- Terese turns up at Jane's doorstep to explain an idea she's had; initially, Jane refuses to hear her out
- But later, Terese tells Jane of her plan for the high school and Eirini Rising to sit side by side
- David admits to Cara that he's no longer a doctor, but rather 'in a new phase of my career'
- Byron receives a letter from Reece ending their relationship
- Mackenzie is put out when she sees Haz and Holly pashing at the Christmas Fayre
- Later, comforting Byron, Mackenzie observes that it 'sucks when they don't feel the same way you do'
- Mackenzie and Byron get very drunk and despair over why they are single - are they about to kiss?
We open on Mackenzie's bedroom, where a framed photo of Mackenzie and Hendrix sits in the foreground. Mackenzie is in bed and begins to wake up. She hears snoring under the duvet next to her, and turns to see Byron in her bed. Smiling, she attempts to wake him up, but he moans in resistance.
BYRON: Big night, hmm?
BYRON: (falls asleep again)
MACKENZIE: No, Byron, go snore in your own room.
She hits him with a pillow until he stumbles out of bed and into the hallway, wearing only his boxers. Haz is just coming out of his own room and witnesses this with concern. Haz peers in at Mackenzie until she moans at him to close her door. He complies, and looks a bit forlorn at what he's just witnessed.
In the kitchen, Haz makes coffee for him and Holly, while she enthuses about the Christmas Fair.
HOLLY: Mackenzie and Byron were legless - they're gonna need IV vitamin B for sure.
She asks Haz if he thinks Byron will keep the necklace gift that Reece sent him with her breakup note. Haz bitterly replies that Byron might trade it in for Mackenzie.
HOLLY: Why her?
HAZ: He just left her room in his jocks.
HOLLY: You're kidding?
HAZ: No, I'm not kidding. It looks like they hooked up.
HOLLY: Okay, wow, that's... interesting!
HAZ: Is that the word?
HOLLY: I dunno. Do you think it's a bad thing? I mean, maybe, but maybe not.
HAZ: Don't ask me, alright?
Haz moodily resumes grinding coffee.
Terese and Jane are going over their plans for the joint school/retirement experience site, but the dynamic between them remains rather awkward following their months of feuding, and both seem to be on their guard, with the feeling that much is remaining unsaid. Terese says that as Jane is good with words, she could write the pitch outline - while Jane suggests Terese tackle the financial/regulatory side which is her strength.
JANE (cautiously): This is quite the dream team... your rather excellent idea.
TERESE: Yes, and I can push for a meeting with the council planning committee. Maybe call in a favour.
JANE: Although, do you think being pushy is the right approach?
TERESE: Oh. Oh, well - yeah. Yeah, I suppose...
JANE: No, don't listen to me. You know best.
They both put their glasses back on and return to work, each evidently terrified of the other's disapproval.
A hungover Mackenzie is hanging off the end of her bed, evidently struggling to move any further. Byron comes in with some water and painkillers, which she gratefully accepts.
BYRON: It's the least I can do after sooking all night, you know?
MACKENZIE: It wasn't the whole night. I think we balanced it out pretty well.
BYRON: (...) I was pretty miserable at the start. So, uh... thanks.
Byron spots his jeans from yesterday lying by the door, having been wondering where they got to. The letter from Reece drops out of the pocket as he picks them up, and he looks sombre as he holds it.
MACKENZIE: Ah. The murder weapon... Maybe you should read it properly. You might feel better today.
BYRON: Yeah. You read it. I can't.
She asks if he's sure; he says he is, then sits at the foot of the bed while Mackenzie reads out loud from the letter. As she progresses, Byron becomes more and more emotional.
MACKENZIE (reading): 'Byron - couldn't believe my luck when I met you. The guy who didn't know who I was, who just loved me for me. You know, I'd never had that before. You showed me a whole life I never knew, and I really saw it happening for us.'
BYRON: Here comes the 'but'.
MACKENZIE: 'But... my father's death changed everything.'
BYRON: So you're not welcome here.
MACKENZIE: 'If you come over, you'll get lost in the noise of my overwhelming life. I don't want that for you. You deserve so much more. I've loved every moment we've spent together, and don't have any regrets.'
BYRON: But I'm cutting you off.
MACKENZIE: 'But I have a responsibility to my family, and the thousands of people who are employed by the company. I can't walk away from that. And you have your family too.'
BYRON: So here's a consolation prize.
MACKENZIE: 'The necklace is a small thank you for everything you've done for me. You know what mine means to me. I hope one day you'll feel the same about yours.'
