- Elly is on the receiving end of threatening behaviour from Andrea in jail
- Her plight only worsens when Toadie admits she might have to serve her full sentence
- Elly pockets a shard from a garden trowel that Andrea took from her and smashed
- Aaron tells Susan and Chloe about Claudia's offer of a baby in exchange for his silence
- While meeting David and Aaron, Claudia gets a phone call and has to leave urgently
- But the meeting is a sham so Susan, Chloe and Bea can raid the penthouse for evidence
- Aaron phones Chloe to warn her that Claudia's on her way back
- Toadie tells Karl of a link between Judge Vagg's unusual rulings and Sam Fitzgerald
- Susan decides she wants the truth from Claudia after all she's put the family through
- Claudia tells somebody on the phone that the police wouldn't say what they wanted
- When Susan's Scooby gang return to the penthouse, they find Claudia and Aster gone
Susan, Bea, Chloe, David and Aaron discuss Claudia's disappearance; Bea and Susan agree it would be illegal for her to abscond with Aster, as it's against the parenting order. Aaron goes to call the police, while Chloe calls reception to ask if Claudia was seen.
BEA: The police have to do something now.
DAVID: After everything that Claudia's done, they will.
Chloe reports back that the reception staff saw Claudia leaving with Aster fifteen minutes ago. They all rush down in the lift, as Aaron says they need to go to the police station.
Toadie is updating Dee on the situation with Elly's appeal. He explains there might be some hope, given what he's discovered about Judge Vagg's other unusual rulings, going against the prosecution department recommendations on cases involving Sam Fitzgerald.
TOADIE: I think that Sam might have something over him.
DEE: Right. So if she's bribing him, then...
TOADIE: Claudia could've used it in order to get him to give Elly a harsher sentence.
Toadie has already called Judge Vagg's office, but was fobbed off by an unhelpful temp clerk, who told him that the usual clerk had recently quit. The clerk had been with the judge for over 20 years, so it seems like quite a coincidence for her to have quit after these verdicts. Toadie's going to track her down to see if she knows anything.
Andrea is scoffing a box of Elly's biccies on the bed in her cell, when Elly comes in.
ANDREA: Tell you what, they don't lie. They are tasty and full of flavour! (...) You don't mind, do you? Nah, didn't think you would. See, that's what it's all about in here, you know? You just gotta keep the peace, keep everyone happy. Keep me happy. And I tell you what - eating this entire packet of biscuits, that's ticking all the boxes right now. Figure it's a win-win situation, don't ya reckon? ... Conway?
Elly is studiously ignoring Andrea, so Andrea gets off the bed and approaches her.
ANDREA: Do you want to know what else makes me happy? I'll tell you. When I ask you a question... YOU ANSWER!
Elly flinches, and Andrea laughs.
ANDREA: It's alright. Don't freak out. You know I wouldn't do the dirty work. Got plenty of muscle out there gagging to do it for me. But it might pay you to keep it in mind, next time I ask you a question.
Andrea shakes the biscuit box at Elly, then walks out of the cell. Elly makes sure she's definitely gone, then hides the fragment of the garden trowel that Andrea broke under her bed, presumably in case she needs it for protection.
A park in The City™
Toadie meets up with Meg Lee, Judge Vagg's former clerk. She's unhelpful from the outset, saying she doesn't work with Judge Vagg anymore and can't help him.
TOADIE: I believe the judge is being bribed. And I will prove it. This will come out eventually. And I'm guessing (...) that you found out what was going on, and you want no part of it. Am I right?
MEG: I'm not talking about quitting my job.
TOADIE: A good friend of mine is in jail, because the judge passed down a sentence that everyone - including the prosecution - was against. She has a five-month-old baby; she shouldn't be there. And that's why I am not gonna give this up.
Toadie warns Meg she could be in a lot of trouble if this becomes public, so she should tell him anything she knows now.
David, Aaron, Chloe, Susan and Bea exit the police station, not particularly satisfied with the response they've received - which was basically along the lines that the police would 'keep a lookout' for Claudia. They all discuss whether Claudia might be holed up in a motel, and whether she's got rid of her phone so it can't be tracked.
