- Tyler says to Mark it doesn't matter how he gets a kid
- Steph and Mark say they want to take up the surrogacy offer. Sonya is thrilled. Toadie isn't.
- Susan assures Karl that Regan would have died if he hadn't operated
- Jacka accuses Karl of murdering Regan
- Jacka puts something in Ned's tattoo ink
- Ned gives Brad a tattoo
- Brad collapses
Karl sends Brad off for some scans. He tells Lauren that his symptoms (abdominal pain) are common to lots of things, so he suggests she go home to rest. She refuses to leave until she knows what is wrong.
Toadie and Sonya are in bed. She wakes him up to talk about the surrogacy interview, which is later in the day. She says that she's worried that they'll say no. He asks why.
SONYA: Well, they might be looking at my history and think that I'm some drug- addled crazy woman.
TOADIE: Mm, but you are! But you're also the mayor.
She's worried, but he tells her to be her usual caring self and it'll work out. She agrees, saying they're all on the same team. On her way to see Nell, she tells him that the consultant is Victoria Lamb, one of Josie's mums. He looks at a letter from Fern Grove Fertility Centre. We see that it's informing him of the outcome...
It is 7am. Mark and Steph are in bed. He says he's worried about the interview, and she tells him to answer truthfully, because they're all on the same page. She gets a text from Lauren about Brad.
Lauren reassures Piper (by phone) that her dad will be fine. Steph arrives, and the two women hug - painfully. Lauren's bag - containing Ned's tattoo kit - falls over and the camera zooms in on the Bottle of Doom™ (for the benefit of people who can't remember back to the recap). Steph offers to take it home. Lauren tells her how she'd talked to Brad about postponing the wedding, and she thinks he got sick because of the stress. Steph hugs her.
Hospital - Brad's room
Karl asks Brad if he's got any infection they need to know about. For the benefit of viewers with a short attention span, the camera zooms into plaster on Brad's finger. Yes, viewers, that's where he had his tattoo. With the ink that Jacka tampered with. OK, so that's cleared up.
Hospital - reception
Meanwhile, Sonya and Toadie introduce Victoria to Mark, but they already know each other through Ellen (his boss, her ex). Sonya asks about Josie, who's now at Uni. Mark goes to get Steph, Sonya goes to fill in some paperwork, and Toadie talks to Karl. He tells him that a mate of Gary's put him on to a fertility clinic.
TOADIE: And they think that despite the nerve damage and the low sperm count, there is still an outside chance of having a baby.
KARL: If you plan another one, that would rule you and Sonya out of the surrogacy programme.
Sonya calls Toadie, and Karl tells him that if he has reservations, now is the time to express them.
Hospital office /interview room
Victoria has interviews with Mark and Steph and with Toadie and Sonya. Mark and Steph explain they can only afford two IVF cycles.Sonya says she'll do whatever it takes. Mark is enthusiastic about the idea of twins, while Steph says it would be "manageable".
Mark wants to be at all the appointments, but Toadie isn't keen. Victoria asks if Toadie and Sonya's family is complete. Sonya says she used to want more children, but it was very difficult last time, and it's practically impossible - and she leads a very fulfilling life. Toadie stares at her and Victoria asks him what he thinks.
TOADIE: Yeah, yeah, I'm with Sonya. We are done.
Hospital - Brad's room
Brad tells Lauren to go home, but she wants to stay. She says that fate is conspiring against them
BRAD: It can only be up from here.
Well, that's normally the kiss of death for anyone in Neighbours. She apologises for making him stressed, and says she wants to talk about the wedding. Karl comes in, and wants to speak to Brad, alone.
Sonya tells Toadie she thinks it went well, saying they'd gone through the issues beforehand. Mark and Steph arrive. They explain that Victoria has emailed them some questions for them to discuss as a group before they can progress. Toadie's worried they've blown it, but Sonya says they can work it out.
Piper is panicking because Lauren had to leave the room. Lauren tries to reassure her, saying it's not necessarily bad news. Piper keeps pressing for information.
