- Aaron tells Leo that David could die if he doesn't get a kidney donor soon
- Roxy admits to Shane that she passed all of the kidney tests but is too scared to donate
- Harlow visits Robert and tells him about David; he says the least he can do is get tested
- Robert tells Paul that he wants help moving prisons, closer to Erinsborough, in return for his kidney
- But later, Paul tells Terese that there's no way he's allowing Robert to get closer to Harlow
- Finn says Robert looks like a 'normal guy'; Karl says you don't need to look like a monster to be one
- Aaron kisses David and tells him he loves him, prior to the kidney transfer
- But Robert is still awake and strangles his prison escort; he tells David 'sorry, bro' before escaping
- Karl tells a frantic Aaron that Robert has escaped and the hospital is in lockdown
- Shortly afterwards, Karl tells Paul that Robert has left the building
The usual title sequence is omitted completely for today's Christmas episode, in favour of a short title card featuring Santa and reindeers flying past the moon, forming the Neighbours logo in their wake with a Santa hat on the 'N' and a bauble hanging from the 'S'.
We see a shot of the cul- de- sac including a tinsel- strewn Ramsay Street sign. A police car pulls into the street, while the sound of a news report is overlaid.
NEWS REPORTER: Police are out in force searching for a Robert Robinson, a convicted murderer who escaped last night from Erinsborough Hospital.
We cut to a shot of the police car passing three gnomes outside Sheila's house, arranged in a nativity scene complete with a model cow, sheep and crib!
NEWS REPORTER: Police advise the man is extremely dangerous, and not to be approached.
A montage begins to the tune of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'. At the window, Susan watches the police car passing with concern, while Bea passes Finn a present to open. The tag reads, 'To Finn, from Elly x'. A conflicted- looking Finn opens it to reveal a 'best uncle in the world' mug.
As the montage continues, we cross to Nell and Hugo playing with their unwrapped presents by the Christmas tree. Shane and Dipi come in having arrived home from Sydney, and say merry Christmas to Toadie, before producing presents for the kids. Toadie is briefly stricken with sadness as he looks at a framed photo of him and Sonya, before plastering on a festive smile.
The focus shifts again to David lying unconscious in his hospital bed, and a desperate Aaron at his side, holding his hand. A worried Chloe is next to Aaron.
As the music fades, we see Paul looking pensively at a bauble (and yes, it appears to be *that* bauble - see last year's Christmas Day episode, 8002) on the Christmas tree, when Terese comes in.
TERESE: You never came to bed.
PAUL: Well, I couldn't sleep, could I?
TERESE: They'll find Robert.
PAUL: Oh, when, when? And what difference is it gonna make anyway? David's running out of time. Now his body's starting to shut down. You know, is this some sort of karma because I didn't keep up my end of the deal?
TERESE: No, of course not. It's Christmas. We have to believe there'll be a miracle.
Harlow and Roxy come downstairs; Harlow reports that Ned and Leo are Not In This Episode™, as they're out scouring all the local parks and 'hiding spots' in search of Robert.
PAUL: This was not a spur- of- the- moment decision. We have to face the facts that Robert planned this escape. He would've thought through every detail.
HARLOW: Well, if we find him, he could still change his mind.
Terese notices how worried Roxy is looking, and tells her not to be - the police are on the case, and she's safe here. But Roxy admits she's worried for David.
PAUL: His best chance for a kidney has just vanished.
Roxy looks upset.
A very pale and frail- looking David wakes up, to be greeted by Aaron and Chloe. A tearful Aaron is forced to tell David that there was no operation, but doesn't elaborate on why. He assures David that he's at the 'top of the list' in terms of getting another donor. Chloe tells him she's cancelling the Christmas concert to be here with them, but David tells her...
DAVID: Don't, please, Chloe (...) For Sonya, and for me.
Meanwhile, Paul is outside on his phone. Chloe comes out to join him, and Paul explains that the police have just told him they think Robert is heading to Horsham, where an old cellmate of his lives; apparently there's been contact between them lately.
PAUL: Anyway, we've wasted enough energy on that lowlife. Now David is the one who needs our attention.
Aaron comes out to join them; he says David's aware of the situation 'but not really letting it show'. Chloe gets a message from Pierce; they need to make a call on whether to cancel the concert. Aaron says it should go ahead as per David's wishes.
CHLOE: I guess if Robert isn't in the area...?
Paul says she and Pierce should make the decision. Chloe leaves, promising to check in later. Paul lowers his voice and tells Aaron he's 'placed a few calls'.
