- Kyle throwing up over Roxy at the Police Ball
- Roxy reassuring Kyle that she's happy with the simple life
- Nicolette telling Chloe that their kiss was a one- off
- Terese and Paul dancing together at the Police Ball
- Paul asking Terese if she'd attend marriage counselling with him
- Terese telling Glen he's over- invested in her relationship with Paul
Terese tells Glen that his behaviour is unhealthy, so Glen apologises: he knows Terese makes her own decisions. Harlow walks in with Paul and asks if everything's okay, not quite believing Terese when she says it's fine. Terese then asks Paul if he still has the counselling appointment because she'd like to attend, which surprises Paul and Harlow. Paul asks if Terese wants a lift there but she says she'll make her own way. Harlow makes special note of the forlorn mood Glen is in.
Aaron asks Nicolette if she needs anything from Harold's, and Nic suggests some new boobs since Isla's been incredibly hungry recently. Aaron reckons Isla's getting fuelled up for baby gym at The Shed on Saturday. David looks put out because he wanted to enrol Isla in sensory play sessions on Saturday mornings. They bicker for a while but ultimately the decision lands with Nicolette and she opts for baby gym. The boys head out to Harold's and Nicolette takes Isla over to the Christmas tree where Jane is mulling over things.
JANE: It really is going to be a lovely Christmas, isn't it.
NICOLETTE: Mum, are you crying?
JANE: No, I'm just happy.
NICOLETTE: Even though Clive's spending it in New Zealand?
JANE: He's spending it with his daughter and I'm spending it with mine. And I'm sure the boys are looking forward to an Erinsborough Christmas just as much as we are.
NICOLETTE: I'm sure they are.
David walks in with Aaron, noticing Glen sitting by himself at the bench near the window. Aaron tells David that Chloe wants to know if they've booked flights to Adelaide yet. But David asks if she knows they've decided to go to Sydney instead. "Look, about that," Aaron winces, "it's tricky. Abigail's in Sydney, but don't forget Isla has her cousins in Adelaide too." David thought they'd already settled on Sydney because they wanted to be there for Leo - and also so Kim could meet Isla. Since they're torn, it appears as though Nicolette's getting the deciding vote again.
Harlow arrives, forgoing a hello in favour of asking David and Aaron how long Glen's been sitting in the cafe for. The boys have no clue, so Harlow just hopes he stays put all afternoon.
AARON: Why, what's wrong?
HARLOW: Terese has agreed to do marriage counselling with granddad.
DAVID: Isn't that a good thing?
HARLOW: Yeah, it's great, it's exactly what they need. But what they don't need is Glen interfering.
DAVID: Why, what did he say?
HARLOW: Nothing, that's the point. When Terese told granddad he just stood there: I could see the wheels turning.
DAVID: Harlow if dad and Terese want to save their marriage then counselling is the first step. Focus on that, forget about Glen.
The counsellor, Rhonda, can already tell by Paul and Terese's body language (sitting far apart on the couch, with Terese placing her handbag in the middle as a barrier) that communication is an issue for them. Rhonda says she's there to help them start talking again, but also to help them listen to one another. The office is a safe space for them so nothing should be off the table. Rhonda wants to begin proceedings by asking what they hope to achieve from counselling.
PAUL: Well I've already achieved a great deal just by being here. This is a very big first step to saving our marriage, which is what I want of course. Terese, I know that I am to blame for us being here. The way that I handle situations when things don't go my way, it is completely unacceptable. I'd really like this to be the start to a road to recovery. It's not going to be easy, I know that. But I want you to know that I will do whatever it takes.
Rhonda then asks for Terese's side of things.
TERESE: I'm willing to listen. But I'm not like him. It's way too early to even contemplate saving our marriage, and I don't even know if that's what I want.
This revelation comes as a rude shock to Paul.
Number 26 Backyard
Sheila finds Kyle half- asleep at the table, surrounded by wedding magazines and notebooks. She discovers that Kyle has taken over the planning because Chloe let him know there's been a cancellation at the Lassiters Ballroom right after he finishes his chemo. Roxy's in the middle of the Christmas rush at work, so Kyle wanted to take on the planning responsibility. Sheila's aghast that Roxy would be okay with Kyle stressing himself out during his treatment, but Kyle says Roxy doesn't know. Sheila starts to go on a rant, but Kyle says Roxy deserves the best.
Rhonda continues to listen as Terese talks about how Paul needs to control every situation he's in. And the fact that he needs to control people as well, even if that means lying to his family and twisting things to get what he wants.
