- Emmett struggles with work set by Mr Muggleton, and takes out his frustration by kicking a bin
- When David shows up at the school, he finds Emmett with his older brother, Brent
- David tells Emmett that the vice principal has suspended him
- Emmett tells David and Aaron of Brent's plan to get an apartment and have Emmett live with him
- David and Aaron question Brent as to whether he's really ready for that responsibility
- Karl runs into Jane in Perth, and learns that she's broken up with Des following their marriage
- Jane tells Terese the same thing on the phone, and decides she should tell Paul, too
- But Terese isn't keen on Paul sticking his oar in with Jane, so says she'll take care of him
- Later, Terese tells Paul that Jane and Des are doing really well
- Paul has been looking on Jane's Facebook and has seen she's spent time with daughter Nicolette
- Terese decides to message Nicolette to tell her that Jane needs her support
In the office, Terese is still looking at Jane's daughter Nicolette's Facebook on the computer, when Harlow comes in to request some data on the hotel's air conditioning for her sustainability project. Harlow notices Terese is on the Facebook profile and asks who she's stalking. Terese tells her it's nothing, and says to keep it from Paul if she wants the air conditioning data!
HARLOW: Oh, wow! First stalking, now blackmail! You really are full of surprises today.
Harlow asks who Nicolette is, but Terese just replies that she's a 'friend of a friend'.
Emmett and Brent are on the patio together, when David emerges and tells them they'll be having dinner soon - they can drop Brent back at his care home afterwards if he wants to stay.
BRENT: What are you having?
DAVID: Aaron's gone to get some pizza.
DAVID: He'll be stoked to hear your enthusiasm(!)
Brent gives David some attitude in return, poking fun at David's question about his 'dietary requirements' and the need to set the table. Once David's gone inside, Brent tells Emmett that they're not staying for dinner, encouraging him to sneak out with him into The City™. Emmett's worried David will be angry, but Brent says Emmett can just text him while they're out.
Emmett agrees, and the pair sneak out around the side of the house.
Chloe runs into Aaron in the courtyard, who tells her about the tribulations of having two teenagers to contend with for dinner. He invites Chloe to bring Pierce over as there will be plenty of food and wine, but she declines - and the mention of wine prompts Chloe to tell Aaron she's not drinking currently.
CHLOE: I've been meaning to talk to you about that.
AARON: Are you... ?
CHLOE: It's early days, but... yep, preggo.
She tells him she's five weeks along or thereabouts. Aaron guesses it wasn't planned and Chloe confirms this. But she doesn't want to tell her mum or Tyler until they know more.
AARON: Know more? As in, whether you're gonna keep it?
CHLOE: We're not sure yet. We can get genetic testing done at ten weeks. If the HD markers are high, we'll deal with it then.
CHLOE: Say something, Az. I'm dying here, and not just from the nausea.
AARON: Sorry, Chlo, I just... you know, it's complicated. And even if the test markers are low.
CHLOE: I know. It's not ideal. But it's happening, so we're just taking one day at a time.
AARON: Yeah. I guess that's all you can do, huh? Hey, I'm here if you need anything, okay?
CHLOE: Thanks, bro.
But she looks worried.
Terese is at the reception desk when a woman comes in. Terese recognises her from the photos as Nicolette, Jane's daughter. Nicolette says she's in town for a conference, but since the afternoon session looked 'really boring', she thought she'd come and respond in person to Terese's message, which was 'way more intriguing'.
NICOLETTE: So, where is the old bird? Might as well talk to her face-to-face.
TERESE: Jane's in Perth. I'm sorry - did you think that she was here?
NICOLETTE: Oh, it's just that you said that she wasn't okay after what happened in Perth, so I assumed she'd left. What's going on?
TERESE: So, you don't know? Jane and Des have broken up.
NICOLETTE (laughs): Right. Well, the writing was on the wall for that, so...
Seemingly a little surprised by Nicolette's lack of concern, Terese suggests they head upstairs to talk about it in the office. On their way to the lift, Nicolette spots Helen Daniels' famous painting on the wall.
NICOLETTE: That looks exactly like...
TERESE: Oh, Mrs Mangel - your great grandmother. That's because it is.
Nicolette looks somewhat unimpressed as she follows Terese.
