- Toadie shows Shane the letter from Andrea's lawyer, disputing his bid for full custody of Hugo
- Sonya reveals to Shane and Dipi that she has ovarian cancer
- Karl tells Sonya that if Toadie wants to take his anger out on him, he's happy to wear it
- Mel encourages Paul to expand Robinson Pines onto Power Road
- Mel learns that Mark is leaving his job at the garage, and decides she wants to talk to Lucas
- Aaron tells Elly that Chloe has told him about the kiss
- Elly asks Mel if she and Chloe are getting back together; Mel replies that they will be after tonight
- Chloe tells Mel she's not in the right headspace for a relationship
- Mel goes rifling through Chloe's room and finds the card she sent to Elly declaring her Feelings™
- Chloe catches Mel reading the card, and realises Mel knows her secret
Mel tells Chloe she knew there must have been something weird going on with her and Elly.
MEL: It's not hard to pick up on. The way you look at her is the same way you used to look at me.
CHLOE: No, it's not. It was a silly crush, and it's all in the past.
MEL: You declared your love for your brother's fiancée! And I'm guessing, what, Mark doesn't know?
CHLOE: No. And it has to stay that way. This could break up our family.
Mel pauses, as if considering. She's had a text message, and says she's got work and has to go.
CHLOE: Please, promise me you won't say anything to Mark. Don't blow up my life because you're jealous.
But Mel just walks out without another word. Chloe sits on the bed, despondent.
Dipi is looking anxiously at a photo on the fridge of her with Shane, Toadie and Sonya. She hesitates, before opening her bag and taking out the box that she keeps her tarot cards in. She's just about to do a reading when Sonya walks in, and Dipi frantically hides the cards.
Sonya suggests a cuppa, so Dipi goes to put the kettle on. But Sonya sees that some of the tarot cards have fallen to the floor. In case it's important later, those that are face- up include, from the minor arcana, the Ten of Cups, the Five of Cups, the Ten of Swords, the Seven of Pentacles; and from the major arcana, Strength, Death, and The Tower. Sonya looks at Dipi curiously.
Bea, Ned and Mark arrive for a drink, to celebrate Mark's departure from the garage. Bea is just hoping that the new manager will decide to keep her on. As they move towards the bar, Mark sees Lucas, the garage owner, buying a drink. They hug, and Mark introduces Lucas to Bea, and also Ned. Bea asks if Lucas is going to call in at the garage later, but he shiftily says he might not have time.
LUCAS: Do any of you guys know Melissa Lohan? I'm supposed to be meeting her here to talk some business.
Bea looks suspicious.
Dipi and Sonya are chatting about the tarot cards – or rather Sonya is, and Dipi's looking uncomfortable.
SONYA: Now, did you see something juicy? Because when I came in, you looked very guilty.
DIPI: No, of course not! I hadn't even started the reading.
SONYA: So, why are you so antsy?
DIPI: I thought you were Shane.
SONYA: Ah, yes – he doesn't want you to do the readings, does he?
DIPI: No. He's promised to be more open- minded, but it's still a touchy subject and I don't want to push it.
But Sonya can see there's more to it, and presses Dipi for further details. Dipi reluctantly admits…
DIPI: I did a reading on Christmas Day. And it wasn't good. I thought that doing another reading might give a different result.
SONYA: And what did the bad reading say?
DIPI: … Err, the reading strongly suggested someone close to me was going to die.
DIPI: When I was in hospital, I presumed that was me, and that I'd beat it.
SONYA: Well, there you go.
DIPI: Yeah – that was until Terese got shot.
SONYA: Oh – and then you thought it was her?
DIPI: Yeah. I was really worried she wasn't gonna make it.
SONYA: Yeah, but she pulled through… And if you're worried that it's me, it's gonna be okay!
Dipi bursts into tears.
DIPI: I just can't help it, Sonya – I'm terrified.
Sonya reassures her that it's okay.
SONYA: You're okay, Terese is okay – and I'm way stronger than any tarot cards. Alright?
DIPI: Yeah. I'm so sorry for even mentioning it.
SONYA: No, it's okay. I mean, it's obviously been going around in your head. So let's put it behind us – it's okay.
