- Amy shows off her new design for the Lassiter's uniform to Paul; he and Terese like it
- Shane and Amy become acquainted; Dipi sees them talking and looks worried
- Nicolette needs a job to pay off Ricardo, Marco's son, for the money she stole
- Dipi turns Nicolette down for a job, but Chloe and Aaron later convince Dipi to give her a chance
- Nicolette thanks Dipi for hiring her, saying she knows she had to have her arm twisted
- Ricardo turns up with a proposal for Nic; he'll write off her debt in exchange for sex
Nicolette is still at the table where she was having her meeting with Ricardo. She looks worried, so Dipi comes over to ask if she's okay. Nicolette says she's fine, but Dipi isn't convinced. However at this point, Chloe comes in, and Dipi leaves them to talk.
CHLOE: How did it go?
NICOLETTE: Uh... it went.
CHLOE: Did he agree to your payment plan?
NICOLETTE: He had some interesting thoughts on how I can repay the debt.
CHLOE: In a good way?
NICOLETTE: Uh, it's definitely a step in the right direction.
CHLOE: Well, that should go in your favour when you appear before the magistrate, right?
NICOLETTE: It could be the difference between a community order or a prison sentence.
Chloe suggests Nicolette go over to The Waterhole and tell Aaron the good news, but Nicolette says she's just about to start a shift, so asks Chloe to tell him. But Dipi intervenes, saying Nic has another half hour before she needs to start. So Nic reluctantly goes with Chloe. Dipi looks concerned as they leave.
In her room, Amy is working on her uniform design with a sewing machine. Terese comes to the door; Amy is excited to show her her progress, but Terese is here because guests in nearby rooms have been complaining about the noise from the sewing machine! Amy's apologetic, but Terese says she will have to finish the uniforms somewhere else. Amy has no idea where, but Terese has a plan...
Chloe, Nicolette and Aaron are at a table. Aaron asks about Nic's meeting with Ricardo, and it's clear she's trying not to lie to Aaron and Chloe but at the same time, she's not revealing Ricardo's indecent proposal to them. When Aaron asks about Ricardo's ideas for the payment plan, Nicolette is evasive.
NICOLETTE: He just wanted to go with a less formal approach to the payment plan.
AARON: But what does that mean? I'm sorry to keep asking you questions. I just need to be completely clear on what's happening with this debt.
NICOLETTE (evasive): I want that too.
Shane, Yashvi and Ned are learning that Dipi has given Nicolette a job.
YASHVI: Did Chloe pressure you into this?
DIPI: No, absolutely not. It was my idea.
Well, not quite, Dipi!
DIPI: But to be honest, giving someone a second chance felt good.
Shane smiles on hearing this.
YASHVI: Fair enough. But if she steps out of line, give her the boot. Or let me know, and I'll handle it.
DIPI: Thank you, Yashvi. I really appreciate your support.
Dipi says they need to start thinking about organising their 'Christmas catch- up', and goes to fetch her phone so they can start making a task list. Ned gets a message from Terese, saying she wants to see him.
SHANE (to Yashvi): It's really good to see you getting on better with your mum.
NED: Yeah. Yeah, I agree.
YASHVI: Yeah, well, Pierce is gone, and Mum's all about the fam, so... feels like we're on the right track.
Toadie is sitting outside Harold's when Nicolette approaches. Toadie's surprised when she tells him that Dipi has given her a job, and even more surprised that Nicolette says she still wants to volunteer for the Sonya Foundation, albeit now needs to juggle her shifts around those at Harold's. Nicolette tells Toadie she wants to make amends, so he says they can sort it out.
TOADIE: Good luck with the job.
As Nicolette leaves, Amy turns up, and sits down with Toadie.
AMY: Let me guess who that was. Redhead, tail between her legs - could it be the infamous Nicolette?
Toadie tells Amy about Nicolette's new job at Harold's, and that she wants to change her shifts at the foundation.
AMY: Did she list 'stealing dead people's money' at the top of her resume?