However, Chloe begins to worry that Claudia might be planning on leaving Australia.
CHLOE: Claudia's private plane was supposed to arrive from Switzerland this afternoon, with the rest of her personal staff.
AARON: She couldn't use that to leave the country, could she?
CHLOE: She's got the cash. All it would take would be throwing some at the crew to turn a blind eye to Aster.
SUSAN: No, surely she wouldn't leave the country with her!
BEA: I wouldn't put anything past Claudia anymore.
Chloe says the plane was due about now at Essendon Airport, so Susan and Bea rush to the car to drive there.
Claudia is waiting in Hangar 12 with baby Aster, for her private jet of villainy to show up.
CLAUDIA (to Aster): It's alright, sweetheart. Not long now. Just a little plane ride, and we'll be home.
A man with a suitcase walks around the corner.
CLAUDIA: ... Shaun?
And gosh darn it, she's right - Shaun of the Dead is very much alive! Nothing less than a commercial break can help us process this entirely unexpected curveball; and shortly afterwards...
CLAUDIA: You're alive!
SHAUN: Is that my daughter?
CLAUDIA: Oh, god, I can't believe this!
Claudia hugs Shaun joyfully.
CLAUDIA: They told us you were dead.
SHAUN: I was rescued from the mountain a couple of days ago. I went to the house first and couldn't find you. I tried the office; they said you'd moved out here.
CLAUDIA: This is a miracle! Are you okay? Were you hurt?
SHAUN: I got checked out at the hospital before I left.
CLAUDIA: Oh, you have no idea how much I hoped and prayed that you would be found. And they just wouldn't give me any -
SHAUN: Can I hold my baby?
CLAUDIA: ... Oh, of course!
She passes Aster to Shaun.
SHAUN: Hi! I'm your daddy. I never thought I'd see you.
CLAUDIA: I never thought I'd see this. Oh, why didn't you call me?
SHAUN: When I heard the plane was coming over here, I thought it would be better to speak face-to-face. (To Aster) And I couldn't wait to see you, my beautiful girl.
A road somewhere
Susan and Bea are in the car; Bea is doing the 'are we nearly there yet?' routine. Chloe calls; she's had news from Mark about Claudia's plane. It was meant to land in Essendon, but the pilot cancelled the landing and diverted elsewhere at the last moment. They're now trying to work out which airport it's landed at instead.
BEA: Well, what now?
A park in The City™
Toadie is trying to convince the clerk, Meg, to tell him what she knows about Judge Vagg. She finally admits that the judge fired her.
MEG: I found out he was being blackmailed.
TOADIE: (...) Did you ever hear the lawyer's name Samantha Fitzgerald?
MEG: No, there were never names. Just threatening messages (...) He had massive gambling debts.
TOADIE: Which no-one else knew about?
MEG: Not even his wife, and I'm certain he didn't want her to know.
TOADIE: Or the judicial committee.
Meg says she encouraged Vagg to come clean, but he denied he had a problem. When he fired her, Meg wanted to report him, but she needed another job and was worried no-one would trust her if she outed Vagg.
TOADIE: He broke the law.
MEG: I know. Deep down, he's a good man. And I hoped that he would see that and set things straight, but... he hasn't.
TOADIE: Well, someone has to set it straight. He ruined my friend's life. So, will you do the right thing?
MEG: ... It's not fair that your friend has to suffer because of his bad choices. I'll help.
TOADIE: Thank you.
Shaun is still holding his daughter; he's pleased to learn Elly named her Aster, as they'd discussed before her birth.
CLAUDIA: How could you have survived? They said there was no hope. If I'd known, I would never have stopped searching.
SHAUN: I still don't know how I survived.
CLAUDIA: Please - I need to know what happened.
SHAUN: ... I got separated from the others during the climb. I heard this roar.
We fade into white, as Shaun has a flashback. We see him stumble into a wooden cabin, with snow billowing through the door behind him. He is grimacing in pain.
