- Ned persuades Paul to invest in his business plan to replace the backpackers' with an art hub
- One of Ned's Fandangle subscribers is offering big money, and asking for his address
- Kyle queries whether Fandangle is 'kinda sleazy'
- Emmett goes to live with his aunt; David's devastated and upset that Aaron doesn't seem as affected
- Nicolette meets up with recent one- night stand Alex, but annoys her by going on about Chloe
- When Hendrix talks to Alex afterwards, she tells him Nicolette has the hots for his stepmum
Nicolette rejoins Chloe, Pierce and Fay at the house following her date with Alex, but doesn't let on as to where she's been. Fay tells Chloe that Mark and Paige have sent her a shortlist of baby names for her opinions.
FAY: It's thoughtful of them to include me. You know, while they still can.
CHLOE: Mum, don't be like that.
Pierce remarks that he wanted to give his dad's name to Hendrix, but Lisa had other ideas. Fay reminds him that he'll have a chance to input on his new baby's name soon, and says he and Chloe should get thinking about it. Chloe looks upset.
PIERCE: That all depends on the test results (...) for the HD markers.
FAY: Oh, yes. Sorry.
On the sofa, Nicolette quietly assures Chloe that Fay isn't deliberately trying to make it difficult.
CHLOE: I know she can't help it. But between her cheerleading and Pierce putting dates in his diary, makes all this waiting so much harder.
Hendrix comes in and is perturbed to see Nicolette on the sofa next to Chloe, after what Alex told him.
NICOLETTE: You're handling a tough situation better than most.
CHLOE: It doesn't feel like it. Right now, all I can think about are worst-case scenarios.
In the back garden, David is mouthing off to Paul about Aaron, saying he thinks they should just accept Emmett's chosen to be with his family and move on. Paul defends Aaron's stance, saying it might be the only way he knows how to deal with it. David's still worried about Emmett.
DAVID: Things could be going haywire with his aunt right now.
PAUL: Sounds a little bit to me like that's what you want.
DAVID: I simply want Emmett to be happy.
PAUL: And did he say if he is?
DAVID: Yes, but he's still so young. He doesn't know what's best for him.
David reminds Paul how he advised him to find a way of making sure Emmett stayed with them.
PAUL: Yes, but circumstances have changed. David, unfortunately that is the reality of fostering.
DAVID: So you think I should just let go, like Aaron has?
PAUL: Well, might be a good idea to take his lead on this one. Look, I'm sure that Aaron has thought a lot about loss lately, what with his mother being so ill. So his approach, rolling with the punches, just might be the healthy option for both of you.
Kyle is helping Ned transform the backpackers' into the new art hub. Kyle asks after Ned's Fandangle activities.
KYLE: Any more weirdos come out of the woodwork?
NED: I wouldn't call them weirdos, exactly.
KYLE: Oh, what would you call them, then?
NED: Admirers with... special interests.
KYLE: What do they ask for?
NED: ... I sat on a cake.
NED: You know, a cake. I sat on one.
KYLE: And took pictures?
KYLE: Were you wearing jocks?
NED: Yeah, of course I was wearing jocks. Actually, another subscriber wanted a full-frontal nudity, but I said no way (...) I take 'em as they come. I'm not exactly making a lot of money off subscriptions. Makes sense to weigh up the private offers. Plus, any money I make from Fandangle goes towards an exhibition. That's what I want to focus on.
Hendrix confronts Nicolette about Alex's claim that Nicolette has a thing for Chloe.
HENDRIX: Explains why you hate my dad, and why you're always up in Chloe's business when it's not your job.
NICOLETTE: You do realise that I'm a nurse? And Chloe has Huntington's and is pregnant, so to ignore her would be negligent.
HENDRIX: She can take care of herself.
NICOLETTE: And here's a concept you might not've considered, because you are a child. That Alex is jealous and wishes I spent all of my time with her. Why are you spying on me anyway? And then following Alex to interrogate her? You know what that is? It's creepy.
HENDRIX: Okay, you should just stay away from Chloe, alright?
NICOLETTE: I work here. Don't lecture me on boundaries, Hendrix, when you are clearly not an expert on the subject.
She walks out.
Kyle is still helping Ned, when Ned gets a message from a gallery he'd asked about hire fees for his exhibition. It's too expensive.
NED: Put it this way, I'd have to sit on a lot more cakes to even get close.
