- Dee and Heather bond during the prison's gardening programme, and arrange another session
- But guard Owen reports the details back to Andrea, and appears to be in cahoots with her
- The Kennedys are appalled to learn Olivia is launching a book about Finn at the festival
- Dipi asks Grant if he's here to fix things with Mackenzie, or just for the free legal advice
- Mackenzie is preparing to read extracts of her diary at the festival; Grant's uncomfortable
- Mackenzie notices Grant's name on one of Toadie's legal files, and asks what's going on
Mackenzie is upset to learn that Toadie has been working on a WorkSafe claim for Grant. Dipi apologises for not telling her earlier.
MACKENZIE (to Grant): So you didn't wake up one day and decide you wanted to see me. You came because Shane offered to help you with your problem.
Toadie and Shane wander in chatting away, unaware of the confrontation that's been taking place. They soon clock the silence, and Dipi explains what's happened.
MACKENZIE: I thought you came because you wanted a relationship with me.
GRANT: I do.
MACKENZIE (to Shane): Why did you go behind my back?
SHANE: You were so determined to cut ties.
MACKENZIE: Because he let me down before!
SHANE: Yeah, I know. I just wanted to give you a chance to work things out.
MACKENZIE: If Shane hadn't have contacted you, would you have wanted to see me?
MACKENZIE: You wouldn't have.
GRANT: I... I dunno. I don't know if I would've been brave enough. But I'm glad I'm here now.
MACKENZIE: You lied to me. You all did! You made me think I had a father who cared!
GRANT: You do!
MACKENZIE: I can't trust any of you.
Dipi apologises again, but Mackenzie says there's no way she's reading her diaries in the writers' festival now. She storms out. Everyone else looks contrite.
In the garden, Susan's in a bad mood at breakfast; we can tell because she's slamming crockery and buttering her toast rather violently. Karl comes out to join her, Elly and Bea; and the women take Karl to task over Olivia's book. He says he knew she was writing one, but didn't know what the subject was.
SUSAN: What I can't believe is that you were stupid enough to let yourself be pumped for information!
KARL: In all fairness, we don't know she sourced material from me.
SUSAN: What, do you think it was just a coincidence?! You confided in her for weeks. You shared intimate details about Finn, about our marriage. Of course she's going to use that information for her book - don't be so naive!
Elly's keen to know what Olivia asked about them individually. Karl admits they all came up in conversation. Elly wants to get her hands on a copy and find out what it says.
KARL: It could be a sympathetic representation.
Susan laughs sarcastically. Elly's hoping Terese will cancel the event; but even if the launch doesn't go ahead at Lassiter's, Susan points out, it will still be released. Elly says Karl and Susan are lucky they're getting to go away this afternoon. But Susan doesn't look happy at this idea.
The pub is adorned with promotional banners and signed copies of Olivia Bell's 'The Devil You Know' exposé on Finn Kelly. Mackenzie comes in to speak to Shane, and tells him she's cancelled her diary reading - she has no energy for it after what she learned about Grant.
SHANE: Have you seen the Facebook comments? You could be helping so many people with telling your story.
MACKENZIE: I have to put myself first.
SHANE: Well, maybe we can find another way.
Grant and Dipi are at a table nearby. Grant decides to go and talk to Mackenzie to make things right, but she starts to walk out.
GRANT: Mackenzie, please. I'm sorry I let you down again.
MACKENZIE: I just have one question. The last few days - has any of it been real? Do you really understand me, or are you just pretending?
GRANT: I'm trying to... Do you understand how hard it's been for me?
MACKENZIE: Of course I do. You left us when I was ten! You left me again last year, because you still couldn't get it. And the only way I've been able to get to sleep at night is by reminding myself how hard this has been for you. But when are you gonna put me first, Dad? I'm your kid. But you're only there for me when other people tell you to be. It has taken me so long to love myself. And I'm about to have my operation - that's a big deal. I need people in my life who are going to support me.
GRANT: I want to.
MACKENZIE: Wanting to is not enough. If you don't accept me - truly accept me - then I think it's better that we're not in each other's lives. For both our sakes.
Grant looks shellshocked as Mackenzie walks out.
Heather excitedly asks a passing Owen whether she's seen her daughter. Owen assumes she's talking about Andrea and is a little shifty, but Heather explains she's talking about Dee, who is coming to visit for the gardening programme today. Owen says she's not here yet, and is still a little standoffish. Heather says he seems stressed, and asks if he's okay.
HEATHER: Maybe you should come to one of my meditation classes. That could help.
OWEN: I'll let you know when Dee's here. Until then, just stay put.
HEATHER: Okay. Thanks, handsome.
Heather goes to sit down at a table in the recreation room. Owen looks at her, seemingly conflicted.
The Erinsborough Writers' Festival is in full swing, with excited literature fans swarming about the courtyard. Among the authors whose books are being showcased is real-life author (and Neighbours scriptwriter) Sarah Mayberry, who is briefly seen on a stand of her own promoting her novels 'The Rebel and the Cowboy' and 'The Cowboy Meets His Match'!
Outside the hotel, Olivia Bell is eagerly signing copies of 'The Devil You Know'.
