- Jane suggests to Paul that they arrange a brunch to get his family together again
- But of Paul's kids, only Leo turns up, and even he has to leave after a few minutes
- Jane apologises to Paul for the brunch failure, but it's clear he's been affected by what's happened
- Chloe kisses Elly
- Elly proposes to Mark, and he accepts
- Sonya's released from hospital, promising Toadie she'll just sit on the couch
- Alice marinades Sonya's gardening gloves in poison, much to Hugo's apparent concern!
- Alice lures Sonya out into a rural spot, and tricks her into poisoning herself with the gloves
- As Sonya struggles for breath, Alice tells her she's poisoned her, then leaves her for dead in the bush
Alice is back at home, yawning casually and swigging from her hip flask. Toadie comes in – we see he's had a message from Sonya (or at least her phone) saying, ‘Had to do a work delivery, will be home later'. He's not very happy as Sonya was supposed to be resting up. Alice pleads ignorance, saying she assumed Sonya was in bed resting – but says she's sure she'll be back soon.
Toadie leaves the room, texting Sonya back. Alice then pulls Sonya's phone from her apron and looks at Toadie's message – ‘Call me when you can please.'
Elly is on the laptop, hunting for a new teaching job for next year, as she, Susan and Bea discuss Elly and Mark's engagement party. Susan is surprised when Elly admits that she hasn't told her mum Liz about the party – or indeed, the engagement. Susan thinks she should tell her.
ELLY: Can't I just enjoy being engaged for a minute without stress or interference?
SUSAN: She is your mum.
ELLY: Yeah, I know. And I promise I will tell her; I just don't want her to know anything yet. She'll make everything about her.
Bea thinks Elly's making the right decision. Susan hears Hugo crying from the other room (she's babysitting), so goes to check on him.
BEA: What made you propose all of a sudden?
ELLY: The timing felt right.
BEA: It didn't have anything to do with the test results Mark was waiting on? … He didn't tell me what they were for, but the next thing I know, you guys are engaged.
ELLY: You don't need to worry about that. I can't share the details of his results, but they're good. And I would've proposed anyway.
Jane is once more apologetic to Paul for railroading everyone into the failed family brunch – she thought it would help them reconnect. Paul understands, and apologises for walking out on her before – but asks whether she knew David and Amy wouldn't show up. Jane says not.
PAUL: Bottom line is, I am the one who pushed my children away. So I only have myself to blame for the way that the brunch unfolded.
Alice is humming ‘Silent Night' while chopping veggies in the kitchen, while Susan talks to Toadie in the living area, and Nell plays with Hugo.
Toadie is telling a concerned Susan about Sonya heading to work to do deliveries when she's supposed to be recovering at home; he's worried she'll land back up in hospital at this rate. Susan admits that Nell's kindergarten teacher said she'd been constantly asking about Sonya.
SUSAN: Pretty scary to see your mum sick when you're that little.
TOADIE: Which is why it's weird that she hasn't even answered my calls, or called me back just to let me know that she's oaky.
Toadie rings Sonya again, and it starts buzzing in Alice's apron! So to cover up the noise, she starts humming louder – and then switches to full- blown singing!
ALICE (singing): Silent night, holy night…
TOADIE: It's voicemail, again.
ALICE (singing): All is calm, all is bright…
TOADIE: Something isn't right.
Elly turns up to see Mark; they're both excited about the engagement party. Mark wants to serve Chloe's favourite champagne at the party, to make her feel better; Elly agrees. Mark then gives Elly an engagement ring, which she's thrilled with.
ELLY: It's perfect!
MARK: Just because you did the proposing, doesn't mean that you don't deserve a beautiful engagement ring.
They kiss and hug. Chloe comes in, and both she and Elly look a bit awkward. Mark encourages a hesitant Chloe to come and admire his choice of engagement ring.
CHLOE: You've had plenty of practice!
CHLOE: Sorry, that was harsh.
