- Nicolette overhearing David and Aaron admit they don't trust her
- Roxy unwittingly picking death cap mushrooms to use in a gravy
- Kyle serving the poison mushroom gravy to a food comp judge
- The judge falling ill and vomiting not long afterwards
- Yashvi informing Hendrix and Paul that Harlow has been kidnapped
- Harlow struggling to escape from the chains she's been locked up in
- Kane telling Yashvi that he didn't kidnap Harlow
While Paul, Terese and Hendrix are waiting for any news on Harlow, they try and think who else besides Kane would have motive to take her. Paul has an inkling it could have something to do with one of Hendrix's lowlife gambling pals, but Hendrix takes umbrage at this.
HENDRIX: I'm not exactly the shadiest character in her life, Paul. What about her psychopathic old man?
TERESE: He's right, we do need to consider all the options.
PAUL: No, Robert has absolutely nothing to gain from this.
HENDRIX: What about all the people with grudges against you, Paul? It's not exactly a small list.
PAUL: You can try and weasel your way out of the blame all you like, but right now everything points to the criminals that you brought onto our street.
HENDRIX: I'm not trying to weasel out of anything.
Terese interrupts and tells them both to quit it; none of this back and forth bickering is productive. Chloe appears and says she agrees with Terese. Paul asks what she's doing there and Chloe explains that since it happened in her house, it's her responsibility, so she's there to help.
Roxy and Kyle pick up coffees and snacks for the crew that are going out to search for Harlow that night. They bump into Toadie and ask if he's keen to help. Toadie says he would love to but he has to look after the kids. He asks where they're searching and Roxy says she stalked all of Kane's socials to get clues. Toadie then confirms that Kane has already been cleared of the kidnapping, but Roxy adds that while Kane may have an alibi that doesn't mean he wasn't involved in some way. Kyle sees Levi walk in and asks if there's been any updates, but Levi says they've had no luck yet. When Levi finds out about the search party he can't help but ask Kyle if he'll get enough rest to be ready for tomorrow.
TOADIE: What's tomorrow?
LEVI: The final list for Erinsborough's Best Dish comp is being announced.
TOADIE: Oh, of course.
LEVI: And Kyle's one of them, which means you're absolutely going to get smashed with customers.
KYLE: Right now that's the last thing on my mind.
ROXY: We are thinking about Harlow and what she's going through.
Kyle reassures Roxy they're going to find her.
Nicolette listens in while David gets off the phone and informs Aaron that the police don't have any new suspects for Harlow's case. David hunts around for his keys to #22 because Paul wants him to let Yashvi inside to search Harlow's room. Nicolette points out where they are near the door and asks if there's anything she can do, but David bluntly replies that she's already done enough. Aaron says that while David's out, he'll go down to The Shed and have a chat to people there since Kane used to be a member. Aaron figures that Kane still must have something to do with the kidnapping.
Hendrix wonders if The Restoration Order might have had something to do with it. Chloe doesn't know what the motive would be, but Hendrix baselessly suggests they might have wanted to replace Prue with her daughter. Paul leaps up when he sees Levi walk in and demands to be allowed to talk to Kane.
LEVI: Excuse me?
PAUL: He knows where Harlow is. Now, you may be too politically correct to get information out of him, but I'm not.
LEVI: Okay, mate, you know that's not legal right?
HENDRIX: Hang on, if anyone's going to talk to Kane it's me.
PAUL: Don't be stupid.
HENDRIX: If Kane did this it's because of me.
PAUL: Which is exactly why you need to stay out of it.
HENDRIX: Paul you're not the only one that's freaking out!
Terese steps in yet again to break up their petty bickering and points out that neither of them will be speaking to a man in police custody. Levi says he knows what it's like to just sit around and wait, but they just have to trust them to do their job. Paul retorts that he doesn't know how he's supposed to trust them when "you can't even get a confession out of the idiot who did this". But Levi just suggests they all go home and get some rest.