Aaron has arrived home and joins David in the kitchen, but they soon realise that Emmett and Brent aren't in the house or outside. David is about to call Emmett, but at this point, Kyle shows up and says he's seen Emmett getting on the bus with an older kid. David then gets a text from Emmett, saying he and Brent have gone into The City™ and will be back later.
Aaron is annoyed, saying Brent must have egged on Emmett into leaving. David tries to call Emmett. Aaron thinks they should call Leila and tell her, but David says they've already called her once today. Kyle is sure Brent won't let anything happen to his brother.
DAVID: Let's just give them some time. If they're not back by Brent's curfew, we'll reevaluate.
In the office, Terese tells Nicolette how devastated Jane seemed about her split from Des. Nicolette's sympathies are limited.
NICOLETTE: I'm sure she is! But we both know the whole marriage thing was a rush job.
TERESE: Yeah, but Jane didn't see it that way. Her and Des have a very long history together. I would've thought she'd told you?
NICOLETTE: Sorry, can we backtrack a bit? Did Mum tell you to contact me?
TERESE: ... No.
NICOLETTE: So, why did you?
TERESE: Because she's hurting, and she needs somebody. And I thought you'd be the best person. She really does need some family support.
NICOLETTE: She didn't happen to mention what caused the break-up?
TERESE: No, just that things had fallen apart.
Terese gets a message on her phone, and has to go - but suggests she and Nicolette could reconvene for breakfast tomorrow morning, before Nicolette leaves. Nicolette agrees.
Later that evening, Emmett arrives back home with Brent in tow. Emmett begins to apologise, but Aaron tells him his behaviour isn't acceptable.
BRENT: It's my fault.
AARON: Oh, really? (!) I thought that part was pretty obvious.
BRENT: Well, I got him home safe, didn't I?
AARON: That's not the point. Look, I went out to get you two dinner, and you didn't even have the respect to tell me that you were gonna skip out on it.
Aaron tells Emmett to go to bed, and he obeys.
BRENT: Look, you're not my carer, alright? You don't get to tell me off.
AARON: Yeah, I know - I'm not going to. I'm gonna take you home.
BRENT: What? No. No way!
AARON: You have a curfew, which you are very close to breaking. The staff will be wondering where you are.
BRENT: Mm, doubt it.
Brent's about to leave of his own accord, saying he'll sleep at a mate's place.
AARON: I can't just let you leave.
BRENT: Look, I'm not your responsibility.
AARON: Why can't I just take you home?
BRENT: Because I don't want to be there!
Aaron hesitates, before telling Brent he can stay the night here - he'll check with David and Brent's carers, and drive him home in the morning. Brent nods, and leaves the room.
In the office the next day, Chloe is telling Pierce about how she's worried Aaron thinks she's awful for even contemplating going through with the pregnancy, given her Huntington's disease.
PIERCE: He knows how complicated our situation is. He's not trying to judge; he's just worried.
CHLOE: I just wish I could have one person be happy for me. Like every other married person with a hot husband in their baby-making prime. It's like, every time we tell someone, this dark cloud passes over their face. Like I should've known better.
PIERCE: Hey, this is not your fault, alright? Your Huntington's is not your fault. I'm happy for you - for us. Things'll be clearer after the test.
Chloe finds some ginger nuts on the table which Terese has left for her, with a note saying, 'hope these help with the nausea'. Chloe admits she feels pretty 'yuck'. Pierce tells her that aside from their 11am progress meeting, she should take it easy today.
Terese and Nicolette have met for breakfast. Terese thinks Nicolette should fly to Perth to support Jane.
NICOLETTE: I don't think I should be the person to help. I'm a hundred percent certain I'm the last person Mum will want to talk to about her break-up.
TERESE: Really? I mean, what makes you say that? I saw the photos of you together in Perth.
NICOLETTE: Sometimes, pictures *aren't* worth a thousand words. She didn't mention me at all when you spoke to her?
TERESE: ... No. But what does it matter? You're family. You're the most important person in her life.
NICOLETTE: It's way more complicated than that. Mum and I aren't exactly the Gilmore Girls. We haven't talked properly in years.
TERESE: What, since you came back to Australia?
NICOLETTE: More like, since I came out.
