- Leo tells the Willises that the Renshaws are soon due for parole – and that he put them in jail
- Piper scours Leo's files and finds evidence of communication and payments to Delaney Renshaw
- Toadie tells Sonya that Heather ditched Sonya's presents and replaced them with ones for Andrea
- Chloe kisses Elly
- Aaron asks Chloe why she's avoiding Elly and Mark; she claims it's all the wedding talk
- Elly is concerned as Chloe hooks up with a water polo player at the Back Lane Bar
Aaron and David are outside Harold's. David idly wonders whether Water Polo Guy will be Chloe's new boyfriend after their hook- up – Aaron doubts it. An old lady is walking past; she's unfamiliar to us, but Aaron recognises her.
AARON: Morning, Val!
VAL: Ah, good morning boys!
Val keeps walking.
AARON: She's up and about!
DAVID: She's always got a smile on her face!
Val is going across the walkway on the lake, and meets Yashvi coming the other way.
YASHVI: Hi, Miss Grundy.
VAL: Oh, hello, dear!
YASHVI: Sorry again for kicking my footy over your fence. I've been practising my banana kick.
VAL: Well, good luck with it!
YASHVI: Thanks – merry Christmas if I don't see you.
VAL: Oh, merry Christmas!
Val keeps walking.
Toadie is putting the bin out when Piper approaches. She notices his bin's fuller than usual – he explains he missed the last collection due to everything that was going on with Sonya. She's coming home soon, he explains, so he needs to do a serious tidy- up as the house is ‘like a bomb site'.
PIPER: I don't want to add to your hassle, but I was just wondering if I could borrow the Ramsay Street history book?
TOADIE: Yeah, that's no hassle. What do you want it for?
PIPER: I'm doing a special little episode of Pipe Up for my channel, because I hit 8,000 subscribers.
TOADIE: Hey, that's fantastic – good on you!
PIPER: Thanks! So, yeah, I want to do a little piece where I celebrate my online community, while celebrating my real life community.
Toadie high- fives her, saying he is ‘digging that concept'. They see Val crossing the street in the distance and wave to her – she waves back, before heading into her house on the corner of Ramsay Street, next door to No 32.
PIPER: Maybe I should interview Val.
TOADIE: That's a good idea.
PIPER: I mean, how long's she been living on that corner?
TOADIE: Oh, I dunno. She predates me. And Karl and Susan too, I think.
PIPER: Wow. She's a nice lady, I'm sure she'll say yes.
Elly is texting Chloe, and Mark is impatient as she's already messaged her once. Elly just wants to make sure she's alright.
MARK: We know she's alright. She's been texting Aaron.
ELLY: Yes – I know she's physically alright. I just feel like she's acting out and covering stuff up.
MARK: Hey – I love that you care about my sister. But I learned the hard way not to be overbearing.
ELLY: Is that how I'm being?
MARK: A little bit. You've just got to keep reminding yourself that Chloe's her own person. And you're not responsible for her actions.
Bea is singing ‘Jingle Bells' with a suspiciously high level of competence, while making breakfast. Ned appears at the door, and is excited about hearing Bea sing. He kisses her, and explains he's just dropped round to return her keys which she left at his place. Ned then says he wants to hear more about Bea's busking days. She claims it was just a way to make some money.
NED: You said it was more than that – you said it made you happy. And I'm thinking that, in all the time we've been together, it's weird that I'm only just hearing this now.
BEA: You're not gonna let this go, are you?
NED: No. Although, I do have to get to work, so I don't have a lot of time to squeeze it out of you.
BEA: Okay, if you must know – when I was on the streets, singing for some coin, I did fantasise about maybe one day doing something. You know, making a living out of it.
NED: Why was that so hard to admit?
BEA: Because hardly anybody can make a living out of it. Car and engine troubles? Much more demand.
NED: Well, personally, I love what I heard.
BEA: Thank you.
Ned kisses her again, and they arrange to meet for lunch. Then he rushes off to work, humming ‘Jingle Bells'. Bea laughs.
A car pulls up outside the hotel, and a young woman steps out – it's Delaney Renshaw, the daughter of Leo's former nightclub boss from Sydney whose photograph we saw in his file. Ned helps her with her bags, just as Terese and Leo appear, talking about his planned meeting with a lawyer after Boxing Day.
TERESE: I'm glad you found a good lawyer. Get you out of this mess unscathed.
At that moment, Leo and Delaney notice one another. She hugs him excitedly, kissing him on the cheek and declaring how nice it is to see him.
LEO: What are you doing here?
DELANEY: Well, after we had our little chat on the phone, I thought I'd just hop on a plane and come see you.
Leo awkwardly introduces her to Terese, saying he used to work for her dad and uncle in Sydney. Terese forces a smile and welcomes Delaney to Erinsborough. Leo only gets as far as introducing Terese as the hotel manager, but Delaney isn't interested in that and interrupts.
