- Mackenzie and Hendrix indulge in some heavy pashing, but are interrupted by a knock at the door
- Roxy advises Mackenzie to let Hendrix make the first move in taking the relationship further
- But Kyle is simultaneously advising Hendrix to hang back and wait for Mackenzie to give him the signal
- The result is that neither Hendrix nor Mackenzie make a move during their next video game session
- Jane tells Paul she'll never forgive him for paying Nicolette never to return to Erinsborough
- Jane tells Terese not to let Paul bulldoze her
- David and Aaron ask Nicolette if they can revisit the co- parenting arrangement
- Nicolette is keen for David and Aaron to have a parenting relationship with Isla, but not as sole primary carers
- She tells them, 'I'm giving you 50/50; you're lucky to get that'
- David tells Nicolette that in which case, she gives them no choice; they'll have to fight it out in court
David and Aaron are having a fractious discussion about Isla's parenting arrangements. David reminds Aaron that they were supposed to have full custody, and that Nicolette's U- turn is a 'breach of contract', albeit only verbal.
AARON: I know it's unfair, David, but bringing in lawyers is huge.
DAVID: It is. But I don't see another option.
Nicolette walks by through the hallway with Isla's pram, and tells the boys when asked that she's going out.
DAVID: With Isla, at this time of night?
NICOLETTE: I'm not going far. I just... I need space to think.
Once she has gone...
AARON: It's fair enough. She's upset!
DAVID: And her first reaction is to run.
AARON: David, come on, she said she wasn't gonna leave town with Isla.
DAVID: She also said that we'd be Isla's primary carers. We can't trust her, Aaron. This is why we need a lawyer.
Jane is reading Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights' at a table, when Paul comes in. He tries to tempt Jane into joining him for a nightcap, but she staunchly refuses, still not having forgiven him for his behaviour towards Nicolette.
PAUL: My shout? It'd be nice to have a chat.
JANE: Go away, Paul.
PAUL: Oh, Jane, please. How am I supposed to make it up to you if you won't even let me try?
JANE: The things that you have done are beyond the point of forgiveness. Simple as that.
Terese comes in, and Paul judges this as a good point to leave, telling Jane again that he's sorry. Terese and Paul don't speak as they pass at the door.
TERESE (to Jane): That man has certainly hit the trifecta.
JANE: Oh, what trifecta is that?
TERESE: Well, if you include Harlow, that's three of Paul's favourite women that are currently not speaking to him at the moment.
JANE: Which is no less than he deserves. I know it sounds callous, but I honestly can't see how we can come back from this. Not this time.
TERESE: Unfortunately, I happen to agree with you.
At this point, an upset- looking Nicolette comes in, with Isla's pram.
NICOLETTE: Mum, you weren't at home.
JANE: What's wrong?
NICOLETTE: Could Isla and I stay with you tonight?
JANE: Well, yes, of course. Has something happened?
NICOLETTE: The boys. They're trying to take her away from me.
The next morning, Toadie and Melanie are in the kitchen, when Nell rushes in wearing a 'Lawman' sash from Toadie's wrestling days!
TOADIE: What are you doing with that?
NELL: I'm the Lawman!
TOADIE: Oh, really? I think you might need a degree to use that name. Or... you could fight me for it!
MELANIE: You do know that wrestling is just an excuse for grown men to roll around on the ground together?
Toadie begins to explain how it's a lot more involved than that. Nell impresses him with her knowledge of a wrestling move, the 'Boston Pincer'.
TOADIE: Are we gonna fight it out to see who the *real* Lawman is? Or do you think that you should actually have your own wrestling name now?
NELL: I want my own.
TOADIE: Yes! Okay, uh... I think you could be Jelly Nelly!
Nell seems to approve, so Toadie proposes they fight it out for the coveted prize of the 'Rebecchi Championship Belt'.
NELL: Bring it on!
TOADIE: Let's get ready to rumble!
They grunt at one another, wrestling- style...
David is telling Paul about how Nicolette left the house with Isla last night; she eventually let David and Aaron know she was staying at Jane's, but up till then they were 'freaking out'. Aaron comes in, and is annoyed to find David and Paul 'talking tactics'. Paul tells them he can get them the best lawyers in town to fight the custody battle.
