- Nicolette tells Jane she went to London to tell Mrs Mangel the truth about her sexuality
- Jane is then shocked to learn that Mrs Mangel died later that morning
- Chloe offers Nicolette a shoulder to cry on and help resolving the spat with Jane
- Nic deploys the Mrs Mangel portrait to help Jane say to her what she didn't get to before she died
- Paul catches a glimpse of Pierce and Dipi canoodling in the hotel office
- Using this newfound knowledge, Paul blackmails Pierce into selling his share of Lassiter's
- Unaware of Pierce's secret, Chloe encourages him not to sell his share when he raises the idea
- A blazing row ensues between Pierce and Paul; Chloe walks in on it, and asks what's going on
In the office, Chloe is still waiting to hear what Pierce and Paul are rowing about.
PIERCE: ... It's nothing.
PAUL: Come on. You should tell her. She has a right to know.
PIERCE: We had an argument. It got out of hand. It's nothing new. It's the last one we're gonna have, though.
PIERCE: I'm selling my share of the business to Paul.
PAUL: Music to my ears.
CHLOE: This is crazy. I thought we agreed you weren't going to?
PAUL: Well, that's Pierce for you.
PIERCE: I'm done, Chloe. Working with Paul has never been pleasant, but it's become impossible.
Enjoying Pierce's discomfort, Paul continues to drop veiled hints as to Pierce being a 'passionate man'. Pierce reiterates that his mind is made up; he wants to pull his money out of the hotel and put it into a business that respects what he has to offer.
PIERCE: Trust me, Chloe - it's for the best.
PAUL: Finally. Finally, something we agree on.
But Chloe doesn't look pleased.
Harlow and Hendrix are revising for exams, but Harlow is getting increasingly stressed out about the forthcoming biology paper; she's worried she won't get into the environmental science course she wants to do. Terese, who has been listening in, suggests Harlow ask for special consideration, considering the terrible year she's had, with losing her mum, etc.
HARLOW: I also asked to go to New York. And I did so because I thought I was on top of things.
Terese continues to argue that the special consideration might be worth thinking about, but Harlow snaps and says if she needed help, she'd have asked for it. She stomps off out of the room.
Jane tells Nicolette that the idea of talking to the Mrs Mangel portrait is ludicrous.
NICOLETTE: It's not just a painting. (changes voice) It's me, Nan - and I'd love to hear what you have to say.
JANE: Mocking the situation is about as disrespectful as it gets!
NICOLETTE: I'm just trying to help. This is the best we've got. You have things you need to say, and we can't bring her back. It does spookily look like her, even with the giraffe- shaped neck.
Jane relents and approaches the portrait.
JANE (to the portrait): Hello, Nan (...) When I returned to Australia, I realised a few things. I suppose a combination of nostalgia and retrospect allowed me to see that all of those years I spent devoted to you cost me greatly. Cost me my marriage, and my relationship with my children. And it brought up a lot of anger in me. But before I had a chance to sit with that, well... you'd gone. You'd passed away. (tearful) I just feel so guilty. The thought of you looking down on me now, thinking I resent you. Because the truth is, I always loved you, Nan. Despite everything, that never changed. And that... that's all I wished that I could've told you.
Chloe and Pierce are discussing his decision to sell his share of the hotel.
CHLOE: Lassiter's is what brought us together.
PIERCE: I know. I'm sorry, Chloe.
CHLOE: You fought so hard to be here. How can you just throw that away?
PIERCE: I'm passionate about wine, not hotels. Without the house wine, keeping my share, that's just fighting for the sake of fighting (...) It's the right decision.
Chloe still looks unconvinced.
Paul is telling Terese that Pierce has agreed to sell his share, meaning the hotel will be fully back in their hands. Terese is surprised that Paul didn't discuss it with her first, but Paul insists it will make running the hotel a 'walk in the park' compared to dealing with Pierce.
Harlow comes in, still in a grouchy mood. She's overheard, and accuses Paul of having made things more difficult for her and Hendrix by kicking Pierce out of Lassiter's.
PAUL: I didn't kick him anywhere. He left of his own volition.
HARLOW: But I'm sure you twisted his arm.
Paul and Terese are both concerned as Harlow's outburst continues; Terese assures her it's just business, and Harlow apologises for going off at the deep end. Sensing her stress, Terese again suggests applying for special consideration for the exams, and Paul agrees. Harlow reluctantly says she will.
Nicolette and Jane are on the sofa together, both looking at the portrait of Mrs Mangel.
NICOLETTE: Nan said something, and I didn't realise how significant it was until now. She didn't want you to come out here to find the stamps to pay for a nursing home. She wanted you to have a holiday.
JANE: She told you that?
NICOLETTE: She said she knew she'd asked a lot of you over the years, and that it had taken its toll.
JANE: Well, I don't know what to say...
NICOLETTE: I'm sorry my visit with her was so upsetting.
JANE: Well, I might never have known what you just said, if you hadn't. I always wished I'd had the courage to stand up to her, but I was always so worried that she would never see my point of view. And you were in a similar position, weren't you?