MARK: You're forgiven.
Chloe looks at the ring, and barely summons up the enthusiasm to declare it ‘great'. Elly looks uncomfortable, and hurries off home to get changed before the party.
Toadie gets a text message, and looks suddenly angry – before throwing the phone at the sofa in annoyance. Alice comes in from the garden with the washing basket, and Toadie shows her the text message, supposedly from Sonya – but which, little does he know, Alice has just sent him!
The message reads, ‘I'm in Woodend. Decided to stay the night so I can rest before driving home tomorrow. Don't worry – I'm looking after myself.' Toadie is very anxious.
TOADIE: The nursery doesn't even do deliveries out that far.
ALICE: Well, it is all very, very odd.
TOADIE: Yeah. I mean, she'll send me a message but she won't talk to me? And she didn't even ask how the kids are. This… it's not like her.
Toadie's mind is evidently straying towards the idea of Sonya relapsing, because he suggests that she might talk to Terese (her Alcoholics Anonymous co- attendee) if not him. Then he thinks of Lucas Fitzgerald (who also used to support her with her addictions) – he lives up near Woodend.
ALICE: Why would she talk to them, and not you?
TOADIE: … It's worth a shot.
He calls Lucas and leaves a voicemail, while Alice looks on nervously.
TOADIE: Sonya's up your way – I was just wondered if you'd spoken to her? I'm having a hard time getting in touch with her, and I think she might need to reach out to you…
Chloe has already started on the champagne, when Elly turns up in the dress she's wearing to her engagement party. Chloe is a little blown away.
CHLOE: Wow. Stunning.
CHLOE: Soz, I didn't mean to stare.
ELLY: Are we okay? I get the feeling you've been trying to avoid me since… you know.
CHLOE: … Right. I thought you were avoiding me!
They laugh nervously.
CHLOE: I figured you were still freaked out by… you know.
ELLY: Great. So if we're both not avoiding each other, there's no reason for any weirdness, then?
CHLOE: Good point! Officially a weirdness- free zone!
ELLY: I would hate to lose our friendship over some silly Moment™. Especially now you're gonna be my sister- in- law.
CHLOE: Not gonna happen on my watch.
ELLY: Great, so we're all good…
CHLOE: Normal programming resumed!
They hug, and Chloe looks awkward. Elly needs a hand doing her dress up at the back, and as Mark's not around, Chloe offers. Both look tense and uncomfortable as Chloe brushes Elly's hair out of the way and fastens the dress – another Moment™. Just as she finishes, David, Aaron and Mark come in. Chloe looks awkward as Mark hugs Elly and admires the dress. They all leave for the party.
Dipi and Jane are heading towards the courtyard. Jane is explaining about Paul's family feud that she's found herself stuck in the middle of, and says it's affecting her relationship with him. Her interference with the brunch has created a distance between them, despite Paul accepting her apology. Dipi says she's sure Jane had the best intentions.
JANE: You know, I often wonder if Nan convinced herself of the same, every time she meddled?
DIPI: No – organising a family brunch is not meddling.
JANE: Well, what would you call it?
DIPI: Umm, taking control.
JANE: That's something I haven't felt since I've been back here.
DIPI: Okay – Paul is not the type of man who's comfortable when someone else takes charge. Maybe that's why he's acting this way.
JANE: Well, I can't be in a relationship where I have no say.
DIPI: Yeah, I hear you. Maybe you need to make that clear to Paul.
Dipi is now in the pub at the engagement party, chatting to Xanthe, Chloe, Bea and Susan – while in the foreground, David offers to fetch Aaron a drink. However, Aaron wants to keep a clear head until he gets his Huntington's test results back. But Aaron insists he's still going to have fun in the meantime. David gets a message from the hospital.
DAVID: I asked them to keep me updated about a particular patient… I have to go, but I'll be back soon.
David kisses Aaron and leaves, as we tune into the chat between the women in the background.
