- Gary struggles to find a new job; Amy insists there's no hurry to pay her back
- Terese introduces Amy to the new manager at the Pavilion coffee hut – Gary
- Paul taunts Gary about his new occupation
- Alice tips the pills she's been feeding Sonya down the sink in order to provoke withdrawal symptoms
- Karl suggests Sonya probably has the flu, but tells her to let him know if anything changes
- Sonya opens Toadie's recovered laptop to find it plastered with pictures of Andrea
- Out in the street, Sonya angrily accuses Toadie of falling for Andrea again
- But when they return inside, the photos on the laptop are nowhere to be seen. Alice smiles evilly
A frantic and very unwell- looking Sonya is searching the laptop for the photos of Andrea that she saw, but they have gone completely. Toadie tries to reassure her that everything's alright, seemingly believing that she's delirious.
TOADIE: You just need some rest.
SONYA: No, I don't need to rest – I need you to believe me. And I don't actually understand why nobody is believing me on this.
Toadie closes the laptop, saying they've checked it. Sonya demands that he look again, but Alice encourages her to lie down on the sofa.
SONYA (crying): I just can't get the image of her out of my mind. I just can't get her out of my head.
Alice goes to make tea for Sonya, and Toadie follows her into the kitchen. He says he's due in court, but Alice says it's fine – she'll take care of Sonya.
TOADIE: Where would we be without you?
Toadie asks Alice to ring him if anything changes, then goes to work. Alice smiles with satisfaction as she watches Sonya shiver under the duvet.
Amy gets a text from her son Jimmy, wanting to know when Harold's will be serving bagels.
XANTHE: Is it weird that I heard him say that with a New York accent?
GARY: You should tell him to come back here so I can make him a real coffee.
AMY: He's not coming home for Christmas (…) he's doing so well over there.
XANTHE: What, with bagels and dishwater coffee?
AMY: He wants to finish the school year, but his winter break isn't long enough for him to make the trip worthwhile.
They all imagine how amazing New York would be at this time of year. Xanthe suggests that Amy fly over and spend Christmas with Jimmy.
AMY: You know what? Maybe I will.
Xanthe is thrilled for her, but Gary less so – evidently, he was hoping to spend Christmas with Amy here. But when Amy asks if it's okay with him for her to jet off on what would have been their first Christmas together, he insists it's fine.
GARY: I'm gonna miss you like crazy. But the way your eyes just lit up, you have to go.
Amy decides to book flights this afternoon. Gary offers to pay for their drinks, but Amy insists she'll do it, and goes to the counter, despite his objections.
Shortly afterwards, Xanthe is walking through the courtyard with Piper and Yasvhi. She says she noticed the look on Gary's face; if he could afford it, he'd be flying to New York with Amy.
XANTHE: The only reason he doesn't have money is because he's paying my uni fees.
YASHVI: Doesn't insurance cover that, though?
XANTHE: No, not all of it.
PIPER: Just know that, like, you're not responsible for your dad's… choices.
YASHVI: Dodgy dealings?
XANTHE: Are you trying to be offensive?
Xanthe wishes there was something she could do to help. As they pass the Lassiter's spa, they notice a box of branded face cream sitting outside, waiting for rubbish collection. They realise it's because it's reached expiry date, but only by a few days.
YASHVI: Take it. Use it.
XANTHE: I can do better than that.
Hugo is crying, and Alice tends to him – but it's woken Sonya up. She starts asking for Toadie, but Alice tells her he's gone to work, and encourages her to rest. Once Sonya's dozed off again, Alice takes a swig from her hip flask but realises it's empty. She whispers Sonya's name to make sure she's asleep, then tells Hugo they're going for a walk. She creeps out with the pram, leaving Sonya alone…
Gary is walking through the courtyard with a crate of milk. As he approaches the car park, he runs into Paul. Thus follows a bizarre absence of hostilities.
PAUL: Going through a fair bit of milk at the hut, are you?
GARY: Yeah, yeah. We've been, umm, flat out, mate. Terese said it would be okay to take some from Lassiter's kitchen.
PAUL: Yeah, yeah – no, sure. Yeah. She's the manager.
Awkward silence as they grin inanely at one another!
GARY: Yep, well – I should get back to it!
PAUL: Yeah, yeah. I've got a meeting I've got to get to as well.
They go their separate ways, but as Gary goes, he very nearly bumps into Alice and Hugo in the pram. Alice chastises him for not being more careful, and adjusts a brown paper bag on the pram full of clinking bottles (!), before going on her way.
Meanwhile, Karl is having a coffee outside Harold's. He's on the phone to Izzy.
KARL: They haven't told you anything else? …. Yeah, well, that's why you should be there… Okay, listen to me – do not approve any procedures until I've spoken to the doctors, alright? And you need to ring your insurance company…
He promises to ‘talk to Susan' and then get back to Izzy. He hangs up, and looks worried.
