- Toadie's been kicked off the Carmello case; he and Melanie think Angela Lane is to blame
- Karl and Paul have a spat with Vera Punt over manure- dumping
- But Melanie admits she's responsible for manure- gate, not Vera
- Levi orders a burger and fries; Nicolette remarks that it's not very keto
- Levi smashes up the billy cart
- Sheila is concerned that Levi will cause himself to have a seizure, but he's not listening
- Harlow thinks Brent's ignoring her, but Terese tells her she's catastrophising
- Harlow goes to The Flamingo Bar to wallow, where Levi offers to buy her a drink
- Levi tells Harlow he's up for anything if she is; 'Bring it on', Harlow replies
Levi comes into the garden with a major hangover, where Sheila starts pestering him about whether he's taken his epilepsy meds. He says he did; he just had too much to drink. Sheila's annoyed that Yashvi didn't look after him last night as she'd promised, but Levi says she wasn't even there once he got going.
SHEILA: Who were you with?
LEVI: ... No-one you'd know.
SHEILA: I know a lot of people, Levi.
LEVI: Look, I meant... I was by myself.
SHEILA: Well, you sounded like you had a herd of elephants with you when you came in last night.
LEVI: Yep. Just me, myself and I.
Sheila goes to make Levi a 'Gary Canning Eye-Opener', a family hangover cure. Levi eyes the remains of the billy cart warily, and Sheila tells him they can put it out with the hard rubbish later, to avoid any further bad memories.
LEVI: I wish it was that easy, Gran.
Sheila decides she'll give it to Toadie instead, to fix up for the kids.
Harlow comes downstairs; she is also hung over. She sighs heavily, then looks troubled, perhaps as if she's remembering something from last night...
Susan and Karl are having breakfast. Susan has a message from Bea, who's headed to Adelaide today on her road trip. Karl laments that he's always wanted to play at the fringe festival at Adelaide.
SUSAN: Yeah, well, Adelaide's loss is our gain (!)
Hendrix comes out of his room. Karl had been planning on suggesting a driving lesson for him today, but wonders if he drank too much last night, saying he got in late.
HENDRIX: If I get home the same day I left, then it's not late.
Karl decides Hendrix can have a lesson, but when Karl opens the front door he finds a note from Melanie, apologising about the 'manure misunderstanding'. He shows Susan - Melanie has bought them a voucher for Juicy Jungle by way of apology!
HENDRIX: Isn't that that trashy lingerie place?
SUSAN (offended): Oh, no, I wouldn't say trashy (...) It's risqué, certainly.
KARL: It certainly makes an inappropriate gift for a relative stranger.
HENDRIX: Well, you guys do have a rep for that kind of thing.
SUSAN (quietly): How much is it for?
KARL (quietly): Hundred dollars.
Susan gets a message which she seems troubled by. Karl asks what's wrong; she says it's just a work email, and sends him and Hendrix out for their driving lesson. They leave, but Susan is now getting a series of further messages. She sighs.
Harlow is crossing the road to talk to Mackenzie, as Karl lectures Hendrix on driving safety - but Hendrix is just eager to get his hands on the keys! They get in the car.
Mackenzie is raving about how good a time she and Hendrix had clubbing last night. Harlow says she's 'happy that you two are in sync', but without much palpable enthusiasm.
MACKENZIE: Have you not heard from Brent?
HARLOW: Uh, no. Not even a text.
Conversation moves to last night, and Harlow is evasive about who she was at The Flamingo Bar with, aside from Yashvi. But the chat is interrupted by Hendrix beeping the car horn and waving to Mackenzie. Karl sternly tells him to get his mind back on the drive!
Susan meets with Angela Lane, and asks why she's been receiving emails from school parents making 'outrageous accusations'.
ANGELA: Because I told them that you and Karl enjoy vandalising people's doorsteps with equine excrement!
SUSAN: But we didn't! We would never stoop that low.
ANGELA: Come on. You and Karl are the only possible culprits.
SUSAN: Angela, we both know there is a list a mile long of people who have a bone to pick with you.
ANGELA: Firstly Karl's horse stable comment, and now your lies! I'm gonna make sure every parent at that school knows exactly what you've done.