DIPI: I have not been this excited about a couple since Harry and Megs Markle. No, actually, Aaron and David.
Chloe stares at Mark and Elly who are hugging and smiling nearby, and looks jealous.
XANTHE: They are *so* cute together. Oh my goodness, they're like soulmates!
BEA: I don't know if I believe in the whole soulmate thing. But they do make a perfect couple.
SUSAN: No- one has made Elly as happy as Mark has.
Chloe downs her champagne…
David has come to see Sonya, but Toadie tells him she's in Woodend, until tomorrow, ‘apparently'.
TOADIE: Why did you want to see her?
DAVID: Just… checking in. I wanted to see how she was feeling.
TOADIE: David, you don't leave your brother- in- law's engagement party just to check in.
DAVID: … I really can't say anything until I've spoken to Sonya.
TOADIE: If it's urgent, you've got to tell me, alright?
DAVID: You know I'm bound by patient confidentiality.
TOADIE: I'm Sonya's medical power of attorney – there you go. So I have a right to know.
DAVID: Well… Sonya's toxicology report came back (…) There were traces of opiates in her system.
TOADIE: No… No, there's gotta be some kind of mistake. I mean, she said she was tempted, but she promised me that she hadn't taken anything. Not even painkillers.
DAVID: The results are conclusive. Though as there were only traces, it may mean she had stopped earlier. That would explain the state she was in; she was suffering withdrawal.
TOADIE: So Sonya's using again?
Jane is laying down the law with Paul; he may be used to calling the shots, but he can't expect her to say and do nothing as regards his family feuds. Paul concedes that he knows Jane was just trying to help, but…
PAUL: Watching things crash and burn with my family like that – it was a brutal reminder of how far I've still got to go with them.
JANE: It doesn't mean you have to give up.
PAUL: Oh, I don't intend to. Anyway, you're not gonna let that happen!
JANE: No – no, I'm not. Because I care about you. And that means that, when you have a problem, I'm gonna want to help you.
PAUL: Yeah, for which I am eternally grateful. Gosh, without you, I don't think I'd still be talking to any of my family. But, you know, I don't want you to take on too much. I want to be with you because of who you are, not what you can do for me. Although you do make me happy.
JANE: You make me happy too. Except when you're grumpy!
They laugh and clink glasses.
The extras are having a whale of a time dancing away at Mark and Elly's engagement bash, as are Aaron and Xanthe. David comes back in, and smiles seeing them, then looks sad and moves away.
Chloe is looking miserable, while Dipi takes a photo of hot new couple Ned and Bea. Bea asks Dipi not to post or tag anything on social media, as Elly doesn't want her mum Liz to know that she's having an engagement party. Dipi admits she posted some earlier on, and Bea tells her she has to delete them. Surprised, Dipi complies.
Meanwhile, Aaron catches up with David and finds him looking glum. David admits he had to deliver some difficult news about his patient, but it's not just that – and it becomes clear he's also upset from thinking about Aaron's gene test results. Aaron hugs him.
Susan has rejoined an upset Toadie, who admits he's angry at himself for not realising Sonya was using again. Alice lingers in the background.
TOADIE: I should've seen the warning signs. I should've been there for her – I should've checked in more. Sonya has worked so hard to get clean, you know? And she needs my help, and I… I don't know where she is! She knows how bad it was the last time she did this – and you know what's worse? She's walked out on Nell again!
SUSAN: Toadie, Toadie – is there any way that the opiates in her system could be explained some other way?
TOADIE: She wasn't given any in hospital.
SUSAN: Well, yeah – can you be absolutely certain of that? Maybe when she was first admitted, and she wasn't lucid enough to say no –
Toadie doesn't seem convinced, but says he'll get David to double- check this. But at that moment, Alice ‘finds' a load of empty alcohol bottles behind the cupboard. Toadie is gutted.
TOADIE: Right. So it's true. Sonya's not coming home tonight because she's on a bender. God, what am I gonna tell Nell?
