- Kyle and Roxy tell Hendrix and Mackenzie they're headed to the airport to pick up Roxy's mum, Gemma
- Paul tells Harlow he deeply wants to take care of Terese, but he's aware being near her pressurises her
- David tells Harlow he thinks she's suffering from compassion fatigue, and wants to get her diagnosed
- Terese tells Glen she's fed up of everyone trying to babysit her
- Harlow tells Glen she doesn't trust him, and doubts the sincerity of his motives towards Paul and Terese
- Terese apologetically tells Roxy she can't be her matron of honour
- Glen catches Terese in the act of receiving a home wine delivery
Jane, Nicolette, David and Aaron are at home when Paul turns up to join them for dinner. David is making an effort, having bought in Paul's favourite cheese, but a downbeat Paul declines it, so Nicolette lays claim to it instead.
NICOLETTE: Don't mind if *we* do.
PAUL: Who invited you?
NICOLETTE: ... I live here, Paul.
PAUL: I'm surprised you hung around, considering what you told Glen at Christmas.
NICOLETTE: He only asked what went down between us. And after all, aren't we one big, happy family?
NICOLETTE: I will go start the barbecue.
Aaron follows Nicolette out, and David asks Paul if he can put his grudge with Nicolette aside for tonight, so they can enjoy themselves. But Paul is cut up because he saw Glen going into No 22, followed by a delivery driver with what he assumed was takeaway.
PAUL: It looks like a really cosy night in for him and Terese.
DAVID: You're not thinking there's more than friendship going on there?
PAUL: I don't know what to think, David. But I do know that they look closer every time I see them.
DAVID: Leo told me about Glen's addiction. He's a good person for her to lean on, just as a friend.
PAUL: It's just that I should be the one that's over there helping Terese, not Glen.
JANE: Well, I for one am glad she's getting support, regardless of who's giving it. Perhaps that's something that you should focus on.
Glen pours Terese's wine delivery down the sink, as she explains her reasons for ordering it.
TERESE: I needed something. I mean, you... you've got no idea how much it hurt saying no to Roxy. You know, I felt so weak, and... and I desperately wanted to be her matron of honour. And then my wedding ring turns up out of the blue! I don't know what to think. I'm all over the place. Just so you know, I didn't order it straight away. I tried to take my mind off it as long as I could.
GLEN: It's hard when you're on your own. What do you want to do to get through it?
TERESE: I dunno.
He suggests they focus on getting her past the cravings.
Paul, David, Aaron, Nicolette and Jane are having dinner. Aaron is talking about setting up a share portfolio for Isla as a nest-egg, and David suggests it might be something Paul could help with. But Paul is deep in thought, in a world of his own. Conversation moves on, and Aaron mentions he was over at Roxy's place earlier, helping her find a pair of shoes. This piques Paul's interest.
PAUL: You were over at Roxy's place? Was Terese there?
AARON: Uh... yeah, yeah. She was, umm, with Toadie.
PAUL: And how did she look? Did she say how she was feeling?
Jane changes the subject by clearing the table for dessert. As the small-talk continues around him, Paul slips into sombre thought again. David looks worried.
Terese and Glen are playing bridge. Terese says that she used to play cards with her daughter Piper, which used to help (presumably with the alcoholism) whereas nowadays, she just buries herself in work. Glen remarks that this isn't necessarily healthy, but Terese says it's a moot point now she's taking a break from work.
Terese apologises for being short with Glen when he turned up earlier.
GLEN: I know your wedding ring turning up again messed with your head. I just didn't realise how much. I'm sorry that happened.
TERESE: It's hardly your fault.
GLEN: (looks guilty)
TERESE: I just don't know how I'm gonna get through this. I'm not in control, and it's terrifying.
GLEN: None of us are in control all the time. But recognising that's a good sign. That's what's going to help you get through it.
TERESE: Yeah. Wish I could go to a meeting tonight. I don't think they have any on at this time.
GLEN: Then we'll have our own meeting, right here. You can say whatever you like, I'll listen. No judgement.
