- Hendrix sets out to drive Jay and Richie to schoolies, despite not having his licence
- Mackenzie decides that she needs to tell Richie she's not ready for them to sleep together
- But Richie reassures her he's happy to wait
- Hendrix is appalled to learn of the Ladder ranking app - and that Richie has ranked Mackenzie
- Hendrix tells Richie and Ollie that they should be ashamed of themselves for using the app
- Richie admits to Ollie that he lied about him and Mackenzie sleeping together
- Shane is gutted to see Dipi hanging out with Pierce at the pub
- Paul tells Pierce he needs to face up to the fact that his marriage is over
- Shane and Pierce break into a fight at the campsite, leading Karl to find Shane's pills
- Hendrix tells Richie that they're going home, and telling the girls everything
On the road
Karl is driving Toadie, Shane and a sleeping Jay back from the campsite. None of them are relishing the conversations that need to be had when they get home; Karl knows Susan will be upset to learn of her students using the Ladder app.
TOADIE: There's gonna be some disappointed parents.
SHANE: I'm glad I'm not one of 'em. Don't get me wrong - I know he stole grog and lied, but I'd be gutted if Jay got involved in something like that.
Jay wakes up at the mention of his name, and agrees that the Ladder app is 'messed up'.
JAY: Ollie's a bit of a tool.
SHANE: Richie was in on it, too. Never would've picked that.
Toadie remarks that Richie is a pretty lousy boyfriend for treating Mackenzie that way.
TOADIE: What's going through his head?
SHANE: Don't know, don't care. I'm just worried about Mackenzie - this is gonna destroy her.
Meanwhile, Pierce is driving Hendrix and Richie home. In the back seat, Richie looks deeply upset.
HENDRIX (to Pierce): Thinking of all the ways to punish me?
PIERCE: For what?
HENDRIX: Stealing your car. Driving without a licence.
PIERCE: And what would the point of that be, hmm? Gonna change your behaviour?
HENDRIX: Dad, do you really think you're in a position to lecture me right now?
PIERCE: I'm not proud of what I've done, mate. I never put anyone's life at risk.
HENDRIX: Yeah, I'm a good driver.
PIERCE: Police would disagree. You complain that your life's stuffed - it's not stuffed yet. You get a criminal record, you'll know about it. You know what? Do what you want to hurt me; that's not the issue here. But don't hurt yourself. Don't hurt your prospects. You're an adult now. You too, Richie. The choices you make today are gonna affect the rest of your life.
Richie's finger hovers over the 'uninstall' button for the Ladder app on his phone.
Harlow, Mackenzie, Terese and Susan are hanging out, waiting for the boys to return. Harlow recalls the last time Hendrix took a joyride in Pierce's car, when it led to her ending up in hospital.
MACKENZIE: Well, he's getting better at it if he actually made it to his destination!
Terese remarks that she hopes there was no drink- driving. Harlow's glad that the girls decided not to go.
SUSAN: Jay and Hendrix are dealing with so much family upheaval. I think this is just their way of acting out.
TERESE: Yeah, but what about Richie and the others? They were all part of it too.
Susan goes to order some food while they wait.
MACKENZIE: Was I too harsh on Richie about Corinne?
HARLOW: What? No. Is that how you feel?
MACKENZIE: Well, she was making moves on him, and he wasn't encouraging her.
HARLOW: No, don't second- guess yourself. You were just upset that he wasn't upfront with you.
MACKENZIE: I thought that we were being open and honest about everything.
Harlow gets a text from Hendrix, saying the boys are on their way home and want to talk to them.
Ned is back, and telling Yashvi about his trip away to see his mum, Beth. He explains that her new job is pretty hectic, so she wasn't home much, but it did give him an opportunity to work on his portrait of Yashvi, which is now in the hands of the gallery that was interested in his work. Ned shows Yashvi pictures of the portrait on his phone.
YASHVI: Seriously, Ned, wow. Is it vain if I say it's beautiful?
NED: No, you'd just be stating a fact! So, I finally get to meet your brother, huh?
YASHVI: Yes. And watch my parents' marriage fall apart.
Ned says Shane must be going through hell, but Yashvi replies that he's coping, from what she's seen of him. She's more worried about her mum.
They glance over at Dipi, who's behind the counter, and in a world of her own as she hears Pierce's voice in her head, saying, 'It'll be our little secret', and 'You should own something as breathtaking as you are'. She smiles to herself.
