- Audrey making an anonymous donation to the Foundation from her lottery money
- Nicolette believing Audrey's generosity will come back to haunt them
- Toadie becoming unwell during his dinner with Audrey
- Nicolette offering to have a baby with David and Aaron
- Pierce warning Paul that Nicolette is a "conniving, deceitful snake"
- Paul asking Jane to work with him to put a stop to Nicolette's plan
- Jane thinking the baby plan is just another way for Nic to get close to Chloe
- Nicolette delivering an ultimatum to Jane: stand by me or we're done
Jane says that Nicolette can't just cut her out of her life, but Nicolette bluntly states, "been there, done that, I'll do it again."
JANE: I am your mother. I will always love you and I will always be there for you.
NICOLETTE: Oh please, that is a politician's answer.
JANE: What is it that you want from me?
NICOLETTE: No more unwanted advice. I want complete support, and I want it to be made public.
NICOLETTE: Tell Paul Robinson, and anyone else that asks, that you're completely on board. (Jane remains silent) Well then there's the door, mum.
JANE: Isn't that a little extreme?
NICOLETTE: Yes, it's very extreme. But I need to protect myself. I might be about to go through something massive and I don't need to deal with the judgement from my own mother on top of everything else.
The boys return from the backyard to let them know the food is ready, but soon clock the strained mood between Jane and Nicolette. David apologetically wonders if they've walked in on something, but Nicolette says it's fine: "Mum just needs a moment to think through some things." Jane looks torn about what she should do.
Susan, Karl and Toadie are having a Movember meeting, but it's mainly turned into Susan and Toadie taking the mickey out of Karl.
KARL: We're inviting participants, who we call 'Mo- Bros', to enter the 'Moscars'. You submit videos to win prizes.
TOADIE: (points to Karl's moustache) You want to film that? Mate, it looks like a caterpillar has died on your lip.
SUSAN: (chuckling) Or something that you pull out of a clogged drain!
Toadie cracks up laughing along with Susan, but Karl isn't amused.
KARL: It's been suggested I could be International Man of Movember.
SUSAN: Oh yeah, who suggested that? I'm guessing you?
KARL: Why don't you join in, Toad? Never too late.
TOADIE: No, no, I'm very happy with my lazy man stubble.
Susan wonders if Shane might be up to the challenge, but Toadie thinks next year's event might be a better time for his brother. Audrey walks in and joins them, apologising for her tardiness as she had to pop in and visit the Cancer Council since Nicolette got 'held up'. Toadie comments that it's strange Nicolette always seems to get held up when it comes to Foundation business, but Audrey quickly says she doesn't mind stepping in and asks what she missed at the meeting. Susan says that Karl is trying to rope Toadie into growing a larger moustache, which Audrey thinks is a brilliant idea. Karl reminds Toadie it's for a good cause, but Toadie says he'd rather just donate his time and money.
AUDREY: You know the Iron Sheik had a pretty good moustache. Hulk Hogan, Ox Baker...
TOADIE: Are you a wrestling fan?
AUDREY: Well I figure I'd better study up if I wanted to fit in at the Foundation. I heard you and your brother talking about it. Plus, I could be, like, your own personal cheer squad. Support you on your journey.
Susan and Karl share a knowing look and smile between themselves at the connection between Audrey and Toadie.
Nicolette, David and Aaron sit down at the table to continue their conversation while Jane is out of the house. David asks if talking to Jane changed Nic's mind about anything, but Nicolette insists everything's fine. Aaron looks at the next question on their list for Nicolette.
AARON: What would you like to be called?
NICOLETTE: Mum. But like I said earlier, you two are the parents with all that entails.
DAVID: (looking concerned) And you're absolutely sure about that? Because you could change your mind and have strong opinions about education, health, discipline.
NICOLETTE: If the child asks my opinion I'm not going to lie but I would never undermine you guys.
Aaron smiles at her. They're interrupted by a visit from Harlow, who has become an unwitting pawn in Paul's game. She has brought over information about sustainable hotels on behalf of Paul for when the boys reschedule their Canada trip. Harlow soon discovers, though, that David and Aaron might be having a baby with Nicolette instead of using a Canadian surrogate, which Paul is very opposed to.
HARLOW: I don't understand why he'd be so opposed to it anyway. Aunt Lucy had a kid with her friend and she couldn't be happier.
DAVID: You know what dad's like when he's opposed to something.
HARLOW: Yeah, I do.
Harlow heads back home leaving the mood between Nicolette, David and Aaron quite deflated.
While Toadie and Audrey are at the counter, Susan remarks to Karl on how taken Toadie is with Audrey. Karl believes that if she's willing to get into wrestling then the feeling must be mutual. They keep whispering together, not realising Toadie has returned to the table.
