- Jane tells Nicolette that Hendrix has been asking questions about her
- Hendrix tells Harlow it would be weird if Nicolette moved here because she was obsessed with Chloe
- Nicolette admits to Jane that she's fallen for someone who's unavailable; Jane guesses it's Chloe
- Mackenzie drops out of the running for the youth advisor position after all the drama with Shane
- Roxy encourages Harlow to stand for the position in Mackenzie's place
- In his police interview, Shane tells Levi and Yashvi that River Hanlon sold him the drugs
- Dax seems annoyed that Levi and Yashvi have issued a KALOF on River, causing him to go to ground
- Yashvi tells Levi that Dax is stonewalling them; he replies that she should do what she's told
- Dax tells Yashvi that if she goes digging, 'things might start to get real messy for your dad'
Erinsborough Police Station
Levi and Dax are having banter, while Yashvi works at a desk, looking annoyed. Dax is teasing Levi about his 'imaginary' girlfriend Bea, and eventually manages to get Yashvi to join in with the ribbing. Levi asks Yashvi if she's heard from Bea; she says not. Levi says Bea hasn't replied to his messages either.
Levi notices Yashvi is distracted, and asks if she's alright. Dax's ears prick up nearby.
YASHVI: Yeah, fine. Being there for Dad's interview was just really tough.
LEVI: Hey, you did your job, and you did it well.
Yashvi forces a smile, and Levi leaves - but she looks distinctly less happy when left with Dax.
Chloe and Nicolette have just finished a remote video chat with Aaron, David and Fay who are still away on holiday. Pierce comes in, and moans about work - there's a massive stockpile of non- eco- friendly products that they've had to take out of all the guest rooms since Paul kowtowed to the teens' environmental demands, and now they need to find a way to dispose of it ethically.
Chloe offers to sort it out, and Pierce says that would be good, saying it would be a PR nightmare if it all ended up in landfill. He goes to take a shower. Hendrix comes in, and Chloe leaves to research ways to ethically dispose of the hotel stuff. Hendrix sits down with Nicolette.
HENDRIX: Ouch. You turn down a tropical holiday to hang out with Chloe, and she'd rather work!
NICOLETTE: What's that you're reading? Baby's first book of colours?
HENDRIX: Oh, it's called 'The Prince', actually. It's about politics. I'm running my girlfriend's campaign for council.
NICOLETTE: Machiavelli! Very on- brand for you.
HENDRIX: What's that supposed to mean?
NICOLETTE: Oh, nothing. Just focus more on your book, and less on your crazy conspiracy theories.
HENDRIX: We'll see how crazy they are.
Paul is pleased to hear of Harlow's plan to run for council youth eco advisor, and suggests Lassiter's could sponsor her campaign. But Harlow's not thinking about the election for the post until she's broken the news to Mackenzie that she's standing; she's worried Mackenzie might be upset.
Paul says that he sympathises with the Rebecchis about Shane's drug problem, but that Harlow shouldn't be disadvantaged because of it. Harlow says that Roxy had the same view.
PAUL: Oh, don't make me second- guess myself by saying Roxy agrees with me!
He encourages Harlow just to tell Mackenzie, so Harlow can then focus on winning the election. Harlow picks up her phone...
Jane calls round to see Nicolette. She's brought her a jigsaw of a map of Melbourne, evidently so they can complete it together. Nicolette only briefly feigns interest, telling a nearby Chloe...
NICOLETTE: Puzzles used to be our thing. A long time ago.
CHLOE: Explains why you're so good at thinking outside the box!
JANE: ... Are you going to invite me in?
NICOLETTE: Yes, come in.
Chloe makes room for them at the table so they can get started on the jigsaw, and leaves the room. Nicolette seems disappointed she's exchanged Chloe's company for Jane's!
JANE: Things obviously aren't getting any easier, living in this same house with Chloe. Maybe you should consider moving out?
NICOLETTE: What, and let Hendrix and his grubby agenda win?
JANE: Well, you have to do what's right for you. You know... we could find a place together? Lots of lovely little rentals, and Eden Hills has -
NICOLETTE: Mum, stop, okay?! I told you because I needed to vent, not because I needed you to do anything about it.
JANE: You know, you really are impossible sometimes!
NICOLETTE: No, most of the time. If you want to help, just stay out of it.
JANE (hurt): Well, let's just... start our jigsaw.
NICOLETTE: You know, I'm not really in the mood anymore.
JANE: No, neither am I.
