- Trish tells Mackenzie that if she can't live with the Rebecchis, she'll need to come to Fremantle
- But Roxy has another option, which might involve some sneaking around; Mackenzie says she's in
- Mark arrests Elly for Finn's murder
- Chloe steals copies of Finn's video diaries and gives them to Elly
- A tearful Elly realises kissing her was the trigger that led Finn to try and kill Bea
- Following a hostile encounter with Sheila, Susan feels guilty at all the pain she's caused
- Toadie tells Susan that the grief of others doesn't mean she should sacrifice her own wellbeing
- Susan tells Elly and Bea that Finn's mother Claudia is on her way to Erinsborough
Claudia will be in Erinsborough tomorrow morning, Susan tells the family - but Karl doesn't think that means they're obliged to see her! Bea agrees.
SUSAN: She's just lost her son less than six months after Shaun. I imagine she wants answers!
KARL: Yeah, but she doesn't have to fly halfway across the world to get that, does she?
BEA: Unless she's coming because she's heard about Elly being charged.
ELLY: Yeah, that's all I need. And she's always had an agenda.
SUSAN: This is a woman who has no family apart from Aster. She's grieving; I think we need to wait until she gets here and hear what she has to say.
KARL: She was hardly upfront last time she was here, was she? Forcing Elly and Finn together, warning Bea...
Karl tells Elly it's ultimately her decision as to whether she's comfortable seeing Claudia. Elly says not really as she doesn't need the hassle, but Claudia's coming, like it or not. They all agree to be very careful about what they say to her. In particular, Elly says they can't discuss the case with her at all, to avoid giving her any leverage that could help her take Aster away.
Roxy is explaining more to Mackenzie about her plan to help her stay in Erinsborough; they're going to tell Auntie Trish that Mackenzie is moving in with Roxy at No 22, when really Mackenzie is going to continue living at Trish's flat in secret.
MACKENZIE: I can't live there all by myself!
ROXY: Come on, you're a big girl. If you have a bad dream, you can just call me.
MACKENZIE: This is a huge risk you're taking for me.
ROXY: Yeah, I know it is. But everyone's been a little dicey lately. I feel like we're due for some good karma. Here's me asking for some.
MACKENZIE: ... Okay. Okay, let's do it!
The family is preparing the house for Claudia's arrival. Karl says they could still decide they're not ready to see her, and suggests Susan could go out, as otherwise her multiple sclerosis could flare up from stress. Susan insists she's fine, and says it's best they present a united front.
Claudia soon arrives, and greets them all.
CLAUDIA: I'm sorry we're not seeing each other under happier circumstances.
KARL: Yes, we feel the same.
CLAUDIA: How's Aster?
ELLY: Yeah, good. She's napping.
CLAUDIA: I'm so very sorry for everything that Finn did to you all. I know having me here doesn't make it any easier, but I'm very grateful that you let me come.
But nobody looks very grateful that Claudia is here!
Mackenzie is selling the idea of living with Paul and Terese to Auntie Trish. Trish is sceptical, especially given all Harlow's been through lately. Mackenzie argues that she can support Harlow if she stays there.
TRISH: It's just, I've gotten to know the Rebecchis. If they can't have you, I don't want to leave you with just anyone.
TRISH: The thought of moving is tough, I get that. But Fremantle is great, Mackenzie. The weather, the ocean...
MACKENZIE: I love it here, though! I've made some really good friends, and I finally feel comfortable at school.
MACKENZIE: Is that a yes?
TRISH: It's a maybe. Let me meet Paul and Terese first.
MACKENZIE: Great! I'll set it up.
Roxy is on the patio with Terese and Ned, when she gets a text from Mackenzie, saying, 'Game on! See you soon'. Roxy immediately tries to hurry Terese and Ned out of the house to work. But Ned says he's not on till after lunch, and Terese says she's thinking of working from home!
ROXY (strained smile): Oh!
Claudia is talking to the Kennedys, Elly and Bea about her reaction to the news of Finn's rampage and resulting death.
CLAUDIA: On one hand, I was in total shock. On the other, it was no surprise. I really believed that he'd changed for good.
BEA: We all did.
CLAUDIA: I hope you don't blame yourselves. Because I don't - I need you to know that. That's why I'm here. And to see Aster, of course.