Dipi nods tearfully. Sonya looks at the cards she's picked up, and stares contemplatively at the Death card.
Sonya is telling Toadie about her conversation with Dipi, but asks him not to get angry – she had just worked herself up into a state.
TOADIE: And she thought it was a good idea to tell you about it?!
SONYA: Well, I mean, I really pressed her on it. And I'm not gonna get caught up in some silly superstition.
TOADIE: This kind of stuff can really mess with your mind.
SONYA: I know that. And I'm not gonna let it, okay?
Toadie offers to talk to Dipi, but Sonya says Dipi's feeling really bad about it and that there's been no harm done. Sonya kisses him, and leaves. But once she's gone, Toadie immediately leaves himself, looking furious.
Elly meets Chloe in the courtyard; Elly tells Chloe that Aaron has revealed to her he knows about their kiss.
CHLOE: Sorry. He may have forced it out of me under pressure. But he won't tell anyone.
CHLOE: Mel, on the other hand –
ELLY: Mel knows?!
CHLOE: She may have found the Christmas card I wrote you.
ELLY: Why would you keep that?! What if Mark found it?
CHLOE: Why would he look under my bed?
ELLY: What? Chloe!
CHLOE: I couldn't bring myself to throw it out, okay?
ELLY: What did Mel say?
CHLOE: She'd half- guessed it anyway. The first time she saw us together she thought we were a couple. Look, I told her it's totally one- sided, Mark doesn't know, and to keep it that way.
CHLOE: She was pretty upset.
ELLY: Okay, so she's hurt and jealous. This is the same loose cannon who went out of her way to get payback on you last time!
CHLOE: Maybe she'll be the bigger person this time.
ELLY: Chlo, this is a nightmare. If Mark finds out about this, he will never, ever forgive either of us.
Elly marches off, and Chloe looks worried.
Mel looks at her phone. She has five missed calls from Chloe. She sees Mark sitting at a table and stares at him for a while – and is then distracted by the sight of Lucas at the bar. She introduces herself, admitting she's done some ‘social media stalking' to be sure she'd recognise him. Mel butters Lucas up with mention of Vanessa's cupcake store and wanting to visit it when in Daylesford.
LUCAS: Wow, you really dug deep, didn't you?
MEL: I did. But I'm sure you didn't come here to listen to my sales patter. So, why don't I give it to you straight? I think my offer speaks for itself.
LUCAS: I'm listening.
At the table nearby, Mark is with Ned and Bea. Bea wonders what Mel is saying to Lucas.
BEA: He must want to sell, if he's come all the way here. And if Paul Robinson's buying – bye- bye, garage.
Ned and Mark tell her that there's no point in second- guessing, but Bea is worried about losing her apprenticeship, and whether she'd get another one. Mark tells her that developers ‘came sniffing' years ago, and that nothing ever came of it.
BEA: This doesn't look like nothing to me.
Toadie comes in and immediately starts kicking off with Dipi about telling Sonya about the tarot reading. Shane lingers awkwardly nearby.
DIPI: I didn't want to say anything – she just caught me with the cards, and she pushed me, Toad.
TOADIE: That's no excuse, Dipi!
DIPI: I know! I regretted it as soon as I said it.
TOADIE: Yeah, well it's in her head now, that you think that she is not gonna pull through!
DIPI: That's not what I said!
TOADIE: Well, you may as well have!
Shane intervenes, saying Toadie has already lashed out at Yashvi and Karl – he can't attack all of them. But Toadie is undeterred.
TOADIE: You put more time and effort into believing this mystic crap than supporting your own family!
SHANE: You know it's not like that.
TOADIE: No, this is my wife's life we are talking about here! If you can't be positive around her, you need to stay away!
Toadie marches out, leaving Dipi upset.
Lucas and Mel are finishing their meeting, and they shake hands. After Mel's gone, Bea immediately gets up to talk to Lucas – but at that point, Sonya comes in and gives Lucas a hug, cutting short any chance of asking him what the result of the meeting is. Mark offers to go and talk to Mel, and find out if Lucas was interested in her offer. Bea agrees.
We cut to Sonya and Lucas's conversation. She asks after his son Paddy, who is now in an Aussie Rules team apparently! Lucas says his sister Sebastiana is keen to get involved as well.
