- Chloe administers a grateful hug when Elly comes to meet her after running away from Pierce
- Elly tells Chloe she can help her talk to her brothers
- Chloe tells Aaron and Mark she has the gene for Huntington's disease – and that they might too
- Aaron tells David he's not taking the test; he doesn't want to know if he has the disease
- Mark admits that the prospect of getting his test results scare the hell out of him
- Elly moans to Susan about the strict new dress code Jane's brought in
- Jane introduces a new school rule about not leaving the premises at lunchtime
- But Elly immediately disobeys it by going to see Mark, which Dipi happens to notice
- Jane later chastises Elly for leaving the grounds; she says a teacher needs to go, and it's her
Erinsborough High School
Elly is aghast at Jane's decision to get rid of her.
ELLY: Me, why me? When there are so many other teachers that you could name – teachers who are due for retirement, or teachers who don't get the numbers in their classes!
JANE: I won't be drawn into an argument.
ELLY: But also, I am assistant principal – you need to consult me!
JANE: The decision is mine to make, and I have made it.
ELLY: This is about Susan, isn't it? You tell me that I take liberties because I'm related to her, yet you are targeting me for exactly the same reason! Admit it – this is just some old- fashioned power play!
JANE: Elly, why am I here?
JANE: It's a simple question – why am I here, instead of your aunt?
ELLY: … Because she had to step down, Jane.
JANE: That's right. Because she is facing an attempted murder charge. If she's found guilty, you will also be implicated. And how do you think that's gonna reflect on the school, given that our reputation is already suffering? This is an opportunity for you to see out the year – to leave with dignity and grace.
Seeing she's upset, Jane says Elly can take a few days off – all her classes will be covered. On her way out, Elly asks Jane who saw her off grounds. Jane simply replies that it was a parent.
Mark speaks to David about his regret over shouting at Bea, due to the worry about his Huntington's test results. In the foreground, we see Aaron busying himself, looking worried. David reminds Mark that the hospital offers free counselling; Chloe comes in and says that Mark can always chat to her too, as she actually has the disease.
MARK: You wouldn't feel uncomfortable?
CHLOE: It's the reality. I hid from it long enough, so I'd rather be completely open.
Disturbed by all the Huntington's talk, Aaron makes a quick exit for work.
We see Aaron go into a jog as he passes Shane and Dipi in the street. Dipi remarks that Yashvi could benefit from discipline like Aaron's; Shane points out that Dipi has already cancelled Yashvi's schoolies and given her a load of other jobs. Dipi says Yashvi will be running a shift at the café later with Shane. They talk about Mishti's wedding, which they have apparently attended at some point.
SHANE: Is that more of a punishment for her, or me?
DIPI: Oh, what, so you're not looking forward to some more ribbing about your special performance at the wedding, then?
SHANE: Do we have to keep talking about it?
DIPI: Well, it was a wardrobe malfunction for the ages.
SHANE: Yeah, you know that traditional dress has always been my undoing.
DIPI: Actually, I think it was your vigorous dancing that was the undoing of your traditional dress. Pavan's family did not know where to look!
Dipi notices that Elly is parked in her car nearby, crying, and goes over to see what's wrong. Elly admits she's just lost her job, after someone reported her for being off- site at lunch.
DIPI: I… I know that's the new rule, but surely that's not enough reason to fire someone?
ELLY: She said that there were other reasons as well. But the fact that I was off school grounds was the final straw. Dipi, she didn't even care – she didn't even care why I left. It was personal; it was really, really important.
DIPI: I'm… I'm so sorry. Truly.
Dipi looks guilty, but doesn't say any more.
Aaron is setting up for some kind of fitness session, while David tries to talk to him about the Huntington's situation. Aaron is clearly not keen to get into a discussion on the matter.
DAVID: Do you think you're using exercise as a way to avoid dealing with the situation?
AARON: No, that's crazy.
DAVID: Well, it's what you did when Tyler was accused of murder.
AARON: Well, exercise is a perfectly normal way to de- stress.
DAVID: It's also a way to remain in denial. We should be dealing with this together, but instead I feel like I'm not even relevant to you.
