- Roxy is whacked on the back of the head by a mystery attacker at the uni
- A skull design ring is found at the scene, which Levi hopes will lead the police to the attacker
- Levi tells Roxy and Kyle they have no security footage or witnesses, so it might be a dead end
- Mackenzie is confronted when she runs into her ex- boyfriend Richie at university
- Hendrix tells Mackenzie that Richie has admitted he's taking the law module because of her
- Brent gets a call from someone named Holden; he ignores it, telling Harlow it's just a wrong number
- Nicolette decides to move back into No 32 to keep Brent company while David and Aaron are away
- Brent gets a text from Holden saying, 'You can't hide forever'
- A scared Nicolette goes into hiding when she hears an intruder rifling through the house
Nicolette continues to hide behind the kitchen door, frightened, as she listens to the sounds of the mystery intruder. She calls Levi on the phone, and quietly tells him that someone has broken in. She says she thinks they've gone into the sunroom, and is hoping they've gone. Suddenly, the back door opens and Nicolette panics - but it's only Brent.
Still on the phone, a shaken Nicolette asks Levi to come over, and ends the call. Brent asks her what's wrong. She explains someone was in the house. He asks if she saw who it was, but she says she was too scared to go in. Brent cautiously opens the door to the kitchen, and the pair see that the house has been ransacked - but the intruder appears to have gone.
Roxy and Kyle are in the garden when Sheila arrives, having just seen Levi running across the road. Kyle explains about the break-in at No 32. Roxy seems upset by the news of what's happened, given her recent mystery attack, but Sheila and Kyle reassure her, saying the main thing is that Nicolette's alright.
In the garden, Harlow has arrived to see Brent, and is concerned to learn about the break-in. Meanwhile, Levi is checking out the back door with Nicolette, to see how the intruder broke in.
HARLOW: It's lucky you've got a police officer as a neighbour.
Brent agrees, but doesn't look convinced! Meanwhile, Nicolette tells Levi that nothing seems to have been taken. He thinks they must have been looking for cash or jewellery, which Nicolette says would've been a waste of time. Levi suggests they must have bailed when they heard Nicolette come in, and says the lock on the sunroom door was broken; he'll get it tested for fingerprints.
Levi and Nicolette come over to join Harlow and Brent.
LEVI (to Brent): Anything else you remember, mate, before I head off?
BRENT (defensive): No, cos I didn't see anything!
NICOLETTE: Are you okay?
BRENT: Yeah. I'm fine.
Levi looks a bit suspicious of Brent, but goes to leave. Harlow looks suspicious too.
Eden Hills University
Mackenzie is working in the quad, when Richie appears, and sits down next to her, hoping to start a conversation about the public law module they're both doing.
RICHIE: How's it goin'? ... What, you can't even say hello? (...)
MACKENZIE: I know your plan. You only signed up for this class so you could be in my orbit again.
RICHIE: Hendrix spilled, huh?
MACKENZIE: You can take whatever subject you want. I can't control that. But I can decide who I hang around with, and... that's not you.
RICHIE: I'm hearing you. Loud and clear. There's just one tiny problem - we've been teamed up to work together.
RICHIE: We've been paired on the defamation assignment.
MACKENZIE: Oh, you've got to be kidding me.
RICHIE: The list is outside the lecture hall. I thought you would've seen it. And before you ask... I didn't do this. But if it is making you feel uncomfortable, I can ask the tutor for a swap.
MACKENZIE: Yeah. Yeah, that'd be good, thank you.
Accepting this, Richie gets up to leave, but Mackenzie thinks twice.
MACKENZIE: Wait, hold on... I don't want to take our relationship issues to our tutor and look like a flake.
RICHIE: So, what do you want me to do, then?
MACKENZIE: We'll make it work. As long as you know that this isn't going to lead to any regular hangs. This is strictly until the assignment's finished. Okay?
RICHIE: Cool. Do you... wanna catch up later, and get started?
MACKENZIE (coolly): I'll text you when I'm free.
As Richie leaves, Mackenzie looks conflicted.
Roxy is in the garden when Levi returns. He reports that Nicolette is okay after the break-in. Roxy and Levi walk over to join Kyle, who is watering the garden. Levi explains they'll know in a day or so if they've managed to get any useful fingerprints; as the intruder didn't take anything, it's a low priority for the lab.
ROXY: Low priority? Nicolette was absolutely terrified.
LEVI: Well, obviously we're gonna be working on it from different angles.
ROXY: You'd better be. You need to catch this creep.
LEVI: Yeah, Rox, that's the plan. But without forensics or CCTV footage, it could be a bit difficult.
ROXY: Okay, so, what, you're just gonna brush off Nicolette's case as a lost cause, like you did with mine?