PAUL: I have offered whatever it takes to get David a new kidney.
AARON: Are you talking about the black market?
PAUL: Mm. Look, we just have to hope that David can hold out until the arrangements can be made, yeah?
Karl returns home, and tells Bea, Finn and Susan that there's been no change in David's condition. We learn Elly is in her room resting, and they discuss whether she's likely to join them for the carol concert, if it goes ahead; Susan thinks not as Elly's very tired.
FINN: Do you think we should leave her here alone?
BEA: I think she'll be okay.
But Susan and Karl have another stop to make prior to the concert...
KARL: Let's do this, Mrs Claus.
SUSAN: Lead on, Mr Claus.
While Dipi hangs out on the sofa with Nell and Hugo, Toadie thanks Shane for coming home for Christmas Day.
TOADIE: You could've been in Sydney with your kids.
SHANE: They've got enough family up there. Besides, they wanted us to be with you.
Nell has made a present for Toadie - a small figurine of a blonde woman with wings.
TOADIE: Is this a Christmas angel?
NELL: It's Mum.
Moved, Toadie asks Nell what she'd like to do with it.
NELL: Can we put it on Mum's tree?
TOADIE: That, my beautiful, is a wonderful idea. Yes.
Dipi explains she and Nell made it the other day; it was Nell's idea. Toadie nods, and at this point Susan and Karl come in in Santa hats, 'ho- ho- ho'- ing, with more presents for the kids. Karl doles them out, while Susan asks Toadie how he's holding up.
TOADIE: I was fine when I thought that we were gonna honour Sonya's memory with a concert.
SUSAN: Yeah, Bea's wondering if it's still gonna go ahead.
TOADIE: Well, there's a murderer on the loose, David's life hangs in the balance - I dunno how we can.
Roxy is unloading a large Christmas present from the boot of Hermione. Shane sees her from across the road and begins to approach, but Roxy can't face talking to him and walks away with the present.
Chloe is with Toadie, Bea and Karl, explaining that David wants the concert to go ahead - and that Pierce is hiring extra security in light of the circumstances. She thinks that since the police think Robert is headed to Horsham, it'll be safe - but says the final call is Toadie's.
TOADIE: I'm trying to ask myself, what would Sonya do?
KARL: I think she'd be all for the community banding together.
TOADIE: You're right. I think she'd want this to go ahead.
The decision thus made, setup for the concert is underway, with Toadie, Dipi, Bea and Finn all helping out. Chloe is nearby, liaising with the police.
TOADIE: It's really good of the police to put extra officers on today!
An ambulance pulls up too, which Dipi feels is 'overkill'. Toadie assumes Chloe must have made first aid arrangements in advance since she 'does everything by the book'. But ominous music tells us otherwise, as we get a shot from CreepyCam™ watching the all the RSRs. It's none other than Robert, who's dressed as a paramedic and is behind the wheel of the apparently stolen ambulance!
Susan is checking in with Terese over a cuppa. They're both pleased that the concert is on, despite the fact that Karl is singing in it! Harlow and Roxy are present, too; Harlow announces that she wants to go and join the search for Robert. Terese is dead against this idea, but...
HARLOW: I can't just do nothing.
SUSAN: It's not your responsibility to find Robert.
HARLOW: Isn't it? I mean, this whole thing is because of me (...) I was the one who asked my father to be tested. If it wasn't for me, this transplant would've never been arranged.
Terese assures Harlow she can't blame herself. Roxy looks guilty in the background.
The concert is kicking off within the hour, and the stage is adorned with a large poster of Sonya to promote the foundation. Robert is still hiding out in the ambulance; he sees Paul walking through the courtyard. Karl is setting up for his performance, when Paul accosts him and asks how he can transfer David to another hospital.
KARL: That's not necessary. If an organ becomes available -
PAUL: No, no, no! I am not gonna sit around and watch David die at Erinsborough!
KARL: He's in very good hands!
PAUL: Oh, really?! What, the same hands that let a triple murderer escape in broad daylight? (!)
Karl concedes the security error and admits there's a 'process' to move David. Paul says he'll need Karl's help doing so when the time comes, and Karl agrees. Paul gets a phone call from Black Market Kidneys Incorporated.
PAUL: Yeah. Do we have a match? ... Cryptocurrency? Yeah, I should be able to organise that... How are we going with the surgeon? ... Well, I don't care - you need to find someone!
