- Reece catches Holly setting up for the drinks event, forcing Paul to explain that he brought her back
- Remi has been bewitched by the power of Ramsay Street, deciding it's a nice place with lovely people
- Paul is having trouble appointing a new building manager for the Complex, but is later accosted by Remi
- Dex discovers that JJ is in possession of a diary belonging to Cara's late friend Philippa
- JJ tells Dex that Andrew was going to be a sperm donor for Philippa, but it was offered to Cara instead
- Mackenzie gets closer to Haz, but Sadie awkwardly advises her to take things slower
- It's because Haz is dating other women; and Mack's upset to see one leaving the house the morning after
Mackenzie is moaning to Sadie about how she'd decided she and Haz were 'meant to be', only to discover he's seeing other girls. Sadie reluctantly explains that she found out a week ago that Haz was organising a date, but hadn't wanted to say anything.
SADIE: I just didn't want to break your heart, and I thought Haz would come to his senses.
MACKENZIE: So that's why you were telling me to slow down.
SADIE: I know you haven't dated anyone since Hendrix.
MACKENZIE: I should've gone with my first instinct - no- go.
SADIE: I think he likes you, deep down. He just hasn't realised yet.
MACKENZIE: I think the evidence strongly suggests otherwise!
Sadie begs a tearful Mackenzie not to let this set her back, just as Wendy comes in. Wendy wonders what's wrong, but Mackenzie replies, 'Don't ask,' and walks out.
SADIE: I just wanted her to be happy. Why do I have to mess everything up, Mum? Why do I do that?
Wendy tries to comfort her.
JJ and Dex are having breakfast; Remi comes in and asks if someone was up late, saying she heard movement, but the boys brush it off. JJ expresses surprise that Cara's taken a job while they're on holiday; Remi says it's easy money, which Cara can't say no to. JJ then asks what's going on with the land purchase for the Werribee build. Remi says she wants a family discussion about that today.
REMI: I've got some new thoughts. It'd be good to get everybody's opinion.
DEX and JJ: ...
REMI: 'Oh, yeah, Ma! Sure, Ma - sounds good, Ma!' (!)
Remi heads for the shower, leaving JJ to ask Dex if he got any sleep last night. Not a bit, Dex admits.
Byron and Holly are hanging out, but he has to head off to start work.
HOLLY: Don't wanna be late for Rolls Reece!
HOLLY: I didn't make that up - everybody's calling her that.
Reece herself comes in, and Holly makes a swift exit, remarking quietly to Byron that Reece gets everywhere.
REECE: She didn't leave because of me?
BYRON: Umm, just guessing you might make her a bit nervous.
REECE: I didn't realise you guys were friends outside of work.
BYRON: Well, we're neighbours. Does that make me suburban? I guess you must have a whole estate back home.
REECE: Knowing your neighbours sounds great to me.
BYRON: Well, it's got its pros and cons, but Holly's definitely one of the pros. She's had a rough year. But she's got a good heart underneath it all.
REECE: Well, she did help out with the conference. She could've said 'get lost'.
BYRON: Yeah - the sass? It's got an on- and- off switch. You've just got to know how to find it.
REECE: Well, I think it's sweet you're looking out for her.
There's a moment of awkwardness between them, and Byron heads to the counter to pay his bill. Haz is tired, so passes him the card reader the wrong way up.
HAZ: Big night.
BYRON: I heard. My room is right next to yours, remember?
HAZ: I'm sorry. It was a 2am call. I couldn't say no! (...) I said on my profile that I'm not up for anything serious, and neither is Billie, so... What about you and Reece?
BYRON: Yeah, I miss her. Just can't go there right now.
Byron heads off to start work.
Remi is reading a magazine, when Cara comes in from the job she's been doing at the Lassiter's Complex.
REMI: How was Paul?
CARA: Nowhere near as scary as the history book made him out to be. Or as tall.
REMI (laughs): Well, you have to admire a guy that pays top dollar to fix a sign.
CARA: ... Did I tell you I was fixing a sign?
REMI: Uh, I thought you did.
CARA: I'm pretty sure I didn't (...) Remi?
REMI: Okay, okay. Maybe I knew about the job.
REMI: Maybe I bumped into Paul yesterday.
CARA: He didn't mention that.
REMI: Because I told him not to... I asked him to pretend he'd seen your ad online.
CARA: Excuse me?
REMI: Well, you hate me spruiking you for work!
CARA: Yeah, I do. And we're on holiday!
