- Steph finds Sonya throwing away pictures of old friend Sam, whom she thought she saw recently
- Sam is also Toadie's psychologist, and advises him not to rush into reuniting with Sonya
- Toadie takes his advice, telling Sonya that they should wait till he's no longer a 'work in progress'
- Hamish accuses Mark of not doing anything to stop Russell beating Tyler
- Hamish asks Tyler whether Mark has ever been aggressive to him like Russell was; Tyler says not
- Mark becomes verbally aggressive with Hamish, asking him where the hell he gets off
Mark is apologising to Tyler for having lost his temper with Hamish. Tyler says it was more than that.
MARK: I wasn't gonna touch him.
TYLER: You were out of line.
MARK: Hang on; he was baiting me. He was talking about Dad - blaming me for what happened to you.
TYLER: Which was unfair of him. But he's worried.
MARK: About what?
TYLER: That you could be like Russell.
MARK: Okay. Obviously, this has brought up a lot of bad memories for you.
Mark suggests they go for a run to get it out of their systems, but Tyler says they just need some space from one another, and leaves.
Steph is helping Ben fix a car at the garage, with apparent success. Jack arrives and is surprised to find her there, and she explains that Lucas has asked her to help out today, since Tyler's unseen replacement proved rubbish.
Jack's even more surprised when Steph says that Lucas has offered her a more permanent job at the garage, as interim manager - despite all she has going on with the wellness centre. Steph says she hasn't given Lucas an answer yet.
Sam encounters Toadie on his way to work. They joke about their career similarities; the client confidentiality, and charging by the hour.
TOADIE: We're practically twins!
SAM: So I assume you're also doing Sukkot?
TOADIE: Yes, yes I am... I don't know what that is!
Sam explains it's a Jewish holiday, and that he's camping down by the lake as part of the celebrations.
Tyler and Piper come in. Piper thinks Tyler's overreacting about Mark's spat with Hamish, but he asks if he could stay at hers tonight. Piper doesn't think he should jump to the conclusion that Mark is like Russell based purely on this incident, saying Mark was just looking out for Tyler by showing concern about his unemployment.
TYLER: Hamish told me he had some time off once, and it helped him reassess his goals.
PIPER: Okay, well I'm totally in love with you doing that. But that's gonna be hard for Mark to understand; it's just not his style.
TYLER: I'm not gonna let him push me around anymore, okay? I want to build something for myself. Like Hamish has.
PIPER: What, like your own business?
TYLER: I dunno. But the Roche name means something - success. And if that's where I'm really from, then I want to be a part of that.
Jack casts further doubt on the wisdom of Steph taking the garage job, given that both she and Amy would then be balancing full-time jobs while trying to start the wellness centre. Steph agrees, but says she really feels like she owes Lucas.
STEPH: He forgave me when I took Paddy. And then, when I needed a job, he gave me one of those too. It's like, now he's in the lurch, I want to help him.
JACK: What about the list of goals that you made?
Steph hands him the list on her phone.
JACK: Where on this list does it say that you want to work at the garage?
STEPH: Nowhere, but -
JACK: Exactly, alright? You went through a lot of soul-searching to get to where you are. Don't go diluting that commitment that you made to yourself. Stick to the list.
Elly turns up to collect a towel and some paperwork that she left at the house while she and Mark were together. While he goes to collect them for her, Elly looks around to see if she can spot any evidence that Paige might have been here - and when Mark comes back, he correctly guesses what she's up to. He hands her the towel and papers, but then asks if she could stay for a bit.
MARK: Things got messed up with Tyler earlier.
ELLY: How bad?
ELLY: ... Where's Aaron?
MARK: He's working. But you've obviously got things to do, so...
ELLY: I know how important your family is to you, and you should definitely talk to someone. But I'm not that person. Not anymore.
Sam is wearing a kippah and preparing his sukkah, the temporary dwelling used for the Sukkot festivities, when Sonya approaches. Sam appears shocked to see her.
SONYA: Oh my god - it is you!
SONYA: No-one's called me that in years!
She runs up to him and they hug delightedly. She admits she thought she saw him the other day, but concluded it wasn't possible - and asks what he's doing here. Sam explains he's just moved to Erinsborough.
Sonya says she's been here for 'seven, eight, maybe nine' years and explains she initially came to reconnect with her son Callum, whom Sam is clearly in the know about. Sonya also explains about her nursery, and that she used to be the mayor.
SONYA: I probably shouldn't have come over here, going 'oh my god', right in the middle of a Jewish festival. I could have said something like, 'oh my Yahweh!'