SUSAN: We haven't done anything! In fact, you retaliated by putting horse manure on *our* doorstep!
ANGELA: That wasn't retaliation. That was returning goods to their rightful owners.
Susan suggests they call it evens, and move on. But Angela won't accept that. Susan asks what she wants from her, given she doesn't even have kids at the school anymore.
ANGELA: An apology. From Karl.
Susan looks shocked.
Chloe has just bought a coffee, when a still-hung-over Levi comes in, and offers to pay her double the price of the coffee for a sip of it!
CHLOE: Your need is clearly greater than mine.
Chloe gives him the coffee, and orders another, before quizzing him about last night. Levi gets on the defensive.
LEVI: How much did you see?
CHLOE: Clearly less than I could have. But anything you got up to is totally understandable, given a certain second letter of the alphabet.
Levi doesn't get this reference to Bea. Chloe leaves him to sit at a table, but when Harlow comes in, Chloe listens in on her conversation with Levi about last night.
LEVI: It was fun. Maybe a bit too much fun.
HARLOW: Yeah, we did get a little bit carried away.
LEVI: Yeah. Umm... but you're okay, though?
HARLOW: Yeah. But it's probably best if we take it to the grave.
LEVI: (...) Yep. Six feet under.
HARLOW: Good plan.
Chloe looks shocked as she begins to draw conclusions about what they're discussing.
A road somewhere
Hendrix and Karl are mid-driving lesson, and Karl continues to issue strict instructions. Hendrix notes they're low on petrol, and suggests they swing by the petrol station.
KARL: On a weekend? Don't be absurd! Fluctuations in petrol prices are highest when people want to be out the most - weekends and public holidays.
Karl explains that a similar maxim applies to air fares. Hendrix, he says, will have to consider all this when he's self-sufficient. Cars are particularly expensive, says Karl, with insurance, maintenance and rego to consider. Hendrix is disconcerted at the thought of how all this could add up.
KARL: There are ways to save, you know. There are corners to be cut, toothpaste tubes to be squeezed.
HENDRIX: Can you teach me?
KARL: Oh, well, I'd be delighted! Susan always mocks my frugal ways; she forgets how much she benefits from them.
HENDRIX: Okay, Tuesday is petrol day. What else?
KARL: What do you know about coupons?
HENDRIX: Oh, like in Caesar salad?
KARL: No, not croutons - coupons!
Toadie and Melanie come in, with Nell and Hugo - and run into Susan. Melanie asks if she and Karl got her 'little present' earlier.
SUSAN (awkward): Yes, yes, I did - you really shouldn't have.
MELANIE: No trouble at all. Unless that's your thing, of course. Strict schoolma'am and naughty schoolboy...
TOADIE: No, no - stop.
Taking Toadie's hint, Melanie goes to get a table with the kids, while Toadie thanks Susan for being polite about the present, conceding that Mel can be 'a lot', as Susan puts it.
TOADIE: I know Karl's still a bit frosty on her after the manure wars, so I was hoping that you'd be able to have a word with him?
SUSAN: You really do care about her, don't you?
TOADIE: Yeah, well - I'm having fun, and the kids like her. Even if they did find out about us sooner than what I'd hoped (...) My gut says that this is a good thing. Better than good.
Susan considers, then tells Toadie not to worry about Karl - she'll make sure he comes around.
Chloe is sharing her suspicions with Mackenzie and Sheila - namely, that Harlow and Levi slept together last night. Sheila points out that Harlow's still with Brent and not the cheating kind. Mackenzie says Brent has been 'incommunicado' lately, but nonetheless...
MACKENZIE: Harlow's my best friend. She would have told me.
CHLOE: Well, they were sparkier than a dodgy power board at The Flamingo last night. And I just heard Levi thank her in a way that sounded like they'd seen each other naked.
Mackenzie recalls that Harlow mentioned The Flamingo Bar to her, but not Levi - while Sheila remembers that there was a lot of noise when Levi came in last night. Nonetheless, Mackenzie and Sheila both insist Chloe has the wrong end of the stick. The three of them then spot Harlow and Levi having a very friendly-looking chat at the other side of the courtyard.
MACKENZIE: They do seem pretty comfortable with each other.
Harlow laughs at something Levi's said.
SHEILA: My grandson's not that funny!