NED: She doesn't seem too upset.
Yashvi doesn't reply.
Hendrix and Richie arrive, but Richie stalls at the door, telling Hendrix he doesn't know how to break what he's done to Mackenzie.
HENDRIX: You've had the whole car ride to figure that out.
RICHIE: Mack's still angry at me about the whole Corinne thing and taking off to schoolies. Maybe I should set that right before -
HENDRIX: If you're waiting for me to let you off the hook, dude, it's not gonna happen, okay?
RICHIE: I want to tell her, but -
HENDRIX: Yeah. And it's better coming from you. You don't want her finding out from somebody else, okay? Tell her now or put it off, it's your call. But if Harlow asks me about it, I'm not gonna lie.
At her table with Mackenzie, Harlow suspects Hendrix and Richie are hanging back to 'get their story straight'. Hendrix and Richie approach.
HARLOW: What was that about? Rehearsing your apology?
HENDRIX: We shouldn't have gone without you.
HARLOW: Or stolen a car.
HENDRIX: Yeah. That was stupid.
HARLOW: So, was that what you came to say?
HENDRIX: ... No.
RICHIE (to Mackenzie): There's something I need to tell you. And you're not gonna like it.
Mackenzie looks worried.
Pierce has arrived to see Chloe, and thanks her for agreeing to talk. She assumes it's about Hendrix, having heard from Aaron about the schoolies trip. But Pierce says he wants to talk about their relationship.
CHLOE: You need to stop pushing this (...) I told you, I'm not ready to make any decisions yet.
PIERCE: Well, I am... Our marriage is past the point of saving.
CHLOE: ... Is this some kind of reverse psychology thing, where you tell me the opposite of what you really want?
PIERCE (emotional): I mean it. I love you, Chloe. I'll always love you. But I've done something unforgivable, and... I've got to accept our marriage is over.
Mackenzie is in shock, having heard from Richie about being rated on the Ladder app.
MACKENZIE: A points system?
HARLOW: It's disgusting.
MACKENZIE: And degrading.
RICHIE: I'm so sorry.
MACKENZIE: Show me (...) the app.
RICHIE: I deleted it.
MACKENZIE: Well, download it again.
RICHIE: Mack, can we just -
MACKENZIE: No, I want to see it.
HARLOW: Am I on this thing too?
HENDRIX: How could you even think that?
HARLOW: Because you've developed a habit of doing some pretty dumb stuff lately. And it wouldn't be the first time that you'd gone behind my back.
Hendrix doesn't reply. Meanwhile, Mackenzie is looking at Richie's phone.
MACKENZIE: Are you kidding? Corinne's on here.
HARLOW: So, some girls know they're on the Ladder and they're just trying to make the most of it?
MACKENZIE (upset): Here's my ranking... You've reviewed me like a movie. Given details about sex that we never had.
RICHIE: There were these rumours going around school, about why we hadn't done it.
MACKENZIE: You know ignoring them would've been an option?
RICHIE: I thought I was protecting you. That it was the only way to get them to stop talking about you.
MACKENZIE: I bet it would've helped your ego, too, right? Making the boys believe that you'd done it with me?
RICHIE: Mack, that isn't -
MACKENZIE: Forget it. There's no justification for what you've done. It's disgusting.
RICHIE: I get that now. And I'm so sorry.
MACKENZIE: It doesn't matter. We're done.
Both of them look devastated.
Chloe is still talking to Pierce.
CHLOE: *Paul* helped you realise all this?
PIERCE: I know, right? Paul. I'll never stop regretting what I did, Chloe. I'm so sorry.
CHLOE: It's not all on you. If I'm honest... I'm surprised our marriage lasted this long. When we proposed, we were both so caught up in the moment.
PIERCE: Yeah. We were just head- on, without thinking. But it wasn't all bad, right? I don't regret marrying you. You made me so happy.
CHLOE: For a while, at least. I mean, the honeymoon period was great.
PIERCE: I'm sorry we couldn't make it work.
CHLOE: Me too.
She takes off her wedding ring, and places it on the table.
CHLOE: It's gonna take some getting used to. We, umm... we have to tell Hendrix.
PIERCE: Yeah. He's not gonna handle it well.
CHLOE: That's why we should do it together.
Shane and Jay have turned up, and Dipi is giving Jay a telling- off for his schoolies drinking and thieving, telling him it's so unlike him.
