- When David and Aaron try to consult Leo about Abigail's health, he says they're her parents; they decide
- Aaron admits to Chloe that he gets more attached to Abigail the more time he spends with her
- Chloe tells Leo he needs to be a father to Abigail; but he insists he's made the best decision for her
- Zara tells Jane and Susan she had nothing to do with the teddy bear prank on Jane
- But Zara is an active participant in the continued teasing of Jane about it in her classes
- Jane has a panic attack in the complex, but Freya comes to the rescue and gets her breathing again
- When Hendrix defends Zara in the wake of this, Mackenzie accuses him of always taking Zara's side
- Amy tells Zara she's grounded; Zara stomps off
- Later, Jane and Susan are concerned to see that some bins at the school have been set on fire
Erinsborough High School
The bin fire continues to rage. Susan shouts out for someone to fetch a fire extinguisher. Sure enough, Curtis appears with one, and puts out the fire, while Susan, Jane and schoolkid extras watch.
Nicolette is in the kitchen, while Aaron and David play with Isla and Abigail on the living room carpet. Aaron is trying to get Abigail to say 'platypus', in vain! He thinks he hears her say 'koala' instead, but David and Nicolette are unconvinced.
DAVID: Isla said 'baba' the other day. Was she talking about sheep?
David asks Aaron if he's changed Abigail's nappy, as Leo will be here soon. Aaron goes to do it now, 'so we can show Daddy your new dinosaur onesie.' As soon as Aaron is out of the room, Nicolette comes over and talks urgently to David.
NICOLETTE: Every time I come home, he is doting on her like that.
DAVID: Well, how else is he supposed to take care of two babies? He has to open his heart to both of them. We just need Leo to spend more time with Abigail. Remember how great it is to be her dad.
But David then gets a text from Leo, saying he's too busy to come round today. He looks worried.
Erinsborough High School / No 30
Zara is at her locker when Sadie and Aubrey turn up.
SADIE: You're so hectic!
ZARA: I think the word you're looking for is depressed. I'm never allowed freedom ever again.
AUBREY: Is that why you did it? Payback?
ZARA: Did what?
SADIE: The bin fire!
AUBREY: Everyone's talking about it. Pretty intense move. Miss Harris was freaked.
SADIE: You can tell us. We won't say anything.
ZARA: Whatever it was had nothing to do with me, I haven't been here. I swear on Timothée Chalamet. You guys seriously thought I'd do something like that, after getting in trouble for the dumb comment about Miss Harris?
SADIE: We hoped it wasn't you. But, you know, it just had, like, your vibes.
ZARA: It sucks. I mean, if you guys think I set fire to some bin, the teachers definitely will.
Indeed, outside, Jane is telling Susan and Curtis that she's certain Zara was to blame. Curtis says the fire captain found cigarette butts in the bin.
JANE: Which she could've smoked.
SUSAN: Jane, anyone could've.
JANE: Why won't you believe that it was Zara?!
SUSAN: I'm just not jumping to easy conclusions!
JANE: Logical, rather than easy. She set the fire alarm off on her first day! You said yourself how furious she was about being grounded after acting up in class.
Susan gets a call from Toadie, who's at home; he wanted to invite Susan and Karl round for dinner. Susan says she'd have loved to, but is going to be at school till quite late, and explains about the fire and that they think it was deliberately lit.
TOADIE: By who?
SUSAN: We don't know yet. Is, umm... is Amy there, by any chance?
TOADIE: You don't think... was Zara involved?
SUSAN: No, no, no, I didn't say that. But she might've lashed out after being grounded. I'm probably wrong; lighting a fire's dramatic, even for her.
TOADIE: Uhh, maybe... but not unprecedented.
Leo is doing some work at a table, when Chloe comes in. There's an awkwardness between them after their previous conversation. Leo apologises for being harsh to her the other day.
LEO: But I'm not apologising for my decision with Abi.
CHLOE: Yep, you were. And I'm not apologising for sticking up for my brother.
LEO: So, what, then - stalemate?
CHLOE: I suppose we could try forgetting that unfortunate conversation.
