- Scarlett blackmails Ned into painting a portrait of her
- Ned tells Scarlett that once the portrait is finished, there'll be no more contact; she agrees
- Nicolette tells Jane she's got a permanent job at the hospital
- But she adds that Jane's dream of them continuing to live on the same street won't happen
- Dipi tells Pierce about her idea to launch cooking classes to earn extra money
- But when Shane learns about it, Pierce advises him to leave Dipi to it and not to come along
- Chloe and Pierce have a public spat during the cooking class
- Shane tells Pierce to take care of his own car- crash marriage before interfering in his
- Pierce tells Shane he doesn't deserve a woman like Dipi
Dipi and Shane are clearing up after the cooking class, following Pierce's outburst.
SHANE: He was seriously out of line.
DIPI (upset): And what about you? I was here trying to find a way to make our family extra money.
SHANE: Yeah, sure, but he's the one who started it.
DIPI: No, that class was the only thing I had to look forward to in weeks, Shane! Now it's ruined.
Ned is taking out his frustrations on the punchbag in the back garden. He flashes back to Scarlett telling him last year that they love one another and are meant to be together. He pummels the bag harder and harder, then has further flashbacks to Scarlett chasing him around the maze with a knife. Finally, he recalls Scarlett stabbing him and drawing blood.
A traumatised- looking Ned is touching his stomach where the wound was, when Terese emerges from the house. She says she's not surprised Ned needs the outlet of the punchbag, saying he's been working around the clock.
TERESE: So, how are you sleeping? Any more nightmares?
NED: I spoke to my therapist. And this is helping. Feeling a bit more in control.
TERESE: Good, good.
NED: Anyway, I'd better get to work.
NED: Yeah. There's one portrait that's still giving me grief. No point putting it off forever.
Toadie is cleaning the kitchen when Shane and Dipi arrive home, still arguing - Shane is still blaming Pierce for ruining the cooking class, while Dipi is still firmly blaming Shane. Shane tells Toadie that Pierce was totally out of line for telling him he shouldn't go to Dipi's class in the first place.
SHANE (to Dipi): But you didn't even tell me about it! It's like you didn't want me to go.
DIPI: Because I didn't! You shouldn't have come, just like you shouldn't be here.
DIPI (upset): No, he knows how we all feel, but he just won't listen. You should still be in rehab! You being home is putting pressure on everything, and it's just awful!
SHANE (angry): No, you know what?! The only one putting pressure on anything is you! Is it any wonder that I turned to the drugs?!
Dipi falls silent, unable to believe what she's just heard. Without another word, she marches out of the house. Toadie looks unimpressed, while Shane is anguished.
Chloe is annoyed with Pierce, telling him that Dipi and Shane didn't deserve his outburst at the cooking class.
PIERCE: Yes, I'm aware, okay? But I was freaking out. We went to that class so we could do something together, and there you were telling me how out of sync we were!
CHLOE: Okay, let's just keep it down. Hendrix is hiding in his room for a reason.
Yes, Chloe - that reason being that he is Not In This Episode™!
Pierce insists he has every right to be upset, and Chloe suggests they talk about it tomorrow.
PIERCE: I want us to build a life together. It just seems like we're not on the same page.
CHLOE: Pierce, please - I'm really tired.
PIERCE: Yeah, well - I'm going to stay at the hotel.
PIERCE: You're right, okay? I was out of control. I need some space so I can calm down and think.
Chloe looks worried as Pierce exits.
Outside the pub, David is explaining to Aaron that Nicolette has brokered a deal with Karl to let the No 32 gang have first pick of Karl's hoarded goods in exchange for storing them for him.
DAVID: Clearly the girl drives a hard bargain.
Aaron wonders whether they should ask Nicolette about her living arrangements now that Fay has left. He suggests it might be best not to ask unless she brings it up. David points out that Nicolette still has a permanent job at the hospital, regardless of whether she's living with them - so they'd still see her around if she did move out.
AARON: Well, I hope so, cos I quite like Nic.
David adds that if they had the place to themselves, they could focus on their own plans to have a family. At this point, Aaron takes a call from Chloe, and looks surprised by what she says...
Pierce comes in, and runs straight into Nicolette.
PIERCE: Perfect (!)
NICOLETTE: I detect sarcasm.
