- Aaron decides he wants to join David on the River Bend getaway, but David 'needs space' so isn't going
- Amy asks Ned if they can give it another go, but he postpones the discussion till after the getaway
- River Bend manager Kiri introduces the gang to her 'favourite place on Earth'
- Ned and Harlow are worried when Freya returns to the accommodation without Levi
- Freya tells Levi she likes him, and asks him to stop being weird and just talk to her
- Levi admits to Freya that he got a lead on Gareth, and that he claimed he was running from Freya
- Furious, Freya tells Levi that Harlow and Ned must be lying; Gareth would never say anything against her
- Gareth himself turns up at the retreat, and accosts Levi while he's out alone by the river
- Gareth pulls a gun on Levi and tries to force him into the river, but a scuffle ensues
- Levi escapes into the bush, but Gareth pursues him, firing the gun
- Levi is shot in the arm, and he falls and hits his head on a rock
River Bend Getaway
As they prepare to sit down to breakfast, Nicolette is excitedly telling Aaron about her night with Kiri.
NICOLETTE: At first it was awkward as, but then it was steamy as. And I don't think I've had a night like that since... You know, I don't think I've actually *ever* had a night like that.
Aaron seems totally uninterested, and picks up the book of David's that he's been reading without replying.
NICOLETTE (sarcastic): 'Yeah, sounds great. Way to go, Nic.'
AARON: I'm sorry. I'm just... I'm just not in the headspace right now.
NICOLETTE: Yeah, well, maybe if you weren't always in your room with your head in that book, you might be.
Glen has appeared for breakfast too, and at this point Kiri comes in, and asks whether Aaron will be joining the planned hike today. She explains that Harlow and Ned have already left, and suggests Aaron and Glen buddy up to take part. But Aaron's not in the mood for company and says he didn't get much sleep, so might just take a short hike by himself.
Kiri tells Glen that he's welcome to hike with her and Nicolette instead. Nicolette looks deeply annoyed about this, having hoped to get some time alone with Kiri.
NICOLETTE (hinting heavily): But that's only if you want to. What I meant by that is, you know, we're all adults, and we can do whatever we want while we're here.
KIRI: But we'd love to have you.
GLEN: I'd love to tag along... at a distance.
KIRI: Great, sorted!
NICOLETTE (strained smile): Great!
Levi is lying unconscious on the floor by the rock he hit his head on, a bleeding wound on his arm from where the bullet hit. Gareth emerges from the foliage and sees Levi. Pointing the gun at him, Gareth prepares to finish the job...
River Bend Getaway
Harlow and Ned turn up, just as Glen, Nicolette and Kiri are preparing to set out on their hike. Ned asks if Levi and Freya are here, but evidently, they're not.
HARLOW: We heard gunshots. We're really worried about them.
KIRI: It's probably rabbit hunters. The national park is full of them.
HARLOW: Well, are you sure?
NED: (...) It sounded really close.
Kiri asks Glen if he has the keys to the minibus, but he says he left them in the ignition. Kiri's assistant Bobby emerges, and Kiri asks him to accompany Nicolette to the bus - then drive to the office at the entrance point, to call the police and tell them about the illegal rabbit hunting. Ned and Harlow agree to stay here in case Levi and Freya come back, while Kiri and Glen go out to look for Levi and Freya.
Nicolette wants to go with Kiri, but Kiri thinks it's better if Nic's near a phone, 'just in case'. So she heads off with Bobby as instructed.
Once the others have all gone, Ned speculates that Freya could be the one responsible for the gunshots.
HARLOW: She doesn't have a gun.
NED: Yeah, that we know of. And I for one am not willing to take that risk.
They head off in search of Levi themselves, but Ned accidentally drops the map of the area he'd picked up...
Gareth is still pointing the gun at Levi, seemingly conflicted about killing him. But at this point, he hears Freya calling out Levi's name, and quickly hides the gun. Freya keeps shouting, and Gareth approaches her from behind, grabbing her.
David is chatting to Chloe and Jane. He's feeling guilty about not having listened to Aaron's concerns about Dean, now it has indeed proved that Dean has feelings for David. Jane tells David his marriage is strong and he'll get through it; he shouldn't be so hard on himself.
