- Tyler overhears Mark being noncommittal to Kyle about his feelings for Paige
- Tyler is thrilled when Mark says he wants to buy No 24 with him
- Josh and Imogen learn from Naomi's USB stick that there's a plan afoot to sell Erinsborough High
- Toadie gives Steph a warm welcome
- Tyler tells Steph that Lucas knows he's hired her at the garage, and that he's on his way to town
There's awkward silence as Sonya chops carrots, while Steph, Tyler and Toadie sit around waiting for Lucas to arrive. Steph apologises to Tyler for putting him in a tricky situation with Lucas and for wasting his time by applying for the job. But Tyler says he thinks she's the best person for the role.
Toadie goes to the kitchen to make a cuppa. Sonya questions whether it's such a good idea to bring Lucas and Steph together, but Toadie thinks they need a chance to ask questions and answer them, respectively. Tyler goes to leave, but Lucas arrives just before he does.
TOADIE: Hey, Lucas. Good to see you.
LUCAS: Yeah. Shame about the circumstances.
TYLER: I know it's none of my business. I just wanted to remind you that I also screwed up. And that you took a chance on me.
LUCAS: Yeah. You know, some people are beyond help.
He looks angrily towards a contrite-looking Steph.
Erinsborough High School
Brad and another teacher, Wayne, talk to Susan in the corridor about the rumour going round that the school might be closing down. She asks if Josh told Brad; surprised, he says no. Susan says she was going to tell the staff once she'd had official word of it. Wayne apparently has a friend on the Eden Hills Grammar faculty, who's said that Eden Hills is buying Erinsborough High.
Brad asks what this all has to do with Josh. Susan reveals that he came to her yesterday, and that she's since been trying to find out whether it's true - now it seems that it is. Susan says Eden Hills will try to take as many Erinsborough students as possible, but Brad is concerned that many won't be able to afford their fees. Wayne asks what's happening to the teachers, saying he needs this job - but Susan doesn't have any answers. She says she's asked someone from Eden Hills to come over and talk to them about their plans. In the meantime, she asks them to keep a lid on it.
Steph and Lucas are talking.
STEPH: I could've gone somewhere else, yeah. But as part of my recovery they talked a lot about supportive social networks. And for me that's here. I had no idea you were back. I would never have applied for the job if I'd known. Lucas, please understand - what happened last time, what I did - it wasn't really me.
LUCAS: Alright, so we're all just supposed to forgive and forget, are we?
STEPH: No. It was like something took over me.
LUCAS: You cannot deny all responsibility for this!
STEPH: I know.
LUCAS: You stole my son!!
STEPH: I know, and you have no idea how sorry I am!
LUCAS: Vanessa still has nightmares. Do you have any idea what that is like?
STEPH: Yeah. I do. I still have them myself about the day I lost Adam, and the last time I saw Charlie.
LUCAS: How do I know you're not gonna do something crazy again?
STEPH: Last time at some point, I made a decision to stop taking my meds. I will never make that same mistake again. I'm just trying to give myself a shot, Lucas. I haven't seen Charlie for five years. So if I can just prove that I'm stable, I might really get to see him again.
LUCAS: What about Adam?
STEPH: Oh, I'd love to see him, of course I would. But I also realise it may not be the best thing for him. He doesn't know me, so he doesn't miss me.
LUCAS: So you're just giving up?
STEPH: I have to, for his sake. Charlie's different. He remembers, he needs me. Lucas, please - engines are all I know. I've got no right to ask you this, but can you please give me back the job? It's not for me. It's for my kids. I'm begging you.
Paige has stayed over with Mark, but he's disappointed when she says she's having breakfast with Lauren and Brad before he goes to work. Mark says he wants to talk to Paige about something, but she's distracted by a text saying Brad's already left for work - so she agrees to stay for brekkie with Mark instead. Paige laments the fact that other people aren't as happy about Brad and Lauren being under the same roof as she is.
Mark tells Paige he's been thinking about the mortgage he wants to take on for the house. Since Aaron's out of action due to his injury, he's going to struggle to pay rent, says Mark - so he's been thinking of taking on a new housemate. He says he doesn't want a stranger living there, and is clearly dropping hints that he'd like Paige to consider it - but Paige is too distracted to notice, since she's arranging dinner with Brad and Lauren by text message. Mark testily says he'll have to continue his housemate search this evening.
PAIGE: Don't worry, you'll find someone. Who wouldn't want to live with you?
Paige is talking to Amber, who's immediately gleaned from a second-hand account of Paige's conversation with Mark what Paige hadn't - namely, that Mark wants Paige to move in with him. Paige seems convinced that Mark was just bouncing ideas off her, though, and says that in any case she wants to be at No 32 to support Amber and the baby.
