- Toadie is struggling to keep the Sonya Rebecchi Foundation afloat
- Terese and Paul tell Amy and Kyle about the hidden camera that was found in their room
- Amy decides to watch the video from it, and tells Kyle they did nothing to be ashamed of
- Pierce decides that Terese should resign as Lassiter's manager immediately
- Chloe is appointed as general manager in her place
- Paul wants to get ahead of the game and offer guests settlements so they don't sue
- Meanwhile, Terese is tempted to drink after being ousted from her hotel
The camera drifts over a deserted courtyard as we hear Pierce say...
PIERCE: The situation is dire. Harold's is struggling.
PAUL: The Waterhole's not doing much better.
PIERCE: We did have a tenant interested in the real estate office, but they've pulled out.
PAUL: None of the businesses in the complex are doing well.
PIERCE: And the bookings are way down at the hotel, too.
We cut to the manager's office, where Paul and Pierce are in a meeting with Chloe. She explains she's had to cut back on shifts, which is the 'worst part of the job ever'. In terms of the settlements, Paul says some guests are taking the payouts, but others are holding out. Pierce says their priority in the meantime is to address the downturn in business, and has an idea.
PIERCE: I'm thinking a town hall- style meeting. I think it'll show that we're taking things seriously.
Paul agrees this will be a way for people to air their grievances and get reassurance. Chloe points out that things could get heated, but Pierce says not if they hang the blame on the right people - Ryan Prescott for installing the cameras, and Scarlett Brady for leaking the footage. Paul mentions that the police have found and charged Ryan, which should help.
CHLOE: Any word on whether Terese is going to be charged as well?
PAUL: No, not yet. I mean, I'm hoping it's just gonna be a slap on the wrist.
Terese is looking forlorn on the couch when Harlow and Prue come in, back from dinner at the Terrace. Prue and Harlow go into the kitchen; Prue is planning on heading to The 82 later to taste some of Gary's specialties, but Harlow queries whether it's a good idea that Prue's spending so much time with Gary - it's all happening so fast.
PRUE: Well, when you meet someone like that, with that kind of essence, you just want to soak them up!
HARLOW: Okay, so - if you soak them up, and then decide you don't like them... then what?
Prue tells Harlow she has nothing to worry about; she can come to dinner with her and see how great she and Gary are together. Harlow isn't keen on playing third wheel, but Roxy appears and offers to come along as well, so they could all hang out together.
ROXY: Now I know you're not a completely stitched up English chick.
Roxy shows them a bottle of wine she has in the fridge, saying she can bring her own, as the prices at the tram are so 'exxy'. This gets Terese's attention from the other room, and she looks worried as Roxy holds up the wine.
Toadie is unsurprised to find slim pickings in the Sonya Foundation collection box at the café, given how empty the place is because of the hotel scandal. Kyle gives him some money towards it, and Amy promises to get something to Toadie later, too. Paul comes in as Toadie is leaving, and tells Amy and Kyle they're holding a meeting to allay public concerns over the camera scandal.
KYLE: Sounds like a publicity stunt, and you want me and Amy there to make you look good.
AMY: Okay, take it down a notch!
PAUL: Look, I understand we have had our differences over this issue...
KYLE: Oh, I don't have time for this.
Kyle walks out, and Amy apologises to Paul. Paul says that he's been talking to the lawyers, and they think they can arrange a special deal for her and Kyle. While all guests who had camera footage taken of them will be compensated, Amy and Kyle's settlement will be 'substantially more', he says.
AMY: We don't want your money.
PAUL: It's certainly gonna go a long way to appease Kyle.
AMY: He will get over it. You and Terese didn't make that footage public, okay? It's not your fault.
PAUL: Are you sure?
AMY: I'm positive.
