- A series of coughing fits prompts Hendrix to seek medical advice
- He's diagnosed with the autoimmune disease sarcoidosis, which has developed into pulmonary fibrosis
- His consultant, Dr Caton, tells Hendrix his only option is a lung transplant
- Hendrix is reluctant to tell people about it, but she suggests they go to Sydney to tell his parents
- After some incidents where he struggles to breathe, Karl thinks Hendrix should tell his family
- But on the eve of his and Mackenzie's Sydney trip, Hendrix decides he isn't telling his parents after all
The usual title sequence is eschewed today in favour of a simple title card depicting a view of Sydney harbour, with the Neighbours logo overlaid.
Hendrix and Mackenzie have hired a posh red sports car and are having a whale of a time driving through the city, whooping with delight as they drive over a bridge. They hold hands, and Mackenzie kisses Hendrix's hand. He grins at her, and they pull up in a waterside park area.
HENDRIX: I've missed this town!
MACKENZIE: I bet it's missed you, too!
He leaps out of the car.
MACKENZIE: Do we have time to stop?
MACKENZIE: How far away is your dad's?
HENDRIX: Time is a funny thing, isn't it? Like, has it been minutes, or has it been hours?
He's begun walking into the park, and Mackenzie follows him.
MACKENZIE: What are you talking about?
HENDRIX: Time seems so much longer when you're a kid. Like, I mean, it did for me that day. I guess I was only six.
MACKENZIE: Hendrix, is this some kind of walk down memory lane?
HENDRIX: Yeah. Started as a walk, then it became a run. I didn't like Mum's new boyfriend, so... I was outta there.
MACKENZIE: Hang on - you ran away from home at the age of six?
HENDRIX: Mm, I don't know how I made it - that part's a little hazy - but I ended up right here.
Hendrix shows Mackenzie the view over the harbour, as the foghorns blow.
HENDRIX: I'll never forget hearing that sound (...) I waited, and I waited, and then it got dark. Panic set in.
MACKENZIE: Your mum must've been feeling the same way.
HENDRIX: I was cold, I was hungry, and then... I looked up. And I saw a sea of bats. It was like a horror movie.
MACKENZIE: You didn't think about going home?
HENDRIX: I couldn't. I had my pride. So being the tough little soldier I was, I curled up into a ball, and I cried.
He sits down next to the base of a large tree. Mackenzie sits next to him.
MACKENZIE: Poor little you.
HENDRIX: Before I knew it, Mum was standing over me (...) I was in major, major strife.
MACKENZIE: That doesn't sound like you at all.
Hendrix then takes Mackenzie to a nearby bench, and explains that this is where he sat after cheating on his exam, wondering whether he'd got away with it.
MACKENZIE: Did you?
HENDRIX: Busted. Badly.
MACKENZIE: Good. Justice was served.
Further along the waterfront, they come to a grassy slope.
HENDRIX: Now, this... this is the exact spot that I did it for the first time.
HENDRIX: You never forget your first time.
Hendrix jumps in the air, performing a full backflip. It sets him off coughing, and laughing.
HENDRIX: I'm talking months and months of practice.
MACKENZIE: ... Why did it take me so long to meet you?
Back in the car, they head to another memory spot, and walk along the waterfront with coffees.
HENDRIX: This is where I copped my first heartbreak.
MACKENZIE: Ow! Should I be flattered you brought me here?
HENDRIX: I was here... and Candice Walters...
HENDRIX: ... she was rounding that corner. I wanted to surprise her, cos I knew that she came here every day before school, right? But... she was with another dude.
MACKENZIE: Is it still your favourite coffee?
HENDRIX: Yeah, it's a good coffee.
MACKENZIE: It's a good coffee.
HENDRIX: And yeah, you should be flattered. Cos every time I came back for this, I'd have this pang for her. And now I don't. In fact, I'd love to run into her, just to show her how happy I am.
Hendrix starts coughing again as he sips his coffee.
MACKENZIE: Hendrix, we can't keep this from your family.
HENDRIX: We can.
MACKENZIE: You're not well.
HENDRIX: I will be, okay? It's fine.