TOADIE: I know, I know. Well, the foundation needs all the help it can get right now.
AMY: I've been pondering your little conundrum with the fundraiser, and I've got an idea. Let's put on another Full Monty!
TOADIE: Let's not, and say we did!
AMY: But it brought in so much coin. And it was a hoot!
TOADIE: Yeah, I mean, it was a thing of glory.
But Toadie doesn't think it's the right fit for the Foundation, so Amy suggests something 'just as jazzy but a little easier on the eye'! She heads off, promising to give it some thought.
TOADIE: You're awesome, Amy.
AMY: Don't I know it.
Dipi asks Nicolette what really happened at the meeting with Ricardo. Nicolette is reluctant to answer.
DIPI: Look, we're working together, and it's important we're honest with each other.
NICOLETTE: He said he'll drop the debt, but he wants payment in kind (...) He travels to Melbourne on business, and wants someone to keep his bed warm.
DIPI: That's outrageous! What did you say?
NICOLETTE: I was so shocked, I froze up. I told him I had to think it through.
DIPI: Well, does that mean you're actually considering it?
NICOLETTE: No. I would never, ever have sex with a man, especially under these disgusting circumstances.
DIPI: That's clear, then.
NICOLETTE: Crystal. I just have to persuade this pig to agree to my payment plan.
DIPI: Well, that might be hard if the money doesn't matter to him.
NICOLETTE: But it matters to me, though, and Aaron and David.
DIPI: I'm sure the boys will understand. You simply just have to tell them the truth.
NICOLETTE: No, I can't keep going to them with problems. I need them to feel safe with me. I am not going to let this sleaze hold me back. I will fix this.
DIPI: What are you gonna do?
NICOLETTE: I dunno. I literally have nothing of value to offer him.
Ned and Terese are showing Amy around the Hive, which was Terese's idea for where she can do her sewing. Amy is super- excited (arguably more so than the space warrants), and wants to move her work stuff in straight away. Ned offers to help. Conversation turns to the uniform tender.
AMY: Are there any other designers who have caught your eye? Like, anyone I need to kneecap?
TERESE: Well, the applications do close later today, but I'd say you're in a pretty strong position.
Terese says she'll see Amy later for the final pitch. As Terese leaves, Amy does a little almost- victory dance, and tells Ned the uniform tender is going to be huge for her if she gets it. She says she's glad she doesn't have to do her final pitch in front of Terese's 'grouchy business partner' Paul. Ned thinks it prudent to mention that he lives with both of them! But...
NED: Whatever you've said about Paul, I've probably already said it. He does grow on you, though.
AMY: Yeah. So does eczema. But I'll take your word for it!
Chloe and Aaron come in. Chloe remarks that No 24 is looking a bit sad, all locked up and empty, but she isn't sure what to do with it yet. She asks Aaron if he'd mind if she stayed living here for now, and rented out No 24. He says that's fine. Chloe asks if he needs to check with David, but Aaron says David's avoiding the house again, and isn't even taking a dinner break tonight.
CHLOE: I'm sorry. I know it sucks. Baby steps, right? Okay, poor choice of words. Nicolette's making headway, so there is light ahead. It's just gonna take time for David to trust her again.
AARON: Hey, did she seem off to you before?
CHLOE: Meeting Ricardo can't have been much fun, not to mention the way you were grilling her.
AARON: Look, I know she's pregnant with our kid. I don't want to add to her stress, but... I dunno, Chlo. I just feel like more went down than what she's letting on.
Ned, Shane and Toadie are all helping Amy move her work equipment into the Hive. She tells Toadie that she's had new idea for his fundraiser - lip- syncing battles. Toadie thinks it could work, but he's short on time, so Amy offers to organise everything.
AMY: And don't worry. There won't be any lurid mix- up like there was with the Full Monty (...) Lou was supposed to turn the lights off when the guys dropped trou. He didn't get there in time.
TOADIE: Let's just say there was creative use of the hats.
Amy's keen to compete herself, and asks if Toadie will, too.