SAM: No, that doesn't work either. Good try.
They both laugh, evidently thrilled to see each other again after so long - and hug again.
Steph tells Jack that she's taken his advice and spoken to Lucas, to tell him she can't take the garage job. She thanks Jack, saying the wellness centre is what she wants to focus on. But Jack admits he is now troubled by something else, having seen Steph's list of life priorities earlier on.
STEPH: My spelling?
JACK: No! Look, I know this is all still new, but you didn't have anything about a relationship.
JACK: You don't see this as anything significant?
STEPH: Well, I thought I'd made myself clear how I feel coming into this?
JACK: Yes, I know. A bit of fun - no strings, all that. But it's fairly natural for things to start out like that, and sometimes they evolve.
STEPH: Well, sometimes. Not always.
JACK: So you don't want this? You aren't after a relationship?
STEPH: If a relationship happens, it happens. It's just not something I'm focusing on.
JACK: Okay. Well that gives me something to think about.
Jack walks off, clearly upset. Steph looks worried.
Mark is talking to Aaron about Hamish, who he thinks was deliberately goading him.
MARK: I snapped, and then he acted like he was about to hit him. I wasn't. I think he's trying to convince Tyler that I'm like Dad. That I'm just as angry.
AARON: Why would he do that?
MARK: I dunno. But it's got me thinking. What if it's true? What if I do have that side of Dad?
AARON: No. No.
MARK: You didn't see how angry I got!
AARON: Mark, that doesn't mean you're anything like Dad. Or that there's any big conspiracy thing going on with Hamish.
MARK: I guess I'm just finding it difficult to stay objective about the guy. Tyler has all of a sudden got this new father figure in his life.
AARON: So you feel like you're being replaced?
AARON: Look, whatever's going on - we have to remember that Tyler's just come off this huge revelation, about his life, who he is. We have to give him what he needs right now, and I think part of that is Hamish.
Leo encounters Elly picking up some books from the community book exchange.
ELLY: If only this was big enough to hide behind!
They both laugh, and Elly apologises for kissing Leo, saying it was a momentary lapse in judgement.
LEO: I get it - I'm irresistible.
She says she's feeling better now, with lots of work to distract her from thinking about Mark. She hopes she still has Leo has a friend.
LEO: Come here. Just don't try anything, okay?
ELLY: Shut up!
They hug. Meanwhile, nearby, Sam is still constructing his sukkah, while Sonya sits and watches. The atmosphere between them is very playful and familiar, perhaps bordering on flirtatious. He explains that after he returned from Israel, he did a masters at uni and has since been moving around for work. He's temping in Erinsborough, but might decide to stay if he likes it.
Sam asks about Sonya's life. She says there's been a lot going on, and that it hasn't been the easiest year. She says she won't bore him with it now, but he suggests she come by again later to join him.
SAM: All I'll have is my own Hebrew chanting to keep me company otherwise.
Sonya says she needs to pick up her daughter from daycare - and Sam is surprised to learn she has one! But when Sam hears her name is Nell, he starts to get suspicious, knowing that this is Toadie's daughter's name too but unable to mention it due to confidentiality.
SAM: Are you married?
SONYA: I'm recently separated from my husband, Jarrod.
Now knowing for sure that Sonya must be Toadie's wife, Sam keeps quiet as Sonya says she's sure Jarrod will have Nell tonight if she asks. She promises to come back later and leaves. Sam looks conflicted, and goes to call Toadie, but gets his voicemail.
SAM: Toadie, please call me back as soon as you get this - I'll have to turn my phone off soon. Thanks.
Shane is boring David to death with 'advice' about being the new liveability committee chair, and has prepared a ring-binder full of research.
SHANE: Heart and soul, mate. That's what you've got to put in now that you're in charge.
DAVID (getting up): Right. Well, if you have any more thoughts I'd be happy to hear them.
SHANE: You would?
DAVID (sitting down again): ... Sure. If you want to have a brief chat.
Toadie watches all this with amusement.
TOADIE: Emphasis on the word 'brief' there, Shane!
Sonya turns up - she's been trying to call Toadie, and he realises he's had his phone turned off while he's been in court. She asks if he could take Nell for the night; when Toadie asks if she has plans, she just replies that she has 'stuff she wants to do'. Toadie agrees, and Sonya hurries off. Surprised to hear Sam's voicemail, Toadie calls him back - but his phone's now switched off.
Jack turns up to see Steph; there are some things he wants to say, and he doesn't want to sit down.
