- Elly asks Aaron and David if they're looking to fill their spare room
- Elly announces to the Kennedys, Bea and Finn that she's moving into No 32
- Elly tells Susan that she and Finn need distance so he can focus on Bea
- Bea tells Finn they have to talk Elly out of leaving, but he dissuades her
- Chloe is daunted by the 'impossible' targets Lucy has set her from Lassiter's HQ
- Pierce tells Chloe it can be tough being a manager, but she's got this
- Chloe gets strict with Ned at work, and fires some staff
- But nonetheless, Pierce tells Chloe that Lucy wants him to fire her
Chloe's shocked that Lucy wants her fired; Pierce explains that Lucy doesn't think Chloe's up to the job long- term. The board is looking to lock someone into a five- year contract as general manager, and preferably someone with more experience. However, if Chloe can impress Lucy in the next two weeks by hitting the targets she's set, she'll reconsider.
Chloe thinks she's doomed to fail, but Pierce says it's an opportunity to prove she can do it.
Chloe comes in, and orders Ned back to work. Ned, having finished his shift, doesn't take too kindly to this - so rather than ordering again, Chloe begs him instead, saying she needs all hands on deck. Ned reluctantly agrees, but adds...
NED: You were a lot more fun before you were the boss.
While Ned's getting ready, Terese asks Chloe if everything's okay. Chloe explains about Lucy's two- week challenge, and that she's sending a consultant, Anita Kent, to assess Chloe's performance. Terese is familiar with this person, having dealt with her before; but Terese says it's a standard tactic designed to see how Chloe copes under pressure.
TERESE: All you need to do is show them you're unflappable.
CHLOE: Well, it's a bit hard when I'm well and truly flapped. I just... I really thought I was on top of things. I laid off six people, and I didn't even have to go and cry in the bathroom afterwards!
Terese assures Chloe she's got a handle on all this, but says that they can walk and talk en route to her Sonya Foundation meeting with Toadie and Finn.
Elly is thanking Aaron, David and Kyle for letting her and a still- grizzly Aster move in at such short notice. Aaron's already built her a changing table and they have the crib they built for her, too; Elly says they needn't have gone to all the effort. Elly asks Kyle to hold Aster while she unpacks, and he jumps at the chance.
KYLE: G'day, Aster! Sprecht die Deutsch? No? Oh, good old Aussie it is, then!
Sheila is filling Ned in on how heartbroken Kyle is following Amy's departure; all his life plans have gone up in smoke. Conversation moves on to Ned's work woes; he's fed up of Chloe micromanaging everything. Sheila admits Chloe's been 'barking' at her, too, and says she misses the days when Terese was in charge.
Meanwhile at a table, Terese is having her meeting with Toadie and Finn. She's heard about a conference that the Department™ of Family & Community is organising, and thinks Toadie should speak at it as a foundation representative. Indeed, Terese has already booked him in to do so, having checked against his lawyer schedule.
There's one snag, however; the conference organisers haven't announced a venue yet, meaning Toadie is worried about being too far from the kids. This gives Terese an idea, and she rushes off to make some calls.
Aaron's now holding the baby while Elly collects the rest of her belongings from No 28. Kyle shows his expertise with kids by telling Aaron how to tell when Aster's burped. As David and Aaron check Aster's nappy, Kyle looks forlornly at a picture of Amy and Jimmy in New York on his laptop.
DAVID: We're so lucky to have this, and she's not even ours! Being a father must be a hundred times better. So sad that Shaun never got to experience it.
Upset by all the talk of having kids, Kyle closes his laptop and heads off to his room.
Terese tells Chloe that she's spoken to the organisers of the conference at the Department™; they're coming to take a look, but are keen on locking down Lassiter's as a venue. Chloe is pleased, but quickly heads off to pester Ned and Sheila about a wine order. Terese tells Chloe that she's getting her priorities wrong.
TERESE: What Lucy wants to see is that you're meeting your targets (...) A three- day conference with over a hundred guests, plus add- ons like catering and valets - it's a no- brainer! And what with your timing right now, with Anita about to show up...
CHLOE: I've never done costings on an event like that.
TERESE: Well, it's the same as any event - just on a larger scale.