PIERCE: Good pick- up.
NICOLETTE: Please don't be too hard on Chloe about me. She honestly thought I was over her when she moved in. Anyway, it's me you have a problem with.
PIERCE: Yeah, well, at least we don't disagree on that.
Pierce walks past her, and Nicolette exits. Finding Dipi at the bar, Pierce apologises for his behaviour at the class, saying there was no excuse.
DIPI: No, you were only looking out for me.
PIERCE: You're a lot more forgiving than Chloe (...) I checked into the hotel for the night.
DIPI: Well, I definitely know what it's like to not want to go home. Apparently, I drove Shane to drugs (...) I don't think he meant it deep down, but I should probably call Sheila to see if I can crash on her couch.
PIERCE: No, don't do that (...) Let me comp you a room here for the night. It's the least I could do after ruining your class.
Pierce goes to sort it out with the hotel front desk, offering to buy Dipi another drink on his return. She agrees.
Ned arrives, and walks upstairs to the mezzanine. Scarlett is here already, in a suitably scarlet dress, waiting for him to start painting.
SCARLETT: I hope you don't mind me getting here early.
NED: How did you get in?
SCARLETT: Oh, you know me. I'm ingenious when I need to be. I've been working on some potential poses - casual, formal, fun. But whatever we decide on, I think it should be... intimate, don't you?
SCARLETT: So exciting, being here so late, just the two of us. Feels like almost anything could happen.
NED: Let's get started.
She picks up Ned's palette knife.
SCARLETT: Beautiful engraving. Was that a gift?
NED (shaken): Take a seat.
SCARLETT: How do you want me? Like this? Or like this?
NED: It's your painting; sit how you want.
Shane is with Toadie, and deeply regretful of what he said to Dipi.
SHANE: I didn't mean it. I knew it as soon as it came out of my mouth - it's not true. My using was not her fault.
TOADIE: Yeah, I know that, mate.
Toadie can see that Shane is behaving restlessly, so says he should come and sit down. But Shane continues pacing.
SHANE: She's not answering my calls. Maybe she thinks Pierce is right.
He becomes shaky and emotional.
SHANE: I just don't want to feel like this. It makes me want to take something.
TOADIE: Yeah. Yeah, I know. But we don't do that anymore. What we do do is work through your recovery plan.
SHANE: Maybe you could just... just stay with me for a little bit.
TOADIE: Yeah. Absolutely I can. Why don't you come and sit down, and find some wrestling on the TV, and I can sort out some snacks for us?
Shane does as he's told, but is still very distressed.
Scarlett smirks as she continues to pose for her portrait, while Ned squirts out a suitable volume of red paint from a tube. She takes an interest in his palette knife for a second time.
SCARLETT: I'm assuming Yashvi gave you that?
SCARLETT: I'm surprised you two are still together. After everything the three of us experienced. Must've been hard to get back on track. Well done. Is she The One™? The person you want to see at the end of the altar in the white dress?
SCARLETT: Come on, I'm just interested in your life! And if Yashvi's anything like me, she'll have thought about your future.
NED: Yashvi's nothing like you.
SCARLETT: Someone's touchy. I'm just saying, if you're so serious about her, what's holding you back?
NED: You know, this session's off for tonight.
NED: The mood isn't right. It's getting late.
SCARLETT: Then we meet back here tomorrow. 9am.
Ned doesn't object. Scarlett smirks again.
The following morning, Dipi is treated to a room service breakfast by Pierce himself! She admits she's feeling better after a good night's sleep, and thanks him, saying breakfast might give her the courage to go home and face Shane. Pierce is planning on heading home too.
PIERCE: We'll both get through this (...) You know I'm in your corner, right?
DIPI: I don't think I'd be doing as well as I am right now otherwise. I hope you know I'm in yours, too.
Pierce nods, and they dig into breakfast together.
Jane is telling Nicolette off for being 'a trifle greedy', having skimmed all the marinated olives for David and Aaron from Jane and Karl's hoard! Nicolette retorts that it was preferable to claiming the canned sardines!
JANE: Those are mostly Karl's. I'm far more interested in your high- end long- life goods.
NICOLETTE: Hey, you agreed to the terms I negotiated. Wear it.
JANE: Well, it's a pity that you won't be around to enjoy the spoils.