SHAUN (voiceover): I knew it was an avalanche. I saw a hut and I ran. I slipped on some rocks just before I reached the hut, sprained my ankle pretty bad. The hut was almost buried.
We return to the airport.
CLAUDIA: When the weather turned, they said it was too dangerous to keep searching.
SHAUN: They had no idea I'd survived, and it was too big a risk for a rescue team.
CLAUDIA: And when they started again, it was... a retrieval mission. How did you last so long out there?
SHAUN: Water wasn't a problem.
He flashes back again to his time in the cabin; we see him emptying his bag, then writing in a journal, his leg outstretched to rest up his ankle.
SHAUN: I had some rations in my pack, and the hut had a small amount of supplies - grains, and tinned food.
CLAUDIA: Did you think about leaving? Trying to get help?
SHAUN: It was too risky. Even if I could break through the snow, I could hardly walk on my ankle. The supplies kept me going, but they were dwindling as winter set in. I've never been so cold for so long. The fresh snowfall meant there was no way I could get down the mountain even if I wanted to. The only thing that kept me going was thinking of my child. Had she been born? How was she? And Elly, how was she doing? The weather finally cleared, and I had to get out.
We see a final flashback of a heavily bearded Shaun preparing to leave the hut.
SHAUN: I packed what I could carry and headed down the mountain. Took me ages to find help. Eventually, I found a cabin, and they called mountain rescue and got me out.
CLAUDIA: What you've been through... it must have been hell.
SHAUN: I'm sure you, Finn and Elly went through your own when you thought I was dead. I can't even begin to wrap my head around what Finn did, or exactly how you ended up with Aster. Shouldn't she be with Karl and Susan?
SHAUN: I told you what happened. Now you tell me.
Claudia wipes a tear from her eye.
Elly is reading on her bed, when one of the other prisoners, Elise, comes in, to place 'ten bucks on the favourite' with Andrea.
ANDREA: Are you sure you don't want the outsider? Odds are much better.
ELISE (laughs): The value's on the favourite.
ANDREA: Alright, your loss.
Elise leaves, and Andrea starts counting cash. She's clearly keen for Elly to ask what she's up to, but Elly isn't taking the bait, despite being visibly curious...
A park in The City™ / Harold's Café
Toadie is still with Meg the clerk. He thanks her for her help, and she leaves. Then he calls Dee, who is sitting in Harold's, and fills her in on what he's learned about Judge Vagg.
TOADIE: I've got to get his rulings overturned, and if that happens, Elly will be released.
But Toadie doesn't know if it will work, or how long it will take; he's never been in this position before. Dee thinks it must be a positive for Elly, whatever happens; and Toadie hopes so too.
Chloe, Aaron and David enter the penthouse, which is being searched by police officer Miles Doughty and his colleagues. They haven't found anything yet, says Doughty, but thanks them for bringing the situation to their attention.
Chloe is feeling bad for not acting faster, so Claudia didn't have the chance to get away. Aaron says he was completely sucked in by her; but David tells them both that beating themselves up won't change anything.
Doughty, who has been on the phone to a colleague, rejoins them and says they've had a lead from air services.
A road somewhere
Susan and Bea are still driving around, waiting for news. We see a call coming in from Karl on Susan's phone, but she declines it straight away. Bea thinks they need to tell Karl what's happening, but Susan claims she wants to keep the phone free in case Chloe calls with more news from the police. Bea's about to call Karl herself, when Chloe rings.
CHLOE: The plane was diverted to a private hangar in Moorabbin.
SUSAN: Okay, keep us posted. We're going to head there now (...) It's not far away, and I am not waiting for the police.
Claudia is trying to explain her actions to Shaun, including the custody case.
CLAUDIA: Jail is no place for a baby. Susan and Karl were fighting all the time; Bea was completely out of her depth. And Susan had a panic attack. When I saw her lash out at that poor girl, I knew I had to intervene. Your daughter was not in a safe place.
SHAUN: You didn't try and work it out with them? Help the Kennedys if they were struggling?
