- Paul promising David he'll track Nicolette down and bring her home
- Chloe apologising to Aaron for her part in the drama
- David yelling at Aaron for not caring enough about their daughter
- David breaking down in Terese's arms after his outburst
- Paul telling Terese he's flying to Canberra to find Nicolette
- Terese not being able to tell Aaron where Paul is
- Paul getting information about Nic from Audrey
- Nicolette running away from Paul
- Paul getting a text from Nicolette asking him to meet her alone
Paul meets with Nicolette and is stunned when she opens her winter coat to reveal a flat stomach. "You've already had the baby," he exclaims, then demands to know where his granddaughter is.
Jesse is pleased that Shay's speaking to him again via email. He tells Harlow that Shay even apologised for blaming him for the Quill Group troubles. Harlow lets him know Terese had a part in it - she had a meeting with Shay and defended Jesse. Chloe walks in just in time to hear Harlow ask how Jesse feels about Lassiters buying into the Quill Hotel. Jesse's glad something good might come from the situation, but Chloe can't believe she hadn't heard about the deal going ahead till now. Harlow says it's not one hundred per cent certain, but she thinks Paul can secure the finances. Jesse leaves and Chloe asks why she didn't know about the next step of the deal. "You've got a lot going on," is all Harlow gives her, before walking away.
Taking a stroll by Lake Burley Griffin, Nicolette informs Paul that she gave birth five days ago and the baby is perfect. Paul wants to know why the baby isn't with Nicolette now, but Nic says she's being well looked after. Paul wants to see the bub, but Nicolette says she only agreed to meet to let him know the baby's okay, nothing more.
PAUL: You do realise that David and Aaron are absolutely beside themselves with worry. Apart from the fact that they would be devastated they missed the birth.
NICOLETTE: Well they should have thought about that before they kept Chloe's secrets.
PAUL: Oh for - nothing happened between Chloe and Leo! (Off Nicolette's scoffing) It's true. Apparently they got drunk and that was it. Leo was quite respectful.
NICOLETTE: Respectful? Whether they slept together or not, something was going on between them.
PAUL: Well it's over now. And you can't punish David and Aaron. They were in an impossible position.
NICOLETTE: Really? Because I think their position was pretty clear. They knew that Chloe was having doubts about me for weeks and they said nothing.
PAUL: Because they didn't want to upset you.
NICOLETTE: We all agreed to this! I was keeping my end of the bargain, how could I ever trust they would keep theirs?
But Paul says he knew they would. He tells Nicolette that Jane's beside herself with worry too, traipsing around Queensland looking for her as they speak.
NICOLETTE: It's better that she's with Uncle Joe.
PAUL: (realising) You set that up. You put the breadcrumbs out for your mother. Nicolette, you need to stop this madness and come home right now.
NICOLETTE: (getting up in his face) I don't need to do anything you say.
Number 26 Backyard
Aaron has sought out solace with Kyle after David's outburst. Kyle can't believe David said those things to Aaron, but it's made Aaron start to have doubts that David could be right. "Maybe I'm handling this better because I'm not the biological father?" he muses. Kyle says Aaron's not handling it better per se, he's just handling it differently.
KYLE: Did it matter with Emmett that he wasn't flesh and blood?
AARON: Well, no.
KYLE: Exactly. Right now David's hurting and he's just saying a bunch of stuff that he doesn't mean. None of this is your fault, mate. The only person who doesn't seem to care in this situation is Nicolette.
Paul tells Nicolette that David hasn't been eating or sleeping well since she left. He doesn't understand how that doesn't bother Nicolette, but Nic assures him it does. Paul wants her to know that David and Aaron were both very uncomfortable lying for Chloe and it caused a lot of tension between them.
PAUL: Don't you see? You're punishing the wrong people. Be mad at Chloe, be mad at me if you like. But not them.
NICOLETTE: Was that your attempt at an apology? Because I missed the apology part.
Sighing, Paul gestures for Nicolette to sit down on a bench with him.
PAUL: All right, I am sorry. I'm sorry what I said the last time we saw each other. And if that did play into your decision to run, then I'm genuinely sorry.
NICOLETTE: Don't worry, you don't have that much control over me.
PAUL: But Chloe does?
NICOLETTE: I love her. I've loved her from the moment I saw her. And then I got over it. But then she made me think we had a future, and even though I was afraid to believe it, she told me she loved me too.
PAUL: So what, you're saying you're never coming back? You're just going to punish the boys for the rest of their lives?
NICOLETTE: I don't know! I don't know. But I need more time. And I can't have Isla near that much anxiety.
PAUL: (softly) Isla?
NICOLETTE: Isla Fay. She's so beautiful.
PAUL: (getting upset) That doesn't sound to me like you've got much of a plan. I mean, how you're surviving is another matter.
