- Pierce tells Chloe he owns an island off the coast, and is giving it to her
- Claudia objects to Aster going to jail; Susan says they must respect Elly's decision
- Susan has a meltdown in her car, and Paul comes to the rescue
- Claudia later overhears Paul talking about this, and feigns concern
- Elly tells Toadie and her family that Andrea is in her wing and has said hello to her
- Karl explains to Claudia that Andrea is a woman from Toadie's past
- Claudia tells Samantha Fitzgerald that she has an idea
- During a riot at the prison, Andrea fronts up to Patrice when she takes Aster
- Andrea suggests that she swap with Patrice to become Elly's cellmate
Andrea comes into Elly's cell with her possessions, giving her a last chance to change her mind before she moves in! But Elly tells her to come in. Andrea puts a photo of her daughter Willow up on the wall.
ANDREA: Doesn't feel like home till you've got a couple of piccies up, hey? ... I just wish I had more.
Elly wants to phone home, but doesn't want to go back into the communal area right now as the women 'are crazy'. But Andrea has a solution - she has a personal mobile phone hidden among her possessions, and gives it to Elly so she can use it, before leaving the cell to give her some privacy. Elly makes a call...
Susan and Bea turn up to speak to Toadie; Dipi and Shane are also milling around. Susan explains they've just had a call from Elly about the riot at the prison; Elly and Aster are both fine, she says, but Elly's now a nervous wreck.
BEA: Some woman grabbed Aster, and Andrea jumped in.
SUSAN: Yes. Apparently she's been very protective of Elly and Aster.
BEA: She let Elly call us from her secret phone.
Toadie says Elly shouldn't be doing that, and is all ready to report Andrea for having a phone. But Susan begs him not to, saying it will only make things worse for Elly. Toadie agrees reluctantly, but tells Susan to ensure Elly doesn't use the phone again
SUSAN: All of this has made her even more desperate to get a cell by herself.
TOADIE: I'm working on it, Susan.
SUSAN: I know, I know. And I don't mean to push, Toadie, but we're just so afraid for them.
Shane tries to offer reassurance that Elly will be fine, and Susan and Bea thank Toadie for all he's doing.
Weiler & Perkins Lawyers
Claudia and Sam are meeting at the law offices. Sam has heard about the riot from her contact in the prison.
SAM: But that's dealing with crims. You never know what you're gonna get.
CLAUDIA: I paid this Andrea woman to *scare* Elly. A riot could put my grandchild in danger.
SAM: But it didn't. Nothing bad happened.
CLAUDIA: She can thank her lucky stars for that.
SAM: On the plus side, she's used the opportunity to move into Elly's cell. She'll be able to get into her ear - start convincing her to give up Aster.
CLAUDIA: She won't be safe at the Kennedys'. I found out today that Susan's had a mini breakdown.
SAM: Well, there's a gift.
CLAUDIA: It might be for the case, but not for Aster. That family is falling apart! If Aster ends up in their care, then -
SAM: She will be with you soon, I promise. Now, your next move is to put that money into Andrea's spend account. She's expecting it within the hour.
Sam hands Claudia Andrea's bank details.
SAM: She also wants a bit of extra cash to be put into a bank account on the outside.
SAM: Well, she did go above and beyond. Plus she's a loose unit, alright? It's in your best interests to keep her onside.
A despondent Elly is lying on the bed, when a jolly Andrea comes in with nappies for Elly, and snacks for them to share. Elly wonders why she's bought them.
ANDREA: If you've got a bunch of spend cash, I just figured, what's the point of being flush if you can't share the love?
ELLY: (...) I don't know what's going on here, Andrea. You're protecting me, you're lending me your phone...
ANDREA: Yeah, you're welcome.
ELLY: There's a price to pay for all this, right? That's the way it works in here, yeah?
ANDREA: Oh, right. So you think I'm being nice so I can get something in return?
ELLY: Absolutely. Am I wrong?
Andrea is stuffing her mouth with choccies!
ANDREA: Well, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't one small favour I would like. But don't stress, alright? It's nothing bad. So I know Toadie's your lawyer; I just thought -
ELLY: No, no, no - I'm not getting in the middle of this, okay? There's no way I can get him to come here and see you.
