- Karl tells Xanthe and Bea that Susan is ‘up to her ears' at school with staff members calling in sick
- Ned and Bea kiss, but it causes her to flash back to kissing Finn, and she pushes him away
- Karl begins to be suspicious of Susan's chats with Xanthe, Bea and Elly
- Susan is traumatised to see an apparition of Finn in the kitchen
- Toadie asks a codeine shortbread- scoffing Sonya what's making her so remarkably chilled lately
- Alice tells Hugo they may have to give Sonya something stronger to ‘tip her over the edge'
- Alice goes to David complaining of hand pain, but he proposes surgery instead of stronger pills
- A crazed Alice batters her own hand with a rolling pin in a bid to get stronger painkillers
Erinsborough High School
Susan is meeting with Xanthe, Bea and Elly at the school entrance for a conspirators' check- in. She's just had to call more parents to pick up another child from sickbay – the mystery school illness seems to be spreading. Elly asks Bea how things are with Ned. She replies ‘weird', and Elly asks why.
BEA: Well, if you didn't spend as much time in your room, maybe you'd know.
ELLY: (…) You know things are strange between me and Mark right now, okay? I feel like all I do is lie to him.
Karl turns up, and is suspicious to find the four women huddled together once again. He notes that he wouldn't expect to see Xanthe here now she's finished her exams.
XANTHE (unconvincing): I just love hanging out with my favourite teachers!
Karl tells them he's heading to the hospital to assess Finn and see if there's been an improvement in his condition.
SUSAN: I'm sure we'd all like to hear his results.
And having scant regard for confidentiality protocol, I'm sure Karl will share them with you all, Suze! Elly says they'll have to wait until the remaining sick kids are picked up from school, but after that they could all go to the hospital for the update on Finn, to ‘hear it together'. Karl agrees, saying it's great they are all supporting each other through this, then leaves.
ELLY: We need to prepare ourselves for these results, whatever they are.
We cut to Finn, unconscious on his ventilator at the hospital. Ominous music plays. Close- up on his hand – but no signs of life… yet.
Alice is telling Toadie and Sonya about the ‘silly accident' that has led to her hand injury – she's claiming she tripped over one of Nell's toys and niggled an old injury. But Sonya and Toadie assess the bruising and think Alice should get it checked out, as it could be broken. Toadie offers to take her to the hospital before he goes to work. Alice thanks him for his kindness, and goes to fetch her bag.
Erinsborough High School
Dipi and Shane are picking up a woozy Kirsha, who Elly explains is one of five pupils they've had to send home due to the mystery illness. Shane thinks it's flu, but Dipi says Kirsha doesn't feel hot.
ELLY: Usually there's a virus that goes through the school, but to be honest, I've never seen so many teachers and students come down with something so quickly.
KIRSHA: I think I'm going to be sick. I can't breathe.
DIPI: Shane, her pulse is racing.
Shane picks up Kirsha and they rush her towards the car, to take her to hospital. Elly looks worried…
David is looking at an x- ray of Alice's hand – there are no fractures, but clearly a lot of bruising, he tells her. It'll clear up in a week or so, but in the meantime he offers to prescribe her a stronger painkiller.
DAVID: Just be mindful of the dosage, okay?
ALICE: Oh, yeah – I would never muck around with that sort of thing.
He also wants her to see a specialist, as painkillers alone won't solve the problem. Alice fakes a smile and agrees, saying she feels in such good hands.
Meanwhile in the corridor, Karl is talking to Toadie.
KARL: It's odd. Sometimes when I come home, Susan, Bea and Elly are in some sort of hushed conversation. And more often than not, Xanthe's there!
TOADIE: Maybe they're talking about Finn, and they don't want to upset you?
KARL: Perhaps, but I just wish Susan would talk to me about it.
Toadie admits Sonya's feeling stress too, over the Andrea situation. Toadie says Andrea's more lucid, and the doctor thinks it won't be long till they can release her. Karl asks where she'll go; Toadie says not near them, but he's working on other options. Alice emerges, and awkwardly greets Karl – who quickly excuses himself to leave after their last encounter!
