- Mannix moving in with Mackenzie and putting a lock on his bedroom door
- Mark and Sky investigating a robbery at Number 28
- Susan telling Sky that Sheila has a grudge against her
- Karl admitting that he blames Susan for allowing Finn to move in
- Sheila relaying this information about Karl and Susan to Claudia
- Sky insisting Elly take the plea deal
- Elly deciding to plead guilty
Bea is aghast that Elly has decided to plead guilty. Toadie says the prosecution are recommending a suspended sentence, and perhaps community service. But regardless, it'll be a short hearing of character statements and after that everything will be done. Karl and Susan tell Elly that they'll support her decision, but Bea doesn't understand why they're not more concerned.
BEA: Have you guys forgotten one thing? Everyone will think that she did it, and that will never change.
TOADIE: (to Elly) The people who matter to you, your friends and family, we all know that you didn't kill Finn. But Bea is right, it will mean admitting guilt to the rest of the world.
BEA: Is it really worth it?
ELLY: Bea I could go to jail for ten years or more.
BEA: Or they could find you innocent. Because you are!
ELLY: This decision isn't about anyone other than Aster. She's already lost a father I'm not having her lose me as well. Trust me, this is the right decision for my baby girl.
Mackenzie and Mannix's Place
Shane drops by to see Mackenzie on his way to collect books from uni but is concerned to find the place in quite a mess. Mackenzie looks flustered but says it's all under control. She's touched when Shane gives her lunch to take to school. When Shane leaves, Mannix appears from his room annoyed about the unannounced houseguest. He tells Mackenzie that it's share house rules to give the other person a heads up when they're expecting guests. Mackenzie nods then brings up her own share house concern aka the padlock on Mannix's door. She's worried her aunt won't appreciate him making DIY adjustments to the house, but Mannix insists that everyone puts locks in their doors in share houses. Mackenzie frowns but naively accepts his explanation for the time being.
Claudia arrives to see her granddaughter but Susan tells her Aster's out the back with Elly and Toadie. Claudia's interest is piqued and asks if they're talking about the case. But when Susan, Karl and Bea all exchange uncomfortable looks, Claudia realises she's being too intrusive. She then chats to Susan about her return to work and wonders if it's a good idea to be going back so soon. Susan curtly replies that it's the first week of term; she can hardly take time off. Karl offers to give her a lift to school but Susan says Bea's coming with her. Elly walks in with Aster and Toadie, tensing when she sees Claudia.
CLAUDIA: If the timing's not good I can really come back later.
ELLY: There's no point in hiding it any longer.
CLAUDIA: What do you mean?
ELLY: I've accepted an offer from the prosecutor.
TOADIE: There won't be a trial. In a few day's time Elly will be sentenced.
Erinsborough High Exterior
Susan assures Bea that she'll be fine wrangling all the kids today - but she didn't account for parents, it seems, as Angela Lane makes an unwanted appearance.
ANGELA: A lot of parents have heard about what happened on that island, and afterwards with Finn and Elly. As head of the PTA I have to tell you they've lost faith in your judgement since you supported that man.
SUSAN: Your point?
ANGELA: We're calling for your resignation.
ANGELA: Parents have been reaching out to the Department too. I wouldn't be surprised if they contact you today.
SUSAN: Well I'll deal with that as it happens. Was there anything else?
ANGELA: I just thought you should know.
Angela walks off and Bea asks what Susan's going to do. Susan just chuckles humourlessly and says she's going to stay calm. She's dealt with Angela before and this too will pass. Bea offers to get them some coffees but Susan tells her to head to work and not worry, she's got this.
Toadie hands Elly a pen, reminding her if they sign and submit the papers then there's no turning back. But Elly takes the pen and says she just wants everything done before Claudia and Aster return. Sky and Mark walk in as Toadie leaves with the papers to file them. Sky approaches Elly.
SKY: I know it must have been tough to take the plea deal, but I really believe it's your best shot to avoid jail.
ELLY: Thank you.
Sky goes to the counter to get drinks while Mark takes Elly aside for a chat. He apologises to Elly for not being able to help earlier - he knows she's not guilty.
MARK: Of course you didn't kill Finn. I believe it was a freak accident. The ground must have been wet; Finn must have slipped, broke his neck on a rock, fell in the water and drowned. I just couldn't say anything till now. I had to be impartial, it's my job. I hope that you understand that.