TOADIE: Can you two stop talking about me behind my back.
KARL: What makes you say that?
SUSAN: We were just noting how well you and Audrey seemed to be getting along.
TOADIE: She is nice.
SUSAN: Nothing more?
TOADIE: Look I doubt that she's interested in me, not after diarrhoea dinner.
SUSAN: Oh, if you're interested I think you should give it another shot.
TOADIE: What makes you say that?
SUSAN: Experience! Karl did far worse things in our early days.
KARL: What, worse than diarrhoea dinner?
SUSAN: Two words, Karl: ferris wheel.
TOADIE: Do I wanna know?
KARL: (gravely) No.
Toadie says he can't do anything about it now anyway as Paul needs to see him urgently. Susan asks if they should postpone the rest of the meeting, but Toadie says he won't be long. He also tells them not to mention the dinner while he's gone. Audrey is still at the counter and glances over her shoulder at Toadie as he leaves.
Lassiters Hotel Office
Paul has called upon Toadie to get legal information about the potential situation between Nicolette and the boys. Toadie says that having an agreement would be very important so that all parties are on the same page about expectations and implications. Paul agrees there should be safeguards in case anything goes wrong.
TOADIE: You should also be aware that it wouldn't be legally enforceable.
PAUL: What? Why?
TOADIE: Because it involves a child so that makes it an agreement, not a contract.
PAUL: But there are laws for this sort of thing, though, aren't there?
TOADIE: Victorian laws cover gestational surrogacy, and Nicolette's proposing using her own egg, which is traditional surrogacy and that's unregulated.
PAUL: Okay, what's this mean for David?
TOADIE: They can't go to an IVF clinic to have it done. They're going to have to do it at home. And sorting out any kind of parenting order down the track could be tricky.
PAUL: So you're saying that the child wouldn't legally be theirs?
TOADIE: Nicolette would have all the same rights as a mother, and it'd be her name on the birth certificate along with David's.
PAUL: Hang on, that means she could get custody if she wanted to down the track.
TOADIE: Well David would be the biological father so that'd become a family law matter for them to sort out together.
PAUL: Yes, and we all know that these sorts of things normally go in favour of the mother, don't we?
Toadie nods. Paul says that the whole scenario is a nightmare, and he is not having a bar of it.
Toadie returns and asks the team how everything's going. Karl's on his laptop and says he's going through all the financial records Audrey put together, complimenting her on a job well done. Susan says that Karl was trying to convince Audrey that the whole anonymous donation should go towards the Movember campaign. Toadie tells Karl that he and Audrey have already allocated the funds.
SUSAN: More to the point, whoever made the donation didn't part with fifty grand just so you could win some stupid award!
KARL: You can't know that. You don't know who donated the money.
Audrey looks uncomfortable. Susan wonders if Paul might be the mystery donor, but Toadie says he's not in a very generous mood at the moment. Karl suggests Pierce, but Toadie quickly says Pierce is in much the same mood as Paul. Susan and Karl ask if Audrey has any ideas, perhaps a mystery benefactor from the hospital she can think of. Uneasy, Audrey puts on a smile and says she was thinking about making a donation to the fund herself. Toadie says Audrey doesn't need to as she's already done so much for the Foundation already.
AUDREY: No, I want to do more. On one condition: you grow a moustache.
TOADIE: On one condition: you give me another shot at dinner.
AUDREY: It's a date! Or just dinner if you'd prefer?
TOADIE: No, it's a date.
They smile at one another. Susan and Karl look far too pleased with themselves.
Lassiters Hotel Office
Terese works at the desk while Paul chats with Jane about Nicolette and the boys. He tells Jane he just spoke with Toadie and it appears there's not a lot they can do about this legally, so he wanted to discuss their next step. But Paul's surprised when Jane says there won't be a next step for her, she's decided to support her daughter instead. Paul bluntly asks if Nicolette guilt- tripped Jane into this, but Jane says she just gave it more thought and changed her mind.
PAUL: Jane we're not talking about them buying a house together.
JANE: I don't want to cause a fuss, and I suggest that you don't either.
PAUL: Even if it goes wrong?
JANE: Well if it does then we help them pick up the pieces.
PAUL: (scoffing) You know even Pierce thinks this is a bad idea?
JANE: Oh, well, good for Pierce. But the only people that really count are our children and their child.
PAUL: Yes, and that is who I'm thinking about. You are just being an enabler.
JANE: I'm being a mother.
PAUL: (turning to Terese) Would you tell her she's being ridiculous?