EVERYONE ELSE: ...
CLAUDIA: I know that last time, I wasn't the easiest person to get along with. I hope we can move past that.
ELLY: Do you believe I killed Finn?
They're interrupted by the sound of Aster crying, and Claudia says she can't wait to meet her.
ELLY: Claudia - do you believe I killed Finn?
CLAUDIA: No- one would fault you if you did.
ELLY: I didn't.
CLAUDIA: ... I believe you.
Elly goes to tend to Aster. Claudia offers to clear out Finn's possessions, but Karl says it's already done.
KARL: We didn't want any reminders of him around the house.
SUSAN: No. And we didn't think to keep anything for you.
CLAUDIA: Oh, of course not. I understand.
Claudia looks slightly emotional, but perks up when Elly comes back in with Aster, and asks if she can hold her. Elly doesn't look pleased at the idea, but hands Aster over nonetheless.
CLAUDIA: Oh, look at you, sweet girl! Hello, I'm Grandma! They're so innocent at this age, aren't they? She's such a little angel.
Everyone else continues to look uncomfortable.
Shortly afterwards, Bea and the Kennedys have gone elsewhere; Elly makes tea while Claudia continues to hold Aster.
CLAUDIA: I can see Shaun in those eyes of hers.
CLAUDIA: He would hate that you're going through this. I mean, losing him - and being put through hell by Finn. And now these charges. That kind of stress would be hard for anyone - but you, as a new mum, it must be horrendous.
ELLY: Yeah, it hasn't been easy.
CLAUDIA: Have you got a lawyer?
ELLY: Jarrod Rebecchi.
CLAUDIA: Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that he was hurt. After everything he did for Finn, it was terrible.
ELLY: He's very good at his job.
CLAUDIA: Good enough to prove reasonable doubt?
ELLY: Yeah, he thinks so.
CLAUDIA: I'm glad... What exactly happened? I mean, the police seem so confident with the charges.
But Elly shuts down the conversation, taking Aster from Claudia.
CLAUDIA: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry.
ELLY: That's okay. We're just not meant to talk about the case, are we?
CLAUDIA: No, of course not. And you shouldn't. That's the smart thing to do.
Elly forces a smile for Claudia.
Indoors, Roxy tells Terese that Harlow has been messaging her and seems pretty down, so suggests Terese go to see her at the hospital this morning. Terese falls for this, and goes to get ready to leave; but Ned is not so easy to get rid of. So Roxy starts making a noise with ovenware, announcing that she's going to do some baking.
NED: Since when do you bake?
ROXY: Since now. And, full disclosure - I have a date this morning, and I didn't expect you and Terese to be here.
NED: Thought you'd sworn off men?
ROXY: It's my cheat day. I got to talking with this guy at the bar last night, and we just clicked. And he told me how much he liked cookie dough. Like, really, *really* liked it? If you know what I mean?
NED: No, I don't. And I don't know if I want to.
ROXY: Let's just say things could get a little creative.
NED (creeped out): Terese, I'm gonna come see Harlow with you, if that's alright?
Roxy asks them to send her love to Harlow, and Ned hurriedly leaves with Terese!
Claudia has now refocused her attentions on Bea, and observes her broken leg.
CLAUDIA: Finn did that to you, didn't he?
CLAUDIA: I'm so sorry. This is all my fault.
BEA: None of us are responsible for what he did.
CLAUDIA: No, of course not. But to be used and lied to by someone you're having an intimate relationship with?
BEA: I wasn't the only one.
CLAUDIA: ... I was right, wasn't I? Something happened between Finn and Elly. The last time I was here, I warned you there was something more to their relationship. Oh, you poor thing. To have Finn string you along like that...
BEA: No, it wasn't like that.
CLAUDIA: And what about Elly? I mean, I thought you two were so close?
BEA: It was just a kiss, and it triggered Finn's memory. And Elly blames herself for everything that he did. But what he did is not her fault. And it's not yours, either.
CLAUDIA: ... Thank you.
Roxy has clearly raided Harlow's sensible wardrobe in a bid to impress Auntie Trish, and turns the radio to a classical music station, as Mackenzie and Trish arrive at the door! She welcomes them in.
ROXY (posh accent): It's so, so lovely to see you again, Trish!
TRISH: I almost didn't recognise you!
