Title: Nuns 'n' Roses
> Max's Disappearance
by Katrina Foster, Directed
by Gary Conway
Elle admits to Max that she’s been making him think he’s losing his mind. Katya and Ned tell Pepper, Frazer and Will that they can move into number 30. Rosetta trips up number 30’s driveway. Steph and Boyd are shocked to realise that Max has disappeared from the hospital…
At the General Store, Carmella is standing at the counter when she notices Rosetta, her sister, walk in. She suddenly sits down at a table with a stunned Bree, who looks over to see what all the fuss is about. Carmella asks Bree not to stare, before explaining that it’s her sister and she’s not evil, but she is perfect in every way. Zeke then comes in, with Susan, and Bree quickly makes her excuses and leaves, as Carmella and Rosetta are forced to share pleasantries. Carmella refuses to go into details about why she had to leave the convent and asks Rosetta why she’s here. She explains that she’s moved into 30 Ramsay Street and is working with Toadie. She goes on to explain that she called off her engagement and only knew about Carmella becoming a nun because a friend of a friend saw her at the convent. The sisters agree to have a coffee together, as Susan drags Zeke away from staring at the girls.
At the hospital, Boyd returns and tells Steph and Janae that Max hasn’t been home. He suggests that someone took Max outside for a walk, but Janae points out that it’s dark out there. When Karl returns, he explains that there’s no sign of Max in the hospital grounds, so they’ve called the police.
Back at the store, Carmella is telling Rosetta that she’s taken time out from being a nun to reassess her life. Rosetta is quite impressed as it’s so unlike Carmella to stop and think about her actions. Carmella points out that when they were growing up, Rosie was always top of the class, while she got expelled for swearing over the PA system. Rosetta is suddenly unimpressed again, pointing out that it’s so typical of Carmella to blame someone else for her problems. She points out that Carmella just seems to repeat her mistakes over and over. Carmella asks if Rosie’s in therapy, as it sounds like psycho-babble, and says that Rosie always had all the answers for a perfect life – study law, open her own practice, get married, leave home, have two kids… Carmella asks where that plan went wrong. Rosie is evasive, then claims she just chickened out. As Carmella probes her for more information, Rosie gets up and leaves.
Back at the hospital, Senior Sergeant Steiger is looking at the CCTV footage with Karl and the Hoylands. Steiger notices Max putting his wallet in his pocket as he leaves and is relieved that he’ll have some ID on him. Steph thinks her husband just looks lost, while Boyd angrily asks Karl how something like this could happen. Steiger quickly stops the argument by asking them all what Max was like when they last saw him. Boyd then turns on Steiger, saying that the police should be out searching instead of asking dumb questions. Steiger insists that the case is a priority, and, as Steph reaches out to the screen of the monitor and says that Max looks lost, he asks her what she means.
Steiger asks Steph about the last time she was with Max, but she’s struggling to compose herself. Karl and Susan explain that they saw Max the previous day and were telling him about Zeke’s win at the football and he didn’t seem like he was intending to run off. Steph then says that she saw him too and he seemed upset when she visited in the morning, but in the afternoon, he was back to his old self. She then has a flashback to lying on the bed with Max and Charlie, with him asking about Boyd and his studies. She tells Steiger that she wishes she’d been honest and told Max that Boyd wasn’t coping and Summer was being disruptive at school. Susan tells her not to feel bad, as she was just trying not to worry Max, but Steph thinks that she was treating him like a child. She has another flashback to Max telling her how well she’s coping and kissing her on the forehead. She tells Steiger that he was staring at her, remembering what she and Charlie looked like, as he was planning to leave. Susan reassures a tearful Steph that Max wouldn’t do that – his family was everything to him, but Steph points out that Max saw himself as stopping the rest of the family being happy, so he left them. Steiger isn’t convinced. Steph then remembers the way Max said goodbye to her and Charlie as they left. She tells Steiger that Max has said his goodbyes – it was always his intention to leave them.
At number 30, Will is trying to get a smile out of Bob when Rosetta bluntly tells him that dogs don’t smile. She explains her bad mood, telling him that she saw her sister and isn’t too happy about living in such close proximity to her. They suddenly hear Pepper screaming “get off” and rush to the bedroom to find out what’s wrong.
Will and Rosetta find Frazer and Pepper on the bed, with him trying to calm her down. Will grabs Frazer and gets him in an arm lock as Rosetta realises that Pepper is still asleep and isn’t aware of what’s happening. Will tells Rosie to call an ambulance, as Frazer tries to tell him that he wasn’t hurting Pepper. Rosie insists that Pepper is asleep and then wakes her up. Pepper jolts up and apologises, explaining that this isn’t the first time that this has happened. Rosie asks her and Frazer how long it’s been happening – Frazer says it’s a recent thing, as Pepper explains that it’s a sleeping disorder she’s had for a while. Frazer apologises to Rosie and Will that they didn’t tell either of them about it, as the pair leave. Frazer then looks annoyed with Pepper and her weird ways.