SHANE: Yeah, go on. You're pretty good with a power ballad and a hairbrush.
TOADIE: It's disturbing that you know that, considering I only do it in the shower. But yes, count me in.
Amy gets a text from the guy who was supposed to be modelling the uniforms for her final pitch to Terese; he's pulled out. Everyone looks at Ned.
NED: No, no, no - I do not do fashion modelling.
TOADIE: What kind of modelling do you do, Ned?
SHANE: Yeah, Ned.
AMY: Please, I have to blow Terese away. I need, need, *need* you on the runway, Ned!
Dipi comes in and thanks Nicolette for covering for her while she ducked home. Nicolette says it's fine; she's got to grips with things. Dipi goes into the office and pulls out the box with the diamond necklace Pierce gave her. She has a flashback to the day she tried to give it back to him, but Pierce told her to keep it.
PIERCE: You can sell it if you want. Whatever helps, or makes you happy.
Back in the present, Dipi looks pensive, then glances over at Nicolette. Yashvi comes in, and finds Dipi looking at the necklace.
DIPI: I need to get it valued. I'm thinking of giving it away to help a friend (...) This person is desperate.
YASHVI: Who is it?
DIPI: I'd rather not say. If I could be more open, I would. But it's a delicate situation; that's why I'm protecting their privacy.
YASHVI: How do you feel about giving it away?
DIPI: I had real feelings for Pierce. Have.
YASHVI: And this is a connection to him.
DIPI: Yeah. I'm sorry, sweetheart. I know that's not what you want to hear.
YASHVI: I suppose you can't force it. Doesn't seem like you're ready to give it up, though.
DIPI: No. I don't think I can right now. But I will.
YASHVI: You know, Uncle Toad needs the money just as much as this other person.
DIPI: ... Yeah, of course. The foundation.
YASHVI: That would be the first cause I'd help out.
In the office, Amy is presenting her final pitch to Terese. Ned appears in her proposal for the men's version.
NED: Amy can be very persuasive.
Amy talks through all the benefits of the outfit, and Terese is impressed, but particularly with the built- in storage pouches on the women's design. Amy gets Ned to show off the equivalent on the men's uniform.
TERESE: So, Ned, as an ex- porter, what do you think?
NED: Well, the old uniforms used to ride up while I was carrying luggage.
AMY: See, the cut and fabric has ease of movement while staying in place. AKA wedgie- proof!
NED: I actually wish I had this when I was working here.
The pitch continues...
The Sonya Wall
Shane is wondering how Amy's pitch is going; Toadie thinks it's a safe bet she'll get the tender. Conversation moves to Yashvi and Dipi, who Shane says are getting along better every day, while his concentration on his own issues also seems to be paying off.
TOADIE: Good on ya, man. I'm proud of you.
Toadie looks wistfully at the 'Merry Christmas, Mummy' sign that Nell and Hugo have placed by Sonya's memorial wall. He looks up at Sonya's face sadly.
SHANE: This lip- sync thing seems like it might be a pretty big production. You sure you're gonna be able to swing it, even with Amy's help?
TOADIE: Yeah. Yeah, it's doable. I just need to find some more volunteers to help with the organisation.
SHANE: Okay. Count me in (...) It's good for me to have some kind of purpose. You'd actually be doing *me* the favour.
Toadie's glad to have him on board, and he's sure Amy will be, too.
SHANE: I like her. I think it'd be really fun to work with her.
TOADIE: I'd be very, very surprised if you didn't have fun.
Nicolette is working when Aaron and Chloe come in.
NICOLETTE: What can I get you guys?
AARON: I want the truth.
AARON: I know you weren't being honest with us when you were talking about your chat with Ricardo.
NICOLETTE: I'm... I wasn't lying.
AARON: Yeah, I'm not saying you're lying, but I know you're hiding something. And unless you fess up, I'm just gonna have to assume the worst.
Chloe tries to fight Nicolette's corner, but Aaron is insistent. At this point Dipi, who has been listening in, intervenes.