ROXY: I merely dress as a bartender. This is more me.
Trish is surprised to find Paul and Terese aren't home; Roxy explains that Terese is visiting Harlow at the hospital, and Paul's had to go into work for an emergency. Roxy claims that they send their apologies!
TRISH: I can understand Terese needing to look after her granddaughter.
MACKENZIE (whispers to Roxy): Granddaughter whose wardrobe you clearly stole!
Roxy ignores Mackenzie, and extols the benefits of living with Terese and Paul to Auntie Trish! Trish then notices a photo of Terese and Ned on the shelf, and asks who Ned is.
ROXY: Disadvantaged relative who lives far, far away. Terese has done a lot for him. As she does to everyone in her care (...) Why don't you guys take a seat, and I'll bring in the morning tea? And Trish, I do hope you like homemade biscuits, as I've baked up a storm.
Susan is doing a spot of Traumatised Cleaning™ following Claudia's arrival, so Karl encourages her to rest for a bit.
SUSAN: I had no idea that eating a Danish with someone could be so stressful.
Karl suggests they've done the polite thing and caught up with Claudia, but that now they can ask her to leave.
SUSAN: I'm fine.
KARL: You need to rest.
SUSAN: I don't want Elly to go through this without me.
KARL: You know, forcing yourself to spend time with Claudia is not gonna help you get rid of your guilt.
Claudia, who has been changing Aster's nappy, is skulking in the corridor listening in to all this. She enters the room.
CLAUDIA: You don't have to be shy if you want me to leave. I'm sure it's very difficult hosting at the moment, especially me.
SUSAN: It's fine.
CLAUDIA: No, it isn't. Finn held you and Aster hostage. Who knows what he was planning to do?
SUSAN: I don't think he would've harmed Aster. But he was... he was certainly very angry with me.
Karl gives Susan a look, silently reminding her not to say too much in front of Claudia.
CLAUDIA: Finn was angry with a lot of people.
KARL: Why don't we talk about something else, eh? I'll pop the kettle back on.
'Morning tea' has commenced, but Trish tells Roxy she still has a few questions she'll need to run by Terese and Paul before she can agree to Mackenzie living here. Roxy says she'll do her best to answer them!
TRISH: Mackenzie's not had the easiest time. So I need to know she'll be somewhere safe and cared for, in case anything does happen.
ROXY: I had my fair share of issues when I moved in. I don't think I'd be half as together as I am today if it wasn't for Terese. She's amazing.
TRISH: Mackenzie's also in Year 12, so she needs to be somewhere she can study -
ROXY: You don't need to worry about that. Harlow is a complete nerd.
ROXY: And I mean nerd as a compliment; I'm quite the nerd myself! Whenever I see her not focusing, I razz her up with an invigorating game of chess!
While Trish takes their mugs to the sink...
MACKENZIE (whispers): Invigorating game of chess?!
ROXY: Too much?
ROXY: I think it's going great.
MACKENZIE: I hate lying to her like this.
ROXY: You want to stay here, don't you? Well, it's what you have to do. It's not forever, and when she sees that -
But Roxy hears a noise outside and goes to the window, prompting a...
... in the Australian airing, and a bizarre teleporting moment in the UK one as the offending word is cut, along with Roxy's return to the sofa! Terese and Ned have arrived home, Roxy explains.
ROXY: Don't panic. Just help me get your auntie out of the house.
Roxy and Mackenzie rush into the kitchen, encouraging Trish to leave via the back door (with a plateful of scones) for a tour of the garden! Meanwhile, Roxy turns off the classical music. Ned opens the door but doesn't come in.
NED: Is it safe?
ROXY: Yeah, I'm alone.
Terese follows Ned in.
TERESE: Why are you wearing Harlow's clothes?!
Roxy smiles innocently, as Ned looks very disturbed, presumably concluding that some kind of weird roleplay has been taking place as part of Roxy's date!
Karl, Susan, Bea and Elly are having a postmortem on Claudia's visit, which Elly thinks went as well as could be expected.
SUSAN: Do you think she was being honest when she said that she doesn't blame us?
ELLY: Yeah, it's hard to say. But I hardly felt like it was the time to accuse her of lying.
BEA: She said she blames herself.
KARL: Oh, we've heard that before.
BEA: I dunno. Things might be different now. Especially since Finn's really gone.