AARON: Paul, I'm sorry, but we're not taking this to the courts, alright? Look at this from the judge's perspective - Nic is Isla's biological mother, offering a 50/50 arrangement. It comes across as very reasonable.
PAUL: Yeah, and it's also part of her grand plan, I'm sure.
DAVID: And it's not what we agreed to.
AARON: I know that, I know that. But the fact is, Nic is a good mum offering a fair deal.
DAVID: Good mum?! Have you forgotten what she's done to us?!
AARON: Yeah, exactly right - to *us*, not to Isla. And Isla is all the family courts are gonna care about. Look, David, we're in such a tricky situation - so until we can figure out the absolute best way to handle Nicolette, no lawyers!
Paul and David look miffed.
The living room has been transformed into a wrestling ring, with mattresses on the floor. Except for Mackenzie, everyone is in their wrestling costumes! Mackenzie, Melanie and Hugo watch as Toadie spins Nell around in the air, and throws her onto the mattresses, before practising some more wrestling moves with her. Hendrix comes in and is amused to see what's going on.
HENDRIX: Nell, good job getting the grown- ups to play dress- ups, or whatever this is!
MELANIE: It's actually pro wrestling. And it's harder than you might think.
HENDRIX: Oh yeah, nah. I'm sure it takes so much skill to run around with your undies on the outside, faking trips and throws.
TOADIE: I think I just worked out what his wrestling name would be. The Big Chicken!
Toadie starts clucking and doing chicken movements!
HENDRIX: I'm not chicken, alright? Guess who's coming home to roost, old man?
Jane and Nicolette are with Isla at a table. Jane says they shouldn't get ahead of themselves regarding what David said about a court battle; everyone says things they don't mean in the heat of the moment. But Nicolette says she's never seen David like that before. Jane admits that he was very emotional when Nicolette first disappeared.
JANE: I'm sure he realises that he overreacted, and is just as keen as you are to set things right.
But at this point, Paul comes in through the back door, talking to his lawyer Juliana on the phone. He hasn't seen Jane and Nicolette.
PAUL: I'll be in touch if my son decides to contest custody.
When Paul hangs up, Jane and Nic, having overheard this, storm over.
JANE: Was that a lawyer that you were just speaking to?
PAUL: Obviously I'm not gonna answer that.
JANE: It was. That is low, Paul, even for you. Nicolette and the boys haven't even had a chance to talk this out yet.
PAUL: Well, from what David said, there is no chance of talking it out (...) And Juliana has just told me that the boys have a very, very strong case for full custody.
Paul walks out, leaving Nicolette looking horrified.
Hendrix and Mackenzie are also now in wrestling costumes, and Mackenzie, Melanie, Nell and Hugo are watching as Toadie takes on Hendrix in the 'ring'. Needless to say, Toadie is winning; he sits on Hendrix and pins him by the feet!
HENDRIX: This is stupid.
MACKENZIE: Oh, my god. Says the guy who hasn't been able to pin the old man yet!
HENDRIX: Pipe down at the back, please.
But Toadie manages to teach Hendrix a move, and Hendrix successfully floors him!
HENDRIX: That was actually pretty fun!
Toadie decides that it's time for Mackenzie's debut in the ring, facing off against Hendrix!
MACKENZIE: You are in serious trouble, man!
Toadie directs Hendrix to lie on the mattress and tells Mackenzie how to pin him down by getting on top of him!
TOADIE: Get that wrist control. Nice and firm! ... You guys okay?
Despite Toadie watching them at very close quarters, and Melanie filming them on her phone, Hendrix and Mackenzie appear to be having a moment!
TOADIE: You both look a bit red in the face.
MELANIE: You know, all of a sudden I can kind of see why this sport isn't quite so stupid!
Hendrix and Mackenzie smile at one another.
David is annoyed with Aaron for vetoing the idea of challenging Nicolette for custody. Aaron replies that he just doesn't think they should be impulsive; if they lose in court, Nicolette might even move out of the house.
DAVID: Which is why we need an edge. And the one person who can get us an edge is Dad.
AARON: Which means it'll be morally questionable. And you know what - while we're on that, I don't like how you went to him without me. You guys already have enough secrets lately.
DAVID: He knows good family lawyers. I was obviously gonna keep you in the loop.
AARON: Look, I just don't want things to get ugly.