ANDREA (laughing): Oh, please - are you kidding? I know he's not gonna have a bar of me, okay? I'm not a complete psycho! But there is someone I need to get in contact with, and I just think Toadie's the best person to do it through. That's all.
Claudia calls in to see Susan and Bea for an update on Elly; Susan says Toadie's trying to get Elly a private cell urgently. Claudia queries whether Toadie's 'up to the task' and suggests she could engage a more experienced lawyer. But Bea and Susan assure Claudia that Toadie is experienced and committed.
CLAUDIA: Okay, as long as you're sure. I suppose we just have to hope that Elly and Aster are safe in the current arrangement.
Bea and Susan glance at one another, unsure whether to mention the riot. They're interrupted by Susan getting a text about school; she has to go and ring Marie (presumably Marie Bermingham, previously acting principal) to sort it out. Claudia uses the opportunity to grill Bea about what she's not telling her.
BEA: There was a riot in the prison. But they're okay.
Claudia feigns surprise.
CLAUDIA: Oh, Elly must've been terrified.
BEA: I'm pretty sure that she still is. I know I am. I just want them home, but there's nothing that I can do.
CLAUDIA: You can't help Elly; that's for the courts to decide. But you could help Aster. You could get her out of there.
BEA: But that's not what Elly wants!
CLAUDIA: I'm sure a riot would make her reconsider. Have you asked her?
BEA: I just don't want to push her right now.
CLAUDIA: Well, you're her sister - you know her better than I do. I would've thought Elly would hate to have Aster around so much violence.
Bea looks thoughtful.
Bea is visiting Elly, who's thrilled to see her. Elly reports that she and Aster have stayed safe since the riot, and that Andrea's 'messing with my head a bit'; she's looking forward to getting her own cell.
BEA: Hey - you know me, Karl and Susan can still look after Aster if you want? If it's not what you expected in here?
ELLY: You don't think she should be here?
BEA: No, that's not what I'm saying.
ELLY: But that's what you think.
BEA: No - look, I support your choice. But there's other options, Elly.
ELLY: Yeah, but having my daughter grow up without me isn't an option. Bea, I could be here for years.
BEA: You might not be in here for that long. Toadie's confident that you'll get out on appeal.
ELLY: Toadie was confident I wouldn't be here in the first place! The fact is, a child belongs with its mother. Aster is staying with me.
Pierce runs into Chloe, who's about to deliver a letter to the prison for Elly - she'll be visiting too, but wants to keep up her morale in the meantime. Pierce asks Chloe if she's had a chance to look at the sale of Murder Island™ yet; she has contacted the real estate broker but...
CHLOE: ... unsurprisingly, there are not many people in the market for an island! And now it's associated with the most vile, evil human being ever born -
Claudia is sitting nearby outside the hotel, and has been listening in. She interrupts. Chloe realises what she's just said.
CHLOE: I'm so sorry. I didn't know you were there.
CLAUDIA: It's alright. I know what my son was. I'm sorry he's ruined your business plans. And everything else. Good luck with the sale of the island.
Claudia walks off.
CHLOE: And the old Chloe Brennan foot-in-mouth disease strikes again!
Andrea is flicking through a magazine and trying to make celebrity small-talk with Elly - but Elly is breathing heavily and in a state of anxiety following her meeting with Bea. Andrea asks if she's okay; Elly says she's fine.
ANDREA: Oh, come on, roomie - you can't con a con artist. What's going on?
Elly says that Bea doesn't think Aster should be with her in the prison.
ANDREA: Well, you were just involved in a riot. I mean, you can't blame her for thinking that.
ELLY: Yeah. I know. And I guess the reason I'm angry is, umm, part of me thinks... she's right.
ANDREA (emotional): Giving up your baby's a really big decision. It's not one I made lightly. But I knew that I was giving him to people who would take care of him, who'd love him - and keep him safe, you know? Safer than I could. And I think that's the most important thing, yeah?
ELLY: You think I should give up Aster, don't you?
