- Richie delivering flowers to Mackenzie on her birthday
- Mackenzie saying she's looking forward to her operation
- Terese encouraging Elly to join a mother's group
- Elly discussing her history with Finn with the other mothers
- One mother texting Elly to say they don't want a murderer in the group
- Hendrix trying to sneak a drink because it's nearly his eighteenth
Ned has gifted Harlow a painting of herself and Prue for her eighteenth birthday. Harlow appreciates it but jokes her mum probably would have wanted "bigger boobs" in the portrait. Ned says Prue would be proud of her daughter, but Harlow's not entirely sure. Especially since she chose a high tea celebration at home over going out clubbing. Roxy appears, holding a present, and says it's not too late to do both.
ROXY: The day is young, just like your underage lover. You can stay here and clean up.
HENDRIX: I'm literally eighteen in days, Roxy.
ROXY: Anyway - here is something from me and my boyfriend. And, so my boyfriend can clear his schedule, when is your eighteenth exactly?
HENDRIX: Oh, I'm not having one.
ROXY: Excuse me, what?
HENDRIX: Yeah, I'm just thinking a quiet dinner with Harlow. Parties are overrated.
ROXY: (scoffing) But you like to party as much as I do.
HENDRIX: Sorry to disappoint, it's not going to happen.
Harlow looks guilty that Hendrix has pared his excitement back for his own birthday.
Number 28 Backyard
Shaun tries to cheer Elly up but she's still shattered about the way the mother's group treated her. She also had an idea, though, to create her own inclusive parents' group for anyone that wants to join. Shaun smiles and says it's a great idea. Elly says she's already started a Facebook page and the first meeting is set for next week.
Roxy brings over mimosas for herself and Harlow and a nice OJ for Hendrix, much to his chagrin. Ned clears dishes in the kitchen and overhears Paul and Terese discussing the dismal occupancy rate of the Backpackers. Terese points out that it's hardly the place overseas visitors want to be during winter, but Paul replies the numbers have been down for months.
There's a knock at the door and Harlow finds Mackenzie on the other side, brandishing a bunch of flowers for her friend. Harlow's surprised Mackenzie's not already at the hospital but Mackenzie doesn't want a fuss made over her. Roxy gives her warm well- wishes to Mackenzie, telling her she'll visit her after her operation. Harlow opts to go for a walk with Mackenzie so she can hear all about her newfound siblings, leaving Roxy time to grill Hendrix about his lack of birthday enthusiasm. Hendrix eventually divulges that he wants to support Harlow because she's missing her mum. Harlow pops back in to grab a book for Mackenzie, overhearing part of the conversation.
HENDRIX: Harlow freaked out after Mackenzie's party. She thought as soon as I turned eighteen I would go wild and run off. I'll have plenty more birthdays. But right now Harlow comes first.
Harlow looks pensive again before heading back out. Roxy tells Hendrix he's not a bad boyfriend - but he's not the best either, that title belongs to her boyfriend!
Harlow has filled Mackenzie in on Hendrix's current stance on his eighteenth. Harlow has come up with a solution, though, she's going to throw Hendrix a surprise birthday bash. Mackenzie encourages her to throw the party today. Harlow doesn't think it's a good idea because she wants to support Mackenzie at the hospital, but Mackenzie's like, 'I love you, but if you turn up I'm going to send you away'.
MACKENZIE: As I said to dad and Aunty Trish, just knowing you want to be there is enough for me. Honestly, I don't want a big crowd.
HARLOW: You know it's not entirely selfless. Focusing on you takes my mind off mum not being here.
MACKENZIE: So will throwing a surprise party, and that will be way more fun.
She spies Pierce at the counter and calls him over, telling him Harlow has something to ask him.
Elly is out for a walk with Shaun and Aster when she gets some bad news. The women from the mother's group have hijacked the comments on her Facebook page, letting everyone know that Elly is a murderer "with questionable life choices who shouldn't be around children." Shaun's angry and says Elly should report them but Elly sadly says it's based on facts. She passes Shaun her phone and asks him to delete the page - she doesn't want to look at it any longer.
Harlow happily informs Paul and Ned that they're going to throw Hendrix a party.
PAUL: Darling, today is supposed to be all about you.
HARLOW: Great, so you'll do what I want!
Harlow says she'll ask Roxy about the food and drinks but asks Ned to help spread the word. There's a mild problem when they don't have a venue lined up, but Ned mouths 'Backpackers' at Harlow. She turns with a grin at Paul, asking him if they can use his place of business. It doesn't take long for Paul to cave, especially with Harlow giving him a beaming, dimpled smile. Harlow exclaims this will be a birthday Hendrix will never forget.