TERESE: ... Uh, well, I can't imagine Jane being upset about -
NICOLETTE: Mum was fine, but she quickly followed up the support with, 'Don't tell your nan.' She didn't think she could handle it, so I was forced to live a lie in my own home. I was always her last priority. And as long as Nan was around, nothing was going to change. So the moment I turned eighteen, I bought a one-way ticket to Oz.
TERESE: And you haven't been back since?
NICOLETTE (emotional): Couple of times. But things with Mum were never great. I could never forget that she chose Nan over me, and... she blamed me for putting a hemisphere between us. I should be over this stuff by now.
TERESE: Well, maybe it feels unfinished. Perhaps you're not quite ready to let her go yet.
NICOLETTE (emotional): Well, when I got your message, I did get the tiniest bit excited. I thought that Mum was actually here, and wanting to talk to me. That maybe she was trying to make things right in her own weird, awkward way. More fool me.
On the patio, Brent is annoyed to learn that Emmett is in his room doing his homework, and tells David and Aaron that that can surely wait till Brent has gone. But Aaron tells Brent that he and David want to talk to him.
DAVID: We know you guys were still thinking of living together.
AARON: Which sounds great - don't worry, we get it. But it's not going to work.
BRENT: Look, you guys said all this kind of crap yesterday, so -
DAVID: Actually, we didn't say everything we were thinking.
BRENT: Oh. Alright, then, come on. What've you got? Don't hold back.
AARON: Brent, there is no way Emmett would ever be allowed to live with you.
DAVID: And if you did it anyway, they'd just come and take him away.
BRENT: You know, the agency goes on about how family's so important, and we're always better off with family?
DAVID: But not at the expense of a safe and stable home.
AARON: Look, you're gonna be eighteen. You're gonna be living on your own for the first time. It's gonna be hard enough to look after yourself, let alone your little brother.
BRENT: What the hell do you know?
AARON: All I'm saying is that if Emmett's here, he's going to be in a better position to have everything he needs for a good future.
DAVID: We know you love your brother. So you want him to have the best possible shot at life. We don't think that's living with you, and I think you know that, too.
Hurt and angry, Brent grabs his bag and storms off around the side of the house.
Terese admits to Nicolette that she's feeling awful for sending her the message - if she'd known her history with Jane, she wouldn't have. Nicolette insists it's okay.
TERESE: My husband has known your mother for many, many years, and we had no idea. She never said things between you were like this.
NICOLETTE (laughs): Really? I'm not at all surprised.
TERESE: Anyway, it still leaves Jane needing someone.
NICOLETTE: Honestly, I don't think you need to do anything. Mum's had about as much success with men as me.
TERESE: But you're gay.
NICOLETTE: Exactly. We're batting the same average. Mum's walked this walk many times before. Consider yourself off the hook. It was nice to meet you, and cheers for the brekkie. I'm really glad Mum has friends like you looking out for her.
Nicolette gets up to leave, but Terese adds...
TERESE: Maybe Jane would be open to making things right, if she knew that that's what you wanted?
NICOLETTE: Yeah... maybe. Thanks.
Kyle is at a table outside Harold's, when Brent passes by. Brent notices a wallet that's been left on a nearby table, and swoops in to grab it.
KYLE: Hey, that's not yours, mate! Hey, aren't you Emmett's brother?
But Brent has already run off. Kyle calls Aaron.
KYLE: Mate, you'd better get down here.
Nicolette is throwing darts somewhat violently at the dartboard, one of which hits a nearby lampshade just as Chloe walks in. Chloe stays still, keen not to get hit! Nicolette is embarrassed.
CHLOE: Hey, no judgement. I mean, the last time I played, my little brother ended up with three stitches!
NICOLETTE: Usually, my form's way better.
CHLOE: He totally deserved it, though. He used my best nail polish to paint the wheels on his toy car. What did your target do?
NICOLETTE: It's a long story. Family stuff. Way too much to load onto a stranger.
CHLOE: Well, whoever it is, just harness that energy. Tell it to the board.
Nicolette composes herself, then throws another dart, which hits the bullseye bang on.
CHLOE (laughs): Wow. Feel better?
NICOLETTE: Actually, yeah. Although, for the record, I don't want to physically harm that person (...) Usually, I'm okay walking into a bar where I don't know anyone. Today, I'm really off my game.
