuses Bea of stealing Ned despite knowing that she liked him
- Chloe tells Pierce she promised her bosses that Cash4Company wouldn't interfere with the hotel
- But Pierce isn't easily dissuaded, and offers to make it worth Chloe's while if she comes to his room
- Gary tells Xanthe how perfect he thinks Amy is
- Dr Rob tells Amy he wants to buy a house with her; Gary's astounded as they've only just met
- Paul gives a reluctant Amy a bonus so that she can afford to buy a share in the house with Rob
Paul has just finished transferring Amy's bonus, so she can buy the house with Dr Rob. He's oblivious to the fact that Amy looks as enthusiastic about this as a turkey in an abattoir in December. She points out that she's only been seeing Rob for a couple of months; Paul reminds her that they'll have a contract drawn up in case anything goes wrong between them.
PAUL: But it's your money, and I support you with whatever you do with it.
AMY: I'm not making any promises.
PAUL: Yeah, that's fine. No-one else I'd trust more to make a sensible decision.
Chloe comes in, looking for Leo, but he's Not In This Episode™.
PAUL: He seems to be always somewhere else lately.
Paul also informs Chloe that Lucy has been in touch, saying she needs next month's projection reports urgently. Chloe is hesitant, saying she's not actually free right now (presumably thinking of Pierce's offer). But Paul says it's important the reports go tonight, so Lucy has them for the morning meeting in New York.
PAUL: It's alright - you'll get paid for your services!
CHLOE: Oh, yes. Payment... is good!
But she looks worried as Paul walks away.
Dipi is cleaning tables when Bea and Xanthe come in. They're talking about Cassius; Bea says he's exactly where he belongs, and insists she's fine - it's the Brennans and Piper she's worried about.
XANTHE: 'Fine' is what people say when they aren't.
BEA: Alright - it has brought up a couple of things too, I guess.
XANTHE: About Finn?
BEA: Yeah. Well, my first therapy session was good, but it's gonna be slow-going.
Yashvi comes in, and totally blanks Xanthe and Bea. Xanthe is surprised, but Bea explains it's her fault - Yashvi still hasn't forgiven her for what she saw as a betrayal when Bea kissed Ned. While Yashvi goes over and gets a hug from Dipi, Bea admits to Xanthe that she doesn't want to force the situation, saying she's the one who stuffed up.
The Flametree Retreat
Nance turns up to see Gary. He assumes she's there for another round of free treatments, but in fact she's stepping up her blackmail. In exchange for scuppering her son Jeremy's parole by not allowing him to live with her, she now wants a job at the Retreat as assistant manager! Nance explains she's sick of working at the supermarket. Gary looks nervous.
Chloe is just entering the lift when she gets a text from Pierce, saying, 'Are you coming? Suite 702.' She looks conflicted. Paul joins her in the lift; Chloe says she's sent Lucy everything she needs for her meeting.
PAUL: I really appreciate it when staff go above and beyond.
Once Paul's left the lift, Chloe is conflicted as to whether or not to pay Pierce a visit on the seventh floor...
The Flametree Retreat
The following morning, Gary's explaining his latest predicament with Nance to Amy. Amy reminds Gary that he's meant to keep Steph in the loop when he hires people, after the Sindi incident. But Gary thinks he can get away with giving Nance a one-day trial without Steph finding out - at the end of which, Nance will realise that it's too much like hard work. Amy looks sceptical.
Elly is having breakfast, Mark having already left for a run. Chloe comes out of her room, and Elly invites her to join her and Amy for lunch at The Waterhole. Chloe is up for this, but seems distracted with her phone - she tells Elly it's just a client.
ELLY: Another satisfied customer?
CHLOE: Disappointed, actually. He was hoping last night's date would have a part two, but I turned it down.
ELLY: I thought you were working at Lassiter's last night?
CHLOE: This one's a bit of a grey area.
ELLY: You don't mean a Greyson area, do you?
CHLOE: Kind of.
ELLY: You can't mix your two jobs together!
CHLOE: I turned him down at first. But (...) he made me an offer, for extra services. To spend the night.