Shane and Dipi walk Mackenzie to reception. Dipi says she'll be in every day and will hopefully sneak her some home cooked meals too. Mackenzie laughs when Dipi adds that she also got her a bell for either side of her bed at home so they can attend to her whenever she needs. Mackenzie tells the Rebecchis they have nothing to worry about, she'll be getting the best care at the hospital. Dipi understands, but says she'll be happier once the surgery is over. Mackenzie says Dipi's not the only one, "I'll be the happiest I've ever been."
Richie arrives for the party and Roxy immediately puts him to work with a backpacker setting up decorations outside. Paul says she can't put paying customers to work, but Roxy shrugs and says Pierce's money makes for good bait. Terese checks in with Harlow, Ned and Roxy to make sure everything is going smoothly, just as Chloe and Pierce arrive. They tell the gang that they've managed to book Hendrix's favourite DJ for the event. Roxy says they've done a great job - now she can cancel her guy who has been "charging through the roof" (aka she asks a backpacker named Sven to give her twenty bucks back). Harlow says Hendrix is going to have a great day, and Chloe says he better because it's the last stop on his money train. Pierce can't help getting a dig into Paul about how quiet the Backpackers has been lately. Paul then throws his own insult in about how rubbish the island is before Terese drags him away towards Harlow. Paul asks if Harlow's okay with a double celebration but Harlow reiterates that she just wants to keep her mind off Prue and believes this is best way to do so.
Number 28 Backyard
While Aster is down for a sleep, Shaun takes Elly to where he's set up pillows and blankets in the garden as their own makeshift parents group. He invites Elly to sit before addressing her and the non- existent group members.
SHAUN: I'm fairly new to the parenting game, finding my way with Aster's mum, Elly. Some mean mothers recently gave her a hard time.
SHAUN: I know, right?! They tried to knock Elly down but she wouldn't let them. She turned it into an opportunity to help other people. I'm constantly wowed by her, so is Aster. Elly's incredible and we're lucky to have her in our lives.
Elly looks touched as Shaun moves to sit next to her. Shaun says that he wanted to make sure Elly knew she'd never be alone - she'll always have Aster, and she'll always have him.
SHAUN: Even if the odds are against us.
ELLY: Oh, the odds are against us.
SHAUN: Well yeah, we are both unemployed.
ELLY: Yeah and we're living with my aunty and uncle.
SHAUN: One of us has a fairly serious tea addiction.
ELLY: And one of us is scared of yo- yos!
They laugh and look at one another before leaning in to kiss.
Hendrix doesn't get why Harlow wanted to take the scenic route to the hospital but is soon greeted by all his mates bounding out of the hostel to yell surprise. Hendrix is stoked, even more so when he spies his favourite DJ, Mick Maio, playing. Pierce busts out an awkward robot move and says he's ready to get his boogie on, while Chloe says Pierce will play a set when the DJ takes a break. Hendrix is less than enthused, causing Pierce to smirk: he promises Hendrix they won't stick around for the party. Oh, and the "guilt payments" are also done. Hendrix is on board with that: he's got everything he wants right here.
The party gets into full swing. High school blockhead, Ollie, shows up at the party and immediately sets his bullying sights on Richie. He winds him up about Mackenzie's surgery, making gross comments about it being "her loss and your gain". It all becomes too much for Richie and he angrily goes to charge at Ollie before Ned steps in to stop a fight from breaking out. Roxy asks what's going on, but Richie says Ollie's just being disgusting. He decides to go and see Mackenzie at the hospital.
Shane sits with Mackenzie in her room. He tells Mackenzie about Yashvi's texts he's been getting.
SHANE: Looks like Yashvi's first day on the job couldn't be going better.
MACKENZIE: Catching crims left, right and centre?
SHANE: Been to a parakeet- related noise complaint and now she's on paperwork.
MACKENZIE: And she's happy with that?
SHANE: Nope, but I am. One less of my girls to worry about.
Mackenzie can see that Shane looks weary. She knows he was up half the night studying and encourages he and Dipi to head home to rest, but Shane says they want to be there. Richie arrives for a visit, so Shane heads out to give them privacy and check on Dipi in the cafeteria. Mackenzie smiles and says she thought she told Richie to go to the party, but Richie replies she never said how long he had to stay. "It was no fun without you anyway," he adds. Richie asks how she is and Mackenzie says she's all set; she's had her pre- op meds and everything is starting to feel really real.
RICHIE: You nervous?
MACKENZIE: No - excited. Everything is about to change. Life is about to get so much better.
