- Paige spars with Dustin
- Aaron promises Paige that he'll set her up with a fight
- Steph's stalker continues to follow her
- Belinda tells mark that the stalker's name is Ari
- Ari's colleague tells Mark that he's left work
- Mark places Steph and Belinda in the Community Centre overnight
- Amy's confession is bugged
Erinsborough Police Station
Amy and Jack storm in, and confront Mark about the bugged confessional.
JACK: I hope you have an explanation for this. To break the confessional is unthinkable.
AMY: It's disrespectful, an invasion of privacy, and illegal, I'm pretty sure.
Mark asks them if they have any proof that it was him, just as D.S. Ellen Crabb enters and overhears the conversation.
D.S. CRABB: Constable, is there something you want to tell me?
DS Crabb asks Mark why he was at the church considering he was told not to plant the bugging device, and Mark claims that he merely wanted to spot the perpetrator. Mark admits that he was angry when his request was denied and says that he just wants to speak to Steph and check that she's okay. DS Crabb says there'll be no chance of him speaking to Steph in the safe house after dark without a police badge.
D.S. CRABB: Constable, you have been accused of officially breaching the surveillance devices act, and whilst this allegation is being investigated, you're suspended.
Steph wishes Charlie goodnight via a video call on her phone. Belinda enters and asks if she's heard from Mark, and Steph explains that he's had to take a night shift on the coast so he won't be able to see them. They take a look at where they'll be spending the night: a small room in the community centre with two sleeping mats and a shelving unit of toiletry supplies. As they set up the beds, they realise that there are only one pillow and a duvet, so they'll have to get cosy and bunk together.
STEPH: Come on, we're friends, right? It's cool for friends to share a bed. No big deal.
Paige enthuses about her boxing training with Tyler, but Tyler points out that she doesn't yet have an opponent. Aaron enters at just the right moment to break the news that Paige will be fighting Angelina Jackson. Paige has never heard of her (and neither have I), but apparently, she's a former national champion and Tyler is impressed. Lauren has been eavesdropping from the counter and interjects with her concern that Paige should be fighting someone as inexperienced as her. Despite Tyler and Aaron's best efforts to persuade Lauren, she insists that they ask Angelina why she wants to fight a novice boxer. Aaron says that it's already a done deal and Lauren doesn't look happy. Mark enters and Aaron asks why he isn't with Steph; he tells them all that Mark and Amy ruined that plan for him.
Steph and Belinda are cuddled up together in the make-shift bed, and Belinda points out that once upon a time they would have loved it. Steph can't sleep because she's worried about missing the time spent with Charlie, as he's off to Fiji in the morning.
STEPH: Max is already freaked out, thinking that all this weird stuff is targeted at Toad and Sonya, and I can't even tell him that it's me that Ari's after.
BELINDA: Well, maybe you won't have to. Once the police catch up with Ari, that'll be the end of it.
STEPH: But it won't be, will it? Because now Charlie's affected. I can't ask him to pretend that he's not to Max, can I? Because that's just pressure, that's just pressure and it's not fair on him.
Steph starts sobbing and starts having a panic attack, and Belinda moves in close to calm her down and get her breathing steadily. Over a montage, Belinda pulls Steph in for a cuddle, who falls asleep on her lap.
Amy storms into the kitchen, venting about how humiliated she feels about the bugged confessional.
AMY: I mean, come to think of it, Mark is the second man in a month to exploit me. Do I have a sign on my head? And it's pretty grim to think that the only guy I can trust is my ten-year-old son.
Jack points out that whilst he's upset too, Mark was just trying to protect someone that he loves. Despite Jack's best efforts to convince her otherwise, Amy states that she's never going back to confession and isn't even sure if God exists.
Both Steph and Belinda have fallen asleep, but Belinda is woken by her phone buzzing. She checks the message, and sinister music plays as she quietly sneaks out of the room, taking her belongings with her.