What's more, he's asked a lot of places, and they're all in the thousands for a decent length booking. He also hasn't done the paintings for it yet, or had any ideas for them! He wants his exhibition to be part of an artists' festival this year; if he doesn't get the entry fee in, he'll have to wait till next year. His goal is to win the Osbourne Prize.
NED: It's the most prestigious fine art competition in Victoria. If I get my act together, get the entry fee in, it could launch my career properly.
KYLE: Ned, I think you're trying to do too much, too quick.
NED: I don't have time for slow and steady anymore, mate. This is my chance; I know I've got what it takes. I just need to make it happen.
Hendrix is telling Harlow about his confrontation with Nicolette; she's not surprised she reacted badly. Hendrix is convinced she's only hanging around because of Chloe, but Harlow reminds him she's a nurse and has a job to do.
HENDRIX: I still think Dad deserves to know. Or even Chloe.
HARLOW: You've already stepped in it with Nicolette, and she's denied the whole thing.
HENDRIX: Right, so I need proof.
HARLOW: No, that's not what I meant.
But at this point, Jane comes in, and Hendrix goes over to talk to her. Jane remarks that she's heard he's doing very well at school, which he should be proud of considering all that's going on at home.
HENDRIX: It is a little crowded. But you must like having Nicolette in town?
JANE: Oh, always good to be close to family.
HENDRIX: Yeah. It's pretty crazy she moved all the way from Canberra to live here.
JANE: Well, hopefully I was part of the appeal.
HENDRIX: Mm. Did she mention any other reason?
JANE: Other reason... what do you mean?
HENDRIX: Oh, I just want to get to know my housemate.
JANE: Anything I should know about?
HENDRIX: No, no. Absolutely not. It's all sweet.
But Jane looks suspicious as Hendrix walks off.
In the living area, Fay is chatting to Pierce. She remarks how sad Aaron seems about Emmett leaving. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Chloe remarks on how distracted Nicolette seems. Nicolette claims she's missing her friends in Canberra; she doesn't have any here.
CHLOE: Yes, you do. You've got all of us. You're a regular Ramsay Street local, now.
Fay is looking at some baby clothes that Pierce has bought, and Chloe hits the roof, assuming they're for their own unborn baby.
CHLOE: We haven't even got the test results back yet, and you're off buying onesies like everything's normal?!
PIERCE: They're a present for Lisa's baby. I got them to give to her from all of us.
CHLOE: ... Lisa, yeah. Sorry.
Chloe gets tearful.
CHLOE: Wow, I must be pregnant - cos look at me, I'm all over the shop. Sorry.
Everyone looks awkward.
The Sonya Wall
Ned comes out of the community centre with a box of supplies and looks at the Sonya Wall, as Paul appears. He pesters Ned about whether he's going to meet the agreed completion date for the art hub. Ned assures Paul that he will, and that he's been drumming up business with local creatives. But Paul is annoyed that he hasn't kickstarted the digital campaign they agreed on yet.
NED: I was thinking, would you mind if we kept a bit of the space free initially?
PAUL: Why on earth would free space be a good idea?
NED: Cos I could use some for my personal exhibition.
PAUL: Oh, and miss out on paying clients?
NED: Well, temporarily.
PAUL: No, absolutely not! (...) Ned, we need customers - remember them? Customers are the people that make you and, more importantly, me money. You got that?
Paul wanders off. Ned looks up at Sonya for solace, but none is forthcoming!
Jane is at a table when Nicolette comes in and joins her. Jane asks if everything is okay at No 24, mentioning that Hendrix was asking questions about her earlier.
NICOLETTE: Like what?
JANE: Nothing specific, just... what have you done?
NICOLETTE: Oh, here we go - singing your favourite tune. Want me to clap along? (!)
JANE: Well, you weren't very happy when you cancelled lunch, and, well, I can just tell that something's up.
NICOLETTE: So you go to your default position - Nicolette's done something wrong.
Nicolette tells Jane that Hendrix is 'a teenage boy with too many hormones fogging up his brain', and says the only problem is that she's been butting heads with Pierce.
JANE: ... I know that you haven't always felt comfortable confiding in me. But if you needed someone to talk to, I'm happy to offer a friendly, discreet ear.
NICOLETTE: Thanks, Mum. But really, I'm fine.
Nicolette goes on her way.
David has summoned Aaron to the tram for a chat.