AARON: I'm sorry you feel that way, David.
DAVID: (…) I want to be able to support you, but I can't do anything unless you let me in!
AARON: David, can you please just forget about it? That's what I've done.
Aaron walks away, and David frustratedly walks the other way.
Susan and Terese are having a cuppa, as Susan fills Terese in on the latest with her attempted murder charges! Toadie is hopeful they can convince the DPP to downgrade the charges, she explains, but hasn't had any luck yet. Terese is appalled that they are going after Susan for what was clearly self- defence.
Susan admits she's worried about Bea, Elly and Xanthe – Finn's already put them through so much, and she hopes the prosecutors leave them out of things. Terese praises Susan for finding the strength to worry about everyone else given what she's going through.
TERESE: You really are amazing.
SUSAN: Don't be nice to me; you'll make me cry!
Elly arrives outside the door, but sees Terese comforting Susan and decides she can't burden her aunt with news of her job loss right now – so walks back down the drive instead.
Erinsborough High School
Dipi arrives to see Jane, to talk to her about Elly's dismissal.
DIPI: What I said about her at the garage – I only mentioned it in passing. I never meant for her to lose her job!
JANE: Yes, but there were other factors involved. When enrolments are down, someone has to go.
DIPI: But surely there's a weaker link that you could've chosen? Wayne Baxter, perhaps?
JANE: I need a strong faculty team. According to my assessment, Elly just didn't make the cut.
DIPI: But she has been brilliant with Kirsha and Yashvi – and what about her initiatives? There's loads of them. She's always finding ways to involve the kids. Come on, Jane – please!
JANE: While I appreciate your input, and I always will moving forward, my mind has been made up on this issue (…) If she's such a strong educational catch, then she'll land on her feet. I need a team that I can trust. Thank you so much for your input – it's great to have parents who are so invested.
But Jane is already walking away.
Elly arrives to see Mark, but finds Chloe hanging out at the garage with him. Mark explains that Chloe's been really supportive in the lead- up to him getting his Huntington's test results. Realising Mark has bigger things on his plate than her job woes, Elly only says that Jane gave her the day off. The phone rings and Mark goes to answer it, but Chloe notices something's wrong with Elly.
ELLY: It's not important.
CHLOE: It seems like it might be.
ELLY: You know what? You guys are having a brother- sister day – I don't want to intrude. So can you just tell him we'll catch up later?
Elly leaves, and Chloe looks concerned.
David is complaining to Leo about Aaron refusing to have the Huntington's test, or talk about it. Leo thinks Aaron should know better – he's handling this all wrong.
DAVID: I'd do anything to get through to him. I'm scared for him.
LEO: Look, he's probably still in shock, alright? And once that wears off, he'll be more reasonable.
DAVID: Maybe. But what if he never snaps out of it? I don't know what else to do.
Shane, Dipi and Yashvi are working.
SHANE: When you've done with that order, you can clean the dunnies!
YASHVI: Yeah, alright, keep your pants on!
SHANE (sarcastic): Ha- ha- ha! You flash one wedding party, and you can never hear the end of it!
Susan comes in, and Dipi asks how Elly's holding up. Susan is confused, and Dipi realises she didn't know about Elly being fired.
SUSAN: Elly's my deputy – she's vital to the school!
DIPI: I guess Jane didn't see it that way.
SUSAN: No, no, no – a snap decision like that, that's got to be personal. She's obviously targeting Elly because of me, don't you think?
DIPI: Surely not.
But once Susan's gone to investigate, Dipi admits her role in Elly's firing to Shane and Yashvi.
DIPI: I was only trying to be helpful, as part of my PTA role.
SHANE: Just doing your civic duty, huh? (!)
DIPI: Okay. Maybe there was a tiny, miniscule part of me that might have wanted to impress Jane.
YASHVI: Yeah. That's called sucking up.
Dipi looks guilty.
Chloe rushes to catch up with Elly – if there's something bothering her, she wants to help.
CHLOE: Only seems fair, after all the times I've blabbed about my problems to you!
