3-7 October 2016
Monday 3 October (6511)
As Ash passes Kat on the beach, he checks if she's been thinking about getting her job back. Kat dismisses the idea, but Ash is left unconvinced.
Struggling after being the target of Tabitha's cyberbullying, Olivia finds Hunter and explains that the incident has brought past memories of when she was sexually abused by Kirk in the UK to the surface. Hunter takes her to Kat, who suggests she makes statements against both Tabitha and Kirk to the police. Accompanied by Irene, Olivia reports the cyberbullying, but when she comes to explaining the events involving Kirk, she gets overwhelmed and races out of the station.
When Sergeant McCarthy explains what happened, Kat thinks he should have brought her in. But he reminds her that she quit the police force. Kat wonders what he'd say if she wanted back in, leaving him thrown. McCarthy thinks her relationship with Ash clearly shows she's not ready to return. Kat tells Ash what happened, and he immediately rushes off to the station to convince McCarthy that they're not together anymore.
McCarthy reinstates Kat when she confirms that she's no longer with Ash, but puts her on probation. He tells her that all of her dealings with the garage will be heavily scrutinised, and warns that if she gets back together with Ash, she's out. Kat thanks Ash, and then finds Olivia on the beach. She tells Olivia about what happened with Dylan, and that when she confronted it, she got her life back. This encourages Olivia to try again, and they go to the police station to resume her interview. With conviction, Olivia states that Kirk Shepherd abused her.
At the hospital to visit Decker, Hope and Raffy run into the Morgan brothers. The boys offer to take them out for lunch, where Brody finds out that ‘Sparrow’ is Raffy's nickname. But why Decker would say it just before he lost consciousness still isn't sitting right with him. Phoebe comes to take their order and notices Hope put her hand on Justin's arm. She wonders if something is going on between them. Phoebe asks Justin about it after lunch. Justin thinks she's jealous, and tells her that it's nothing. Phoebe thinks he should tell Hope to avoid any embarrassment, but Justin's not worried. Phoebe wonders if she's overreacting.
Phoebe runs her dilemma past Kat. Kat knows that Phoebe doesn't want Justin to get hurt, but encourages her to trust him – if he says he's not interested, that should be good enough.
Later at Salt as he shares a drink with Brody, Justin admits that his feelings for Phoebe are getting in the way of being with anyone else. But Hope's at the bar, and approaches Justin when he's alone. Phoebe clocks them together across the room. Hope's tipsy, and Justin thinks she needs to go home. Hope gets the wrong idea and kisses him. Justin's shocked. Phoebe turns away, crushed.
Tuesday 4 October (6512)
Justin guides a tipsy Hope out of the Surf Club. She suggests they go home together, but Justin lets her down gently. Back at the Farm House, Phoebe hears the car pull up and rushes off to her room. Hope checks again if Justin wants a drink, but he declines and quickly leaves. Phoebe comes out and can tell that Hope's into Justin.
The next morning, Hope asks to borrow Phoebe's sunglasses and eyeliner. Phoebe reluctantly agrees, but can't deal with the uncertainty anymore, and goes to the garage to tell Justin she saw Hope kissing him last night. He explains that he stopped it two seconds later, and he's not interested in Hope. Phoebe suggests he makes it clearer to Hope.
Evelyn arrives at Matt's to check on Ellie's assignment. Ellie's deflated when Evelyn thinks it needs some work. At school, Evelyn suggests that Ellie asks for more time on the assignment, but Matt thinks that's unnecessary, it's good enough as it is. Zac introduces them to Raffy, and Ellie takes it as her chance to escape, offering to show her the library. Matt tells Evelyn she should be building Ellie's confidence, but Evelyn thinks honest feedback will help her more in the long run – her teachers won't tell her everything's brilliant. Matt's left with food for thought.
Olivia is relieved when Zac tells her Tabitha's been expelled, for the prank she played on Olivia (pretending to be Olivia's attacker, Kirk). Olivia's caught off guard, however, when Tabitha arrives to clean out her locker earlier than unexpected. Tabitha immediately blames Olivia for her expulsion…. Olivia can't believe Tabitha could be so deluded, exploding at her in front of the rest of the school.
Brody later finds Hope anxiously negotiating a debt over the phone. She stumbles, accidentally cracking her phone screen on a table. Hope is distraught; she doesn't have money to pay for something like this. A sympathetic Brody offers her a free coffee. He'd like to offer her a job… She just needs to chat to Phoebe, who's in charge of hiring. Hope sinks, believing Phoebe hates her. Justin enters and Hope immediately lights up, it's clear she still has a massive crush on a very awkward Justin. Keeping Phoebe's advice in mind, Justin shows up at the Farm House to finally let Hope down properly. They agree to remain just friends.