LUCAS: She keeps me on my toes, that one – that's for sure.
SONYA: Yeah. Well, I mean, you look good, though.
LUCAS: Do I? Well, I can't take credit for it. It's chasing around after the kids, you know? And watching them just grow up in front of my eyes…
Sonya gets very emotional and teary as she hears him speak.
LUCAS: Vanessa's great too, and the… hey, did I say something wrong?
SONYA: No – no, it's all good. This, it's just happy tears. They're happy tears, I promise you.
Lucas looks unconvinced.
SONYA: I just miss you, that's all. I miss you.
LUCAS: Yeah, back at you, mate!
SONYA: So give me a cuddle.
They share an emotional hug, as Sonya continues to well up.
Shane is on the patio looking pensive; an emotional Dipi comes out to join him.
DIPI: Go on, then – let me have it.
DIPI: The silent treatment, is it? Well, yeah, I suppose that's fair. I just… I couldn't stop thinking about the prediction. I needed another result. I wanted to see for myself that Sonya was gonna be okay.
SHANE: Did you have to tell her about it? I mean, she must've freaked out?
DIPI: She… she was calm, actually. It's Toadie that's not dealing. He really thinks I've given up on Son.
SHANE: He's just worried – we all are.
DIPI: I just feel so helpless. I wish there was something I could do, you know?
Dipi is crying now, and Shane hugs her.
SHANE: I think Toadie's right. We all just need to pull together and support Sonya. And each other, huh? We don't really need the cards for that, do we?
DIPI: … No. No, you're right. They've caused a lot of stress lately; I will put them away.
Lucas is updating Bea and Ned on his meeting with Mel, about Paul's offer to buy the garage. It was generous, says Lucas, and he'd be mad not to be tempted. He'll be talking it over with Vanessa, but also has some new potential managers that he wants to try out – and business is pretty good.
LUCAS: You know what? Maybe I'll hire someone for a month's trial, see how we go. But if things do slow down, I will have to consider selling.
Lucas leaves, and Bea continues to angst about whether she's still going to have a job. Ned says she'll just have to help the new manager keep the business running as smoothly as possible.
Mel is listening to a voicemail from Chloe, begging her not to tell Mark about her kiss with Elly. At that point, Mark himself appears, and asks Mel if he can have a second.
MARK: I think it would help a lot of people if you just told me what's going on.
MEL: Yeah – no, my thoughts exactly. Do you have time now?
MEL: I think we have a lot to discuss.
Sonya tells Toadie that his anger's starting to become a problem.
SONYA: First it was Karl, and then it's Yashvi – and now it's Dipi. And I know that you're feeling helpless, but this behaviour is just… it's not healthy, Jarrod.
TOADIE: I just want her to believe that you are going to get through this.
SONYA: Well, she does – she does! The fact that she got so upset about some silly reading doesn't mean that she loves me any less, or that she doesn't support me. It's just… she's family, and she's scared, okay? She's scared, just like us.
TOADIE: Yeah. Yep, okay, you're right – I shouldn't have gone off at her. I should go and apologise.
SONYA: I think that's a good idea, okay? Just no more bad energy.
TOADIE: I don't want to do anything that adds any more stress to you.
SONYA: I know.
They kiss. But before Toadie leaves, Sonya wants to talk to him about something else.
SONYA: I do think that we should just drop the fraud charges against Andrea. I kind of feel like $100K is a small price to pay, just to secure a peaceful future with Hugo.
TOADIE: The idea of letting that woman off scot- free, after everything that she has done –
SONYA: Oh, I know. I don't want to do it either, but I need to put all my energy into trying to get better. And I just don't think I can do that if we… if we don't just let it go.
Toadie looks sceptical.
Chloe comes in and finds Mark and Mel at a table, deep in conversation. She (and possibly the viewer) assumes they're talking about the kiss with Elly – but she's relieved as she gets closer and realises they've been talking about the Robinson Pines development and its impact on Bea etc.
MEL: All's fair in love and business, hey, Chlo?
Mark thanks Mel for being upfront with him, and leaves. Chloe joins Mel at the table.