Elly admits she's lost her job, but didn't want to burden Mark with the drama right now, given the test results he's awaiting. Likewise she's kept it from Susan, because she has so much on her plate.
ELLY: So do you, for that matter! I know this is bad, but it doesn't compare.
CHLOE: If it's affecting you, then it's important.
ELLY: You know what? I just need to see this as a new opportunity. It will be a really great challenge for me to start at a new school, you know?
CHLOE: You don't need to do that with me.
ELLY: Do what?
CHLOE: Be brave. Come here.
Erinsborough High School
Susan marches in to see Jane.
JANE: Susan, you really shouldn't be on the premises again!
SUSAN: On what authority do you think you can make a long- term decision like firing Elly? You have been here less than a week! You're not familiar enough with how this place runs to make that kind of change!
JANE: The Department™ needed somebody cut.
SUSAN: Fine! And I would've been happy to advise you on that, if you had just consulted me.
JANE: She's your niece, and she lives with you. You're hardly gonna be impartial when it comes to Elly.
SUSAN: I am perfectly capable of compartmentalising! I have disciplined Elly in the past when it's been necessary.
JANE: Yes, and promoted her for reasons that are less apparent.
SUSAN: I've always put the needs of the students first. You're the one who's hurting them by taking away a valuable staff member!
JANE: Susan, my decision is final, and that's the end of it.
SUSAN: No, Jane, it's not! I will make sure that Elly fights this through The Department™.
JANE: Well, none of your objections will hold any water, given the circumstances. I understand that you would have trouble walking away from this place – but really, it is time for you to step back.
SUSAN: You might be sitting in that chair for now, but you can't stop me doing what I think's best for the school.
JANE: Change is inevitable. You need to accept the fact that you are no longer the principal, and you may never be again.
Chloe appears at the door with girly magazines, chocolates and champagne, commanding Elly to get into her PJs for an evening of trash TV.
ELLY: I don't have the energy!
CHLOE: Then you can just cry on my shoulder while I drink this! Whatever you need right now, I'm your gal.
Elly insists she's fine. Chloe says she knows she will be – but that right now, a pity party of two is in order. Elly succumbs, and goes to change into her PJs!
Terese is bragging to Leo about how amenable Paul has been lately, in terms of signing off work matters that she'd previously been chasing him about for weeks.
LEO: The old man still manages to surprise. I've never seen him so willingly vulnerable, though.
TERESE: Mm. I know how it feels.
LEO: Well, we still have every right to be together – and happy.
TERESE: Do you really think he's gonna pull his head in from now on?
LEO: I can't imagine cosy family dinners any time soon. But yeah, I admit, it does feel like we're moving forward.
Leo sees Aaron sitting down nearby, and goes over to tear strips off him.
LEO; Your problem isn't gonna go away just cos you refuse to deal with it. And look, I know you're going through hell. But you're making it harder for David as well.
AARON: He told you this?
LEO: You're only thinking about yourself!
AARON: You have no idea how I feel.
LEO: Yeah, well, it's not my job. You need to stop pushing my brother away and face up to reality!
The pyjama party gets underway, as Chloe regales Elly with tales of her own previous firings!
CHLOE: And that's how I got fired from being a tour guide at the Uffizi!
ELLY: What? Do you even speak Italian?
CHLOE: Umm, oui, oui!
Chloe then reads some horoscopes in a magazine, and tells Elly that her ‘dream job' is just around the corner.
CHLOE: It's official. The universe has decided.
ELLY: Yeah, well – the universe got one thing wrong. I already had my dream job.
ELLY: Yeah. It wasn't always like that, but… somewhere along the way, I fell in love with teaching (…) and I'm good at it. The feeling that I get when I help a student crack something they've been struggling with – it's incredible, and they're so filled with pride and confidence. To have Jane just waltz in and declare me unworthy? It hurts, you know. And I won't even get to see my students next year, or how well they do.
CHLOE: They're going to do amazingly.
ELLY: Why, because they would've escaped my potentially criminal clutches?