Alice updates Toadie on her hand; he offers to give her a lift home where she can take the rest of the day off. But Alice says she can't do that; Sonya needs her, after ‘everything she's been going through lately'. Toadie says he thinks Sonya has been handling things well.
ALICE: Yes, but us women, we… we never really let on when something's wrong.
TOADIE: Sonya would say something.
ALICE: Even if it was about Andrea? I know the poor love wants to be so strong for you and the kiddies – but I just think appearances can be deceiving.
Bea runs into Ned who's buying a coffee, and asks him if he wants to join her. But he seems awkward with her, and says he has a shift, before rushing to the door.
BEA: Before you go… When I pulled away from you, after we kissed – it's got nothing to do with how I feel about you.
NED: This isn't the first time, though. And I'm starting to wonder how else I'm meant to take it.
BEA: There's stuff going on.
NED: Like what? Is it Finn?
BEA: … There's a lot to work through.
NED: Then you should do that.
BEA: Yeah. I will. And then we can start again.
NED: You know how much I'd like that, but… I think maybe we were foolish to jump back into this so quickly. Maybe it's best if I take a step back, until you're ready. I'll be around if you need me.
As Ned goes to leave, Susan talks to him – she's overheard the tail end of their conversation, and asks if Ned is going to join Bea at her table. Ned says no!
SUSAN: She really cares about you, and I think she could use your support.
NED: I just don't know how much help I can be for her right now. Sorry, Susan.
Ned leaves, and Susan looks concerned.
Elly turns up to see Mark, who's still sore with her for keeping secrets about Chloe – they haven't been speaking. Mark seems keen to continue in this vein, telling her he can't do lunch as he's meeting an ex- colleague. Elly asks if he's free for dinner tonight, but Mark says he's going out with Aaron and Chloe.
MARK: She didn't tell you? (!)
ELLY: No. How is she?
MARK: She's getting there.
ELLY: I hate this tension between us. I know it's my fault, and I will tell you I'm sorry a million times – I just want things to go back to the way they were. I need you.
MARK: … Yeah, I hate it too. I'll get over it. I just need time.
Elly reluctantly leaves him to it.
It's time for another conspirators' meeting, as Elly joins Susan, Bea and Xanthe at a table prior to their hospital visit. Elly explains Mark has just turned down her dinner offer; Bea likewise says Ned's not interested in her anymore. Susan is feeling guilty; she says they should be able to talk to the people they love about what's troubling them. Xanthe reminds them that they all have each other.
BEA: After what happened with Finn, none of us can get away from it. And he still could wake up.
An anxious Susan heads to the bathroom to take a moment to breathe – but when she looks in the mirror, she sees Finn standing behind her, looking mean. But when she turns around, nobody's there. Susan looks panicked.
Elly reports to Susan, Xanthe and Bea that Kirsha is still being assessed. Susan thinks it's just the flu. Karl turns up, and tells them all that Finn's latest electroencephalogram (EEG) shows an increase in brain activity, suggesting improved function. He'll also be taken off the ventilator later today.
BEA: Does this mean he's gonna wake up soon?
KARL: Oh, well, there's no clear indication of that. But it does show that Finn's condition may not be as dire as we first thought.
Karl leaves, and Bea begins to worry that Finn will wake up and remember ‘everything', and tell the police. Elly says they'll cross that bridge if they come to it. Susan gets a call from the school… and suddenly goes very quiet.
SUSAN: What?!... I'll be right there.
She tells Elly they need to get back to school right away, saying she'll fill her in on the way. The two of them rush off. Bea then tells Xanthe that she has to go and see Finn.
Toadie chats to a noticeably spaced- out Sonya about the Andrea situation; she's getting better and they need to face the fact that she's likely to be released from hospital soon.
TOADIE: And we don't want her anywhere near us.
TOADIE: We also don't want the burden falling on Willow. And the only other option is Andrea's mum. So what I'd like to do is track her down, and see if she can look after her.
SONYA: I suppose that would take the burden off us, wouldn't it?
TOADIE: Yeah, exactly.
SONYA: We just don't know anything about her mother, though. And I wouldn't really feel comfortable with you spending time with her to get that information.
