Susan and Karl are left reeling when Ben confesses to accidentally starting the school fire. The reality of what he’s done hits home when Mark arrests him and he’s interviewed and photographed at the police station. He will have a record until he’s 18. Libby will return from China to take him home to Ballarat so his time in Erinsborough is limited, other than returning for court appearances. Overwhelmed, ashamed, and consumed by guilt, when Piper tells him she’s doing a runner he needs little urging – he’s coming with her.
Tuesday 24th November
Karl and Susan are rattled to learn that Ben has run away. It’s quickly revealed that Piper has gone on the run with him. Lauren kicks herself for not raising the alarm, and is confronted by the depth of Brad and Terese’s bond as they come together in the quest to find Piper. A further blow, when Brad announces that he’s moving back home while Terese recovers from her burns. Lauren accepts his decision – family comes first – but it hurts to watch Terese welcome him back home. Will their families tear these two apart?
Piper and Ben, meanwhile, are laying low in Erinsborough. Now that the initial adrenaline is wearing off, they’re faced with the reality of life on the run. Sleeping rough isn’t fun, and Piper is thrown when Ben reveals that he’s nursing fractured ribs. With the new day, Piper and Ben must make a choice – will they make good on their decision to leave Erinsborough?
Steph is hopeful when Vanessa agrees to meet her. Her plan is to apologise for kidnapping Lucas and Vanessa’s son Paddy – a surprise phone call, however, sees her grip on reality come under scrutiny. And when Vanessa makes her own doubts clear, Steph is left vulnerable and scared. Can she hold it together – or is this the beginning of another slide into chaos?
Wednesday 25th November
Steph is feeling shaky, uncertain whether the strange things she has been experiencing lately are a sign that she is starting to lose her grip on reality. Tyler does his best to buoy her, but when a customer denies that she ordered extra work that Steph did on her car, Steph has a minor meltdown. She starts to doubt everything. But unbeknownst to Steph, the customer has been paid by someone to mess with Steph’s head. Who’s behind this?
Paige is frustrated at Mark’s lack of attention when she tries to share how she’s feeling about her dad moving back in with Terese. Mark is oblivious, preoccupied with trying to find a lead to track down missing Piper and Ben. But when Nate, Aaron and Imogen intervene and confront him with his romantic neglect of Paige, he realises he needs to lift his game. He surprises her with a romantic camp out. The plan seems to have the desired effect – until Paige is woken in the middle of the night by a terrifying flashback to the fire.
Daniel is already feeling bad about the serious trouble he’s caused Paul by dumping his files on the internet. But when Paul is sacked from the council, stripped of his Mayoral robes and told there will be a public enquiry, Daniel is consumed by guilt. In an attempt to make amends he tags along to help Paul sell one of the model homes to a potential buyer. When Daniel sees Paul is about to lose the sale he steps in - and his genuine passion for Erinsborough clinches the deal. Surprised and impressed, Paul offers Daniel the chance to become his official agent and sell all the houses off the plan. Daniel resists at first, but Paul convinces him he is a natural real estate salesman. Imogen is pleased that Daniel has found a career prospect that excites him but is wary of all the things that could go wrong with this arrangement with Paul.
Thursday 26th November
Aaron goes into investigation mode after learning that Paul received a dead rat at the penthouse. Upon learning that Sheila was the person who took the mail up to Paul’s apartment he confronts her. Sheila is insulted he’d think it was her, but she did see the culprit and is able to point him out to Aaron. After a brief scuffle and an intense conversation, Aaron learns that the rat was meant for him - retaliation from the dance party organizer who lost his business as a result of Sheila’s interference. Spurred into revenge mode by Paul’s attempts to blame his ruined reputation on Naomi’s incompetence, Sheila discourages Aaron from telling Paul the truth about the rat. Instead, she advises, he should milk the overtime and all-expenses-paid employment until he’s sorted for his deposit for the house he’s buying with his brothers. Aaron is torn between doing the right thing and temptation. With Sheila and Josh’s support, he opts to feather his own nest at Paul’s expense. For now, anyway.
Paige avoids talking to Mark about why she fled the tent, so Mark recruits Tyler to try to get through to her, reasoning that their common experience at the fire might help. When Tyler approaches Paige, she’s working out on the punching bag, and he inadvertently steps in the path of a punch. Paige blurts her stress over parents and baby Matilda. She also admits the camp fire smoke reminded her of what she and Tyler said in the lift and how they’re not friends anymore because of it. Tyler is wordlessly
understanding, and their bond resurfaces. When Mark arrives to check in, Paige reveals she’s decided to seek counseling, and Mark thanks his brother for his assistance. Tyler buries his jealousy and heartache for the greater good.
Piper and Ben land in Glenrowan, having gained little from their pitstop in Ballarat. Although he’s still struggling with his breathing, Ben suggests they pick fruit to make more money and the two talk to a local picker recruiter, who surprises them with how little he’s willing to pay. The two runaways feel they have little choice, however, and agree to sign up - only to learn that they need to cover their expenses up front. They agree to the conditions, but it soon becomes clear Ben is too injured to work. Piper heads off to start earning money, leaving Ben alone. Having covered how bad he’s feeling, Ben collapses, struggling for breath.
Friday 27th November
Steph keeps her fears about her mental state to herself as she continues trying to rebuild her life in Erinsborough. But she’s knocked for six when she runs into her ex-girlfriend Belinda, who thinks their break-up was a mistake; she wants Steph back, and she’s prepared to move to Erinsborough herself if that’s what it takes. The news rattles Steph, who misses Belinda, but doesn’t want to be around her if she’s losing her mind again. She confesses her fears to Toadie, and is buoyed that Toadie doesn’t believe she’s really losing her grip on reality, but instead offers to help look deeper into the strange happenings that would suggest she is. Their investigations uncover a wireless speaker in the garage that someone appears to have used to make Steph think she was hearing music. Toadie’s chuffed – it seems someone is deliberately manipulating Steph to think she’s having a relapse. Toadie’s increasingly concerned that Belinda’s responsible, but Steph doesn’t want to believe it. However after a bit more digging, Toadie discovers another surprising suspect… Vanessa Villante.
On the run with Ben, Piper’s starting to have doubts about their decision. She calls home, eager to hear her mum’s voice. Able to trace the call through Piper’s Find my Phone account, Terese springs into action, rallying the Kennedys and setting off to track down the kids. Meanwhile Ben’s health is growing worse, and Piper makes a decision—against Ben’s wishes, she calls a taxi to take him to hospital. Ben’s stunned that she’s given up on their plan to run away, but Piper’s unrepentant. Ben is taken to hospital, and when the adults finally catch up with Piper, she’s full of self-recrimination at daring Ben to set off the alarm and injuring Terese. Brad and Terese vow they’ll be right by Piper’s side as she faces the music.
Nate’s running another Interstate Pool Competition at The Waterhole, and ropes in Daniel, Shay and Kyle as contestants. When Kyle and Amy drop into the Waterhole after work, Kyle tries to talk Amy into staying on to play, and with Sheila urging Amy via text to enjoy herself while Sheila minds Jimmy, Amy relents, doing her best to hide her discomfort at Kyle and Shay’s new romance. But as Kyle and Amy go head-to-head on the pool table, sharing plenty of light-hearted barbs about each other’s state and country of origin, it’s clear their old spark is still well and truly alive—and it’s Shay who ends up feeling like a third wheel. But competitive Shay subtly clings onto her territory. Declining Kyle’s invitation to join them clubbing, Amy leaves Kyle to party on with Shay. But it’s clear which woman Kyle would rather be going home with.
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