NICOLETTE: It's not easy.
PAUL: Let me make it easy for you.
He takes a chequebook out of his coat pocket and writes Nicolette a cheque for one million dollars.
PAUL: This is for you, but I want my granddaughter in return.
Nicolette is stunned, but it soon gives way to rage. "How dare you? I will not sell my baby!" she growls, getting up and walking away. Paul gives chase and tells her to think of it more as putting Isla first. He asks what kind of life it would be for her and the baby to always be on the run, consistently looking over her shoulder.
NICOLETTE: I actually haven't broken any laws.
PAUL: Listen, every time you look at her surely you're going to see David and Aaron and feel their pain.
NICOLETTE: You think it's that easy for me to give up my baby?
PAUL: I'm asking you to seriously consider the alternative.
NICOLETTE: She's my baby!
PAUL: Yes, and David is the father and he does have rights. He might not be able to have you arrested, but he can get you into a court of law and I'll tell you right now, it will not end well for you.
Paul says that the money he's offering means complete freedom for her. And this time she doesn't even have to steal a scratchie card to get it. But he's not going to repeat the offer. Taking Nicolette's hand, Paul places the unsigned cheque in it and says she knows how to reach him. He'll sign it when she brings Isla to him and then Nic will be set for life. Nicolette has no words for him as he walks away.
David and Terese find Leo cooking okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) when they walk into the kitchen. Leo says he thought he'd pack some up for David to take home - he even used their great-grandmother's recipe. Leo tells Terese their great-grandmother used to make them for him and David when they were kids. "When we were feeling sick or down," David quietly adds. "Or so she thought," Leo grins. Terese smiles and says she detects a story incoming.
LEO: Whenever we were craving one of these, one of us would pretend to be sick so obviously the other one would have to go down with it as well.
TERESE: Of course!
LEO: She never caught on.
DAVID: Or so you thought.
Terese says it'd be a shame not to eat the pancakes fresh and invites David to join them for lunch. David mulls it over then says he'll stay for one, which is music to Leo's ears.
Terese sends a text to Paul, asking if there's been any updates. Jesse hesitantly strolls over to her and sees that she looks sad. He recommends watching the funny cat video Harlow sent him earlier if she's having a rough day. Jesse then thanks Terese for speaking to Shay on his behalf. "When all is said and done, we're all victims of your mother," Terese replies. Jesse knows Shay hasn't had it easy dealing with him since his mother got put in jail. Terese pats the bench next to her, encouraging him to sit. She knows Jesse hasn't made the best decisions lately, but what young person hasn't.
JESSE: Are you saying that from personal experience?
TERESE: (smiling) You don't know the half of it. I've had a lot of young people live under my roof and I strongly believe that everyone deserves a second chance.
JESSE: Have you made your mind up about the deal?
TERESE: Yes. Yes I have.
Jesse asks if that's what had her troubled before, but Terese says she's just waiting on a message from someone.
Leo and David are reminiscing about their great-grandmother always being one step ahead of them. Relieved they're finally on speaking terms again, Leo says he's missed chatting to his brother and that he's so sorry for everything. If he could turn back the last couple of months he would. David knows it's been a tough time for Leo too and asks how he's travelling.
LEO: I'm doing okay.
DAVID: No you're not.
LEO: I've still got a few things to work through. Like why I was drawn to Chloe in the first place. And what's lacking in my own life. But I'm getting through it.
LEO: The worst part was the thought of letting you down. That's the last thing I wanted. How are things with you and Aaron?
DAVID: I accused him of not caring about the baby as much as I do.
LEO: You don't really believe that though do you?
DAVID: No, of course not. I'm just so tired and I was angry. I was lashing out.
LEO: You guys will work through it.
DAVID: I don't know if I'd forgive him if the roles were reversed.
LEO: Then don't let it fester. Talk to him about it. And don't give up on Nicolette and the baby, okay? Anything could happen.
Paul stands atop a building, looking out over the Canberra landscape as he wonders what Nicolette's next step might be. His hands clasp together in a prayer-like fashion as he hopes for a good outcome. Meanwhile, Nicolette walks by the lake, looking troubled over what to do. She sits down and stares at the cheque Paul gave her. What will her decision be? That's the million dollar question.
Paul's Hotel Room/Nicolette's Room
Paul answers Terese's text and tells her there hasn't been any updates yet and that he'll call her soon.
In the room where Nicolette's staying, Nic sits on the bed until a little sneeze from the crib disturbs her reverie. She goes over and we see Isla wide awake, dressed in a pink knitted jumper and little beanie. "Beautiful girl," Nicolette coos. She then gets her phone and rings Paul.
PAUL: Have you made up your mind?
NICOLETTE: I have. I'm going to accept.
PAUL: (supremely relieved) Thank you. Thank you.