TOADIE: Well, I'll get Piper on the case. And we'll talk to Willow. Surely she knows some information about her grandmother. And Piper can work on it at the office in her downtime, and that way it keeps it away from home. And when she finds something out, she can let us know, and I'll tell you.
SONYA: Okay. Can we just keep it to ourselves, though, and not discuss it around Alice?
But as she says these very words, Alice appears from the hallway, and listens in out of sight.
SONYA: She means well, but she can just be a bit smothering with her concern over what's going on.
TOADIE: Yeah. Okay, fair enough. Thank you – for being you.
They have an affectionate moment, and Alice chooses this time to enter. Toadie heads back to the office, and Alice gives Sonya a saccharine smile.
Dipi is fussing over Kirsha in a hospital bed, while Shane jokes that this skiving off school is ‘whole next level'. David comes in, and tells Kirsha that she'll be fine with a bit of resting up. However, he asks to speak to Dipi and Shane outside, so they follow him out.
SHANE: It's not the flu, is it?
DAVID: No. Kirsha has mild hydrogen cyanide poisoning.
SHANE: That can kill you!
DAVID: It looks like Kirsha breathed a diluted amount of the gas in the last day or so.
SHANE: From where?
DAVID: Well, best guess is the school. There's a number of students admitted today, all with the same diagnosis.
Erinsborough High School
We cut to the school, where police in hazard suits are scouring the place and examining some large orange canisters, as Dipi and David's voiceover continues.
DIPI: How could this happen?
DAVID: The school, the police, The Department™ of Education have all been notified. I'm sure they'll be down at the school asking the same question.
We see Susan talking to a police officer, and afterwards she briefs Elly and a gaggle of staff member extras, who are doing their best to look concerned.
SUSAN: So, it's not the flu. The police believe that the students have been poisoned with cyanide.
ELLY: How did that happen?
SUSAN: They found a container in the auditorium air vent, one level up – and then some other containers in rooms nearby. That, and a packet of reducer from the darkroom – it looks like it's been mixed together with water to make a solution.
ELLY: And then that turns it into poison?
SUSAN: Apparently, it's only toxic once it's been heated.
ELLY: Well, we've had the heaters on for the last few days.
SUSAN: That's right. So that turned it into a gas, and the gas must have moved through the vents.
ELLY: Yeah, but not everyone got sick, though.
SUSAN: The container was only slightly ajar, so only a very small amount of the poison was released.
Susan tells the non- speaking staff members that's all she knows so far, and they drift away. But once they're out of earshot…
ELLY: This is crazy? Who would do something like this?
SUSAN: The police have asked for a list of students or… anyone… who might have a grudge against the school.
ELLY: No student is going to these kind of lengths to get out of doing an exam!
SUSAN: You would hope not.
ELLY: I can only think of one person sick enough to do something like this.
Susan nods in agreement…
Bea and Xanthe look through the window into Finn's hospital room. He's still unconscious and on the ventilator. We close in on Bea looking conflicted – then on Xanthe, who is twitching with either fury, or possible conflict herself.
Toadie is on the phone to Willow, who from the sounds of it has just finished her exams. He hangs up, and Toadie relays to Piper what Willow has told him.
TOADIE: Apparently Andrea's mother is a scam artist, too.
PIPER: Actually, I can't say I'm surprised! So did she have a number for her or anything?
TOADIE: No. But I did get her real name – Heather Schilling – plus a list of known aliases that she's used over the years.
PIPER: Wow. Well, she's definitely not stable enough to be looking after Andrea.
TOADIE: No. It doesn't look like it. But she's Andrea's next of kin, so we should try to find her.
Piper promises to see if she can find anything out; if not, Toadie says, they could try Paul, whose private investigator contact managed to track down Andrea, so could do the same with her mum. They arrange for Piper to update him later, and Toadie heads home.
Erinsborough High School
Elly is talking to Susan in the corridor; Susan reports that all the parents have been notified and advised to take the kids to hospital if they show any symptoms.
No 24 / Erinsborough High School
We cut to Mark calling Elly. He tells her the police friend he was having lunch with has told him what happened at the school. Elly relays his information to Susan; there were apparently fingerprints on the canisters.