Elly says Claudia wants to see more of Aster, so she will be seeing her again. Karl reminds her not to say anything about the legal situation that could harm Elly's case.
ELLY: Of course not. When it comes to Claudia, I'll always have my guard up.
Mackenzie has managed to guide Trish away from the No 22 garden unspotted, and asks Trish what she thinks about her staying there. Trish is still in two minds about letting her stay at all; Mackenzie has some big decisions coming up, and Trish promised she'd be there for her.
MACKENZIE: If you're talking about the surgery, I don't even know if I'm gonna have it before the end of school yet. And the Willises are perfectly happy to help me out until you know how long your job in Fremantle will go on for.
TRISH: It seems like a nice place. But I'm not sure if I can't meet Paul and Terese. Are you positive the Rebecchis can't take you?
MACKENZIE: I mean, I can always ask to move in with Richie!
TRISH: We both know that's not gonna happen!
Trish says that, with two days before she leaves for Fremantle, there's a lot to organise. But Mackenzie says letting her stay at No 22 will be one less thing to worry about; she can move her stuff out of the flat gradually with help from her mates.
MACKENZIE: Cos I've got really good friends, and a strong support network.
TRISH (thoughtful): You do, don't you? ... Okay.
MACKENZIE: 'Okay', I can stay?
TRISH: You can stay.
MACKENZIE: Yes! Yes!! Thank you!!
Susan comes in. Claudia, who's already at a table, invites Susan to come and join her. Susan's clearly not keen, but Claudia insists. Claudia's phone rings, but she quickly closes the case, claiming it's 'work'.
SUSAN: So, how are you holding up? You've been so kind asking after me and my family - but how are you doing?
SUSAN: Bea said that you feel responsible.
CLAUDIA: Well, how could I not? I'm also furious. And also devastated. Two sons in the space of a year. I mean, I just started to accept what happened to Shaun, and then... But it's complicated with Finn. Because of what he did. I feel guilty grieving him.
CLAUDIA: You know, I spent so long wishing he wasn't part of my life. And then, just as I hoped that he would be - this.
SUSAN: Yeah. I think I can understand how you feel.
CLAUDIA: For him to turn on you, and to hurt all of those people, it... I just can't make sense of it. Do you have any idea what he was thinking?
CLAUDIA: Please? You were the last person Finn spoke to. What did he say or do when you were together?
Susan is visibly upset, and can't (or won't) answer.
CLAUDIA: Susan, mother to mother - I need to know.
Mackenzie is reporting back to Roxy that their plan has worked; Trish has agreed for her to stay. Roxy hugs Mackenzie excitedly.
MACKENZIE: I still feel bad, but I figure I'll just give it a month and then tell her the truth.
ROXY: And by then, she'll see that you are nailing solo life and there's nothing to stress about.
MACKENZIE: Thank you so much for helping me. I couldn't have done it without you.
They hug again.
It seems Susan has acceded to Claudia's request for details.
CLAUDIA: He wanted to kill you.
SUSAN: And he would have, if he hadn't had the accident.
CLAUDIA: Who knows how many people he would've hurt, had he lived. Do you think he planned to come after me?
SUSAN: I don't know.
CLAUDIA: Please, be honest.
SUSAN: He had a lot of resentment towards you, and confused ideas about your relationship. He said that he considered me to be the mother that he never had.
SUSAN: But... but his view of reality was so distorted at the end.
CLAUDIA: He wasn't well. Thank you for telling me.
At this point, Elly turns up with Aster, and looks worried to see Claudia and Susan together. Elly says she's heading shopping and gives Susan a getaway opportunity, by inviting her to come along. Claudia gives Aster a kiss, and Susan and Elly leave with the baby.
Claudia returns to her table, and opens her phone, before making a call.
CLAUDIA: Hello, it's Claudia Watkins. Yeah, I'm sorry I missed your call... I was looking for a lawyer... For a custody case...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Paul tells Hendrix he doesn't want any funny business
- Claudia tells a blonde- haired somebody that 'they' are a family on the brink
- But at No 28, Claudia's still playing happy families with Aster and the others
- Claudia telling the person that it shouldn't take much to push them over the edge
- Susan says Claudia's lost two sons; Karl says they still need to be careful
- Claudia asks Mark if he believes Elly killed Finn