- Holly has deleted nearly every photo and video of her no- good ex- boyfriend, Eden
- Eden (or 'Ed') has befriended Mackenzie, but makes himself scarce when he sees Holly is one of her friends
- Nell tearfully admits that she's the one who's been leaving signs of Melanie for Toadie to find
- Toadie tells Nell that Melanie has gone, and Terese suggests to him they see a counsellor as a family
- Jane makes a bold attempt to poach students of Anson's Corner High, by hosting a meeting for their parents
- But when Terese turns up with her architect to discuss gutting the site, Jane has a very public tantrum
- Reece tells Byron she's remembered some things she needs to look into regarding the hotel
- A mysterious newcomer called Tess arrives at Lassiter's, and greets Reece
In Reece's room, Reece and Tess are having a chat and a glass of wine.
REECE: My father didn't tell me you were coming.
TESS: I took the initiative myself.
REECE: You always were his right- hand woman.
TESS: Two months, and what have you got to show for it?
REECE: It's not been easy.
TESS: That's on top of the month you spent in Sydney. That's three months in Australia altogether. We bought half this hotel so you could have the perfect cover for your search.
REECE: It's not that simple -
TESS: Day One, you should have been all over the place - the inner workings, the comings and goings.
REECE: Look, I had to play the part, so people wouldn't get suspicious (...) Everybody thinks I came here to throw my weight around on behalf of the family. Half my job has been keeping Paul Robinson in his box.
Tess looks unimpressed!
REECE: Anyhow, your timing is good. I found her necklace.
TESS: Your father already told me. I would hardly call it a lead.
REECE: It's something. And I'm getting very close to figuring out what name she's been using, too.
Reece explains that she found the sun necklace in lost property. Tess notes that it's been years since she's seen Reece wear her own matching moon necklace.
TESS: It's nice to see. Your father would be happy, too.
REECE: I am trying to find her.
Tess says she's had a long flight, and suggests they pick up their conversation tomorrow.
Susan listens sympathetically as Jane self- flagellates for her tantrum at Terese in front of the Anson's Corner parents, admitting she 'carried on like a banshee'!
SUSAN (diplomatic): They would've just thought that you were passionate!
JANE: I practically chased Terese out of the building, calling her a name that would've made Nan spin in her grave.
On the sofa, Terese tells Toadie that Jane was out of control, though he admits that he felt a bit sorry for her after her public meltdown. Terese says she'd never have gone to the site had she known Jane would be there.
Susan agrees to stay and help Jane drink a bottle of wine, since Karl's at work, doing his last shift before he heads to Queensland to begin the train journey with Harold.
JANE: Thank you, Susan. I really don't want to be alone right now.
Billie and Haz are having a drink. Billie watches Mackenzie and Eden getting on well over on another table, and suggests to Haz that they go and join them, to 'give the romance a little nudge'. Haz is not keen at all, saying it would be weird, and grumpily suggests she stop looking at them the whole time.
BILLIE: Says the boy who just bought a dog- cam so he can stare lovingly at Trevor all day.
HAZ: That's a completely different situation.
BILLIE: Okay, here's a question. If Trevor and I were trapped in a burning building, who would you save first?
HAZ (smiling): Easy. Trevor.
BILLIE (laughs): Are you serious?
HAZ: You're a firefighter. You'd save yourself.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie and Eden are talking about Leo's whisky launch, which Mackenzie is attending - she explains she's friends with several of his barrel investors. Eden asks if her friends from the other day will be there - Mack confirms that Haz and Sadie will. But when he asks about the 'girl he missed' meeting last time, Mackenzie tells him that Holly can't come because she's helping out at The 82 while Karl's away.
They decide to order some food.
Nell sits at the breakfast table, very quiet and still. Toadie has just dropped Hugo off for a weekend sleepover with his friend Austin.
TOADIE: How are you feeling there, Nellyfish?
NELL: You probably shouldn't call me that in front of the counsellor.
TERESE: Hey, Rhonda's really lovely. You don't need to be nervous.