DAVID: I owe you an apology. You're just as upset about Emmett. And I would've noticed that if I wasn't so focused on myself. You were just trying to help me, at a time when I should be trying to help you, with everything that's going on with your mum. I'm sorry.
AARON: It's okay, I forgive you. But you have to promise me something, though (...) that this won't be the last time we go through this. Fostering is always going to be an emotional roller-coaster, but we need to ride it together.
DAVID: I'm not sure that I'm ready to go through another placement just yet, though.
Aaron agrees some time out could be good, so suggests that they go away for a break - and take Fay with them, to spend a bit of time with her. David seems keen on this idea. They smile at each other.
Ned is back with Kyle again.
NED: You know, I remembered today how good it felt to see everyone's reaction to Sonya's mural.
KYLE: That's cos you did a bang-up job, mate.
NED: Yeah. Cos it had meaning. You know, it connected to people. That's why, my show, wherever it is, I want it to follow on from that. Portraits of the Erinsborough community, past and present.
KYLE: Plenty of characters to pick from!
NED: Yeah, exactly. And I want to paint them where they're known, you know? Like your gran behind the bar in The Waterhole.
KYLE: Oh, she'd love that! She'd even straddle the bar if you wanted her to.
Kyle straddles the plank of wood he's sanding down to demonstrate, and poses on it.
KYLE: What do you reckon? You could draw me like one of your French girls.
Harlow turns up, and Kyle leaps off the plank, embarrassed. She's come to assess the sustainability of the new hub, at Paul's instruction. Ned says he doesn't have time for it as he's too busy; so Harlow offers to help out instead. She goes inside to ask Kyle what she can do.
Meanwhile, Ned gets a Fandangle message from Scavenger_King35, which says, 'I'll offer you $1000 for that completely nude photo.' He looks tempted.
Pierce is telling Fay about a new resort his friend has just opened in the Whitsundays, which is fully accessible; this is apparently where David and Aaron are proposing to take her for a couple of weeks. Chloe seems conflicted about Fay going away on holiday with Aaron, since she's here to spend time with Chloe.
FAY: You've got a lot to think about at the moment, sweetheart. It wouldn't hurt for me to get out of your hair.
Chloe explains that Nicolette (who is listening from the kitchen with Hendrix) won't need to go, as David will be able to help Aaron care for Fay.
NICOLETTE: I wouldn't want to crash a family holiday if I'm not needed.
HENDRIX: Who'd turn down a luxury holiday so they could stay here?
Chloe asks Fay what she thinks about Nicolette going with her; Fay says she's sure that the boys can handle things. Chloe says she'll call David and Aaron back and tell them the trip is on.
Ned is telling Kyle about the generous offer for the nude photo. Kyle is confused about why anyone would pay such big money when they can find free smut online. Ned is tempted to accept, as he could put the money from the photo straight into hiring an exhibition space.
KYLE: Come on, mate - totally nude? Once that's out there on the internet, you can never take it back. Trust me.
NED: No, this is different.
KYLE: How? That video of me and Amy - who knows how many people have seen me starkers, and worse. It feels gross, and it never goes away.
NED: Yeah, but I am one hundred percent protecting my privacy. I'm not recognisable in any of these photos, and I use a pseudonym. Plus, this guy doesn't live here.
KYLE: Well, you don't know that.
Ned calls out to Harlow, and asks her if it's possible to trace someone's location from a direct message. She says yes, if he has their IP address.
KYLE: If it's money you need, there are other ways. Mate, is this really worth it?
In the kitchen, Hendrix tells Chloe he thinks it's weird that Nicolette's not going on the holiday with Fay, given she's her live-in nurse. Apparently, Pierce has been in Chloe's ear about it too, but she doesn't see what's so confusing about it. Chloe says that Nicolette staying here will be good for both her and Pierce; they can work on getting along without the pressure of Fay being there.
CHLOE: To be honest, I'm grateful to have a nurse around, who I can talk to about medical things. My pregnancy, my health, Mum's health...
HENDRIX: It's a lot.
CHLOE: Yeah. We're lucky to have someone in the house who knows their stuff.
Hendrix decides against saying anymore.
Ned has traced the IP address of his subscriber, and determined that they are in Croatia, telling Kyle that this means everything's fine.
KYLE: Seriously, dude, if you're looking for my blessing, you're not getting it.
NED: Mate, if this gets me one step closer to an exhibition, then I'm okay with some random on the other side of the world having a photo of me.