Olivia and Hunter have another run in with Tabitha at the Pier Diner, but this time Tabitha has her sister, Juliet, with her. Olivia can't bring herself to dissuade Juliet of the false notion that Tabitha and Olivia are still best friends. The group shares lunch together for Juliet's sake. While Hunter pays for lunch, Tabitha finally apologises to Olivia, she's sorry for how things turned out. Afterwards, Olivia admits to Hunter that she no longer hates Tabitha; seeing her chronically ill sister reminded her of why Tabitha was so messed up in the first place. It seems like Olivia and Hunter are in a good place again. Olivia is about to leave when she suddenly charges back for a romantic kiss.
Ellie, meanwhile, reacts badly when Raffy inadvertently offends her by pointing out a mistake on the assignment Ellie's about to hand in.
Phoebe checks on a sad looking Hope at the beach, she reveals her embarrassment over being rejected by Justin. Phoebe is sympathetic but Hope doesn't believe her, stalking off and running straight into John, quite literally. Hope drops her phone onto the ground. When John picks it up, we see the screen is cracked, and Hope immediately assumes that John will pay for the damages. Taken aback, John offers to take it for a quote but Hope demands three hundred cash up front, There's no way she should be out of pocket for an accident John just caused… John puts his foot down, he's not paying for anything without a quote. Phoebe grows suspicious that Hope may be running a scam on John. When she raises this with Justin, he's at his wits end, telling her to back off…
Matt arrives once more and asks Evelyn to ease off with what he perceives to be criticism of Ellie's schoolwork. Evelyn argues that it's wrong to falsely boost Ellie's confidence if what's really required is constructive criticism.
Back at school, Zac's class is interrupted by smoke. He emerges into the corridor and realises one of the lockers is on fire!
Wednesday 5 October (6513)
Zac and Leah inspect the smoke damaged lockers. The firefighters have informed him that it appears to have been started deliberately. Leah wonders who would do something like this. At the diner talk of the fire makes Ellie nervous, which is not lost on Matt. Matt searches through Ellie's school bag at the apartment, finding a lighter. Ellie tries to deny her involvement but is forced to admit she started the fire. She says she was trying to destroy her assignment and it simply got out of hand. Ellie begs Matt not to tell Zac, worried she'll be expelled – they could take her away from him. Matt is confronted by the idea, but later finds himself at the MacGuire household for dinner.
Zac informs him that they have a suspect, ‘Tabitha;’ the fire started in her locker. Matt's guilt peaks at the notion of an “innocent” girl taking the fall for Ellie. He discusses what to do with Evelyn; Tabitha has done bad things in the past after all. He's so confused, he just wants to do the right thing by Ellie. Evelyn convinces him that letting her get away with this wouldn't be doing that… Ellie is completely in shock when Matt, Evelyn and Zac call her to the principal's office. Ellie is given a week's suspension. At home, Ellie is ultimately grateful that Matt dobbed her in – she feels better now everything is out in the open.
Phoebe unloads to Billie, she can't believe that Justin doesn't trust her. Billie tries to talk her down, saying that of course Justin trusts her. Phoebe just wishes he'd show it by taking her side for a change. Justin meanwhile, unwinds with a beer, telling a cynical Brody he's not at fault here. Phoebe later finds herself also having a drink with Brody. She's sick of Hope and is convinced there's something dodgy about her. She would bet money that Hope was scamming John Palmer about her broken phone screen. Brody is quick to confirm her suspicions. He witnessed Hope crack the screen earlier himself. Brody sets the record straight with Justin, who is left feeling like a complete idiot. Justin later gives a heartfelt apology to Phoebe, it's clear she's touched, but things between them remain tense. Has Justin done real damage?
Evie spends the afternoon trying desperately to study, but the Summer Bay House is bursting at the seams with life. She's pushed further when VJ and Billie fill her room with baby gear. After failing for the fifteenth time, Evie finds a quiet spot at Salt to study, before explaining to Phoebe how stressed she is about being behind on uni work. Phoebe suggests she move into the Farm house. Evie is touched but nervous about breaking it to Leah.
John's having a slow day at work trying to lift Surf Club gear that's too heavy for him. Marilyn is onto him, he's punishing himself to avoid thinking of Chris. John tries to be stoic but soon admits he really is missing his mate. Marilyn is worried, but John explains, he's actually just feeling emotional. John is proud of Chris for finally living his life. Marilyn is determined to cheer John up, leading him to surprise romantic boat trip. An over-excited John goes to step onto the boat, but slips over, going down hard. Marilyn yells for help. Is John going to be okay?
Thursday 06 October (6514)
Nate hears Marilyn's desperate cries for help. He races over just as John comes to aboard the boat. He's disorientated but determined to continue on with his date. Nate shuts that idea down. He can't pilot a boat, he was unconscious. He needs to go to hospital. John races off, but Nate and Marilyn keep a close eye him. Marilyn is almost convinced he's fine when John suddenly collapses at the diner. Tori orders a brain scan for John.
Mason talks to Nate about Tori's break-up with Duncan, assuming he knows about it. Nate later brings this up with Tori, being sweet and supportive. Clearly embarrassed, Tori shuts him down, she'd rather keep work and her personal life separate. Tori pulls Mason aside, she can't believe that Mason would tell the guy she rejected about her break up. Mason doesn’t think Tori is giving Nate enough credit – he's a great guy.