TERESE: No, sorry, I happen to agree with her. And I keep telling you, you should try the same tactic.
Paul isn't impressed with Terese's lack of support.
The trio are still going through all the questions on the list. Aaron says that a big thing to ponder is what they would tell their child about everything. David says he grew up not knowing who his father was, so he'd want complete honesty. Nicolette thinks that sounds good. They're interrupted by another visitor, none of them keen to see it's Paul.
DAVID: Dad we're trying to have a discussion.
PAUL: What, about your non- binding surrogacy?
DAVID: It's legal.
PAUL: Yeah it's not enforceable.
DAVID: We know that.
PAUL: Do you? But are you prepared for it? Helping to conceive a child, to bring it into the world, to look after it, only to have it snatched away because that's what could happen.
NICOLETTE: I wouldn't do that.
PAUL: Really? And have you ever had a baby before?
PAUL: So how the hell do you know how you're going to react? And what if she changes her feelings about the custody? What then?
NICOLETTE: I won't! We've discussed all of this.
PAUL: What about day- to- day stuff? You realise you are going to have to get her permission for every application for overseas travel, childcare, school. It means that you could also be liable for child support payments. And child protection services might be involved, and we know that the courts do not like these unofficial arrangements.
Jane arrives home, overhears Paul's comments and asks him what happened to him letting everyone make up their own minds. Looking smug, Paul turns to Nicolette and tells her that Jane thinks the whole situation is a bad idea too. He encourages Jane to back up his claim, but Jane stands firm and says that Nicolette has her "complete and unconditional support in this matter" and Paul needs to leave her alone. Nicolette looks buoyed by her mother's support.
Toadie pours two glasses of wine, assuring Audrey that Karl had nothing to do with the drink selection this time. He returns to the table to find Audrey with a giant fake moustache stuck to her face. She grins and reminds Toadie she was going to be supportive. Toadie pops on the fake moustache Audrey got for him too.
AUDREY: How do you feel?
TOADIE: Like I want to solve a murder on the Orient Express. You?
AUDREY: Like I'm going to open the bowling at the SCG.
TOADIE: (laughing) Too good! You win.
The chemistry between them is fan- stache- tic.
Nicolette grabs another bottle of wine for everyone, but David looks a lot more tense since Paul's visit. He can't help wondering what would happen if Nicolette did change her mind down the track.
NICOLETTE: What if the Canadian changes her mind? Who do you know better?
DAVID: Dad's right, this is unregulated.
NICOLETTE: I've heard stories about surrogates refusing medical procedures that would help the fetus. Or others being implanted with multiple embryos so they can sell the extra babies on the black market.
AARON: I doubt that happens often.
NICOLETTE: Well all I'm saying is there's no perfect scenario. But if you go with a Canadian, it'll just be you two and no mother.
DAVID: What, because being raised by two men is so awful?
Nicolette backtracks and says that wasn't what she meant, but David angrily says he's tired of talking about everything. Aaron tries to placate his husband but David walks off.
Terese comments on how quiet Harlow is, but the teen replies that she's fighting the urge to stick her dinner fork into Paul. Terese wonders if it has something to do with Hendrix, but Harlow soon explains how she was used as part of Paul's anti- Nicolette campaign and Terese sees red. She excuses herself to walk over to where Paul is taking a phone call, soon discovering he's on the line with his PI, John Wong. Paul wants John to do a criminal background search on Nicolette, but Terese is having none of that on her watch.
PAUL: If Nicolette doesn't have a criminal record then she's got nothing to hide, has she?
TERESE: Paul, you've got a criminal record!
PAUL: So? Everybody knows that.
Unimpressed, Terese instructs Paul to let John know his services aren't required. Paul is annoyed but goes along with Terese's request, telling John over the phone that he's changed his mind on the background check.
TERESE: Right, you're going to come and have dinner with us. You're going to apologise to Harlow, and if the topic of babies comes up, the only words that you're allowed to say are, 'I love my son and I support him and his husband'.
Susan emerges from the bedrooms where Nell and Hugo are, telling Karl that there's a shoe emergency with one of Nell's dolls. But Karl is preoccupied with something on his laptop. He's discovered that a Movember donation came through today under the email address 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
SUSAN: (laughing) Well I've seen worse. Remember when you had 'hotbod22'?
KARL: The thing is it's the same email address attached to the 50k donation to the Foundation.
SUSAN: Oh, well then it must be from the same person.
KARL: Well this donation today came through around about the same time Audrey said she was going to donate. It must be her address.
SUSAN: Are you suggesting that Audrey is the mystery donor?
KARL: Two people can't have the same email address. And when I tried to talk to her about the 50k donation, she changed the subject.