ELLY: Oh -
CHLOE: I didn't go through with it! But I didn't exactly say no, either.
ELLY: Yeah, but you're considering it.
CHLOE: I do like him. And I defs find him attractive...
ELLY: Okay, yeah, that's one thing. But are you comfortable accepting money from him?
CHLOE: I don't know... stop looking at me like that!
Elly reminds Chloe of how things blew up last time people assumed she was offering more than company, and that she promised not to jeopardise the hotel's reputation; Terese and Paul would go mad if they found out.
CHLOE: But what about what I want? What's best for me?
ELLY: Okay, yeah, Chloe - what is best for you?
CHLOE: So, deep down, even you're going to judge me?
ELLY: No, I'm not judging you...
CHLOE: I haven't even come to a decision yet.
Chloe stomps out of the house; Elly reminds her about lunch later as she goes, and looks worried once she's gone.
The Flametree Retreat
Gary is helping Nance get to grips with the computer system at the Retreat, but she isn't proving very adept! She seems to be enjoying having her hand on his over the mouse.
NANCE: Oh, it is getting steamy in here!
Sheila comes in, and Gary leaps away from Nance to go and talk to her.
SHEILA: That old bird is the mysterious Nance?
NANCE: Who are you calling old?!
Nance explains she's the new assistant manager, before leaving the room.
SHEILA: What, so you're giving your secret girlfriend a job now?
GARY: She's not my girlfriend, I told you that.
SHEILA: Well then, who is she?!
GARY: (...) I hired a new staff member!
SHEILA: And No-Chance Nance was the best you could come up with?
Nance re-emerges briefly, calling for Gary's help as she's hit too many zeros when sending a document to print!
SHEILA: The woman wouldn't know her way around a roundabout!
Gary tells Sheila to keep her nose out, before rushing off to help Nance.
In reception, Chloe subtly admires Pierce as he warms up outside prior to going for a run. Paul turns up and introduces himself to Pierce, apologising for not being present when he first arrived. Pierce is lukewarm towards Paul, telling him that his stay has been only 'satisfactory'.
Perturbed by this, Paul comes inside and asks Chloe why their number one VIP is calling the hotel satisfactory!
CHLOE: I dunno!
PAUL: Well, maybe you could think of some ways to enhance his experience?
CHLOE: I'm an EA.
PAUL: Can I just point out that one of the dot points in your job description reads, 'any other duties, as directed by management'. Well, here's your management - and there's your duty. Hmm?
Chloe nods meekly, as Paul walks away, and looks towards Pierce again.
Xanthe has come round to talk to Yashvi, suggesting she should make amends with Bea. Dipi and Shane, who are lingering around, agree with Xanthe.
DIPI: It's much healthier to forgive and forget.
YASHVI: That's ironic, coming from you!
DIPI: I've learnt from my mistakes.
SHANE: Vee, you don't want to throw away a friendship over a boy. Trust me, us drongos are not worth it!
Xanthe adds that Bea has been having a hard time too, because of Cassius, and needs her friends.
YASHVI: My alleged mate helped me humiliate myself with Ned - and every time I see Bea, I get to relive that. If I can't forget it, why would I forgive it?
The Flametree Retreat
Sheila is lurking around, pretending to look at the health and beauty range, while Nance continues to comprehensively fail at her new job, preparing to post out invoices without addresses on them. Sheila asks for some advice on some at-home pampering products.
NANCE: I've got this.
SHEILA: So, what bath salts would you recommend - you know, for muscle cramps?
NANCE: None. You need to eat more salt, not bathe in it!
SHEILA: Oh. And what about emu oil? How is that made?
NANCE: Well, they used to milk the emus, like cows, but now they grow it.
SHEILA: Oh, really?!
GARY: You haven't said that to any actual guests, have you?
Sheila demands to know what's going on, since Gary obviously didn't hire Nance 'for her skill or her talent'!
SHEILA: I have more right to be a cover model than you have to be behind that counter!
NANCE: Well, you're in luck, cos Women's Weekly rang, and they're doing a special issue on mutton!
GARY: Ladies, please!