Susan reassures him he's got plenty of support around him, but that they need to concentrate on finding Sonya for now. She tells him she'll get to work calling the hospitals and rehab centres, just in case Sonya's admitted herself.
TOADIE: I suppose I'll check the pubs around Woodend. If she's even there. She could be anywhere.
Alice pulls an ‘isn't this all just dreadful?' face.
Paul and Jane are arm- in- arm, slow- dancing to music.
JANE: Much as I would love to stay in your arms, I really have to call it a night… I've made mistakes before, rushing into relationships.
PAUL: Hey, you don't have to explain yourself. I'm more than happy to take this at whatever pace you want.
He kisses her on the lips.
PAUL: After all, we've got all the time in the world.
She looks awkward, then smiles, and bids him goodnight. He smiles as she closes her bedroom door.
At the party, Elly and Mark are worried that Susan's been gone a while – Mark is hoping everything is okay with Sonya. At this point, a drunken Chloe gets on a chair in order to make a speech – which surprises Mark and Elly, as there weren't supposed to be any!
CHLOE: Ladies, gentlemen, Ned…
CHLOE: I just want to say how happy I am that my brother has found such an incredible woman! I've heard everyone going on and on about how lucky Elly is to have found such a decent guy. And yes, Mark's fantastic – hey, thanks for the champers, bro! But you've all got it wrong - *he's* the lucky one. Elly is… smart, caring… she's got a body most of us would kill for – am I right, ladies? And I'm so stoked they'll be able to have babies! Super- cute babies! I mean, talk about being genetically blessed. And not just looks. None of them will have the gene of doom! Not like me!
An upset- looking Aaron and Elly try to stop her from going any further, but…
CHLOE: Oh, I keep forgetting. Not everyone knows – I have Huntington's disease. Or I will have in fifteen, twenty years. It is cark- arama for me, and it will not be pretty! But it's all good – it's all good. Mark doesn't have it – and fingers crossed, Aaron will be the same!
She raises her glass cheerily and then downs it, while everyone else looks appalled/upset!
Outside the pub, Elly finds Chloe in a state and leaning over one of the plant pots, having just thrown up in it.
CHLOE (slurring): I think it was something I ate.
ELLY: What, didn't sit well with that bottle and a half of champagne you had?
CHLOE: You should go back inside and enjoy your party.
ELLY: No. I want to make sure you get home safely.
CHLOE: You would leave your own engagement party to take me home? That is the nicest thing in the whole world.
ELLY: Don't worry, I'm coming back! I just want to make sure you're in bed.
CHLOE: I didn't get to finish my speech!
ELLY: It doesn't matter.
CHLOE: It does! I wanted to say that… I totally get why Mark is so crazy for you. Because I love you too.
Getting upset, Chloe hugs a concerned- looking Elly.
Alice is cleaning the kitchen, while Susan and Toadie are having no luck ringing round for Sonya. Nell appears in her pyjamas, wanting to know where Mummy is.
TOADIE: … Mummy's on a work trip. She's gonna be back tomorrow.
Toadie nods. Alice takes Nell back to bed to read her a story, while Toadie starts to cry. Susan comforts him.
The roadside near Warburton
We cut to Sonya's ute parked at the roadside in the dark, as Toadie's voice is overlaid.
TOADIE: Where is she, Susan? Where is she?
The camera pans ominously towards the bushes where Alice left Sonya to die…
Coming up on Neighbours
- Gary asks Kev McNally why he's messing with him – is it some kind of con?
- Piper says Leo could talk to Terese about something, but he insists he doesn't want to bother her
- Piper tells Xanthe that Leo is keeping secrets; we see Leo ending a phone call, looking worried
- Alice looks at a framed photograph of Sonya at No 30…
- … then pays a visit to ‘Andrea' at the Hobart psychiatric facility. ‘Andrea' asks, ‘is it done?'