- Terese and Jane are at war over the possible closure of the school to make way for Eirini Rising
- Terese offers Karl a job, which he correctly guesses is to get him on board with her development
- Paul tells Terese that the office space he'd agreed to let her have at the Complex is now available
- Jane tells Byron that he and Reece are from entirely different worlds
- To give Reece a taste of his world, Byron takes her to the beach for a true Aussie experience
- Byron tells Reece that he wants her to meet his mum
- Holly admits that she hasn't really been dating since her ex- boyfriend Eden 'played' her
- We see Holly watching a video on her phone of her and Eden...
- ... just as the same man bumps into Mackenzie in the pub, introducing himself as 'Ed' and 'a good egg'
Eden has accompanied Mackenzie to get a coffee to help sober her up, as she moans about her 'crappy night'. She explains she got stood up by her first date in years.
MACKENZIE: The guy couldn't even be bothered to message me and make up some lame excuse.
EDEN: Yeah, that's pathetic.
MACKENZIE: Mm- hm. Yeah, I'd rather stay single.
EDEN: Yeah, it's a lot easier. But it can be lonely, too.
MACKENZIE: So you're not on the apps?
EDEN: No. No, I'm not. I just moved here, so I'm more focused on just finding work.
He explains he's a 'people kind of person' and has worked in hospitality, retail and sales. He asks Mack if she knows of any vacancies in the area. She doesn't offhand, but offers to take his number and to let him know if she hears of anything.
EDEN: You know, isn't it funny? When I came out earlier tonight, I thought it would be a nothing kind of night. Then I met you. And now I feel like there's so many possibilities.
Byron has come for a cuppa with Jane, and to invite her to brunch with him and Reece tomorrow. Jane still seems a little wary about the relationship, but Byron insists that Reece is the 'real deal', and doesn't care that he's not wealthy. Jane points out that Reece is only here for a limited time; but Byron retorts that she keeps extending her stay, and he's harbouring hopes that she may stick around permanently.
JANE: If you start making noises about following her to the US...
BYRON: Mum, okay, I'm not doing that.
JANE: I feel like I've only just got you back.
BYRON: I know, I know. I'm here, and I'm happy, okay? I'm not going anywhere.
Jane has received an envelope from Mike in the post, which turns out to be a love letter from Mike. Jane is thrilled.
JANE: He says he loves me, and wishes we were together in all kinds of weather.
BYRON: See? That's... how Mike makes you feel is the way that Reece makes me feel, okay? And you are the most important woman in my life and always will be. And Reece, she's amazing. I want you to meet, and maybe even get along.
Reece tells Byron she's looking forward to meeting his mum, but admits she was worried Jane wouldn't approve of their relationship, given Byron is her 'golden child'. Byron assures her that Jane's pretty open- minded, and thinks Reece will love her and vice versa. Paul comes in, overhearing some of this, and makes a crack about Reece 'meeting the mother- in- law'.
REECE: Didn't I hear that you and Jane go way back?
PAUL: Yes, we do. A long way.
REECE: Well, I won't hold that against her.
Reece asks for an update on the new tenant for the vacant office in the Complex, and asks who it is. A little rattled, Paul admits it's Terese, and says she'll be moving in soon. Reece is surprised as she'd heard Terese doesn't even have a site for her retirement village yet. But Paul says she needs a sales office, and they agreed on it months ago.
REECE: Alright, well, good. Her rent money's as good as anyone else's.
Paul smiles a little shiftily, and walks off, declining to tell Reece that he's giving Terese the office rent- free.
Haz, Billie and Holly are having breakfast when Mackenzie comes in. They're keen to know how her date went. She admits she got stood up, and lied about it when Haz texted her because she didn't want to be pitied.
HOLLY: What a jerk for wasting your time.
MACKENZIE: Well, it wasn't all bad - because while I was out, I actually met someone else.
Billie and Holly are excited and want details. Haz looks less enthused.
MACKENZIE: His name is Ed - and, yes, super- hot. He just moved here and he's looking for work.
BILLIE: That is so great. (To Haz) Isn't that great?
HAZ (faking it): Yeah, the greatest. We should probably get going now.
Haz and Billie are going out, but Billie again enthuses about Mackenzie's news as she leaves, saying she loves it when good things happen to good people, and wants to hear the 'spicy details' later. Once they've gone...