DELANEY: So what are you doing right now? Do you want to, like, go get a coffee or something? I have so much I need to tell you still.
Delaney has her hands on Leo's shirt, as Terese exchanges bemused expressions with Ned.
Chloe comes in, and Elly lays into her for not responding to her messages, saying she was worried sick. Chloe affects an air of nonchalance and declares she ‘couldn't be bothered' to respond.
CHLOE: I was having too much fun.
ELLY: Why are you doing this?
CHLOE: Why does anyone have fun? To have fun. That's what having fun's all about!
ELLY: I understand what fun is.
ELLY: Yes. Really. But when you kissed that guy last night in front of me, I got the feeling you were trying to make a point. So if this is about that Moment™ that we had, can we please just talk about it? You used to tell me everything before this happened. And I never judged you – not once.
CHLOE: … You really want to know what's going on?
ELLY: Yes, I do.
CHLOE: … Me, couch, TV, and that whole bag of Potato Gems that I know is in the freezer.
Elly is unimpressed as Chloe settles down on the couch.
ELLY: You know what, Chloe? When you want to be really honest with me, you know where I am.
Chloe watches Elly leave, her nonchalance fading…
Toadie picks up a fallen bin outside No 34, Val's house, and sees Piper coming out of the side gate. Piper explains she's tried knocking on the front door but that Val isn't answering; she's concerned, as Val's dog, Regina – Reggie – is barking whereas usually she's very quiet. Toadie and Piper head back around the front of the house to investigate.
TOADIE: Miss Grundy?
No 34 (!)
Toadie and Piper enter the house through the open front door. The house (which looks suspiciously like the former living room and adjoining hall of No 32) is full of clutter.
TOADIE: Oh, wow. I thought I was a hoarder.
Val's dog appears, and Piper picks it up, as she and Toadie enter the living area. Val is in an armchair. Toadie tries to wake her up, but to no avail.
PIPER: She's not asleep, is she?
Toadie checks her pulse, and then shakes his head sadly.
Leo and Terese are in her office, talking about Delaney turning up. They agree that the timing is suspect, coming shortly after the news of the other Renshaws being due for parole – but Leo points out that Delaney seems pretty relaxed.
TERESE: That's one way of putting it.
Leo promises to get to the bottom of it, saying there's nothing to worry about. They kiss, and he leaves, Terese asking him to keep her posted.
Leo is chatting to Delaney.
LEO: So, there's no new information from anyone on your dad or uncle, or anything?
DELANEY: No. We're still waiting on their parole hearing.
LEO: Right, so this is definitely a social visit, then.
DELANEY: Well, I wanted to see you. But I also wanted you to see me. Show you I'm not a kid anymore.
LEO: Yeah, well – it has been a while.
DELANEY: It's been ages. You know, the whole time I was overseas with Mum, I couldn't stop thinking about how… you're, like, the hottest, nicest guy I've ever known.
DELANEY: And you know, now I'm older, I'm not afraid to tell you… I love you.
Aaron and David have joined Toadie and Piper to nose around Val's house, as the ambulance speeds away with her – we learn she died of a heart attack. Aaron is in disbelief, as Val seemed fine when they saw her this morning. Piper hopes she didn't feel any pain. Sheila walks in too!
SHEILA: Lord, this place is like Steptoe & Son on steroids!
TOADIE: Yeah. Val certainly wasn't a minimalist.
David explains that they're trying to find an address book, so they can contact any relatives to let them know. There's a single Christmas card on a shelf, from the pet store – ‘thanks for being a loyal customer'.
Toadie finds what looks like a photo album – but it's actually full of invitations for Val to various RSRs' events over the years. They all crowd in to have a look.
PIPER: The Ramsay Street Olympics?
AARON: That's awesome!
DAVID: Only because you'd win everything.
PIPER: Oh, my gosh – it's written in texta and photocopied. It's, like, ancient!
TOADIE: The world before Photoshop, Piper.
Among the invitations is one for a surprise party for Helen Daniels' birthday, on 10th September. ‘Be at the Waterhole by 7pm in order to yell SURPRISE.'
AARON: That's David's great grandmother.
TOADIE: And great matriarch of the street.
SHEILA: Like me.
TOADIE: No, nothing like you. Helen had cl –
Toadie stops himself just in time! Sheila gives him the evils nonetheless.
TOADIE: She was just different.
Toadie then finds a page with all Paul's wedding invitations to Val!
TOADIE: Paul and Terry, Paul and Gail, Paul and Christina, Paul and Lyn, Paul and Rebecca, Paul and Rebecca take two –
DAVID: Okay, okay. Yep – way too many marriages, I know!
PIPER: At least he was nice enough to keep inviting her to them.