NICOLETTE: Aww. I'll survive (!)
JANE: Has there really been no sign from the boys that they want you to stay?
NICOLETTE: I think it's probably for the best. They got home late last night after seeing Chloe, and I get the feeling that things between her and Pierce aren't very good.
JANE: I do hope those two are alright.
NICOLETTE: Well, if they're not, Pierce is definitely the one to blame.
JANE: That sounds like a rather biased perspective.
NICOLETTE: Oh - I lived there, remember? I have a unique insight into that relationship, and my expert take is that Pierce is weird.
Nicolette picks up a leaflet and starts reading it. Jane sees it, and realises it's about surrogacy.
NICOLETTE: It's not mine. The boys must be looking into it (...) They must really want to be parents.
JANE: Hmm. That might be the reason why they haven't asked you to stay.
NICOLETTE: If they want to go down that road, then that's cool. They need to do what's best for them. And so do I.
Jane looks disappointed. Shortly afterwards, Nicolette has made them both a cup of tea.
NICOLETTE: So, can I take it your weird hoarding tendencies are a sign you're putting down roots? JANE: I'd say that is a fair assumption. I didn't want to commit until I knew what you were doing. But now that you're staying on at the hospital, I feel good about staying, too.
NICOLETTE: Yeah, I agree.
Chloe comes in, and looks awkward when she sees Nicolette and Jane, having come looking for David and Aaron. Nicolette explains they're out running some errands, so Chloe asks if it's okay to wait for them. Nicolette agrees, and Chloe joins them on the sofas.
Jane mentions she spoke to Des last night on the phone, and that he's on good form - they talked for ages.
JANE: I didn't think that we'd get back to such a good place so quickly, but things are as easy between us as they always were.
NICOLETTE: Still no regrets you didn't try for a relationship again?
JANE: Oh, perhaps another time, another place. But not now. We were a little irresponsible getting married as quickly as we did.
Chloe looks uncomfortable as Jane is saying this, perhaps reflecting on her own quickfire marriage to Pierce! But she tells Jane it's great she and Des have moved past it. Jane agrees that she's very lucky.
As he prepares his paint, Ned hears footsteps from downstairs and shouts 'You're early,' assuming it's Scarlett approaching. But in fact, it's Terese. He quickly hides the Scarlett painting and goes downstairs to greet her.
NED: I meant, you're *up* early!
Terese has dropped by hoping for a peek at the portrait Ned is painting of Paul! But Ned tells her it's still very much under wraps; she'll have to wait till it's finished.
TERESE: Oh! Well, you'll let us know when we can preview it? Paul is very interested to know what you've done with his visage.
Terese is just about to leave him to it, when Scarlett appears behind her - forcing Ned to distract Terese by asking her for catering advice, so that she doesn't turn around and see Scarlett. Scarlett smirks, and obligingly goes to stand out of sight.
Terese senses Ned's distracted as they talk catering, but at this point, Terese has to take a call from Paul on her mobile, and leaves. Scarlett reappears.
SCARLETT: You're not very good at handling stress.
NED: What the hell are you doing?! Terese could've seen you!
SCARLETT: But she didn't.
NED: I cannot work like this.
SCARLETT (smug): Deep breaths, Ned.
NED: No, the session's off.
SCARLETT: You can't cancel on me.
NED: I just did.
SCARLETT: You're not forgetting the videos I've got of you, are you? Hm?
Ned angrily rolls down the shutter to the Hive.
Chloe is still waiting for David and Aaron to show up. Nicolette comes back in, having just shown Jane out; Chloe apologises if her being here cut her chat with Jane short.
NICOLETTE: It's fine. Did you want to come back later?
CHLOE: I kind of don't want to be alone right now... Pierce didn't come home last night.
NICOLETTE: Oh... I'm sorry.
CHLOE: We had a fight. He stayed at the hotel... What your mum was saying about getting married too fast - it's the same thought I have every time Pierce and I have a problem.
NICOLETTE: Your situation is completely different to theirs.
CHLOE: Still, is my stomach always gonna tie itself in knots every time he talks about our future? Sorry, it's not fair of me to dump all this on you.
NICOLETTE: You're upset, it's... I understand.
At this point, Pierce walks in, looking for Chloe having found she wasn't at home.