HOLLY: Is it wrong that I find her relentless niceness annoying? (...) Tell me more about Ed. Did you make plans to see him again?
MACKENZIE: No. It wasn't like that.
HOLLY: There was no flirty vibe?
MACKENZIE: Well, I think there was, but I was also pretty drunk - so maybe he was just being nice.
HOLLY: If you think there's a vibe, there's usually a vibe.
MACKENZIE: Whatever. If nothing else happens, at least he restored my faith in men. And I am going to take that as an absolute win.
Holly says she also had a win last night, in that she deleted nearly every single video and photo of her 'no- good ex'.
HOLLY: It was harder than I thought. But someday, in the very near future, Eden Shaw will not only be gone from my phone, he'll be gone from my mind, too.
They high- five and smile.
Terese and Toadie watch as a workman removes the 'Erinsborough Real Estate' signboard from the now- vacant office that Terese is moving into.
TOADIE: I can't believe you got this for free.
TERESE: Paul's been very generous.
Terese explains she's hoping her engineer and architect can survey the school site in preparation for the retirement experience, but she doesn't think Jane is going to make that very easy. Toadie asks about Karl and the job offer; Terese says he's told Susan and is thinking about it.
TERESE: I also got a link from Jane. 'Save Erinsborough High' page.
TOADIE: Mm. Yeah, I got that follow request too.
TERESE: I mean, look, it's really touching, looking at all the posts. But the fact remains, the school's gonna close regardless.
Paul has sneaked up behind them, and assures them he's ignored Jane's follow request! Terese thanks him for the support, and Toadie thanks him for giving Terese the office, too. But he's keen to play it down, and asks if they could not mention it being rent- free, claiming he doesn't want other tenants like Haz expecting a special deal too.
PAUL: Or that guy who runs the law office, for that matter.
TOADIE: Yeah, very smart. I know that guy.
Toadie asks Terese if they can meet for lunch, and she agrees. They kiss, and Paul suppresses his discomfort. Toadie leaves, and Paul asks Terese how the bid for the school is going.
TERESE: Well, it seems Jane has a lot of community support.
PAUL: Okay, so what's your strategy?
TERESE: I figure I need to engage the people Eirini Rising is going to appeal to.
PAUL: Oh, the seniors of Erinsborough.
TERESE: Yeah, where's Harold when you need him?
PAUL: Actually, I can think of somebody who you could get onside.
Terese is waiting at a table when Paul arrives with the senior citizen in question - it's Cousin Hilary! She thanks Paul for driving Hilary here.
PAUL: It's just a good thing that Hilary wasn't busy with a visitor.
HILARY: You never visit.
PAUL: I'm visiting now.
HILARY: You're dumping me!
TERESE: Well, Paul's loss is my gain. But I'm very keen to tell you about a retirement experience that I'm planning to develop. And I'd love to soak up some of your wisdom.
HILARY: I was told there'd be cake.
TERESE: ... Yes, well, we can certainly organise that.
Paul whispers 'good luck' to Terese as the rather frosty Hilary takes a seat.
Meanwhile, Jane and Sam sit at a table outside the pub, ready to meet Byron and Reece for brunch. Sam opines that Reece is nice.
JANE: Yes, I'm sure she is... to you. Whether or not she'll be nice to me, we're about to find out!
Reece and Byron show up then, and there's a slightly awkward introduction between Reece and Jane. Byron and Sam share a choreographed hand- greeting as he sits down! Reece remarks that she's heard Jane used to live in the UK. Jane confirms this, looking wistful; Reece says it's one of her favourite places to visit, adding that she has family there.
JANE: And what about now, Reece? Where are you planning to be?
BYRON: Mum, you -
JANE: Well, you sound like a citizen of the world!
REECE: It's true, I've done my fair share of jetsetting. But right now, I'm just enjoying being here in the moment. And what could be better than being here in the moment with all of you?
Jane manages a smile, but looks uncomfortable as Reece and Byron hold hands.
Meanwhile nearby, Mackenzie and Sadie are walking into the courtyard. Sadie is grilling Mackenzie about 'Ed', and keen to know when she'll next see him.
SADIE: The way he bumped into you, and talked about your handbag - it's the ultimate meet- cute (...) Did you get his number? (gasps) You did, didn't you?
MACKENZIE: Only because he said he's looking for work. And I told him I'd keep him posted if I heard anything.