TERESE: It doesn't matter how despicable the act - in his mind it's okay to do that for the family. He does it to everyone. Every child, every sibling, every wife. He says he's doing it to protect them but in the end he's just hurting them. I can't trust you anymore.
Feeling irritation surge through him, Paul can no longer remain quiet and goes on the verbal attack to defend himself. Rhonda quickly jumps in and says she doesn't think it's great to frame his words as "attacking" or "defending", but Paul ignores her and charges on.
PAUL: Three words. Pot. Kettle. Black.
TERESE: Excuse me?!
PAUL: Oh come on, your halo isn't that shiny! I mean, what about all the times you cheated on your poor, simple, trusting fiance and then left the poor guy at the altar.
TERESE: With you, Paul! I cheated on Gary with you!
PAUL: Yeah, and what about all the months I spent in jail for a crime I didn't commit because you perjured yourself in a murder trial?!
TERESE: (shaken, explaining herself to Rhonda) My son was killed. And so was my father- in- law. There were extenuating circumstances.
PAUL: (laughing bitterly) So now who's justifying their behaviour, hey? It's all right for you to have excuses but not me, is that how this works now?
TERESE: They don't come anywhere close to what you've done.
PAUL: Really? What about the hidden cameras you covered up at the hotel? Oh yeah, it's all very well, you're very, very happy for me to play dirty when it gets you out of trouble. So you can just drop the Mother Teresa act, all right. Because like attracts like, that is why you are with me, Terese. Because we are exactly the same.
Rhonda steps in and suggests they try an exercise together, but Terese has had enough. "I don't even know why I agreed to come," she states, grabbing her purse and leaving.
Number 32 Backyard
Jane tells Nicolette that Kyle has sent texts to people asking for wedding ideas. She notices Nic carrying two parcels, and is a tad exasperated with just how much stuff Nic's dad, Vic, has sent Isla for Christmas. Jane perks up considerably, though, when she realises one parcel is for her, sent by son, Byron.
JANE: He always gives such thoughtful gifts, darling boy.
NICOLETTE: You know I did give you a grandchild. I literally birthed her from my loins, surely that would give me the golden child status for, like, at least a year?
JANE: I don't play favourites, Nicolette.
Nicolette is about to take the parcels inside when Aaron and David arrive home. They tell Nic and Jane of their Sydney versus Adelaide dilemma and want Nic to have the final say. "Sorry guys," Nicolette replies, "but while you were dithering, mum and I assumed that we'd be staying here."
Sheila finds Kyle fully asleep at a table this time and puts her fussing into overdrive, but Kyle says he's just taking a break. Sheila takes a look at how his wedding planning list is going, concerned to see that he's still only got the venue written down. Kyle admits he may have bitten off more than he can chew, so Sheila says she's got a friend who's a retired florist - that's one less thing to plan. They'll whip the wedding into shape before Kyle knows it.
Harlow steps out of the bathroom but pauses when she sees Glen sitting alone at the bar. Glen has his phone out, deciding whether or not to call Terese. He doesn't make the call and leaves the pub, Harlow staring at him as he goes.
Terese is literally only seconds in the house when she hears a knock at the door. Glen is on the other side and Terese says she's in no mood to argue again, but Glen says he's only swung by to see if she's okay. "Honestly, I don't know if I am," Terese sighs.
GLEN: What happened?
TERESE: Paul said some things, some truths about my behaviour, and there's a part of me that's thinking he's got a point.
GLEN: This is what he does, you cannot let him get inside your head.
TERESE: Glen, he's been in my head since the moment I met him! Anyway, you were right about the counselling. So if you want to gloat you can go ahead.
GLEN: I don't, I just want to help.
He suggests they get some food, but Terese doesn't want to talk or listen, she just wants to be alone. Glen isn't sure that's the best idea, but Terese says the rest of the household will be home soon so she won't be on her own for long. Giving in, Glen says he's only a phone call away if she needs him. When Glen leaves, Terese goes over to her handbag and takes out a bottle of wine wrapped in a brown paper bag.
Number 32 Backyard
Jane tells the parenting trio that there has to be a solution, they just need to consider all the options and work out what suits everyone. "Or at least two out of the three," David mutters. But Aaron thinks Jane's plan could work, and suggests they take turns at having Christmas where they want. This year Adelaide, the next Sydney and the year after that, Erinsborough. Nicolette doesn't think it's fair, though, to make Isla wait three years to have Christmas in her own home. Meanwhile, David doesn't understand why Adelaide has to be first on the list as it makes more sense to be Sydney so Isla and Abigail can have their first Christmas together. Needless to say, the trio are still all split on their decisions.
