- Aaron wonders whether he's handling Nicolette's exit better because he's not the baby's biological dad
- Leo apologises to David for his role in driving Nicolette away
- David apologises to Aaron, saying he loves their baby just as much as David does regardless of biology
- In Canberra, Paul learns Nicolette's already given birth, and offers her $1 million to hand Isla over
- Nicolette relents and hands Isla over to Paul, along with letters of explanation for Jane and the boys
- Paul's condition of giving Nicolette the money is that she must never return to Erinsborough
- But back in her hotel, we see Nicolette with a second baby; 'I could never let you go,' she says
An exhausted Aaron sits on the sofa, and sighs heavily. Nearby his phone buzzes unanswered - it's Paul.
In the office, Chloe is looking pensively out of the window.
Terese arrives, telling Aaron she and Paul have been trying to call him. She asks if David's here.
AARON: Yeah, he's asleep - finally.
TERESE: We need to wake him up, now. Paul's on his way.
Chloe is leaving Nicolette a voicemail.
CHLOE: I don't know why I'm still leaving you these. You probably don't listen to them. But... I just wanted to say that I missed you today, Nic. Like I do every day... I wish I could hear your voice.
Leo and Roxy are having a drink and playing cards on the patio, when Kyle turns up.
KYLE: I just saw Paul outside.
David is now awake and with Terese and Aaron; the boys are frantically quizzing her about what's going on.
DAVID: Does this mean he's found something?
AARON: Has he got a lead on Nic now?
TERESE: You're just gonna have to wait (...) Paul will explain everything.
DAVID: Well, how far away is he?
But at that moment, Paul comes in, with Isla in a baby- carrier.
PAUL: I want you to meet your daughter. Isla Fay.
David, Aaron and Terese gaze at Isla in awe, disbelief... and joy.
Kyle tells Leo and Roxy that he saw Paul getting out of the taxi with a baby, presumably Nicolette's. Leo says he should head over there to see what's going on, and leaves.
Paul is explaining how he went to Canberra and met Audrey, who led him to Nicolette. He does not, of course, explain about paying Nicolette to give him the baby and never come back!
PAUL: I made her realise that what she was doing was totally unfair (...) so she decided to give Isla up.
TERESE: Do you know where she is now?
PAUL: No. No, I don't.
AARON: She didn't want to come back with you?
PAUL: No, and she never will. Look, she decided that you're better off without her.
Paul gives them the letter that Nicolette wrote them - but David's more interested in getting Isla to the hospital, so they can have her checked out. Leo arrives just as Paul, David and Aaron are heading to the hospital; Terese has offered to stay behind and let everyone know what's happening, so prepares to tell Leo the story.
Chloe is working in the office when Terese turns up. Terese is on the phone to Jane; she and Clive are arranging to head back from Queensland following the news that Paul has brought Isla home with him. Chloe tells Terese that Shay Quill has been on the phone, anxious for an update on the plan for Lassiter's to buy into the Quill Group.
TERESE: Chloe - the baby. She's here.
CHLOE: What? Like, she's been born?!
Terese explains Aaron and David are at the hospital getting Isla checked out, but Chloe is shocked to learn that Nicolette hasn't returned with her, and gave the baby to Paul to bring back.
Isla is in an examination room with Aaron and David, when Chloe arrives. She greets the baby, then asks Paul, who is lurking, where Nicolette is.
Outside the hospital, Terese is on the phone to Jane again - she and Clive can't get a flight tonight, so are going to return in the morning. Leo turns up - he explains he's asked Kyle and Roxy to pick up some nappies and to set things up at No 32 for when David and Aaron get back.
LEO: Why would Nicolette give away her own baby, knowing she'd never see her again?
Back indoors, Chloe is asking a similar question of Paul.
CHLOE: It doesn't make any sense. Nic's mum is here, her whole life is here.
PAUL: Yeah, well, evidently she wanted a new one.
CHLOE: But did you make her understand that she had no reason to run away in the first place? That nothing happened between Leo and me?
PAUL: Yes, yes, but her mind was already made up. There was absolutely no convincing her.
CHLOE: Well, did you try? What if she's not okay?
PAUL: She is.
CHLOE: You don't know that! She might have postnatal depression.
AARON: Chlo, Nic made her decision. She was very clear about it. Paul was just the messenger.
Paul says all Nicolette offered him by way of explanation were the letters - one for Jane, one for David and Aaron.
CHLOE: But not for me (...) Have you read it yet?
AARON: Can we just talk about this later, please?
David, evidently annoyed by Chloe's line of questioning, goes to see if he can find a doctor. Paul apologises to Chloe, and walks away.
Outside, Leo is still with Terese. She suggests he go up to see David, but Leo doesn't want it to be awkward given Chloe's already inside. Paul comes out, and suggests they head home and give the boys some space. Leo still doesn't understand how Paul got Nicolette to hand over the baby.
PAUL: Took some persuading, believe me.