SADIE: You need to message him now! (...) Just send him the casual, 'Hey, it was so nice to meet you last night. I've been putting out some feelers on the job situation, but no bites. Do you wanna have sex?'
SADIE: Or at least a coffee. Come on. He sounds super nice. Way better than that douchebag who stood you up.
Leo emerges from the hotel, and asks if Sadie could pick up Abigail from kindergarten, as he has to stay late at the vineyard. He explains they're very understaffed in the run- up to his whisky launch, then rushes off.
SADIE: Did you hear that? (...) Leo's understaffed. Now you have a legitimate reason to text Ed! And if you don't do it, I'll make you regret it for your whole life.
Mackenzie agrees to text him, pushing Sadie away as she tries to read what she's writing!
Terese is talking to Hilary about the importance of winning community support for her development plan. Jane comes in, texting on her phone - Mike has asked if she got his letter, and she sends a blushing emoji in response. Then she turns and sees Terese and Hilary.
JANE: Hilary! What brings you here? Don't tell me Terese is trying to give you the hard sell? (...) Don't you be fooled by promises of cinemas, swimming pools and hair salons.
TERESE: Well, I don't think anyone could fool Hilary.
JANE: No, no, of course not. But has she told you where this fabulous new complex is to be built?
TERESE: I have mentioned that there is nowhere confirmed as yet.
JANE: She is planning on bulldozing Erinsborough High School and building it there.
TERESE: I wouldn't exactly put it that way.
JANE: The very same school where you worked tirelessly for years, educating and enriching the local youth! (...) And yet, she wants to see it destroyed.
Terese explains to Hilary that it's nothing personal, saying that the Department™ wants to close the school because enrolments are down 'since Jane became principal'.
JANE: Well, if developers like you weren't hovering like vultures, then I would have the time to turn that around.
HILARY: Enough. Enough. I could never support any venture that would harm the school. Call Paul. I'm ready to go home.
Hilary stands up, and Jane smirks at a fuming Terese!
Reece is still with Byron and Sam, chatting about Mike's proposal to Jane. Reece says she loves that Sam helped with it.
SAM: He needed it.
Jane re- emerges, telling Byron that she's just 'scored the best point against Terese'. She then explains to them about Terese trying to get Hilary onside with the development, and Hilary taking Jane's side, but acknowledges there's still a long road ahead to save the school. Jane explains to Reece that there are other potential sites with three schools involved, one of which will have to close.
JANE: It all just comes down to student numbers.
REECE: Well, I'm sure that's part of it. But there are other ways to delay a sale. I've been on both sides of the property development fence, and I know every trick in the red tape book to slow down the process.
JANE: ... Tell me absolutely everything.
While Haz works a shift behind the counter, Eden is chatting to Mackenzie - he seems keen on her potential job lead at Leo's vineyard. She's already spoken to Leo about it, and 'Ed' seems grateful when she offers to drive him there, as there's no public transport and he doesn't have a car.
EDEN: That's really nice of you. I mean it. Thank you.
Mackenzie goes over to pay Haz for the coffees. Haz asks if that's her guy from last night. Mackenzie confirms that it is.
MACKENZIE: I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I feel like there's potential.
HAZ: Good for you.
But Haz doesn't look too happy as Mackenzie walks off.
Byron congratulates Reece for getting Jane onside, admitting he probably should have warned her that Jane had some concerns about their relationship. Reece says she likes Jane, and understands her being protective of Byron.
REECE: So, this is the famous Ramsay Street!
BYRON: (...) Last stop on the Byron tour.
REECE: It's very charming. I get why your friends and family live here.
BYRON: Yeah. Bit different to where you grew up, I'm guessing.
REECE: Well, I certainly was never able to borrow a cup of sugar from my neighbours. Not without going by a security guard first.
BYRON: Was that weird, or you just didn't know any different?
REECE: I can't complain about having grown up with money. But I have always wondered what else is out there.
Byron leads Reece towards his house.
As they enter, Reece steps on an empty pizza box, and an embarrassed Byron hurriedly starts clearing up mess. He shows her the 'leaning tower of pizza boxes' that the housemates have been building, and she's soon greeted enthusiastically by Trevor, who she seems to like.
BYRON: Guess it's not really what you were expecting.
REECE: Oh, no, I love it. I love all of it.