As Mackenzie reads the next line, Byron picks up the recital simultaneously, seemingly having memorised Reece's words after all.
BYRON (tearful): 'And I'm not worried about you, because I know you'll find someone who sees everything in you that I do. And more. Be good to yourself. All the love in the world - Reece.'
MACKENZIE: So you did read it.
Mackenzie drops to the foot of the bed herself to sit next to Byron. He rests his head on her shoulder despondently.
MACKENZIE: She was right, you know? You deserve so much more.
Leo, Chloe and Paul are outside the hotel, chatting about the success of the Christmas Fair. Chloe asks if she can take some time off when Elly comes to visit - Paul tells her to enjoy a well- earned break. Chloe goes inside while Leo gets down to teasing Paul about his stint as Santa.
LEO: So- ho- ho- ho - who knew you could pull off that beard and big old red suit, eh?
But as Chloe enters the hotel building, she loses her footing momentarily, and looks worried. Back outside...
PAUL: Did you see their little faces, though? I mean, it really brought the magic of Christmas back.
Meanwhile, the Varga- Murphys are walking through the courtyard together.
JJ: Yeah, but I don't get why we can't just have Christmas at our place this year.
DEX: Yeah, I'm with JJ.
REMI: You know how Iya is about her traditions.
CARA: AKA, it'll never happen.
Still perturbed by what he witnessed this morning, Haz asks after Mackenzie's 'big night'. She tells him how she and Byron ended up at a bar in the city - she doesn't know what time they got home.
MACKENZIE: How about you, did you guys have a late one?
HAZ (tetchy): It was nothing compared to yours.
He then stomps off outside to fetch the washing in, making it clear he's in a bad mood. He can't escape the situation, though, because he sees Mackenzie and Byron's discarded clothes by the pool - and then a still- hungover Byron emerges to retrieve them, recalling their swim last night and complaining about how bright the sun is! Haz snatches clothes from the washing line moodily.
BYRON: You know, Mack's got some serious dance moves. Last night - think it's exactly what we both needed.
But Haz can't even look at Byron, preferring to concentrate on collecting the washing - and he sighs, shaking his head, as Byron walks off.
Jane listens as Terese finishes up a phone call, which she then reports to Jane 'couldn't have gone any better'.
JANE: You handled that masterfully!
TERESE: So the meeting is scheduled for later next week. I can't believe they fit us in.
JANE: As in, a couple of days before Christmas?
TERESE: Yes, I know it's soon. But we'll be fine.
Jane reminds Terese that she's supposed to be flying out to meet Mike in Scotland before then. Terese says they'll just have to roll up their sleeves with the preparation, and she'll have to do the meeting without Jane. But Jane isn't convinced, as she's the one who knows all about school regulations, zoning and student ratios. Terese says Jane can teach her.
TERESE: We have to grab this meeting. Everyone will be on leave, and they won't be back till February.
JANE: Well, that's too late. No, our pitch needs to be watertight, or else we'll be rejected. And if that happens, then I will lose my chance to resurrect the school.
TERESE: So let's get cracking.
JANE: You really think we can do this?
TERESE: Yes. Yes, I really do.
In the lobby, Paul asks Leo what he thinks about the idea of Paul putting some presents under the Christmas tree for Isla - he's found a way to get hold of a popular toy that Isla wants, a talking panda. But Leo thinks it's a terrible idea.
LEO: Rando Pando might be cute, alright, but it'll cause trouble. You made a promise to David.
PAUL: Yeah, but he was alright about me seeing her last night.
LEO: Dad, everyone's waiting for you to overstep - and here you are, overstepping!
PAUL: Out of love for my own grandchild!
LEO: David needs you to respect his wishes.
PAUL: Yeah, and I do.
LEO: Then act like it, and genuinely respect them! Look, 'no contact' means exactly that.
The Varga- Murphys are hanging out at a table, when Karl comes in and greets them. He asks how Remi's settling in at the hospital - she says she thinks she's made a good start. As Karl praises Remi's care of Melanie recently, JJ has spotted Sadie at the counter waiting for a coffee, and gives her a smile and a little wave. Sadie smiles and waves back, and now JJ can't stop smiling! Karl asks if they enjoyed the Christmas Fair.
DEX: Well, Christmas elves are *barely* elves, but... it was good.
CARA: Saw all the neighbours there. There was Haz and Holly, and Aaron and David.
REMI: Oh, speaking of David - Cara says he's left medicine? It always makes me a bit sad to hear that.
KARL: Yeah, well, it's a sad situation. He loved his work.
REMI: Can I ask what happened?
