- Toadie meets a client whose identity is kept confidential from Piper – it's someone they both know
- Piper mentions to Terese that Leo seems a bit edgy
- Sonya is poisoned with pesticide by Alice, and left by a roadside to die
- Willow is concerned to learn from Toadie that Sonya is missing, having apparently relapsed
- Willow is disturbed when her supposedly dead grandmother turns out to be the Rebecchis' nanny!
- Willow demands to know why Alice is lying; she explains it's so Toadie and Andrea can be together
- Alice admits to Willow that she poisoned Sonya
- Willow sends a text warning Toadie that Sonya is in danger from Alice
- But Alice catches Willow in the act, and locks her in the potting shed!
Night has fallen, and Willow is banging on the inside of the potting shed, crying out for help…
Toadie is looking after Hugo and Nell, and searching for his phone – which he soon realises Nell is playing with. He takes it off her, explaining he's waiting to hear from Mummy or Mark.
NELL: Can I speak to Mummy?
TOADIE: … Umm, yeah, of course you can. When she calls back.
Toadie sees the text message from Willow – ‘Sonya in danger, Alice'. Perplexed, he calls Willow…
Willow is still shouting out for help from within the shed. She can hear her phone, which Alice tossed into one of the flower displays, ringing from outside, but is powerless to answer it.
Toadie ends the call, concerned that he can't get through to Willow. We see Alice turn up outside, peering through the door at him. She smiles…
Xanthe and Piper are having a bite to eat. Xanthe is worrying about her exam results and what they will mean for her ATAR score, which is being released tomorrow. But Piper is distracted; and when challenged on it, asks Xanthe a hypothetical question.
PIPER: So, imagine you're this hotshot doctor, okay?
XANTHE: I like where this is going!
PIPER: And you see this patient file…
We go into a flashback, of Piper finding a ‘private and confidential' folder in the law office with the name ‘Tanaka, Leo' on it, as Piper's voiceover continues. We cut back and forth between the present- day scene and the flashback, with Piper looking tempted to open the folder.
PIPER: But they're not your patient, so you actually have no right to be looking in their file. But it's someone that you know – Amy. It's Amy's file. And there could be information in it that could potentially affect your dad. Would you look inside it?
XANTHE: No. I would not look inside the file. I have been there and done that with Finn, and I would not ever do it again.
PIPER: Yeah, but, like, it's to protect your dad?
XANTHE: Whose file did you see?
PIPER: No- one – I haven't. No- one. It's a hypothetical question!
PIPER: It was Leo's.
XANTHE: Well, did you look in it?
PIPER: No. And now I'm like, maybe I should've. It could be something serious – it could affect my mum.
XANTHE: If it does, then he would tell her (…) Piper, I love gossip, okay? But this is none of your business. And it's not worth losing your job over. Do not look in the file.
Toadie arrives in his car. He calls Willow again, and hears her mobile ringing. Finding it in the flower display, he shouts for her – and Willow bangs on the shed door to alert him to her presence. Toadie rushes to fetch a tool to cut through the padlock, and releases Willow.
TOADIE: Is Alice in there with you?
WILLOW: No, she's not Alice – it's Heather. She's my grandma (…) She's not dead. She wants you and Mum to be together – and she's poisoned Sonya!
Toadie begins to call for Sonya, but Willow says Alice has left her at the side of the road somewhere, after luring her away with a fake delivery. Toadie remembers that the delivery was supposed to be in Woodend according to the text he got, but Willow queries whether the message was really from Sonya. They check the order book, and find out that the delivery was really to Warburton.
They rush to the car; Toadie says they can call the police on the way.
Alice sneaks in through the back door, and calls out to see if anyone's home. She sees a mug on the kitchen surface adorned with the word ‘Mum' in a child's scrawl – presumably a present from Nell to Sonya. Alice moves into the living area, and notices a framed photo of Sonya on the sideboard. She seems curiously affected by this – almost as if she's just realised what she's done.
ALICE: Sorry, Sonya.
The road to Warburton
Toadie and Willow are driving out to find Sonya. He's worried they have a lot of ground to cover, but Willow insists they'll find her, or the police or search and rescue will.
TOADIE: If she's even out here. I mean, how do we know… that woman was even telling us the truth?
WILLOW: She was.
TOADIE: How do you know that?
WILLOW: Because when she said it… she thought I was on her side.
Toadie goes quiet and looks annoyed. At that moment, Willow spots Sonya's ute by the side of the road, and they pull over. Willow quickly finds Sonya lying in the trees, unconscious, and Toadie rushes over to tend to her. She's unresponsive, but breathing. Willow goes to call an ambulance.
TOADIE: Wake up! Come on, sweetie – come on.
Shortly afterwards, Sonya is in an ambulance headed to the hospital, hooked up to an oxygen mask. Toadie is crying by her side, and kisses her forehead. He looks heavenwards.
TOADIE (crying): If anyone up there is listening, please, don't take her away from me! I'll never ask for anything again – just please let her stay with me.