Jane goes to leave, and Chloe re- emerges, surprised she's leaving so soon.
No 22 / No 30
Harlow is on the phone to Mackenzie, telling her about her last- minute decision to enter the race for council advisor. Mackenzie is understanding, saying it's fine by her and that she'd have done the same, though it's not clear whether she's just saying it to be nice. Harlow assures Mackenzie that if she has any eco ideas, she can still tell Harlow who will then feed them to the council.
Hendrix joins Harlow and Paul on the patio. He's still reading Machiavelli's 'The Prince', and Paul seems impressed at this.
PAUL: 'The lion cannot protect himself from traps.'
HENDRIX: 'And the fox can't defend himself from the wolves.' It's gold.
Harlow is amused by Paul and Hendrix quoting Machiavelli at each other, and puts Mackenzie on speakerphone so she can be amused too. Hendrix explains to Paul that he's reading the book to inform Harlow's campaign, which he's managing.
PAUL: A lot of the philosophies it presents are a little antiquated, but there's a great deal of food for thought, I can tell you, and ammunition to arm yourself with, you know?
HARLOW (to Mackenzie): Might need you to help me keep them in line.
MACKENZIE: Don't worry. I've got your back.
Erinsborough Police Station
Yashvi's about to leave for home, when Dax asks her to wait.
DAX: Are we all good?
DAX: Because I don't want the work environment to be uncomfortable. YASHVI: The only thing I'm uncomfortable with is a stalled investigation.
DAX: See, now you've said that, I worry that you're gonna go rogue.
YASHVI: You've given me an order. I won't break it.
DAX: No - no, you won't. Because as of tomorrow, you're gonna be on desk duties.
DAX: I'm not having some loose cannon out on patrol! I need you where I can see you.
YASHVI: This is completely unnecessary!
DAX: Are you questioning my judgement?
YASHVI: No, sarge. Just feels a bit unfair.
DAX: You're too emotionally invested in this particular case, and that's why I can't risk having you anywhere near it. I hope you like paperwork.
Chloe and Nicolette are chatting about Nicolette's troubled relationship with Jane. Nicolette complains that Jane seems to think she's still nine years old.
NICOLETTE: First this [jigsaw], then the unwanted advice.
CHLOE: What exactly was she advising you on?
NICOLETTE: It's not important. I guess I'm still adjusting to having a relationship with her.
CHLOE: Well, you have been apart a long time.
NICOLETTE: If I was forced to spend a whole day with my mother, I'd probably end up killing her. If she didn't kill me first.
CHLOE: (...) Maybe you need to do it more, then. Like controlled exposure to an allergy.
NICOLETTE: She does give me a rash.
CHLOE: When I was a kid, I had this rabbit. I was super- allergic to it at first. The trick was to play with it just a little bit more each day, and then the rash wasn't so bad.
NICOLETTE: So, I should think of Mum as vermin?
CHLOE: No, rabbits are cute!
NICOLETTE: They also bite, and crap everywhere.
Hendrix comes in, and is annoyed when Chloe says he can't play games on the big TV in the living room because they're talking. He sulks off to his room, looking worried at the time Chloe and Nicolette are spending together.
Chloe admits to Nicolette that her relationship with Fay hasn't always been so rosy, either, mainly because of Chloe.
NICOLETTE: I'd love to have what you and your mum have. But I just don't see it ever happening for me.
The next morning, Yashvi is telling Levi about being put on desk duty by Dax. She also tells him about Dax threatening to bring charges against Shane if Yashvi were to continue investigating River.
LEVI: Maybe he was joking.
YASHVI: ... Why are you defending him?
LEVI: I'm not. I'm following orders. And you shouldn't be on a case involving family members.
YASHVI: All I'm trying to do is get justice for everyone. We should be out there looking for River; instead, Dax is stonewalling us. He is corrupt!
LEVI (hushed): Can you keep your voice down?!
YASHVI: He is, though, right? What other reason could there be? You agree, don't you?
LEVI: ... I've thought it for a while.
YASHVI: What?! How come you didn't say anything, and why are you defending him?
LEVI: Because I'm not stupid. And you can't keep your mouth shut. It's a big deal to accuse another cop of being bent.
YASHVI: How dodgy is he?
Chloe and Nicolette arrive; it turns out that Chloe has surreptitiously arranged a morning tea date for Nicolette and Jane!
CHLOE: Yes, I'm interfering, but you need me to. You want a better relationship with your mum, but you are just too stubborn to do anything about it (...) Mother- daughter time is precious. I hope you make the most of it.