DAVID: I just wish I could pick up the phone and tell him I'm sorry.
Meanwhile at the bar, Amy's excitedly telling Toadie how much she misses Ned, so they can resume their relationship.
AMY: Ooh, I just wish that bus was pulling up on Ramsay Street right now!
TOADIE: Well, why wait for the bus to come to you, when you can go to the bus? Why don't you go up there and surprise Ned?
AMY: Tempting. But I don't even know where they are.
TOADIE: Well, David does!
They look across at David...
An extremely agitated Gareth repeatedly tells Freya that they have to go, but she wants answers before she's going anywhere.
FREYA: How did you find me? Was it Ned and Harlow?
GARETH: What? No. Who? What?
FREYA: Okay, wait. Look at me. Look at my face (...) and tell me, is it the gang from back home? Are they here?
GARETH (stammering): Yeah. They found out that you went to the police, and that's why I came here to take you away to somewhere safe. But they're following me, so we have to go. We have to keep going, okay?!
He starts pushing Freya, but she tells him to stop and pushes him back.
FREYA: You can't keep living like this. You can't keep running.
GARETH: I have to!
FREYA: Hey, if there are people shooting at you, we can go to the cops, okay? Ones that aren't connected to any of this.
GARETH: No, it's not gonna make a difference!
FREYA: (...) I have friends here! They can help. They can.
Freya goes running off into the trees again, screaming for Levi so he can help them. Gareth rushes towards her and grabs her, to stop her going further. But she wrests herself free and keeps moving - only to come across Levi, bleeding and unconscious, beyond some trees.
Gareth appears behind her, and forces a hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming. Then he pushes a gun into her back, as Freya whimpers in fear.
GARETH: Shut up!
He forcibly marches her past Levi, telling her repeatedly to keep going.
We briefly cut back to Levi, who has started to wake up...
Meanwhile, Gareth is marching Freya towards the minibus, still waving the gun around.
FREYA: Is Levi dead?
GARETH (agitated): Look, you got the cops involved! (...)
FREYA: If you walk away right now, I promise I won't say anything. I swear.
Levi is awake now, and touches his wounded arm, wincing in pain. Back at the bus...
GARETH: I'm sorry, Freya. Get in!
He forces her into the driver's seat at gunpoint, then gets in the back.
Nearby, Levi is in agony as he wraps a belt tightly around his wound to try and limit the bleeding. He then gets to his feet and runs towards where the bus was, but it's already driving away. Levi calls out for Freya, but in vain.
Levi opens his map of the area, and realises the only way he's going to have a hope of catching up with the bus is via the river.
Meanwhile, Nicolette and Bobby are also walking towards where the bus was parked. Nicolette remarks on how 'amazing' Kiri is.
BOBBY: Yeah. Cool enough to hire me.
NICOLETTE: Why? Have you struggled to get work before? Got some dodgy skeletons in the closet?
BOBBY: Nah, nothing like that. I was desperate for a job; I've racked up a fair bit of debt. Lucky for me, Kiri was kind enough to give me a break.
NICOLETTE: Sounds like it works for both of you.
BOBBY: Yeah. For now.
They're surprised to find the bus gone...
Freya is driving, while Gareth has the gun pointed at her, his finger on the trigger. Freya is visibly terrified.
FREYA: Gareth - you don't have to point that thing at me, okay? I'm gonna keep driving, I promise, but I... I'm just trying to understand.
GARETH: ... Those blokes aren't after me. They're protecting me. They made me an offer. I'd give the boys jury notes, so they would know what they were thinking. That's how they got off. But someone at the courthouse got sus. That's why I had to get out of there. They could only protect me if the cops weren't looking. That's why I told you they were corrupt, so you wouldn't get involved!
FREYA: I thought they broke into our house?
GARETH: ... No, that... that was me. I needed to get cash that I'd hidden there.
Levi reaches the river and gets in a canoe, then sets about paddling downstream, crying out in agony as he goes.
Elsewhere, Kiri and Glen are searching for Levi, when they see something hidden amongst some foliage up ahead. They go to investigate.
Back on the river, Levi is still paddling hard, in spite of the pain...