REMI: I just wanted you to see the potential. Get a taste.
CARA: The potential for what? We're leaving in two days!
REMI: There's a full- time job going at the hotel. You'd be perfect for it!
CARA: Why do I want a job in Erinsborough when we're building in Werribee? ... Aren't we?
REMI: I don't want to build a house. I don't want to move back to Werribee... I want to buy the house across the road.
Cara looks bamboozled!
JJ and Dex are sitting on the floor outside the garage, talking about what JJ has learned from Philippa's diary.
DEX: Mum never lies to Ma.
JJ: Yeah, well, she did this time.
DEX: Which means she must've had a pretty good reason. This could break them up. Is that what you want?
JJ: No, of course not!
DEX: They've already got different ideas on building or buying a house. Something like this...
JJ: You're getting ahead of yourself. Nobody's saying anything. And nobody's breaking up.
Andrew pulls up in his police car across the road, and nods at the boys in acknowledgement, before heading into Grease Monkeys.
JJ: He seems like a nice guy.
DEX: What if he doesn't want some random son? You know, this affects his family, too. Think of that?
JJ looks thoughtful.
Remi pours a cuppa, while explaining her reasoning for wanting to stay to Cara; she admits it's partly about the Linwell Brothers, Cara's dodgy former employers.
CARA: We can't let them intimidate us.
REMI: I trust your judgement, and I know nothing's happened since. It's just... since we've been here, I just suddenly started thinking, 'Wouldn't this make a great home?'
CARA: So you tricked me into doing some work for Paul?
REMI: No, I wanted you to see the opportunities. I can get work at the hospital, too. I made some enquiries (...) It's a great street, and I love the neighbours. And when do you ever get to move somewhere knowing so much about everyone beforehand?
Cara objects that their lives and families are in Werribee, but Remi says there's nothing to stop them visiting.
REMI: It's for the boys, too - JJ, mainly. You've seen the change in him.
CARA: He's barely here, and when he is, he's on his phone!
REMI: He likes the street. He's curious, and interested in everyone. He just seemed so lost at home.
CARA: Look, I'm worried about him too. But changing schools, I mean, that's - that's huge for him.
REMI: Yeah, yeah. And of course we can't make a commitment without talking to them. Hey, I know you wanted to build, and maybe we still will. But there's a house for sale across the road. Why don't we just look at it?
Wendy and Sadie are chatting on the sofa, about Sadie's role in Hendrix's death.
SADIE: I've tried to forgive myself for the fire at the school.
WENDY: That was years ago! You know you weren't the one that started that.
SADIE: But I didn't do anything to stop it either. It's always there with me on some level. I'm part of the reason his illness flared up, and I'm part of the reason why Mack's alone.
WENDY: She's not alone - she has friends. She has friends like you (...) She forgave you. And... and so did Hendrix.
SADIE: I just thought Haz could be the one to make it all better for her.
WENDY: Haz is a good guy. It might just be he's not looking for a relationship.
SADIE: Maybe. But he needs to be more sensitive about his hookups.
Sadie asks if Wendy has applied for the building manager job at Lassiter's. Wendy says she's just about to send her resume.
WENDY: And seeing how stressed Paul is about Reece, I think my timing could be perfect.
Holly is glumly fiddling with her phone at a table when Reece comes in. Holly looks away.
REECE: You don't have to keep hiding from me.
HOLLY: I guess you can't fire me twice.
REECE: Oh, strong grasp of the labour laws!
HOLLY: I'm not as dumb as I make myself look.
REECE: I've been hearing that. I'm willing to give you a second chance.
REECE: But I expect a proper performance this time.
HOLLY: Definitely. Model employee!
REECE: Just don't mess it up.
Reece tells Holly there's a gap in the roster right now if she wants to do a shift. Holly eagerly goes to get changed - but not before giving Reece a big hug!
HOLLY: Thank you so much!
Once she's gone, Byron approaches, and Reece confirms Holly's back - for now!
BYRON: That's awesome.
REECE: I'm glad it makes you happy.
BYRON: Did you do that for me?
REECE: That would be wildly unprofessional.
BYRON: Well, it wouldn't be the first time.
Reece makes it clear Byron's belief in Holly was a clincher, but adds that she's not doing this with any strings attached. Byron insists he never thought that, and they smile at one another, before Reece heads off to meet Paul for their fresh tour of the complex.