Paul tells Harlow that he didn't expect Terese to come out guns blazing during their counselling session. He thought Terese was there for the same reasons as him, as did Harlow. Paul says he took responsibility for everything he's done; he couldn't have been more upfront. "Sounds like you were just defending yourself after she came at you," Harlow replies. Paul then admits he let his emotions get the best of him and he shouldn't have.
PAUL: I really hurt her, Harlow, and I don't know how I'm going to come back from this one.
HARLOW: You shouldn't blame yourself for that.
PAUL: There were only two people in that session.
HARLOW: I'm not talking about Terese. Glen has been in her ear since he got here. You know he talked her out of wearing the wedding ring that you got her.
PAUL: (surprised) I know he has some issues with me.
HARLOW: No, he's meddling. Doing everything he can to keep you two apart.
Speaking of Glen, in he pops to give Paul a piece of his mind.
GLEN: Happy with yourself?
PAUL: Excuse me?
GLEN: Tearing strips off your wife. This is your way of reconciling is it?
PAUL: I think you need to start minding-
GLEN: This is why you need to stay out of her life. This toxic, psychological abuse dressed up in a $2000 suit.
PAUL: Just hang on a second would you.
GLEN: She was shaking because of what you did to her. Now I'm only going to say this once: back off and leave her alone.
Harlow has been quietly seething at Glen throughout the whole conversation.
Number 26 Backyard
Kyle finds Sheila looking through all of his wedding magazines and notes. She says he needs to take a deeper dive into his planning and makes suggestions like place settings, and hiring Courtney Act for the emcee. Sheila goes on and on until Kyle finally has enough and leaves. But by the look on Sheila's face, this appears as though it's the reaction she was hoping for.
Number 32 Backyard/Number 26 Backyard
Kyle has escaped to see the boys and Nic so he can hide from Sheila. He explains the wedding planning situation to them and how Sheila's taken over everything. Aaron suggests Kyle hire a wedding planner instead. Nicolette's on board with the idea - that way Kyle still gets all the say minus the hassle. "Plus you still get all the credit because you hired them," David adds. Kyle gets a phone call from Sheila, who asks why he hasn't been responding to her texts about table settings. Kyle puts her on speaker while he looks through the settings, calling them old. His exasperation grows (much to the amusement of Aaron, David and Nic) until he yells that she's fired and he's hiring a wedding planner instead. Sheila grins to herself, seemingly happy that Kyle's made that decision. Hanging up the phone, Kyle thanks the trio and heads out. David, Aaron and Nicolette all wish they could solve their own problem as quick as they did Kyle's.
Already through half a bottle of wine, Terese looks at her and Paul's wedding photo on the mantelpiece. She takes a few big gulps from her wine glass before setting the photo face down so she doesn't have to look at it anymore.
Lassiters Hotel - Glen's Room
Harlow brazenly lets herself into Glen's room with a master key just as Glen's putting something in the safe. Glen demands to know what Harlow's doing, but Harlow wants to know what he said to Terese. She knows Glen's going out of his way to keep Terese and Paul apart. Glen says it was Terese's choice to separate, but Harlow says they both wanted counselling, therefore Terese wants to work on their marriage.
GLEN: That's not true.
HARLOW: It is, so what did you say to her?
GLEN: Okay, time to leave.
HARLOW: Why are you spending so much time with her?
GLEN: Harlow I'm not answering your questions - go.
He directs her to the door where she reluctantly leaves. Glen looks stressed, while Harlow stands in the hallway, appearing as though she knows Glen's up to something suss.
David is worried Aaron's disappeared to get Jane's talking stick, but he and Nic discover that Aaron's only gone and dressed Isla in her 'cousin crew' outfit to try and sway them. David reminds him that Abigail is Isla's cousin too and shouldn't have to miss out just because she's in Wollongong.
AARON: It's not just that, David. It's my first Christmas without mum. I just want to spend it with my family. With Mark and Ty and everyone.
NICOLETTE: Okay, you're literally using our daughter as a prop.
AARON: No I'm not.
DAVID: I think it's worse using Fay.
AARON: David I am not!
DAVID: Yes you are. My mum hasn't met Isla yet. And like you said, Christmas is the perfect time.
AARON: Well you know what, my mum never even got to meet Isla, so-
NICOLETTE: You two are as bad as each other! This is Isla's home and if you can't see that then there's no point continuing the conversation.
Jane walks into the middle of the argument and asks what on earth's going on.
NICOLETTE: Christmas is cancelled.