Chloe is on the phone to Paul; he's just told her about Amy and Kyle not wanting compensation, so Chloe says she'll cross them off the list. Terese comes in and notes how quiet the whole place is. She wants to help, so suggests she and Chloe go over a plan to bolster guest numbers. But Chloe says that she, Pierce and Paul have already made another plan; Terese looks disappointed.
TERESE: I thought you wanted my input?
CHLOE: Well, I did - umm, I do! We just had to get on top of it really quickly.
Terese says Chloe may as well fill her in on the new plan now she's here. But at that moment, Terese gets a phone call. Looking worried, she tells the caller that she'll be 'right there'. She then leaves, promising to catch up with Chloe later. Chloe looks puzzled.
Kyle turns up, and asks Chloe how her new job's going. She explains that there's a lot of stress, with the complex being so quiet and having to sort out the guest payouts. This is the first Kyle has heard of the payouts; Chloe explains that all the guests who were filmed in the room in question will be entitled to compensation.
CHLOE: It's all part of rebuilding trust, and apparently it'll save Lassiter's a massive class action.
KYLE: Well, that means me and Amy, too.
CHLOE: Well, yeah, but she already turned it down.
KYLE: But if it's a done deal, Lassiter's has to pay?
CHLOE: Not if you refuse. That's what she's done, for both of you.
Kyle's annoyed at this, and Chloe suggests he talk to Amy about it.
KYLE: You've flipped to the dark side.
KYLE: Well, now you're the fancy general manager in Paul's pocket. He says 'jump' and you ask, 'how high, sir?'
CHLOE: That is so unfair.
KYLE: So's what he's doing!
Kyle marches out.
Erinsborough Police Station
A scared- looking Terese is being charged by the police. She says she understands the charges, and will contact her lawyer as soon as possible.
Prue, Harlow and Roxy turn up at the tram for their taster session. Gary seems pleased to see Prue, and less pleased that she isn't on her own! But he makes out it's fine, and goes to organise food and drinks for them. Prue declares how exciting this all is, and Roxy agrees - but Harlow looks less convinced.
Paul is telling Pierce and Chloe that Kyle wasn't too impressed when he heard about the meeting. Chloe says it might be best for them if he doesn't show up; he's not Lassiter's biggest fan right now. Pierce has more bad news, meanwhile; even the guests who stayed in the room of whom there has been no footage made public are seeking compensation, for the violation of privacy.
PAUL: Of course they are. Leeches (...) People are always quick to make a fast buck on the back of somebody else's business, aren't they?
PIERCE: We're not really in the position to take the high moral ground here.
CHLOE: I guess I can see where they're coming from. No- one should ever be filmed in private without their permission.
PAUL: You know what, Chloe? You might want to get a mop, because I'd hate you to slip up on that blood from your bleeding heart (!)
PIERCE: I agree with Chloe.
PAUL: Yeah, you would.
PIERCE: Compensating those guests will show that we are being proactive and positive. And that is something that Lassiter's desperately needs.
Paul points out that Lucy has already said the insurance will only pay out a fixed amount. He tells them to leave it with him, and says they should prepare for the public meeting.
Toadie meets up with Finn and Aaron to give them an update on the Buddy Club. Finn tells Toadie he's now fine with Aaron coming on board.
AARON: Thanks, mate. I know this was Shaun's thing.
Finn suggests they could bring Elly on board as a mentor, but Toadie has bad news - the foundation's financial state means that they're not going to be able to go ahead with Buddy Club at all. He apologises for being so gung- ho about the scheme in the first place. Finn seems devastated, and asks if they could cut costs somewhere. But Toadie says they're already on a shoestring.
FINN: Do you mind if I look at the overheads? For Shaun's sake, I don't want to give up, Toadie.
TOADIE: Yeah, it couldn't hurt to have another look.
But Toadie looks unconvinced.
Gary has been wooing Prue with a feast of warrigal cabbage, octopus and finger lime.
PRUE: It was like a flavour explosion in my mouth!
Harlow rolls her eyes as Prue butters Gary up, complimenting his chef skills and all the 'native Australian ingredients'.