SHEILA: Probably because he thought she wouldn't turn up.
AARON: Why do you think she would keep all of these if she was never going to go to them?
PIPER: I dunno. Maybe she wanted to, but she was just really shy.
TOADIE: Actually, come to think of it, I don't know anything about her life.
SHEILA: Me neither.
PIPER: This is really sad.
Leo and Delaney's chat continues.
LEO: Yeah, I'm flattered, Delaney – really. And you're a great girl. But… well, I'm seeing someone.
DELANEY: Yeah, but what if you weren't?
LEO: Well, I am – and we're both really happy.
DELANEY: Well, I used to make you happy. Remember, we'd laugh together all the time, and sometimes I caught you looking at me like you loved me too. So don't pretend this is nothing.
LEO: Yeah, it's not nothing. But that was then, and this is now. And even if I wasn't seeing someone – you and I, we're at different stages of our lives. I'm sorry, but this is never gonna happen.
DELANEY: You're treating me like I'm a kid again.
LEO: Oh, Delaney, please.
DELANEY: Did you ever stop and think about how maybe you're the one that needs to grow up?
Delaney storms off. Ned and Bea witness this from their perch at the bar, and wonders what it was all about. Ned says he's scared to ask.
Yashvi has joined Toadie and Piper in Val's house.
YASHVI: She never mentioned any family. I think Reggie was it.
Toadie has found some trinkets of note within Val's stash.
TOADIE: This is Billy Kennedy's old skateboard – and it's still got my tag on it, see? Billy was, or is, Karl and Susan's son. And he was my best mate back in the day. But Karl thought that I was a bad influence on him.
PIPER: What? Why?
TOADIE: Well, to be honest, he was probably right.
YASHVI: Totally, after the story that I've heard!
Piper has found one of Sheila's old gnomes that she apparently threw out two years ago, and Toadie has found a fragment of material alleged to be from Clive's original gorillagram suit! There's also an empty bottle of Doug and Lou's homebrew, and a stack of novels by Philippa Martinez! Then he pulls out the crowning glory…
TOADIE: … The Donna Freedman shrugalero! Here, stick that on!
YASHVI (pulling it on): Shrug- a- what- o?
PIPER: Yes, I also had to ask that question.
Toadie picks up a bride- and- groom wedding cake topper.
TOADIE: And I'm going to have to double- check the photos in the history album, but I'm fairly certain that this was off Scott and Charlene's wedding cake.
Sheila re- enters, with a bin bag full of wrapped gifts.
SHEILA: I have just found the strangest thing (…) This is full of Christmas presents for Sonya.
TOADIE: … She must have found them out on the street. Same way that she found everything else, I guess.
Chloe is feeling sorry for herself. Decisively, she grabs a blank Christmas card from a box on the side and begins to write.
CHLOE (voiceover): Dear Elly, I've never been one of those pathetic people who writes letters to explain how they feel. In fact, I don't think I've ever written to anyone, ever. So I guess that means you're not just anyone. And you're not. You're the closest friend I've had in years. And I know you're about to marry my brother; but if I don't get this out of my system, it's going to mess me around forever. And, as you know, having Huntington's means that I don't have that kind of time. So I'm just going to put it out there. I'm truly, madly and deeply in love with you.
Leo is chatting to Terese and Ned, and explaining how he told Delaney he wasn't interested, which was why she stormed out of the pub.
TERESE: Poor girl. I mean, Feelings™ can be so intense at that age. But I'm sure you let her down nicely.
But Delaney has entered the café, and is lingering by the window. She watches from a distance, annoyed, as Terese kisses Leo on the lips before leaving for a meeting.
NED: Hey, look – I'm only gonna ask this once. Did you hook up with this chick?
LEO: No. No way.
NED: So after all these years, she flew all this way, said what she said, for no reason at all?
LEO: Yeah, well – we used to spend a lot of time together, and had some good laughs. And, well, I was kind of protective of her. So I guess we had some sort of connection. But no way I'd ever go there.
NED: Because of her dad?
LEO: Because she was seventeen.
NED: So, if she was older…?
LEO: Well, she wasn't, alright? And she still isn't much older now, so…
NED: Right. Well, I hope she got the message.
Delaney continues to linger, now looking hurt – it's not clear how much of the conversation she's overheard, but it seems like some of it.
Toadie is on the phone to Harold Bishop! He sends his love to Sky and the kids. Piper comes in just as he's finishing up – she reports that Yashvi has convinced Dipi and Shane to look after Val's dog, Reggie. Toadie confirms he has had ‘no luck' with Harold, presumably in identifying Val's next of kin.
PIPER: I can't stop thinking about the fact that, like, what if we hadn't have found Val? I mean, she could've been there for days or weeks, and no- one would've known.
TOADIE: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing myself.
