Title: Spinal Trap
Guy is holding Katya, Zeke, Steph, Toadie and Charlie hostage. Steph is by Toadie’s hospital bed, telling him that she loves him. Boyd reads a Christmas card from Glenn. Bree is unimpressed when Zeke gives her a kitten for Christmas. Steph opens Toadie’s Christmas gift – a necklace – and starts to cry…
Susan arrives at the hospital, having driven up from Shepparton when she heard the news about Toadie. Harold, who has been sitting with Steph, explains that Toadie is in theatre, and Steph, through her tears, adds that the doctors are very concerned about his spinal cord. Susan, trying to stay strong for Steph, insists that Toadie is a fighter and Harold agrees. He announces that he should head home as he needs to look after Kerry. Susan then sits with Steph and says that it’s been obvious how much she and Toadie have come to rely on each other lately. Steph says that they’ve become more than friends and Susan says that it’s no surprise to her, but hopes that Steph isn’t rushing into something. Steph isn’t sure, but says that she didn’t ask for these feelings to come along, as her life is already too complicated, but she’s in love with Toadie.
At number 26, Bree is dangling a toy mouse on a piece of string, trying to coax Willow out from under the sofa. As she reaches in to grab the kitten, she gets scratched and threatens to sell her to a lab for research. Zeke then turns up and Bree acts like she and Willow are getting along well and it was the best present ever. She then asks how her hero of a boyfriend is – he says that he was terrified and realised that, if Guy had killed him, Bree would never have known how much he loved her. They agree never to argue again and share a hug, before he gives her some information on caring for cats that he downloaded.
Back at the hospital, Susan wonders if Steph might be confusing her feelings of love for something else, as she’s been through so much lately. Steph admits that she had wondered that too, but the siege changed everything and she knew then that she loved Toadie. During this conversation, Boyd has returned from the canteen with some sandwiches and he overhears, bluntly asking Steph is she’s forgotten about Max. Steph insists that nobody could replace Max – but he’s gone. Boyd is silent for a moment but seems to accept this and offers her a sandwich. Steph smiles, as Boyd says that he wants her to be happy and he realises that she has to move on, plus Toadie is an ok guy. Steph hugs her stepson.
At number 32, Janae and Harold are trying to tidy up and put the decorations back up, as it’s still Christmas. Harold picks up some things from the table and then drops them, just as Boyd returns, quietly explaining to Janae in the hall about what he heard Steph saying. He says that it’s a bit soon, but Janae asks him when the right time is in a situation like this. As they walk back into the lounge room, Harold says that he’s found a card that was inside one of the books he dropped. Boyd realises that it’s from Glenn and tries to stop Harold, claiming that it’s Steph’s, but Harold says that it isn’t, it’s addressed to Boyd, from Glenn. Janae suddenly looks shocked and decides that Harold should read it out, despite Boyd’s protests – “Boyd, hope you have a wonderful Christmas, I’ll be thinking of you and us in the New Year, lots of love, Glenn.” Harold thinks that he sounds like a lovely chap, and Janae agrees, as she glares at Boyd.
At number 28, Karl and Susan arrive home, and Zeke and Katya explain that they’ve had a visit from Senior Sergeant Steiger, asking questions and explaining that she might be able to avoid prison if she makes a deal and gives evidence against her criminal buddies. She’s worried though, that giving evidence might put all their lives in danger, but Susan doesn’t see that she has any choice. She assures Katya that they’ll all be there for her, but Katya still looks very worried.
At number 32, Boyd is insisting that the card means nothing, but Janae isn’t convinced, asking why he hid it. She wonders if Glenn still means something to him, but he insists that she doesn’t. Janae isn’t sure what to think, but Boyd says that he’s told her everything now and has told Glenn that he wants no more to do with her. Janae is annoyed that he’s even still speaking to Glenn and accuses him of being a hypocrite whinging about Steph and Toadie. Boyd then accuses her of over-reacting and she wonders if Glenn even knows that she exists. He insists that she does and says that she can call Glenn if she doesn’t believe him. To Boyd’s surprise, Janae grabs his phone and does just that – telling Glenn that she’s Boyd’s wife and not to contact him again. Boyd thinks that was unnecessary and Janae says that, in that case, he has no idea how much trouble their marriage is in. She walks out.
At number 26, Bree is still failing to control Willow when Janae walks in looking depressed. Bree asks how Toadie is, and Janae says he’s still in theatre, before slumping down on the sofa. Bree explains that she put butter on Willow’s paws to stop him from running away, and wishes she hadn’t promised not to argue with Zeke. Janae says that promises are made to be broken, and Bree notices how upset she is and asks what’s wrong. Janae says that she loves Boyd but their marriage seems to be falling apart around her – she can already hear the ‘I told you so’s.
At number 28, Zeke gets up in the night only to find Katya packing a bag to leave. She apologises to him and says that she knows the family will help her, but she’s already caused them enough problems. She says that Toadie’s already in hospital seriously ill and these people could come back and cause more damage. Zeke grabs her stuff and makes her promise him that she won’t go – reminding her of what their father used to say – “it’ll all look better in the morning”. As a content Zeke goes back to bed, Katya stops smiling.