The next day, Nicolette meets up with one of the people she gambled with, Natasha. Nic hopes she hasn't been an inconvenience to the woman's morning routine, but Natasha holds up a lanyard and says it was part of her delivery route anyway. Nicolette says she wanted to chat and see how well Natasha knows Kane, and also to let her know about Harlow's kidnapping. Natasha is surprised and Nicolette tells her that Hendrix is in massive debt to Kane and they think he might have taken Harlow.
NICOLETTE: Her family are beside themselves and would do anything to get her back. Is there anyone that you know that might have helped Kane take her?
NATASHA: No, like I said, I barely know the guy. I couldn't tell you who his friends were if my life depended on it.
NICOLETTE: No worries it was a long shot anyway.
NATASHA: I'm so sorry. I wish I could help, she sounded like a really sweet kid.
NICOLETTE: You know her?
NATASHA: Um, yeah, Hendrix couldn't shut up about her when we were talking. She's strong, smart, ambitious; sounded way out of his league.
NICOLETTE: That's Harlow.
Natasha checks the time and tells Nicolette she has to get back to work, but if she thinks of anything useful she'll let her know.
Natasha gets out of her white van and walks towards a big blue shed near the boat ramps. Harlow is startled awake when Natasha walks inside and cheerfully calls out good morning. Harlow asks who she is, but Natasha says she doesn't need to worry about that little fact. Natasha passes her the iced coffee and bagel she bought from Harold's and tells her not to worry about that either, "it's not drugged or anything creepy like that". Harlow doesn't understand why she's been targeted, but Natasha calmly says she's got nothing to be concerned about. She tells the teen her family is worried sick and if everything goes to plan, it'll be over before she knows it.
Paul sits with David and double checks with Roxy that she didn't find anything useful in her search last night. But Roxy reiterates that the search was a bust. Paul starts to get upset and says they should have found her by now, the longer she's missing the more dire the outcome. They perk up when Levi walks in, but he has to tell them he's not there on police business, only to pick up some food. But things quickly take a turn when Terese rushes inside holding a letter. She tells them she found a note at the house telling them that Harlow's safe, but the kidnapper wants money in exchange for her return. Terese is just about to pass Paul the note when Levi stops her, not wanting anyone else's fingerprints on the evidence.
LEVI: I'm going to need you to bring that letter and the envelope to the station to get tested.
TERESE: Yes, of course.
PAUL: How much does it say they want?
TERESE: A million.
PAUL: All right, well when do they want it paid?
LEVI: Wait, sorry, are you actually thinking of paying this?
PAUL: Yeah of course I am!
LEVI: Giving into ransom demands only makes it more likely they'll pick somebody else to do it to.
PAUL: I don't care who he takes next, I just want Harlow home.
ROXY: I hate to say it but Harlow wouldn't want this to happen to anyone else.
Terese tells Levi to go ahead with the tests, but to please do it as fast as he can.
Harlow hasn't touched the food or drink that Natasha gave her. Natasha says she has to get back to work, and has her fingers crossed it will be the last time she has to say that. She asks if Harlow will be okay on her own, and Harlow can't help but wonder what would happen if she said no. Natasha huffs out a humourless laugh and agrees that it's not like she's about to let Harlow roam free and leave.
NATASHA: Don't worry, I will let you go the second your granddad pays up.
HARLOW: What did he do to you?
NATASHA: Paul Robinson? Nothing. I don't even know the guy.
HARLOW: Then why are you doing this to us?
NATASHA: Because I'm sick of being broke.
HARLOW: So this is just about the money?
NATASHA: Oh hon, 'just about money'? Geez, you really do have it easy don't you? I have three casual jobs and nothing to show for it. I'm never going to be able to afford my own place, I don't even know if I'll be able to afford to have a baby.
HARLOW: I'm sorry.
NATASHA: I didn't plan to be the type of person who kidnaps teenage girls, you know? For a while I thought that blackjack might be a good way to make a bit of extra money. Get myself some cash on the side, but I just lost more than I won. Then the universe dropped a little rich boy, with a little rich girlfriend, and a very rich grandfather into my lap and I just thought... why the hell not?