ROXY: You have a thing for all things Australian, don't you? Especially wildlife. Gary, Harlow's dad...
PRUE: Yeah, that was... that was a long time ago.
ROXY: How did you guys end up hooking up?
PRUE: Well, I was backpacking. He was handsome, lovely, charming - just swept me off my feet.
ROXY: Not one sign he was crazy?
PRUE: Well, to be honest, when I read what he did to that plane, I was in complete shock.
GARY: Yeah, I don't think anyone wants to relive the gory details.
Gary goes to prepare dessert. On the pretext of going to the bathroom, Harlow follows him.
HARLOW: Gary - thanks for the dinner and everything (...) And... you're a really nice guy, and I'd really hate to see you get hurt.
GARY: Why would I?
HARLOW: Well, besides the fact that my mum lives in London, she tends to lose interest in guys fairly quickly.
GARY: It's only early days.
HARLOW: Yeah, I know. That's why I'm just letting you know. She doesn't mean to break your heart, but she always does; I've seen it happen with every guy she's been with. And I just... I'd hate for it to happen to you.
Gary looks downcast as Harlow walks away.
Kyle is taking Amy to task over her turning down the compensation from the hotel. He reminds her that she lost her job opportunity over the camera footage; a bit of cash would give Amy a buffer to rebuild her reputation.
AMY: My reputation will be fine! When we watched that footage, we both agreed there was nothing wrong with what we did, right? I mean, unless you've changed your mind?
KYLE: No. But what about me? You can't make a decision like this for the both of us.
AMY: I thought you'd feel the same way. Yeah, because, you didn't lose out on this. You know, you're the hero who snagged the hottie (!)
KYLE: Come on, Amy, we need to talk about this properly.
AMY: We have. I'm done. Conversation over.
She walks out, leaving Kyle worried.
Paul finds Terese at the gazebo, looking forlorn. He tells her it's maybe best she's not in the area when the public meeting starts - then apologises, realising that sounded harsh. He then notices she's crying, and asks what's going on.
TERESE: I, umm... I was at the police station. And I've been charged... for destruction of evidence.
PAUL: Oh, it's alright, it's alright - we'll get through this, okay?
TERESE: How? I've lost my job and I could go to jail. And I've got no- one to blame but myself.
Paul hugs her, saying it will be okay.
Finn is looking at the accounts with Toadie, and is now as despondent as he is - even if they cut the overheads to the bone, the foundation will be out of money in a couple of months. Finn has some suggestions to help raise more money, like an auction and pub trivia night. He also suggests they could ask Rebecca Napier to help them raise money, but Toadie says her own charity is struggling.
FINN: There's got to be a way we can keep this going.
TOADIE: I really appreciate your efforts, but... I think it's time we face facts. Unless we get a serious cash injection, the foundation's done.
People are gathering for the public meeting in the courtyard; Pierce tells Chloe he's heard from the police that Terese has been charged. Meanwhile, Terese herself is lingering with Paul in the background. She says she shouldn't be here, but Paul says that if they stay at the back it will be okay; he doesn't want to leave her alone.
There aren't many people here yet, but Pierce doesn't want to lose the audience he has by waiting any longer, so tells Chloe to start. Chloe introduces herself as the general manager, before introducing Pierce as one of the Investors™ to say a few words.
PIERCE: Firstly, I'd like to reassure everyone that there are no cameras in any of the hotel rooms.
Kyle and another former hotel customer, Mr Rossi, look incredulous.
PIERCE: We'll be opening up the rooms for anyone who would like to inspect them for themselves. The criminals involved - those who planted the cameras, recorded the footage and distributed it - have been arrested and charged. We understand your disappointment in the hotel, given its long standing in the community; and we want to be transparent with you. So, we're gonna open up for any questions (...)
MR ROSSI: I was filmed.
PIERCE: I'm sorry to hear that.