JACK: I wanted to tell you how much I like you. You give me risk in my life, which is something that I haven't had in a while. You shake me up, in a good way. And you are so beautiful. And we have this awesome connection. But I just can't keep going this way if I have no certainty.
STEPH: Okay. My turn to talk. Sit.
JACK: Okay, now I am scared!
STEPH: I like you too, Jack. You keep me grounded. But I guess I've been trying to protect myself. I'm just worried that we're so different, that we can't possibly have a future, so it's best not to travel too far down this road. But... maybe I'm being a little overcautious. And like you say, we have an awesome connection. It would be a shame not to see where it takes us.
JACK: So what are you saying?
STEPH: I know you need certainty.
JACK: And look, I know you don't want labels...
STEPH: But I don't want this to end either. So how would you feel about coming to Sydney with me, next time I go and visit Adam?
Jack says he would love to, and Steph is thrilled.
STEPH: Well, I guess this is us starting something.
JACK: I guess it is.
They hold hands and kiss.
Tyler looks wistfully at a framed photo of himself, Mark and Aaron - then he and Piper prepare to head to her place for the night. They have the place to themselves, as Terese is Not In This Episodetm, occupied with negotiations around Courtney's lawsuit.
TYLER: Did she ever talk about changing her name after she got divorced?
PIPER: Umm, okay - random! Ty?
TYLER: I'm just not really feeling like a Brennan at the moment. Especially now I know I'm not Russell's son.
PIPER: Hey, a name's about more than your parents, or who you marry. It's about personal connection, a sense of belonging - like what you have with your brothers.
TYLER: Yeah, but what about what I have with Hamish? I'm not saying I definitely want to go through with it, but I wouldn't mind looking into it.
Piper says she can help if he wants, and they go to leave - Tyler barely acknowledging Mark as he comes in on their way out. Mark looks sad.
In the garden, a weary-looking David is finally about to escape Shane's clutches for the night. Shane tells him he should get Aaron out there with him at liveability events, as 'people want to see unity'.
DAVID: I should get going!
SHANE: Hey - have you thought about what you want your legacy to be?
DAVID: I actually like the idea of tropical fruit. Karl said it could really come together.
SHANE: ... You've been listening to Karl?
DAVID: I've been listening to everyone.
David leaves, and Shane looks annoyed.
SHANE: I see what's going on here.
Meanwhile, indoors, Toadie is still trying to ring Sam, but his phone's still off.
Sam is looking pensive in his sukkah, when Sonya turns up. She asks him what's wrong - he says he's just thinking about a client, but can't talk about it.
SAM: It can wait until tomorrow.
Sam starts doing some Hebrew chanting and performing the Sukkot waving ceremony with a bundle of special plants prescribed by the Torah (the Four Species), while Sonya watches, smiling. Later, they sit down to talk.
SONYA: It's just so nice being here. There's something very calming about Sukkot.
SAM: And here I was thinking you wanted to spend time with me (!)
SONYA: I do. You know, obviously I'm not a religious person. But I can appreciate how it makes people feel like they're part of something.
SAM: Actually, the one thing the Sukkot signifies is the 40 years the Israelites had to spend out in the desert, cursed because they didn't believe. Sometimes it's about fear.
SONYA: But I mean, you've got a connection to something bigger. You know, you can just get out of your head. Maybe that's why you were such a good counsellor.
SONYA: Yeah, were... Well, I feel like I've been aimlessly wandering the desert, and I've kind of finally found my way back. Well, maybe I'm still finding my way back, I dunno.
SAM: To your husband?
SONYA: Mm. You know, me being here with you, whilst you are doing Sukkot, I know what you must be thinking. Cos I know I was standing there thinking the same thing. I mean, the last time we did that was the last time we saw each other. Before you - before you left.
At that moment, Toadie appears!
TOADIE: Sonya?! What's going on?!
SONYA: I'm... oh, I'm just catching up with an old friend. This is, umm - Jarrod, this is Sam.
TOADIE: Yeah, I know Sam! I've been talking to Sam about you for the past week.
TOADIE: Sam's my psychologist.
Sam looks sheepish.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Ben praises Xanthe's wedding prep efforts; she wants it to be perfect for Gary and Terese
- Paige reminds Terese that she's getting married tomorrow
- Xanthe says it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding; Gary says that's an old wives' tale
- Terese decides to go and talk to Gary
- We see Terese and Gary looking fraught at No 22
- 'A must- see week of Neighbours', says the voiceover, as a graphic promotes the wedding episodes