KARL: ... Oh, well, I don't want to speak out of turn. But suffice to say he found himself in a difficult situation and made a regrettable choice.
REMI: Oh. So, what - he quit?
KARL: As I say, it was... it was difficult. Big loss for the community, though. He was a talented and caring doctor.
Karl invites himself to join them (again!) by offering to get in more coffees - and has already gone to the counter before Remi can object.
CARA: I thought we were about to leave.
REMI: Well, you know Karl!
Meanwhile, Sadie has got a text from Holly, saying she has 'goss' to impart, and asking to meet her at the Waterhole to explain all. JJ is still staring fondly in Sadie's direction, a big smile on his face...
Toadie and Terese pass Sadie as she leaves the café, and take a seat outside. Paul appears instantaneously and sets up at a table just opposite - but Toadie and Terese simply stare at him until he goes away again!
Toadie asks Terese how her project with Jane is going. Terese explains about the council meeting they've managed to secure, but admits it's been difficult working with Jane and pretending that everything's okay.
TERESE: I can't forget all the horrible things she said to me, no matter how hard I try.
TOADIE: Well, that's fair enough. There's some pretty big scars.
TERESE: I thought I could handle it - you know, if we focus on the business. But she keeps paying me compliments and looking at me for reassurance. I just don't know whether she wants us to go back to how we were, but I can't see it happening.
Jane is having a video chat with Mike, who is still in Scotland but looking forward to spending Christmas with Jane and Sam when they fly over.
MIKE: It's funny, isn't it? We grow up singing songs about snowmen, but it's not until you get here that you think Christmas in the cold actually makes sense! (...) And you and Sammy will be experiencing it soon, too.
Mike asks if Jane will bring his green bomber jacket when she flies over, and he notices her looking worried in response, wondering if she's accidentally donated it to charity. Jane confirms the jacket is here, but regretfully tells him that Sam will have to bring it.
JANE: Mike, I have something I need to tell you, and I'm just gonna spit it out like a bad penny in a Christmas pudding (...) I'm sorry, Mike - I can't come for Christmas.
Mike looks disappointed...
Sadie has convened outside the pub with Holly to hear her juicy gossip.
HOLLY: Last night - Mackenzie and Byron - in bed, drunk and naked!
SADIE: No way! Do you think they...?
HOLLY: Yeah. Haz saw them with his own eyes.
SADIE: But Byron's got, like, laser focus on Reece.
HOLLY: Who just smashed his heart to dust.
SADIE: And Mackenzie said she wasn't ready for a relationship.
HOLLY: Well, they obviously found some chemistry between drinks. And why not - they're both single.
SADIE: I dunno. I still think it's a one- off.
HOLLY: They would look good together, though. And who knows, maybe it'll help them move on from things that are just never gonna happen.
Jane is still talking to Mike, and explaining how she's going to be needed here over Christmas and New Year, in case the Education Department calls her in to do a pitch for the new school/retirement village concept. Mike asks if Terese can't handle it alone, but Jane says they need to present a united front.
JANE: I know, you can say it - I am a terrible fiancée.
MIKE: No, you're not. No, I get it - you've got a chance to save the school.
JANE: I just really don't see any other way... Are you okay?
MIKE: Yeah, I was just really looking forward to seeing you.
JANE: Yeah. Me too.
MIKE: I had this whole vision of evenings by the fire... you know, maybe we'd get started on our wedding plans (...) So what do you reckon, do I ask Karl or Paul to be best man?
But Jane looks distracted and goes to write herself a note, to remind herself that she needs to contact the school uniform suppliers about ordering a new run. Mike waits patiently.
JANE: Sorry, you were saying?
MIKE: And you're sure Sam's okay to fly across with Curtis and Vera?
JANE: Well, it all works out. They'll be heading off for their European adventure at the same time.
MIKE: Well, then, stay. Do what you need to do.
JANE: Thank you.
But they both look a bit disappointed.
Karl is gearing up to show Cara and Remi photos from his trip with Harold (JJ and Dex, it seems, have long since escaped) and suggests they make a night of it, at which he could sing some of the campfire songs he's added to his repertoire. 'Great!' enthuses Remi, while simultaneously nudging Cara, presumably to make sure she doesn't snap and tell Karl where to go!
Karl gets a message and has to rush off, but says they must arrange a date for this evening later. Remi remarks, through gritted teeth, that it sounds fun. Once he's gone...
REMI: I thought he would never leave.
CARA: You'll have to work with him at the hospital.
REMI: Oh, no, no - he's fine. I just want to know the story about David.