Jane has arrived, and approaches Nicolette cautiously...
Erinsborough High School
Hendrix finds Richie looking at the list of candidates for the youth advisor position on the noticeboard. Mackenzie is passing, things between her and Richie clearly still frosty. But Hendrix notices Mackenzie's name is on the list.
HENDRIX: I thought you weren't running?
MACKENZIE: I'm not.
HENDRIX: Well, how come your name's up here?
MACKENZIE: I... I don't know how that happened.
RICHIE: Well, uh, I put you up there (...) I heard you weren't gonna run cos of what happened with Shane.
MACKENZIE: So you went behind my back?
RICHIE: The deadline was yesterday. I didn't want you to wake up in a few weeks and regret it. Stay in the race or pull out - at least now, you have the option.
Mackenzie looks uncertain.
Jane and Nicolette are chatting awkwardly over tea.
NICOLETTE: You didn't have much time for us kids when we were young.
JANE: Well, Nan needed a lot of attention. And I always tried to do my best.
NICOLETTE: Your best was good enough. Until I came out.
JANE: I have never had a problem with you being gay.
NICOLETTE: I psyched myself up for months for the hardest conversation of my life, and your response was, 'Don't tell your great- nan.'
JANE: She was from a different generation. She wouldn't have understood.
NICOLETTE: Mum, I needed acceptance.
JANE: And I told you that I supported you.
NICOLETTE: Forcing me to hide who I was from great- nan, or at any social situation that involved family members who might tell her? Do you know what that said to me? That keeping up appearances was more important than me. And that hurt like hell, and it still does.
JANE (realisation): ... And it was after that that you pulled away.
NICOLETTE: Not just from you. You don't know this, but I was seeing a girl. And I really loved her. That all ended.
JANE: Is that why you moved to Australia?
NICOLETTE: Partly. But honestly, I just wanted to get as far away from you as possible.
JANE: ... I always knew that things weren't great between us. But I had no idea that's how you felt. You needed a shoulder, and I turned away.
NICOLETTE: I didn't need a shoulder. I needed my mum.
Yashvi and Levi are still chatting about Dax, in the alleyway next to Harold's. Levi explains that if they don't have watertight evidence against Dax, they don't stand a chance.
LEVI: If we rush, or don't get this right, he'll retaliate. And I'm not talking desk duty; I'm talking sending us out there without backup, with bad info - a situation that could put both our lives in danger.
YASHVI: So you were protecting me?
LEVI: Now you're catching up. As far as I can tell, he's been acting normally with every other case besides this one.
YASHVI: Dax was rapt when we brought Ollie in. If he didn't want us to solve this case, wouldn't he shut us down when we brought in the dealer?
LEVI (realising): Because Ollie isn't the dealer!
YASHVI: He's innocent. He was telling the truth the whole time. And Dax pushed us to charge him, so it would steer us away from the real perp.
LEVI: And who's he recently been steering us away from?
Levi decides that Dax and River must be in this together - but at this point, Dax approaches from the other side of the courtyard. He can't see them yet, so Levi tells Yashvi to leave before he does. Yashvi heads off around the corner, while Levi goes over to greet Dax.
Dax offers to buy Levi a coffee out of petty cash! He also tells Levi that he's had to 'bench' Yashvi, confining her to desk duty.
DAX: She's getting a little bit too big for her boots.
DAX: Don't worry. We'll find you a new partner, someone not so green.
LEVI: Can't wait.
Nicolette can see Jane's upset by what she's learned in their conversation, and asks if she's okay.
NICOLETTE: I didn't go full Jerry Springer on you, but I came close.
JANE: No, I... I'm glad that everything is out on the table. And I just hope that we can continue to be honest with one another.
NICOLETTE: Yeah, me too.
As Nicolette leaves, Paul comes in, and asks Jane if everything's alright.
JANE: I think we've had a breakthrough.
PAUL: Yeah, and?
JANE: Well, I always knew that Nicolette had a problem with the way that I handled her coming out. I never wanted Nan to find out.
PAUL: Yeah, but Nicolette took it personally.
Jane explains how her actions ruined Nicolette's relationship with her girlfriend at the time, though Jane never knew.
PAUL: I just wonder if that's why she wrecked yours, with Des...
JANE: ... No! No, she's not vindictive like that.
PAUL: Really? She's never apologised for it, though. Does she even know about the catfishing? What it did to your personal life, and your confidence?
