In need of work, Brad struggles to reach out and accept the teaching job that has become available - a frame of mind that only becomes more pointed as Lauren pushes him to define what he really wants. Going back to his roots, he takes himself off for a surf and soon his mind seems much clearer. But all of that goes out the window with an ultimatum from a stressed Terese, and Brad takes the plunge, accepting the position at Erinsborough High… But is he heading for disaster?
Tuesday 29th July
Following Paul’s very public meltdown at the art exhibition, Terese blames Karl for putting pressure on Paul after his complaint to the council. But Karl surprises her when he maintains that the issue of the mayoral position is no longer his focus – he’s genuinely worried about Paul’s mental health. Meanwhile, Daniel feels overwhelmed when a dishevelled Paul breaks down into sobs a short time later back at the penthouse. And while Paul receives unexpected support from both Naomi and Sheila, Daniel realises he needs to call in the big guns – Karl. Just as Karl seems to be making a breakthrough with Paul, Terese is forced to break the news that Paul’s been stood down as mayor pending an investigation into his conduct. To everyone’s shock, Paul declares that he doesn’t care – about his position as Mayor, about anything.
With Sonya due to return today, Toadie’s anxious at the prospect of having to explain what happened with Naomi. He feels terrible when she appears completely rejuvenated after her time away at the retreat and declares that she’s ready to make more of an effort with their marriage. Stunned by Naomi’s deception, Sonya takes some time to process what’s happened, and in discussing it with Toadie, they somehow become more disconnected than ever. Later, while out for a walk to get her head together, Sonya runs into Naomi. Naomi attempts to justify her actions, but Sonya dismisses her, maintaining that there can be no justification for what she’s done. Under fire, Naomi goes on the attack, suggesting that if Sonya hadn’t been such a good Samaritan, Toadie wouldn’t need to have sought attention elsewhere. Enraged, Sonya slaps Naomi.
Georgia’s keen to bring Kyle on board to plan the wedding, but he’s gun shy after the dramas last time. Georgia reassures him that she genuinely wants this wedding to be their shared vision. She suggests they exchange their wish list for the perfect wedding, but discovers after they complete the task, that they’re both in peacemaker mode, and have listed the others wants and needs rather than their own. It is Chris who manages to bring them onto the same page, and so it seems the wedding plans are back on track.
Wednesday 30th July
Sonya runs to Brennan, desperate to debrief about slapping Naomi, but is shocked to learn that Naomi is staying at Brennan’s house. Thwarted, Sonya heads for home, preparing to tell Toadie about the slap, but Nell has just come down with gastro, putting Sonya’s confession on hold. It’s only when Sheila confronts Sonya about slapping her daughter that Toadie finds out the truth. Sheila also reports that Naomi has decided to stay in Erinsborough, so she hopes that Sonya will ease off. Taking this on board, Sonya begrudgingly apologises to Naomi. Then, with the aim of spending more time with Toadie and getting her marriage back on track, she tells Brennan that she won’t be able to see him as often as she has been. Brennan understands, but is sad to lose the regular company of a great friend who helped him get through his time of grief.
Georgia and Kyle set about organising their wedding, but quickly realise they’re too emotionally involved to negotiate reasonable rates. Sheila, looking for a distraction from her woes with Naomi, steps into the breach and negotiates them a great deal with a local caterer. But when Kyle and Georgia employ her to negotiate all of their deals, the power goes to Sheila’s head and she ignores Kyle and Georgia’s wishes, preferring to organise things her own way.
Bailey is thrilled when his grandmother, Kathy, secretly sends him a super deluxe telescope. But when Matt points out that Lauren will never let him keep anything that’s come from Kathy, Bailey must find his telescope a new home. Always looking for ways to bond with her half-siblings, Paige offers to keep the telescope at her place. In doing so, Paige uncovers the story behind Kathy and Lauren’s animosity. Shocked to learn that Lauren never wanted to give Paige up for adoption and that it was all Kathy’s doing, an angry Paige silently swears revenge on her grandmother.
Thursday 31st August
Having learned that Kathy deceived Lauren into giving her up as a baby, a spiteful Paige quietly searches for information on her grandmother. When Lauren takes Paige to see her collage at the women’s art exhibition, Paige is forced to endure a painful reminder of how she’s an outsider to her natural family. Paige blurts out how Bailey is hiding a telescope which was a present from Kathy. Lauren is clearly rattled by this news, which further piques Paige’s interest in Kathy. Feeling bad for unsettling Lauren, Paige tries to offer solace by pointing out that Kathy’s interest in her grandkids is at least genuine. Following from Paige’s insights, Lauren puts aside her own grievances and invites Kathy to come and visit. When Paige learns Kathy is on her way, it seems trouble is on the horizon.
It’s Brad’s first day teaching at Erinsborough High, and despite putting on a happy face for Terese, he’s not looking forward to it. Things get off to a poor start when Paige gives a blunt appraisal of Brad’s unlikeliness as a teacher, which agitates Brad into justifying himself. Lauren encourages Brad to make the most of his less-than-ideal situation, so Brad attempts to hit the ground running by pitching a host of new school initiatives to Susan. But he’s brought back to earth when Susan informs him she can’t implement anything other than a single watered-down version of his ideas. Meanwhile Josh and Imogen are struggling with having their dad as the new teacher at school. Imogen is mortified when Brad becomes the object of desire of a female student. And Josh is annoyed when he comes face to face with ‘Mr Willis’ the disciplinarian.
Bailey is struggling with his application for space camp due to a lack of extracurricular activities on his CV, so Matt encourages him to set up an astronomy club at school. But Bailey is thrown to discover stiff competition in the form of Alice, a nerdy high achiever who is applying for space camp too. Matt does his best to reassure Bailey, but Alice shapes as a force to be reckoned with when she declares that she wants to usurp Bailey as astronomy club President.
Friday 1st August
Despite trying to convince herself she can handle it, Lauren begins to struggle in the face of Kathy’s early arrival in town. So on Matt’s advice, Lauren lays down some strict boundaries, which leaves Kathy feeling hurt and excluded from the family. It’s Paige who comforts her with encouraging words, but Paige herself is conflicted, knowing Kathy is the one who gave her up. While she takes the opportunity to get on Kathy’s good side, she starts to slowly put together a plan for revenge.
When Terese enlists Daniel to help Amber and Josh bump out The Waterhole Art Exhibition, awkwardness ensues. When Josh makes comment about the photo of his hand in Amber’s artwork, Amber is forced to lie, causing an anguished Daniel to leave. He later reminds Amber they need to tell Josh the truth, and she agrees - their deception can’t go on. But studying her artwork again, Josh has begun to twig that something isn’t quite right. Is he about to stumble across Amber’s shocking secret?
Susan advises Brad to relax and be himself in order to make progress with his pupils. After another tough start to class, Brad does so and resorts to using surfing anecdotes in class. The kids are only too happy to indulge him, knowing it means less time they have to focus on class. Imogen tries to steer him back from this but he continues, even allowing them to call him Brad, much to his daughter’s horror. Tensions rise when Imogen challenges her dad to stick to the text and he tries to assert his authority as teacher, much to the sensation of the class. When Brad later tries to put Imogen in her place by threatening her with detention, she walks off, leaving Brad frustrated and unsure what to do.
Read what happened in last week's episodes of Neighbours
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