- Hendrix and Mackenzie deciding they want to sleep together
- Mackenzie and Hendrix getting #30 to themselves
- Chloe telling Harlow she needs to listen to her at work
- Terese taking on extra work so she doesn't have to see Paul
- Jane setting up a photo shoot for Nicolette, the boys and Isla
- Nicolette feeling happy when David suggests she get a solo pic with Isla
- The audience seeing that a spy camera has been planted in one of Isla's teddy bears
Nicolette is staring right into Teddy Cam, but it's only because Isla has thrown up on the bear's face and Nic's wondering how to clean it. Jane takes it over to the sink to sponge clean and talks with Nicolette about how great the photo shoot turned out. Nicolette says how thrilled she was to get a photo on her own with Isla, and thinks the boys are finally seeing how much Isla means to her. David and Aaron return from putting Isla down for a nap and also talk about how much fun they had today. Nicolette says it's how she always hoped things would be between them - and how she'd like them to be moving forward.
DAVID: What are you saying exactly?
NICOLETTE: I'd love it if we could revisit our custody arrangement without lawyers.
AARON: Sorry, why no lawyers?
NICOLETTE: Honestly it'd feel like walking into battle. I just think the three of us could have a conversation.
Caught off guard, Aaron says he and David need time to think, so Nicolette and Jane give them some privacy.
Lassiters Hotel Office
While Terese is working, Chloe answers a knock at the door. When she sees it's Paul, Chloe tries to dissuade him from coming in. But Paul wanted to check in on the presentation and figured it was easier to pop in on his way down from the penthouse. "Paul, I'll email it to you again once I'm done as we agreed," Terese tersely replies. When Paul reluctantly leaves, Terese asks Chloe to go through resumes for the Lassiters front desk manager as a decision needs to be reached by tomorrow. Terese says she's headed to The Waterhole to work for the rest of the day, and urges Chloe to pick someone "flawless" for the job, "we can't afford another scandal at any level of management right now."
Harlow has printed out her resume as she wants to apply for the front desk role. She tells Mackenzie how much better this job would be than her cleaning one, but Mac's barely listening, too wrapped up in thoughts of Hendrix. She eventually confesses to Harlow why she's so distracted.
MACKENZIE: Hendrix and I are having sex tonight. (Worried, off Harlow's look) TMI?
HARLOW: No, I just, are you ready for it?
MACKENZIE: Yeah, I am one hundred per cent ready. Well, ready and terrified: 70/30. (Thinking about it more) 60/40.
HARLOW: Okay, you know you have nothing to be terrified of.
MACKENZIE: I know, I'm just overthinking it.
Harlow asks what the big plans are for the night, but Mackenzie says she's given Hendrix a key to #30 and he's promised her the "full fairytale experience".
Number 32 Backyard
David doesn't think one good day with Nicolette warrants ignoring everything the lawyers have told them. If they want full custody of Isla, they have to stick to the boundaries they set out. But Aaron just wants what's best for Isla, which is growing up in a healthy home environment. He thinks they've got a better chance of achieving that if they talk with Nicolette, rather than drag everyone through the mud. David reminds him Nicolette won't want to go back to their original agreement. "All I know is that she's willing to talk," Aaron replies. "The least we can do is try again, and without jumping to conclusions or getting defensive."
Lassiters Hotel Office
Harlow walks in without knocking (which Chloe doesn't appreciate), because she wanted to drop off her resume for Terese. Harlow's face drops when she realises that Terese has put Chloe in charge of deciding the front desk role. Chloe promises she'll be fair, "fairer than you were with your roster stunt". She's surprised Harlow wants to apply in the first place given her last promotion led to a hotel-wide strike. But Harlow insists this will be completely different: she's not being handed the role, she's applying for it like everyone else. "Well then it shouldn't bother you that I'm the one hiring," Chloe replies. She then asks if Harlow can work an extra shift as they're one person short in the laundry today. Harlow puts on a smile and nods.
Paul stares at Teddy Cam, commenting on how scruffy the bear's looking. When he finds out it's because of Isla's vomit, he tells David not to just chuck it out like his brother would. Aaron asks if Paul's spoken to Leo recently, and Paul says he had a chat with him last night. "He and Britney seem to be going very well, which is a relief," he shares. "I'd hate to have to call the lawyers in for them too." The lawyers are actually why David and Aaron have called Paul over - they want them to stand down for now. Paul becomes frustrated when he finds out Nicolette wants to talk through the custody agreement again without the lawyers around.
PAUL: When are you two going to stop falling for that woman's games? You do remember she ran off with your baby?
AARON: Yeah, and who drove her to that point?
DAVID: If we can work this out amicably, that's what's best for Isla, so that's what we're going to do.
PAUL: How can you possibly come to an arrangement without lawyers? Who's going to hold Nicolette to her end of the deal?
Nicolette and Jane have wandered back into the kitchen and overheard the tail end of the conversation.
NICOLETTE: (surprised, to the boys) Does that mean you're open to talking?
DAVID: We are.