Back at the hospital, Janae is concerned as Boyd wants to check Max’s room again, to see if he’s returned. When they find the room empty, Janae tells him not to worry and they can start the search again in the morning. Boyd tells her that she doesn’t understand. He then has a flashback to earlier in the week when a group of medical students were laughing about Max attacking Dr Young. When they made the connection with the surname Hoyland, Boyd denied knowing Max.. He admits to Janae that he should have been honest and hit the other guy but he sold his dad out. Boyd has another flashback, remembering walking into his dad’s room and seeing him asleep. Boyd and Janae look at the bed, now empty, and she tells him that his dad knew that Boyd loved him. Boyd still feels guilty that he wasn’t there when Max really needed him.
Meanwhile, Max is sitting at the bus stop in the dark. He stands up and takes his wallet from his pocket, removes the money and puts it in his shirt pocket. He then takes off his jacket and hides it under the seat, and removes a photo of the family from his wallet. As the bus arrives, he looks at the photo and drops it on the ground as he boards. Max sits down and stares out of the bus window as it pulls away.
The following morning at number 28, Karl and Susan are looking after Charlie, wondering whether he looks more like Steph or Max. Bree arrives and breaks the news to Karl and Susan that Zeke and his mates are all down at the General Store, discussing getting tattoos to celebrate their win. They take the baby buggy and leave, with Susan thanking Bree for being mature enough to tell them. As they go, Susan asks Bree if she can see the recording of Zeke scoring the winning kick, but Bree claims that she’s already deleted it.
At number 30, Frazer is listening to the races and is happy until the end of the race when his horse loses. Will and Rosetta come in and Frazer tries to apologise to Rosie before she leaves for work. He insists that he respects all women and she has nothing to fear from him. Once she’s gone, Frazer and Will are squaring up to each other once more when they hear Pepper scream, but she comes in and apologises, claiming it was a joke. She drags Frazer out in the hallway and tells him to be nice to Will as they can’t afford to get offside with their new housemates.
At the General Store, Zeke is discussing his tattoo with Carmella, who says that she thought it would be cool ten years ago but now it just looks tragic. Zeke asks if he can see hers, but she insists that it wouldn’t be appropriate, as she leaves. Karl and Susan then come in, with Charlie. Zeke fails to make a quick getaway as Susan asks him what design he’s planning to get. Zeke points out that his dad had a tattoo, but Susan says that he wasn’t 14 when he got it. Karl asks if it’s Garrett’s brother, Wayne, giving them the tattoos and, when Zeke confirms this, Karl says that there’s a boy in the hospital with blood poisoning after getting one of Wayne’s tattoos. Zeke is annoyed to realise that Bree dobbed on him and Susan warns him not to go to the clubhouse because she’ll just have to go there and drag him away, in front of all of his team mates. As Zeke leaves, Susan is impressed with Karl’s parenting tactics.
At the bar, Pepper suggests to Will that the four housemates have a barbecue to get to know each other. Frazer is too busy staring at Rosetta to listen to any of this and then tries to help her with a shot at the pool table. Pepper tells him about her idea for a barbecue and Frazer isn’t too impressed, and is even less impressed when Pepper’s dad, Senior Sergeant Steiger, comes in. Pepper explains that Frazer isn’t hassling her – he’s her fiancé. She insists that they’ve only just started seeing each other, but Rosetta mentions that she thought they’d been together for a year. Pepper quickly says that the time has just flown… and Steiger asks what happened to that police constable she was seeing a few months ago. Frazer says that it was just a fling and then Steiger gets a call about Max and has to leave. He warns Pepper and Frazer that this isn’t the end of the matter.
In the back yard of number 30, Pepper is suggesting a key swap to get to know each other party, but telling her horrified housemates that it was just a joke. She then announces that they all have to reveal a secret about themselves. Pepper says that she’s not a swinger, but she kept Frazer a secret from her father because he’s overprotective and does police background checks on all of her boyfriends. Frazer looks stunned. Rosie then reveals her secret – this is the first time she’s lived away from home and her confidence is all an act. Frazer admits to being a professional gambler, and it’s Pepper’s turn to be stunned. Will says that he has no secrets – what you see is what you get, the others aren’t buying it, but the conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Carmella. Rosie takes her sister aside and they both agree that they have a lot to learn and make a toast, with the others, to new beginnings.
At the bus stop, Boyd and Steph meet with Steiger, who explains that Max’s wallet and jacket were found there, with the family photo on the ground nearby. Steph looks at the photo, as Boyd asks Steiger what will happen now. Steph is barely listening as she looks around her, visualising Max sitting there, then taking his jacket off, boarding the bus and sitting down, staring out of the window. She breaks down in tears.