TOADIE: Yeah. We've gotta give this a go. As a family.
TERESE: Absolutely. And afterwards, we can debrief and decide if we want to have another session.
We fade to a shot of Nell on a sofa between Toadie and Terese. Rhonda, the counsellor, says she'd like to chat to each of them individually first, to get a lay of the land.
RHONDA: Nell, how about we start with you?
Tess heads into the tram (which she describes as 'interesting'!) to meet up with Reece.
REECE: I didn't want to be seen at the hotel. It'll raise questions.
TESS: I'm a senior executive with the company. It's not unusual that I pay a visit.
REECE: Paul's all over me. He's looking for something to catch me out on.
TESS: Does he have a reason to be suspicious?
REECE: He was born suspicious... Alright, let's be honest - I haven't moved as fast as I could have.
TESS: That's my observation.
REECE: I wasn't really happy to be sent here, and maybe that's played into my attitude.
TESS: I hope you know how important it is that we find her. She's family.
REECE: Yes, she's *my* family. So you don't have to be looking over my shoulder.
Rhonda is now alone with Nell. She assures Nell she isn't here to judge her about her behaviour - she only wants to help.
NELL: I know. I've had therapy before.
RHONDA: Was it for a particular reason?
NELL: ... My mum died.
RHONDA: I'm sorry to hear that.
NELL: That's what everyone says.
RHONDA: Well... If you're open to it, maybe you could tell me a bit about her?
Nell hesitates, and gazes up at the ceiling.
NELL: She was the most amazing person in the world.
We see a flashback to 2019, to Nell and Hugo playing on the beach with Callum.
NELL: Sometimes, when I close my eyes... I can still see her.
Now we see Toadie holding a fading Sonya, as they watch the children playing.
RHONDA: What is she doing? In your memory?
NELL: She's sitting on the beach with my dad.
RHONDA: That's beautiful.
NELL (emotional): ... Kind of. It's the day she died.
RHONDA: Oh, Nell...
NELL: I was building sandcastles. Dad said she wanted us to have a nice time as a family. That's why we were there. I didn't realise it was the last time I'd ever see her. To get the chance to talk to her. I just kept building sandcastles. And by the time I stopped... she was gone.
Reece and Tess are still talking. Reece says that her dad has always respected Tess's opinion, and that she'd appreciate it if Tess would reassure him.
TESS: I can only do that if I know that you're taking this seriously. I have some other business to attend to. A company we're looking to acquire in Adelaide. I will be back very soon to check on your progress.
As Tess leaves, Holly turns up to work her shift, accompanied by Susan. The tram isn't all that busy, so Susan suggests that Holly could come to Leo's whisky launch after all. Holly points out Reece, and Susan's keen to be introduced, so Holly takes her over and does the honours. Reece shakes Susan's hand awkwardly.
HOLLY: My dad owns this café, so if there's anything you want to complain about, we're the people to talk to!
Reece seems to have been crying, and admits they caught her 'having a moment'. But she insists she's fine, saying she's perhaps just a little more homesick than she thought. Susan says it was nice to meet Reece, and goes on her way, while Holly begins work.
Rhonda is now speaking to Terese alone. Terese calls Nell 'an extraordinary young lady', given her difficult circumstances. Rhonda says she can tell Terese wants the best for Nell, but wants to know how Terese is feeling. At first Terese says she's fine, citing her previous experience with stepchildren and her own kids.
TERESE: I wasn't expecting it to be easy... I just... I didn't think Nell would be so much of... well, such a challenge.
She becomes emotional as Rhonda asks her why.
TERESE: I guess... I feel like I'm hurting her, just by existing. I'm not Sonya, and I'm not Melanie. And I can't bring them back. And I can't fix it. I don't even know if it can be... But, umm, yeah. That's what makes me scared.
As the whisky launch gets underway, Leo is greeting Jane and Wendy in the courtyard with special cocktails that are named after his investors.
LEO: Such as a Jolly Jane.
JANE: Points for irony!