LEVI: Rox, I am doing everything that I can within reason to find your guy. But we have a lot of other cases that need our attention too.
Roxy says, in that case, Levi should give her a picture of the skull design ring, and she'll look into it herself. Kyle supports this suggestion, so Levi reluctantly agrees.
Brent and Harlow are cleaning up the mess the intruder left, while Nicolette is on the phone to David in Adelaide. We hear him say that he and the Brennans are all 'hanging on in there' in the wake of Fay's death.
DAVID: How's it all going at home? How's Brent?
NICOLETTE: ... Yeah, we're all good.
DAVID: Is that code for, 'I'm dying being a temporary parent. Come home, please!'?
NICOLETTE: No, no - all good here. By the way, though, the lock on the sunroom door is broken.
DAVID: What? How?
NICOLETTE: I dunno. I'll have Kyle come over and fix it, though. So, just make sure you take care of everyone there for me.
Nicolette ends the call, and admits to Harlow and Brent that she didn't want to tell David about the break-in, as it's the last thing he and Aaron need when on their way to the funeral. Harlow reminds Brent that they're heading to a homeless shelter shortly to hand out the blankets he's been making. Harlow goes to wait for him in the car.
Once she's gone, Nicolette notices Brent looking at the knives in the kitchen, but when she asks what he's looking at, he replies, 'Nothing.'
NICOLETTE: Hey, do you think whoever was here was maybe looking for you?
BRENT (rattled): What do you mean?
NICOLETTE: Maybe it was one of those guys who hurt you. The ones who made you want to keep a knife on yourself for protection?
BRENT: No, no. They would've gone a lot harder. They wouldn't be scared off.
NICOLETTE: Maybe we should tell Levi, just in case.
BRENT: No. Don't. They don't know where I live, otherwise they would've showed up by now (...) Don't worry about them. This had nothing to do with them.
Nicolette seems to take Brent's word for it.
Sheila and Shane are working behind the bar when Roxy comes in. She's printed out flyers with a picture of the skull ring that was found at the site of her attack, asking for people to call on the phone if they know its owner. Shane suggests Roxy might be better leaving all this to Levi.
At this point, Terese appears and joins the conversation, as Sheila complains of the 'real crime spree' they've been seeing.
SHEILA: We'd better start changing our locks and beefing up our own security.
SHANE: Okay, come on, we can't let this shake us up too much.
ROXY: Easy for you to say. If there's one thing that the attack taught me it's that sometimes we are on our own.
Sheila agrees, saying they all need to protect themselves. Roxy tells Shane that he should check on Harlow and Mackenzie at the uni, to make sure they're safe.
SHANE: Okay, I will, but -
SHEILA: No ifs or buts. This is serious business, Shane. We all need to watch out for each other.
The Flamingo Bar
Hendrix meets Mackenzie in the new bar, and is impressed with the place.
HENDRIX: It's a great place to come and 'fla-mingle'... Come on, that was good - that was funny!
Mackenzie tells Hendrix about her being paired with Richie for the uni assignment. Hendrix says he's sorry that Richie's not getting the hint.
HENDRIX: Between him and Brent, it's like, 'Read the room, desperados'.
Mackenzie tells Hendrix not to give Brent any 'brain space' if he's getting to him; that's what she's trying to do with Richie. Hendrix thinks Brent should stop bothering Harlow with the tutoring etc, as she's 'out of his league'. Mackenzie goes quiet, and Hendrix soon realises why - Harlow and Brent are in fact now an item. Hendrix looks devastated.
MACKENZIE: I'm sorry.
Harlow and Brent are discussing plans for distributing the blankets to homeless shelters.
HARLOW: So, if we go to Anson's Corner first, then we could hit East Waratah?
BRENT: No. I reckon we just do Anson's Corner, then maybe... Waratah Heights.
HARLOW: But we don't know anyone running a shelter there, and East Waratah's got more people.
Nicolette brings drinks over, and agrees that East Waratah seems like the logical choice. But Brent is curiously against going to East Waratah, claiming they won't have enough blankets for everyone there. Harlow looks suspicious again, but agrees to Brent's alternative plan. Brent goes to the bathroom.
NICOLETTE: Is it just me, or did that seem a little weird?
HARLOW: Yeah. That was really weird. But... I mean, he'd know better.
Hendrix comes in.
HENDRIX: So, you and Brent.
HARLOW: I don't owe you an explanation.
HENDRIX: It's not gonna last, you know.
NICOLETTE: Hendrix, you should probably just leave it.
HENDRIX: You're doing it again; you're hooking up with a guy that needs you to fix him, or make him better by being with you.
HARLOW: Excuse me?!
