- Amy and Gary are together, and Paul isn't happy about it
- Chloe tells Pierce that Terese has poured her heart and soul into the hotel
- Terese gloats to Paul about Pierce switching teams after learning he was a 'stooge' in Paul's plan
- Sonya and Toadie stress about there being no place in daycare available for Nell
- Sonya befriends a lady called Alice, who offers to childmind when she and Toadie are in a spot
- But Alice later tells baby Hugo their 'little family' will soon be 'safe and all together'
Sonya comes into the front room astounded to find it immaculate; on top of looking after Nell and Hugo, Alice has been cleaning the house! Now Nell is having a tea- party in her room, and Hugo is asleep, explains Alice. What's more - she's made shortbread! Toadie turns up, and is equally impressed with the state of the house.
TOADIE: I forgot what the carpet looked like - we chose well!
SONYA: I know. And she made shortbread, Jarrod!
Sonya expresses how grateful they are, and asks Alice how they can repay her.
ALICE: No, no - my payment came in the form of having the most wonderful time.
But Sonya is insistent, so Alice tentatively suggests that they could all go for a drink this evening. Sonya seems keen, and says she'll ask Susan to look after the kids - and call Alice later to let her know. Alice leaves, bidding them goodbye and hoping to see them later.
In the garden, Sheila and Xanthe are hanging out the washing. Gary and Amy arrive, arm in arm, talking about pigeon droppings after having been to some kind of homing pigeon event. Xanthe gushes about how amazing Gary and Amy are.
XANTHE: I totally ship you guys.
Gary and Amy go back indoors; Gary invites Amy round for dinner later, and then to stay over.
AMY: Pigeons got you in the mood, have they?
GARY: Every time.
They kiss. Amy asks if Sheila and Xanthe will be around later; Gary says yes, but that they won't bother them. They agree for Amy to come round at seven. Something is worrying Amy, though; she admits she's concerned about Paul. But Gary says he's made his own bed; he'll have to lie in it.
Paul is loitering in his car outside Terese's house, looking sad. He then sees Amy leaving No 26 and getting into her ute, and looks even more upset.
Susan has come round to look after the kids while Sonya and Toadie are out with Alice. Susan is astounded by how tidy the house is, too. Toadie tries to weasel out of the drink with Alice, as he's so exhausted, but Sonya insists he come along - it's the least they can do given Alice has minded the kids, cleaned the house and made shortbread.
SONYA: Yes, it's in the kitchen. You should try some.
Toadie grudgingly agrees to go with Sonya.
SUSAN: This is the best thing I've put in my mouth for a long time.
SONYA: I know.
Amy is telling Elly all about her fun with Gary and the pigeon race. Elly remarks that Amy and Gary sound like 'great mates', the implication being that pigeon- racing isn't really a couples' activity.
ELLY: Tonight, you're going to... you know... and you're acting like...
AMY: Like what?
Xanthe is talking to Gary, in a Parallel Conversation™.
XANTHE: Like Toadie coming over for pizza and the footie.
GARY: Really? Well, that's... just how we are. We've always been great mates.
XANTHE: But is that how you want it to stay? I mean, this could be the start of something really romantic, Dad (...) I just think it should be exciting, you know. Like, butterflies in your stomach. Not pigeons.
GARY: So, what do I do?
XANTHE: First step...
ELLY: ... you need to reset the relationship.
AMY: What do you mean?
Elly tells Amy that her demeanour is currently screaming 'friends'. She needs to push it more towards 'lovers', otherwise it could fizzle out.
AMY: So what do I do?
XANTHE: Dinner. Emphasis on the romance. And avoid talking about family - you know, like Kyle.
Xanthe says she'll take Sheila out for dinner, so that it will just be Amy and Gary in the house.
XANTHE: And then I will help you make this the most gorgeous, romantic night ever.
Sonya and Alice are at a table, talking about Nell, who Alice thinks is lovely.
SONYA: She didn't swear, did she?
SONYA: Oh, good, because she's been trying it out! And of course it's not okay, but I mean, there's a small part of me that's actually quite proud at how well she does it. Does that make me a bad mother?
ALICE (laughing): I dunno!
Toadie brings them some drinks over. Alice tries to give him some money for her lemon and lime bitters, but Toadie says they can stretch to it after she looked after the kids all day.
TOADIE: Are you sure you don't want, like, a wine, or a gin, or something?
ALICE: No, no thanks - I'm not much of a drinker.
SONYA: Yeah, well, me either.
Alice registers this, then changes the subject, remarking on what a lovely little community Erinsborough seems to be.
TOADIE: It has its moments! Anyway, what are you doing here?
ALICE: Oh, you don't want to hear about me.
SONYA: Of course we do.
ALICE: Well, alright. My daughter lived a few suburbs away, and she got called overseas suddenly. So I said I would pack up the house, put the things in storage, so that we can rent it out.