AMBER: And Brad's living here now.
PAIGE: Yeah, for now. Why, do you think he wants to stay longer?
AMBER: All I know is, there's a lot of pent-up tension in this house.
PAIGE: I noticed.
AMBER: I mean, he's staying in the spare room. But it is obvious they want to be together.
PAIGE: I think they're just trying to be respectful. Are you okay with this?
AMBER: I thought I'd be more upset. That I'd be resentful on Dad's behalf. But I just want Mum to be happy.
The conversation concludes with Paige reiterating that she wants to live at No 32, and thinks Amber is reading too much into what Mark said. Amber suggests she ask someone who would know what Mark's thinking...
Sonya, Toadie and Lucas are gathered to discuss Steph. Sonya and Lucas worry whether or not they can trust her, but Toadie points out that the doctors said she'd had a psychotic episode - and that she's been in therapy every day since. Toadie thinks Steph is strong enough to handle being back in town, and Lucas admits that she seemed heartfelt when they spoke.
TOADIE: Yeah. The woman that was just here - that was the good old Steph.
SONYA: Okay. And what if she stops taking her medication again? Can we risk that?
LUCAS: Yeah, that's a good point. We have no guarantees.
TOADIE: Hang on, hang on. Don't both of you have an illness that makes you behave badly at times? I still trust you. I think that Steph is genuine, and that we should give her a go. Instead of doubting that she can make this work, we should be helping her.
Daniel is telling Tyler he's happy to help out at the garage until he finds a replacement for Steph. Paige turns up, and tells Tyler about Mark looking for a new housemate to help pay the rent.
TYLER: He hasn't said anything to me. Why - thinking of applying?
PAIGE: Applying? Maybe your brother would ask me.
TYLER: Oh, in your dreams.
PAIGE: No, in his dreams! I'm great!
TYLER: Doesn't mean he wants you around in his space, 24/7. I'm his brother; I know how he thinks. And... he said some stuff.
Tyler refuses to elaborate on said 'stuff', but tells Paige not to get her hopes up about Mark. She mock-punches him, and walks away. Daniel comes back over, saying he overheard that Mark has a spare room going. Tyler smiles...
Steph is back to hear the panel's verdict. Lucas says he's spoken to Vanessa, who said the decision as to whether to keep Steph on is up to him. Lucas is still unsure, so Toadie emphasises just how much this job would mean to Steph. Lucas says that if he reinstates Steph, there'll be conditions.
LUCAS: You'll be on a three-month trial at the garage with a one-strike rule. You break it, and you are gone.
LUCAS: And Vanessa's one condition was that there's no further contact with us at all.
Lucas says that any further correspondence will have to go through Toadie or Tyler.
LUCAS: If you mess this up, he'll be the one that has to clean it up.
STEPH: I won't.
Lucas nods, and Steph smiles.
Erinsborough High School
Susan is on the phone to the HR representative from Eden Hills Grammar. As she ends the call, she ushers Brad and Wayne into her office. She explains that the rep is coming to talk to her later today, meaning Susan can now officially inform the staff of the sale.
Wayne has some more gossip from his friend at Eden Hills, who has told him that the school doesn't need any more teachers - but that they are looking for a new head. Susan says it may just be a rumour, but Wayne angrily says it's easy for her to stay calm, as Eden Hills obviously wants her. Brad suggests they should wait to see what the rep says before jumping to conclusions.
Nate and Mark are at a table when Tyler and Daniel come to join them. Tyler announces that Daniel will be their new housemate.
NATE: Brave man!
Mark outlines the house rules for Daniel.
MARK: And if you use any of the cleaning products, let me know and I'll replace them.
DANIEL: We'll split them too, right?
MARK: Yeah, there's a kitty. Welcome to the Brennan house!
TYLER (baffled): I didn't know we had a cat?
Aaron and Nate talk to Susan about the school closure. She's surprised to learn that Nate's 'heard whispers' at the bar, and admits that she's only heard about it recently. She explains there's now a rumour that Eden Hills Grammar will head-hunt her, so she's preparing for her meeting with the HR rep to become an informal interview. Susan's not relishing jumping ship when the rest of the staff may be left unemployed, but Nate and Aaron tell her that turning down the job won't get the others work, so to embrace the opportunity.
Tyler is on the phone to Toadie, saying he 'understands'. Meanwhile, Paige comes in and asks Daniel if he's seen Mark. During the conversation it comes out that Daniel has been appointed as the new housemate at No 24, and that it was Tyler's idea. Tyler comes over, smiling, and Paige is annoyed.