ANDREA: No, no - not at all. But I think you've got to ask yourself the question - am I keeping Aster here cos it's best for Aster, or am I keeping her here cos it's best for me?
Shortly afterwards, a tearful Elly is bidding Aster goodbye in the visitors' area, as Susan and Bea have arrived with Toadie to pick her up.
ELLY (crying): You be a good girl for everyone, okay? And I know I'm not gonna be with you, but I am going to think about you every single second of every day, okay?
She hands Aster over to Susan and Bea, who are struggling not to cry themselves. Susan ascertains Elly's sure about her decision.
ELLY: If she's here, I can't be certain of what's gonna happen to her.
Bea says they'll bring Aster in to visit all the time. Elly says she'll express some milk for Aster later if they can come and pick it up. Toadie says he's working like crazy on Elly's appeal case, to get her out of here as soon as possible.
TOADIE: But in the meantime, just be careful of Andrea. And don't use her phone again.
Elly promises not to, then bursts into tears again. Susan and Bea hug her, and they leave, but Elly asks Toadie to stay and chat.
ELLY: It's about Andrea.
TOADIE: Is she giving you a hard time?
ELLY: No, quite the opposite, actually - she's been surprisingly good. But she wants a favour.
TOADIE: She wants to see me, doesn't she?
ELLY: No, she knows that that won't happen. But she does want your help to make contact with Dee.
Toadie looks unimpressed.
Claudia arrives to see Aster, who's sleeping in her carry cot. Susan seems exhausted, so Bea encourages her to go and lie down for a while; Claudia offers to stay and help out with sterilising Aster's bottles. Susan agrees, but tells them to wake her if Elly calls.
The moment Susan's gone, Claudia starts digging, commenting on Susan's exhaustion. Bea admits Susan's not been feeling well.
CLAUDIA: She's got a lot on her plate. And now more, with caring for a baby. Have you thought about how you're gonna make this work?
BEA: What, with looking after Aster?
CLAUDIA: Well, it'll be a bit of a juggle. I mean, with all of you working full-time.
Bea admits her garage hours aren't flexible, and Claudia remarks that Susan's job doesn't seem to finish when the bell rings. Bea says that Karl works all different shifts, implying he can cover any gaps, but Claudia queries whether he has enough control over that.
BEA: We're gonna make it work.
CLAUDIA: I know you are. I'm sure you'll do everything you can to give Aster the stability she needs. But you know what? If things get tricky and you need a hand, you can always call me.
BEA: Yeah, we'll see how we go. It's so nice to know that you're here - thank you.
CLAUDIA: Any time.
Toadie is telling Shane and Dipi about Andrea's request for him to make contact with Dee for her.
TOADIE: But she'll have an ulterior motive. She always does.
SHANE: Be interesting to hear what Dee has to say.
TOADIE: Oh, I'm not gonna tell Dee anything about this. Come on, Andrea's poison. If you let her in, she destroys you. You know that.
DIPI: I do. But she is Dee's sister.
SHANE: So, don't you think she'd be interested in what Andrea has to say?
TOADIE: Dee doesn't want anything to do with Andrea. She made that perfectly clear last time.
DIPI: She might feel differently now (...) I have no sympathy for Andrea, but I do feel like Dee should know about this.
TOADIE: I'm not gonna expose Dee to anything that could hurt her, or me, or anyone else. End of story.
Toadie walks off. Shane and Dipi glance at each other.
Claudia and Sam are having an evil catch-up, as Claudia updates Sam on the latest from the Kennedys'.
SAM: You're really worming your way in there.
CLAUDIA: I don't give a damn about getting in. I need to get Aster out.
SAM: And you will.
CLAUDIA: They're not in a position to properly care for my granddaughter (...) And she's never going to settle with revolving carers. I mean, they're all so frantic and stressed. She needs stability and routine.
SAM: I totally agree. I think she's much better off with you.
CLAUDIA: Oh, I wish I had custody now. I hated leaving her in that house.
SAM: Look, we're nearly there, okay? It's only a matter of time.
Chloe and Pierce are working on their laptops.
CHLOE: It's a Christmas miracle!
PIERCE: We're not even close to Christmas yet.