Hendrix rushes around trying to make the place look nice for his night with Mackenzie. He hangs up fairy lights, lights candles, mixes drinks and makes sure he has condoms in his pocket. Hendrix then gets a text from Mackenzie as he's setting out a nice charcuterie board. She asks if she needs to bring anything home tonight. 'Just your beautiful self', he texts back with a heart emoji.
Paul protests that if Nicolette wants to talk without lawyers around it means she's got an ulterior motive. He doesn't understand why David and Aaron can be so gullible: "Nicolette is only going to do what's best for Nicolette". Isla cries from her room but Jane says she'll go and tend to her so Nicolette can stay and discuss things.
PAUL: (to the boys) I'm not going to let her hurt you again, not after everything she's done.
NICOLETTE: The only time I've ever hurt Aaron and David is when you stuck your nose in.
PAUL: (laughing in disbelief) You're blaming me now? Oh that is rich isn't it. She is going to take the baby and shut you out, it's probably been her plan all along.
NICOLETTE: I told you I was always going to come back!
Paul doesn't believe her, so Nicolette gets something out of a drawer to show Aaron and David. "I was going to get this framed," she says, handing them Isla's birth certificate. The boys are amazed when they read it.
DAVID: Isla Fay Tanaka-Brennan.
NICOLETTE: This is proof I was always going to come back.
DAVID: You need to go, dad.
PAUL: David, I-
Paul looks as though he wants to say more, but heeds David's wishes and goes.
Paul joins Harlow at a table. He divulges that Nicolette has put him in a bad mood, and Harlow admits that her equally foul mood is thanks to Chloe. Harlow complains that Chloe put her on an extra shift in the laundry room because she "had the nerve" to apply for the front desk job. Paul says Harlow would be perfect for the role, which Harlow vehemently agrees with. She knows Terese hates her right now, but at least if she were deciding the front desk role instead, she'd be in with a better chance.
PAUL: Well, you know what you have to do. Butter her up. (He notices Terese sitting behind them and gets concerned) God, it looks like she hasn't slept all week. She's just overloading herself.
HARLOW: That's her MO isn't it? Burying herself into work so she avoids thinking about anything hard: like kicking two family members out into the cold.
PAUL: She can't keep this up. Somebody has to make her take a break.
HARLOW: (scoffing) Yet another thing Chloe's doing a bang-up job of.
Lassiters Hotel Office
Knocking this time, Harlow walks in to let Chloe know she's already finished in the laundry. Following Paul's 'butter her up' advice, Harlow wonders if there's anything else she can do. Chloe asks if she can replenish the housekeeping trollies for the morning check-outs, and also do a quick stocktake of the cleaning supplies. "Not really my area, but sure," Harlow replies with a passive-aggressive smile. She then 'casually' asks how the applications are going. Chloe says they're good, she's just going through everyone's social media to see if they're a good fit for the hotel. When Harlow then asks when a decision might be made, Chloe replies that she could be making it now if it weren't for all the interruptions. Harlow leaves her to it.
Number 32 Backyard
David and Aaron tell Nicolette that seeing Isla's birth certificate means a lot. So, given that Nicolette always planned to come back, they're wondering if it means they can finally stick to their original agreement. But that's a no, as Nicolette still wants 50/50 custody. Getting frustrated, Aaron wonders why they're even trying to have this discussion then if nothing is going to change. Nicolette thought that after they encouraged her to get a photo alone with Isla today they realised how much she means to her. But David reminds her that doesn't mean he and Aaron want to give up the option of being Isla's primary carers. Aaron wonders if Nicolette still has doubts because of Abigail, but Nicolette says she can see how much they adore Isla now.
AARON: Then why are you doing this to us? It's not like we want to cut you out.
DAVID: You're always going to be part of her life.
NICOLETTE: I know.
DAVID: Then why can't we go back to what we originally agreed to?
NICOLETTE: Because I'm her mum. I wish I could honour what I promised but I can't. I just, I can't. It's got nothing to do with Abigail or trust. I mean, I trust mum more than anyone and I still couldn't give Isla to her. The first moment I held her in my arms after she was born, her smell, when she squeezed my finger, I didn't realise I could love someone that much. I can't not be that person in her life. I'm sorry, but I'm her mum.
AARON: So we're back to where we started. We'll let the courts decide.
DAVID: There might be another way.
Hendrix has made two blue cocktails and lit them on fire for show, just as Mackenzie arrives home. But he stumbles at the last second and drops the drinks tray onto the charcuterie table, setting it on fire. Panicking, he tries to swat at the fire with a tea towel. Seeing the flames, Mackenzie yelps and runs to get the fire blanket from the kitchen. For some reason Hendrix thinks it's a good idea to drag the whole flaming tablecloth onto the lounge room rug, but makes it worse. Luckily Mackenzie rushes over with the fire blanket and quickly puts it out. They are immensely relieved to have avoided a major crisis.