It's the following morning, and Aaron and Tyler are chilling out topless in their living room next to a storage heater. Aaron is doing research about Angelina Jackson on his phone and comes across an article stating that Angelina badly injured her opponent during her last match. Tyler expresses his concern that perhaps Lauren was right, but Aaron points out again that the contract has already been signed.
TYLER: Could you forgive yourself if something like that happened to Paige?
The brothers are interrupted by the third Brennan, as Mark tries to take away the heater and tells them both to put some clothes on. Aaron reckons that Mark is just grumpy because Steph spent the night with her ex, but Mark says that he's giving her the benefit of the doubt. Tyler presses Mark for details about Ari and Belinda's background and suggests that perhaps they're both in on it together. Mark muses over the possibility.
Steph stirs from her sleep, and slowly realises that Belinda is missing. She calls out her name and runs to check the other rooms of the community centre. They're empty, aside from the policeman standing guard at the door.
Tyler and Paige are taking a break from a jog when Paige suddenly recognises a famous rugby player walking past, Dominique Du Toit (haven't heard of this one either!). Paige fan-girls over Dominique and Tyler explains that Paige is training as a boxer. Dominique says she has to head off to training herself, but not before Tyler cracks an awful joke.
TYLER: Don't forget to try! Ha. Because... you score tries.
DOMINIQUE: At least he's pretty. Good luck with the fight!
Paige gives Tyler a thump!
No. 26 Backyard
Amy takes a photo of Charlie and Jimmy to send to Steph. Jimmy begs her to take them to the cinema to see a gory film, but Amy's not having a bar of it. As she heads inside, they play with the drone which immediately goes flying over the fence. Charlie jumps over and says he'll fetch it, but Jimmy reminds him that they're not allowed to leave the yard whilst Ari is on the loose.
CHARLIE: What's worse? Getting in trouble, or losing my drone because I was too chicken to go get it?
Charlie ignores Jimmy's warning and hops over the other side.
Mark enters after having an impassioned chat with the police guarding outside, and explains to Steph that Belinda probably escaped whilst the shifts were being swapped.
MARK: This would never have happened on my watch!
Mark interrogates Steph and asks if Belinda was behaving strangely during the night, but Steph can't think of a reason and suggests that Belinda was just overwhelmed by it all. Steph asks why Mark isn't in uniform after pulling an all-nighter, and he lies to her, saying that he was working off the clock. She tells him to rest, but Mark puts forward his new theory that Belinda and Ari are in cahoots and says that he has to consider it as a possibility.
Tyler and Aaron try to put across their concerns to Angelina's manager that she and Paige will be unfairly matched for the fight. The manager points out that the buck stops with Aaron, and if he wants to pull out of the fight then they'll still have to pay for Angelina's appearance fee. He points out that this is clearly stated in the contract that Aaron signed, and says that he's got a day to make up his mind. The manager leaves and Aaron starts panicking that he'll be $12k in debt. Tyler suggests they take the contract to Toadie to find a loophole, or draw against their mortgage but Aaron isn't happy. Paige approaches and they both act as though everything is fine. Jack enters and Paige quizzes him about what happened with Mark and the bugged confessional. Jack points out that Mark was the one in the wrong, but Paige seems to think otherwise.
PAIGE: He obviously believes that love is worth breaking rules for.
Belinda walks apprehensively down the Avenue of Trees™ (of previous Brad-peeping fame) and is startled as Charlie bumps into her. It seems they are being watched from afar, as Belinda frantically tells Charlie to head back to Amy's as he isn't safe. Belinda spots something out of the corner of her eye.
BELINDA: Do you trust me?
BELINDA: Then don't run, or make any sudden movements, okay?
Charlie is startled by someone behind him and turns around.
ARI: Hello, Belinda.
D.S. Crabb is sat with Steph and is trying to work out Belinda's whereabouts. Steph suggests that sleeping together on the mats may have been too much for her, and D.S. Crabb asks if the decision to cuddle up was platonic for both of them.
D.S. CRABB: Even when a relationship is over, emotionally it can take a long time to disengage.