Melanie is at a table with Nell and Hugo, when Susan comes over and asks for a word in private. Susan explains that Angela Lane is telling everyone that she and Karl put manure on her doorstep, and asks if Melanie would be prepared to come forward and admit her culpability, so that they're no longer under suspicion.
MELANIE: Me? Oh, I can't take the rap.
SUSAN: Take the rap? Melanie, you're the one who did it!
MELANIE: I know! But it'll never be over if Angela finds out it was me.
SUSAN: It would take my reputation out of the firing line.
MELANIE: And put Toadie's right back in it (...) This will be the second time that Toadie's business has been hurt because of me.
SUSAN: I had the opportunity to tell Angela the truth, but I didn't (...) Melanie, I'm just asking you to do the right thing.
MELANIE: This *is* the right thing. For me, and for Toadie. Please, Susan - for his sake, can we just keep this between us?
Susan looks affronted, then conflicted.
Karl is wary as Susan tells him about her decision to keep Melanie's secret about the manure, warning her her reputation is under threat. Susan wants to protect Toadie, but Karl doesn't think that's enough reason to let the whole community think they dumped the manure.
SUSAN: Toadie is finally happy. But if Angela Lane sets her sights on him, or Melanie, or his law practice, who knows? This rumour will blow over for us, but it may not for him.
Karl relents, but says he won't pander to Angela and apologise. Susan agrees that this would be tantamount to admitting guilt, and says they should stick to denial. But having faced Angela many times before, she thinks she's better equipped to deal with it than Toadie is.
KARL: If he knew you were lying to protect him...
SUSAN: But I'm not lying! The absolute truth is that we did not do what Angela is accusing us of, and that is all she's ever gonna hear from us.
KARL (scoffs): I doubt that's all we'll hear from *her*.
Levi is sunbathing in the garden, while Sheila hangs out the washing. Levi's still hung over, and Sheila enquires as to whether he has any 'morning-after regrets'. Evidently having decided Chloe's theory is right, Sheila encourages Levi to 'say it out loud, before the whole street's talking about it'. But she doesn't refer directly to Harlow.
LEVI: How did you find out?
SHEILA: Well, you're not exactly the sneaky secret service of Frankston. But now that it's happened, we need to get out in front of it. So I will talk to Terese, and she'll smooth things over with Paul, before he comes looking for your blood.
LEVI: What, you really think he'd be that mad?
SHEILA: Oh, look, I'm no fan of 'Bags either, but he's very protective of Harlow.
LEVI: What does this have to do with Harlow?
SHEILA: Well, it's not just about *your* needs.
LEVI: Okay, time out. What are you talking about, Gran?
SHEILA: You, and Harlow, and your... dalliance.
LEVI: What, me and Harlow - wait, you think we...?
SHEILA: Didn't you?
LEVI: No! Gran -
SHEILA: What *did* you do?
LEVI: I puked! In the bushes, outside The Flamingo Bar.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie is quizzing Harlow along similar lines.
HARLOW: Of course we didn't. I'm with Brent (...) Levi and I just ranted about our significant others, and how disappointing they are.
MACKENZIE: So it was just a D&M, not...
HARLOW: ... anything else. Okay? It was actually really embarrassing. We talked about how unfair love is. I kind of feel better after it, though.
Levi admits to Sheila...
LEVI: I cried. I cried, okay? We were talking about Bea, and I just bawled my eyes out.
SHEILA: Oh, when you were a little boy you used to cry so hard you made yourself sick.
LEVI: Well, apparently, I haven't grown out of it yet. I was still throwing up chunks when I got home.
Harlow tells Mackenzie she doesn't get how people 'drink to dull the pain'.
HARLOW: All it did for me was make everything sharper. Brent's radio silence, you and Hendrix...
MACKENZIE: Oh, I'm sorry. I should've realised.
HARLOW: No. How could you? I told you I was fine with the relationship. And I am.
MACKENZIE: This was always going to be awkward. But not talking about it is the best way for us to lose our friendship.
HARLOW: Mm. I don't want that.
MACKENZIE: Me neither. So let's promise to talk. Even when it's awkward.
Hendrix bursts in and shows off a discount coupon (not crouton) that Karl alerted him to at The Waterhole.