David comes in with Abigail. 'Here's Daddy!' he says to her, but Leo looks anything but enthusiastic. David says they've popped in for 'a quick hi and a cuddle'.
CHLOE: Looking trĂ¨s chic there, Ab Fab!
Leo reluctantly agrees to give Abi her bottle, but when he gets up close, he's unable to do it. He claims he has to get some reports done urgently, and rushes out of the pub. David and Chloe look worried.
Erinsborough High School
Amy is not amused to have been called back into Susan's office, where Zara and Jane are also present.
AMY: Wow. Principal's office twice in one day. Gotta be a record.
Susan tells her about the bin fire, but Zara insists she's innocent. Jane cites Zara's 'petulant attitude' as evidence that it was probably her. Zara says she went for a walk to calm down after being grounded; she only even heard about the fire when she got back to school, from Sadie and Aubrey. Susan admits it could be an accident, and there is so far no hard evidence against Zara.
ZARA: So, why am I here?
SUSAN: ... We're aware of what happened in Cairns, at the hotel.
ZARA: Mum, did you tell them?
AMY: No, no, I didn't. I don't know who...
ZARA: Toadie. Great (!)
Susan doesn't deny it, but says it shows Zara has form in this regard. Zara continues to swear her innocence to Amy, who looks like she isn't sure what to think.
Toadie is chopping veggies when Zara and Amy come in. When challenged by Zara, Toadie admits he felt he couldn't withhold what he knew about the fire in Cairns from Susan. Amy points out that Susan and Toadie have grounds to be worried, given Zara was grounded and stormed out in exactly the same way before she set fire to the marquee in Cairns.
ZARA: I can't believe this. He dobs, and you're on his side?
Zara announces she's going to get ready for work, and walks out. Amy says Toadie should have told her before speaking to Susan, as it left her 'blindsided'. Toadie agrees, and apologises.
TOADIE: But for what it's worth, I do think that you're onto something. Zara can't handle authority, and any time anyone checks her, she acts out with some kind of stupid stunt. She did it in Cairns, and once again here, with the spiked jelly shots.
AMY: Do you really think that she lit that fire, Toad?
TOADIE: Well, I know how kids like her think. It's emotion first, and reason second.
Chloe and Terese are having a cuppa; Chloe is telling Terese about Leo running out on Abigail at the pub earlier. Terese sympathises; she struggled with Josh and Imogen when they were born, and saw Josh doing the same with Matilda. Chloe asks if Terese would consider talking to Leo about it; Terese is reluctant to intervene, as she doesn't think it's her place.
CHLOE: Please, Terese?
Mackenzie watches from a distance as Zara chats to Sadie and Aubrey at a table outside Harold's. Zara thinks she'll be suspended by tomorrow as everyone thinks she lit the bin fire, reiterating that she wouldn't have known about the fire if it wasn't for Sadie and Aubrey. The pair look a little bit shifty, and Zara notices.
ZARA: You haven't heard anything else, have you?
SADIE: ... Like what?
ZARA: I dunno. I mean, maybe someone saw something? You said everyone was talking about it. Who told you?
Sadie and Aubrey don't reply.
ZARA: You didn't - ?
AUBREY: Didn't what?
ZARA: I was just thinking, maybe you guys did it. For me, as retaliation. You know, like, the bear thing.
AUBREY: Zara, we're not pyros.
ZARA: ... Sure. Sorry. Forget I said anything.
Sadie and Aubrey leave, seemingly peeved with Zara. Hendrix emerges and tells Zara to get back to work. While Zara goes inside, Hendrix goes over to chat to Mackenzie. They discuss possibly having dinner together if he gets out of work early enough. They both remark on Zara not pulling her weight at work today. Hendrix thinks she's upset about the school fire.
MACKENZIE: I think it's guilt, disguised as teen angst.
HENDRIX: I don't think so. She's usually straight up with me when she's done something. Didn't say nada today.
Nicolette and Aaron are at home when David comes in with Abigail. David tells Aaron about Leo not wanting to hold Abi at the pub, But he reckons they're pushing things too soon.
AARON: Yeah, well, look, I'm not in a hurry to put Abi in a position to be rejected again, so...
