- Jane and Nicolette are looking forward to an Erinsborough Christmas, and assume David and Aaron are, too
- But Aaron and David are set on the idea of seeing family in Adelaide and Sydney respectively
- They're unable to find a solution everyone is happy with, and Nicolette declares Christmas cancelled
- Hendrix and Mackenzie are shocked at Harlow's seemingly uncaring response to the news of Kyle's cancer
- Harlow tells David and Aaron that Terese has agreed to marriage counselling with Paul
- Harlow also warns Paul that Glen is meddling in a bid to keep Paul and Terese apart
- Glen is just locking Terese's wedding ring in his safe, when Harlow lets herself into the hotel room
Harlow is having a cuppa alone at a table, when Mackenzie and Hendrix come in and linger at the counter. They're discussing preparations for their first Christmas lunch together - until Mackenzie notices Harlow across the room.
MACKENZIE: I should say hi.
HENDRIX: Should you?
MACKENZIE: Yeah, she's my best friend. I have to make an effort.
HENDRIX: You have been. She hasn't.
Nonetheless, Mackenzie goes over to greet Harlow, who doesn't seem hugely enthused to see her. Mackenzie enquires as to how the dress and make-up she helped Harlow with went at the police ball. Harlow only grudgingly thanks her for the help. Chloe comes in, annoyed with Harlow having learned from the night manager that she broke into Glen's room. Harlow makes the excuse that he's Paul's brother.
CHLOE: It doesn't matter who he is, Harlow. You know the rules, so stop acting like you don't. Consider this a verbal warning.
HARLOW (uninterested): Whatever, Chloe.
As Chloe walks out, Mackenzie looks at Harlow in disbelief.
Things are still tense between Aaron, David and Nicolette following their failure to agree on Christmas plans. Aaron strops off to bed, and Nicolette soon goes too. David is left to explain to Jane that their row over where to spend Christmas got a bit personal while she was out. He says it's the first time the co-parenting agreement between him, Aaron and Nicolette hasn't worked.
DAVID: I'm just as much at fault as anyone. We all have this perfect vision of Christmas, and none of us are willing to budge. There has to be a fix. We've just got too much family.
JANE: Well, it is a challenge. It could be worse. You could have none.
She turns from him, seemingly emotional about something, and looks at a bauble she's holding in her hand.
JANE: You know, finding a solution to this, it really isn't about you, or Aaron, or Nicolette, or even me. It's about Isla.
Jane shows David the bauble, which has Isla's name imprinted on it. David looks sad.
The next day, Hendrix and Mackenzie are discussing Harlow again, who hasn't replied to a text message Mackenzie sent her.
HENDRIX: What a surprise (!)
MACKENZIE: Why are you being like this?
HENDRIX: Why am *I* being like this? I'm not the one that's more worried about my hair than Kyle. You remember Kyle, our friend with cancer? Look, I don't know why Harlow broke into Glen's hotel room, or why she's giving you the cold shoulder. But friendship works both ways.
MACKENZIE: (...) She's doing and saying things that just aren't Harlow.
HENDRIX: Well, maybe it's the new Harlow.
MACKENZIE: And you're okay with that?!
HENDRIX: No, no. But you can't say you haven't tried.
MACKENZIE: That doesn't mean that we should just give up either.
Mackenzie resolves to text Harlow again later. Meanwhile, Chloe comes in and finds Leo at the counter. Chloe explains she's heading to Adelaide for Christmas; Leo tells her he can't wait to see Abigail back in Wollongong. Chloe asks Leo how Harlow has been recently. Leo hasn't seen Harlow much lately, and Chloe explains about the verbal warning she gave her.
CHLOE: It was a last straw kind of thing. I feel like I'm in one of those cartoons where every week, Harlow has a new harebrained scheme to blow me up.
LEO: Hmm, yeah, she has been a little bit ruthless lately.
Leo suggests that Chloe just focus on enjoying Christmas, and deal with it when she returns. But Chloe's reluctant to let Harlow out of her sight until she leaves.
Harlow sneaks behind the reception desk and retrieves a manual for the safes in the guest rooms. Locating the code required to override the locks, she copies it onto a post-it note and heads for the lift...
David comes in and finds Chloe at the counter. She asks if the parenting trio have booked their flights to Adelaide, but David explains they haven't worked out what they're doing for Christmas yet.