He passes Jane the cocktail named in her honour, and she gulps it back in one! Leo and Wendy exchange a glance.
JANE: Oh, that was delicious! Where can I get another one?
He directs her inside, followed by Wendy, after she's assured Leo that Jane's fine, just had 'a big couple of days'. Susan and Sadie aren't far behind them; Susan explains Holly's still in the car, putting make- up on.
SUSAN: Apparently, it wasn't safe to do while the 'maniac' was driving!
Leo presents her with a 'Sultry Susan' cocktail, and she heads inside, just as Eden comes out and joins Mackenzie, Haz and Billie. He's made a 'Mackenzie Special' cocktail for Mack, comprising whisky, curacao, sour mix and passionfruit. Mackenzie is impressed by his efforts.
BILLIE: I'm jealous. I never get marshmallows in my coffee at Harold's.
HAZ: Yeah, cos I can't disrespect coffee like that.
Eden sees Holly approaching from the car park, and looks worried. Haz unsubtly tells Eden he'd better not give Mackenzie all his attention or he'll be in strife with Leo, and Eden uses this as his cue to dip back indoors, just before Holly appears behind them.
Now Toadie is speaking Rhonda alone. He admits he thought for months that Nell had accepted his relationship with Terese.
RHONDA: Children often don't want confrontation with their parents, even if they disagree with their choices. She knows you love Terese and Terese loves you. But she's been down this path before, and it ended in devastating loss... Are you aware of how Nell thinks about the day her mother died?
TOADIE: ... In what way?
RHONDA: How she wishes she'd known it was her last moments with her.
Toadie now has his own flashback, to cradling a lifeless Sonya in his arms on the beach while the kids play in the distance. He pauses with emotion, before saying...
TOADIE (ashamed): Spent so much of my time convincing myself that, umm... Nell was just so little then.
RHONDA: It's understandable.
TOADIE: She's my daughter. I should know what's going on with her.
RHONDA: Well, I can keep helping you get an insight.
TOADIE: And then what?
In the bar, Susan, Wendy and Jane are having drinks. Susan mentions she met Reece today, which Jane immediately adopts as a topic for her next moan, seemingly convinced that Reece will eventually leave and drag Byron back to New Hampshire with her. Susan diplomatically doesn't mention how Reece was complaining of homesickness when she saw her earlier! Jane downs another cocktail, then goes to find another.
WENDY: You know it's Terese I'm really worried about?
SUSAN: I know, but Terese is trying to be respectful.
WENDY: Well, even so, it's like a stab in the back. You know, if she knew how much Jane was hurting, maybe she would just back off.
SUSAN: It's complicated.
Nearby, Paul praises Leo for an amazing job with the whisky launch, and says he's very proud of him. He asks whether Toadie and Terese will be coming. Leo says no, as they have a family thing going on. Leo asks about Reece, as she had RSVPed - but Paul says something else came up for her, too.
PAUL: Which I think we should all be very, very grateful for, actually.
Reece enters her room to find the pile of room service statements she requested from Katrina on the table. Music of intrigue plays as she flicks through them.,,
In the bar, Leo is making a speech to all the attendees at his whisky launch.
LEO: This label is a dream come true. So I'd really like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who believed in me - my dad, and of course my friends who invested right back from Day One. I couldn't have done it without you.
Susan looks worried as Jane grabs yet another drink from a passing waitress. Meanwhile, Holly whispers to Mackenzie, asking where 'Ed' is so she can give him her seal of approval. Mack says he was here before, but isn't sure where he's gone now.
LEO: I'd like to finish up by mentioning one person who inspired all of this, who's no longer with us today - Britney, the mother of my daughter. Although I do always feel like she's here with us in spirit, so - Brit, I hope we've done you proud.
On the sofa, Toadie tells Terese he had no idea how much Nell was internalising. Terese says at least they now know where her feelings are coming from, and that it isn't just anger towards their relationship. Toadie is feeling guilty for getting frustrated with Nell. At that point, she comes in.