Mackenzie looks worried as Hendrix heads off in search of some water. At this point, the alarm on the car, which is parked nearby, begins to go off. Mackenzie goes to confront a teenage girl who has her hands on it, and threatens to call the police. But Hendrix then returns.
HENDRIX: How did you know I was here?
GIRL: Your first mistake was posting this set of wheels from the airport.
She hugs him, and introduces herself to Mackenzie as Alana, Hendrix's sister.
HENDRIX: I told you she was a handful.
ALANA: So, why didn't you tell us you were coming? Wait, I haven't busted a dirty weekend, have I?
HENDRIX: No, we're on our way to Dad's now.
ALANA: Correction, *we're* on our way. After you shout me one of these [coffees].
HENDRIX: She's not that bad once you get to know her.
Mackenzie smiles, and follows the siblings as they walk off.
True to form, Pierce the First is having a topless workout on the balcony of his posh townhouse when Hendrix, Mackenzie and Alana arrive. One sweaty hug later, Pierce wonders why they didn't tell him they were coming.
HENDRIX: What, is the art of surprise lost on everyone here? (...) We just wanted to see you.
PIERCE: And that's it, no other reason?
HENDRIX: What other reason could there be?
Alana looks suspicious. Pierce goes to freshen up before they have some lunch, and Alana goes inside too.
HENDRIX: Don't say it.
MACKENZIE: I just think if they knew, they'd be able to support you.
HENDRIX: You are all the support I need, okay? Please, just try to understand. Please.
Shortly afterwards, Hendrix and Mackenzie are looking at a framed photo of Hendrix as a kid, in a hat, shirt and pinstripe trousers with braces, while Pierce and Alana set the table for lunch.
MACKENZIE: That is quite an outfit.
HENDRIX: When did you get so sentimental, Dad?
PIERCE: When I started thinking about all the years I missed when you kids were little.
ALANA: Lunch is served. But we should be making Jamie Oliver over here do the cooking.
PIERCE: (...) I'm proud of you, mate. You found your passion, and you're sticking with it.
Pierce asks whether Hendrix has a 'five-year plan' to become a chef and start his own restaurant.
HENDRIX (rattled): Dunno. I'm taking it one day at a time.
Mackenzie asks about Alana's post-school plans; she says she intends to take a 'gap decade', but Pierce tells her she's going to uni.
HENDRIX (to Alana): You should have a focus.
ALANA: Says the guy who put 'here for a good time, not a long time' at the end of his yearbook quote.
Hendrix smiles uncomfortably. Mackenzie tells Pierce that Karl and Susan say hello, and he returns the gesture.
PIERCE: How's our old mate Paul?
MACKENZIE: Still shattered to have lost Terese.
PIERCE: Why does that bring me so much joy?
Hendrix looks like he's feeling ill and coughs a little, and Pierce asks if he's okay. He makes the excuse that he's tired after the early start, and Mackenzie suggests he could have a lie-down. Alana is once again suspicious, but Hendrix changes the subject.
HENDRIX: So, big man - who is she?
HENDRIX: Your new squeeze, and don't tell me there's nobody - I saw an extra toothbrush in your bathroom. Come on, out with it.
Hendrix has brought Mackenzie to his old school, en route to see his mum. Mackenzie says she isn't trying to be a killjoy; Hendrix knows this, but tells her to try not to worry about him. He explains he spent three years of his life here before being shipped off to boarding school - and promptly climbs over the railings to gain access!
MACKENZIE: We can't go in!
HENDRIX: It's the weekend. Nobody's here. Come on!
Inside, Hendrix gives Mack the grand tour of the school grounds.
HENDRIX: Biology wing - ugh, Mr Molina.
MACKENZIE: Was he a Marty Muggleton?
HENDRIX: Oh, worse. *Way* worse. I nearly missed my year eight sports carnival because he put me in detention.
MACKENZIE: I'm sure you found a way to get back at him.
HENDRIX: He may or may not have found a dead frog in the glovebox of his car.
Hendrix then takes Mackenzie to the site of his 'greatest achievement', a courtyard where he achieved 'legendary status'.