DAVID: Things got ugly when she ran off with our child! She didn't care about us then, so why should we care about her now?
AARON: Wow, okay. And when did you turn into your dad, huh?
David laughs bitterly, and leaves for work. Aaron looks worried.
The wrestling showdowns continue, as Toadie faces off against Nell again, with more grunting and growling. Nell manages to pin Toadie, and then Hugo throws himself into the fray as well! Hendrix and Mackenzie watch as Toadie decides it's time for Melanie to challenge him! There's more growling, and Toadie gets Melanie in a headlock, but she escapes his clutches.
MACKENZIE (to Hendrix): So, have you changed your mind about wrestling?
HENDRIX: I still think it's pretty insane. It does have its good sides, though.
MACKENZIE: Yeah, it does, doesn't it?
They look at one another meaningfully.
The match continues, but as Melanie succeeds in flooring Toadie, she falls backwards herself and hits her arm on the floor beyond the mattress. Melanie starts crying out in pain, and Toadie rushes to her aid. She seems to have badly hurt her wrist.
Jane and Nicolette are at the hospital. We learn Nicolette has left Isla with Roxy, and is worried she shouldn't have, in case David and Aaron's lawyers somehow use it against her. Jane assures Nicolette that Isla will be fine, and that Nic has every right to spend time on her own. It seems they're here looking for David, so they can sort all this out before it gets out of hand.
In the waiting area, they find Toadie. He explains he's waiting for Mel to come out of an examination following her wrist injury. Jane uses the opportunity to ask Toadie a legal question.
JANE: Nicolette's rights as Isla's mother - there's no way that the boys could get full custody over her, is there?
TOADIE: I'm not the best person to ask.
NICOLETTE: Look, we know it's probably awkward, seeing as you're mates with the guys.
TOADIE: There's that, and my background isn't in family law.
Never stopped you before, Toadie!
JANE: You know enough to know that I'm right?
TOADIE: I really don't want to be involved in this.
NICOLETTE: Look, we wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. But we overheard Paul talking to some lawyer - Juliana. Supposedly she said they have a strong case.
TOADIE: (...) The only Juliana that I know around here that practises, isn't in family law either. She's in criminal.
Nicolette is in the courtyard with Jane, and stressing about why Paul would want to hire a criminal lawyer for David and Aaron. She decides it must be about the lottery ticket she stole back in her nursing days.
JANE: Is there anything else that they might dig up?
NICOLETTE: I'm not a criminal mastermind, Mum!
Jane decides that David can't be behind the idea to bring in a criminal lawyer; it must be Paul's plan. An upset Nicolette says that none of this would've happened if she had just stayed away from Erinsborough, but Jane assures her she did the right thing in coming home. Jane promises she'll make sure everything is alright, including lending Nicolette money for legal fees if it comes to that.
JANE: There is one avenue that we haven't tried. You just leave it with me.
In a consultation room, David confirms to Toadie and a newly- plaster- casted Melanie that she has fractured her wrist, so she'll need to be in the cast for the next six weeks. However, David also wants to book Melanie in for a bone density scan, as he's surprised at the extent of her injuries from an indoor fall on a mattress.
DAVID: It could be a sign that you're at risk of osteoporosis.
MELANIE (defensive): I am not old enough to have osteoporosis!
DAVID: I'm not saying you do, I'm just saying I'd like to investigate further.
MELANIE: There's no point - I don't have it (...) I am completely fit and healthy.
David still recommends she has the scan, as if left untreated, the condition can be very serious.
MELANIE: Then toddle down to Geriatrics and spread the word, but I am not getting an old person's bone scan - end of story!
Hendrix and Mackenzie are tidying up after the wrestling tournament. Mack hopes Melanie is okay.
MACKENZIE: I thought her laugh was loud, but that sound she made...
As they discuss how the accident happened, Mackenzie demonstrates by getting Hendrix in a headlock - but she isn't able to floor him with a leg sweep.
HENDRIX (laughing): I guess you're not as strong as Melanie.
MACKENZIE: Oh, big talk while Toadie's not here to show you up.
At this point Hendrix falls over, and Mackenzie on top of him. They laugh, and end up staring into one another's eyes again at close quarters.
HENDRIX: I see. This was your plan all along, wasn't it?
MACKENZIE: What, to squash you in my living room?