CHLOE: Which makes it all the more miraculous! We've had an offer on the island!
Pierce looks at the figure being offered and is impressed - it's from a company called JMK Limited. At this point, Hendrix turns up to collect some takeaway for him and Harlow. He notices what Chloe's looking at, and explains that he knows the company JMK - they run escape room venues, where you have to solve clues to get out ASAP.
PIERCE: Sounds like a meeting with Paul.
HENDRIX: Some are lame, but some can be insane. Like this one in the States - a massive field set up to look like an apocalyptic nightmare. You get chased by zombies and people with guns. It's awesome.
As Hendrix walks away, Chloe realises why JMK is interested in the island.
CHLOE: Do you think these people want to turn the island into some kind of horror show?
PIERCE: Maybe. Could even be planning on re-enacting everything that Finn did.
Chloe decides they need to look into the company some more.
Elly is sobbing into her bed, while Andrea sits on the bed opposite, visibly affected by Elly's grief at losing Aster.
ANDREA: Hurts, doesn't it? It's like someone ripped your heart out. You're gonna get her back, Elly, alright? Might take weeks, months, years, but you're gonna get her back. She's still one hundred percent yours.
ELLY: You are not helping.
Andrea tells Elly that if she can't cheer her up, she's going to help her forget. She retrieves cups and alcohol from her stash. Elly says she doesn't want to do anything that could get her into trouble.
ANDREA: Are you serious?! Look around you, sweetheart - you're already in trouble! Tell you what - you might as well make the most of it.
Dipi and Shane are watching TV when Toadie comes in.
TOADIE: I just caught Nell under the covers with a torch, reading a book. I told her to turn it off, but I couldn't be prouder.
Shane and Dipi give him the silent treatment! Toadie correctly guesses that they both think he should tell Dee about Andrea wanting to make contact.
SHANE: It's your call, mate.
TOADIE: Have you guys forgotten everything that she has done? Including trying to kill Dee?
DIPI: You have every right to feel protective.
SHANE: But this is Dee's business.
DIPI: Toad, remember the time when we were making decisions about your life behind your back?
TOADIE: When you were trying to find Dee?
DIPI: You were furious, and rightly so. So now Dee's in your position.
SHANE: She has a right to know what's going on, mate.
Elly and Andrea are sitting on the floor side by side, drinking from the cups. Elly's unimpressed with Andrea's grog, but admits it's good to have a drink.
ANDREA: It's gotten me through some pretty miserable nights.
ELLY: Yeah, well, there's got to be better ways of dealing with it than this.
ANDREA: Oh, come on - get over yourself. It's not a pity party. This is my thank you gift (...) for passing my message on to Toadie.
ELLY: Oh, yeah. Doubt anything will come of it.
ANDREA: Yeah, maybe not. But you never know.
They hide the cups behind them as a prison guard comes in to check on them.
ANDREA: Oh, come to read us a goodnight story, eh?
The guard closes the door again.
Elly downs her cup.
Shane and Toadie are watching TV. They glance at one another, knowing what the other is thinking. Eventually...
SHANE: Tell me to shut up if you want. But let's say you do tell Dee, and she does come down to see Andrea... how are you gonna feel about seeing Dee again?
TOADIE: It doesn't bother me. We're friends. And friends should be able to catch up as friends.
SHANE: Sure, if that's all it is. But if you're not telling Dee cos you're nervous about seeing her again, then that's understandable. But do you reckon it's a good enough reason not to tell her?
Toadie shakes his head wearily, and Shane leaves the room - leaving Toadie looking contemplative. Shortly afterwards, he makes a phone call.
TOADIE: Dee, hey! How's it going? ... Yeah, nah, I'm fine, I'm fine... Oh, well, actually, there's something that you should probably know...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Roxy asks Kyle if he wants to catch up later
- Hendrix and Harlow talk to Chloe about the possibility of Harlow sleeping over
- Karl accuses Susan of keeping things from her; 'enough!' she replies
- Claudia reports to Sam that things at the Kennedys' don't look good
- Paul moans to David and Aaron that no- one in the family has a 'skerrick of respect'