TERESE: Hmm. Won't be easy for Jane, knowing that Nicolette's never coming back. But at the end of the day, the baby belongs here, even if Nicolette isn't. You did the right thing.
Paul doesn't look so confident!
Back inside, David is checking over the test results that the doctor has given them, having told them everything is fine with Isla. David notices among the results that Isla is anaemic, but it's not that bad and he tells Aaron it should sort itself out. David is being a little obsessive over the notes, so Aaron suggests he put them down so they can take Isla home. Chloe decides to leave them to it.
CHLOE: But if you read Nic's letter, can you let me know? I know you probably won't get to it tonight, but if you do...
AARON: Yeah, don't hold your breath, Chlo. Isla's more important to us right now.
A worried Chloe leaves and heads outside, where she finds Leo sitting on a bench. They have an awkward exchange, during which Leo admits he didn't want to go in the hospital while Chloe was there.
LEO: David and Aaron don't need our issues right now.
CHLOE: Don't worry, they're too focused on the baby to stress about anything else (...) It's just clear that Nicolette is the last thing they care about.
LEO: Well, can you blame them? I think they deserve a moment to be happy right now.
CHLOE: Yeah, I get it. They've had it rough.
LEO: Yeah, exactly. They shouldn't have to worry about Nicolette - she almost ruined this for them.
CHLOE: Don't forget, so did we.
Chloe walks off. Leo sees David and Aaron heading towards the car with Isla, but he doesn't approach them - opting to give them some space for now.
In the garden, Paul tells Terese he's left the letter Nicolette wrote to Jane next door for her, as she wants to read it as soon as she gets home.
TERESE: I can't imagine how she feels. I mean, it'd be like losing her daughter all over again.
Paul looks guilty, and Terese asks if he's worrying about David. He nods.
TERESE: You know what? I'm sure he won't hold a grudge over this.
PAUL: Hopefully not.
TERESE: He'll understand. Once it all blows over.
PAUL: Mm. You know, everything I did - it was absolutely worth it to see those boys with their daughter.
Aaron and David come in, and Aaron's grateful to find a congratulations note from Kyle and Roxy, and a fresh stock of nappies and other provisions.
AARON: I tell you what, Roxy is all over it. If I was Kyle, I would be scared.
But David's not really listening; he's too engrossed looking at Isla, who's still in her carrier. Aaron comes to sit next to them.
AARON: Oh, don't tell me you've forgotten how to swaddle already, have you?
DAVID: No. I just don't want any of us to fall asleep. She only just got here. I don't want her out of my sight - not even for a second.
AARON: Yeah. I wonder what her birth was like.
DAVID: Guess we'll never know.
AARON: Nicolette should never have done this to us. It's just so unfair.
DAVID: We've missed out on so much. The birth. Naming her.
AARON: You know, we can change her name if we want.
DAVID: No. I love the name. But we missed out on that moment of giving it to her. I'm so angry at Nicolette.
AARON: If you want, we can read her letter. It might help.
DAVID: No. We've been thinking about her for weeks. I'm done with her for tonight. Let's just be a family.
Aaron puts an arm around David as they gaze at Isla.
AARON: She's perfect.
DAVID: Yeah, she is.
The next morning, Chloe notices the letter from Nicolette, waiting on the counter for Jane when she returns from Queensland. She picks it up, as if considering whether to open it - but at that moment, Jane and Clive come through the door, so Chloe quickly replaces the letter. However, the first thing Jane does is to open the letter and begin to read. Chloe looks on anxiously.
Aaron is staring at baby Isla, lost in thought, when Terese and Paul turn up. Aaron reports that she was awake every few hours overnight, and David, who is in the kitchen, reports that Isla is feeding well; they're going to start some sleep routines today. Noticing Paul is lingering in the doorway, David tells him to come in.
David apologises for what he said to Paul last night (which it seems we missed); he was overwhelmed by everything happening at once. Paul says there's no need to explain.
DAVID: I still wish you had told me what you were doing. But thank you - for bringing her home.
PAUL: Hey, of course, son.
Chloe and Clive listen, as an emotional Jane reads out Nicolette's letter. While this goes on, we close in on Chloe, who is becoming tearful.
JANE (reading): Dear Mum, I guess you know by now that I'm not coming back. I'm sorry. Getting to spend the last year with you, I've felt more at home than I ever have. Things are different now, and I can't come back to Erinsborough after everything that's happened - so please, don't come after me. Love the baby for me, and tell her that I love her. (tearful) Giving birth to her was the best thing that I've ever done, but also the hardest. I wish that you'd been there with me. Thank you for making this past year special -
Jane dissolves into tears, and Clive takes the letter to finish it.
CLIVE (reading): Thank you for loving me, no matter what.
Finishing the letter, he remarks...
CLIVE: It's so final.
JANE (crying): Because it is!
CLIVE: I thought there'd be some mention of a phone call, or a meeting, or something.
JANE: I just don't understand. If she knows that I would love her despite anything, how could she still cut me out of her life? Why did it have to happen like this?