ELLY: Yeah I do. Doesn't mean I haven't been waiting to hear it.
MARK: I'm sorry Elly.
ELLY: Do you think I'm doing the right thing with this plea? Everyone will think I'm a murderer.
MARK: People take plea deals like this more often than you think, and for the same reason. They're innocent, they just want to avoid jail time.
ELLY: You wouldn't take it though, would you?
MARK: I'm not as black and white about this sort of thing as I used to be. You're doing this for Aster and I can't think of a better reason.
Elly is relieved to hear Mark say this.
Harlow and Hendrix walk hand- in- hand on their way to school. Harlow's glad to be going back as the routine will give her some sense of normalcy after everything that's happened. Hendrix reminds her that if things get too much to handle she's always got him and Mackenzie to rely on. Harlow adds that getting the copy of her mum's voicemail from Mark will help too. Hendrix is concerned that it might make Harlow more upset again, but Harlow promises she won't obsessively listen to it like last time.
Out the front of Harold's, Sheila and Dipi discuss 'Gary' the pigeon. Sheila says that Dipi must believe she's lost her marbles thinking Gary has been reincarnated as a bird, but Dipi says she believes in reincarnation herself. She was just surprised that Sheila did too. Sheila says she wasn't looking for it but the pigeon turns up whenever she needs it and "you can't just ignore a sign like that". Yashvi saunters by on her way to the station. She's been reading about recent break and enters and now she's hoping to go on another ride along. Yashvi spies the heart bracelet on Sheila's wrist and asks where it's from. Sheila says she bought it at the Cash & Swap, which causes Yashvi to look at it in suspicion.
Yashvi barrels into the police station and asks Sky if she can take another look at the robbery case files. But Sky quite rightly reminds Yashvi that it's not proper protocol to look at active case files, no matter how much Yashvi insists. Yashvi eventually tells her that she thinks she might have seen an item that was reported stolen, but when she won't elaborate further, Sky demands to know what Yashvi is keeping from her.
Toadie gives Elly's shoulder a reassuring pat and tells her he thinks she'll be okay. He leaves and Elly goes over to where Claudia is minding Aster. Claudia brings up the case and Elly reiterates that she's only pleading guilty for Aster's sake. Claudia says she believes her, but when Elly goes into the bathroom she makes a hasty phone call to Samantha.
CLAUDIA: (to voicemail) Can you call me back as soon as possible? Things may have changed. Elly may not go to jail. Now I can keep pressure on the Kennedys but we need to make a plan. Elly is an unfit mother, and I will do whatever it takes. Call me.
She finishes the call and smiles down at Aster in her pram.
Erinsborough High Exterior
Mackenzie is in a rush to get her books from her locker and make the next class, which causes her to ignore Harlow chattering away about Hendrix. Harlow takes Mackenzie's silence as her being hurt.
HARLOW: I'm sorry, this must be really weird me talking about Hendrix.
HARLOW: Because you two dated.
MACKENZIE: No! No, no, no, I'm with Richie. I love you guys together! I'm just really distracted this morning because I had to wait for the shower and it made me late for school.
HARLOW: Wait for the shower - does that mean your aunt's back?
Deer in headlights, Mackenzie stammers that Trish is still away but the hot water's not working. Harlow commiserates then asks if she can come over this afternoon to study. Mackenzie is really cagey and gives her a firm no in reply, surprising Harlow. Susan passes by the girls as they head inside the building but stops outside to chat with Hendrix when he calls out to her.
HENDRIX: How's your first day going? You're probably dealing with heaps of things.
SUSAN: Nothing that I can't handle. But thank you for asking, it's very kind.
HENDRIX: Sorry I haven't been over to check in on you after what happened the other day.
SUSAN: Please don't worry, I'm fine.
HENDRIX: Good. At least you've got Doctor K to look out for you.
SUSAN: (forcing a smile) Yes, yes I do.
She quickly wishes Hendrix a good day and walks off.
