- Amy telling Zara to stop interfering in Toadie and Mel's relationship
- Harold asking Amy's opinion of Melanie as a stepmother
- Amy organising an impromptu engagement party for Mel and Toadie
- Harold telling Melanie she hurt his grandkids when she left Joe
- Terese helping Sam at the hotel and asking her to keep it a secret
- Shane returning and offering to become Paul's Lassiters business partner
- Jane warning Shane that going into business with Paul is a terrible idea
Lassiters Hotel Penthouse
Paul is thrilled with Shane's offer, but Leo is wary, especially considering Shane made his fortune through crypto currency. Leo also wonders why Paul hasn't heard about Shane making it rich until now.
PAUL: You heard him, he said he doesn't like to advertise it.
LEO: Surely you have some mutual friends from your Jurassic period who would have said something? (Off Paul's bemused look) All I'm saying is do your due diligence.
PAUL: Yes I will, but I think this could end up being something quite great. You think about it. This time yesterday I had no solution, couldn't get a bank loan and I couldn't see past Terese being the best business partner.
LEO: I know.
PAUL: And now, along comes Shane. My trusty old mate, Shane.
LEO: All I'm saying is just think it all through, okay?
PAUL: Yeah I will. But you know, I think the universe might be throwing me a lifeline here. Could be a whole new chapter.
Amy has decorated the front lawn of Number 30 with streamers and set up a few tables and stools for any overflow of party guests. She asks Zara to man the Drinks Diva in the driveway and to give everyone a cocktail when they arrive. Toadie joins them and remarks on Amy's efficient job. Amy shows him the special cocktail she made for him and Mel - the white swan, because swans mate for life. "It tastes like eternal love and happiness," Amy says, not seeing Zara roll her eyes. "The special ingredient is I believe in the two of you!" Toadie thanks her and returns to Hugo near the front door.
ZARA: Whatever you're doing, take it down by about fifty per cent.
AMY: Yes, well I could say the same thing about you and your constant commentary thank you very much.
Hugo sees Melanie walk down the drive and rushes over to her for a hug. Toadie asks where she's been, but Mel says she was walking off extra energy.
Susan and Karl walk in from the backyard after some gardening and bump into Levi, who is dressed up for the engagement party. Susan encourages him to show off his outfit with a twirl before he leaves. The Kennedys then ask Harold if he's going to take a gift to the party, but are surprised when Harold says he's too tired to attend. They encourage him to come for a little while, saying how disappointed Toadie and Melanie will be if he doesn't. Harold caves in and says he'll go, but doesn't look thrilled about it.
Lassiters Hotel Penthouse
Shane drops by and Paul gives him some "light reading", which is paperwork consisting of the hotel's assets and ownership structure.
PAUL: Imagine what a Ramsay/Robinson team could achieve, hey? You know, we could even relaunch Home James in honour of gran.
SHANE: My chauffeur days are well behind me.
PAUL: I think there might be a few clients disappointed to hear that.
Shane says he'll take a proper look at the paperwork and get back to Paul. Leo walks out with Abigail and Paul says they're going to drop her off at her cousin's before attending a Ramsay Street party.
PAUL: You want to join us?
SHANE: I'd love to check in on the street.
PAUL: Well you do have naming rights.
When Paul goes to get ready, Shane asks Leo if he has any advice about being business partners with Paul.
SHANE: It's been a long time since I lived in your dad's caravan and he didn't have an empire back then. It's as much for his sake as it is for mine.
LEO: Well, if I can say anything about doing business with dad it would be set firm boundaries.
SHANE: Seems wise.
Susan is applying her lipstick when Karl walks out wearing a black wig. "No," Susan firmly says. "Still no," she says in an even firmer tone when Karl tries popping his hat on top. They're both stoked, though, when Malcolm suddenly walks through the front door for a surprise visit. Karl and Susan each give him a big hug. Mal says he thought they could use a lift after he heard what happened with Hendrix. The Ks don't think it's right that Mal is staying at Lassiters, but he points out they're running low on rooms at the moment.