HENDRIX: If you couldn't fix me, Harlow, you're not gonna fix a psycho like Brent. Just don't say I didn't warn you.
Harlow looks conflicted as Hendrix leaves.
Eden Hills University
Richie arrives to meet Mackenzie, to work on their project on defamation.
RICHIE: Thanks for getting back to me.
MACKENZIE: Before we start, I... I think we need to set some ground rules.
MACKENZIE: No personal talk. We're here to work, and discuss the case study.
Richie agrees, and they look at the fictional case study example they've been given, which focuses on a corporate sexual harassment suit.
RICHIE (reading): Big multinational company, male-dominated.
MACKENZIE (reading): Most of the work correspondence goes through email. Tony sets up a thread which includes male colleagues only.
RICHIE: It starts off as general office banter, but... it turns to sexual comments about the women in the team.
They both look slightly uncomfortable, as they reflect on the similarities to the scenario that led to their break-up.
MACKENZIE: One of Tony's colleagues makes a comment about Tony's assistant, Maria. And Tony replies with a smile emoji. Months later, when the private thread is revealed to Maria, she...
Mackenzie is getting upset, as the fictional scenario becomes a proxy for her relationship with Richie.
MACKENZIE: She resigns, and leaves the company.
RICHIE: Tony's a knob.
MACKENZIE (tearful): Maria shouldn't have had to quit anything.
RICHIE: Tony knows he did the wrong thing. Keeping the boys happy might've seemed like the easy way out, but... It was stupid.
MACKENZIE (crying): Why didn't you just think?
RICHIE: Honestly... he could come up with a lot of justifications about how he didn't want to make a big deal out of it. Have Maria find out. He thought he was protecting her.
MACKENZIE: Do you really believe that?
RICHIE (sadly): Now, no. At the end of the day, nothing excuses what I did. I lost my best friend. I might not deserve it, but... I wish she'd just accept my apology.
Mackenzie looks conflicted.
Sheila can be seen in the background putting up one of Roxy's flyers, while Levi is chatting to Nicolette. Levi admits Roxy's not his biggest fan right now, as he hasn't figured out who attacked her yet.
But as for the No 32 break-in, Levi tells her they've just picked up a guy in Anson's Corner doing a break-and-enter 'with the exact same MO'. Levi thinks it's the same guy, as they clocked his registration plate leaving Erinsborough shortly after the No 32 break-in.
LEVI: He's a crusty old crim, been doing it on and off for years.
The crim is being held at the station, Levi says, meaning Nicolette and Brent can sleep easy tonight. She thanks him.
Eden Hills University
Shane runs into Mackenzie in the quad. He says he's come to get a book from the library, but asks if she feels safe here - explaining about the break-in at No 32, and that Roxy wanted him to check in on Mackenzie and Harlow, given she's still spooked about her own attack. Mackenzie says she's fine.
Shane offers to walk her home, but she says someone else is doing the honours - pointing to Richie, who's nearby.
SHANE: You talking to him now?
MACKENZIE: Only as assignment partners... and maybe friends. Richie knows that what he did was wrong. He really gets it.
SHANE: If you say so.
MACKENZIE: I do. I'll see you at home.
As Mackenzie and Richie leave, Shane goes over to join Roxy and Kyle, who are putting up the skull ring flyers around the campus. Roxy reports that no-one has come forward yet, but that once she's finished putting up the flyers she's going to start interviewing students here.
ROXY: Someone has to recognise this ring.
KYLE: We hope.
ROXY: I don't care if I have to talk to the whole campus. I was attacked, and the police have already moved on. Maybe this is what it will take to get some justice around here.
Kyle gives Shane a look as if to say he's not sure Roxy's efforts will pay off, then they get back to putting up the flyers.
Mackenzie and Richie come in and sit down together. Richie looks slightly awkward being back here, particularly as Dipi is watching him from the counter. She asks Hendrix, who is nearby...
DIPI: Am I seeing things?
HENDRIX: Oh, they have an assignment together.
DIPI: Okay, and?
HENDRIX: Don't ask me.
Hendrix goes to sit at the window bench, while Richie feels so uncomfortable under Dipi's gaze that...
RICHIE: You know what? I shouldn't be here. I'm gonna go.
MACKENZIE: You don't have to.
RICHIE: I know. It's... it's alright. I, umm... let's catch up tomorrow. When we've had a chance to look at those deposition questions.
Richie bids farewell to Hendrix on his way out, then Hendrix comes over to join Mackenzie.
HENDRIX: You didn't seem mad at him.
MACKENZIE: Doing the assignment together led to a good chat. We cleared the air.
HENDRIX: Huh. So, you *do* want to be friends with him now?
MACKENZIE: Theoretically, yes. That would be nice. I think. I mean, I know we all make mistakes. And we used to get on really well together. Have you spoken with Harlow?