STEPH: Are you speaking from experience?
D.S. CRABB: My partner and I recently separated.
STEPH: Sorry to hear that.
D.S. CRABB: We were on the rocks for years.
STEPH: Well, Bel and I were apart for longer than we were together. But what we had was really intense. And I think that now she's hoping that what I've got with Mark is just a phase.
Poor Josie Lamb! Steph insists that whilst she loved Belinda once, she loves Mark now instead. D.S. Crabb says that they should focus on finding Ari, and Steph relays Mark's theory that he'll probably be found with Belinda.
D.S. CRABB: Mark's not supposed to be on the case. He's suspended!
STEPH: What? What for?
D.S. Crabb jumps up and says that she has to find him before it's too late, as he's been making bad decisions. She tells Steph to stay in the community centre, but Steph points out that the safest place is in the company of a police detective.
Mark shows Lauren images of Ari and Belinda on his phone and asks if she's seen either of them. He is interrupted by Steph and D.S. Crabb, who warns him that his actions won't go down well at his suspension hearing. Mark is interrupted by a phone call from Amy and announces that Charlie has gone missing. Steph begins to panic, and they both try to reassure her that Charlie is safe from Ari.
Belinda puts herself between Ari and Charlie and says that she wanted to meet with Ari to find out why he's been following Steph.
ARI: You were supposed to be my nurse again, you were supposed to take care of me. And she took that away from us, she got you fired.
BELINDA: That wasn't Steph's fault.
As they speak, Belinda takes out her phone and tries to secretly pass it to Charlie behind her back. It takes Charlie a seriously long time to figure out what he's supposed to do, and he spends ages just staring gormlessly at the phone.
ARI: I get to prove now how much I love you!
BELINDA: What, by hurting my friend?
ARI: No, by making her pay for everything she's done to you. Then I won't be just another ex-patient, I'll be worthy of something more.
BELINDA: Ari, if you loved me, then you wouldn't want to cause me any pain.
Belinda continues to waggle the phone at Charlie, who still hasn't taken the hint! Finally, he takes it but is startled as Ari starts barking 'No!' at them both.
ARI: Nobody gets to hurt you and gets away with it! You deserve better, you understand? God understands, God understands!
Belinda gets closer to Ari and tries her best to calm him by regulating his breathing, whilst Charlie sends a text saying 'Help'. Suddenly Ari notices and flings the phone across the grass. Belinda jumps to protect Charlie as Ari takes out a knife.
ARI: Why did you do that? I didn't want to hurt you. Why are you making me hurt you?
Steph receives Charlie's text and Mark works out their location. He convinces D.S. Crabb to let him join her, and she reluctantly agrees whilst Lauren reassures Steph that they'll be okay.
Ari leads Belinda and Charlie at knifepoint over to his car and instructs them to get into the boot. Mark shouts out and runs with D.S. Crabb to stop them.
ARI: Stay where you are!
MARK: We can do that, as long as you don't harm Belinda or the boy.
ARI: I'm not going to harm Belinda! Not like Steph did. That woman is the root of all evil, a temptress in the Garden of Eden! She'll hurt you too!
Ari continues to ramble some religious warning as D.S. Crabb phones for backup. Ari pushes Charlie into the boot of the car and barks at him to get in.
MARK: We need to take him.
D.S. CRABB: Wait for backup!
MARK: If he gets Belinda and Charlie in that car, we may never see them again.
After an advert break, Mark slowly approaches Ari and shows him that he's unarmed. Ari suddenly panics as he hears sirens in the distance, and slams the boot on Charlie. Mark runs and tackles Ari to the ground, and they wrestle for several moments until D.S. Crabb has pinned Ari down and handcuffs him. Mark clutches his stomach as he rolls off of Ari and staggers to the ground.
MARK: He got me!
D.S. CRABB: He's been stabbed!
D.S. Crabb phones for an ambulance as Belinda runs to Mark's side and they try to help him. Charlie looks on in horror as the police drag Ari away, and Mark writhes in agony on the ground.