NICOLETTE (emotional): I just wanted her to know who I am. And that I'm not so bad.
JANE: Sorry if I ever made you feel that way.
NICOLETTE: Mum, can we call a truce? Maybe have some birthday cake?
Jane has to get back to school to take delivery of the exam papers. But she suggests they could have dinner instead.
JANE: And we could discuss the possibility of me moving in, if that's still on the cards?
NICOLETTE: I'd love to.
Chloe has come to see Nicolette. Nic can tell something's wrong, but Chloe brushes it off as 'work stuff', and asks how things went with Jane. Nic tells Chloe her idea worked, and that Jane got to air some things she needed to say, and heard what she needed to from Nic. Chloe is pleased things are sorted.
NICOLETTE: I know it's silly, but I can't help wondering if I'm responsible for her death.
CHLOE: You're not.
NICOLETTE: The nurse side of me agrees with you - but the scorned great granddaughter? Not so much.
CHLOE: Look, I may not have known Mrs Mangel personally, but I'm guessing she had a fair few arguments in her life.
NICOLETTE: That she did.
CHLOE: Then one more can't have made that much of a difference. Maybe she knew her time was up, and that's why she said all that stuff about Jane?
NICOLETTE: Yeah, that makes sense.
Hendrix is annoyed to hear of Pierce's decision to sell his share of the hotel, saying it seems very sudden. It also means Hendrix won't be able to work at Lassiter's next year. Pierce points out that he hadn't decided for sure he would do that.
HENDRIX: Yeah, but it was good to have it up my sleeve. Now, without your sway, I'll have no chance.
PIERCE: Not necessarily.
HENDRIX: Paul is not gonna give me a job now. He only likes me a tiny bit more than he likes you.
Pierce says it might be good, as Hendrix will have more time for uni. Hendrix asks if Pierce has another investment planned for the money, since he always has a long- term game plan. Pierce nods.
Paul and Terese are in the office, when Jane pops in on her way back to school, and tells them about how talking to the portrait provided some catharsis, and helped her repair things with Nicolette. Terese and Paul are pleased for her. She also has a favour to ask of them.
PAUL: Ask away. I'm in a very generous mood.
JANE: Could I keep the portrait? I used to find it hard to look at, but now that I've made peace with Nan - and, well, with myself - I'd really like to have it nearby.
PAUL: Sure. I mean, if it means that much to you, it's the least you we can do.
JANE: Thank you. Well, I'm sorry it leaves you with a bare spot on the wall.
But Terese smiles mischievously.
TERESE: I'm sure we'll find the perfect replacement.
In the kitchen, Pierce is telling Dipi about his decision to sell his share of the hotel. He claims it was a spur- of- the- moment decision, and doesn't tell her about the fact Paul knows about their affair.
PIERCE: I think there are more pressing things we need to talk about.
DIPI: Such as?
PIERCE: We probably should talk about us.
PIERCE: Hendrix reminded me that I'm the guy with a plan worked out. But when it comes to us, I... I dunno.
DIPI: ... Is that a problem?
PIERCE: ... Well, it... makes me question what we're doing.
DIPI: Umm... I guess... I dunno.
DIPI: But I do know that I don't want it to stop. What is this to you?
At this point, Chloe appears at the counter, waiting to be served. Dipi rushes out to deal with her; Pierce remains concealed in the kitchen, but Dipi explains Pierce has 'just dropped in', and he quickly confects a cover story about helping Dipi with some boxes. Chloe apologises to Pierce for grilling him earlier over his decision to sell his shares.
CHLOE: If you really want to sell, I understand. It's your decision, and I support you all the way.
PIERCE: Thank you, Chloe.
Dipi looks uncomfortable as she gets to work making Chloe's coffee.
Erinsborough High School
Harlow and Hendrix walk past an office where Jane is opening the boxes of exam papers.
HARLOW: There they are. To think the source of my doom is so close, yet so far.
As Jane comes out of the office, Harlow approaches her to discuss the possibility of getting special consideration, saying she's really struggling and stressed, after a very tough year.
However, Jane is unconvinced by the necessity, saying it's normal to have jitters during exams. At this late stage, with exams having already begun, special consideration could only be granted in an emergency. Feeling stressed isn't enough. Jane tells Harlow to do her best; she has faith in her. Hendrix and Harlow are both disappointed as she walks away.
Nicolette is showing off her outfit to Aaron and David, in preparation for her birthday dinner with Jane. They propose to have a drink before she goes.
NICOLETTE: You guys are the best.
AARON: Aww, shucks!
NICOLETTE: No, I mean it. Fussing over my birthday, listening to my whingeing, pouring the wine. It's a hundred thumbs up from me.
They all raise a toast, and Nicolette muses on how perfect things are right now - she's in a good place with both Jane and Chloe, and is 'so happy' living with David and Aaron.
AARON: That's because you're a perfect fit for all of our crazy.
NICOLETTE: You're like a family of friends. A pseudo- family.
AARON: Oh, we're a psamily!
NICOLETTE: A framily! (...) I mean it. Even my own siblings don't care about me half as much as you do.
