- Mel retrieves the faulty extension lead from the Brennans' bin, and uses it to burn down the garage
- Ned rescues Bea from the flames
- Chloe puts two and two together, and accuses Mel of being responsible for the fire
- Sonya tells Shane that Andrea told her something really strange
- Andrea tells Sonya that a man she met in Hobart mistook her for someone; what if it was Dee?
- Sonya takes a last look at Ramsay Street; she tells Toadie she'd like a memorial by the lake
- On their road trip, Sonya admits to Toadie that the chemo has had no effect; she has days to live
- Sonya tells Toadie that he has to love again, once all this has passed
- Sonya tells Toadie that she loves him, and dies in his arms on the beach as she watches her kids play
Following yesterday's special episode, we return to standard opening titles today, but with an update – Sonya has gone, and Hugo (John Turner) joins a new shot with Toadie and Nell.
Toadie is staring out towards the sea, alone. Callum approaches; he tells Toadie that the ambulance has left, and that Jade is looking after Hugo and Nell.
CALLUM: She said that Nell is asking where Mummy and Daddy are.
TOADIE: … I'm gonna have to tell her.
They stare out at the water together.
Shane comes in, and Dipi hits him with the news that Mel was the one who started the garage fire and has done a runner – but Shane is distracted. Dipi asks him what's wrong, and Shane begins to tell her about his chat with Sonya in the front garden – but in the end, keeps it to himself, letting Dipi believe that Sonya was just talking about her health.
DIPI: Let's just focus on the good times. There are plenty, and we'll make more.
Meanwhile, Paul is on the phone to Amy, saying they need to go through Mel's records with a fine- toothed comb. Amy thinks they should leave it to the police, but Paul is concerned that Robinson Pines must not be tainted by this. Amy says Lucas is still on the fence about selling the garage; Paul tells Amy to leave it to him.
Bea runs into Ned, and kisses him. Ned explains that Paul has asked all Mel's files to be moved from the estate agent office to the hotel. Ned volunteered to his duty manager for the job, and now he's intending to scour the files for any evidence that she lit the fire.
BEA: So you're gonna find it before Paul does?
NED: Yeah. Mel was working for him, and if he's involved, I don't want him destroying evidence. I'm gonna move them somewhere safe, and then I'm gonna go through them later.
Ned insists he doesn't want to be a hero; if Bea doesn't want him to do it, he won't. But Bea says she's happy for Ned to do some digging to prove Mel's wrongdoing.
Mark and Aaron come in, having bought a load of shirts for the wedding. Aaron asks Mark if he's feeling better about everything now; Mark replies that he is.
MARK: Pushing me to open up to Elly really helped; so, thanks.
AARON: Any time. And I mean that. If you start feeling antsy again, I'm your man – okay?
MARK: I won't – but I appreciate it.
They decide to head out again to collect the suits – but first, Mark calls Sonya. He gets her voicemail – obviously.
MARK: Son, hi – it's me. Listen – sorry for blowing you off the other day when you wanted to talk. But anyway, give me a call – I'm here now. Bye.
Paul asks Terese how her meeting went with the lawyers over Mrs Punt's lawsuit. Terese says Mrs Punt's demands for recompense were ‘truly delusional', but Paul's sure they can settle on a more realistic figure soon to avoid court proceedings. He says the last thing he wants is Lassiter's to leave Leo to carry the can personally.
At this point, Leo himself comes in, sees Paul and Terese – and quickly turns around to leave again.
TERESE: I hate this.
PAUL: Yeah, so do I. You know, I actually found it easier when he was angry with us.
Newsflash, Paul – he's clearly still angry! Anyhow, Paul suggests to Terese that they should hook up later at the penthouse. Terese has her heart set on making a stir- fry at her place, and Paul just laughs at her.
PAUL: Since when did you start cooking?!
TERESE: I saw a cooking show the other night, and I got inspired!
But Paul flirtatiously suggests that she could use all the energy she'd be expending shopping, cooking and cleaning up in better ways.
TERESE: I swear I can see your horns and tail sometimes.
PAUL: You can see them any time you want.
Karl is working on a new recipe for a pizza dough. He asks Susan how preparations are going for Sonya's event for International Women's Day. Susan says they've arranged a venue and that it's being promoted on social media. Karl suggests they could hold a bachelor's auction as part of the event.
SUSAN: Yeah. A roomful of women, competing for a man, on International Women's Day (!) Hey, would you wear really skimpy undies that we could tuck money into? (!)