CHLOE: Because they had you as a teacher in the first place. Nobody could've prepared them better. Considering the impact that you've had on my life, I can only imagine how much you've helped those kids.
Elly smiles at Chloe, as Susan comes in.
SUSAN: Oh, Elly, there you are – you don't deserve this!
Chloe gives them a minute, as Susan explains that Dipi told her about the firing. Elly explains she didn't want to burden Susan with the stress of the news; Susan says that's kind, but that she doesn't want to be left in the dark about anything.
SUSAN: I've already spoken to her. She's not budging.
ELLY: So that's it?
SUSAN: No – no, that's not it. Once I am cleared of these charges, I'll be able to sort the whole thing out.
Aaron arrives and lays into David about speaking to Leo about him, saying he had no right.
DAVID: Yes, actually I had every right. I had to find support wherever I could get it. I need to talk about this stuff, and you refused! Insisting that you're gonna be okay doesn't make it true.
AARON: David, why can't you just back my decision?
DAVID: Why can't we make this decision together, as a married couple?
Aaron gets very upset.
AARON: Because it's not your body! Or your life! So you don't get to choose.
DAVID: Okay – it's not my body. But if you're not going to get tested for you, do it for me. Do it for the rest of your family!
AARON: If we're not worrying about Mark's results, then we're grieving Chloe's diagnosis. Why would I go and add to that angst?
DAVID: Because not knowing is unbearable!
Aaron is crying now.
AARON: My whole family disappears in a blink, if we have it. That's unbearable. Look, if I don't get the test, then we all have a little bit of hope to cling onto. I need the hope – I need it more than the truth. I can't let that go.
David and Aaron arrive home. David says he still doesn't like Aaron's choice, but will try not to push him anymore – they can wait until he's ready to decide. Aaron thanks him, and apologises for not talking to David about it. Mark comes in.
MARK: I just got a call from the hospital. My results are in. I've got an appointment tomorrow morning.
Chloe and Elly's pyjama party continues, and they are face- to- face on the sofa under a duvet.
ELLY: You know what's awesome about you?
CHLOE: My excellent travel stories?
ELLY: No- one actually likes those, Chloe.
CHLOE: Liar – you do! You're usually the only one who even listens to them!
ELLY: No – you're true to yourself. You decide on something, you do it. You want something, you take it. You know exactly who you are – and it's admirable.
CHLOE: I could say the same of you.
ELLY: Please – I'm far too concerned about what everyone else thinks. The Janes of the world. How do you do it – what's your secret?
CHLOE: I dunno. Maybe a part of me always knew I was on borrowed time.
ELLY: How are you coping, now that the Huntington's secret is out?
CHLOE: Let's not. The only thing more depressing than conversations about smashed dreams are ones about terminal illness.
CHLOE: It's not like we can change anything.
ELLY: Well, if you ever need anyone – even someone to listen – I'm here. And you know who would understand what you're going through the most? Your brothers.
CHLOE: I'd give anything to make sure that they don't have it. Although… there is a tiny part of me that would be glad to not be the only one. That's kind of terrible, isn't it?
ELLY: I'm not gonna judge you for how you feel.
CHLOE: You wouldn't, would you? That's what makes *you* awesome. That, and the fact you always know the right thing to say.
ELLY: If this were true, I'd probably still have a job!
CHLOE: You lost your job because of office politics. You are funny, and clever, and dedicated. You'll land on your feet.
ELLY: I hope so. I'm still in shock.
CHLOE: All you need to remember is that I've got your back.
Elly leans in as she talks.
ELLY: Thank you. You know what – you're the best thing that's happened in ages. Getting to know you is… is awesome. And I promise you, you will never be alone. I will always be right here for you.
Without further ado, Chloe leans in and kisses Elly on the lips!
Coming up on Neighbours
- Paul rants and raves at Xanthe, accusing her of trying to pay him back for Gary's lost job
- Chloe looks worried as, at the hospital, Elly asks Mark to come outside so they can talk
- Toadie says, ‘it doesn't feel right. This is what she used to do…'
- Sonya sobbing uncontrollably, while Alice looks on with satisfaction