SHEILA: Gary, I told you - if you feed an alley-cat, they won't leave you alone!
Nance consults a label on a bottle of moisturiser she's holding.
NANCE: Well, this is good for ageing skin - and clingy mothers!
Nance squirts it all over Sheila!
SHEILA: And this is for scrubbers named Nance!
Sheila squirts Nance back. In the meantime, Xanthe has come in.
XANTHE: Oh, that's Nance!
GARY: She's not my girlfriend!
NANCE: I've never been so disrespected in my whole life! You can shove your job - and you can forget about our deal! I'll make sure Jeremy's out of jail, and you can kiss your kneecaps goodbye!
Nance storms out, as Sheila and Xanthe demands answers from Gary!
Elly, Chloe and Amy are having lunch, as Amy fills them in on the 'total ambush' of Dr Rob wanting to buy a house with her. Elly tells Amy not to do something if she's not ready for it, making a veiled appeal to Chloe at the same time as regards her situation with Pierce.
CHLOE: But Amy is getting a house of it! Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me!
ELLY: Oh, great - let's just be exploited, then (!)
AMY: I wouldn't call it being exploited.
CHLOE: Yeah, snap!
ELLY: What I'm trying to say is, we shouldn't be letting men's desires dictate what we want to do, unless we want to do it. It's kind of like you and your lingerie cleaning.
AMY: Well, that was about keeping the debt collectors at bay!
ELLY: Okay. But say that a client came to you, right, with more money, and offered to take things further.
CHLOE: Seriously? Come on! I just don't think you should be forced to talk about that stuff!
AMY: Oh, it's fine - I owned it. And I was propositioned quite a few times. But I never went there; some of the other girls did.
ELLY: Yep, and I bet they regretted it, right? I think it's completely different when you're being paid to get physical.
AMY: Well, the girls always said that they were comfortable with the choice they were making. Some of them even felt empowered by it. So I guess it's no-one else's business but theirs.
Elly and Chloe give one another silent daggers, and Amy senses the awkwardness. She heads to the loo, and, once she's gone...
CHLOE: I had no idea you were such a conservative snore-fest!
ELLY: I'm just - I'm worried that you're not thinking clearly because you're attracted to this Pierce guy!
CHLOE: Like Amy said, as long as I'm comfortable, that's all that matters.
Chloe gets up and leaves.
The Flametree Retreat
Gary has told Xanthe and Sheila the full story about Jeremy, Nance, the dodgy money and how he used it to cover Xanthe's uni fees.
SHEILA: Even for you, Gary, this is a whole new level of self-inflicted disaster!
She proposes to remortgage the house to resolve the problem, but Gary isn't keen on that, and it wouldn't raise enough cash anyway.
XANTHE: Guys, I think we all know the obvious solution. I'll cancel my uni application, and you can get your money back.
Gary begins to object, but...
XANTHE: Dad, if I need to choose between being a doctor and you being alive, then I'm going to choose you!
Gary doesn't have an answer to that!
Elly is consulting Susan and Bea about her anonymous friend (Chloe) who she's tried to give advice to, but is worried she's made it worse. They try to ascertain who she's talking about, but Elly isn't saying, other than that it isn't her. Bea and Susan seem to be suggesting that whoever the person is needs to make up their own mind about the predicament, despite knowing zero of the details.
Susan and Elly head back to school, just as Yashvi and Shane come in. Yashvi suggests they could study together later as per Dipi's suggestion, since they both have exams coming. Shane agrees.
Shane goes into the kitchen and, seizing the moment, Bea goes to talk to Yashvi, using Elly's 'insanity' over the anonymous friend as an ice-breaker.
BEA: It makes me miss my friend even more.
YASHVI: ... I don't think you know what a friend is.
BEA: Okay, that's fair. Yashvi, I'm so sorry.
But Xanthe arrives then, interrupting with the 'worst news ever' - she isn't going to uni anymore, as the family can't afford the money.
BEA: Look, it's just a minor setback.
YASHVI: Yeah, you'll figure it out and we'll help.
BEA: Okay, I have an idea.