ELLY: They've checked them against Finn's – it's a match.
SUSAN: You were right.
MARK (on the phone): It gets worse. The keys that were found at the cabin – one of them is the key to the photography darkroom at the school. It seems as though Finn made enough solution for a number of unopened canisters, which he left in the air vents above.
ELLY (to Susan): (…) If one of them hadn't been accidentally left open and the heating on, then by the time we realised, it would've been too late.
SUSAN: Well, he was obviously planning to come back and open them.
ELLY: When? There's no guarantees when we're at school at the same time.
SUSAN: Graduation ceremony. The auditorium would've been full.
ELLY: Oh my god. We would've all been in the same place at the same time.
SUSAN: Along with all the students, the teachers, their parents. My god – Finn was planning on killing hundreds of innocent people!
Piper is leaving the law office with Ned, who is moaning to her about Bea; he knows she feels the same way as him, but something keeps pulling her back, and Finn turning up again hasn't helped. Ned asks Piper if she wants to go for a drink; she replies that she's supposed to be going to Toadie's to brief him on what they discussed earlier.
However, at that moment, Piper sees Alice passing. (She's bought another box of shortbread, and hides it when Piper approaches!) So Piper asks Alice to pass on a message rather than visiting Toadie in person.
PIPER: Can you just let Toadie know that I Googled the list of names he gave me, but nothing's come up, so I'll just keep trying again in the morning.
ALICE: Alright. And what names are those?
PIPER: Ah, Toadie will know.
ALICE: You don't want to be more specific? I would hate to mess them up.
PIPER: I'm sorry, they're just kind of sensitive. But Toadie will understand, I promise.
Piper heads off with Ned, and Alice looks angry.
Toadie comes in to find Alice ‘baking' (I.e. warming up the shortbread she's just bought!), and dusting them with her special concoction! Alice reports to Toadie what Piper said to him about the list of names. Toadie thanks her; Alice attempts to dig further, but mindful of what Sonya said, Toadie says it's just a case they're working on.
Sonya emerges, and Alice offers her some of her special shortbread.
SONYA: Thank you. Your baking is amazing.
ALICE: Well, I'll just have to keep doing it, won't I?
Elly and Susan are filling Bea in on Finn's evil plan at the school.
BEA: How could he? He's a monster.
Karl joins them; he says Xanthe has been checked out for cyanide poisoning and is in the clear. The worst of the pupil cases have already been seen and dealt with, and their test results are good; there won't be any lasting side- effects as the poisoning was mild.
SUSAN: I should've been more vigilant. I just dismissed it as the flu!
KARL: Darling, you weren't to know.
Karl wanders off and Dipi and Shane appear; Susan is super- apologetic about Kirsha. Dipi's just in disbelief that even Finn would want to hurt so many innocent kids. They head back to Kirsha's room to tend to her.
BEA: This is all my fault. None of this would've happened if I didn't bring him back here.
ELLY: No, you can't blame yourself.
Karl reappears and offers to give them all a lift home. Elly and Bea agree to go with him, but Susan says she needs to stay until the students are discharged. Karl promises to come back later to pick her up, and he leaves with Elly and Bea.
As Susan turns the corner, she notices that the police officers guarding the door to Finn's room have wandered down the corridor. She looks through the window at him lying in the bed – but another apparition of Finn walks past her in the corridor at the same time, brushing past her and then glaring back with venom.
The camera closes in on Susan as her attention returns to the real Finn in the hospital bed, still unconscious and hooked up to life support. Then, ignoring the police ‘restricted access' notice on the door, she walks into the room. As she stares at him in the bed, she starts breathing heavily – and then lifts his handcuffed arm to pull out a pillow from underneath it.
Trembling, Susan holds the pillow in front of her, looking down furiously at Finn. Is she about to do something terrible?
Coming up on Neighbours
- Elly tells Susan, Bea and Xanthe that Mark is getting suspicious
- We see a spaced- out Sonya; and Alice talking to Dipi, who says ‘she's probably just overworked'
- But Alice says it's something else – perhaps something a family member should know…
- Elly tells a frantic Susan to keep it together, for everyone's sake
- Susan sobbing at the school