HENDRIX: Can't say I'm complaining.
They look like they're about to kiss, but then notice that Hugo is standing there watching them! He grins and then runs off, and Hendrix and Mackenzie separate - but they're lost for words as they process this latest moment between them.
David is finishing up his consultation with Melanie, and advises her to take paracetamol for the pain. He again mentions the bone density scan, but Melanie insists she isn't changing her mind. As she walks off, Toadie thanks David, and apologises for Melanie's abruptness, before following her out.
Aaron turns up to talk to David, wanting to smooth things over after their argument earlier.
DAVID: Me too. I'm sorry - you were right before, I was having a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde moment.
AARON: Mm, you were. Dr Tanaka and Mr Robinson, huh?
DAVID: Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?
They hold hands.
DAVID: You should know Dad called before. He's organised a meeting with a family lawyer and a criminal lawyer.
AARON: What?! Why, David?
DAVID: As consultants. To help us work out the best strategy.
AARON: Look, I want Isla just as bad as you do - but we don't have to compromise who we are to get her. Come on, we're dads now; we have to set an example.
DAVID: Do you remember the day that Nicolette offered to carry our baby?
AARON: Yes, of course I do. You were literally about to fly to Canada to start the surrogacy process.
DAVID: And she promised that it would be the same with her. Now she's changed her mind, and she expects us to be the ones to give up on our parenting dream.
AARON: Yeah, David, I understand it's not fair.
DAVID: No, it's not. And I get that we upset her before. But I don't think we deserve to be in this position. It's not about compromise; it's about defending ourselves.
AARON: Look, I understand where you're coming from - I really do. But I'm just worried that if we go down this path, there's no coming back.
DAVID: Can you at least be open to talking to the lawyers, just to see where we stand? Please. For me. For our family.
Aaron looks uncertain.
Toadie and Melanie get home; they are still arguing about whether she should get the bone density scan to check for osteoporosis, but she's adamant that she will not. Mackenzie comes in and sees Melanie's arm in the sling.
MACKENZIE: Oh, is it broken?
MELANIE: No, it's a fashion statement (!)
Sensing tension, Mackenzie goes to her room to study. Toadie continues to pester Melanie to do the bone scan. But she won't budge.
MELANIE: I am completely fit and healthy! I do Zumba, Pilates even!
TOADIE: You heard what David said; being fit isn't always enough. I don't want to argue with you about this.
MELANIE: Then don't! (...) You think I've got it, don't you?
TOADIE: No, no, I don't!
MELANIE: You think that I am old, and withered, and past my use- by- date! (...) I can tell you right now that I do not need your concern, or your condescension!
She's retrieved a bottle of juice from the fridge, but can't get the top off with one hand - and is forced to ask for Toadie's help! But she adds...
MELANIE: This changes nothing.
Jane has come to see Paul. Assuming she's come for another argument, he tells her he's simply looking out for his son and his family in involving lawyers.
JANE: Aren't you worn down by all of this? All of this - this turmoil. And you have been at the centre of it. Goading Nicolette into leaving, paying her to stay away - and now some ugly new legal battle. Don't you ever run out of steam?
PAUL: I'm not enjoying it, if that's what you mean.
JANE: And you're gonna have to keep going on your own, because - well, you've driven away Terese. And Harlow. I don't like losing people. And it is awful to me that you and I are no longer friends.
PAUL: Oh, Jane - you know that's the last thing that I want, too.
JANE (upset): I'm tired. I just want my friend back, supporting me. And I know that deep down, you want that too.
PAUL: Of course I do. I mean, isn't there some way that we can put our children's conflicts aside? You and I have been friends way too long for something like this to come between us.
JANE: The thing is, I care about you, Paul, you know that I do. And, look, I would love for us to find a way to get back to where we used to be. If that is at all possible.
PAUL: Yeah, of course we can.
JANE: The only way that I can forgive you, is if you call off these lawyers. Right now, today.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Aaron asks Nicolette if she's asking him to gang up with her against David
- David tells Nicolette she's dragging more and more people into something that's none of their business
- Nicolette shouting that everyone in Erinsborough is against her, again
- Terese shouts at Harlow, 'Why would you do that?!'
- Harlow replies that she's 'tired of it', and asks if Terese is planning to spend the rest of her life wallowing