YASHVI: Diamond heist?
BEA: No. I was thinking milkshakes.
YASHVI: I think my idea is more of a proactive solution.
Xanthe thanks them for their support.
Amy is doing some work when Paul turns up; he's brought up a present which was left at reception for her. It's clearly from Rob, and Amy's reluctant even to open it - so Paul does it for her, showing her it's a colour palette for paint choices at their new house.
AMY: Yeah. The house we haven't even bought yet!
Paul says they need to get moving if they want to secure the house. Amy forces a smile, but doesn't look keen at all.
The Flametree Retreat
Amy arrives to deliver a 'world-class rant' to Gary, but he's not in the mood, explaining how the situation with Nance has unravelled.
GARY: I've done what I always do. I screwed things up. I 'did a Gary' - I Garyed it!
He says the only way to placate Jeremy now when he gets out of jail is to give him the money for Xanthe's uni fees, and he recalls the look on Xanthe's face as she decided to drop out to retrieve the money.
GARY: I've crushed my girl's Dreams™ (...) you know when you've failed your kid, and I've pretty much got a blackbelt in it.
Gary invites Amy to do her rant now, but she says her problem is resolvable, and that it can wait.
GARY: Nothing's gonna solve mine.
Amy looks like she's having an idea...
Chloe arrives at Pierce's suite to see him. He admits he was disappointed that she didn't turn up last night; she explains that 'duty called'.
CHLOE: I wanted to make sure that if I came back, you had my undivided attention.
PIERCE: And do I have that now?
CHLOE: It's hard to think about much else. After considering your proposition, I've decided to accept.
PIERCE: Well, that's a relief. Cos it means I won't have to take this back to the store.
He presents her with an expensive-looking necklace.
PIERCE: I did say I'd make it worth your while! And I'm nothing if not a man of my word.
He goes behind her and slips the necklace around her neck, before putting his hands on her shoulders.
Chloe sees herself in the mirror, and looks conflicted. Pierce sits down on the bed, and beckons for her to join him.
CHLOE: Yes - no time like... the now!
But she looks back in the mirror, and seems unsure.
Chloe comes in to find Elly lurking around again.
ELLY: Before you give me an earful, I just want to say I've been an idiot. I'm really, really sorry. I was totally projecting, and I was out of line. This is your decision to make; it's not mine.
CHLOE: To be honest, I'm kind of grateful for all the meddling now. I thought I was cool with the whole thing, so I went to see Pierce. But something didn't feel right.
ELLY: Was it him?
CHLOE: It was me. After we talked with Amy, I told you I was comfortable - like those girls that she knew. That changed. So I left.
ELLY: Okay. So me being a total pain kind of helped?
CHLOE: But you really did inject yourself into the whole thing! I mean, it's almost like you care about me or something!
ELLY: It's almost like that, isn't it?
CHLOE: Well, at least one of my relationships has been Taken To The Next Level™ today.
Amy finds Gary sitting on a bench; he says he just needed some space.
AMY: I won't crowd you for too long, then. But I just wanted to give you this. It might help you keep your kneecaps.
Amy hands Gary a cheque, for $100,000!
AMY: Dad gave me a bonus. It was for that house with Rob.
AMY: But I am not ready, and I want to lend it to you. You've been such an amazing friend to me, through everything.
GARY: I couldn't possibly take this, so...
AMY: Yes, you can. And we can figure out the repayments later. But for now, Xanthe gets to keep her Dream™, and you get to go home to her.
GARY: I don't deserve this.
AMY: Yes, you do. You are one of the best men I know.
GARY: ... You're amazing.
AMY: I feel like you'd do the same for me.
GARY: Yeah, I would, because...
GARY: ... I'm in love with you.
Coming up on Neighbours
- At No 26, Rob calls Gary a piece of work; Gary tells him to leave
- Xanthe asks Piper if she'll go and see Tyler when he gets out of jail
- Ned asks Piper if Tyler even knows about her and Cassius
- Piper admits to Elly that the waiting's been killing her
- Mark tells Piper and Aaron there's a possibility that Tyler won't come home at all