A distressed Freya is still driving. Gareth is still extremely agitated as he speaks behind her.
GARETH: If you hadn't spoken to the cops, none of this would've happened!
FREYA: ... Why d'you shoot Levi?
GARETH (tearful): It was only a matter of time before he was gonna find something. And they... they wanted him taken care of. I didn't want to do it, Freya, but... they made me do it! I didn't have a choice!
Both of them are crying now.
FREYA: Okay. So what's your plan now?
Gareth doesn't have an answer - just keeps on pointing the gun at her.
Kiri and Glen have uncovered the object hidden behind the foliage - it's a motorbike. Kiri's confused, as she walked this trail the other day and it wasn't here then.
GLEN: It's still warm. Do you reckon it belongs to the hunter who was doing the shooting?
KIRI: Yeah, maybe.
Meanwhile, Levi is still paddling down the river in his canoe. As he hits a rough point in the river, the canoe overturns and he finds himself submerged...
Freya continues to drive with Gareth's gun at her back. She's then surprised to notice a figure hunched silently in the back seat, behind Gareth - it's Aaron, who's seemingly been on- board all along. As he makes eye- contact with Freya in the mirror, Aaron signals to her to keep quiet and not make Gareth aware of his presence.
At this point, a tyre bursts, causing the vehicle to lurch and Gareth to lose his balance. Freya slams on the brakes, and Gareth binds her hands to the steering wheel, then goes outside to try and change the punctured tyre, which is at the back of the bus.
While Gareth's outside, Aaron creeps forward, keeping close to the floor, and attempts to remove the bindings from Freya's wrists. However, they're tied tight, and he isn't able to get them undone. Freya remembers that there's a knife in the fishing tackle box, and whispers to Aaron that it's under the seat. Aaron soon retrieves the knife, and tries to cut the bindings, but has no luck.
Freya's now sobbing with panic and Aaron puts his hand to her mouth to try and quieten her down. Then he exits the bus and creeps quietly around the side of the vehicle, hoping to ambush Gareth with the knife. However, Gareth soon sees Aaron and lunges at him. Aaron lands up on the ground but he puts up a fight, shoving Gareth up against the bus.
However, Gareth gets the upper hand, and then begins to brutally bludgeon Aaron with the wrench he was using to change the wheel. Sobbing and screaming as she watches in the mirror, Freya yells at Gareth to stop what he's doing. Eventually Gareth does stop, panting and staring down at Aaron (who's now unseen to us) in apparent shock and horror at what he's done.
Gareth gets back on the bus, and approaches Freya with a penknife which makes her panic and sob even more - but he only uses it to cut the bindings around her hands.
GARETH (agitated): Drive! DRIVE!
Freya starts up the engine again...
River Bend Getaway
Kiri and Glen are in the common room, when Nicolette comes in. She tells them that the bus has gone, and that Bobby has gone to call the police. Kiri and Glen tell Nicolette that they didn't find Levi, just a motorbike.
KIRI: I wish Ned and Harlow had stayed here.
NICOLETTE: What do we do now?
KIRI: We should just wait for the police.
David and Amy are in the car, on their way to River Bend! They've stopped by the roadside, seemingly because the navigation system isn't working due to the lack of signal in the area. Meanwhile, Amy is oblivious to the technical problems as she is too busy fantasising about her reunion with Ned!
AMY: So, Ned's gonna open the door, right? And he's gonna see me striking my most sexiest pose.
David stares at her with an expression somewhere between bemusement and irritation.
AMY: And, like, he's gonna be surprised to see me, right? But then he's gonna just sweep me off my feet, and take me inside -
DAVID: Yeah, alright. I think you can stop there!
AMY: I'm manifesting, David. If I will it, it will happen... Just turn it off and on!
Elsewhere, Freya is still driving, with Gareth behind her.
Back in David's car, he and Amy are still parked up.
AMY: You should try it sometime, you know? Manifest all the good things.
DAVID (sighs): Okay... Aaron throws open the door...
We cut heartbreakingly to Aaron, who is lying by the roadside unconscious, with gashes all over his face. Back in the car...
DAVID: ... and I'm on my knees...
AMY (laughs): Ooh, saucy!
DAVID: ... begging him for forgiveness, because I've been an absolute idiot...