DIPI: You're usually so responsible and intelligent.
JAY: I know - I know I messed up. Look, I just got carried away trying to impress the older guys. I should've been smarter.
DIPI: So, I don't have to worry you've gone off the rails?
JAY: No, Mum, I promise.
Ned, who is at a table nearby with Yashvi, remarks that Jay got off lightly. Yashvi replies that that's because he's the golden child. Dipi goes to make Jay a coffee, while he joins Ned and Yashvi. Jay and Ned introduce themselves to one another.
At the counter, Shane is telling Dipi about the Ladder app. He says Jay wasn't involved with it, but that Richie was, and rated Mackenzie on it.
DIPI: Mackenzie's gonna be a mess.
SHANE: Yeah. I think we're gonna have to spend some time with her - together, if that's okay with you?
DIPI: Yeah, of course.
Toadie and Karl are filling Susan in on the events at the campsite. She asks if Toadie is worried that Shane will start using drugs again.
TOADIE: He binned the bag, but that's not to say he's not gonna try to buy some more.
KARL: At the moment he's focused on Jay, and Mackenzie.
SUSAN: I'm just so appalled by this app.
KARL: Is it even legal?
TOADIE: Well, they're not sharing videos or photos, so technically it's not illegal.
SUSAN: it's grossly immoral. And it's all through my school, and others, apparently. I'm gonna have to try and shut it down.
Toadie explains that it's a private app, and even if Susan can track it down, it would be tricky to get it shut down. Toadie seems doubtful that any of the kids will willingly give Susan the link to find the app.
Harlow is sounding off to Terese about the Ladder app.
HARLOW: How would the boys feel if we ranked them?
TERESE: Well, you wouldn't. That's the point.
HARLOW: You know, I didn't think Hendrix could do anything worse than drugging his own dad, but... to be involved in something so mean and gross...
TERESE: What, you think Hendrix was involved?
HARLOW: Well, I know I wasn't on the Ladder, but I bet he's still got the app.
TERESE: Oh, I don't think so. Paul said he was outraged. And he made a stand against the boys that were using it.
Harlow realises that if Paul believes that of Hendrix, given he usually thinks the worst of him, then there's probably some truth in it.
Meanwhile, a tearful Mackenzie is sitting between Dipi and Shane at another table.
MACKENZIE: How could Richie betray me like that?
DIPI: He must've thought it was easier to play along with the crowd instead of pushing back against it.
MACKENZIE: I thought he was better than that.
SHANE: He should've been.
MACKENZIE: I really thought he was different to the other boys. He knows how insecure I am about my body, and he still put me up for public comment and discussion. I've never been that vulnerable with someone before.
Richie is hanging out with Hendrix on the sofa, and asks Hendrix what he'd do in his shoes.
HENDRIX: To win her back? Mate, I don't think there is anything you can do.
Richie looks sad. Chloe and Pierce come in, and Hendrix assumes Chloe's come to give him a telling- off for his behaviour, but she says not. It's clear they want to talk to Hendrix, so Richie leaves.
PIERCE: We're here to talk about us - about Chloe and I.
HENDRIX: Are you moving back in?
CHLOE: No, I'm going to be staying on at David and Aaron's.
HENDRIX: For how long?
CHLOE: Until I'm ready to find a place of my own.
PIERCE: Mate, Chloe and I have decided to separate.
Hendrix's face drops.
CHLOE: It's what we both want. What we both think is best.
HENDRIX: How do you know? You've only been separated for five minutes.
CHLOE: Well, things haven't been right between us for a while.
HENDRIX: What, so that's it? The end?
Unable to deal with this news, an upset Hendrix walks out of the house.
Shane and Jay finish dinner, and Dipi emerges from Mackenzie's room - Jay asks how Mackenzie's doing. Dipi says Harlow's managed to get her to eat something, which is good. Dipi tells Jay to head to bed - he's off the hook from clean- up duties tonight. As Jay obeys, Dipi decides it's time for her to go back to No 26, but says she's call by in the morning to check on Mackenzie.
SHANE: Before you go... Jay wasn't the only one who stuffed up today. At the campsite, I umm... I had a go at Pierce.
DIPI: As in verbally?
SHANE: At first. Then it got physical.
DIPI: How bad did it get?
SHANE: It was just a scuffle. He's okay. I'm not. Yesterday, I bought drugs.
SHANE: I didn't take any.