HENDRIX: Picture it, okay? It's 2016, hot summer day. It's a Saturday - I put out the word on Facey...
MACKENZIE: I'm guessing 'the word' didn't go out to teachers.
HENDRIX: Kids turned up from *everywhere*, right? Not an authority figure in sight!
At which point a security guard (Roscoe Dawson) appears, and informs them they're trespassing!
HENDRIX: Run - run!
He and Mackenzie run away, holding hands, chased by the security guard!
Hendrix gives his mum a hug.
LISA: I can't believe you're here!
HENDRIX: I won't be if you hug me any tighter!
Hendrix hears a child's voice in the room next door.
HENDRIX: Is that who I think it is?
It's Maeve, his toddler half-sister, who Hendrix is thrilled to see, and immediately gets down on the floor to play with her and her toys.
MACKENZIE: Oh, she's so adorable.
LISA: She is. And by 'adorable' I mean slightly demanding, fussy with her food, but also super-cute.
MACKENZIE: I wonder who else might've been like that as a kid?
LISA: Total terror.
HENDRIX: I've been giving Mackenzie the greatest hits tour. I just showed her my old school.
LISA: You didn't tell her the story?
MACKENZIE: Oh, I actually didn't get to hear the end of the story - we were chased off.
LISA: I don't think Maeve's ears are old enough for that, either. Maybe when she's twelve. I've got this vision of him sitting her down when she's starting high school, giving her all of the dos and the don'ts. Maybe just the don'ts.
As she speaks, Hendrix goes quiet, and gets a sad look in his eye, evidently contemplating the future.
HENDRIX: ... I just need some air, sorry.
He goes into the garden and looks out across a swimming pool. Mackenzie follows him out.
MACKENZIE: I don't want to keep pushing you. Maybe we should make this a short trip. We can say the flight's taken it out of us, and we can see your mum tomorrow...
Hendrix eventually turns to her, his voice breaking.
HENDRIX: What if I never get to see her grow up? What if I never get to see Maeve go to school, become a teenager?
MACKENZIE: You will.
HENDRIX: What if I never get to tell her all the dodgy things that I did, so that she can't make the same mistakes?
MACKENZIE: You're gonna get a transplant.
HENDRIX (tearful): What if I don't?! What if I don't? What if I never get to share my life with you?
He puts his hands on Mackenzie's face.
MACKENZIE (emotional): It's okay to be scared. I'm scared too.
HENDRIX (crying): I don't wanna die.
MACKENZIE: You won't. You won't! There are still plenty of options, Hendrix. It's gonna be alright (...) But what's not alright is to hide what you're going through from your family.
HENDRIX: I don't want to freak 'em out! Look at how happy they are to see us!
MACKENZIE: But don't you see? Don't you see, you think you're protecting them by not telling them, but what you're really doing is depriving them of the chance to be there for you.
HENDRIX: I thought I could just pretend that it wasn't happening. Even for a few days.
MACKENZIE: Let's start with your mum. You'll feel better once they know.
They hold hands and walk back indoors, only to find that Pierce and Alana have arrived, and are waiting in the hall with Lisa. Alana's suspicions having got the better of her, she's been through Hendrix's bag, and discovered Karl's instructions for what to do if his illness worsens while he's away and he has to go to hospital.
LISA: Pulmonary fibrosis? What, are you sick? (...) Okay, now you're frightening me.
HENDRIX: I'm frightened, too, Mum. I'm really sick.
Shortly after, Hendrix is explaining the details of his condition to the family, which he says he may have had since birth - it can lay dormant for years, but has been triggered by the smoke from the school fire. Lisa and Pierce immediately start talking about getting some specialist medical care for Hendrix; they can do some research, even look overseas if they need to.
ALANA: What happened at lunch?
HENDRIX: ... I have trouble breathing. But I'm on meds, and, you know, it just makes me a little queasy sometimes. Mum...
LISA (upset): You're so young! This shouldn't be happening to you - it shouldn't!
They hug. Alana is looking hurt.