Number 28 Backyard
Elly and Shaun are wrapped up under the blankets after sleeping together. Shaun asks how she is and Elly replies that she's happy. They're both glad they're on the same page about wanting a relationship with each other.
ELLY: You know what you said before about us being a team?
ELLY: Well you beat me to it. It's everything that I wanted to hear and everything I wanted to say to you.
SHAUN: Good. Because you, me and Aster, that's the only future I'm up for.
Elly then gets worried about Aster's future not being easy on her. She feels as though she's messed everything up for her daughter by having the murder charge looming over their heads for the rest of their lives. "She'll always pay for my mistakes," Elly says. Shaun says they'll just try and explain to people what the truth is, but Elly isn't sure people will be willing to listen.
ELLY: She'll never escape it.
SHAUN: So why don't we escape it for her. We could move somewhere far away from all this... Like Switzerland?
ELLY: Yeah, I wish it was that easy.
SHAUN: Why can't it be? Neither of us are working, we don't really have anything tying us here. Why not start afresh?
Elly thinks this over.
Mackenzie wonders why Richie is being so quiet, asking if he's stressed. Richie admits that Ollie was "mouthing off" at the party, saying that he was the "winner" in all of this. Like Mackenzie was getting the surgery just for him. Mackenzie's face falls - she's upset and mad.
MACKENZIE: So you came to give me a last minute reprieve to let me off the hook?
RICHIE: No, not at all.
MACKENZIE: I thought you knew me, Richie.
RICHIE: I do!
MACKENZIE: We've talked a lot about my reasons for wanting this.
RICHIE: I know and I get it.
MACKENZIE: I think you should leave.
Richie asks for a chance to explain, but Mackenzie says she doesn't want to get even more worked up than she already is. She tells him again to leave, saying they'll talk about it after her operation. They both look gutted.
Roxy giggles away after getting a text from her "boyfriend", making Ned and Harlow almost roll their eyes in unison. Ned asks what Kyle is saying but Roxy just says he wouldn't get it because it's an in- joke couples thing. Ned gets his own back by asking Roxy if she's bumped into Sheila since her and Kyle made things official. Roxy's smile fades and she stammers out excuses before admitting that she's "packing it", but at least Kyle told Sheila this time. Harlow notices some of the party guests acting strangely and is baffled, especially since they've only been drinking water. Roxy figures they might have some "off- menu party favours" going on. Harlow freaks out that there might be drugs on the premises. Ned and Roxy say they'll scope things out, but this doesn't pacify Harlow. It's her granddad's business on the line - if there's drugs, they need to be dealt with.
Shane and Dipi wish Mackenzie luck as she is being wheeled in for surgery. Richie suddenly appears around the corner wearing a hospital gown over his clothes, much to Mackenzie's surprise.
MACKENZIE: What are you doing here? Why are you wearing that?
RICHIE: I'm getting surgery too, to get my stupid foot out of my mouth.
He says he doesn't want Mackenzie going into her surgery angry and wants to explain himself to her. Richie tells her that when Ollie said those things, it wasn't something that had crossed his mind before. Mackenzie says she doesn't care what people think, but Richie says neither does he, which is what he came here to tell her.
MACKENZIE: Why were you stressing about it then?
RICHIE: I wasn't. It was down to the other thing I wanted to tell you. First I was going to say, whatever choices you make I back them. A hundred per cent, no ifs or buts. You got that bit? (Mackenzie nods) And then I was going to be like, 'you wanna know why?' And you'd be like...
MACKENZIE: (smiling) Why?
RICHIE: Right. And my planned response was, 'because I support you unconditionally'. Same as how... I love you.
MACKENZIE: (shocked) I'm sorry, but did you just tell me in a very weird and roundabout way you love me?
RICHIE: (grinning) Yes. Did I explain it better this time? I mean I can write another poem if you want?
MACKENZIE: (laughing) No, I'm good. But just so we're clear - I'm doing this for me. And only me.
RICHIE: I know.
MACKENZIE: And I love you too.
They grin at one another. Shane and Dipi watch them from the end of the hallway, also smiling, as Mackenzie is wheeled the rest of the way to the operating room with an elated look on her face. Richie watches her go, beaming the whole time.
Ned tells Harlow and Roxy that he's found out there's definitely something going around but he doesn't know what. Roxy wants Harlow to chill a bit but Harlow says she's responsible for everything going smoothly. Hendrix appears and asks Harlow to dance with him, but Harlow says she'll be with him soon. Once his back is turned, she charges off to look around for anything dodgy. It's not long before she finds a bag with drugs in it. She starts to empty out the evidence just as a cop car pulls up, sirens wailing.