KARL: Better – a makeover party! You know, ‘look ten years younger'!
SUSAN: Yes – or maybe an injectable filler party (!) Oh, no – get one of the surgeons at the hospital to do discount boob jobs (!)
KARL: Now you're cooking!
There's a knock at the door. It's Toadie, and he's absolutely distraught. He comes in, followed by Callum.
SUSAN: What's happened? Where's Sonya?
TOADIE: She's… she's dead.
Toadie breaks down in fits of sobs, and a horrified Susan rushes to comfort him.
Karl stands by, shellshocked, as Susan and Toadie hug.
Shortly afterwards, Susan, Karl and Toadie sit around the table, while Callum stands in the kitchen. Toadie explains that Sonya's MRI this morning showed that the tumour on her brain had become inoperable, and that she didn't tell him until they were on their way to the beach.
TOADIE (crying): She wanted to see the kids. She thought that she had more time.
SUSAN: I still don't understand.
TOADIE: Apparently, tumours can haemorrhage (…) I should have taken her to the hospital as soon as she told me.
KARL: No, Toad, Toad – it wouldn't have changed anything. The tumour was inoperable; she just would've died in a hospital, instead of with you.
SUSAN: This is what Sonya would've wanted, Toadie. She would've wanted to be with you till the end.
TOADIE: I can't believe I'm never gonna see her again. Or hold her… or talk to her… I've got to go and tell people.
But Karl volunteers to go and tell Shane.
KARL: And together, we can handle it.
Karl hugs Toadie, then leaves.
Karl is breaking the news to Shane and Dipi, who are both devastated. Karl explains Callum is with Toadie at their house; and that Jade has stayed with Nell and Hugo at the beach house. Shane wants to go and be with Toadie, but Karl asks him to call the family first, to take the burden off Toadie.
DIPI: What about Nell? Does she know?
Toadie is with Susan and Callum. Everyone is crying.
TOADIE: We didn't even tell Nell that she was sick. We thought we'd hold off telling her for as long as we could. And now… now, I feel like I've just ripped the rug out from underneath her.
SUSAN: Toadie… how can any parent have that conversation with their child?
TOADIE: I… I think she understood. I mean, she cried… and she asked for Mama… and then… then, she asked for some ice- cream.
SUSAN: She's just a baby – she's a baby.
TOADIE: Yeah, well, what if I made it worse for her, by not preparing her? Because this is the sort of thing that messed Sonya up, when she was a kid.
CALLUM: Hey, no, no, no. You did a really good job, Dad, okay?
Callum hugs Toadie.
TOADIE: There's no right or wrong in this situation, Toadie. You did what you thought was best for Nell, and that's all anybody can do.
Mark and Aaron have arrived home with the wedding suits, when Karl knocks at the door.
KARL: Guys, I'm sorry – I've got some news that's gonna come as a bit of a shock. Sonya died this afternoon.
AARON: … But I thought she was getting treatment?
Karl explains that the cancer progressed faster than they thought it would. Mark sits down on the sofa, speechless.
Dipi and Shane join Susan, Toadie and Callum, and everyone is very teary. Shane hugs Toadie, and Dipi hugs Susan and Callum. Shane tells Toadie that he's broken the news to their mum Angie, and to Sonya's biological dad Walter. Toadie thanks him. Meanwhile, Callum thanks Dipi for telling him about Sonya's illness; if she hadn't, he's realised, he may never have seen her before she died.
Aaron then returns with Karl to offer his condolences; he explains that Mark has taken the news pretty badly, but might come around later. Dipi and Susan go to make some sandwiches, as the hugs and tears continue. Needing some escape from it all, Toadie leaves the house quietly.
Toadie arrives, and looks around the house silently, distraught. He sees a note Sonya has scribbled for herself (‘remind Jarrod to pack a hat') – and her nightgown draped across a chair – and the tears well up again. Taking two dirty mugs to the sink, he sees a picture Nell has drawn pinned to the fridge, of everyone in the family. He stands there, in quiet contemplation.
Paul and Terese are curled up on the sofa together after dinner. Paul's glad they went for the room service option rather than dinner at Terese's, as ‘you know you're not a good cook'!
TERESE: Can you give me a little bit of warning before you insult me?!
PAUL: It wasn't an insult; it was a fact!
TERESE: Keep digging!