HENDRIX: It went terribly. As usual.
MACKENZIE: Do you still love her? Or is this more about hating Brent?
HENDRIX: All of the above.
MACKENZIE: Love is the worst.
MACKENZIE: It's lucky we've got each other. I promise that I will never, ever love you!
HENDRIX: For as long as you live?
MACKENZIE: I do!
They 'pinky swear' on it, and laugh.
Nicolette tells Brent and Harlow the news from Levi that the intruder has been found, having been picked up in Anson's Corner for a similar crime.
BRENT (rattled): Did they tell you who it was?
NICOLETTE: Apparently some career crim who's been knocking about for years, giving the police grief.
BRENT (relieved): Really? Figured it was some young dude (...) Thank god that's dealt with, then!
NICOLETTE: I know, we can rest easy tonight. So I'm gonna crash. So whatever you lovebirds are getting up to, just make sure you keep the volume down, okay?
Brent and Harlow smile awkwardly as Nicolette goes to bed. Once she's gone...
BRENT: We've got the whole place to ourselves. What do you feel like doing?
HARLOW: Oh, you've unwound suddenly!
BRENT: Yeah. The whole break-in thing was on my mind. But it's sorted out now.
HARLOW: Scared he'd come back?
BRENT: Yeah, that, or... figured my karma had come back, or something.
HARLOW: You don't have bad karma. You don't, okay? You've built such a great life here. You're safe.
BRENT: Well... do you... maybe want to stay the night, or something?
HARLOW: That is definitely happening.
She grabs his hand, and leads him to the bedroom...
The next morning, Hendrix finds Mackenzie waiting by Harlow's car for a lift to uni. She says she had to convince Shane he didn't need to give her a lift this morning, as the break-in has everyone rattled.
HENDRIX: It's not like Harlow to keep you waiting. She loves punctuality.
MACKENZIE: I'm sure she's coming.
At this point, Brent and Harlow come out of No 32, hand-in-hand - he's asking her if she enjoyed breakfast. Hendrix's face drops.
MACKENZIE: I'm sorry. I know it hurts.
HENDRIX: Oh, whatever. I've stopped caring.
MACKENZIE: Not even a smidge of that sentence was true.
HENDRIX: It will be. Eventually.
Hendrix and Mackenzie both get notifications on their phones, and check them.
HENDRIX: Yeah, me too.
Hendrix goes on his way.
Levi is hanging out the washing in the garden, as Sheila explains to him and us why Hendrix and Mackenzie just got messages from her.
SHEILA: I have been thinking about what I could do, you know, as Erinsborough's crone, and captain of industry, about keeping the neighbourhood safer.
LEVI: Is that what they're calling you now, Gran?
SHEILA: Yes, and they have for many years. Now, self-defence is wonderful, but we need to watch each other's backs. And so I have started this virtual neighbourhood watch, see? I've started this group chat, invited all the neighbours, and now we can all be informed about what's happening in the street.
LEVI: Isn't that what the pub's for, Gran?
SHEILA: I am trying to protect the citizens of Erinsborough, thank you very much.
Sheila heads indoors to make pancakes, as Kyle and Roxy emerge.
ROXY: Why is Mama Jugs so cheery?
LEVI: Ah, she's starting this neighbourhood vigilante group chat.
Roxy reports that no-one at the uni has recognised the skull ring yet, but she's hoping others will see the flyers today.
A loved-up Brent and Harlow are still outside No 32. Brent's due to start fixing the mural wall at the uni, and asks Harlow if she wants to meet up in the quad later. She says she'd like that. Mackenzie shouts to her from the car to hurry up, and the girls leave together.
Meanwhile, Brent finds an envelope on the steps outside the house, with his name on it. He looks worried.
Levi is in the garden with Roxy and Kyle. He tells them to be prepared for the fact that their search for her attacker could lead to a dead end.
ROXY: Why are you being so negative?
LEVI: I'm sorry. It's just my experience talking.
KYLE: Babe, none of us want you to be disappointed if this doesn't lead anywhere.
LEVI: And sometimes, we just don't get the justice we deserve.
ROXY: So, what, you're saying that I should just give up too now? And never know what happened?
Brent opens the envelope and removes its contents. It's a skull ring, identical to the one found at the site of Roxy's attack. Brent looks scared, and glances around to ensure no-one's watching...
Coming up on Neighbours
- There's a medical emergency at the school, with Karl tending to an unknown patient
- At the hospital, Levi asks Karl why he was at the school; Hendrix looks worried
- Hendrix tells Karl, 'I believe you. But do you think everyone else will?'
- Karl says to Susan, 'The look in her eyes - she was afraid of me'