Robert is still watching from the ambulance. Once Paul has left the scene, Robert evades a passing police patrol by slipping out of the back of the ambulance unnoticed, leaving his paramedic's jacket behind.
Shane is having a coffee when Roxy comes in. She walks past him but he forces a conversation, asking her how she's doing.
ROXY: David's running out of options, and here I am, walking around, when I could save him. Why can't I do it?
SHANE: Cos you're afraid.
ROXY: What would you do?
SHANE: Personally, I'd donate - if only so I didn't regret it later on.
Roxy looks thoughtful.
Aaron is at David's bedside. Aaron's trying to cheer David up by talking about the prospect of spending next year's Christmas in Adelaide with Mark, Fay, Pierce and Chloe - then the following year they could go to Sydney to see David's mum Kim.
DAVID (weakly): There might not be a next Christmas.
AARON: No, no, no - of course there will be.
DAVID: The infection. The chances...
AARON: Hey, hey - I'm not gonna let you give up, okay?
DAVID: You have to be realistic.
DAVID: Thank you. For making me happy.
AARON: No, no - we've got the rest of our lives to do that, okay? We've got kids, and grandkids...
DAVID: You have to move on. Promise.
AARON: No, no, no. I'm not moving on. The only person I'm moving on with is you, okay?
DAVID: I love you.
AARON: Hey, I love you too! But you can't give up. You hear me?
But David fades out of consciousness, and his heart monitor begins to beep loudly. Aaron rushes out to the corridor to call for help, and two nurses rush in to tend to David...
Paul is walking up his drive, still on the phone about the black market kidney op...
PAUL: I am aware that they might lose their medical licence! That's why I said I would compensate them accordingly!
But Robert has followed Paul home, and peers at him from behind the hedge as he enters No 22. He then sees Elly across the road; she looks to have come out of No 28 for some air. She makes eye contact with Robert, and immediately realises who he is - and that he knows he's been recognised. She begins to rush back into the house but Robert runs after her. Elly screams as he grabs her.
ROBERT: Get in the house.
He covers her mouth to quieten her, and bundles her back through the door of No 28.
Elly screams again as Robert shoves her into the house.
ROBERT: Is anyone home?
ELLY: No - no, but they could be soon.
Robert points at the picture of Mal, Billy and Libby on the wall.
ROBERT: What about the Kennedys? Do they still live here?
ELLY: I'm their niece. They could walk through the door any minute!
ROBERT: Well, that's funny. I thought everyone was still down at the complex.
ELLY: Were you ever going to help David?!
ROBERT: ... I wanted to.
ELLY: You know, you still can - you still can. This could all be okay, if you just turn yourself in. If you just walk through that door, I won't tell anyone!
Elly is very upset and appears to be in severe pain with stomach cramps. She moans in pain.
ELLY: Please, I'm pregnant - all I care about is my baby! Go, just go - I'll give you money!
ROBERT: Stop - just stop talking.
ELLY: I'll give you what you need!
ROBERT: SHUT UP! I'm trying to think.
At this moment, however, Elly's waters break...
ELLY: Oh my... I need a hospital.
ROBERT: Look, you're not going anywhere.
Elly tries to make a run for it past Robert, but he grabs her again and pushes her violently into the couch - then takes the landline phone off the hook and flings it across the room. Elly pants with fear and exhaustion...
The concert preparation continues, as Chloe updates assembles RSRs including Shane, Finn, Terese, Roxy and Harlow on the state of play; they're now aware that Robert stole the ambulance from the hospital this morning, meaning he must have spent last night hidden on hospital grounds, to throw the police off the scent.
The police are now double- checking the complex for Robert but think he's gone. The RSRs resolve not to let it ruin the concert; but Finn calls to check on Elly. He gets her voicemail, so leaves her a message. Meanwhile, Toadie takes to the stage to make an opening speech.
TOADIE: I see a lot of faces here from last year's concert (...) A lot can change in twelve months; I know it certainly has for me. Back in March, I lost my beautiful wife, Sonya; and we started a foundation in her name. And today's concert is dedicated to her memory.
Everyone applauds, including Nell and Hugo who are sitting with Dipi in the crowd.
TOADIE: Toadie is about a celebration of life - of all those that are here, and those that can't be.
Cut to Harlow looking worried.
TOADIE: I'd also like to do a special shout- out to a very good friend of ours, David Tanaka. He needs all of our positive wishes sent his way.
Roxy looks upset.
TOADIE: But Christmas is about rejoicing and having fun. And what better way to kick off a Christmas concert, than with a festive ditty from our very own Dr Karl Kringle?