Number 32 Backyard
David has proposed that they all have "equal care" of Isla, instead of shared custody. Nicolette asks what the difference is and David explains that shared is a 50/50 split, while equal means spilt three ways. Aaron wonders if David would be okay with only having one third of a 'share' of Isla. David acknowledges it's not what they originally agreed to, but Nicolette was right when she said things have changed since then.
DAVID: I'm putting this out there because I don't want us all to end up hating each other. I don't want that for Isla, or for us.
NICOLETTE: (with a tentative smile) So how would it work?
DAVID: I'm still wrapping my head around it, but I guess we'd all have an equal say and majority rules. So if two of us really want something, then that's what we do.
NICOLETTE: (getting rankled) Right, so you two ganging up on me and I actually don't have a say.
DAVID: When have you ever known Aaron and I to agree on everything?
AARON: And you know there's nothing that says you won't gang up with David against me, especially with all your medical jargon.
DAVID: I think we need to stop framing it as ganging up. Nicolette you were always going to be part of our family. And this, it doesn't change that.
Nicolette looks as though she's on board with the idea now, as is Aaron. Although they won't have lawyers involved, David thinks they still need to formalise it in some way for Nic's protection as well as theirs. Nicolette suggests they nail down some terms and then record her saying them on camera, and Aaron says they should probably all do it. Jane walks out holding Isla and asks how everything's going. She smiles when Nicolette tells her they've worked out a custody agreement.
Chloe is pleased when Jane sends her a thank you text, letting her know Isla's custody has been agreed on. Chloe then becomes alarmed when she finds Terese fast asleep at one of the tables. She gently wakes her up and says she needs to go home. Drowsy, Terese says she will as soon as she's completed her work, but Chloe points out that she fell asleep in a bar and doesn't get to argue this one. Chloe then offers to finish up the work and email it to Terese in the morning so she can go over it with fresh eyes.
Paul walks in and finds Harlow picking up cleaning supplies that went missing from the hotel. They overhear Chloe telling Terese that she'll call her a car to drive her home. When Paul asks why, Chloe says Terese is too tired, so Harlow quickly jumps in and insists Paul can drive Terese home instead. Chloe says there's no need, but Terese is tired and fed up and agrees to Paul's offer so she can just go home. When they leave, Chloe tells a smug-looking Harlow that she didn't need to butt in, she had it handled. "You may be in charge at work, Chloe," Harlow retorts, "but this is family. And when it comes to family, I don't have to do what you say." Chloe looks very irritated with her.
Hendrix is disappointed that he ruined the nice set up he had planned, but Mackenzie isn't too bothered. She knows she asked for the fairytale, but fairytales always have some low-key disaster at first. "If anything you've made it more authentic," she smiles. Tonight isn't about anything except for the two of them, and that's Mackenzie's idea of perfection. They kiss and Hendrix asks if she wants to take things to the bedroom. "I'd love to," Mackenzie nods. Hendrix takes Mackenzie's hand and they head off to her room.
Looking extremely weary, Terese kicks off her shoes and curls up on the couch with a blanket. Paul hovers near the doorway, worried that Terese isn't in a good way. She insists she's fine, though, and just needs a good night's sleep. Paul doesn't want to overstep, but he doesn't want to sit by and watch while she runs herself ragged either. He wants to help, but Terese says the only way he can help is by leaving. Paul finally goes and Terese tries not to cry.
With the phone camera set up to record, Nicolette, David and Aaron each take turns saying their piece about their new custody agreement.
NICOLETTE: This is an agreement between myself, Nicolette Stone, Isla's mother.
DAVID: Doctor David Tanaka, Isla's father.
AARON: And me, Isla's dad, Aaron Brennan.
NICOLETTE: But it is also a promise. A promise to Aaron and to David and to our beautiful baby Isla to only ever do what's best for her.
AARON: To only ever act and make decisions with her in mind. And I promise to be open and honest, especially when it comes to who let fly at the dinner table.
DAVID: To not take life too seriously, and to always include Nicolette and Aaron in all discussions and decision making. From today on, we are Team Isla.
Holding Isla, Nicolette echoes David's 'Team Isla' cheer along with Aaron.
Lassiters Hotel Office
Harlow lets Chloe know that the stocktake is all done. She can't help asking again how the applications are going. Chloe says she's reached a decision, she just has to run the resumes up to HR. Harlow can see that Chloe has a pile of 'yes' resumes on the desk along with a 'no' pile.
HARLOW: Can I ask who got it?
CHLOE: I'm sorry, Harlow, but you weren't the best candidate for the position. I had to go with someone else.
HARLOW: Can I ask why?
CHLOE: The successful applicant has much more experience in office management than you do. With the hotel under so much extra pressure right now, experience is exactly what we need. I hope you can understand that?
HARLOW: Yeah, of course. I mean you've got to do what's best for Lassiters.
Chloe gets a phone call and has to sort out a work matter elsewhere, so she shows Harlow out of the office when she leaves. But seeing as the door wasn't locked, Harlow doubles back to sneak in. She goes straight to the resume piles and decides to swap one of the 'no' resumes right to the top of the 'yes' pile, looking far too pleased with her scheme.