JANE: No, I don't want to get into all of that. I don't want to risk the progress that we've made today.
Erinsborough High School
Mackenzie tells Harlow that she'll pull out of the council position race if Harlow wants her to.
MACKENZIE: And I'll never speak to Richie again.
HARLOW: No, I don't want you to do either of those things (...) I am fine with this.
MACKENZIE: Even if it means we're going up against each other?
HARLOW: Okay, have you seen the candidate list? One of us is gonna win and that means we both win.
MACKENZIE: You know, Hendrix was talking about using dirty politics before he knew that I was running.
HARLOW: You heard him last night. He's starting to think he's Grandad 2.0. I can handle Hendrix.
They make a promise to one another that they won't let the race for the position affect their friendship.
MACKENZIE: May the best woman win.
In another part of the corridor, Hendrix tells Richie...
HENDRIX: You know this is war, right?
RICHIE: Guess that makes me Mac's main guy!
HENDRIX: Haha - well, doesn't your girlfriend have to be able to stomach being in the same room as you for that to happen?
RICHIE: Nice one. I'll write that into Mackenzie's victory speech.
HENDRIX: ... That doesn't make sense.
RICHIE: Your face doesn't make sense.
HENDRIX: Wow. You're like Oscar Wilde - so witty (!)
Hendrix tells Richie he's going to dig up dirt on him and Mackenzie to win the election. Unfazed, Richie tells him to give it his best shot!
Paul runs into Nicolette, who confirms that she and Jane are in 'a much better place' after their chat. But Paul says it seems unfair that Jane seems to be 'owning her part of your past' but that Nicolette isn't owning hers.
NICOLETTE: You know, what happened ten years ago is none of your business.
PAUL: I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about what happened in Perth. NICOLETTE: I got her out of a marriage that she didn't want to be in.
PAUL: No, no - you walked in there, and you dropped a bomb, and you left. Leaving your mum devastated all over again.
NICOLETTE: What do you mean, all over again?
Paul tells Nicolette about how Jane met Mannix Foster online, and was conned out of all her money by him. Paul admits it broke Jane emotionally, and out of guilt, he pushed her towards romance with Des. Nicolette's surprised to learn all this.
PAUL: And you know the real shame? First and foremost, they were friends for over 30 years. And now they're not even talking to each other. Anyway, now you know.
Chloe turns up as Paul leaves, and asks Nicolette how her tea with Jane was. Nicolette is looking guilty...
Erinsborough High School
Richie has been summoned to the principal's office, but rather than Susan, he finds Yashvi and Levi waiting for him. He looks worried.
RICHIE: I did the wrong thing, giving my meds to your dad. I'm sorry.
YASHVI: This isn't about that. But to make up for it, you can answer these questions honestly (...) Why did your parents bail out Ollie?
RICHIE: Cos he's not a dealer. I've known Ollie since I was in primary school. He hates drugs. The whole 'being cool' thing is just an act. My parents bailed him out of jail because they believed him, too. He likes them better than he likes his own folks. I swear, he's... he's not a dealer.
Levi and Yashvi exchange a glance, then send Richie back to class. Yashvi tells Levi that Richie's never been a very good liar, so must be telling the truth. They conclude that Ollie was set up - now all they need is proof. Yashvi suggests they speak to forensics about any new clues on the tape they found in Ollie's bag. But Levi says no - Dax will find out and they'd be stuffed.
Instead, they decide to use Levi's chumminess with Dax to their advantage, and find what Dax doesn't want them to - River Hanlon.
Pierce asks Chloe how she's getting along with disposing of the excess hotel stock. She admits she's still working on it, so Pierce leaves her to it. Nicolette then comes in, and they have a conversation about something Nicolette has decided to do, which isn't clear to us.
NICOLETTE: It's done.
CHLOE: Okay. Wow. You don't muck around.
NICOLETTE: A quick decision's a good decision... I think.
CHLOE: You and your mum have only just started getting along. This could put you back to square one, or worse.
NICOLETTE: After what Paul told me about Mannix, I can't just sit around. I have to do something.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Dipi tells Pierce that Shane's lies are the only constant in their marriage
- An upset Dipi tears strips off Roxy for keeping her in the dark about Shane's addiction
- Hendrix tells Nicolette that it's obvious she is 'blazing' for Chloe
- Ned tells Kyle that his Fandangle fan now wants a video of him stripping
- Cut to Ned unbuttoning his shirt while filming himself