KYLE: Not sure Yashvi would agree.
NED: How am I meant to turn down a thousand bucks right now?
KYLE: If you want to make terrible life choices, mate, go for it. I'm not gonna stop ya.
As Kyle walks off, Paul turns up, and says it's good to see things progressing. Paul's brought an updated figure for the studio lease fee Ned is paying him, saying his original price was way too generous. Ned objects that they already agreed on it.
PAUL: Not in writing, though. Ned, I'm not interested in giving you a handout.
NED: We aren't even open yet, Paul.
PAUL: Precisely. And until we have a few clients, I'm missing out.
NED: This is gonna cut into my pay - Paul, I have an exhibition to fund!
PAUL: Not my concern (...) This is about you understanding the realities of business, alright? You're never gonna get anywhere living in the dreamland of a failed artist.
Paul walks off, and Ned screws up the paperwork in frustration. He looks over at the table where his camera is sitting...
Nicolette confronts Hendrix about him asking Jane questions about her. She tells him to address any further questions to her directly.
NICOLETTE: We do live under the same roof.
HENDRIX: For now.
NICOLETTE: And you can drop the attitude. I've already told you, I'm not into Chloe.
HENDRIX: Says the one who just gave up a luxury holiday so she could hang out with her.
NICOLETTE: You're being childish.
HENDRIX: Hey, Nicolette, I figure with Fay being gone for a while, you won't have to be chained up to the house so much. You should get out more. Make some friends.
NICOLETTE: Oh, thank you for your advice (!)
HENDRIX: Yeah, no worries. I'll be here - any time.
Jane is pleasantly surprised when Nicolette turns up at the door, asking if they can talk about an awkward situation she's got herself into.
NICOLETTE: The long and the short of it is... I've fallen for someone who's unavailable.
NICOLETTE: How'd you guess?
JANE: Mother's intuition, and some simple powers of deduction.
NICOLETTE: I've never met anyone like her. And I know the situation has 'wrong' written all over it.
JANE: You haven't made things easy for yourself.
NICOLETTE: I was coping fine, and then Hendrix kind of caught on.
JANE: Ah, that's what he was trying to suss me out about.
NICOLETTE: I denied it, but I don't think he believes me. And I know I should resign, but then, I can't leave Fay in the lurch like that. And then, I see Chloe, every single day.
JANE: Were you aware of your feelings when you took the job?
NICOLETTE: It's not like I set out to break them up. Though I could see that they had issues. And then I found out she was pregnant...
Jane looks shocked!
NICOLETTE: Which, I totally shouldn't have told you, so please pretend like you don't know.
JANE: No, no, of course.
NICOLETTE: Anyway, I realised I'm an idiot, because they're in love.
JANE: And I'm guessing your feelings for her have only grown stronger.
NICOLETTE: Especially with Fay in the house. I look at Fay, and that's Chloe's future - and I want to protect her from that, but... it's not my place.
JANE: Bravo for admitting that to yourself. Do you think you'll ever get to a point where you'll just see her as a friend?
NICOLETTE: I hope so. I can't go on like this, can I?
JANE: I'm so sorry that this has happened.
NICOLETTE: I was kind of expecting you to blame me for putting myself in this situation.
JANE: No, love makes you crazy! I know that better than anyone.
NICOLETTE: Thank you for not judging me, Mum.
JANE: Honestly, Nicolette - your happiness is all that I'm interested in. I don't know what, but we'll sort something out, together.
Ned closes up the backpackers', goes inside and starts setting up his camera, the voices of naysayers about his artistic career like Paul and Shane ringing in his ears, as he gets undressed.
PAUL (voiceover): Let me get this right - you've thrown away a perfectly good job with a future to become, what, a creative hobo?
SHANE (voiceover): Well, if you need to be forced to do it, mate, then maybe you're not cut out for it.
Now stripped off completely, Ned looks uncertainly into the camera...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Ned strips again, as we hear Yashvi saying he should do 'whatever it takes' for the money
- Shane struggling with his addiction
- Toadie tells Dipi they have to trust Shane, and says he'll be back for their anniversary
- Richie shows Mackenzie, Susan and Karl the contents of a cake box, which seems to surprise them
- We hear Dipi say, 'there's something he's not telling me'; we see her on the phone looking worried
- Richie saying, 'what if Shane's... in trouble'; we see him finding pills in Shane's bag