CHLOE: It's literally Christmas Eve!
DAVID: I know, I'm sorry.
Chloe has to rush back to the hotel, but tells David they need to book flights pronto.
Meanwhile, Toadie and Karl come in, discussing the Christmas menu that Hendrix is preparing for them; Toadie and the kids are joining the Kennedys on Christmas Day. It sounds delicious, they agree, but Karl is of course worried about the cost.
KARL: Which is why a financial contribution towards lunch wouldn't go astray...
SUSAN (appearing): Oh, Karl, stop it! You're ridiculous, honestly.
Susan, Karl and Toadie sit down at a table, and see David nearby. Susan invites him to come and join them, and David tells them the story about how the family can't decide where to go for Christmas. The Kennedys and Toadie tell him they're sure he'll find a way around it. David looks thoughtful.
Harlow lets herself into Glen's room again, and heads over to the safe, where she taps in the override code she found in the manual. The safe opens, and while removing its contents, they drop all over the floor. At this point, there's a knock at the door. Harlow looks startled.
MACKENZIE (from outside): Harlow, I know you're in there.
Harlow begins to pick up the contents of the safe from the floor and puts them back inside, but fails to notice that Terese's wedding ring, which she hadn't seen, was among the items that dropped out, and is now lying on the carpet. Harlow goes to let Mackenzie in.
MACKENZIE: Please don't tell me this is Glen's room.
HARLOW: What do you think?
MACKENZIE: If Chloe finds out you're in here, you're not gonna get a second chance.
HARLOW: Are you gonna tell her?
MACKENZIE: No. No, of course not. Why are you here?
HARLOW: I just needed to check the safe.
MACKENZIE: You broke into Glen's safe - why?
HARLOW: It doesn't matter. There was nothing in there anyway. Just some passports and some paperwork.
MACKENZIE: Why are you so obsessed with Glen?
HARLOW: Why are you so obsessed with me?
MACKENZIE: Because we're friends. Or at least, I thought we were.
HARLOW (unmoved): So what, this is the part where you tell me you're worried about me?
MACKENZIE: I don't know what you want me to say to that.
Mackenzie suggests they leave before they get busted in here. 'Is that right?' Harlow replies sarcastically, but grudgingly goes over to lock up the safe. Harlow and Mackenzie leave, but Terese's ring remains on the carpet...
Harlow is still giving Mackenzie attitude as they leave the building, telling her she doesn't need a babysitter.
MACKENZIE: I never said you did.
HARLOW (rudely): Great, I'll see you later, then.
Roxy and Hendrix turn up, and Harlow tries to change the subject by asking Roxy how her wedding planning's going. But Mackenzie isn't letting it drop.
MACKENZIE: Harlow broke into Glen's hotel room twice, and went through his safe.
HARLOW: Wow, so much for being a loyal friend - thanks (!)
Harlow claims that Glen is trouble, and blames Paul for all his problems. Roxy points out that Paul can look after himself.
HARLOW: Not when Glen's manipulating Terese about her marriage. And I still think he's up to more than that.
ROXY: Why would he be? And why is it your problem to fix?
HARLOW: Because I care about them. She's your aunt - you should care too.
HENDRIX: That's low.
HARLOW: I just know he's hiding something.
ROXY: Do you realise how crazy you sound? Look, I think that you should probably take a step back, Harlow.
HARLOW (sarcastic): Yeah, you're right - if it all gets too much, I'll book in a yoga class and a facial!
Harlow walks off, smirking, while the others look on in bafflement.
No 32 / Wollongong
David has called a peace conference comprising himself, Aaron, Jane, Nicolette and Leo. He explains he's had an idea about what should happen for Christmas.
DAVID: I think we should have it here.
AARON: What the... David, no!
DAVID: And I think we should get as many people as we can to come to us.
He asks Leo if there's any chance he could convince Britney to fly down with Abigail and spend Christmas in Erinsborough. Leo doesn't think she'll go for it after all the tension last time she was in town.
DAVID: What better time is there to put bad feelings behind us than at Christmas?
LEO: ... Yeah, I guess I can make a call. But I'm not cancelling my flight just yet.
Aaron says Chloe's really keen to go to Adelaide, but he's willing to try talking her into staying here with them. David says if they all try their best to get as many people as possible, they can always FaceTime in anyone who can't make it.