PIPER: And the strangest thing is, like, she always seemed so happy. You'd never know that she was alone. I mean, apart from having Reggie.
TOADIE: Yeah. I guess you just don't know what's going on in people's lives, do you?
PIPER: Nope. You don't know if they're alone, or they need a helping hand, or…
TOADIE: Some people are too proud to say, hey?
Piper wants to keep searching through Val's belongings, to see if they can find a connection to anyone. But Toadie says he'll have to put it on hold, as Sonya's coming home and the place is a pigsty.
TOADIE: After Heather, I feel like I need to give the place a good scrub, just to get rid of any sign that she was even here. But you know what? I'm just… I'm tired. I'm exhausted, you know, with the kids and everything. I don't know where to start.
We hear Hugo crying from his room, so Toadie goes to see to him. Piper looks thoughtful.
Chloe is standing by the mailbox at No 28, looking pensive. Eventually, she posts the card – but Mark approaches from behind. He tells Chloe that Elly was starting to freak out about where she'd got to.
CHLOE: She's so uptight.
MARK: Well, she was worried. Which I think is nice. It shows that she really cares about you.
Mark asks what Chloe put in the mailbox.
CHLOE: Oh, that. It was just a Christmas card. Thought I'd spread around some festive cheer.
MARK: Hang on – you think Christmas cards are stupid (…)
CHLOE: What can I say? I'm inconsistent.
Mark's mobile rings – it's Piper. He heads off to answer it, and Chloe walks off worriedly in the other direction
Toadie is surprised to see Piper back, with a team of willing assistants comprising Mark, Sheila, David and Aaron to clean the house for him, and give him a break.
TOADIE: Guys, that's a lovely thought, but you don't have to.
PIPER: No, we do – we really have to.
SHEILA: Because if we needed your help, we know you'd be there for us.
AARON: Yeah, and guess what? Some of us actually get a kick out of doing this sort of thing.
He points at Mark, who is enthusiastically pulling rubber gloves on!
MARK: Yeah. Shotgun the oven!
TOADIE: I dunno what to say…!
A towel- clad Leo is just coming out of the sauna when Delaney comes in, also in a towel. Leo's keen to vacate the situation, but Delaney wants to talk.
DELANEY: I'm sorry about running off before. It wasn't very mature of me. Especially when I was trying to show you I was all grown up.
LEO: It's alright.
DELANEY: I meant what I said, though – about how I feel about you. And if you still don't think I'm all grown up, well… maybe this will prove it.
Leo is aghast as Delaney drops her towel! She smiles seductively.
The RSR cleaning crew are having a hard- earned glass of lemonade after all their exertions.
TOADIE: That's why I love Ramsay Street. It's just… people helping other people.
MARK: Hear, hear.
TOADIE: But I mean, I have realised something today – that not everyone actually asks for help. And I kind of feel like we should do something just to make sure that other people don't fall through the cracks, especially at Christmas (…) I think we should put on a Christmas concert on Christmas night, and encourage all of the neighbourhood to come.
SHEILA: A concert? Have you looked at your advent calendar? There aren't very many doors left to open!
MARK: Yeah, Sheila's right – it would take a lot to organise.
SHEILA: It would take a Christmas miracle!
TOADIE: Yeah, but we just performed a miracle here, and it didn't take that long at all! I just feel that if we give the right jobs to the right people, and we all work really hard, which I know that we can, I think that we can do this. Are we gonna do it for Val, and all the other Miss Grundys? Are we gonna put on a Christmas concert?
In the sauna, a tearful Delaney is now in a bathrobe, as is Leo.
LEO: I told you we can't be together. You can't pull stunts like that.
DELANEY: You don't think I'm pretty?
LEO It's got nothing to do with that, alright? I told you, I have a girlfriend.
DELANEY: You mean, more like an old lady friend. I saw her kissing you.
LEO: Her name's Terese, and she means the world to me. You need to respect that.
DELANEY: I'm sorry. With my dad's parole hearing coming up, I've been… all over the place. You know, I was always scared of him. And when I was with you, I felt safe.
Leo sits down next to her.
LEO: I'm sure you're gonna be okay.
DELANEY: I know I will be. But what about you? I mean, you are the one who ratted on him and my uncle. And we both know what they'd do to you if they found out. Of course, no- one needs to know if… we were together, and I felt safe and loved.
LEO: You're threatening me?
DELANEY: I'm doing what's best for both of us.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Chloe and Elly have an awkward hello at the pub – which is interrupted by Elly's mum Liz!
- Liz demands to know who ‘that' (Chloe) was
- Delaney sees Terese and Leo hugging and looks annoyed
- Terese asks Leo and Paul what's going on
- Paul says, ‘what if I killed him, Leo?'
- After reading some tarot cards, Dipi tells someone, ‘somebody close to me is going to die'