HARLOW: What if granddad doesn't pay you?
NATASHA: Let's hope we don't have to find out.
This doesn't fill Harlow with much confidence.
David and Aaron look on as Chloe wakes up Hendrix, who has been sleeping on the couch. Hendrix asks if Harlow has been found and Chloe lets him know about the ransom note. He asks if it was addressed to him, but Chloe says it was meant for Paul. They want him to pay a million dollars by the end of the day. David tells Hendrix that Paul is keen to pay it but the police want to get fingerprints off the note first. Nicolette slinks into the kitchen while they're talking. Hendrix says the kidnapping mustn't be about him then, they must have beef with Paul. Chloe says they can't make assumptions about anything yet, and Aaron adds that the kidnapper might have just realised they'd get a quicker payout from Paul than Hendrix.
HENDRIX: It doesn't make sense. Nobody at those games knew I had a girlfriend.
NICOLETTE: (alarmed) What?
HENDRIX: I made sure I didn't mention Harlow because I didn't want her anywhere near this.
NICOLETTE: And what about the other players, you didn't say anything to them?
NICOLETTE: And what about Jay?
HENDRIX: He wouldn't say anything. Kane didn't even know we knew each other. I swear, nobody at those games knew about Harlow.
Nicolette looks very troubled by this newfound information.
Toadie comments on how tired Kyle looks and asks how long he stayed out looking for Harlow last night. Kyle replies that it was late, but then Roxy couldn't sleep when they got home so he stayed up with her the rest of the night. Toadie suggests Kyle head home for a nap, but Kyle says he has to get to the tram since there's no one else to cover for him. So Toadie then volunteers as tribute and tells Kyle he's going to be his helper for the day.
Nicolette keeps herself hidden when Natasha walks in and heads to the bar. Turns out, Nicolette had placed a food order for Natasha to pick up as part of her delivery job, but then cancels it at the last second. A very frustrated Natasha gets a phone call from her employer letting her know the job has been cancelled, and Nicolette now has an opportunity to stealthily keep tabs on her.
Natasha gets out of her van holding a baseball bat. Nicolette hides behind one of the buildings after trailing Natasha to the dock, then follows her to the blue shed. Inside, Harlow has somehow unlocked the chains that were binding her wrists together, and is now trying to unlock the ones around her ankles. Natasha is upset and angry and hovers menacingly over Harlow with the bat. Natasha can't believe Harlow is treating her like "Hannibal Lecter" after she tried so hard to make life easier for the teen with the food and blankets she provided. Harlow tearfully says she won't cause her anymore trouble and Natasha says she knows Harlow won't, "because if you do, you will never get out of here - not with your knees anyway". Nicolette has been watching this all unfold through the window and is petrified about what she's witnessed and what she should do next.
Toadie finds Kyle taking a break out the back and says he forgot how exhausting hospitality can be. Kyle is just about to call Roxy for an update on Harlow when he gets a text from one of his casuals about the food competition. The casual heard from his mum, who knows one of the judges from the comp, and found out they picked up gastro from a dish they sampled. Therefore the finalists won't be announced today anymore. Kyle then says they should prep food for tonight. He asks Toadie to make some kangaroo pies for him using the leftover mushroom gravy he has.
Nicolette makes a phone call to the cops, letting them know Natasha's the culprit and to hurry. "She hasn't hurt Harlow yet but she's threatening to," Nicolette adds before hanging up. Harlow now has her wrists bound together again and is struggling to move while Natasha tries to tie her to a chair. Natasha yells at Harlow to stop kicking her, but Harlow is at her wit's end and kicks her captor in the chest, knocking her down. Unfortunately Natasha is quick to recover and wrestles with Harlow on the ground, putting the teen in a headlock. Nicolette sees the scuffle and places her hand on her belly, not wanting to endanger her baby, but knowing she can't just stand by. It doesn't take long for Nicolette to burst inside the shed and tackle Natasha. She screams at Harlow to make a run for it, which the terrified teen does. Nicolette then grabs the discarded bat and threatens Natasha with it, who cowers and begs Nicolette not to use it. Police sirens can be heard as Harlow keeps running.