DIPI: Nicolette didn't want to say anything, but I think you should both know the truth.
DIPI: No, no, it's okay. We both had a bit of a barney earlier. That's why she's so tense. But don't worry, we sorted it all out.
CHLOE (to Aaron): What did I tell you?
NICOLETTE: See, nothing to stress about.
Aaron buys Dipi's story and apologises to Nicolette for being accusatory.
Amy brings Ned into Terese's office in a different uniform, this one for the hotel drivers, with a belted jacket and a peaked cap.
TERESE: I like it. Although it does remind me of a pilot's uniform.
AMY (worried): I can soften those elements. I already took Paul's advice, and I removed the wings from the jackets (...) and I'm also in talks with a sustainable fabric supplier whose environmental goals align with Lassiter's.
NED: You need me to sashay some more, Terese?
TERESE: No, I've seen enough.
TERESE: And the tender process has closed, and I haven't seen anyone else's work that has jumped out like yours. So, congratulations, Amy! I look forward to doing business with you.
Terese points Amy to a table where a contract is already waiting for her to sign. Amy immediately rushes over to sign it. Terese has to dash to a meeting, leaving Amy to stew in her excitement.
AMY: Pinch me! I just won my first major contract!
She and Ned have just agreed to go for a drink, when Amy gets a message on her phone, and looks worried. She says the drink will have to wait.
AMY: I need to make some phone calls.
NED: Okay. Bad news?
AMY: The worst.
Ned asks if he can help at all. Amy says he can't.
Dipi tells Nicolette that one of her casual staff is moving away, and asks if she'd be interested in doing some extra shifts.
NICOLETTE: Is this a pity thing?
They both laugh, but Dipi says the shifts really do need covering.
DIPI: And you do seem decent enough at your job.
NICOLETTE: Wow, thanks for the glowing review (!) But I'll be here whenever you need.
DIPI: You know, the early weeks of pregnancy can be tough. You don't want to overdo it?
NICOLETTE: Actually, I feel okay (...) And thanks for covering for me before, with Aaron and Chloe. Although I'm not quite sure why you're helping me.
DIPI: ... I know what it's like to face up to your mistakes, and the guilt and shame that goes with that.
NICOLETTE: Does it ever stop?
DIPI: I believe you can make peace with yourself. But it's humbling, and there's no easy way through it.
Dipi says Ricardo has Nicolette in a real bind; she can see why she's not keen for Aaron and David to know about his offer, but thinks that if the situation drags on, Nic should speak up. Nic insists she won't let it drag on; she's just going to stick to her original payment plan offer to Ricardo.
DIPI: And if he refuses?
NICOLETTE: Well, then, I'll have to try even harder. What other option do I have?
Shane calls on Amy in her room, but she's visibly upset, and tells him it's not a good time. He says he'll go, but just wanted to let her know he was willing to help with the lip- sync event.
AMY (tearful): That's really kind of you.
Breaking down in tears, she turns away from him.
SHANE: Did Terese not give you the contract?
AMY (crying): Actually, she did. She was super-impressed. I've signed already.
SHANE: Okay. Congrats. Why aren't you celebrating? Sorry, we don't know each other - but, umm, if you need to talk, I'm happy to listen?
AMY: I don't own the designs - like, technically speaking.
SHANE: Who do they belong to?
AMY: The airline that I used to work for. I mean, they went bust before they could roll them out.
SHANE: So, they've got no use for 'em anymore?
AMY: Yeah, that's exactly what I thought. But now they're back in business, and ready to relaunch. I mean, they're gonna want their designs. And Paul and Terese are gonna want to kill me.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Dipi is disconcerted to find Shane and Amy together at the Hive
- Kyle is back from Germany, and gives Sheila a hug
- Jane suggests to Clive that they should just 'rip the band-aid off'; he asks, 'Really?'
- Jay tells Hendrix that the blackjack game is off until Kane finds another venue
- Hendrix lets Kane into No 24; he remarks, 'Nice place'