KARL (singing): As a doctor, I'm often asked
How to make Christmas happiness last,
The remedy is simple, you see,
Put your trust in me!
If you want a happy Christmas...
As Karl continues to sing, Harlow tells Terese...
HARLOW: I keep hoping Dad might do the right thing. But maybe he won't.
TERESE: I dunno, sweetheart.
She looks around for Paul, and decides he must still be at the hospital. Roxy and Harlow are both looking worried.
KARL (singing): If you want a happy Christmas,
Stand under that mistletoe,
And kiss, kiss, kiss the one you love
With a merry ho- ho- ho!
Finn's now trying the landline to get hold of Elly, but tells Bea and Susan he isn't getting through. Susan suggests it must be some kind of outage. Meanwhile, Nell and lots of random child extras are now dancing to Karl's song as it reaches its denouement!
Paul's in the car, on the phone again.
PAUL: Look, I don't care about the law. This is about saving my son's life... Oh, really? Well, I don't think you're the right surgeon for the job. Goodbye!
He pulls out of the driveway of No 22 and drives off, just as Finn is returning to No 28 to check on Elly. He hears her frantic screams coming from inside the house, and rushes inside. Finn's horrified to find Elly having contractions on the couch, with Robert standing over her wielding a kitchen knife! Finn asks when her contractions started; she says half an hour ago, but they're coming on fast.
FINN: We need to get her to a hospital.
ROBERT: I know you.
FINN: Did you hear me?! She needs help!
ROBERT: Yeah, you're just like me - only you're free, and I'm not.
FINN: I'm only free because I did the right thing. Are you gonna do the right thing?
Elly shrieks in pain, but Robert insists he's not prepared to let her leave for the hospital.
FINN: Isn't it enough, what you've done to David? You want to risk a baby's life as well?!
ELLY: (screams loudly)
ROBERT: She can have the kid here.
FINN: Are you crazy?! At least let me call an ambulance.
ROBERT: No, no, no - put your phone away! There's gonna be no help. She can have the kid here, and you can deliver it.
FINN: I'm not a doctor.
ROBERT: Well, you'd better stop arguing with me and figure out what to do.
A distraught Elly shrieks again...
Bea is about to begin her own song (Silent Night) at the concert; Toadie looks sadly at the poster of Sonya, as Karl and Susan reflect that it's taking Finn a while to check on Elly.
Bea's song continues overlaid, as Finn rushes to fetch blankets, and then encourages Elly to push, as she practised in her birthing classes. He continues to beg Robert to let them call for help, but Robert still has the knife and warns Finn not to touch the phone.
As the music continues, we move to an unconscious David in the hospital bed, and an emotionally drained Aaron holding his hand. Paul comes in, looking equally drained, and takes the other seat opposite him, as tears overcome Aaron again.
We're back to the concert; and as Bea ends the song with 'sleep in heavenly peace', an emotional Toadie sits with his kids, still thinking of Sonya. Nearby, Terese gets a text that concerns her, and tells Chloe...
TERESE: It's Paul. We've got to go to the hospital.
Terese, Harlow and Roxy leave, and Chloe looks upset, guessing that David's time must be short...
Elly is still in labour and shrieking, while Finn holds her dress up.
FINN: I can see the head! Come on - it's time to push.
If Robert is at all moved by her plight, he doesn't show it. We see him take a fabric item from the washing basket on the table - for what purpose, it's unclear. Elly continues to push, and presently we see a baby emerge from under her dress. Finn takes off his sweater to wrap the baby in.
FINN: It's a little girl!
ELLY: Is she okay?
FINN: I think so - yeah!
The pain and fear is replaced with joy and relief as Elly sees her daughter for the first time. (There's no naming here, but the credits list the baby as Aster Conway, indicating that Elly will name her daughter as per Shaun's suggestion, as they discussed in Episode 8211.) She shares an intense moment with Finn, who tells her...
FINN: You did so good.
Much to Finn's surprise, Robert, who has been watching Finn and Elly greet the new arrival, walks out of the house without a further word...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Kyle tells Toadie, 'I can't lose her, mate - I just can't'
- We see Ned making eyes at an unknown woman
- Shane tells Yashvi that if she goes down that road again, it'll only end badly
- We hear Hendrix saying, 'this isn't some dumb crush. I hate this'
- Hendrix staring at Chloe sadly
- Susan tells Finn to focus on himself and Bea
- Finn asks Elly if she feels the same way; she's lost for words