PAIGE: You just had to prove a point, didn't you?
She mock-punches Tyler again, then storms off.
An angry Paige comes round to see Mark.
PAIGE: So Daniel's moving in.
MARK: Yeah, I think he'll be a really good fit.
PAIGE: What about me?!
MARK: What about you?
PAIGE: Why haven't you asked me?
MARK: I thought you were happy living with the Turners?
PAIGE: I am.
MARK: But you want to move in here.
PAIGE: Well I don't know. I haven't been asked.
MARK: So you want me to ask you?
PAIGE: A girl would like to be asked, Mark.
MARK: Okay... Paige, would you like to move in with me?
PAIGE: Well what's the point of asking now? Daniel's moving in!
MARK: Okay, now you're starting to shout.
PAIGE: Because I'm annoyed.
MARK: So what do you want me to do?
PAIGE: I dunno. I want you to be straight up with me. I want you to tell me how you really feel.
MARK: I tried, but you weren't listening!
PAIGE: Well I'm listening now.
MARK: Well, good!
PAIGE: ... Say something! Quit being so cryptic and man-like and just say it!
MARK: Okay - I'm in love with you! I'm so in love with you it makes me crazy!
MARK: Well don't stop yelling now!
PAIGE: I love you too. But I don't want to move in with you.
MARK: Well, good. Because the room's taken. So, can I kiss you now?
PAIGE: Why are you asking me that?
The atmosphere remains awkward between Amber and Brad, who is looking for new jobs online. He explains about the school sale.
BRAD: Don't worry, I won't be sponging off your mum.
AMBER: Didn't think that you would be.
He adds that he should be out of the house within a week, as he's found some suitable flats.
AMBER: Is that what you want? I mean, don't you and Mum want to be together? I can see how happy you guys make each other. I don't want to be the one holding you back.
BRAD: I appreciate it, but I'll still be moving out.
AMBER: You don't have to. Not for me. You could stay. Live here.
BRAD: Well, I think it's too soon.
AMBER: Obviously it's up to you guys. But if it feels right, you should do it.
She wishes him luck with the job search, and walks out. Brad smiles.
Tyler comes in to find Paige in the house with Mark. She explains that she and Mark have talked, and she now no longer has an issue with Daniel moving in. Paige announces she's heading off for dinner at No 32, but Tyler is clearly upset to see her being all flirty and kissy with Mark again.
Steph is about to leave, but thanks Toadie for all his support - promising him that she won't stuff up. In the kitchen, Sonya looks sour, but manages to force a smile to say goodbye to Steph as she leaves.
TOADIE: Okay - so is it Steph staying that you think is a mistake, or me vouching for her?
SONYA: Look, I understand why you're helping her - I just don't want her in the house all day. And I don't - I do not want her around Nell. I know that's unfair, and I know it's irrational, but I just don't want her here, alright?
Toadie promises to meet Steph at the garage in future.
SONYA: And can you promise me that you're not gonna get too involved with her?
SONYA: Jarrod, have you forgotten everything that's happened before? Since I've known you, Steph has always been your Achilles' heel. She has a problem, and you want to rescue her. She makes a bad decision, and you jump right in after her.
TOADIE: I'll be careful this time. I promise.
Steph walks out of No 30 and towards her motorbike. She smiles and breathes deeply, glancing back at the house - before looking right towards her old home with ex-husband Max, No 32. Still smiling, she turns to look at No 22, No 24, No 26 and No 28 in turn, laughing emotionally as the memories flood back.
Erinsborough High School
Susan is talking to Christina, the HR representative from Eden Hills Grammar. Throughout the scene we flit between this conversation, which takes place in Susan's office - and a separate conversation between Christina and Brad in the Only Classroom. At first it seems that Christina is preparing to offer Susan a job, and to let Brad down gently - but as the scene progresses, we learn that it's Brad Christina is interested in, as she quizzes him about his running group.
CHRISTINA: Have you ever thought about doing more work along those lines?
BRAD: Not really.
Christina compliments Susan on a job well done, but...
CHRISTINA: I'm sure you'll have no problem finding employment elsewhere.
SUSAN: I'm sorry?
Meanwhile, Brad is surprised to learn Eden Hills has been following his career.
CHRISTINA: We'd like you to take over as head of sport.
- Piper tells Brad that they should talk to Terese and see which of them she agrees with
- Lauren kisses Brad on the lips, and announces that he's moving in, permanently
- Brad breaks the news to Terese
- Paige admits that she's over the moon that her parents are back together
- As Harold's prepares to reopen, Lauren and Brad kiss passionately