NICOLETTE: I just need to pack Isla's things then I'll come to your room at seven. If you're not alone-
PAUL: I will be. You know this is right.
Nicolette hangs up.
Leo walks David home and says their mum will be happy they're on speaking terms again. David says he needs to give her a call anyway as she's worried about the baby. Noticing Aaron returning from Kyle's, Leo says he'll fill their mum in while David works things out with Aaron. The boys meet up out the front of their house and Aaron asks what he missed. David tells him he cleared the air with Leo, which makes Aaron smile. "That's great," he says, taking hold of David's hands.
DAVID: You also missed a big apology from me. I should never have said what I said.
AARON: It kills me you'd actually think that you know.
DAVID: I don't. It just came out in the heat of the moment. I know you're just as much a dad as I am, and you love our baby just as much as I do. Biology doesn't come into it. I haven't really known how to handle this. I've always been so rational. These past few weeks I've been a mess. I've been lashing out, I didn't see that you were having to be rational for both of us.
AARON: Do you know how hard it's been to watch you fall apart?
DAVID: I know, but I'm going to do better. For you.
AARON: I think the only person you need to do better for is yourself.
DAVID: I love you.
AARON: I love you too.
They hug and Aaron presses a kiss into David's neck. David also apologises for having a go at Aaron about Chloe. They concede that both of their siblings are doing it tough as well, and they all need each other right now. David and Aaron walk down the driveway to the house.
DAVID: Will we ever see our baby?
AARON: Hey, we can't give up. We have to believe that we will.
Paul's Hotel Room
Paul springs up when there's a knock at the door and he invites Nicolette inside. He peers into the baby capsule Nicolette's carrying and is awed and relieved to finally see his granddaughter. With a shaky voice, Nicolette says she's doing this for Isla so her daughter can have a better life: "Aaron and David will be great parents." She passes the cheque over to Paul to sign, but says she has one more condition, which sets off alarm bells in Paul.
PAUL: What sort of condition?
NICOLETTE: Be good to her. Don't interfere in her life. Support David and Aaron with their parenting.
PAUL: Nicolette if you know anything about me at all, we all know that I put family first.
NICOLETTE: I also know that you love to manipulate people. Place unfair expectations on them. Promise me you won't do that to her.
PAUL: I promise.
He signs the cheque and gives it back to her. Nicolette takes a moment before handing the baby capsule to Paul. She tells Isla she'll be with her daddies soon and they'll take great care of her. Nicolette then says she's got letters for Paul to deliver - one for David and Aaron and one for Jane. Paul is concerned.
NICOLETTE: Don't you think they deserve an explanation?
PAUL: What did you say?
NICOLETTE: That I thought things through and I had a change of heart. And that I'm so deeply sorry. I didn't mention the money.
PAUL: All right. Did you give any indication of you coming back to Erinsborough?
PAUL: Good because I also have a condition.
NICOLETTE: (tired) What more could you want from me?
PAUL: Nicolette I want you never to return to Erinsborough again.
NICOLETTE: You want me never to see my mother again?
PAUL: Has to be everyone. Oh come on, that is a large amount of money and you can do some wonderful things with it. But if you return to Erinsborough and the truth comes out, I can assure you it will reflect worse on you than it will on me.
NICOLETTE: Of course.
Paul says he's giving her a wonderful opportunity and he hopes she makes the most of it. Nicolette tries to tell him about the bottles and nappies in Isla's bag, and that she's written down her feeding schedule, but Paul pretty much brushes her off and says he's got it handled. "Don't make this any harder please, just go," he implores. "I promise you she will be looked after." Crying, Nicolette tells Isla she'll never forget her. She turns and rushes out the door.
Terese brushes her hand over the memorial plaque for Josh and Doug. Jesse says he's looked at the plaque a few times before and that he's so sorry she lost her son. Terese tells him that Josh had a lot of potential, but a lot of the time he didn't realise it. "Bit like you I think," she smiles. Terese then says that buying into the Quill Group and making peace with the past is making her feel better. Harlow and Chloe stand nearby, observing the two of them in silence.
Aaron and David cuddle together on the couch. Aaron says David should get some sleep. David replies that Aaron should catch up with Chloe. Aaron says he will.
Chloe sits by herself at a table. She sees Leo walk in and her automatic reflex is to smile at him before she remembers what their situation is. Leo looks downhearted.
Harlow and Terese toast their orange juices to the deal with the Quill Group almost being done.
Nicolette sprints back inside, her breathing laboured.
Paul's Hotel Room
Cradling Isla in his arms, Paul says they're going to travel on a big plane together soon.
With one more deep breath, Nicolette's eyes suddenly snap to the crib. She walks over to it.
There's a baby inside.
She picks the baby up and holds her close to her.
NICOLETTE: I could never let you go.