Xanthe is trying to flog some of the face cream to Ned!
XANTHE: It contains 1% retinol, so it's great for rough, ageing skin… Not that yours is, of course! Your skin is glowing; it is like a second sun. But you know what they say – prevention is the best cure!
Ned grudgingly agrees to buy three jars – he knows she's struggling for money, so is happy to help. At this point, Paul comes in, sees the money changing hands, and accuses Xanthe of having stolen the cream from the spa!
PAUL: And then you have the audacity to on- sell it, right under my nose, on my premises!
XANTHE: No, Paul, I –
PAUL: What is this? Some kind of payback because your father lost his job at the Retreat?
He furiously reminds her that she stole toiletries when cleaning rooms at the hotel and was sacked for underage drinking – her track record speaks for itself.
PAUL: You try this again, I'm calling the police.
He marches off angrily, with the box of face cream in his hands. Xanthe looks humiliated.
Sonya wakes up again, and starts asking for Jarrod. She's dizzy, disoriented and aching.
SONYA: Jarrod… I'm sorry… Jarrod…
She stumbles towards the front door in her pyjamas and dressing gown, and leaves the house…
A confused, disoriented Sonya walks down the front steps, through the garden, and down the street.
Karl sees Toadie walking through the complex, and tells him about his conversation with Izzy earlier. We learn that Holly has been hit by a motorcycle and needs surgery on a broken leg. She's in London, supposedly on an extended Christmas break with Izzy, but Izzy has swanned off to Morocco on a ‘business trip', leaving Holly to fend for herself again.
Karl needs to get to London ASAP to look after Holly, and wants to take Susan with him. Toadie says she won't be allowed to leave the country because of her charges; they're very strict on this, and Susan isn't Holly's mother. Toadie grudgingly promises to try and sort something out, but tells Karl not to get his hopes up.
Meanwhile, Xanthe is telling Piper about Paul's outburst. We learn that they checked with the day spa manager before taking the face cream, and were given permission. Piper says that Paul shouting at her in public like that is defamation.
XANTHE: Paul hates the idea of Dad being with Amy, and clearly he was just taking it out on the rest of the family.
Piper says that doesn't matter – Paul shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. But Xanthe just wants to forget about it, and work out another way to help Gary pay Amy back.
The Coffee Hut
Gary is telling Amy about how inoffensive Paul was in their conversation earlier.
AMY: Dad did small- talk?
GARY: Yeah, it nearly knocked me for a six! I mean, he was almost as awkward as me, and that is saying something.
AMY: It sounds like he's making an effort; I hope he means it. And your awkwardness is very cute, by the way.
Amy tells Gary she's been thinking about New York; she doesn't want to spend their first Christmas as a couple without him, so…
AMY: I think you should come with me (…) It'd be my present to you, so you wouldn't have to worry about anything. I'd cover accommodation and flights, and then I wouldn't have to stress about what to get you for Christmas.
GARY: Ames, I mean, that's mighty generous. But I couldn't spend Christmas away from Mum and Xanth.
AMY: I'm sure they'd be okay with you having a holiday.
GARY: But I've just started work here, and this place is really going to ramp up over the summer months (…) Asking for leave straight off the bat's not a good look. I'm sorry.
Piper storms into the penthouse (uninvited, of course) and lays into Paul.
PIPER: Do you have any idea how upset Xanthe is right now? You basically called her a criminal in front of Ned, in front of everyone. And I know that, normally, it would take one to know one –
PAUL: Oh, now you just hang on –
PIPER: Stop! You didn't even stop to think that you might actually be wrong (…) I was with Xanthe when she found the boxes with Yashvi.
PAUL: That just makes you co- conspirators.
PIPER: Paul, they were gonna be thrown out. We spoke to the spa manager; they were going to end up in the tip. Honestly, Xanthe has just been trying to find ways to make money to help Gary pay back Amy. That's what all this was about, and I thought that's what you wanted?
PAUL: Yeah, well – she should let her dad take care of his own financial problems.
PIPER: It's a bit hard to, when she thinks that Gary only has these problems because of her. And this isn't even about Xanthe, is it? (…) It's about Gary and Amy.
PAUL: Yeah, right (!)
PIPER: Leo and Mum told me that you said you were gonna leave them alone. And that should apply to the rest of their family.
PAUL: Hey! That has got nothing to do with you.
PIPER: And Xanthe did not deserve to be treated like that back there.
PAUL: You finished?
Piper walks out.
Alice arrives home with Hugo after their booze run! But she's surprised to find Sonya gone, and searches the house for her but to no avail. She begins to realise this is no bad thing.
ALICE (to Hugo): Well… Isn't that a big surprise for Nanny Alice? Looks like the rubbish has taken itself out.
Putting on her best anxious voice, she calls Toadie, and tells him that Sonya has gone…
Paul finds Xanthe outside Harold's, and comes to talk to her.