Sonya is rushed into intensive care by the paramedics, followed closely by Toadie. Susan, Dipi and Shane are already on hand at the hospital, waiting for them to arrive. David is on duty, and tells Toadie he can't be in the treatment room – so after telling David about the pesticide poisoning, he waits outside, looking anguished.
Dipi hugs Toadie, and tells him that Nell and Hugo are safe with Amy and Gary at No 26.
TOADIE: And what about Al… Heather?
SHANE: No – she's long gone.
DIPI: After you got in the ambulance, Willow called, and she's gone with the police, straight to the station, to tell them everything she knows about her grandma.
Toadie is looking through the door into the treatment room as the medics tend to Sonya, but Susan encourages him to step away, saying he doesn't need to see this. We blend into a montage of scenes of Toadie and Susan waiting outside the room for news, as Sonya remains unconscious and on a ventilator. David leaves the room with no news as to Sonya's condition.
TOADIE: I wish Karl was here.
SUSAN: Yeah, me too.
TOADIE: What am I gonna do if she dies?
SUSAN: Oh, Toadie, you can't think like that.
TOADIE (tearful): What else am I supposed to do? I thought she was on a bender. She laid in the bushes, needing me. How do I tell Nell that the woman we trusted to look after her tried to…? If she doesn't make it through this, I'm never gonna forgive myself.
SUSAN: None of this is your fault.
TOADIE: Yeah. Yeah, it is. Heather Schilling came here and pretended to be Alice because of me. Because I cheated on my amazing wife with Andrea, and… I had a baby.
SUSAN: It's more complicated than that.
TOADIE: No. No, I chose Dee in that hotel room. It doesn't matter that it was an impostor. I chose someone else other than Sonya. And she's been paying for the worst decision of my life ever since.
SUSAN: She forgave you. She loves you.
TOADIE: Well, that's wonderful. Cos I keep… I keep failing her.
Toadie's voice cracks, and Susan comforts him.
SUSAN: Then be the man you think that she deserves.
TOADIE: What if I don't get the chance?
Grovesdale Hospital – Hobart, Tasmania
The following day, Alice arrives at the psych facility in Hobart. She's listening to a voicemail from Willow on her mobile.
WILLOW (voicemail): Sonya – she's in the hospital. Toadie and I, we found her in time, I think. I hope. Okay, the police are coming for you. I've told them everything that I know, and I –
Angrily, Alice shuts off the phone, and goes into ‘Andrea's' room to see her.
ALICE: Hi, Pumpkin.
‘ANDREA': Is it done?
ALICE: Try to stay calm. I've got some bad news.
‘ANDREA': Is Toadie okay? Is Hugo okay?
ALICE: No, they're fine, they're fine. Just, things didn't go exactly to plan.
‘ANDREA': What do you mean? What happened?
ALICE: Well, I tried to get rid of Sonya, but… I couldn't.
‘Andrea' steps back, her mood becoming angry and petulant.
‘ANDREA': You promised.
ALICE: I know, I know. I said I could, but I failed, alright? Your Toadie's a very decent man and he wouldn't stay away from her.
‘ANDREA': You promised, you promised…
ALICE: Yes, I know!
‘ANDREA': You promised we'd have a happy ending!
ALICE: I know.
‘ANDREA': You know how hard I've been working to get out of here.
ALICE: So have I.
‘ANDREA' (screaming): I have been working *so hard* to get out of here!
ALICE: Listen –
‘ANDREA' (screaming): I'm not going to get out anymore. I'm not going to have anywhere to live!
‘Andrea' cries and Alice comforts her with a hug.
ALICE: Shush. Come on. Calm down. Listen – you still have a trump card, alright? Listen! Remember the person you told me about at the Salamanca Markets? Yes?
ALICE: When the time is right, you tell Toadie. Because that can change everything. *Everything.*
‘Andrea' nods, trembling.
Toadie is still waiting outside Sonya's room, having been there all night, when Shane and Willow turn up. He hugs both of them, and Shane explains Nell and Hugo are with Dipi and Kirsha now.
SHANE: The police have issued an arrest warrant for Heather. I'm going to pop back to your place and let them in, so they can have a proper look around. Hopefully they can find some clue as to where she might've gone.
David emerges from Sonya's room, with news of her condition.
DAVID: Sonya's suffering from severe dehydration, in addition to the effects of the poison. Without knowing exactly what chemicals she was exposed to, we've had to tread very carefully in our counteractive measures.
TOADIE: What are you doing for her?
DAVID: We've had to assist her breathing, and we've been replenishing her fluids. Her digestive system, kidneys and liver have sustained serious damage, so that's our focus at the moment.
TOADIE: Is she gonna live?
DAVID: She's critical, but stable.
Toadie is massively relieved, and is told he can go and sit with Sonya once the nurses remove her breathing tube.
DAVID: I've also been thinking about how there were opiates in Sonya's tox screen. Alice came to see me –
DAVID: Sorry. Heather came to see me a few times to get painkillers for an arm injury.