OLIVIA: Who should I make it out to?
But her smile fades when she sees that Karl and Susan are next in the queue!
SUSAN: Need a reminder of our names, do you?
OLIVIA: Perhaps we should just step aside?
Olivia takes them, Bea and Elly away from the queue of punters to talk privately. Karl demands to know how she could do this to him and his family. She claims she couldn't warn him of the publication owing to 'confidentiality reasons'.
SUSAN: Oh, *now* you care about confidentiality (!)
OLIVIA: Look, I can understand that you're upset, and I am really sorry if you feel like -
SUSAN: Don't you dare pretend that you have any respect for our feelings.
KARL: You used me for information! I could never have believed you'd be this underhanded.
OLIVIA: Look, when I came to town to do my research, I was planning on asking if I could speak to all of you. And then I ran into you.
ELLY: What, and then you thought you didn't need to ask?
KARL: You never told me I was in the middle of an on-the-record interview.
OLIVIA: You needed to talk, and I didn't want to stop you from talking!
BEA: Is any of this legal?
OLIVIA: It is an unofficial book. My publisher and my lawyers are comfortable. Everything inside this book is based on fact.
She shoves a copy into Karl's hand.
OLIVIA: Here. Complimentary.
Olivia walks off, and puts on a smile again as she rejoins her punters. Incredulous, Susan snatches the book from Karl and walks away herself.
Yashvi is kicking off the reading of Mackenzie's Diaries - minus Mackenzie! She explains to the audience (which comprises Shane, Dipi, Toadie and Roxy) that while Mackenzie has cancelled the event, they all thought her story should still be told - so are taking turns to read excerpts, with Mackenzie's permission, beginning with Yashvi.
YASHVI (reading): We did swimming lessons at school today. There was one group for girls, and one group for boys. I had to be in the boys' group.
We cut to Mackenzie walking towards the gazebo and taking a seat on a bench, as Yashvi's voice continues overlaid.
YASHVI (reading): I was sad because I had to pretend to be a boy. Mum gave me a hug, but Dad told me to toughen up because I will always be a boy. I wish Dad would listen to me. I wish he'd see I'm really a girl.
We return to Yashvi finishing the reading, and Shane takes over for the next excerpt.
SHANE (reading): Aged ten. Mum's always buying me presents, even when it's not even my birthday. When I got home today, there was a new dress on my bed. Mum said I looked beautiful in it.
Shane's voice is overlaid as we cut to Grant looking pensive, walking through the courtyard towards the café. He looks through the window, then continues walking.
SHANE (reading): I really needed a new one cos of how Dad burned all my girly stuff. I hope he comes and visits when he isn't angry anymore. I do kind of miss him.
Shane's reading continues.
SHANE (reading): Mum says things will be better here in Newcastle. I asked her to call me Mackenzie from now on, and she said, 'okay, Mackenzie', straight away.
Roxy takes over for the next excerpt.
ROXY (reading): Aged 12.
Mackenzie is looking sad at the gazebo as we hear Roxy speak.
ROXY (reading): I went to school in a dress for the first time today. My hands were shaking, and I almost spewed. But I wanted to go as the real me for the first time.
We see Grant appear nearby at the top of the steps. He looks sadly towards Mackenzie.
Roxy continues to read.
ROXY (reading): I was excited. But hey, guess what - it couldn't have gone any worse. My friends stopped talking to me, and Sam told Trav that I must be mentally ill. I spent recess and lunch on my own, wishing I could literally melt into the ground.
Grant continues to watch Mackenzie, who's oblivious to his presence.
Dee arrives for her gardening session, and has brought along a Sarah Mayberry book for Heather! Owen is keen to impress upon her that Heather has spoken of nothing but Dee since her last visit (and the romance novels she's been bringing her!)
Dee says Heather has been really enjoying their visits, and that it would be nice if one day, Andrea was able to join them - implying Dee wouldn't be comfortable with that yet. Owen looks conflicted again, and goes to fetch Heather.
Roxy is still reading from Mackenzie's diaries.
ROXY (reading): I wish I could just be who I am. But maybe everyone's right - maybe there is something wrong with me.
As Dipi gets up to do the next reading, Grant comes through the door and begins to listen.
DIPI (reading): Fourteen. So the doctors confirmed it - Mum's got stage four breast cancer. Things have felt pretty quiet since then. Even though I know she's gonna die soon, she's the only one who's always been on my side. It just feels so unfair. Classic Mum - she gave me a present today, just because. It's a bracelet with a butterfly charm. She said as long as I wear it, she'll always be with me. I don't think I've known what it's like to be truly scared until now.
Grant looks like he's feeling guilty.
Owen comes into the recreation room, where Heather and fellow inmate Elise Heany are hanging out. As he passes, Owen slips the shard of plastic that Elly kept for self-defence, and which was since inherited by Andrea, into Elise's pocket. He then immediately announces a contraband spot-check, and tells the women to stand against the wall to be searched.
Heather objects that she's got her meeting with Dee to get to, but Owen insists on the search being done first. Heather and Elise do as instructed and empty their pockets - and of course, Elise finds the plastic shard. She insists she's never seen it before, but Owen acts like he's surprised, and tells them he's going to have to report it and put the wing on lockdown.