XANTHE: Oh, Paul, please go away – I've had enough.
PAUL: Relax, relax – I'm not here for round two. I actually came here to apologise. I spoke to the manager of the day spa, and I now know that you didn't steal that product. So I'm really sorry for jumping to conclusions.
XANTHE: Thanks (!)
PAUL: Look, I also realise that I probably took my issues with your dad out on you, and that wasn't fair (…) So for that, I also apologise.
XANTHE: Well, I appreciate it.
Xanthe grudgingly agrees to a truce, and is about to go – but Paul has more to say. He knows she's trying to make money, and there's a summer job going at the day spa if she's interested.
XANTHE: You don't need to do that for me.
PAUL: I'm not doing it for you, Xanthe. We need the staff, and you've got the experience (…) It's a genuine offer, Xanthe; there's no strings attached.
XANTHE: Fine – alright, I'll take it.
PAUL: Good! I'll get the manager to give you a call, then.
But she still looks a little suspicious of Paul as he leaves!
Gary apologises to Amy for turning down her offer of the trip to New York. He explains his real reasons.
GARY: I owe you 100,000 dollars.
AMY: Oh, Gary –
GARY: I never stop thinking about how I'm gonna pay you back. And you offering me an all- expenses- paid trip – it makes me feel like we'll never be square.
AMY: I'm not adding things on like it's some sort of credit card statement!
GARY: Yeah, I know. But accepting this kind of stuff – I can hear Paul's voice calling me the sponge that he thinks I am.
AMY: (…) I'm not keeping count of who pays for what. I just want to spend Christmas with you.
GARY: Yeah, so do I. But every time I pay for something, it's like my debt's going up, not down (…) You paid for the coffees earlier.
AMY: Because it was, like, ten dollars!
GARY: Yeah, and I was about to, and you jumped in!
AMY: Yeah, but it's not important.
GARY: It is to me!
AMY: I know it's your pride that we're dealing with – but I'm sorry, you're gonna have to suck it up.
GARY: Would you?
AMY: … Probably not. Well, how are we gonna make this better?
Gary suggests they lock down a payment plan, and that he'll pay her a set amount each week, so they can keep track of it. Amy says that if that's what he wants, it sounds good to her.
Alice is lounging around with her feet up, but leaps up when Toadie comes in. She lies, claiming she was in the back yard hanging the washing out ‘for two or three minutes at the most' – and that when she came back in, Sonya had gone.
ALICE: Dr Kennedy told me not to disturb her, so I was just letting her rest!
Toadie assures Alice it isn't her fault. He's been trying to ring Sonya, but her phone is ringing out. Alice apologetically reveals that Sonya's phone has been here all the time; she put it on silent, so Sonya wouldn't be disturbed.
ALICE: Oh my god, I'm sorry. I honestly will never forgive myself if something's happened.
TOADIE: … She was really confused before, when I left. This doesn't feel right. I mean, this is what she used to do when she would…
TOADIE: I shouldn't've said that. She's just sick, alright?
ALICE: I'm sure she wouldn't put you through that again.
Toadie asks Alice to check if Sonya's next door, and then goes to make a call.
ALICE: Who are you calling?
TOADIE: Anyone I can think of.
A dazed, unwell Sonya is stumbling along near the trees by the nursery, still in her bedclothes, sobbing and whimpering to herself.
SONYA: Jarrod… Jarrod… Stephie, Steph … Jarrod …
She falls to the ground, getting covered in dirt.
Toadie has assembled a team of assistants comprising various RSRs who were In This Episode™ – namely Karl, Shane and Ned – to go out and search for Sonya. Karl suggests they split up to cover more ground, and they are each assigned a place to search. Xanthe turns up, and offers to check the hospital for Sonya. Toadie gets upset – he doesn't even know if she has shoes on.
TOADIE: She should not be out here on her own in her frame of mind.
SHANE: She won't be for long. Let's go bring her home.
Erinsborough Greenway (or, the Botanical Gardens™)
Night has fallen, as a bedraggled and filthy Sonya approaches some revellers enjoying a drink on a park bench.
But it's not Jarrod – it's a random bloke (Brian) and two female extras.
BRIAN: Hey, interesting costume choice, love! You want a little Christmas cheer, do you?
He thrusts a bottle of bourbon at her.
BRIAN: Go on. Santa's not watching!
Sonya takes the bottle and stares at it…
Coming up on Neighbours
- Bea tells Susan she's the reason she's in this situation to begin with
- Karl angrily agrees with the sentiment, asking Bea why she couldn't have left it alone
- Gary's old crim mate Kev McNally visits the coffee hut, offering him ‘a bit more action'
- Piper asks Terese if all is okay with Leo, saying he seems a bit edgy
- Shane asks Toadie if it's possible that Sonya has fallen off the wagon