PIERCE: I figured you'd come to see your brother, but you're here with her. Why am I not surprised?
CHLOE: We were talking.
PIERCE: What, about us?
NICOLETTE: Chloe hasn't done anything wrong.
PIERCE: I don't need your input right now, thank you.
NICOLETTE: You're in my house!
PIERCE (to Chloe): After everything we've been through, and you're still turning to her?
NICOLETTE: What is wrong with you?! She is upset!
NICOLETTE: No, he is being a jerk!
Chloe tries to defuse things, saying to Pierce that they should go. But Pierce sarcastically queries whether Chloe should instead stay and talk to Nicolette, since she obviously can't talk to him.
A tired Toadie congratulates Shane for making it through the night without turning back to drugs.
SHANE: Why hasn't she called? She's been gone all night.
TOADIE: She will be back. And when she does come back, you'll be able to hold your head up that extra bit higher, won't you?
Toadie thinks Shane should go to an addicts' meeting that is taking place at the Community Centre this morning. At this point, Dipi walks in.
DIPI: Hey. We need to talk.
SHANE: Yeah. Definitely, I... I just can't right now (...) I'm sorry for what I said, I just...
Shane seems hesitant to say he's heading to the addicts' group, so Toadie explains it to Dipi.
TOADIE: When you left, Shane was a bit upset, and he just had a bit of a wobble (...) but nothing happened. He made it through; he did really well.
Shane goes to get ready for the meeting, apologising to Dipi again as he leaves the room. She doesn't respond.
The Waterhole / Somewhere
In the pub, David and Aaron are telling Paul and Terese about their surrogacy plans; they're still looking into it all, but have joined a surrogacy support group. Terese remarks that it might be useful to have Nicolette in the house if a baby is on the way, but David says he doesn't think she'll be sticking around. She has her reasons, Aaron adds.
Ned walks in, but immediately gets a phone call from Scarlett.
SCARLETT: Don't hang up.
NED: What do you want?
SCARLETT: I want you to keep up your end of the bargain, and paint my portrait.
NED: I have been.
SCARLETT: Barely. We need another proper session, this afternoon.
NED: Maybe if you'd stop messing with me, we'd be a lot further along. Were you trying to get caught this morning?
SCARLETT: If I wanted people to know what we were doing, they would. Don't test me, Ned.
NED: I think you should find someone else to paint you.
SCARLETT: I'm not interested in anyone else.
NED: It's too risky.
SCARLETT: See you at noon. Don't be late.
Scarlett smiles schemingly as she hangs up.
Pierce arrives back at Dipi's hotel room to find her sitting on the bed, crying.
DIPI: Thanks for letting me check in again. I needed somewhere to think.
PIERCE: Nah, it's fine. Recovery's hard on the whole family, okay? Things will get better.
DIPI: Will it? He will always be recovering. He is an addict. What if, after every fight, he's tempted to use again?
PIERCE: That'd be a hard load to carry.
DIPI: The idea that I'll always have to bite my tongue in case he relapses stresses me out. And I know... I know that sounds selfish, because Shane's going through hell.
PIERCE: Hey, that's not selfish, okay? You are doing your best in what is an incredibly difficult time. Anyone would feel like that.
DIPI: You always make things seem so calm and clear.
PIERCE: ... I just wish I could do the same for Chloe.
He sits on the bed next to Dipi.
PIERCE: Maybe then she'd talk to me instead of Nicolette.
DIPI: How did things go when you went back home?
PIERCE: Worse than when I left.
DIPI: I'm sorry.
PIERCE: I just... I don't understand why she finds it so hard to talk to me. Is it wrong for me to expect that?
DIPI: Of course not.
PIERCE: It just seems so long ago that we were happy.
Dipi holds his hand.
DIPI: You deserve someone who appreciates you. Who understands you.
PIERCE: So do you.
DIPI: You're a beautiful man. You know that?
They lean in, and kiss on the lips.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Paul tells Nicolette he's willing to pay anything her friend wants
- Nic says it's against the law; Paul says they could find an arrangement to make everyone happy
- Mackenzie tells Toadie that she's bending, not breaking, the law
- But Toadie says it could cost both of them their careers
- Bea asks if someone can tell her what's happening
- Kyle says 'it's pretty full on'; Roxy says 'it's worse'