JANE: It's a lovely idea, David, and I'm sure that you mean well. But I think you're forgetting one thing - I have no intention of spending Christmas with Paul.
In the garden, Leo calls Britney, who we see also, walking along a coastal path with Abigail's pram. She's planning to pick Leo up from the airport later, but Leo runs David's idea past her of Britney and Abigail coming to Erinsborough for Christmas instead. Britney remarks on the short notice but, to Leo's surprise, doesn't totally hate the idea.
BRITNEY: I guess we could fly down after we see Mum and Dad (...) I do love some Christmas spontaneity. And it'll be good for Abi. Let's do it.
LEO: Okay, great! I'll book the flights and call you back.
Harlow is on her phone to somebody unknown.
HARLOW: Thanks again for doing this at such short notice... And remember, it's just between the two of us... Great, see you later.
Meanwhile, Toadie, Karl and Susan are all still here, and bump into Roxy. She explains how she and Kyle are heading to Frankston for Christmas, and how Amy will be there with Levi too. Ned has gone to Queensland, and Karl asks what Terese is planning on doing. Roxy isn't sure, saying that Terese declined to tag along with her and Kyle.
SUSAN: She's more than welcome to spend the day at our place if she's going to be on her own?
ROXY: Really? I think she would love that.
But Harlow has overheard this, and walks over to invite herself to the Kennedys' Christmas, too!
HARLOW: Room for anymore?
SUSAN (surprised): Harlow! Yes, of course, we'd love to have you!
HARLOW: Great. And Grandad?
KARL (reluctant): Well, if he would like to come - yeah, I suppose.
Roxy gives Harlow a perplexed look. Susan says she'll text Terese and invite her, then Toadie and the Kennedys leave. Roxy challenges Harlow on what just happened.
ROXY: There is no way that Terese and Paul can be in the same room.
HARLOW: Why not? They need to spend time together, and Christmas is perfect for that.
ROXY: What is wrong with you?! Not after the counselling. I will literally tackle Paul if he goes anywhere near her.
HARLOW (coldly): Do what you want, Roxy.
Harlow walks out. Roxy looks baffled.
David and Aaron return from a walk with Isla, bringing the pram onto the patio. Leo has just finished booking Britney's flights, and tells them the news that she has agreed to come down with Abigail - which he describes as a 'Christmas miracle'. David and Aaron are pleased about this, and Leo goes home to prepare for their arrival.
Chloe turns up; she has news from the Adelaide Brennans, which is that her brother Tyler and his girlfriend Piper have spontaneously decided to go to Los Angeles for Christmas. Chloe's disappointed as she wanted all her siblings together this year, but still seems set on going to Adelaide to stay with other brother Mark and his wife Paige. Aaron suggests that they stay in Erinsborough instead.
AARON: We can ask if Mark and Paige want to fly up with the kids.
CHLOE: Oh, as if Mark will change his plans last minute! Plus... how am I going to spend Christmas Day with Nicolette?
AARON: Well, you would be here with all of us.
CHLOE: I don't want to be the sad-sack, Aaron. Not on Christmas Day. Can I just think about it?
AARON: There's not a lot of time to think, Chlo.
CHLOE: Whose fault is that?!
AARON: Look, this is our first Christmas together without Mum. I want to spend it here with you, Chloe. I want to spend it here with our family, together. Please?
CHLOE (mock-grudgingly): You're telling Mark.
Hendrix, Mackenzie and Roxy are discussing Harlow's plan to get Terese to spend Christmas with Paul, which they think will only end up hurting Terese. Harlow, who has been getting a coffee at the bar, walks over and overhears.
HARLOW: Gee, I wonder who you're all talking about (!)
MACKENZIE: I think it's pretty natural that we'd be wondering what's going on with you, Harlow.
HARLOW: Well, can we talk about it later, because I have to go.
HENDRIX: Where? You're not gonna go do something else to Glen, are you?
HARLOW: No, I'm not. And if you must know, I'm going to see my dad.
HARLOW: Ugh, that's right, I forgot you struggle with the whole father relationship thing.
Hendrix is stunned into silence by Harlow's rudeness, while Roxy, clearly concerned, offers to go on the drive to the prison with Harlow to keep her company. Harlow isn't interested.
HARLOW: This is my third trip this week. I don't think I'm going to get lost.