At number 24, Bree is wondering if Boyd’s behaviour is just down to the stress of recent events, and the fact that guys don’t cope with things very well as they’re weak. She reminds Janae that he still loves her and she and Boyd have proved everyone wrong by making their marriage work.
At number 32, Boyd is on the phone to Glenn, apologising for what happened earlier, promising that neither he nor Janae will harass her again. She pays him a compliment and they continue talking…
Back at number 26, Bree is telling her sister that this is as bad as it’s going to get for her and Boyd. Janae isn’t sure whether that comment is designed to cheer her up or not.
Boyd continues his call to Glenn, explaining that he had meant to tell her he was married, but there never seemed like a good time. He apologises for hurting her, and says that to him, Tasmania just seemed like another world.
Bree tells Janae that she needs to decide whether she’s going to be like their father, and simply disappear at the first sign of trouble, or stick around and work at things.
Boyd explains to Glenn that he and Janae are just going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment, but things will work themselves out.
Bree tells Janae that, this time, she has to be the one that does the forgiving, because, at the end of the day, she really does love Boyd. Janae smiles, realising that Bree has hit the nail on the head.
Boyd settles down on the sofa and asks Glenn if she has any plans for the holidays, and is surprised when he finds out that she’s going rock-climbing.
The following morning, at number 28, Zeke is preparing a special breakfast for Katya and he heads off to give it to her. In the kitchen, Susan asks Karl if he’ll be seeing Toadie while he’s at the hospital, before realising that he no longer works there. He checks that she’s ok with him quitting medicine and she says that if he’s happy, she’s happy. He admits that he was relieved when Boyd arrived at Toadie’s shooting and took over, as he didn’t want the responsibility. Susan then remembers that she brought Libby’s gift with her, it’s a book on green living. He says that he’s wanted it for ages but Susan is amused, not believing that he’s genuinely interested. Their conversation is interrupted by Zeke, who runs out with a note from Katya. He says that she’s broken her promise and gone.
A few minutes later, Susan is reading the note, as Karl comes out of the bedroom, confirming that she’s gone and annoyed that she hasn’t thought this through. He says that Zeke should have woken them up when he found her packing, but Zeke explains that she promised and he thought she meant it. Susan says that the letter explains that Katya didn’t want to put anyone else in danger. Karl insists that she can’t just have vanished, but Zeke reminds them that Max Hoyland did. Susan thinks that they should call the police, but Karl points out that she’s skipped bail and involving the police could cause even more problems for her. Zeke suggests that they find her themselves.
At number 24, Harold is talking to Kerry, telling her that they’ll be able to spend all day together if Sky gets her new job. He suddenly spots a kitten on the table eating the breakfast things and goes to grab a hankie, before realising that he isn’t sneezing – his allergy shots must be working. He notices that the kitten has no collar, and goes to get him some food.
At the hospital, Janae is in Toadie’s room with Steph, insisting that he’ll be fine and that he’s survived worse during the Timmins/Rebecchi showdowns. Steph wonders if Boyd’s ok with this, but Janae insists that he is, and reminds her that you can’t always help who you fall for – she probably wouldn’t have picked Boyd in that case. Steph is surprised, but Janae says that he’s hard work. She decides to take Charlie for a walk and leaves. Steph then walks across the room, looking at her wedding ring. As she’s taking it off, Toadie opens his eyes. He then closes them, as Steph goes and sits back down beside him.
At number 24, Harold is taking photographs of the kitten, telling Kerry that if nobody claims her, she can stay as her pet. Bree then calls in to see the baby and is shocked to see the kitten there. As Harold starts talking about finding his owner, Bree suggests that Harold could keep Willow, and Harold asks her where that name came from. Bree quickly claims that it’s just a name she thought of… but Harold can call him whatever he wants. Zeke then calls in, looking for Bree, who takes the opportunity to make a quick getaway.
As they walk away from number 24, Bree thinks that they should call the police, but Zeke isn’t impressed. She asks him what his plan is, and he says that he thinks he knows where she might be, but needs money to get them. Bree agrees to give him the money, but says that she’s going with him.
At the hospital, Karl and Susan come out of one of the offices and he says that he’s now spoken to everyone who knew Katya and nobody’s heard from her – so Zeke could be right about her choosing to disappear and skip bail. Susan looks over at Steph, who’s leaning over Toadie’s bed and wonders if that story will have a happy ending. Karl has his doubts – the surgeons said that there was a bullet fragment lodged close to his spine, which means he’s living with a time bomb. Inside the room, Steph has her head on Toadie’s shoulder, as he wakes up. He compliments her on the necklace and she says that it’s the most important gift she’s ever received, and that she loves him. He wonders if she’s rushing things, and is sure about her feelings, but she says that she’s certain. Toadie asks about Max, and Steph says that she loved him, but he’s gone and he’s never coming back…
Outside a shopping mall, Elle is walking back to her chauffeur-driven car, on the phone to her mum, explaining that she had to come back, though Paul doesn’t know she’s coming yet. As she hangs up, she spots a man loading some bags into his car, and realises that it’s Max…
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