AARON: Ah, their loss, I say.
Dipi serves Terese and Chloe drinks at a table. They're discussing Pierce's sale of his shares, and when asked if she's heard, Dipi remarks that it will be a loss for the hotel - then continues to listen to the conversation from afar. Chloe says that at least one of the couple will still be at the hotel, assuming Paul doesn't want her gone, too! Terese assures Chloe she can stay.
TERESE: You're my right arm. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Terese and Chloe both express surprise, however, about how sudden Pierce's decision was. Chloe calls over to Dipi and asks if Pierce said anything to her about the decision.
DIPI: Why would he?
CHLOE: You guys are friends.
Dipi looks worried as she walks off. Terese suggests Pierce selling his share might be good for them, and Chloe reflects that it will at least give him time to focus on their marriage, which 'right now could use a little attention'. Terese is sure that's what Pierce has in mind. Dipi lurks, overhearing this and looking concerned.
Nicolette and Jane have reconvened before their dinner date, and are looking at the painting of Mrs Mangel - three generations (sort of) in one room, Nicolette reflects.
JANE: I'm sure she's here in spirit.
Hendrix lets himself in, and is shocked by the sight of the painting.
HENDRIX: Woah! Who let that thing in here?!
JANE: That *thing* is my grandmother, thank you very much.
Jane explains it's just here temporarily until she moves in with Nicolette, and asks what Hendrix is doing here. He claims he's here to catch up on 'Love Capsule', the reality TV show he's been watching with Susan, implying she's recorded it for him.
NICOLETTE: Oh, how fitting. The vapid teen loves vapid reality TV.
HENDRIX: Hmm. You remind me of one of the contestants, actually, Nicolette. I can't remember her name, but I know that it's one that no- one likes.
Jane asks Nicolette to wait outside, while she talks to Hendrix - she says she's sorry it wasn't possible to grant Harlow special consideration. Hendrix argues Harlow's case, saying she deserves it, having been 'to hell and back' this year. But Jane says that rules are rules.
HENDRIX: Well, then, the rules suck.
JANE: Hats off to you for trying to support her, but it really is out of my hands.
Jane tells Hendrix she has to go for her dinner reservation. Spying Jane's keys on the side, Hendrix promises to lock the door behind him when he goes. But as soon as Jane's gone, he approaches the keys, and picks them up, looking like he's about to hatch a plan.
In the office, Paul is taunting Pierce as he presents him with the contract to sign over his share of the hotel. Before he signs, Pierce wants Paul's word that he'll keep his mouth shut about the affair with Dipi. Paul says he's a man of his word but continues to mock, asking if Dipi knows that Paul knows about the affair. Pierce admits he hasn't told her.
PAUL: Ah, interesting. So, you're obviously enjoying the secrecy and the sordidness so much, you don't want to risk blowing it, eh?
PIERCE: She's got a lot on her plate, and I don't want to add to her worries.
PAUL: Oh, how very manly of you. Shame you're not equally concerned about your own wife. I mean, surely she deserves better than this.
PIERCE: Spare me the judgement, Paul. You're the last person who can take the moral high ground.
Paul promises to keep to his word not to say anything, so Pierce signs the contract. Paul takes it.
PAUL: Pleasure doing business with you.
In the foyer, Paul is most aggrieved to find that Terese has replaced the empty space left by the portrait of Mrs Mangel, with Ned's portrait of Paul!
TERESE: It's perfect for the space.
PAUL: You are joking, aren't you?
TERESE: Lord of Lassiter's, proudly surveying his kingdom!
Jane arrives for dinner while Nicolette is parking up, and teases Paul about the painting, too.
JANE: I... I quite like it.
TERESE: Yes, I think it's unique.
JANE: You should leave it up.
TERESE: Yeah. Show your guests that you can laugh at yourself.
PAUL: Why do I get the feeling that you're not gonna take no for an answer?
JANE: You know, Nan wasn't a fan of her portrait, either, in the beginning. But then, well, she grew to love it. She realised it captured her inner essence. Much like this one captures yours.
Paul grudgingly agrees it can stay, saying now he has his hotel back, he can afford not to take himself too seriously.
No 22 / Erinsborough High School
Harlow is on the phone to Hendrix, saying she's still stressed and struggling to retain information for the exam. Unbeknownst to her, Hendrix is at the school, having let himself in with Jane's keys. Harlow's about to hang up, but Hendrix tells her that everything's going to be okay; he can guarantee it.
HENDRIX: Just trust me, okay? You're gonna ace that exam.
He smiles as he unlocks the door to the office, where the box of exam papers stands open on the floor...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Hendrix asks Mack and Richie how Harlow would feel if someone sent her photos of the exam papers
- Nicolette admits to Audrey that she lied about intending to pay the stolen lottery money back
- Pierce tells Dipi that Paul knows about their affair
- Toadie has found the diamond necklace Pierce gave Dipi, and asks how Shane afforded it
- Shane tells Toadie the necklace isn't Dipi's, but Toadie says it was in her drawer