MR ROSSI (points to Chloe): Is that the manager responsible?
PIERCE: Absolutely not. Miss Brennan and I have taken over the running of the hotel from the former manager.
MR ROSSI: Oh, and what's happened to her?
PIERCE: She's been dismissed, and she'll never work with Lassiter's again.
Terese looks upset nearby.
MR ROSSI: So, that's it? She should go to jail.
PIERCE: Charges have been laid, and this is a very serious matter.
Pierce turns and sees Terese, but continues nonetheless.
PIERCE: And Lassiter's will never tolerate this level of corruption again. You have my word.
Terese looks even more upset, while Kyle looks unconvinced.
Gary is serving Prue's dessert, but has cooled considerably with her following Harlow's advice - and rather than continuing to flirt with her, makes an excuse to get back to the kitchen, saying he might call her tomorrow. Prue looks disappointed, and remarks to Harlow and Roxy that Gary seemed short with her. Harlow brushes it off.
While Prue heads to the bathroom, Roxy tells Harlow that she's looking very guilty.
ROXY: I have seen that face plenty times before. Mostly on myself.
HARLOW: Okay, fine... I may have warned Gary off my mum.
ROXY: Are you nuts?
HARLOW: He's just way too invested.
ROXY: That's a good thing! If he shows your mum a good time, then she's more likely to stick around.
HARLOW: Yeah, but I want her to be here for me, not some guy.
ROXY: You're getting too hung up on the details. You want her to hang around, right?
ROXY: Then use whatever you can to make sure she does.
The meeting has finished, and Paul wanders over to butter up the irate ex- customer, Mr Rossi. He wants to convince him to sign up for the payout here and now. Mr Rossi isn't convinced as he wants his lawyer to look over any settlement first. But Paul persists, telling him the lawyer will want a cut - whereas if he signs the deal today, he'll make sure all the money is in his account tomorrow.
Kyle is listening in from nearby, and Amy shows up. Kyle tells her Paul is trying to bully Mr Rossi into signing. Mr Rossi can't resist Paul's proposal, and reluctantly agrees. Kyle fumes as Paul leads the customer into the hotel to sign the papers.
KYLE: What a snake! That poor bloke's gonna sign his rights away without even knowing how much they're worth! I bet he could've got way more out of Paul.
AMY: Who cares? It doesn't change what happened.
KYLE: Yeah, well, I care! Paul has to pay for what he's done. I'm gonna take him for everything I can get.
AMY: Well, go for it, because I don't want anything to do with it.
Amy walks off.
Terese comes in, and double- checks that the house is empty. She heads into the kitchen and removes a bottle of wine from her bag. Briefly hesitating, she proceeds to pour herself a glass and gulps it down. Then, coming to her senses, she pours the rest of the bottle down the sink...
Kyle turns up, and starts ranting to Toadie about the camera scandal. He says he's talked to various of the affected customers, and Paul's been offering them all different amounts and haggling over it, 'trying to save a buck wherever he can'. Toadie says there's nothing anyone can do if the customers are willing to sign for the payouts.
KYLE: Paul and the hotel promised to make good on their stuff- up. They're a bunch of liars!
TOADIE: It is shonky, but it's not uncommon.
KYLE: Well, we have to do something.
TOADIE: Like what?
KYLE: We have to track down everyone who hasn't already been conned by Lassiter's...
TOADIE: You're talking a lawsuit?
KYLE: That's why I'm here. I want to start a class action. And I want you to lead it.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Pierce is angry- jogging
- Hendrix tells Chloe that if she doesn't want to get married in three weeks, she shouldn't
- Ned looking troubled while looking at a knife; we hear Bea ask if he's still having nightmares
- Ned works out his frustrations at The Shed with Aaron
- But a fellow gym- goer gives him a card and offers him the chance to 'let loose properly'
- We see Ned preparing to take part in a fight; his new associate says 'no rules, no holding back'