SUSAN: Where are Catherine and Susannah? Are they at the hotel?
MALCOLM: Uh, no, they're not on this trip.
KARL: We were just about to head to Toadie's engagement party.
MALCOLM: Oh right, that's what's going on in the front yard!
KARL: You should come!
SUSAN: After all that flying it's probably the last thing you feel like doing. We've got so much to catch up on, we can be a bit late.
MALCOLM: No, I'd love to see Toadie.
With that settled, they head next door.
Toadie and Melanie thank Terese and Glen for the bouquet of flowers, and for making the party on such short notice. Harold hesitantly walks in and Toadie gives him a hug, but Melanie avoids eye contact with him and goes into the kitchen to find a vase for the flowers.
GLEN: Wow Harold, last time I was here you went missing.
HAROLD: Oh yes, that was an experience.
GLEN: I couldn't believe it when they told me you survived!
They're interrupted by Angie's boisterous arrival as she complains about the traffic jam by the front door, then hollers out to Nell and Hugo for a cuddle. Once Angie's done giving Harold a hug too, she tells Toadie it's time for her to meet Melanie.
TOADIE: Mum you've already met her on the phone.
ANGIE: Yeah but this is the one that counts.
Toadie leads her over to Melanie, who is swigging from a bottle of alcohol to calm her Harold-related worries.
ANGIE: A bit early to be hitting the hard stuff isn't it?
TOADIE: Mel, meet mum.
MELANIE: How lovely! What a treat.
ANGIE: (withering) I reckon I'll be the judge of that.
Later, Toadie greets Paul and Shane and says it must be surreal for Shane to be back after three decades.
SHANE: The last I remember of this house the Browns lived here, right?
PAUL: Yeah, that was before Terry and me, though. By the time you left it was the Simpsons. They pretty much kept to themselves.
Over the other side of the room, Glen and Terese get an update on David from Leo. He says David's hands still hurt but they'll heal up soon. Terese comments that Paul certainly seems much happier, but Leo also credits that to Paul's "old bestie" wanting to buy into the hotel.
Toadie is thrilled when he sees Malcolm walk in with Karl and Susan. The boys hug and Toad says Stonie will be kicking himself for not making it down. Karl and Susan share a look between themselves when Mal gives Toadie an evasive answer for Catherine not being with him. When Toadie goes to find Mal a beer, Susan comments that it's the second time Mal's acted oddly at the mention of his wife.
SUSAN: Is something going on?
MALCOLM: All right, I suppose I should just rip the bandaid right off. Catherine and I have separated.
Karl and Susan take Malcolm into the sunroom for more privacy so he can explain things further.
MALCOLM: It kicked off when I started getting homesick. I missed Australia and floated the idea of moving back.
KARL: Well that's not an unreasonable thing.
MALCOLM: Catherine wasn't interested. And once that crack formed more followed. We just stepped out of sync with each other.
SUSAN: Well, Malcolm, that can be temporary.
MALCOLM: Nah, the issues were piling up. We were both turning miserable. We didn't want to end up hating each other so we decided to separate.
KARL: And you came here.
SUSAN: Maybe this time apart will help you both to re-set?
MALCOLM: It actually happened toward the end of last year.
KARL: We spoke to both of you then, you seemed fine?
MALCOLM: We wanted to give Susannah one last happy Christmas together as a family before we split.
KARL: Mal I'm so sorry. It must have been very tough on the three of you.
MALCOLM: It's definitely been an adjustment.
SUSAN: Why did it take you so long to tell us?
MALCOLM: I had a lot to sort through trying to figure out who I am now.
SUSAN: Have you worked that out?
MALCOLM: I guess that's something we never stop doing, right?
Back in the lounge room, Wendy and Sadie show Harold and Glen the photos they put in the Ramsay Street history book this morning.
WENDY: It's official! We're now part of the street's history.
GLEN: (looking at a page filled with Toadie pics) There's a few familiar faces.
WENDY: (flicking through the book) We read the entire thing.
SADIE: So many mullets.
GLEN: Lucy loves a makeover doesn't she. If I didn't know better I'd think those photos were of three different people.