Paul tells her that her talents lie elsewhere, and they start getting frisky again. But then Terese pulls back, and asks Paul if he has a phobia of coming to her house – pointing out that he hasn't wanted to stay over there once since they got together. Paul says it's more comfortable here – but that they can stay there sometimes, if it makes Terese feel better!
TERESE: Don't make this about me. This is about your bachelor ways.
PAUL: Uh, ex- bachelor ways. I consider myself well and truly taken these days.
They kiss, but Terese gets a call on her mobile. She goes to answer it, saying it could be important. It's Susan.
PAUL: Definitely an emergency then (!)
But it soon becomes clear that Susan's news is serious, as Terese goes silent and sombre…
Mark is looking at the framed poem from baby Caitlin's memorial service. Aaron comes in, and offers to make him something to eat, explaining that he's come home as he didn't know what to say to Toadie. On the sofa, Mark is in tears, and evidently not coping. Aaron sits next to him.
AARON: I don't know if this helps, but… Shane said she went really quickly. They were down on the beach together, and… Toadie was holding her, so… she got to see the kids one last time, and…
Mark begins to struggle with his breathing – he's having a panic attack. Aaron encourages him to breathe slowly and deeply. The symptoms begin to dissipate, but Mark is still sobbing violently. Aaron hugs him.
Amy and Leo are just leaving Shane and Dipi's, presumably having come round to pay their condolences. Once they've gone, Shane comes off the phone from telling Angie about Sonya; he's managed to convince her to stay put in Colac for now, rather than ‘racing in, all guns blazing'.
DIPI: You're a good brother.
SHANE: I just wish there was more I could do.
DIPI: There will be (…) I just wish we could take it all away from him, you know?
Shane decides he's going to ask for the week off work, so he can be around for Toadie. Dipi correctly guesses that the conversation Shane had with Sonya is still bothering him.
SHANE: We didn't actually talk about her illness then.
DIPI: Was something else bothering her?
SHANE: Yeah. She asked me to keep it confidential, but… I don't suppose there's any reason not to tell you now. Especially since I'm the only person who knows, and I could do with a second opinion.
DIPI: It sounds serious.
SHANE: Yeah, it is. It's about Andrea.
Callum is on the phone to Susan, reassuring her that Toadie is safe and at home, and has had something to eat. Afterwards, Toadie gives a dismayed- looking Callum a hug.
TOADIE: I couldn't have got through today without you.
CALLUM: Yeah, well, it felt like I didn't do anything.
TOADIE: You dealt with the ambulance. You sorted stuff out with Jade. You did everything.
CALLUM: Yeah, well, keeping busy stops me from thinking.
TOADIE: Okay. Alright. Well, you're gonna have to stop some time. So stop now. And tell me, how are you doing?
CALLUM: I just keep thinking about how, when I left for the beach, Mum told me that she loved me, and that she was proud of me. And I didn't say it back. And instead, I just made some stupid crack. And now she's gone, and I'm never gonna get the chance to say it.
Toadie puts his arms around Callum's head.
TOADIE: Okay. Alright – here's the thing, mate. It's not about the last minute, or the last hour, or the last day. It's about the entire life that we had together. And your mum knew that you loved her. She knew that every single day – I am certain of that.
CALLUM: I hope so.
TOADIE: I know so, alright? Your mum was loved – and she knew it. That's one thing I know that we all got right.
Callum tears up as Toadie hugs him.
Susan and Karl are in the living room, still tearful and in shock.
SUSAN: I keep telling myself that at least it was quick. That it wasn't too painful, or drawn out. It doesn't help… It's just not fair.
KARL: No – no, it's not.
SUSAN: Those kids need her. Toadie needs her. She was so young – with so much left to do, so much to achieve.
SUSAN: You think about everything that she's been through. And she always managed to find a way to turn that pain into… a determination to help other people.
SUSAN: Why did she have to die? Why Sonya? There are so many… awful, horrible people in this world. Why her?! It's just not right – it's just not right!
We cut to a heart monitor bleeping, then pan around a hospital room, towards a bed – where somebody's finger begins to twitch. The heart rate is quickening. It's Finn Kelly; and he's waking up…
Tomorrow on Neighbours
- Susan tells Bea that Finn's had power over them for too long; it's time they took it back
- Elly is crying over a message from Mark; she tells Chloe she's sick of trying to make him love her
- There are tears all round at the lake, as Susan presides over a celebration of Sonya's life