Byron is telling Haz about Reece's act of kindness towards Holly, which he admits has got him thinking about her in a different light again. On the other hand, he points out, Paul is hoping Reece packs her bags as soon as she's satisfied with the improvements he's made to the complex.
HAZ: You could talk her into staying.
BYRON: I could, you know, I could. But how long till I have to tell her about Harvey J?
HAZ: Your escort name?
Byron has to go, but thanks Haz for listening and they share a hug before he leaves. Sadie comes in.
HAZ: Hey! Wanna try my new Northern Rivers bean?
SADIE: Uh, no.
HAZ: I'll even let you put one sugar in. But only if you post about it.
SADIE: I just want to say it's not cool to flaunt your booty calls in front of Mack.
HAZ: (...) Okay... what did Mack say?
SADIE: I think she's really upset about it.
SADIE: Well, it upset me!
HAZ: I know you think Mack is into me, but she's done nothing to give me that impression. We're mates, and we're housemates.
SADIE: I just think you could be a little more considerate.
She leaves, and Haz looks flummoxed.
Holly is standing with a tray of drinks to greet Reece, Paul and Byron at the conclusion of their tour. Reece thanks Holly, and Paul whispers to her that it's good to have her back. The trio head to a table, and Paul tells Reece it was nice of her to give Holly a second chance.
REECE: Well, it was clear this job means a lot to her. And honestly, Lassiter's could use someone with that drive and commitment.
PAUL: (...) Anyway, as you can see, everything's in good order. The staff are behaving themselves, the maintenance issues have been rectified, and a new building manager will be appointed very soon. Now, I know that you want weekly reports, but if you need to go back to the US, that's absolutely understandable.
Byron looks nervous, but Reece doesn't elaborate on her plans - just says she has some emails to send, and leaves. Paul, however, is smugly confident that Reece will be on her way now.
PAUL (to Byron): I didn't even have to play the daddy card.
BYRON: The daddy card?
PAUL: Well, I was thinking of going over her head and contacting Conrad - well, I mean, she's clearly sensitive about him. But, no - no need (...) It's her last tango in Erinsborough, I can tell you.
Byron looks curious at the mention of Reece's father.
Toadie has the decorators in as he welcomes Cara and Remi to show them around the house. He admits there has been a bit of interest online, so they'd need to act quickly if they wanted to put in an offer.
REMI: It's got a really nice feel.
TOADIE: Yeah. I'm guessing the old Ramsay Street charm has worked on you, too, eh?
REMI: Yeah, you could say that.
Cara looks less happy, but grudgingly admits she likes what Toadie's done with the sunroom, even if the back yard needs a bit of work.
CARA: It's got one more bedroom than we'd need. Be great to add an extra bathroom. Essential, really.
REMI: Yeah. Teenage boys.
TOADIE: Say no more. I was one myself. I'd hate to see my daughter's face when I tell her that her bedroom's gonna become a dunny!
Noticing some tension, Toadie leaves Cara and Remi to talk between themselves.
CARA: I haven't been listening to you, have I?
REMI: You've been excited about building.
CARA: Yeah, but I never really stopped to ask if that's what you wanted. I just ran away with the idea once we sold.
REMI: And there's nothing wrong with that. I honestly never thought about moving suburbs till we came here. I just can't help thinking... maybe it's meant to be.
CARA: Our jobs are a factor.
REMI: Yeah, of course. Yeah, and maybe the building manager job isn't for you... but maybe it is.
CARA: We'd need more info on the local school...
REMI: Jane's the person to ask. And she'll be home soon... Well?
CARA: I think we should at least have that family discussion.
Reece is in her room, texting somebody with the message, 'I don't know how much longer I can stay here.' She sends it, just as Byron turns up at the door.
BYRON: I thought you might be packing.
REECE: Oh, I'm sure Paul's hoping I am.
BYRON: You're not wrong there! ... Can I ask you something?
BYRON: What do you see in me? And I'm not trying to be modest, but I mean, you... you could have anyone.
REECE: How do you see yourself?
BYRON: ... I'm just a normal guy, I guess. Just going through life.
REECE: Then, I think you've answered your own question. Look, I've never met anyone like you before - and the circles I move in, they're just different. Certainly not better, but different. And I don't know how to explain it, but the time I've spent with you, I feel like someone else. Someone normal. And I really like it. I'm sorry - I should've been more upfront with you about who I was when I first got here. And I get why you've backed off. I just wish there was a way to get back to the way things were.
BYRON: So, you'd stay... for me?
REECE: ... Well, what we had was amazing. Wasn't it a little bit amazing for you, too?