CLAUDIA: Yes. Yes, I tried. But they knocked me back. Aster was my priority. I had to move fast.
SHAUN: What about Elly? How did she feel about it?
CLAUDIA: Elly gave up Aster because she wanted her to be safe. She wanted her to be in the best environment; I could provide that.
SHAUN: You wouldn't be allowed to take her out of the country. What's going on, Mum?
CLAUDIA: Look, I'll explain after we've taken off. The plane's ready. I am so looking forward to getting back to Geneva. We can have a wonderful -
SHAUN: We're not going anywhere! I need to see Elly first.
CLAUDIA: No, you don't. We need to leave now.
SHAUN: No. Tell me exactly what you're doing with my daughter, or I'm walking out of here with her.
In the cell, Elly listens as Andrea takes more mysterious bets from other inmates, who are also backing 'the favourite'.
ANDREA: Tell you what, you girls, you're nothing if not predictable! Go on, bugger off!
The other prisoners leave, and Andrea starts pointedly counting her stash of cash again, desperate to get a rise from Elly, who is still ignoring her.
ANDREA: You know, I can let you in on a secret - why I'm taking these bets. I won't even ask you to ask me 'pretty please'.
ELLY: I don't want to know. Just leave me out of it.
ANDREA: Well, see, that's one thing I can't do (...) cos there's gonna be a fight, and I'm the bookie.
ELLY: Well, I don't want anything to do with it.
ANDREA: Well, that's a bit awkward. Seeing as you're gonna be one of the fighters!
ANDREA: Yeah. You versus Patrice.
ELLY: Andrea, no, you can't do that.
ANDREA: Oh, come on. I know you're worried about the odds. Don't worry about it - some of the girls have faith in you. They've even put bets on ya. See? Not everyone thinks you're gonna get your head bashed in!
Andrea cackles and goes back to counting her cash. Elly looks horrified.
Claudia's private plane has arrived, but she is still in the waiting area, trying to justify herself to Shaun.
CLAUDIA: Everything I did, I did for Aster!
SHAUN: You blackmailed a judge and sent her mum to prison.
CLAUDIA: She murdered Finn!
SHAUN: You don't know that. And you never cared about Finn!
CLAUDIA: That's not true. I tried to help him, by getting rid of the evidence for his trial!
SHAUN: I thought that was you. I didn't want to believe it, but...
CLAUDIA: Look, I might've failed with your brother. But I won't apologise for anything I've done for Aster.
SHAUN: You put her in danger by starting a riot in that prison.
CLAUDIA: I was desperate. I had to get her out of there. If you'd have been here, it would've been different, but you weren't. I had to do what I thought was right.
SHAUN: It's insane!
CLAUDIA: No, it's not. It's love. And you'll feel it soon enough, with Aster. I mean, you'll do anything for her. And I'm not going to apologise for what I've done, for all of you. Oh, please, you have to understand - we need to leave.
SHAUN: You can't run from this.
CLAUDIA: Yes, I can. We all can. We can start a new life together.
SHAUN: I'm not going anywhere, so you have a choice - you can stay and own up to everything you did, or you can take off without me and Aster.
CLAUDIA: Well, think about what you'd be missing out on and -
SHAUN: You think about what you'd be missing out on! You just found out I'm alive. Do you really want to risk losing me all over again?
Shaun picks up Aster in her carry capsule.
CLAUDIA: Oh, please don't leave me!
Shaun is just walking out of the room with Aster, when Susan and Bea rush in - and are amazed to see that Shaun is alive. Shaun turns back to Claudia.
SHAUN: For once in your life, Mum, do the right thing.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Pierce offers to stay back at work and give Naomi a hand
- Naomi perving on Pierce's bare torso
- Naomi and Pierce brush hands when they go for the same slice of pizza
- At the police station, Claudia threatens Sam, saying she'll tell the police of her role
- Andrea tells Elly she can choose to fight or not; either way, 'she's gonna hurt you'
- The fight is in motion, and we see that Patrice is Elly's opponent!