Kyle and Roxy arrive back from the airport with Roxy's mum Gemma, and they all call in to see Sheila at the pub. Sheila gives Gemma a warm welcome, but Gemma appears a little guarded. Sheila remarks on the fact Gemma's plane was delayed.
GEMMA: I wasn't sure I'd be able to swing it at such short notice. The invitation came out of the blue.
ROXY: Well, I gave Kyle an offer that he couldn't refuse.
KYLE: Mm, and I had to lock her in before she changed her mind!
ROXY: It means so much to me, Mum, that you're here - you know, after Dad told me that he couldn't make it. Overseas business trip.
GEMMA: Well, that suits me just fine!
Sheila goes to fetch the takeaway that Kyle's ordered for them; after dinner, Roxy says, they can get straight into wedding planning. She explains they've enlisted professional help for the planning, but have had a pretty rough day today having met with a wedding photographer who wasn't suitable. Gemma agrees to help them choose another one, but looks increasingly concerned at how last-minute everything seems.
ROXY: Everything seems so right now you're here.
Roxy hugs Gemma, but we see Gemma's smile strain during the embrace - something's troubling her.
Aaron offers Paul a scotch with his dessert, but Paul explains he's abstaining from alcohol currently, in solidarity with Terese.
PAUL: Not that she'd really know.
Paul decides it's time to head off for an early night; Nicolette warns him, half-joking, not to rush straight over to Terese's.
PAUL: I have got every right to be worried, because all I want to know is that Terese is getting the help that she needs.
DAVID: But if you push it, you'll only make things worse.
PAUL: If I wanted to push it, I would've barged right on in over there, and I would've demanded a one-on-one with Terese. I just want her to know how terrible I feel about my part in her relapse. It's just... it'll take a hell of a load off my mind, that's all.
Jane, who has been simmering with irritation, finally pipes up.
JANE: Well, how inconsiderate of Terese not to jump at the chance to absolve you of your guilt (!)
PAUL: Don't twist my words like that!
JANE: We all know what happened when Terese was pushed too far. All you can think about is yourself! It's shamefully selfish. The situation with Terese and Glen - it is what it is because you've hurt them both. You have no right to dictate their moves now - you need to leave them be.
In the back garden, Kyle brings out some glasses of wine as Roxy shows Gemma the 'mood board' that Mick has been working on for the wedding.
GEMMA (sceptical): Well, it's definitely a mood (...) You need someone who's good at planning the big picture. And so, what about after the wedding? Have you thought about those plans?
ROXY: We've been a bit busy, Ma.
GEMMA: But you must have spoken about where you're gonna live.
ROXY: Not yet, actually.
GEMMA (strained smile): And what about savings for a house deposit?
KYLE and ROXY: ...
GEMMA: ... I know you've had a lot on your plate with your treatment, Kyle. I can understand why it hasn't been a priority.
KYLE: Oh, it's not that we haven't been thinking about the important stuff.
ROXY: We just haven't been *focusing* on it. I can't leave Auntie T right now, and Kyle can't deal with the stress of moving on top of his chemo.
GEMMA: Oh, no, I totally get it. It's just... it's just a little bit strange that you're getting married, and you haven't actually lived together.
KYLE: Oh, Roxy's basically here all the time anyway. We both know what we want - kids, dogs, a bit of land. You know, all that.
GEMMA: Oh, so, what - that's a five-year plan? Ten?
KYLE: Ah, it's more of a 'see what kinda happens' plan.
ROXY: We are taking one step at a time, Mum, okay? But right now, all we want to do is get married.
GEMMA (strained): Yeah, of course you do.
Kyle quietly clocks her disapproval.
Glen and Terese continue their card game, and Terese has won again. Glen decides it's probably time for him to call it a night.
TERESE: You're not blaming poor strategy on fatigue, are you? Now come on, fess up.
GLEN: I haven't got any stories left!
TERESE: Well, I think that's the price we agreed on for losing. We're up to embarrassing story five, I think.
GLEN: Okay. When I started out as a builder...
TERESE: Oh, at Doug's company?
GLEN: Yeah. The boys made me do this strength test by holding up a bag of cement above my head, for as long as I could.
TERESE: How long did you last?
GLEN: For as long as one of them took to cut the bag of cement, and another to dack me (...) I was washing cement out of every crack for weeks!