TOADIE: Hey, sweetheart. How are you feeling after our big emotional day?
NELL (smiling): I'm fourteen. Every day's emotional... Do you guys want to watch a movie tonight?
Toadie is very enthusiastic, and suggests Nell's favourite movie, Nacho Libre. She is excited for this idea and asks if Terese will join them. She looks gratified to be asked.
TERESE: Uh... sure, if you'll have me!
She suggests they'll need to do a snack run, and Toadie prepares to head out and stock up. As Nell heads upstairs, he and Terese glance at one another, hopeful about Nell's change of mood.
In the bar, Jane approaches Wendy, having got her hands on yet another cocktail.
WENDY: Ooh, Jane, don't you think you should just slow down a bit? What about some water?
JANE: Oh, Wendy, I'm fine. I've had, maybe, two?
WENDY: It's just that... I don't have a bucket in the car.
JANE (laughs): Oh, Wendy. You are so funny.
Wendy looks like she might not have been joking!
JANE: No, I... I deserve a bit of fun. Mike's away, and I'm a professional laughing stock. Someone who I thought was a friend has turned out to be a snake. Just a real anaconda, wrapping herself -
Susan rejoins them from the buffet, and Wendy tries to distract Jane by talking about food, while she quietly swaps Jane's cocktail for a glass of water. It doesn't work, and Jane simply reaches to retrieve her cocktail from the other side of the table - but knocks it over, spilling it all over a passing Holly.
We cut to Leo and Wendy helping a very worse- for- wear Jane out to the car park.
JANE: Oh, Leo, I'm so sorry. I've made such a mess, and... and poor Holly. Maybe I should just apologise one more time.
Jane tries to turn around and head back inside, but keeps spinning instead, and Leo and Wendy have to work hard to keep hold of her! They move on towards the car, with Wendy prescribing a nice cup of tea and a good old nap when Jane gets home.
JANE: Yes. Yes, that would be for the best, I think. Oh, I just can't do anything right at the moment.
LEO: Jane, honestly, we all know you're going through a lot, okay?
JANE: Doesn't excuse me becoming a complete mess. And a useless principal.
WENDY: Hey, it is not over yet. You've just got to keep the faith.
But Jane looks anything but confident. Meanwhile, Holly is fetching a jacket from her car to cover up the drinks stain, when she spots a familiar figure behind the vineyard building - Eden. Seeing her, he immediately slips through a gap in the fence and rushes off into the vines. Holly follows at pace, determined to find out what he's doing here - but he's faster, and soon vanishes.
Back in the bar, Haz joins Billie, Sadie and Mackenzie at a table. He has bad news for Billie.
HAZ: You know that red jumper of yours?
BILLIE: Yes, I do know it, because I love it.
HAZ: Haha. I was just wondering where you got it from, and... how much was it?
BILLIE: Haz, did Trevor just tear my jumper to shreds?
He apologises, and shows her the video evidence from the dog- cam back at the house.
HAZ: I'm sure he didn't mean it.
BILLIE: Yeah, but he still did it.
HAZ: I could get you another one. Brand new. So, when you think about it, it's kind of a win, right?
Billie gracefully agrees, but looks as if Trevor fatigue might be starting to creep up on her. Holly comes back in, looking worried.
HOLLY: Mack, I need to ask you a question. I'm gonna show you a photo, and I really hope you say no, but... do you recognise this person?
MACKENZIE: Yeah, that's Ed.
HOLLY: No, it's not.
MACKENZIE: Uh, yes, it is, Holly, and I should know. And also, you've never met him before.
HOLLY: That's not Ed. That's my ex, Eden.
Mackenzie looks horrified.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Susan begs Terese to tread carefully with Jane - then asks what's wrong as Toadie and Terese look worried
- Haz tells Mackenzie everyone's worried about her; Mack can't believe she thought she was ready to move on
- Holly asks Byron if he and Reece are having problems, and tells him she saw Reece crying earlier
- Byron sees Reece going into the hotel and looks curious