Claudia wheels Aster's pram by the hotel where Karl's having a coffee by himself outside. She asks if Elly and Toadie are still in their meeting but then adds she's having a nice time looking after Aster. Bea finds them and asks Karl if he's heard from Susan about the drama going on at the school with Angela Lane. Claudia chimes in with some fake sympathy for Susan, but Bea is more concerned with how nonchalantly Karl is taking the news. He thinks that if Susan needs him then she'll be in touch.
BEA: I think you should probably give her a call.
KARL: There's no need.
BEA: It seemed pretty serious when I was there.
KARL: Bea if it was serious I'd know about it. I imagine Susan just wants to deal with it herself.
Bea raises an eyebrow at her uncle while Claudia watches the tense exchange with interest.
Sheila emerges from the office with a folder and tells Shane she'll officially be back at work next week. Shane's relieved as he didn't know how he was going to keep doing so many extra shifts along with his extra uni work, but then realises how insensitive he sounds and adds that he's happy to support Sheila too. Sky walks in and asks Sheila for a word - the police believe she's in possession of a bracelet that's been reported stolen.
SKY: We think it's Susan Kennedy's. It was taken from her house in the recent break- in. Can I take a look?
SHEILA: No, this bracelet's mine. I bought it.
SKY: (takes out her phone) Well this is the photo of Susan wearing her bracelet.
SHEILA: It's probably one that just looks the same.
SKY: Sheila is there an inscription that says 'Happy 25th' on the back?
SHEILA: ... Yes. I don't know how this happened! I bought this yesterday. I even showed it to Dipi.
Sky asks if Sheila has a receipt. Sheila says she doesn't but that the people at the Cash & Swap will back her up. Sky wants to take the bracelet, but when Sheila protests, Sky reminds Sheila that she doesn't have an alibi for the break- in so it's probably not wise to be arguing. Frustrated, Sheila hands the jewellery over to Sky.
SHEILA: The one time I do something for myself and I get punished.
SHANE: Sheila you weren't to know it was Susan's bracelet.
SHEILA: That's right. And now it's her fault all over again!
Karl wants to know why Susan didn't inform him about the trouble with Angela Lane, and believes that it's a sign that Susan's gone back to work too soon. Susan is exasperated with her husband and tells him to stop fussing over her. Claudia is sitting across the complex with Aster and notes their bickering with interest. She eavesdrops on them as best she can. Susan tells Karl she's got a meeting with the Education Department that afternoon and she'll sort everything out.
KARL: Except it might not be so easy this time Susan. You must be aware of their concerns.
SUSAN: Of course I am, they're the same as yours!
KARL: Come on, I'm just trying to be there for you. How many times do I have to tell you that?
SUSAN: Well the problem is, Karl, I don't know if you're saying it because you mean it or because you're obliged to say it.
Karl pleads with Susan to stop pushing him away, but Susan's had enough of him for now and walks off. Claudia continues watching, her scheming face a solid 10/10.
Erinsborough High Exterior
Susan asks Harlow and Hendrix if they've seen Mackenzie; Mr Muggleton mentioned that she wasn't in math class. Hendrix says that Mackenzie wasn't feeling well and might have gone home. Susan doesn't get the chance to ask any further questions as she has to step away to take a call. Harlow looks concerned about Mackenzie.
HARLOW: How sick was she?
HENDRIX: (smiling) You beautiful nerd, you.
HARLOW: (realising) That was a lie wasn't it.
HENDRIX: Yeah, but only technically. Something's clearly up if Mackenzie's not here, right?
Harlow admits that Mackenzie was acting weird earlier and thinks she should give her friend a call. Meanwhile, Susan's on her own call to someone in connection with the Department. She discovers that there have been five more complaints made against her. She thanks the caller for letting her know and says she's looking forward to the meeting that afternoon, but when she hangs up she looks concerned.
Mackenzie and Mannix's Place
Rather than call, Harlow has decided to pay her buddy a visit instead, alarming Mackenzie. Harlow wants to know what's going on and why Mackenzie looks so nervous. Mackenzie pleads with Harlow to go, but things get even more strained when Mannix appears from his room. Harlow has no idea who he is but she can tell he's the reason her friend is so stressed. Mannix takes Mackenzie aside, annoyed about another unwanted houseguest, but before he can say too much his phone buzzes. He asks the caller, "Where are they?" before heading out, telling Mackenzie they'll finish their chat later. Harlow looks worried - she wants answers from Mackenzie.