DIPI: Okay... So why are you telling me?
SHANE: For transparency's sake. I'm gonna talk to the kids, too.
DIPI: Yeah, that's probably a good idea. How are you feeling?
SHANE: Toad's helping me keep on top of it.
DIPI: That's good... Stay strong.
It's public service announcement time again! Susan tells Karl and Toadie she's managed to download the Ladder app - one of the teachers at Eden Hills Grammar, who has been trying to shut it down for weeks, shared the link with her.
SUSAN: I tell you what, I've dealt with my fair share of cyberbullying, but this app - this is something else.
TOADIE: I thought kids these days were educated on this stuff.
SUSAN: Well they are. But they're still kids. They've got an immature attitude to sex and to intimacy, and they can't reconcile their online behaviour with real- world consequences. Obviously, we're not getting that through to them.
TOADIE: None of this is your fault.
KARL: No, absolutely not. You've worked very hard to create a safe and positive attitude at that school.
SUSAN: Clearly, not hard enough.
The chat is interrupted by Hendrix bursting in, looking very upset.
HENDRIX: They're done. They're getting a... they're getting a divorce. I just thought they needed time apart. They're giving up.
The following morning, Mackenzie and Harlow are having breakfast - it appears Harlow's stayed the night to look after Mackenzie. Dipi has popped round again, and as the girls go back to Mack's room, Shane tells Dipi that he's glad they can keep things civil for the kids' sake. Dipi agrees.
SHANE: I've been pressuring you to talk about us and our marriage. And I've realised that until I sort out my own issues, there's not much point.
DIPI: ... That makes sense.
SHANE: I'm not giving up on us, just the opposite.
DIPI: I understand.
SHANE: But hopefully, when you're ready to have the conversation, I'll be ready to be the best version of myself that I can be.
He leaves the room. Dipi gets a text from Pierce, saying, 'Chloe and I are over'. She looks conflicted.
Chloe is at the house having packed up some more of her things, and is about to leave. Pierce says if she's forgotten anything, he'll drop it round for her. Chloe asks Pierce to tell Hendrix that she's happy to talk to him when he's ready. Both look sad as Chloe says goodbye, and leaves.
Hendrix thanks Harlow for hanging out with him.
HARLOW: You just found out your parents are divorcing. As if I'd be anywhere else.
HENDRIX: I wouldn't blame you, after everything I've pulled lately.
HARLOW: Yeah. We've had better times.
HENDRIX: I'm sorry.
HARLOW: Me too. For thinking that you'd have anything to do with the Ladder.
HENDRIX: Can we just wind it back to before any of that happened?
HARLOW: Yeah, we can. I'm not holding out hope for Mack and Richie, though.
HENDRIX: Yeah, this is gonna be like watching a car crash.
They turn to see Richie, who has just arrived, approaching Mackenzie, who is with Jay at the counter. Mackenzie tells Richie she has nothing to say to him.
RICHIE: Putting you on the Ladder was a mistake. I'm not that guy.
MACKENZIE: I might've believed you once, but the problem is, that's not the first time you've said that.
RICHIE: I promise I won't let you down again.
MACKENZIE: You totally abused my trust, Richie. It's gone.
RICHIE: I can earn it back.
MACKENZIE: Please - please go.
JAY: Look, Richie - you wanna prove you respect her? Just do what she's asking, and leave.
Reluctantly, Richie turns to leave. Mackenzie looks forlorn as he goes.
Pierce is on the sofa when Dipi turns up at the door.
DIPI: Is it a bad time?
PIERCE: Well, the last couple of weeks could be considered a bad time.
DIPI: I just wanted to see how you were.
PIERCE: I'm not great.
DIPI: How did it happen?
PIERCE: Well, basically I told Chloe that our marriage was over.
DIPI: Coincidentally, Shane made a decision this morning.
PIERCE: About your marriage?
DIPI: He wants to take a step back and work on himself.
PIERCE: I'm sorry.
DIPI: Don't be. When he said it, I felt relieved. I don't want to be with Shane anymore. I want to be with you.
Pierce is lost for words.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Toadie confirms to Karl that he thinks Audrey is 'nice'
- Audrey asks Karl not to tell Toadie about something
- Nicolette tells Jane she doesn't know if she'll get an opportunity like this again
- Paul asks someone if they're saying 'that the child wouldn't legally be theirs'
- David and Aaron looking silently worried