MACKENZIE: I didn't think you'd been visiting your dad so much.
HARLOW: Well, I am. It's actually really nice to be around someone who I trust, and who doesn't judge me.
Harlow pushes past the others, leaving them increasingly bewildered by her behaviour.
ROXY: Let me get this straight - the only person that's not judging Harlow is her psychopathic dad?
Mackenzie and Hendrix look worried.
In the garden, David and Aaron are cleaning the pool. Chloe has agreed to stay for Christmas, they explain to Nicolette and Jane, but Jane is still not keen on spending the day with Paul. Aaron tells her not to stress - they'll be on their own turf, not his.
AARON: We'll just give him a whisky and put him in the back yard. You won't even know he's here.
DAVID: The day isn't about Dad, remember? It's about Isla (...)
JANE (reluctant): If everyone else is in, and it is for our little girl...
NICOLETTE: Merry Christmas!
DAVID: Yeah? Thank you! This is gonna be the best.
David hugs Aaron, and Nicolette hugs Jane.
Susan and Karl call round to store some of the food for tomorrow in Toadie's fridge. On their way in, they've found a parcel addressed to Amy. Toadie decides it must be from someone who doesn't know she's moved, and puts it to one side.
Mackenzie and Roxy come in, discussing Harlow - Mack's concerned that she's spending so much time with her dad and yet won't talk to them.
ROXY: The whole idea is crazier than RobRob is!
Mackenzie explains to Susan, Karl and Toadie that Harlow has visited Robert three times this week.
TOADIE: Well, he is her dad, and it is Christmas.
KARL: True, but it's very hard to reconcile, and the man is a monster.
SUSAN: Absolutely he's a monster. Look what he put Elly through - she had to give birth while he held her hostage!
ROXY (to the Kennedys): You knew him, didn't you, before he went to jail? Were there any telltale signs that he was unhinged?
SUSAN: Well, we didn't know him as a child. But Paul and Gail both said that the change in him was gradual.
KARL: Apparently he started acting out in callous ways. He was making it very clear he didn't care if he hurt anyone.
TOADIE: Why do you ask?
ROXY: Just curious.
The Flamingo Bar
Harlow is sitting alone with a drink. Hendrix is at the bar, and starts up a conversation.
HENDRIX: How did you go with your dad?
HARLOW (coolly): Fine.
HENDRIX: For your information, I told Mackenzie not to bother making an effort with you, because I didn't think you deserved it.
HARLOW (weary): Well, you didn't do a very good job, did you?
HENDRIX: Do you know why? Because she's your friend. She's worried about you.
HARLOW: She doesn't need to be. None of you do.
HENDRIX: I've been where you are, Harlow. Trying to keep it together when it feels like everything is falling apart?
HARLOW (amused): Is that what I'm doing?
HENDRIX: I think it is, yeah. It sucked for me when Dad and Chloe split (...) You can't control what happens between Paul and Terese. And the more you try, the harder it's gonna be for you if they can't work things out... Anyway, I just want you to know I get it, and if you need to talk to someone, I'm here. You don't have to go to your dad.
HARLOW (coldly): I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, but I'm fine. And I'm not falling apart, because I'm handling things. I think Glen is up to something because he is.
Roxy and Mackenzie turn up, and get a Christmas hug from David. However, they're not bringing tidings of joy, and explain to Aaron and David that Harlow has been visiting Robert a lot recently. David wasn't aware, and says Harlow normally tells someone when she goes to the prison.
MACKENZIE: She's been acting really strange lately.
DAVID: I know she's been struggling a bit with Dad and Terese separating.
MACKENZIE: We think it's more than that.
ROXY: (...) Karl and Susan told us what Robert was like when he was younger.
MACKENZIE: They said he used to be normal, and then he gradually started changing. Hurting the people around him, isolating himself...
DAVID: What are you saying?
ROXY: We're really worried that Harlow might be turning into a psychopath. Like her dad.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Harlow tells Paul, Glen, David and Kyle that Terese is missing, and suggests Glen knows where she is
- Paul warns Glen, 'If I found out you knew about this...' Glen replies: 'You'll what?'
- We hear Harlow saying, 'Glen is hiding something'
- Glen ripping up pieces of paper
- Harlow shouts at Paul, 'Terese did this to herself, and you're angry at me?!'
- Paul looks pensive on the penthouse balcony