CHLOE: Well, now you know me. I'm Chloe.
NICOLETTE: Hi, Chloe. I'm humiliated, after blurting all of that out to you.
CHLOE: Don't be silly. I know all about being in a bar alone. Typically in the Caribbean with a karaoke machine.
Chloe says she's hanging out here, so Nicolette is welcome to join her. Nicolette smiles as Chloe goes to the bar...
Aaron finds a despondent-looking Brent sitting on a bench, and sits down next to him.
BRENT: What do you want?
AARON: I'm gonna take you home.
BRENT: Why? Feeling bad, after telling me the only thing I'm good for is ruining my brother's life?
AARON: We didn't mean to humiliate you. Taking care of Emmett, it's... it's a really nice idea. But it's just not realistic.
BRENT: You're only saying that because you don't like me.
AARON: I'm sorry, Brent, but this is not about you. We just want to give Emmett the best shot at life.
BRENT: What happens when he stuffs up at school again, huh? Does something worse? Soon, you'll be happy to kick him off to the next foster home.
AARON: I'm sorry, but that's not our plan.
BRENT: But it's what happens to us over and over again, alright? We don't get happy endings. We're just projects for people like you - people like you, who have money and nothing better to do with it.
AARON: That is not true.
BRENT: Ha, alright, then. Alright, we'll see what you say when Em gets too hard, and you remember how much better life was without him.
AARON: Brent, whether you believe me or not, I'm telling you now, we are in this for the long haul with Emmett.
BRENT: Look, mate, they all say that. But you'll let him down. You'll let him down, just like the others - and I know, because I've been there for him every time! And every time, I've had that kid's back! So don't try and tell me how hard it'd be caring for him. I've been doing it my whole life.
Nicolette has joined Chloe for a drink. Chloe asks what the family stuff is that is getting her down.
NICOLETTE: Just some old wounds being scratched open by a well-meaning stranger (...)
CHLOE: Family trauma sucks (...) Just when you think you've got your life all figured out, it rears its ugly head and turns everything upside down.
Nicolette introduces herself.
NICOLETTE: You can call me Nic.
CHLOE: Pleasure to meet you, fellow family trauma survivor!
Chloe gets a message (presumably from Paul) asking why she's not in a conference call. Nicolette apologises for distracting her.
CHLOE: Please, I was begging to be distracted. Though I will blame you, if required. I hope we hang together again soon!
NICOLETTE: I'm actually heading back to Canberra tomorrow. I live there.
CHLOE: Aww, that's no fun!
Chloe rushes off, bidding Nicolette goodbye. Nicolette looks curious as she goes.
Aaron returns from taking Brent home. David tells him that Emmett has barricaded himself in his room. Seeing Brent's care home has really affected Aaron.
AARON: You know they've got bars on the windows there?
DAVID: To stop people breaking in.
AARON: No, it's to stop people breaking out. I felt like I was bailing on him.
DAVID: You were doing a good thing. Taking him home.
AARON: Yeah. Well, it didn't feel good. Just seeing him in there like that - like, no wonder he's so angry all the time. Everyone's let him down - like, his parents, the school, his carers, the whole system.
DAVID: They've both been through a lot.
AARON: Yeah, and all he wants to do is just be there for his brother. Just to protect him.
DAVID: I understand that. But he's still just a kid himself.
AARON: Yeah, but he's a kid who's copped more rejection than most people get in their whole lives. He thinks the world isn't built for people like him because, well, that's what the world's taught him.
DAVID: Which is why we have Emmett. So he never has to feel that way.
AARON: ... Yeah. I know. But what about Brent? Right, he's seventeen years old and the whole world has given up on him.
AARON: Right, look, I know this is crazy, but it's like -
DAVID: We're stretched enough as it is.
AARON: Yeah, I know. But he needs someone looking after him just as much as Emmett does. Maybe that should be us.
David looks deeply unsure.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Roxy is hiring Ned for an art commission! But Ned implores her to keep it between them
- Levi asks Bea if they can talk; she asks if he's had another seizure
- Shane is on the phone to Dipi, saying he's trying; she replies she doesn't have time for this
- Clive tells Sheila, 'You can't push him until he's ready. He's in shock; he needs more time'