They fall into a pash, and collapse onto the bed.
Mackenzie insists to Haz that she wasn't upset about his hookup. (She's doing her best impression of casual, which Haz is totally buying.)
HAZ: Good. Great. I didn't think so.
MACKENZIE: I'm guessing you've been talking to Sadie.
HAZ: For some weird reason, she's decided to matchmake us.
MACKENZIE: I know. Weird!
HAZ: And I keep telling her that we're friends, and we're housemates.
MACKENZIE: Absolutely. I said the same thing.
HAZ: What, so you've been copping it too?
MACKENZIE: Sadie is an incurable romantic. Everyone has to be loved up, but the same rule doesn't apply to herself (...) She means well, but don't listen to anything she says. Ever.
HAZ: Got it. Oh, listen, umm - about Billie...
MACKENZIE (overenthusiastic): Billie! Cool name.
HAZ: We never really discussed rules around having people over. I just took it for granted that -
MACKENZIE: Obviously you can.
HAZ: And you can too.
MACKENZIE (pretending): Great. Glad that's settled... Was Trevor okay this morning?
HAZ: He didn't cry... but the look on his little face...
MACKENZIE: I could work from home for a little bit?
HAZ: Really? Thank you! You're the best friend a dog could have!
MACKENZIE: Oh, shucks!
Her smile fades as he walks off.
Mackenzie enters the sunroom and goes to stroke Trevor, who's pining for Haz.
MACKENZIE (glumly): I know how you feel.
In Reece's room, she and Byron are lying on the bed, half- dressed. He asks if she's going to stay or leave; Reece replies that her leaving was Paul's assumption.
BYRON: So you don't have urgent business back home, then?
REECE: I don't want to keep rushing around. I just want some 'me' time, if that's okay with you.
BYRON: That is very okay with me. Someone else might not take it as well, though.
REECE: Is it wrong that amuses me?
BYRON: But we can't tell Paul about us.
BYRON: By the way, he said something about contacting your dad, too.
REECE: Did he, now? I'll... I'll handle Paul. Is that all that's bothering you?
Byron still looks worried, possibly about his escorting past. But he insists things are all good, and kisses her, before getting up to button his shirt. Reece gets a text from 'Dad', saying, 'You'll stay until the job is done.'
We cut to reception, where Reece is telling Paul that she isn't going anywhere after all. Holly and Byron listen with interest. Paul's baffled, as he thought Reece was satisfied with things now. She confirms she is, but insists she's staying nonetheless and that she doesn't need to explain herself to him. Paul looks peeved as she walks off.
All the Varga- Murphys enter the house, prepared for their family discussion - but are terrified when Wendy appears suddenly from behind the kitchen counter, wielding a bin bag! Remi screams.
WENDY (awkward): Don't mind me! (...) Just grabbing the garbage. It's bin night tonight, and I noticed you hadn't put the bins out yet. Oh, I did try knocking, but... oh, no- one's home! Obviously.
Wendy explains she used a spare key Jane gave her to let herself in, adding that Jane has a spare key to the Rodwells' place too. JJ's interest is piqued.
WENDY: Anyhoo, Sadie and I are off to the movies - we're gonna pick up Andrew. Team Rodwell are going, well, to the movies! Ha! Well, off I go!
She walks out with the bin bag, leaving the Varga- Murphys completely bemused!
CARA: That was dystopian.
REMI: Yeah. But don't let it put you off.
CARA: Nah, it hasn't.
JJ is eyeing the spare key for No 26, which is on a rack on the wall, with intent. Remi tells the boys that she and Cara want to talk to them about their next move, but at that point, JJ stealthily swipes the key to 26 from the rack, then pretends he's left his phone on Power Road, as a pretext to leave. Remi offers to drive him, but he says it's fine; they should start the meeting without him and he'll catch up later...
JJ lets himself into the Rodwells' house with the spare key, and immediately makes a beeline for the family photo albums on the shelf. He flicks past various childhood photos of (presumably) Sadie, then looks pensive...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Paul thinks it's time he brought out his 'secret weapon', and tells Leo and Byron as much
- Paul's on the phone to someone, telling them Reece is a closed book and he needs them to 'pry her open'
- Reece and Byron continue their relationship; she says she doesn't like Paul digging around in her family
- At Sonya's mural, Nell asks Toadie if he's been thinking about Melanie today too
- A photo of a young Andrew with two women: JJ tells Dex he's the 'right Rodwell' and could be his father