HARLOW: I thought you had a driving lesson.
HENDRIX: I was. Turns out it came with free life lessons as well! Anyway, I have to spend a certain amount of cash to get a freebie, so I'm gonna need both your stomachs on the job. Lunch?
MACKENZIE: That depends.
HENDRIX: On what?
MACKENZIE: Is Karl gonna be there? Because he's obviously your soulmate.
HARLOW (sniggers): Yeah, you guys actually make a really lovely couple.
HENDRIX: Hilarious (!) Fine, pay full price. But it's your shout.
Susan and Karl are at a table. Susan's phone keeps going with calls from outraged parents calling to moan about the manure rumours, and Karl's getting increasingly hacked off by it. He's just bragging to Susan about his frugality training session with Hendrix, when Angela comes in and sits down.
ANGELA: Alright - I'm ready.
SUSAN: Angela, we didn't ask you here to apologise.
ANGELA (sighs): Well, that's disappointing, Susan. You're not leaving me with any choice.
KARL: Susan and I had nothing to do with that incident, so we can't apologise! I don't know how many ways I can tell this story.
ANGELA: I hear you. I just don't believe you.
KARL: That doesn't make us guilty. And it doesn't give you the right to spread rumours that slander my wife.
ANGELA: You're right! There's no reason Susan should be taking all the heat when you're just as responsible.
KARL: I beg your pardon?
ANGELA: Desecrating my doorstep says a lot about your personal values (...) I'm sure it's something the medical board takes into account when revoking an MD's registration. Especially if that MD's already been put on leave.
KARL: You can't be serious?!
ANGELA: I'll be making the call the moment I walk out of here.
Angela gets up to leave, but...
KARL: Melanie Pearson.
KARL: She's the one who's responsible for the manure dumping. Not Susan, not myself. So your next malicious email, you can target the right offender.
Armed with this knowledge, a determined Angela walks out.
KARL: You may be happy to let your name be tarnished, but I did not sign up to be hung out to dry.
SUSAN: Do you have any idea what this does to Toadie?
KARL: Susan, I will not apologise for clearing the family name. Melanie needs to take responsibility for her actions.
Levi calls round to see Harlow, and tells her about the rumour that they hooked up that is doing the rounds - but she explains she already knows, and set Chloe straight about it. Levi jokes that they could take out a newspaper ad to dispel any lingering gossip, which makes Harlow laugh.
LEVI: I'm glad to see you looking happier, at least.
She reveals that's because she's had a letter from Brent.
LEVI: Old-school love letter. The guy's got game.
Harlow explains he's written to her because new cadets aren't allowed to use their phones.
HARLOW: I'm kind of leaning into the whole romance of it all - you know, war bride writing love letters to her soldier.
Levi admits he's doing much better on the Bea front, too, so is going to clean up his diet and get back to the gym. Harlow says she's always around if he wants to cry on her shoulder again. 'Back at ya,' says Levi.
Melanie is walking back to Toadie's with Nell and Hugo, when Angela Lane pulls up in her car and confronts Melanie about her manure-dumping antics.
ANGELA: At the very least, I deserve an apology!
MELANIE: You're right. I went too far, and I'm really sorry. But when you think about it, it was a bit of a gas. You see, I thought you got Toadie kicked off the Carmello case, and so I decorated your doorstep!
While they're talking, Hugo runs a short distance down the road towards the car.
ANGELA: You're a grown woman playing poo pranks, and you think it's funny.
ANGELA: You'll be hearing from my new lawyer, and then we'll see who's laughing.
MELANIE: Well, I hope he's got a better sense of humour than you!
Angela gets back into her car, and starts the engine into reverse. She moves towards the wreckage of the billy cart in the road, and we hear a crunch. Nell looks worried, as Melanie suddenly realises she can't see Hugo. Angela looks out of the window, worried.
MELANIE: Nell - where's Hugo? Hugo!
Coming up on Neighbours
- Kyle tells Levi that splitting with Bea doesn't make him a loser; Levi says it's not about that
- Ned tells Yashvi he's 'up for it' if she is
- Roxy tells Kyle not to give her 'that look', as she already feels bad enough
- Paul accuses Amy of trying to pass the buck, and tells her he doesn't give second chances