CHLOE: Does this mean you aren't gonna drop me in it?
MEL: Even though it hurts like hell? Look, why would you sleep with me, knowing how I feel about you – when all this time, you've been in love with someone else?
CHLOE: I wasn't using you, if that's what you mean.
MEL: That's how it feels.
CHLOE: I'm sorry. I wish I'd handled things differently. But please believe me – this thing with Elly was stupid and totally one- sided.
MEL: And she'd back you up on that?
CHLOE: Of course.
MEL: well, maybe I should talk to her, then. Just to make sure.
Mel catches up with Elly outside the hotel, and asks her for ‘the truth about you and Chloe'.
ELLY: Well, clearly, she's told you everything.
MEL: Do you have Feelings™ for her?
ELLY: Of course not! Chloe is a friend!
MEL: Oh, please – you were being weird last night. You were trying to subtly throw me off – is that what it was?
ELLY: No, I was looking out for you! I don't believe Chloe is in the right head- space to be in a relationship.
MEL: Because she's in love with you.
ELLY: Yes – she's put it behind her now. And not that it's any of your business, but the feelings were never reciprocated.
MEL: Great. Good to know.
ELLY: I can tell you have genuine feelings for Chloe. But let's make a deal – if you don't tell anyone about what you read in that card, I will not stand in your way, nor hurt your chances, of being with Chloe. Deal?
A woman called Bethany Charles turns up – she's a social worker sent on behalf of Andrea Somers, to discuss Hugo.
TOADIE: Well, unfortunately now's not a good time.
But Sonya appears and ushers Bethany in, offering to make her a cup of tea. Toadie explains that Hugo's having a nap at the moment – but Bethany says she isn't here to assess Hugo, but Sonya.
Mel updates Chloe on her chat with Elly.
MEL: I'm not going to tell Mark. Or anyone else, for that matter.
CHLOE: Thank you. I've been so worried you would.
MEL: Yeah, well, the old me would've – to lash out and hurt you. But I've changed.
CHLOE: I can see. I really appreciate how great you've been about all this. And if I'm honest, I did use you a little bit last night. And it wasn't fair.
Mel looks awkward and conflicted, but eventually says…
CHLOE: You bet.
MEL: Well, in that case can I ask you a question?
MEL: Do you think there's any chance that Elly could change her mind about you?
CHLOE: No way, Jose. She is gaga over my bro. And not even into girls.
MEL: Well, then, what are you holding out for?
CHLOE: I don't know. I've tried letting go, but – it's not working.
MEL: Even though it's obviously making you miserable.
CHLOE: I said it didn't make sense!
The social worker leaves following the meeting.
TOADIE: You did so well.
SONYA: Oh, that was just relentless! All these questions about my past, and my addictions – it was just so invasive!
TOADIE: They ask routine questions, and anyone can see that you are a good parent, okay? Don't worry – Andrea's dirty trick is not gonna work.
SONYA: Well, yeah, but the social worker could say otherwise.
TOADIE: Can you believe the gall of that woman? I mean, first she tries to trick me into dropping the charges – and now she's trying to paint you as a bad parent! (…) No- one is going to believe that in their right mind. Especially coming from Andrea.
SONYA: It's just, the whole time, all I could think about was my diagnosis, and the fact that we just didn't tell her.
TOADIE: Honey, it's none of their business.
SONYA: Yeah, but you heard her, though. This isn't gonna be the only visit. And who knows when the next one will be, and what state I'll be in after the chemo?
Sonya is getting emotional, so Toadie comes and sits with her.
TOADIE: Okay. Being ill does not make you a bad parent. And you've got me too, okay? This isn't just on you.
SONYA: Yeah, I know. But we have to be realistic about it, okay? Sooner or later they're gonna find out that I've got cancer. And this picture that we're painting of this happy, stress- free house – it's just not gonna wash. And any chance we have of getting full custody of Hugo, it's… it'll be gone.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Sonya tells Toadie not to be angry – this is bigger than him and her
- Leo gets the sense that Terese isn't talking to him about something
- David tells Leo that he's sure he's already doing all the right things
- Terese cries on Paul's shoulder, saying she can't stop thinking about it
- Terese tells Piper something surprising