The bus approaches David's car; Gareth tells Freya not to stop, but David and Amy recognise Freya as the bus speeds past.
AMY: That's weird. Why would she be driving the bus?
DAVID: Mustn't be too far from the others, then.
David starts the engine, and they pull back onto the road again. Shortly afterwards, they see a figure lying unconscious at the roadside. David asks Amy to grab the first aid kit from the back, and rushes over.
DAVID: Aaron! Aaron, open your eyes if you can hear me.
But Aaron is unresponsive. David tells Amy to call an ambulance while he tries to administer first aid.
AMY (on the phone): He looks really badly beaten... His head, mainly, I think... We've got a doctor looking at him right now...
But Amy is told that it could be an hour before an ambulance gets here.
AMY: How is he, David?
DAVID: He's... he's a mess. Look, I don't think we can risk waiting. We're gonna have to drive him ourselves.
AMY: But he's gonna be alright, right?
David doesn't answer as he applies a bandage to Aaron's head.
In the bus...
FREYA: Are you gonna kill me, too?
Gareth, seemingly still in shock from his actions, is unable or unwilling to answer. At this moment, an exhausted Levi steps out from the bush and into the road in front of the bus, causing Freya to swerve.
FREYA (screaming): Levi!
The bus hurtles off the road and smashes into a tree. Gareth has flown straight through the windscreen and is lying some distance away.
Nearby, Amy is driving David's car while David sits in the back, nursing a still unconscious Aaron in his lap.
DAVID (emotional): You'll be okay. Please, hang in there. You'll be okay. You have to be okay.
Amy is welling up as she watches in the mirror. David breaks into a sob.
DAVID: I'm so sorry! That's why I came up here. I wanted to apologise. Please hang on.
Soon, they come to the site of the bus crash. Levi and Freya are in the road by the bus, Freya seemingly unhurt besides small cuts on her face.
AMY: David, what do I do? Do I stop? ... David, do I stop?
DAVID: Okay - stop, stop.
David tells Amy to take care of Aaron, while he goes over with the first aid bag to see if he can help Freya and Levi. But they quickly direct him to Gareth, who is still motionless beyond the windscreen. Seeing Levi's injury, David directs him to go with Amy and Aaron to the hospital, while he and Freya take care of Gareth.
Gareth looks to be in a bad way, with gashes all over him. He seems to be conscious, albeit not speaking; but David says he's barely breathing and instructs Freya to find an oropharyngeal airway (OPA) in the first aid bag. Meanwhile, Amy helps Levi into the car.
DAVID (to Freya): Do you know his name?
FREYA (coldly): Gareth.
DAVID: Gareth, can you hear me? My name's David, I'm a doctor - I'm just gonna put something in your throat. It's gonna help you breathe, okay?
FREYA (coldly): He was gonna kill me. I thought he'd killed Levi.
Gareth is gasping for air, as David takes the OPA from the packet in Freya's hand.
FREYA: And Aaron.
David is in shock, as Freya stares at him coolly. Anger spreads over his face.
DAVID: He did that to Aaron?
FREYA (nods): Yeah. He just. Kept. Hitting him.
There's a dark anger in Freya's eyes, and anger flares again in David's face, too. They both look down at Gareth.
DAVID: He can't survive this.
David and Freya stare at one another, both angry - communicating silently their distaste for the man on the ground. Gareth is still gasping for breath, but David hasn't inserted the OPA. He and Freya continue to stare at one another, neither moving. The next time we see him, Gareth has stopped gasping. The OPA is still unused in David's hand...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Back at No 24, Levi asks Freya if she's okay - she nods, but visibly isn't
- At the hospital, David is looking traumatised; Chloe tells him something is wrong
- Aaron appears to be having some kind of seizure in a hospital bed; David goes to help him
- As the seizure intensifies, David yells out for a crash cart, while a horrified Chloe looks on
- David tells Freya, 'I took a life - and now Aaron could lose his'. She replies: 'You didn't kill anyone'
- At No 30, Amy is worried that she hasn't heard from Ned yet; Terese reports radio silence from Harlow too
- Glen says he thought they'd be back by now; Amy says, 'We shouldn't panic, right?'