But Chloe still looks worried, so Terese offers to send her through some of her old budgets, to give her an idea. Chloe says this would be 'beyond phenomenal', but Terese reminds Chloe that she mustn't mention Terese's involvement to Anita the consultant. Chloe assures her it's 'in the vault'.
At this moment, Anita herself comes in, with Pierce in tow. She greets Terese coolly, but after she's gone, Anita demands to know why Chloe was talking to her.
CHLOE: She's a neighbour.
ANITA: She's also the ex- general manager of the hotel. Given the reason I'm here, I'm not sure it's appropriate.
Chloe looks worried.
Elly comes into Bea's room, and finds Finn there alone; he explains Bea's at work (AKA, Not In This Episode™). Finn says Bea still doesn't understand why Elly is moving out.
FINN: This is your home.
ELLY: Yes, but if I stayed, and... I can't just flick a switch and turn off whatever's going on here. Neither can you. It would be different if we could. Finn, we can't see each other for a while; whatever this is, it's got to stop.
FINN: I'll back off, I promise.
ELLY: You have to. I'm only a couple of doors down.
FINN: It'll be enough. I love Bea.
ELLY: Yeah, so do I. That's why I'm doing this.
Elly leaves, and Finn sighs.
Kyle arrives, while Toadie's waiting for Terese to rejoin him, and tells Toadie about Elly and Aster moving in.
KYLE: I guess I didn't figure what it would be like, having a baby in the house.
TOADIE: Yeah, they certainly make their presence felt, don't they?
KYLE: No, I mean... it's reminding me of what I missed out on with Amy.
TOADIE: ... Right.
KYLE: It was what we both wanted. You know, start a family... I don't think I'll ever have kids now.
TOADIE: Ah, mate, no way am I copping that. I met Sonya when I was older than you.
KYLE: I still love Amy.
TOADIE: Yeah, well, that doesn't mean you're not gonna meet anyone else. Come on, have a look at ya. You're a good- looking rooster. I know it doesn't feel like it, mate, but you've got plenty of time.
KYLE: It's just, everything I do at the moment, I just keep stuffing it up.
TOADIE: Take it from me, mate - that happens to the best of us. You know what's worse than stuffing up? It's giving up. Eh? Put that one in your pocket.
In the office, Pierce is filling Anita in on the impact the Christmas concert had on bookings. But she remarks that she's 'already across' this data.
ANITA: I'm here to assess Chloe, and I'm pressed for time.
PIERCE: Well, she just had to go and make a few urgent calls.
ANITA: She can't manage her schedule around something this important, it's probably telling me all I need to know.
However, at that moment, Chloe bursts in. She apologises for keeping Anita waiting, but explains she's just provisionally booked over a hundred guests for a three- day conference. Pierce points out that that will almost hit Lucy's revenue target in itself; and Chloe says that they'll be able to host it again next year if they impress.
Anita is grudgingly impressed with how Chloe's scored the extra custom, and heads out for five minutes. Chloe and Pierce assume she's gone to call Lucy and tell her the good news. Pierce asks how Chloe learned about the conference; she claims she read about it online. Pierce says this proves what he's said all along - Chloe's got this.
Terese and Toadie are continuing their meeting. They're concerned Aaron won't have time to be Buddy Club coordinator now that he's got to look after a recovering David, and decide they need a backup plan. Terese asks Toadie if he has another candidate in mind; he does, but says he needs to think about it a little more.
Chloe turns up and asks if she can have a chat to Terese, so Toadie makes himself scarce. Chloe tells Terese her strategy with Anita is going well so far.
CHLOE: I nailed the conference bid, and Anita even cracked a smile!
But Chloe's now worried that she's set the bar so high, she won't be able to live up to it. She now has to make a long- term strategy pitch, including financial projections.
CHLOE: If I don't get this right, she's gonna realise what a fraud I am.
TERESE: Chloe, you're not a fraud.
Chloe asks Terese to look at her proposed pitch and give her some notes. Terese is very reluctant to get involved, knowing that it could make things worse if Anita finds out. But Chloe begs for her help, saying it's not just about the job; Pierce has put himself on the line for her, too. So Terese grudgingly agrees to have a look at her presentation, and tells Chloe to send it through to her.