DAVID: Well, I don't think she could understand.
AARON: Well, how do you know that? I mean, did Leo even ask about her?
AARON: I'm telling you, David - Abi deserves better. And I know you don't want to hear this, but I think we need to start looking at this like a permanent arrangement, because that's obviously how Leo sees it.
DAVID: For now, but that will change.
AARON: That is not what your brother is telling us.
Nicolette has been listening to the conversation from a distance, and asks if they can talk about it together.
DAVID: Leo will come round, he's not a quitter.
AARON: Yeah, but when, though? In a month? Maybe a year? Maybe when she's eighteen and she doesn't need him anymore?
But David makes the excuse that Abi needs a nap, and says they can talk about it later. Aaron and Nicolette both look concerned.
Erinsborough High School
In the corridor, Susan tells Jane that The Department™ wants an incident report on the bin fire. Jane again raises the possibility of suspending Zara, but Susan reminds her they have no proof she's done anything wrong.
JANE: She is the only student with enough gall to light a fire, and she's done it before.
SUSAN: I spoke to the principal at Zara's last school. And she said, yes, she can be lively, and she can be a bit of a handful, but destructive behaviour - that was very out of character.
JANE: Well, people change - especially teenagers. Look, you know that better than anyone.
SUSAN: I'm not ruling it out. I'm just saying that until we have concrete proof, my hands are tied.
Back at home, Jane moans to Nicolette about Zara. Fair-mindedly, Nicolette implies Zara hasn't done anything like as bad as the things she's done, and Jane apologises for ranting. Conversation turns to the Abigail situation; Nicolette explains to Jane that Aaron thinks he and David will end up caring for her permanently.
JANE: Well, would it be so bad for Isla to have a sister? It's not as though Aaron's neglecting her for Abigail.
NICOLETTE: Oh, no, that's not it at all. He's doing a wonderful job taking care of both of them. I guess I don't know what that means for our little family. You know, we've worked so hard to get to where we are with our parenting arrangement (...) They're not including me in the conversation - they're leaving me completely out of it.
Terese is on the phone to Sheila.
TERESE: It's no worry, Sheila - I've got your shifts covered... Yeah, no, I understand, it's fine. You just do what you have to do.
Finishing up the call, she spots Leo at a table, and goes over to chat to him. She makes small talk with Leo about the vineyard, and he reports that things are going well now he has more time to devote to it. Terese wants to talk about Abigail, but Leo coolly tells her to speak to David and Aaron if she wants an update.
TERESE: You haven't seen much of her lately?
LEO: Did Chloe put you up to this?! What, she couldn't crack me, so she sends you in to do her dirty work?
TERESE: Okay, look, Leo - you're not the first person to be terrified of parenthood. I mean, I certainly wasn't prepared. So if you want to talk, I'm here.
David comes in.
LEO: Don't tell me you're here to psychoanalyse me as well?
DAVID: No, I just wanted to catch up, that's all.
LEO: Look, guys, I appreciate where everyone's coming from, okay? But I'm fine - and I don't want to talk about it.
TERESE: Okay. But you can't pretend that it's not affecting you.
LEO: Of course it is. But I didn't give up Abi on a whim. I miss her every day, and I'm angry. And sad. But she's with the best people I know. And they're looking after her far, far better than I ever could.
Mackenzie and Chloe are hanging out with Aaron and Isla, for reasons unknown. Mackenzie tells them about Zara starting a fire at school (as if it's fact); Aaron seems to relish the gossip, saying he bets Amy and Jane aren't pleased.
MACKENZIE: I am so glad that I am out of that war zone.
CHLOE: Well, as a former rebellious teen, I can say that nobody starts a fire for no reason.
MACKENZIE: Yeah - there are loads of reasons. The main one being her parents, and the fact that she thinks there are too many of them (...) I just struggle to have sympathy about having too many people around you who love you and only want the best for you.
AARON: I suppose she probably feels overwhelmed with all the parental pressure.
MACKENZIE: I think she needs to get some perspective. I would've done anything to have my dad's support when I was growing up, or a mum who was alive to see me graduate.