SONYA: Oh, that's good of you.
ALICE: Yeah. Well, we, umm... We didn't actually part on very good terms. In fact - yeah, we've never really had a great relationship. I think she thinks I smothered her, and I think she's probably right. And the upshot is, I, err... yeah, I haven't seen my grandchildren for quite some time.
SONYA: Oh, Alice.
ALICE: No, don't feel sorry for me, because I plan to fix it. And anyway - spending the day in your home with your beautiful kids was exactly what I needed. So, thank you.
As Alice goes to the bathroom, Toadie admits to Sonya that he now feels terrible for saying he didn't want to come. Sonya agrees that Alice's story is really sad. However, in the bathroom, Alice pulls some kind of spirit bottle from her bag and smiles evilly!
She laughs and takes a swig from the bottle...
Yashvi is pestering Dipi to let her go to Bali for schoolies, if she pays for it herself. Dipi replies that there's no chance of that happening - so, sure! Yashvi leaves.
Meanwhile, Shane and Sheila are studying for their exams next week. Sheila is deploying the speed- reading skills that Karl's sister Jemima taught her. Paul comes in and asks to speak to Sheila alone, so Shane makes himself scarce.
PAUL: Gary and my daughter.
SHEILA: Fantastic, isn't it?
PAUL: Oh, are you out of your mind?!
SHEILA: Oh, what's wrong, Paul? Son got your girlfriend?
Sheila says that just because Paul's upset about Terese and her 'man- child', it doesn't mean he can take it out on Gary. Paul accuses Gary of tricking Amy into giving him the $100,000 for Xanthe's uni fees, and asks why Sheila couldn't take out a loan. Sheila replies that Gary was too proud, and wanted to deal with it himself.
PAUL: That's funny, because he wasn't too proud to stick his hand in the pocket of the first woman that walked by! And Amy has always been a sucker for broken things.
SHEILA: Leave it alone, 'bags. Gary got himself into a pickle; Amy helped him out of it. End of story.
PAUL: ... What sort of pickle?
Sheila goes quiet, realising she's said too much - and then tells Paul to let it be for once. But the cogs in his head are already whirring...
Xanthe is helping Gary prep the dinner table ahead of his romantic evening with Amy. Gary wonders if she's going overboard with the candles and decorations.
XANTHE: You need to make her feel special - not like she's some mate coming over for a feed. Trust me - I have seen every Nicholas Sparks adaptation.
Gary agrees to go along with it, and Xanthe confirms that both she and Sheila will be out tonight. But she tells Gary to call her if he needs her.
XANTHE: You've got this, Dad. Remember - romance.
Elly is helping Amy choose an outfit for tonight, and is filling her in on Gary's considerable bedroom reputation.
ELLY: According to Susan, who's heard it from Terese, Gary's... quite something. It's always the quiet ones, isn't it? Not that it will be that quiet, if the reports -
AMY: Yes, okay! I've heard all about Gary's performance in bed.
ELLY: Well then, go get him, tiger!
Sonya is discussing with Toadie the idea of Alice becoming their 'go- to babysitter'. Toadie points out they'd have to pay her, but Sonya points to her vast experience, and that they can't keep asking friends and family. They could at least ask how much she would charge.
Alice returns with more drinks for them all, and Sonya tables the idea of a more permanent babysitting arrangement, on the understanding that they can't pay that much. Alice goes one better, and suggests a live- in nanny arrangement, whereby she'd do the babysitting in exchange for board.
Toadie points out that they're hoping Nell will go back to daycare in a few weeks. But Alice says a short- term arrangement would suit her; she's nearly done at her daughter's house, and taking on a nanny job would allow her time to look for something more permanent. Sonya and Toadie agree to think about it.
ALICE: It could be lovely!
Yashvi is with Xanthe at a table. Xanthe's trying to work, but Yashvi is devising ways of making money so she can go to Bali.
YASHVI: What if I bought heaps of Russian bot Insta followers, and just made heaps of money as an influencer?
XANTHE: If you're really that keen on schoolies, why don't we just go to Torquay with everyone else?
YASHVI: You're just as bad as Mum! Torquay - Bali.
Yashvi mimes a pair of scales weighing up the two options, and makes it abundantly clear which she favours. (Not Torquay.)
Susan has her feet up with a book, cuppa and a plate of Alice's shortbread! Toadie and Sonya come in, and explain about Alice's suggestion that she should be their live- in nanny.
Susan says she seems lovely, but that there's a lot of trust involved. But Toadie and Sonya seem keen; they've taken some references from Alice to follow up. Susan gives them another reference: Nell, who apparently hasn't stopped talking about her! Sonya and Toadie decide to start calling the others...
Gary is carrying a bunch of flowers, and runs into Paul.
GARY: I really don't have time to go another round right now. I'm off to meet Amy.