Paul steals Harold for a chat, while Amy goes into the kitchen to speak with Melanie (who has been staring glumly in Harold's general direction). Amy tries to get Mel out of her funk, but Mel says it's hard to celebrate when Harold clearly doesn't want the marriage to go ahead.
MELANIE: He said some really hurtful things that I can't un-hear.
AMY: Like what?
ANGIE: (barging over to Mel and taking her drink) Luvvie, let me hold that for you so you can go get dressed for the party.
MELANIE: (grabbing her drink back) I *am* dressed for the party.
ANGIE: Well, it's a choice.
Shane has a drink out the front of Number 30 while he stares over the road at Number 24, reminiscing. Freya, Levi and Aaron walk across to the party. Aaron says he hopes everything with David will get better soon, which Freya concurs.
FREYA: The future doesn't exactly feel certain. Sorry, I'm being really negative.
AARON: No, it's all right, you've got a lot to work through yourself.
FREYA: The first thing is, if I'm not a nurse then what the hell am I going to do with my life?
LEVI: I've been thinking about it and I think you'd make an amazing paramedic.
FREYA: Yeah? Oh that's so nice.
AARON: You're good in a crisis.
LEVI: The way you took Emma down, you can handle yourself, girl.
Freya looks over at Shane, wondering who it is, but then gets distracted when Toadie shouts at them to come and join the party. Terese gets a virgin white swan to drink from Zara in the van, and then stops to have a chat with Shane.
SHANE: Does Val Grundy still live at Number 34?
TERESE: No I'm afraid she passed away a few years ago.
Shane apologises to Terese for bringing up her divorce with Paul when they first met, but Terese says she's heard worse small talk before. Terese brings up Shane possibly going into business with Paul, and Shane asks why she stopped being the manager. Terese says it wasn't exactly her choice, but Shane's aware of some aspects of Fashion Week and asks what Paul's angle was.
TERESE: Well it's no secret - Paul deliberately sabotaged the event to make me look bad.
SHANE: He put Lassiters at risk?
TERESE: In the short term it was more important to get back at me than to protect the hotel. I mean, of course the hotel recovered. He would never seriously jeopardise it.
SHANE: But he's not afraid to use it as a pawn.
TERESE: That's the bad news.
SHANE: The good?
TERESE: The good news is when it comes to business Paul is the most passionate, driven person I've ever met. It's actually quite remarkable to see him in full flight.
Paul sees them talking to each other and smiles to himself.
Karl and Susan are still in the sunroom dissecting Mal's separation. Karl says it's not entirely a shock given Mal and Catherine's issues in the past. Susan feels bad for Susannah, but also can't help but feel something else is going on with Mal. Aaron, Freya and Levi walk in with the history book, putting the Kennedys conversation on pause.
LEVI: We have strict instructions from Harold to write in this thing.
KARL: (jokingly chiding) The history book is very important to Harold. He would not appreciate you referring to it as a thing.
SUSAN: It tells the story of many, many couples. Once you two are in there, you know you're bound for life! Well, hopefully.
Freya and Levi share a smirk.
Back inside the house, Angie is grumbling to Melanie about the short notice of not only the engagement party but the wedding as well. Lots of family members will be unable to attend.
ANGIE: Stonie, Big Kev, the Sharma-Rebecchis, they're all gutted.
MELANIE: Well we will be live streaming it for those who can't be here.
ANGIE: (sarcastic) Oh, well, they'll be riveted.
Sadie chats with Zara about the fact that Amy planned the whole party. Zara feels like her mum has given up already, but the wedding is still a few weeks off yet so there's still plenty of time to put a stop to things.
Paul sidles up to Terese and Glen and says Terese must be happy at the thought of getting her settlement money soon. Terese comments that he and Shane must be close to a deal, which Paul acknowledges. He unwittingly throws Terese under the bus when he mentions her helping him out with the conference the other day. When Paul leaves to speak with Shane, Glen side eyes Terese. "Did I miss something? When did you step in for Paul?" he asks, while Terese shifts around guiltily.