CHLOE: Yeah, I hear you. But Zara's had a lot of instability too. From what I hear, Amy was in and out of her life, and that's got to be disorienting for a kid.
This seems to strike a chord with Aaron, who looks thoughtful.
Toadie and Amy are on the sofa when Zara comes in. She still insists she knows nothing about the fire, but Amy tells her her behaviour is getting more and more out of control, and the boundaries Amy is setting aren't working.
ZARA: Okay, so what I'm getting from this pretend therapy speak is that you've decided I started the fire, and you're not going to listen to me, even though I said that I didn't.
AMY: I wish I could trust you. I really do. But you've lied so much lately. And until your behaviour improves, your job at Harold's is on hiatus (...) Working there is a privilege, and you don't deserve the perks that come along with that job.
ZARA: It's the only thing that makes me happy!
AMY: Well, bad luck! You need to focus on school.
Zara continues to argue that she's innocent, and asks whether anyone has considered someone else might have done it. Toadie says he's sure Susan is spending her evening trying to get to the bottom of it.
ZARA: Aren't you a lawyer? Aren't you meant to be all innocent until proven guilty?
AMY: Zara, this is my decision. And it is final.
Zara storms out. Amy sighs.
Mackenzie is waiting for Hendrix to finish work; he says Ned will be here soon to close up. They are just making dinner plans, when Zara comes in, looking upset. She tells them she's come to resign because Amy's making her quit, due to the fire.
HENDRIX: What good's that gonna do?
MACKENZIE: It's Amy's choice, Hendrix.
ZARA: Can you please talk to her? Please - working with you is the only good thing in my life.
HENDRIX: I don't know if I can do much. We need to find out who the real firebug is.
ZARA: Well, how do I find them?
HENDRIX: Start with who you know.
ZARA: Sadie and Aubrey didn't do it.
HENDRIX: Are you sure about that?
ZARA: They would've told me.
MACKENZIE: Is there any CCTV footage?
ZARA: Are you kidding? No-one's got cameras trained on the bins.
Mackenzie looks annoyed by Zara's scathing response at her attempt to help, but...
HENDRIX: Don't give up, alright? If you didn't do it, then someone else did.
ZARA: Yeah. Thanks. Sorry to interrupt; I just thought you should know.
Zara leaves again.
HENDRIX: You can't tell me that's a guilty person. She'd been crying.
MACKENZIE: I think that's more about losing time with you.
HENDRIX: So, your issue with her is all because you think she has a crush?
HENDRIX: Because there is no reason to feel threatened, Mackenzie. She is a kid.
MACKENZIE: I know what Zara is, Hendrix. She drove me out of the first home I ever felt safe in.
HENDRIX: She has every right to feel upset right now. She's been blamed for something that she didn't do.
MACKENZIE: Whatever. I am done thinking and talking and arguing about Zara.
Mackenzie walks out, telling Hendrix she's no longer hungry. He sighs to himself.
David comes in to find Aaron with Abigail. Aaron asks him to sit down.
AARON: We need to talk about this parenting agreement.
DAVID: I know.
AARON: I just don't think this whole situation is very fair on her. There's too much confusion.
DAVID: Yeah, but Leo just told me -
AARON: And not just for her, but for us. I'm... I'm starting to bond with her again, David.
DAVID: We knew what we were taking on when we agreed to do this.
AARON: I know. I know, but I think we really need to start thinking about what long-term impact this could have. I need certainty; and more importantly, she does.
DAVID: I agree. One hundred percent.
AARON: Well, great. Because...
He holds David's hands.
AARON: ... I spoke to Pia Nash.
DAVID: The family lawyer we met?
AARON: Yeah. She was lovely. And she said she's more than happy to help us.
DAVID: To do what?
AARON: To start the process of becoming Abi's parents. Officially.
David looks annoyed.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Harlow tells Paul he's embarrassing himself; he says, 'It's worth it, if she forgives me'
- Terese tells Paul he diminishes her every time he seduces her into thinking things will be different
- David tells Aaron that Leo will think they're trying to steal his daughter; Aaron says he won't
- David tells Chloe and Leo he and Aaron have had a disagreement, but is lost for words when asked about what