Elly is packing up boxes of possessions. She finds the photo album that Bea and Finn have been collating, of pictures of them as a couple, and looks pensive as she thumbs through it. Finn emerges from the bedroom.
ELLY: I should get going.
Finn goes to take the box of belongings from her, offering to take it over to No 32, and touching her hands in the process. The tension is palpable.
ELLY: I can manage.
She pulls away from him, and leaves the house with the box. Finn sighs again.
David and Aaron are talking about baby Aster. They're both besotted with her and looking forward to spending more time with her.
DAVID: Imagine if her first word was Boo!
AARON: I'm gonna make that my personal goal from now on!
DAVID: (...) We're getting way too invested after one day.
AARON: Oh, she's so cute, though... Listen, I knew we said we'd wait until you were fully recovered. But I dunno - maybe we should get serious about our options?
David agrees that they should get stuck into researching having a family as soon as they can, as it's going to be a drawn- out and tricky process. They smile at one another.
Meanwhile, Toadie is picking up some takeaway from Sheila. They comment on how hard Terese is working for the Sonya Foundation; however, when we cut away to Terese, we see that she's actually working on Chloe's profit projections spreadsheet. Terese smiles, clearly pleased to be working her magic for the hotel again...
In the office, Anita looks very impressed by the spreadsheet that she believes Chloe has prepared herself, and her pitch. She tells Chloe and Pierce...
ANITA: You two make a great team, and I'll be recommending that Lucy reconsiders her decision to let you go.
CHLOE: That means everything to me - thank you so much.
Ned is passing in the corridor, so Chloe asks him to organise a room for Anita for the night, so she can enjoy 'the full Lassiter's experience'. Anita is now even more impressed, and heads off with Ned to get checked in.
CHLOE: I did it!
PIERCE: Yes, you did - that was...
CHLOE: Pitch- perfect?
PIERCE: Yeah! I had no idea you had such a handle on the financials. Guess all that time with Terese has clearly paid off.
CHLOE (sheepish): What can I say? I definitely wouldn't be here without Terese's help.
It's night, and Elly is up with a crying Aster. The crying has woken David, Aaron and Kyle up as well, and they all come in to check on her. Elly says Aster will settle when she wears herself out, but is feeling guilty about her waking them all up. She tells them to all go back to bed.
A musical montage starts, as Elly becomes increasingly desperate to get a crying Aster off to sleep...
... while Finn paces around, also unable to sleep. He's about to pick up his phone as if to contact Elly, but resists the urge.
Elly is still rocking Aster...
Finn is still pacing, and looks across at No 32 from the window...
Aster's still crying...
Finn's still angsting...
A tearful Elly now has Aster in the pram, and is rocking her in that, but to no avail. Desperate, she goes over to pick up her phone, and calls Finn...
Finn sees that Elly's calling. He does his best to ignore it, but...
... ends up with Elly nonetheless.
ELLY: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have called you. I didn't know what to do.
Finn takes Aster and sits on the sofa with her. She gradually calms down again. Elly has sat on the sofa too; she and Finn are in close proximity again.
FINN: This doesn't mean anything. It's about what's best for Aster.
Elly nods tearfully.
The following morning, Terese shows up in Chloe's office, and the two excitedly celebrate the success of Chloe's pitch to Anita. Chloe says it's all down to Terese's input, but Terese reminds Chloe that she was the one who presented and sold it.
TERESE: You know, I have to admit that when I was working on it last night, I did enjoy stepping back into the hotel game briefly.
However, Pierce and Anita have come in unseen, and overhear all this! Anita is not impressed.
ANITA: So I should thank Terese for yesterday's presentation?
ANITA: It's a good thing I haven't spoken to Lucy yet. It's going to be a very different phone call now.
Anita leaves, and Pierce follows her out. Chloe and Terese look worried.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Yashvi and Ned are doing some street art, and talking about moving forward together
- Terese tells Ned he deserves happiness after all he's been through
- We see Kyle looking glum, and hear Toadie remarking that he's not doing well
- Paul tells Pierce and Chloe this 'farce' has gone on long enough; they need to clean up the mess