Terese laughs, and decides to give him one of her own embarrassing stories for free. She tells the story of the time Roxy hired a mechanical bull, and how she couldn't resist having a go on it - but got flung off, only to realise her ex was watching the whole time. There's an undercurrent of chemistry crackling between her and Glen as they chat.
Jane apologises to David for going 'off at the deep end' with Paul.
DAVID: You weren't the first; you won't be the last.
JANE: I just hope I haven't made things too awkward.
DAVID: Don't worry about it. You said what needed to be said.
NICOLETTE: Personally, I don't think you went hard enough! Maybe next time you should include a few four-letter words?
Paul, who was out of the room, comes back in, and Nicolette bids him a sarcastic 'night, Pauly!' before going to bed, followed swiftly by Aaron. Paul sits down with David, who says he can see Paul has something he needs to get off his chest. Paul declines to get into it.
PAUL: As Jane eloquently pointed out, I've been going on about my stuff all night, so... probably time to shut my mouth.
DAVID: If you need to talk, Dad, then talk. Don't worry about what Jane said.
But Paul says it's time for him to head home, telling David he won't subject him to his woes anymore. David looks concerned as Paul leaves.
Sheila is just locking up the doors to The Waterhole, when she's surprised by Paul appearing behind her. She demands to know what he's doing lurking around at this hour.
PAUL: I don't lurk, Sheila. I just got here.
SHEILA: Well, if you're looking for a bedtime whisky, you're too late, because I just locked up.
PAUL: No, actually, I haven't had a drink in a few days. You know, doesn't seem right. I was just out walking, and I saw you locking up.
SHEILA: And you thought you'd scare the living daylights out of me just for fun?
PAUL (muted): Yeah, something like that.
SHEILA: Alright (...) in case you haven't noticed, 'Bags, I run a bar. And I know when someone needs to get something off their chest.
Sheila goes to fetch Paul a non-alcoholic drink, and tells him to take a seat at one of the outdoor tables. He obeys.
In the garden, David is in his dressing gown, leaning pensively on the railing around the pool. Aaron emerges from the house, wondering why David's outdoors at this hour.
AARON: Thinking about your dad?
DAVID: He's just so all-consumed by Terese.
AARON: Yeah, well, I get that. If you kicked me out, I'd be exactly the same.
DAVID: Oh, that would never happen. But even if it did, I'd want you to be supported. There must be something he's not telling me (...) It's not just about Dad. My whole family is a mess. Dad and Terese's marriage is broken, Glen hates Dad, Harlow's in a bad way, and there should be something I can do about that -
AARON: No, listen - hey, look, it's not your job to keep people happy, okay? No, actually, it is, but only for one tiny little person. Your daughter needs your attention, Boo, and all those other people you named - they can wipe their own bums. They can fix their own problems. You can't carry all that on your shoulders.
Aaron puts his arm around David and huddles up close.
Paul and Sheila are having a chat at the outdoor table.
PAUL: Don't get me wrong, I'm not under any illusion. All the mistakes I've made, the choices I've made, they're all on me - and now I'm paying for it. And the price is my marriage. You know, I wanted to talk to David about it tonight, and I just... I couldn't.
SHEILA: Well, if you can't talk to family, opening up to the local bar wench is the next best thing. Lots of people do it.
PAUL: Yeah, well, it's actually why I came. I mean, it has helped in the past. You know, I tried counselling with Terese, and it just failed abysmally. I'm just in such a world of guilt over that. I now realise just how much damage I've done.
SHEILA: It's not the first time your chickens have come home to roost, though, is it?
PAUL: I know there have been times when I haven't particularly enjoyed looking at myself in the mirror because of something I'd done. But this time, it's different.
PAUL: Because it's not just Terese, it's Glen. I made a lot of mistakes with him too. And now him being here is just bringing that all up again.
SHEILA: He's the ghost of your Christmas past (...) and Terese is your ghost of the present.
PAUL: Just, you know, seeing them both at the same time - it actually makes me realise how much I haven't changed. Sheila, do you realise, in thirty years I have not changed one bit?