Yashvi locates the final diary entry to be read. Toadie's due to read it, but he's just taking a work call outside. (Pierce, who is In This Episode™, has now joined the audience instead.) Shane decides to read the entry instead, but at this point, Grant steps in and suggests he read it.
GRANT: That is, if you think Mackenzie won't mind.
Shane hesitates, then as Toadie comes back in, hands the diary to Grant to read from.
GRANT (reading): I'm writing this with Mum asleep next to me. She doesn't look like Mum. Her face is thinner, and her skin is all waxy and pale under the hospital lights. I don't think she has much time left. And I'm trying to be positive around her - I'm trying to be happy - but I don't think I can anymore.
Grant becomes emotional.
GRANT (reading): I wish Dad was here.
At this point, Mackenzie walks in, and is shocked to see Grant doing the reading. He continues nonetheless.
GRANT (reading): Maybe it would only make things worse. It's been five years. Maybe he's different now. Maybe he will realise how much I need him. Mum promised me that when she died, I wouldn't be alone. She's not even gone yet, and I already feel more alone than I ever have in my life. I don't think I can do this by myself.
Mackenzie and Grant look at one another, both deeply emotional now.
An alarm is sounding, as Owen comes to find Dee in the yard. He explains to her that some contraband has been found, so all the inmates are being sent to their cells. He says Heather's fine, but that Dee will have to wait for the gardening session until a full search is conducted. He hands her a bottle of water to drink while she waits.
OWEN: Sit tight, and I'll be back with Heather shortly.
Dee begins to drink the water as Owen walks off.
Grant and Mackenzie are talking at a table.
GRANT: You were right. I never fully understood you.
MACKENZIE: And now?
GRANT: ... I used to think, 'What have I done wrong? What have I done for you to choose this sort of life?' But it's not about me, is it? It never should've been. I was so busy thinking about myself, I didn't stop to think about what you were going through. I was so scared about what other people would think. And then I read this. And I read how you felt. What do I know about fear, it's... Your courage, Mackenzie - you didn't get it from me.
MACKENZIE: Well, you're here now, Dad.
GRANT (emotional): I'm proud to be your dad. And I'm lucky to have a daughter like you.
Olivia is reading an extract from her book to a group of festival attendees.
OLIVIA (reading): Susan welcomed the devil into her home, against the will of her neighbours (...) Little did she know, Elly had a secret reason for supporting the reckless decision. Finn's brother Shaun was blackmailing her over the paternity of her unborn child.
Elly and Bea are at a table nearby, listening in, and are horrified to hear this!
ELLY: I can't believe Karl told her that.
Bea thinks they should leave, and not put themselves through this. But Elly wants to hear it, and is surprised Bea doesn't want to hear what Olivia has written about her.
BEA: I have moved on. You have to.
ELLY: People are going to hear this. I need to know what they're saying about me, before they say it to my face.
OLIVIA (reading): Not that Susan needed the extra convincing. She'd already been seduced by the devil - the devil she thought she knew.
Oh dear - whatever was in the bottled water hasn't agreed with Dee, as she drops it and groans, before falling against the wall. Feeling woozy and nauseous, she grabs a nearby bench to steady herself, then calls for help. Nobody comes, and she falls to the ground, groaning and panting for breath.
A pair of legs appears, looming over her. It's Andrea.
ANDREA: Hey, sis.
Andrea laughs as Dee's eyes roll back in her head, and she passes out...
In the garden, Susan is reading Olivia's book, still in disbelief. Karl tells her their Uber is on the way to take them to the airport.
KARL: You shouldn't be reading that.
SUSAN: Oh, really? Why wouldn't I? I'm learning so much about myself (!)
SUSAN: She's written this like I'm the villain - like I was perfectly happy to let everything go horribly wrong, for the sake of my own ego.
KARL: It's an outsider's account.
SUSAN: It's an account that you gave her! In fact, everything about the way I'm portrayed in this book is because of you.
KARL: This is just sensationalist rubbish. You shouldn't give it oxygen.
Karl puts the book in the pizza oven, where all plot-relevant tomes in the Kennedy household go to die - saying this is the best place for it!
Bea and Elly turn up, and report that the Uber is here.
SUSAN (to Karl): The last thing I feel like doing right now is going on a holiday with you!
But Elly says the Kennedys have a better chance of working through this away from Erinsborough, and Karl agrees. He goes to fetch their bags.
SUSAN: I'm sorry to leave you girls with the fallout from this.
She retrieves the book from the pizza oven for some light holiday reading!
BEA: Are you really gonna take that with you?
SUSAN: Absolutely, I am.
She leaves, vowing to call them later on. Elly and Bea exchange a concerned glance.
A woman we assume to be Dee is still lying on the ground unconscious, but now in prison garb - presumably, Andrea has switched their clothes...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Toadie bumps into Russell Brand, whose 'synchronicity' leaves him awestruck
- Bea can't believe Elly is reading Olivia's book, but Elly has to know what was said
- Heather tells prison guard Bonnie that somehow, Andrea is missing