Alf convinces Caroline to stick around a few more days, offering her and Bryce a caravan. Caroline is finding the entire situation here, with Duncan's current girlfriend a bit too awkward. Alf accidentally lets slip that she may not have to worry too much about Duncan's girlfriend going forward. Caroline agrees to stay. Alone in the caravan she pulls out a clear package of what looks like marijuana from her handbag. It appears Caroline is taking drugs.
Caroline is looking more relaxed later in the day. But her mood quickly takes a turn when she accidentally drops her handbag into the water off the pier. Alf's bemused by her desperation to get the bag back, and although he tries to fish it out, he has no luck. She later spills her coffee while they're chatting. Caroline's behaviour doesn't sit right with Roo, but Alf thinks Roo might be being a bit hard on Caroline.
Tori avoids Nate while Marilyn's mortified to learn John has a bleed on his brain. Tori's insists it's not serious.
Tori leaves Mason to check on John. John pesters Mason to explain every possibility he could be facing. When Mason does so, John becomes convinced he's in for surgery or worse, death. It's not until Tori checks in on John that she realises what Mason's good intentions have achieved. Tori sets John straight, much to Marilyn's relief and exasperation.
Meanwhile VJ is being run off his feet filling in for John's absence at the Juice bar, while attempting to balance study for his HSC. Leah worries for her son, eventually finding him passed on the couch at home.
Caroline makes a mystery visit to the hospital and deliberately avoids being treated by Tori. Caroline tells Nate that Tori can never know the truth… Nate makes it clear, he can't offer Caroline the kind of treatment she's asking for, but offers some trial drugs. Mason sees Nate give Caroline some sample medications, and tells Tori, who's concerned.
Meanwhile, Alf takes care of Bryce fishing with him again. But when Alf takes his eyes off the little guy for a few seconds, Bryce does a runner, along the pier and ends up in the ocean… Alf is forced to leap in after the boy.
Friday 07 October (6515)
Alf has just rescued Bryce from the water. He is determined to blame himself. However, when Alf leaves Bryce in Roo's care, the real reason Bryce went swimming is revealed - he wanted to retrieve his mum's lost handbag. Roo tries to explain that no bag is worth risking his life for. Bryce later reveals that his mum's special medicine was in the bag. Roo, who already has some suspicions about Caroline, is curious - what medicine is Bryce talking about? When asked, Caroline claims that it was a simple misunderstanding; Bryce must have meant her antacids. Roo is not convinced but when she talks to her brother and implies that perhaps Caroline has a drinking or drug problem, Duncan is quick to defend his wife – there is absolutely no way. Roo later witnesses Caroline suffer a stumble, but Alf still thinks she's overreacting.
Billie witnesses Kat thanking Ash for helping her get her job back with the police. Billie is convinced there's still something between those two. Ash soon meets Caroline at Salt, after seeing her spill a drink over herself. Their conversation is cut short when she receives news about Bryce's fall. Caroline leaves in distress.
Ash later runs into Kat on the beach, the vibe is light and flirty, but Ash can't hide his true feelings for long. He insists there is a connection between them - he's keen to explore it if she is. Kat knows she can't associate with Ash at the moment, she's on probation with McCarthy, but she can't bring herself to tell Ash that either. She tries to shut him down – telling him that they're just friends and it's not going to happen… Billie can't believe it when Ash tells her about the rejection. Ash realises he may finally need to move on. Concerned, Billie confronts Kat herself, she can't stand that Ash is hurting. Billie spells it out for Kat; Ash loves her so much.
The mystery surrounding Caroline is causing trouble for Nate and Tori as she questions his secretive treatment of Caroline. Nate is quick to shut it down; Caroline requested her consult be kept private. Tori later runs into Duncan on the beach, it's awkward, but they each hope this will be the worst of it. Nate witnesses the encounter and mistakenly assumes Tori was questioning Duncan about the Caroline's health issues. Tori is hurt by Nate's accusation. The pair later apologise to each other and come to conclusion that they're always arguing over nothing, like an old married couple. They both agree to let this one lie.
Ash overhears Caroline pleading with Nate to help her find marijuana to treat her condition. Seeing this woman is in pain, weighs on Ash. Thinking of his mum's battle with cancer, Ash is considering making a call to help her. Billie is shocked that Ash would do such a thing. He's the most anti-drugs person she knows. The next morning he makes the call, and meets up with Simmo, an old mate of Andy’s. Ash is furious when he realises Simmo was the one helping Andy run the chop shop out of the garage. It looks like Ash has just invited a whole new world of trouble into his life.
Kat eventually realises that she owes Ash an explanation. But when she arrives at the garage she witnesses an exchange between Ash and Simmo – cash for a package. She has no idea what's going on but her instincts tell her it's not good. And with that, any hope of a future with Ash is gone. Simmo takes off at the sight of Kat, and furious foot chase ensues.