SHEILA: I know, sadly. And you can wallow in that incredibly depressing fact, or you can use it, and sort yourself out for good.
PAUL: What, you don't think I haven't tried? You know, even if it does work, it never lasts, because I always justify everything I do by saying, 'I only do what's best for my family.' The stupid thing is, they are the ones I hurt the most.
SHEILA: Maybe you need to let Terese go. So you stop hurting her.
Paul looks deeply saddened by this, but nonetheless nods grimly.
In the garden, Kyle and Roxy discuss what Gemma was saying about their future plans, or lack thereof; Kyle admits he doesn't think Gemma's very happy about it. Roxy assures him Gemma will be fine in a day or two, when she's seen how perfect they are for one another. Gemma emerges, and Roxy suggests they head back to No 22 to catch up with Terese.
KYLE: Before you go, Mrs Willis... I just want to say, it's great that you're here.
GEMMA: Thanks, Kyle.
KYLE: And I was absolutely rapt when Roxy proposed. But if she didn't, and I did, the first thing I would've done was hop on a plane to Darwin and ask for yours and Adam's blessing.
ROXY: Aww, Kyle!
KYLE: The most important thing to me's family. And even though we don't have concrete plans, I'm gonna make sure that the family that me and Roxy build, we're gonna have everything that we need.
ROXY: See? Look at the man I'm marrying! I mean, I didn't even think about asking his mum for her blessing. I haven't even met Sharon. It's weird, when you think about it. I'm not gonna meet the mother-in-law until a couple of days before my wedding. But hey, that's just us.
GEMMA: You're a good man, Kyle. I know that.
Roxy and Gemma head off back to No 22.
Terese thanks Glen for helping her get through tonight.
GLEN: You had an army lined up to do it.
TERESE: Yeah, wouldn't have been the same.
GLEN: Terese, I've been around long enough to see the support network you have around you.
TERESE: Yeah, it can be overwhelming.
GLEN: It's impressive, the amount of people willing to help you out. It just shows the type of person you are. You probably would've done anything for them. Probably have.
TERESE (modestly): Well, that's very nice of you to say.
GLEN: Well, say it's not true. If you were ever feeling out of control, you'd always have someone there for you.
TERESE: Maybe they will be. Thank you.
The chemistry between Glen and Terese is crackling more overtly now, but at this point, they're interrupted by the arrival of Roxy and Gemma. Glen and Gemma are surprised to see one another, and Roxy quickly cottons on that they're already acquainted. She assumes they're just old friends, but the awkward look on Terese's face reveals there's more to it than that...
A melancholy montage kicks off, as Paul enters a darkened penthouse and turns on a lamp. He takes a seat on the sofa, looking sad and defeated.
David is still in the garden, in the dark. Aaron comes out again with a mug of tea for him, and sits down next to him.
We're back to Paul. He begins to fiddle with the wedding ring on his finger, then looks sad again.
Aaron gives David a cuddle.
Roxy still can't get over learning that Glen and Gemma 'used to be mates' in the old days.
GLEN: You could say that!
GEMMA: Glen and I were together for a while, more than thirty years ago.
ROXY: Shut the front door! So what, if you'd stayed together, you'd be my dad?
GEMMA: Sweetheart, if we'd stayed together, you wouldn't exist!
ROXY: That is so romantic! Why did you guys split up?
GEMMA: Why does anyone break up?
Terese looks a bit uncomfortable as Gemma smiles at Glen. Glen decides it's time to call it a night, and leaves them to it. Terese opts to head to bed as well, promising to catch up with Gemma in the morning.
Roxy's keen to show Gemma to her room too, as they have a busy day tomorrow, but...
GEMMA: I need to tell you something (...) Roxy, I didn't come to help you with your wedding.
ROXY: What are you talking about?
GEMMA: I came to stop it.
Roxy is puzzled.
Coming up on Neighbours
- David tells Harlow that the hurt she's feeling will only get worse and worse
- Roxy tells Gemma that Kyle is her 'forever', but Gemma warns her she'll regret marrying him
- At what looks like the hospital, Chloe asks a hesitant Kyle what's going on
- Gemma tells Sheila, 'I know what Roxy needs, and it's not this'