Nikki rushing after Laura as she drives away
Nikki sobs into her hands, believing she's lost her only chance to reconcile with her mum. But lo and behold, Shane reverses the car into the street and Laura jumps out to reach for her daughter. In a flurry of surprise and relief, Nikki leaps into her mum's arms for a hug while Shane fondly looks on.
Shane bustles in with Laura's suitcases while Jim and Helen curiously stand by - breaking into smiles when Laura and Nikki walk in arm in arm. Shane was the one who saw Nikki just in time in the rear view mirror.
NIKKI: I'm just so ashamed of myself. Nothing else matters, mum, only you.
LAURA: I'll never change, love.
NIKKI: I don't want you to.
Aww, more mummy/daughter hugs. How splendid.
Zoe is chatting with Danny at the teller's desk when Des calls her into his office.
Apparently she now qualifies for a Pacific credit card with a $1000 limit. Zoe's stoked but Des reminds her not to go too crazy with it. Danny comes in with paperwork and seems to be on Zoe's side of the spending fence. Before Des can get too serious, Zoe reminds him that he should be chatting to Andrea about money matters, not her.
DANNY: I was reading that it costs $135,000 to raise a child these days.
ZOE: $135,000 for a kid like Bratley? And you're giving me a lecture over a miserable $1000?
DES: It's love that counts, not money.
Zoe's all 'whatevs' and gives her credit card a loving kiss.
Laura and Nikki agree to be more honest with each other in the future - it will certainly save them a lot of heartache.
Lucy, who has been watching this display of newfound honesty, goes into the kitchen and confesses to Jim and Helen that it was her and Bradley who pranged Shane's car; not Des. Lucy scurries off while Jim and Helen share a look.
JIM: (unimpressed) Bradley...
Shane has come in to apologise to Des about the whole car debacle and informs him that it was Bradley who did it.
Jim has brought Lucy around to face the music with her accomplice, but Bradley is trying to frame her for the whole thing. The parents each believe their own child, so Jim suggests to Andrea that they keep them apart for a while. This sits well with Lucy, who is furious that Bradley suddenly turned on her. After Jim and Lucy depart, Andrea wails on Bradley, yelling at him for putting lives at risk and getting Des into trouble. Bradley doesn't care what Des thinks, but Andrea does because it's hinging on her 'trap Des into being a daddy' plan. She grounds Bradley and sends him to his room... a decision she may soon live to regret.
Number 26/Daniels Corporation
Jim scowlingly plots to make Bradley's life hell while Laura and Nikki eat their lunch. Answering the phone, Helen is a little taken aback when a "young lady" (aka Zoe) asks to speak to Jim.
Taking the call in the lounge room, Jim makes plans with Zoe for dinner that night - she bought a dress especially for the occasion.
Paul enters the office and happily chats with Zoe while Jim is making reservations with Lassiter's restaurant. Paul somehow gets the wrong message and thinks Zoe might be inviting *him* out for dinner and dancing in her new delightful dinner date dress. His face falls, however, when Jim calls back to confirm the reservation.
PAUL: Looks like the golden girl's got a date, hey?
Pacific Bank/Number 28
Andrea is trying to coerce Des home early because Bradley has locked himself in his room, but Des can't leave for at least another hour.
Danny reckons Des and Andrea sound like an old married couple (God forbid). Des can't believe how stroppy Bradley is acting, but Danny can relate. He kicked up a stink once when his dad forgot to take him camping. Des gets this glazed look on his face... oh, don't do it to yourself, Des. Don't take Bradley camping! No toasted marshmallow in the world is worth all that trouble!
Paul arrives home all a la casual asking Jim about Lucy, but he's just bursting to speak his mind about Zoe. He reckons that she's young enough to be Jim's daughter. But Jim points out that she's old enough to know her own mind. Helen walks out and the tension temporarily breaks, but Paul doesn't wait too long to try and stick the knife in again. Annoyed, Jim is set to bite back when Laura and Nikki arrive home from their shopping spree. They're still all happy chappy and Nikki even bought her mum some enormous (hideous) bauble earrings.
Andrea is banging Bradley's door down, threatening him with no Easter eggs this year if he keeps this behaviour up. Zoe smugly enjoys the show until Jim arrives for their date. Zoe's dress and bouffant hair is totally OTT '80s - love it. Andrea thinks that Jim is there for round two of the Bradley/Lucy debacle, but soon learns that he's Zoe's hot date. Andrea waits until the two of them have left before she resumes pounding on the door and screaming the house down.
Brooding on the couch, Paul asks Helen if she's worried about Jim. Helen isn't but Paul thinks that his dad is just making a huge fool of himself.
HELEN: Zoe's an adult, she's grown up.
PAUL: Yeah... my father's going through male menopause.
Zoe thinks that Jim might be regretting their date, but he couldn't be happier to be there. Smiling, Zoe toasts to her Pacific card (gee, she really adores that thing). If she hadn't have gotten the card, she wouldn't have bought the dress, which means she wouldn't have asked Jim out on a date! Chuckling, Jim clinks his glass with hers.
Danny helps Des lug in the camping equipment he lent to him for the father/son bonding extravaganza. Andrea can't believe that Des still wants to do something nice for Bradley after everything he did. Des thinks that a father to son chat over a campfire will sort things out, but Andrea points out that he'll need to get Bradley out of his room first. Putting on his firmest dad voice, Des knocks on the bedroom door.
DES: Bradley, this is your father. Open the door please.
And just like open sesame, it unlocks. Andrea can't believe her eyes. Maybe because Des wasn't screeching at him like a banshee, dude. That could have something to do with it.
Bradley asks if Des is going to hit him but Des doesn't see what that would solve.
DES: I tell you one thing; I don't think I could hit you even if I had to.
My how legal times have changed, ay?
Zoe is talking about not living up to her parents' expectations, but knows that Jim wouldn't be as stubborn with his own kids. Jim says that he tries his best, but sometimes they still clash.
Bradley wonders if Andrea can come with them on their camping trip - but only so she can cook for them. How thoughtful. Des reckons it'd be better with just the boys and they can cook fish together. Andrea walks in to check on them and is a bit wary (and possibly jealous) of the camping plan. But Des thinks it'll be fun - even if they get rained on!
Jim and Zoe rush over the bridge and duck out of the "lightening" and the "heavy rainstorm" (think of someone flashing a torchlight around and throwing a bucket of water up in the air a la 1960s Dr Who special effects). As Zoe cuddles into Jim for warmth, he cups her face into his hands and leans down to kiss her. A big old pash in the rain, how romantic.