LAUREN: Piper, I don't know. I don't know anything, we don't know anything and you panicking is really not helping the situation.
PIPER: I know that, but my dad never gets sick. Ever. And the fact that they don't know what's going on, it doesn't... I'm sorry. I don't mean to freak you out.
Karl arrives, and tells Lauren she can see Brad - but just her. An emotional Piper watches Lauren leave
Hospital - Brad's room
Brad tells Lauren about the tattooed wedding ring - which was supposed to be a surprise - and how Karl thinks it's given him a serious infection. But now they think they can treat it pretty quickly. She says she's so relieved he's better.
BRAD: Now I'm tattooed, you've got to marry me - you've no choice
LAUREN: Well, just for the record, there is no way I'm not going to marry you. I don't want to postpone this wedding. I can't wait to marry you, Brad Willis.
Discussion is in progress... and we are up to breast- feeding. Mark says it's not feasible. Sonya says she insists. Toadie and Steph both agree that "breast is best", but Steph is concerned about her connection with the baby. So they agree Sonya can express after she comes home from hospital. They pass quickly over what happens if they split up, and move on to the role Sonya and Toadie will play.
They go for aunt and uncle. The final question is whether Sonya will become attached to the baby. She says no, but Toadie's not sure, because of what happened with Callum.
SONYA: I would never have suggested being a surrogate for your baby, and when I say that, I mean it - YOUR baby, OK - if I didn't think that I could handle it.
She says she won't put her family or her reponsibility to the community at risk.
Tyler gets a call from Piper saying that Brad will be home when they've got the infection under control. Mark tells him that he's just realised what a big deal the surrogacy is. There's the medical, legal and financial sides... but he agrees with Tyler that he's on top of those.
TYLER: So it's the emotional stuff that's doing your head in? Bro, that's understandable. You know, it's a bit of a minefield. But all you guys are really good friends.
He assures Mark that they will sort everything out. Mark says there's a lot to do, including finding a place to live. Tyler says that he and Aaron will move out.
TYLER: Bro, it's dumb to think we're all gonna live together till we're old and saggy. I mean... that's nasty. And plus, we'll be the world's best uncles.
MARK: And I don't doubt that for a second. I just hope I can be a good dad.
TYLER: Bro, you'll be the best dad.
Hospital - Brad's room
Piper tells Brad that Paige can't visit him because she can't get any cover at Harold's and she is Not In This Episode™. Brad says he should be home today anyway. Lauren asks about the antibiotics and Brad says he hopes they start working soon, because he still feels ill. She goes to find Karl.
At reception, Karl tells Lauren that there are some anomalies in his tests.
KARL: I'm sorry, but he's not out of the woods yet.
Steph is lying on the bed. Mark comes in and lies down next to her. She comments on how different their views were - she thought they were so similar.
MARK: Well, parenting's very personal.
STEPH: Right. Yeah. It's hard enough when there's only two people involved.
They agree that they like and trust Victoria and that she wouldn't let them go through with it if she didn't think it would work out.
MARK: I guess that's what this process is for, eh?
STEPH: Yeah. I hope we survive it.
Sonya comments it's a lot more difficult that she expected, especially having to hand over decisions to other people.
TOADIE: Lucky you're not a control freak, then, hey?
She says it's hard to accept that things won't be done her way. He asks her if she has any doubts, and she says no. She tells him how grateful she is that he's on board. He puts some stuff in the bin (aka Neighbourhood Noticeboard™ ) and then throws in the letter he got from the Fertility Clinic.
- Susan tells Karl he'll work it out, and Karl says he doesn't know if he can
- Angus picks up the Bottle of Doom™
- Karl tells Brad & co that they have theories, but Paige(?) tells him he's supposed to know the answers
- Jack reads out "a time to love, a time to hate" while Paige is in the congregation
- Tyler tells Piper that there was only one true love
- A couple (almost) kiss