TOADIE: What are you saying?
DAVID: Do you think there's any chance that Heather could have gotten them into Sonya's system without her knowing?
TOADIE: … Yep. Yep, she did most of the cooking, so… Sonya couldn't get enough of her shortbread.
TOADIE: Wow, okay. So that woman has been in our house for weeks, poisoning my wife, and I had no idea?
We see a brief scene of police officers getting out of a patrol car and greeting Shane, before heading towards No 30 to inspect the place. Nearby, Dipi hugs a distressed- looking Yashvi, who is suddenly In This Episode™.
Leo is walking towards the law office.
Piper is doing some filing when Leo arrives – he claims he's here to pick up some paperwork for a ‘business thing' that Toadie left for him. Piper plays dumb, saying Toadie didn't mention anything – he probably forgot about it due to what's happening with Sonya. Leo says it was just a list of lawyer recommendations, and Piper offers to look for it for him.
LEO: Being a business owner, it's good to keep ahead of these things.
PIPER: Right – you never know! A backpacker could fall out of a window and try and sue you.
PIPER: You know, you can always talk to my mum about stuff like this. I mean, she's kind of in the same industry – she probably has a list of lawyers…
LEO: No, I don't really want to bother Terese with this kind of thing. And if Toadie's already started a list, then… Actually, I did give him some documents the other day. He put them in a folder. Maybe the list is in there?
Piper asks if that was at his off- site meeting with Toadie. Leo confirms it was, but looks a little awkward, as if he was hoping Piper didn't know about it. Piper retrieves Leo's file from the cabinet, and hands it to Leo. He thanks her and leaves hurriedly. Piper looks suspicious.
Toadie is sitting at Sonya's bedside – she's still unconscious for the time being. Shane comes in, and asks Toadie to come and speak to Senior Sergeant Lake, who's waiting outside.
LAKE: At this stage, we have been unsuccessful in tracking down Heather Schilling. She has a number of aliases.
TOADIE: Oh, I should've told you that.
LAKE: However, we have every confidence we will find her. We've given her details to the Hobart Police and the Australian Federal Police. So everyone is on high alert.
TOADIE: Did you find anything at the house?
LAKE: Yeah, a number of painkillers and a bottle of pesticide in the bin. So if they're a match with the toxins found in Sonya's system, we will have an excellent case for prosecution.
At this moment, Sonya wakes up, and Toadie goes back into the room to be with her.
TOADIE: Sonya, can you hear me? Sonya?
SONYA: Where am I?
TOADIE: Oh, god! You're in hospital.
SONYA: Alice is…
TOADIE: Yeah, yeah – I know. I know everything, okay? I am so sorry that I didn't see what she was doing to you, baby.
SONYA: Is she…?
TOADIE: No, no, don't try to talk. The kids are safe, and you're safe. That's all that matters, okay?
He kisses her, overwhelmed with relief. Shortly afterwards, David talks to them both.
DAVID: Her kidney and liver function needs to be strictly monitored until we can rule out any risk of renal failure. But hopefully we'll have you home before Christmas.
He leaves them to it, and Sonya makes room for Toadie to sit next to her on the bed. He hugs her.
TOADIE: I'm so, so sorry.
SONYA: You don't need to apologise, Jarrod – we both thought that she was a godsend.
TOADIE: We were wrong, weren't we? Dipi has spoken to Nell this morning, about Heather. And apparently, they played a lot of secret games.
SONYA: How are we ever gonna explain that to her? She's just gonna be so traumatised by it.
TOADIE: Dipi's made an appointment for a child psychologist first thing Monday morning, so I'm gonna take her, okay? We'll help her through this.
TOADIE: I thought I'd never get to hold you again.
SONYA: I was so scared, Jarrod.
TOADIE: I'm sorry I didn't find you sooner.
SONYA: You know, I said you need to stop apologising, alright?
Leo is in the kitchen when Piper comes in to get something to eat. Leo gets a phone call, and searches for his phone in his bag – removing his secret folder and placing it on the bench in the process.
PIPER: Expecting a call?
LEO: Er, yeah.
It appears to be a query about a booking, and Leo says to the person on the phone that he'll just fetch his laptop to check. While he's gone, Piper eyes the folder on the bench with curiosity – and can't stop herself from rushing over to take a look.
Within the folder, she finds a list marked ‘payment details', showing a series of payments made during 2015- 16, totalling $29,800. On the following page is a picture of a young woman with blonde hair, unfamiliar to us, which is simply marked with the client name ‘TANAKA, Leo', and dated December 2018. Piper looks perplexed…
Coming up on Neighbours
- At what appears to be a dodgy delivery, a bloke warns Gary to keep his mouth shut
- Susan and Elly agree something is unfair and hypocritical; Susan suggests Elly confront ‘her' about it
- Leo tells Paul he knows things are complicated, but people they both care about are at risk here
- Shane shows Toadie a concerning present he's found under the Christmas tree at No 30