Susan thinks it must be a mistake, especially since Audrey doesn't strike her as a secretive sort of person. Plus, if she was rich, Susan doesn't understand why she would hide that fact. Karl ponders on this.
Toadie wonders if Audrey always brings props on her dates, but Audrey smiles and says this is a first. She adds that she was just trying to make the first date thing less awkward. Toadie says that Audrey has nothing to feel awkward about - she wasn't the one who had a "gastric interruption" last time. Audrey says she still likes being around Toadie even after what happened. Toadie feels the same. Karl drops by to see if Toadie knows where Nell's doll's boots are, and while Toadie goes to Nell's room to look, Karl takes a chance to ask Audrey some questions.
KARL: The donation you made earlier was from an email 'sausagedogsandsunshine'.
KARL: Strangely the anonymous donation to the Foundation was from the same email address, the fifty thousand dollars. Was that you?
AUDREY: Ah, it was... a syndicate of nurses. We came into some lottery money a few years back in Canberra.
KARL: Right. Must have been a lot!
AUDREY: More than we deserved, so we decided to help the less fortunate.
KARL: That's astonishingly generous.
AUDREY: Well it's not like we earned it. Can you not tell Toadie about it? It's just money changes how people see you.
KARL: Not Toadie.
AUDREY: It'll just make things easier. Please?
Toadie returns with the doll shoes and asks what they've been chatting about. To Audrey's relief, Karl says they were just workshopping his entry for the Moscars.
Jane has heard what happened back at home and advises Nicolette to let David calm down and then she can talk to him again later.
NICOLETTE: Thank you for being supportive.
JANE: You're my daughter.
NICOLETTE: It meant a lot to me that you stood up to Paul. Even if I did have to resort to emotional blackmail.
JANE: You set boundaries, which is fair.
Nicolette is upset by the thought that she might not get another opportunity like this again. She knows the baby would have been so loved and was desperate for it to work out. Jane says it might not be over yet and tells Nic to say what's in her heart with kindness, that's all she can do.
David tells Aaron that he knows he overreacted before, but he was feeling overwhelmed by Paul's interference and Nicolette being so enthusiastic, not to mention everyone feeling like they get to have an opinion. He knows Nicolette was only pitching possible upsides, but it was one comment too many and he cracked. Aaron says he would have loved having his mum in the same town while he was growing up, let alone the same home. It means they'd have an extra set of hands around the house, and the baby would start out on breast milk too. David doesn't understand how his husband is so on board with the idea, but Aaron says he can see more positives than negatives. "But you have to feel the same way too," Aaron says. David continues to look torn up about it all.
Susan tells Toadie that Hugo is asleep and Nell's packing up her things. Toadie's glad his kids had a nice time, but Susan adds that Nell was asking when Dipi was coming back home. Karl asks Toadie how the dinner went. Toadie said it was short but sweet, but it's only early days. He goes into the hallway and asks Nell if she's ready to go, Nell's little voice calling out, "Coming!" Susan joins Karl on the couch, pleased he's going to keep quiet about Audrey and the money for the time being.
KARL: I don't like keeping secrets.
SUSAN: Well being anonymously generous is hardly a crime, is it?
SUSAN: Even if you can't get your head around it.
KARL: I don't want to interfere with Toadie getting to know Audrey, or influence how he feels about her. But it just seems like an odd secret to keep. Especially from someone you're interested in.
SUSAN: If they're right for each other she'll tell him the truth when the time's right.
Karl doesn't appear too convinced.
Nicolette apologises to David and Aaron for her earlier remark. She wouldn't have even suggested the idea in the first place if she didn't think they'd make "disgustingly perfect fathers". David accepts her apology and says sorry himself for snapping at her. There are so many people trying to comment on their lives, plus all the paperwork and the counsellors and the child protection checks and the...
AARON: You know if we were straight this would be so much easier. We could just literally have a few drinks then boom, hello baby.
NICOLETTE: Well at the risk of making a second stupid comment - that is an option. I mean if it's good enough for the breeders.
DAVID: Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not exactly my type.
NICOLETTE: I'm across my cycle. I know when I'm ovulating and it's good timing...
AARON: Wait, you mean...
DAVID: Right now?
NICOLETTE: I'm sure two medical professionals could find something appropriate in the kitchen to sterilise.
Aaron and David are shocked but Nicolette reminds them they've wanted a baby so badly for so long now. They could keep going around in circles about the pros and cons, or they could just take the plunge.
NICOLETTE: There's no guarantees. It would be like putting it in the hands of fate.
AARON: What do you think?
DAVID: I just want this so much. (He smiles at Aaron) I think, let's make a baby!
Nicolette is thrilled.