Amy talks to Harold near the van and says she hopes he didn't mention her and Zara's names when he spoke to Melanie. But Harold says he already had concerns of his own and is taking no pleasure in hurting Melanie, regardless of what Amy thinks.
Toadie and Melanie see Aaron and Leo out. The boys promise they have a present in the works, which will hopefully arrive by the time the wedding rolls around. Toadie and Mel thank them for coming given everything they've been going through lately. Leo and Aaron head off and Toadie thinks Mel's solemn mood is to do with Angie.
TOADIE: Sorry about mum.
MELANIE: What? No, I'm managing Angie.
TOADIE: She needs to pull her head in.
MELANIE: No it's not your mum. It's Harold.
Off Toadie's surprise, Melanie asks him if they can have a chat somewhere private.
Glen is very taken aback that Terese lied to him about helping out Paul. Terese promises him it was only an act of kindness on her behalf, and she kept it quiet because she didn't want people to assume otherwise.
TERESE: Please don't read anything into it. It's not like it was a big act of deception.
GLEN: Yeah if you say so.
TERESE: I promise you there's nothing more to it.
GLEN: It was just a bit of a shock.
Terese decides she should go home and relax with Glen. Levi and Freya bring the history book inside and put it on the drinks table. They're pretty amazed they're now in the street's version of the bible. Freya then brings up that she'd like to take a trip home to Echuca and see her family, inviting Levi along.
Susan feels bad that they dragged Mal to an engagement party after everything he's been through. She still doesn't understand why it took him so long to break the news, though, and doesn't like the fact he was over in the UK with no support. Dodging the topic, Mal says he's feeling quite jet lagged and thinks he'll head back to the hotel for a nap.
Sadie finds Wendy and tells her that they're late for a family gathering they're supposed to attend. Feeling rushed by her daughter, Wendy gets her handbag and accidentally knocks the history book off the table and into a big bucket of ice water. None the wiser to what she's done, Wendy leaves with Sadie.
In the sunroom, Melanie has filled Toadie in on everything Harold said to her. But Mel says it's not even how everything ended between her and Joe's kids - she doesn't know where Harold's got his information from. Harold wanders in looking for the history book, but Toadie shuts the door and wants to know what Harold's deal is.
TOADIE: What you said to Mel was completely out of line.
HAROLD: I know it was harsh. But it came from a place of love and concern for you and the kids.
TOADIE: Except you're completely wrong, mate.
HAROLD: Sorry but I can't be sure of that.
TOADIE: Well I'm sorry too. This is our engagement party, buddy. We only want people here who believe in us. And it seems that you don't, so I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to leave. Now.
Amy and Zara work the drinks van, listening in as Karl approaches Toadie and Mel, asking where Harold is. Karl's stunned when Toadie says he asked him to leave.
KARL: What happened?
TOADIE: He said some very unkind things to Melanie.
KARL: It must be a misunderstanding.
TOADIE: No it wasn't, he was out of line so I asked him to leave.
Amy sternly tells Zara that she's not allowed to meddle in Toadie and Mel's lives any longer. Zara protests that she didn't meddle, she merely prompted a conversation. "No, you have an agenda and it is really mean to Toadie and Mel," Amy replies.
ZARA: This is just so wrong. Toadie and Melanie are building a life together and you're having this baby by yourself. He should be with you. With us. I'd really like him as a step-dad.
AMY: Yeah well that may be, but you can't force something that is just not there.
ZARA: Open your eyes, mum.
Meanwhile, Shane's doing a quick Google search on his phone for local lawyers and who happens to come up but old mate Tim Collins.
Lassiters Hotel Room
Malcolm returns to his room - but there's someone in there waiting for him.
MALCOLM: The good news is I told mum and dad about Catherine. Threw them for six, but they seemed to understand. The bad news is, I didn't get to the part about you. Not yet.
The other person is revealed to be none other than Izzy Hoyland, sitting on the bed waiting for Mal.
IZZY: I guess it's best to let them handle one shock at a time. They won't see this coming.