In the bar, Leo is impressed with Eden's work experience and his interview, and offers him a job. Eden says he can start straight away, so Leo tells him to meet him outside in five minutes for a tour.
MACKENZIE: That was easy.
EDEN: Well, none of this would've happened without you (...) After I get my first pay cheque, I'd like to take you out to dinner. Just to say thank you.
MACKENZIE: You don't have to do that.
EDEN: No, I know. But I want to, and it's also a really good excuse for me to get to know you more, which is something I'd really like to do.
EDEN: If you don't feel the same, then...
MACKENZIE: ... Before I answer that, I would like you to know that I'm trans. So, if you have a problem with that, then I think it's better that we're honest from the start.
EDEN: ... Then let me be honest. I like you, Mackenzie. And I want to take you out.
MACKENZIE: Then I'd love to go.
They smile at one another.
Holly and Sadie are at a table, talking about what a relief it is that Mack ran into 'Ed' after getting stood up, or else her confidence with dating would've taken a huge knock. Haz comes over, and explains that Mack and 'Ed' were in here earlier.
SADIE: What was he like?
HOLLY: Was he hot?
HAZ: How would I know?
SADIE: Well, did you at least talk to him?
HOLLY: Get a vibe?
SADIE: Was there chemistry?
HAZ: I wasn't really paying attention!
Sadie goes to call Mackenzie to get some 'proper information', as Billie comes in and kisses Haz.
HOLLY: Haz saw Mack with Ed.
BILLIE: The new guy?
HOLLY: And he's acting like it's not important.
HAZ: Well, it's not important.
BILLIE: It is to Mack.
HOLLY: Anyone would think you don't want her to get a boyfriend.
Haz rolls his eyes, and Sadie rejoins them, explaining following her phone chat that Mack helped Ed get the job at the vineyard.
SADIE: But not only that, he asked Mack out!
Holly and Billie exclaim excitedly.
HAZ: Tone it down!
Holly suggests they should all go to the vineyard later on to 'check him out'.
HAZ: Is that really necessary?
HOLLY: Well, it wouldn't have been if you'd actually told us something.
SADIE: Yeah. But since you failed us, we have to go inspect him for ourselves.
HOLLY: Make sure he's good enough for our Mack.
SADIE: Also, just because we're really nosy.
BILLIE: We're in.
HAZ (annoyed): Are we?
BILLIE: Mm- hm.
But Haz does not look happy about it!
Reece and Byron encounter Toadie as they're leaving No 32. Byron apologises for forgetting to drop off his old clothes for the Sonya Foundation, but Toadie is more concerned with thanking Reece for letting Terese have the vacant office at the Complex.
TOADIE: See, that was an agreement that Paul made months ago, long before you were around. So you were well within your rights to refuse it.
REECE: Oh, no. As I said to Paul, I don't really care who's in there, as long as they run a respectable business and they keep paying the rent.
Toadie is visibly surprised to discover that Reece doesn't know Terese isn't paying for the office, but manages to stop himself from saying anything. He looks troubled as Byron and Reece walk away.
Shortly afterwards, outside No 28, Toadie tells Karl about the situation.
TOADIE: Isn't it strange that Paul would insist on Terese taking the office if it was gonna cause a problem?
KARL: Maybe it's a power thing between him and Reece.
TOADIE: Maybe. Or maybe not. He made a comment about keeping the specifics on the down low. He said it was about the other tenants. We even laughed about it. And I didn't think anything of it at the time, but what if there is another reason to hide it?
KARL: Hide what?
TOADIE: The truth of what he's up to.
KARL: Toad, you don't think you're reading too much into this?
TOADIE: No. No, something's not right - it feels like classic, game- playing Paul, which usually means that he's got an agenda (...) Over this past year, since he stood Terese up at their vow renewal, I have come to believe that he was over her.
KARL: Oh, yeah - me too.
TOADIE: What if it's all an act? What if he's just biding his time? What if all of this office stuff is just to keep Terese close? ... What if he's still in love with her?
Coming up on Neighbours
- Byron worries he's totally freaked 'her' out, and is scared of what she'll say if he talks to her about it
- We see Reece opening some kind of box and looking worried
- Holly tells Mackenzie that the gang's going to grill 'Ed' to make sure he's on the level
- Eden looks decidedly shifty
- Karl points out to Paul that he's not known for altruism - so why give Terese the office rent- free?
- Toadie accuses Paul of still having feelings for Terese