A silent Chloe looks guilty, and wipes away a tear before leaving the house.
Leo is outside Harold's with Roxy and Kyle, and tells them that he's flying to Sydney in a few hours; his and David's mum Kim is sick, so he wants to spend time with her to make sure she isn't feeling left out of Isla's arrival. Even so, Roxy queries why he's leaving now when his niece has just arrived, suggesting he's running away.
LEO: I'll be back in a few weeks, alright? I'm just gonna wait for everything to settle down a bit.
Sensing Leo is avoiding the family situation because of his role in Nicolette's disappearance, Roxy shows him a present they've bought for David and Aaron, and suggests he come back to No 32 with them when they call round to drop it off.
LEO: I don't think that's a good idea.
ROXY: Ah, no buts. The last time you skipped town, you didn't even say goodbye to your brother. I am not letting you pull that stunt again.
Leo agrees to go with Roxy and Kyle - but first goes to chat to Chloe, who he sees sitting alone outside the hotel.
LEO: How are you doing?
CHLOE: Nic doesn't want to speak to me ever again (...) I don't know what I was expecting. A hello? That she might forgive me some day. But I guess I got what I deserve.
LEO: Hey, I'm so, so sorry, Chlo. For everything. I guess I lost my head a bit and, uh... well, here we are.
CHLOE: I wish I could blame you for everything. It would make things a lot easier. But a lot of this is on me, and I have to live with that.
LEO: We both will. You know, we'll figure it out, and we'll work out what kind of people we want to be, and do better.
CHLOE: That's the plan. But every time I look at Isla, I'm just gonna think about the woman that I basically ran out of town.
Paul and Terese are still with David, Aaron and Isla, when Jane turns up, a little hesitant about turning up unannounced - but Aaron says it's fine.
JANE: She's really here!
DAVID: She is. Here. Come meet your granddaughter.
David passes Isla to Jane to hold.
JANE: It doesn't feel real, to have her, but not Nicolette. Is there a plan yet?
TERESE: Uh, for what?
JANE: Well, to find Nicolette.
PAUL: (...) She doesn't want to be found.
Jane asks if there were any clues in David and Aaron's letter about where she might have gone, but Aaron says it was just an apology for taking off while pregnant.
AARON: I think she wants to stay away and let us heal.
JANE (agitated): Well, I can't heal when I have no clue where my daughter is. If she's still in Canberra, there's a chance that we can change her mind. Paul, you must know something?
JANE: Well, where did you meet her?! Was it near a hotel, or near a shelter?
PAUL: Honestly, there's nothing else I can tell you.
JANE: Well, think harder!
An agitated David stands up and takes Isla back from Jane.
DAVID: I think if she wants to stay away, we should let her. After what she did, I don't even know what I'd say to her.
Later, in the garden, Roxy and Leo have turned up to see Isla - Kyle's gone to fetch his camera to take some photos. Leo explains to David that he's going to see their mum...
LEO: ... for as long as it takes to feel ready to come back.
DAVID: Leo, you know everything's okay between us?
LEO: I know.
DAVID: Then why are you running away? You don't have to do this for me.
LEO: I'm not. I'm doing it for me. I mucked up, and, uh... I need to get my head straight.
DAVID: Alright. Have a hold before you go?
LEO: Yeah, I'd love to.
Aaron passes Isla to 'Uncle Leo', who seems thrilled to meet her.
LEO: She's gorgeous. You guys are parents!
Clive, Paul and Terese have accompanied Jane home. Clive thinks they shouldn't give up hope on Nicolette, and Terese thinks she may regret giving Isla up in a few days' time. Paul stays very quiet.
JANE: Nicolette is... she is stubborn to the end, once she makes her mind up about something.
CLIVE: This is different.
JANE: I just... I don't understand! She wanted this little family more than anything, and now she's just - just leaving it all behind. (to Paul) How could you let her do this?
PAUL: ... I don't know what else I could've done.
JANE: Well, you could've got me on the phone - I would've pleaded with her!
PAUL: Oh, Jane, I'm sorry. But everything happened so fast, I honestly didn't think of that.
JANE (tearful): No. No, because you only cared about the baby, not Nicolette, who you have always despised.
JANE: If I'd have known you were going - if anyone had been there other than you - things would've been different.
CLIVE: Okay, you're upset, but it's not Paul's fault.
JANE: Why didn't you help her? Why didn't you bring her home?! Why did you just leave her there?! How could you do this to me?
Bursting into tears again, Jane starts hitting Paul in the chest and grabs him by the jacket.
JANE: She needed me, and you didn't bring her home! (...) I just want my daughter, I want my baby!
Paul hugs Jane as she breaks down, and looks pretty contrite...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Mackenzie tells Toadie that news has got out about Melanie, and 'everybody wants to jump ship'
- Jane admits to Susan it's excruciating not knowing where Nicolette is; a guilty Paul listens in
- Jane seems to have some news on her phone; Aaron asks her, 'Has he found her?'