Elly knows that Bea doesn't agree with her decision to plead guilty but reminds her that this whole mess isn't happening to her. Elly's exhausted and barely has enough energy to look after her daughter. So the thought that everything could be over in a week just makes her feel lighter. This resonates with Bea and says she just wants Elly to be happy again. They head out, just missing Angela Lane walk in through another doorway with none other than Claudia in tow. It turns out that Claudia recruited Angela to create havoc for Susan at school, which Angela was only happy to oblige.
ANGELA: There's a lot of us who would love to see the back of Susan Kennedy. You don't have a child at the school do you?
ANGELA: Then why did you contact me?
CLAUDIA: Well I've heard about what's happened and I don't think that woman should be in charge of a school.
ANGELA: That's a lot of trouble to go to for other people's kids.
CLAUDIA: Well as it happens there is a child I'm concerned about. Not a student, but someone who stands to be affected by Susan's behaviour.
Shane tells Dipi and Yashvi that he knows he's not a neat- freak (to which Yashvi snarks, "understatement"), but even he thought Mackenzie's place was a pigsty. Yashvi says that sounds odd because she was over there earlier and everything looked okay. Dipi wonders when Trish will be getting back from her trip.
SHANE: Not sure, I'll have to give her a call.
TOADIE: (wandering in) Who ya gonna call?
YASHVI: Don't say it!
SHANE: ... Ghostbusters! That's for the neat- freak crack.
Toadie wanders back out again after fulfilling his one joke set- up of the scene, just as Sheila arrives to inform Shane that everything worked out okay with the bracelet. The person at the Cash & Swap cleared it up with the cops.
SHANE: That's great news.
YASHVI: I'm so sorry Sheila, I wouldn't have told them if I didn't have to. I didn't think you actually stole the bracelet.
SHEILA: So it was you who reported it?
SHANE: Yeah she's been getting a bit ahead of herself with all the police work.
SHEILA: No harm done, love.
SHANE: Yeah seriously? Give it to her!
SHEILA: No! If she's this keen when she gets into the police you're going to be a great cop.
Dipi says she's glad Sheila's feeling better, she knows how much the bracelet meant to Sheila. But Sheila says she was just being silly, she's realised everything she needs is already at home.
Number 26 Backyard
Sheila drops cookie crumbs all across the grass and then some next to her on the chair. She sits down with a cuppa and calls out to 'Gary', telling him the kettle has boiled.
Mackenzie and Mannix's Place
Mackenzie has filled Harlow in on everything. Harlow doesn't get why Mackenzie would let Roxy convince her to get a housemate. But Mackenzie says that Mannix had been okay up until that morning. Firstly freaking out about Shane dropping by, then acting cagey when she brought up the padlock on his door.
HARLOW: Why does he have a padlock on his door?
MACKENZIE: He said it's a share house thing. (Off Harlow's incredulous look) It's not, is it.
HARLOW: No! It's really creepy. He's definitely hiding something in there.
She gets up and starts walking to his bedroom but Mackenzie doesn't want to intrude.
HARLOW: Well if he has something he shouldn't have...
MACKENZIE: Like a dead body?
HARLOW: No, we'd smell that. Do you have a screwdriver?
MACKENZIE: No I do not have a screwdriver. Can we just call my aunt? Or the police?
HARLOW: And say what?
Harlow suddenly grabs a bobby pin from Mackenzie's hair, telling her she's seen her mum pick a lock this way. But before she can start they get the absolute stuffing scared out of them when a police crew, led by Sky, suddenly burst in guns blazing. The cops do a quick check to see if anyone else is home before Sky approaches the girls.
SKY: You two need to tell me what's going on right now!
Harlow and Mackenzie can only stare at her in shock.
Coming up on Neighbours
Paul looks stressed about something while a voiceover of David is heard.
DAVID: He's exactly what Harlow thinks and he's trying to drag you into it. It's not good enough!
Elly talks to Toadie.
ELLY: By this time tomorrow I could be in prison.
Clips of Elly reading something and crying, then eavesdropping on a conversation Chloe is having with Pierce (who is holding Aster).
CHLOE: Maybe Elly's lying about what happened. Could she actually be guilty?
Claudia seeks advice from Samantha.
CLAUDIA: I need Elly in jail. What do I have to do?