Back outside by the pool, Hendrix sits alone on a deckchair until Pierce comes out, and sits down on an adjacent chair.
PIERCE: Why didn't you tell us sooner?
HENDRIX: I was going to. That was the initial reason for this trip.
PIERCE: I thought we were in a place that you could tell me anything?
HENDRIX: We are. I was just so tired of everyone treating me differently back home. I wanted to switch off from it all.
PIERCE: I suppose I can understand that.
HENDRIX: ... I'm sorry, Dad.
PIERCE: It's okay, you've explained.
HENDRIX: No, I'm sorry for all the stupid things I've done.
Pierce moves onto Hendrix's deckchair, and puts his arms around him.
HENDRIX: You and I, it's like, we've wasted so much time, just being angry at each other.
PIERCE: Yeah, but that's behind us.
HENDRIX: Yeah, but it doesn't take much for us to start just having stupid arguments again, and I don't want that anymore.
PIERCE: Me neither. Now, look... let's not waste any more time, alright? Come here.
He draws Hendrix into a hug.
Back indoors, Lisa thanks Mackenzie for being there for Hendrix, saying it can't have been easy on her either. Mackenzie says they've all just got to stay positive for Hendrix. Lisa goes to check on Maeve, leaving Mackenzie alone with Alana.
MACKENZIE: The doctors are really confident -
ALANA (angry): Stop. This all started cos of that fire at the school, right?
MACKENZIE: That's what they think.
ALANA: You were there, you got stuck in an air vent, or something.
MACKENZIE: Hendrix saved my life.
ALANA: And now he's paying with his?!
Hendrix and Pierce come back in and hear this.
ALANA: Well, it's true! This condition you've got, it might never have flared if it weren't for her!
PIERCE: Alana, you are way out of line.
HENDRIX: I'll say! Take that back.
MACKENZIE: It's okay.
HENDRIX: No, it's not - apologise, now!
Alana is lost for words, and Lisa comes back in, asking what's going on.
PIERCE: I think we're all just adjusting to the news.
HENDRIX: We are, but this is nobody's fault. So I need you all to be strong for me. It's the only way I'm gonna get through this.
Alana nods, shaken.
Mackenzie and Hendrix are on a promontory overlooking the sea. Hendrix has his hands over Mackenzie's eyes as he leads her towards a beauty spot. A rainbow is visible in the distance, arcing over the ocean. Hendrix removes his hands.
MACKENZIE: Wow. What a view.
HENDRIX: Thought you'd like it.
MACKENZIE: How did you know this is exactly what I needed?
HENDRIX: It's what I needed, too. Still can't get over you keeping your cool with Alana.
MACKENZIE: She only lashed out because she loves you.
HENDRIX: It's more than she deserves. She owes you a big apology.
MACKENZIE: Besides that - do you feel better, now everyone knows?
HENDRIX: You were right. I do.
MACKENZIE: So... what mischief did you get up to here?
HENDRIX: No mischief. This is where I came to dream.
MACKENZIE: What would you dream about?
HENDRIX: The funny thing is, it was never just one thing. But I could spend hours up here, just... thinking. Made me calm. It was like, I always knew something good was coming in my future. Just didn't know what it was. Just had to wait. You are beautiful. I mean it - I mean it, Mackenzie, okay?
MACKENZIE: Yeah, I'm not that special.
HENDRIX: You are. I have never met anyone like you. You've had to fight to live your life on your terms, and yet you're so compassionate.
MACKENZIE: We should come out here more often. See your family - maybe take a boat ride next time...
HENDRIX: Marry me.
MACKENZIE: ... What?
HENDRIX: You're the good thing that I didn't know was coming. It's always been you. I love you, Mackenzie - marry me.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Freya finds a familiar cardigan in Christabel's car; Christabel snatches it from her, saying it's hers
- But Freya thinks she's seen Harlow wearing it previously
- Chloe tells Freya that Harlow is out of range in Daylesford; Freya decides to drive there and check it out
- Freya turns up in Daylesford, while Corey continues to drug Harlow at their getaway
- 'Maybe we should never go back,' says Corey. 'If only,' a spaced- out Harlow replies