Paul has Harlow enveloped in a big hug after her ordeal while Levi looks on with a smile. Levi tells Paul, Terese and David that they have Natasha in custody and she's given them a full confession. They thank him, but Levi says they should be thanking Nicolette - she was the one who called in the tip. David especially is surprised to hear that, but Harlow confirms that Nicolette ran inside like an action hero and saved her life.
Aaron is sitting at a table with Nicolette, trying to wrap his head around the fact that she tracked down a kidnapper on her own. Nicolette knows it was stupid but she didn't want to bother the police in case it was a dud lead. David joins them and Nicolette says he and Aaron have every right to be angry with her for putting the baby's life in danger.
NICOLETTE: I should have just waited for the police.
DAVID: Are you serious? That woman could have killed Harlow if you didn't do exactly what you did.
NICOLETTE: You're not angry?
AARON: No, of course not. Nic, she's safe, you're safe and so is the baby.
DAVID: Thank you for bringing Harlow home.
Nicolette smiles, grateful the boys aren't mad with her.
A short while later, Terese and Paul sit with Harlow at a table after trying to get her to eat something. Harlow admits she thought she'd never see her family again, but Paul says he wouldn't have let that happen. Terese says she must have been terrified and Harlow tells them it was awful.
HARLOW: When I was there I couldn't stop thinking about the mineshaft and Finn.
TERESE: Oh Harlow...
HARLOW: (upset) I thought she was just going to leave me there to die like he did. And that nobody was going to be able to find me.
PAUL: Darling I will never let anything like that happen to you again.
HARLOW: I know. It wasn't your fault.
Hendrix suddenly rushes in, with Chloe not far behind. He's excited to see Harlow, but Terese says he probably shouldn't be there, which Chloe agrees with, saying he should give everyone space. Paul's also not keen on having Hendrix there, but Harlow says it's fine.
HENDRIX: Are you okay? Did she hurt you?
HARLOW: Do you know what I've been through because of you?
HENDRIX: It's all my fault. I'm so sorry.
HARLOW: Save it.
HENDRIX: Harlow, I...
HARLOW: Just go.
Hendrix looks upset but does as Harlow wishes and leaves.
Roxy happily tells Kyle that she's going to give Harlow "the biggest hug of her life" when she sees her. Kyle gets another text about the Best Dish judge and finds out she's in hospital - not because of gastro, but because she ingested toxins from one of the dishes. Kyle says they'll have to recheck all their ingredients and wants to clarify with Roxy that she got everything from the market. Roxy says she did - except for the mushrooms which she got right there at the back of the tram. Horrified, Kyle tells Roxy they're extremely poisonous death cap mushrooms. He has a slight moment of relief when he realises Roxy didn't get sick after taste testing the gravy. But Roxy sheepishly admits she only pretended to try it because she hates mushrooms.
KYLE: (stressing) I just put more gravy into roo pies!
ROXY: How many did you sell?
KYLE: None, they're in the fridge.
ROXY: Okay, that's good. That means no one has eaten the poisonous gravy.
KYLE: What about Jacinta? I'm going to have to tell them.
ROXY: Won't that get you taken out of the competition? Or a health code violation?
KYLE: At minimum yeah.
ROXY: (cautiously) No one knows it was our dish, right?
ROXY: How about we just get rid of the pies and take it as a freebie?
Kyle agrees, but wants to scrub the kitchen clean so no one else is at risk of being poisoned.
As it turns out, though, Toadie has taken four of the roo pies from the tram without Kyle knowing, and brought them over for David and Aaron to eat. He wanted to give them a night off from cooking after all the stress their family has been through. At first they accept, but then David remembers they already have leftovers in the fridge and should probably use them up. That's fine with Toadie - he'll just bring the pies home for him, Nell and Hugo to enjoy.
Ominous music plays over a close up of the poisoned kangaroo pies.