GARY: But you feel free to stand there and glare as long as you like. Whatever floats your boat.
PAUL: I'm onto you.
PAUL: Because I know there's something dodgy behind why you took that money from my daughter. If I find out that you've put her at risk in any way, you are gonna be so sorry.
GARY: That's rich coming from you, mate, because you're the dodgiest bloke I know.
PAUL: ... I'm watching you.
GARY: Oh, watch away, Paul - watch away!
Susan, who has just come out of Harold's, overhears some of this, and follows Paul to The Waterhole.
Susan accosts Paul at the bar. He grudgingly acknowledges her, then sits at a table - and is none too pleased when she joins him!
PAUL: What are you doing?
SUSAN: Sticking my nose into your business.
PAUL: Mm, that'd be right.
SUSAN: I saw you outside with Gary. You're obviously angry.
PAUL: I am not angry.
SUSAN: I can understand why! You find out about Amy and Gary, on the same day you find out about Terese and Leo. That must've been really hard for you.
PAUL: Yeah, well. I'll survive.
PAUL: Alright, it wasn't a great day. I'll say that. The Leo thing's certainly not gonna last.
SUSAN: Why not?
PAUL: Because she doesn't even like him! And the Gary Canning thing - you know what? I give that about a week before Amy realises, even with her track record with men, he is the bottom of the barrel.
SUSAN: Wow. Finished?
PAUL: Well, nobody invited you to sit down!
SUSAN: I wish I hadn't! I've never heard anything so toxic!
PAUL: Oh, am I going to get the Principal Kennedy lecture now?
SUSAN: Too right you are - these are your children! And alright, you're angry with them at the moment - you don't like the way they're behaving. That's normal. But this? You're just focusing on what you think they're doing wrong - their betrayal, their disrespect. If you can't find something positive, then you're just gonna drive them away!
PAUL: Yeah. Yeah, maybe you're right.
SUSAN: Maybe I am!
PAUL: Yeah, certainly when it comes to Amy. See, if I can make her realise what a great person she is, she'll dump him in a heartbeat!
SUSAN: ... Not what I meant.
PAUL: Great chat, Susan.
Susan looks miffed!
Amy arrives, all dressed up, and Gary gives her the flowers. He invites her through to the kitchen, and the attraction seems to be simmering between them. So much so, indeed, that Amy suggests dinner could wait. They start kissing, before heading straight for the bedroom...
Paul makes a phone call.
PAUL: Yeah, hi... Listen, I just thought I'd let you know I've got something big coming up. Something that you may be interested in... involving my daughter.
Gary and Amy come back out of the bedroom, fully dressed but hair a mess. The mood has changed somewhat to one of supreme awkwardness!
AMY: Yeah. Thanks for that.
GARY: Yeah, no - it's absolutely my pleasure.
AMY: Yeah, it was, uhh... It was terrific. It was thorough. Yeah.
GARY: Yeah, well, I'm... not afraid to put the work in, that's for sure.
AMY: Yeah, there's no doubt about that! It was... really something!
They awkwardly head through to the kitchen for dinner.
Sonya has just called one of Alice's references, and reports to Toadie that it was a glowing testimonial.
SONYA: This woman is amazing.
TOADIE (eating shortbread): So are we gonna do this?
SONYA: We're gonna do it.
Alice is on the phone, and seems very different from the mild, virtuous persona of earlier.
ALICE: You just got off the phone to them? ... God, that's brilliant!... Shows they're keen... And the reference? ... Ha! Yeah. Rightio. Ta... Oh, got another call - hang on!
Alice sees Sonya is calling, so ends the first call and adopts her super- nanny alter- ego!
No 30/The Waterhole
ALICE: Oh, hello, Sonya!
SONYA: Look, we just checked all your references, and they were... they were just fabulous. And so we would love for you to be our live- in nanny.
ALICE: Oh, Sonya - oh, that's wonderful! I'm so pleased.
SONYA: So are we, so are we - honestly, this is great.
ALICE: Because I'm actually just at my daughter's house, and it's so lonely here.
SONYA: Okay. Well, I mean, there's no reason why you couldn't start straight away. I mean, tomorrow morning, if you want?
ALICE: Tomorrow would be perfect (...) thanks, I'll see you tomorrow.
Toadie and Sonya smile at each other, satisfied at a choice well- made. But in The Waterhole...
Alice opens her purse, and looks at a photograph that she keeps there...
ALICE: Don't worry, my darling girl.
We cut to a close- up of the photograph - it's of Alice, posing with... Andrea! Or is it Dee?
ALICE: Mummy's going to make everything perfect!
She laughs evilly...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Sheila is saying something to Amy and Gary that is making them (and Clive) feel sick!
- Mark and Aaron question an uncomfortable Elly over Chloe's newly- discovered wealth
- Alice plays games with Sonya, saying that Hugo has her eyes
- Piper visits Cassius in hospital