Remi whips out her phone and does a web search.
CARA: So nosy, babe!
REMI: No, curiosity isn't a bad thing. And when a doctor gets pushed out, it's usually for a reason (...) There's an article. So much for a 'regrettable choice'. This says David was convicted of medical manslaughter after withholding essential care to someone, following a bus accident.
CARA: Really? He seems like such a nice guy.
REMI: No, he can't be.
CARA: Surely there's more to it than what they put in the paper.
REMI: The circumstances are irrelevant. A doctor that stood by while someone died - that is unforgivable.
On a bench, Mackenzie is half- dozing on Sadie's shoulder, still hung over, while Sadie strategically quizzes her about her 'epic night'.
MACKENZIE: Well, I can't remember all the gory details.
SADIE: But was it worth it?
MACKENZIE: Well, if my mission was to distract Byron from his heartbreak, mission accomplished. He's a really good guy.
SADIE: You're killing me here! (...) I heard about you two. Come on, spill!
MACKENZIE: What are you on about?
SADIE: You and Byron hooking up? (...) Haz saw him come out of your room.
MACKENZIE: Yeah, where we'd been talking - drunk talking, until we fell asleep! The end.
SADIE: Nothing happened?
MACKENZIE: Nothing happened! He's my friend. He's only ever gonna be a friend.
SADIE: Oh... I thought maybe you were trying to move on.
MACKENZIE: What, from Haz? I'm happy for him and Holly. And I don't need some guy to complete me. I'm not that pathetic (...) And also, I don't appreciate him spreading rumours like this.
SADIE: Don't be hard on him. He saw Byron naked or something. And most people just jump to conclusions.
MACKENZIE: Most people would have the decency to ask before gossiping about their friends.
Jane is telling Terese that she's cancelled her Christmas trip to the UK to stay and help with the pitch.
JANE: I want to give this everything that I have. Same as you do.
TERESE: Well, that's quite a sacrifice.
JANE: Be worth it, if it pays off.
TERESE: Well, I'll do everything I can to make sure it does.
JANE: As will I.
Things are still awkward; and Jane prepares to leave, but then thinks better of it.
JANE: Terese, I... this is something that I should've brought up earlier, but there were some things that I said that added fuel to an already intense situation, and I'm sure that they were very hurtful. And... I want you to know that I am truly sorry.
TERESE: Well, it was obviously coming from a place of pain.
JANE: Still, that doesn't excuse me blaming you for something that really wasn't your fault. And also, a part of a reason that I want this to be incredible is for you too. To make things up.
TERESE: And I should have given you the heads- up when I first registered my interest in the school site. And I'm really sorry for the things I said, too.
JANE: Well, I accept your apology.
TERESE: And I accept yours. I'm sure it wasn't easy to say. And I'm just so glad that we can put our heads together for this project.
TERESE: And who knows? Maybe we really will become a dream team.
They hold hands and smile at one another.
Haz is working/sulking on the patio when Mackenzie emerges from the house. She is also sulking, as she retrieves her clothes from the poolside.
MACKENZIE: Just in case you were wondering... last night was about me supporting a friend in need.
HAZ (sarcastic): Hell of a way to show support. Can't wait for the housemate awkwardness.
MACKENZIE: First of all, there won't be any awkwardness.
HAZ (dismissive): Right.
MACKENZIE: And secondly, what happens in my own bedroom is my business, no one else's.
HAZ (salutes): Cool. Noted.
MACKENZIE (angry): You are such a hypocrite! You got with Holly five seconds after all that stuff went down with Eden.
HAZ: That was different (...) Byron's on the rebound.
MACKENZIE: Oh (!) You think I took advantage.
HAZ: That's not what I said.
MACKENZIE: Thanks for clarifying you think I'm some desperado. Nothing happened between me and him - you have misread it completely!
Haz glances sceptically at the discarded clothes Mackenzie's holding, and asks if she's sure about that.
MACKENZIE: I am not even *remotely* interested in Byron, because you're the one I want!
Haz looks shocked, as does Mackenzie at what's just come out of her mouth!
Coming up on Neighbours
- Andrew asks Toadie how he feels about Melanie moving back onto the street
- Toadie and Melanie stare at one another outside the Kennedys'
- Elly Conway is back in town, and enthusiastically greets Chloe
- Elly asks Chloe if things between them are okay, as Chloe has been 'a bit MIA lately'
- Byron tells Haz he needs to figure out how he feels
- Sadie tells Mackenzie that Holly is her friend, and 'needs to know'
- Holly looking worried as she walks up to Mackenzie in the complex