> Paul's 50th Birthday
by Jason Herbison, Directed
by Tony Osicka and Scott Major, Produced
by Jason Herbison
Channel Eleven: 29/01/14, Channel 5: 12/02/14
Terese wins a generous severance package from Paul by threatening to countersue him... Paul is disappointed to learn that Sophie and Harry won’t make it to his 50th birthday party...
Mason takes a dislike to Isaac, and tells Imogen he wants her to be with him instead...
At number 22, Terese is talking to Imogen about finding a new place for the family to live, but Imogen is distracted. Terese asks Imogen what Mason wanted, as she heard him at the door, and Imogen explains that Mason wants them to be together, but she’s
still cross about him rushing off to Kate’s side not long after kissing her at Christmas. Imogen almost lets slip to Terese about Isaac by telling her she has moved on - Terese asks Imogen who she has moved on to, however Imogen, quick off the mark, tells
her mum that Mason’s simply not on her radar anymore, to which Terese tells Imogen that her and Mason are different people, Mason is older and more experienced... Imogen insists that she knows and she’d be crazy to go there.
Mason and Bailey are in the pool, discussing Mason's love life. Mason thinks Imogen wants him, but Bailey is sceptical. Mason thinks that Imogen may think he is not over
Kate. Bailey disagrees, suspecting that Imogen is into Isaac now. However, Mason says that Imogen has already lied to Isaac, and he is certain that they are not the real deal - he declares that nobody
can share what he and Imogen share. Bailey says “What, a bombed-out car?” but Mason decides he needs to wind the clock back and return their relationship to where it was. Bailey asks how he is going to do that but Mason doesn’t share his plan.
At Paul’s penthouse, he is prancing around in his new mayoral robe and chain, showing off to Kate. Kate comments that it’s pretty fancy, apart from his rather tatty briefcase, which she says looks 100 years old – but Paul insists he likes it. Lucy
appears hovering in the background, and Kate introduces her as Paul’s surprise birthday present! Paul grimaces, and Lucy tells her brother that he could at least pretend to be happy to see her. Kate suggests Lucy stays with them, since Harry and Sophie
couldn’t make it for Paul’s fiftieth birthday party, but Lucy says she’s staying at the hotel, and Paul doesn’t attempt to change her mind. Lucy then asks if Paul’s phone is switched off; Paul mentions that he turned it on to silent during the ceremony.
Paul looks at his phone and finds he has missed calls from Elle, so Lucy tells Paul the bad news – Elle isn’t going to be able to make Paul’s party, as Donna is having boyfriend troubles! Paul’s disappointed, but Kate reminds him that Andrew and Tash are
still coming. Paul cheers up a bit, adding cryptically that the whole family will be reunited soon anyway. Kate and Lucy look puzzled, wondering what he means.
In Charlie’s, Sheila is getting everyone to write their congratulations in a special book for Paul’s fiftieth. Matt refuses to sign it at all at first, but Karl encourages
him to write a humorous spin on the truth, like he did. Matt scribbles some kind of putdown using social media slang learned from Amber, and Sheila’s concerned, particularly given that Karl’s own message isn’t very complimentary either. Karl tells Sheila
that his message is tame compared to Toadie’s, Karl also tells Sheila to look at Georgia’s – “that’s a doozy!” he remarks. Sheila tells Matt and Karl that she’ll never be able to give Paul the book now, but they just laugh.
Back at the Penthouse, Kate and Lucy whisper to each other - they think that Elle, Harry and Sophie are just making excuses as they don’t really want to come to Paul’s birthday. Paul comes in, and presents Lucy with a termination agreement, which
would formalise his withdrawal of the hotel from the Lassiter’s chain. Lucy admits that she can’t believe he’s going through with this, but Paul says that their father would be proud of a hotel named after him. Lucy points out that he might not be proud
of how the hotel is crumbling at present, but Paul blames all this on Terese leaving suddenly. She says that pulling out of the chain is a big mistake, and challenges him as to where he’ll find a manager better than Terese. Paul informs Lucy that
all will be revealed in due course.
At number 22, Imogen gets a text from Isaac, whilst in the living room, Terese and Lucy are sharing a bottle of wine. Terese informs Lucy that she’s dreading moving but has no
regrets about leaving her job, claiming a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. Lucy admits to Terese that she doesn’t want to lose Lassiter’s Erinsborough from the chain, and is desperate to get Terese and Paul to work things out. However,
Terese says it’s no longer her concern, noting that she rebuilt the hotel’s reputation, and got no thanks from Paul. Terese has kept an ear to the ground as regards her replacement as hotel manager; however, she’s learned that Paul hasn’t even
contacted a recruitment agency yet. Lucy puts two and two together – she recalls Paul’s comment about the family being reunited, and tells Terese she knows what Paul has in mind. Back in the kitchen, Imogen gets a text from Mason, asking to meet.
Mason is in Charlie’s and receives a text reply from Imogen turning down his offer, so he angrily storms out. At the bar, Paul is doing some paperwork and comments that he will be pleased to see the back of tedious tasks like this when new management
starts. He discovers the birthday book Sheila’s been preparing, hidden under the cash register. Paul looks thrilled; Sheila grimaces and assures him it’s not worth reading, but he laughs it off. Paul says to Sheila “Here’s one from Karl, ‘Paul, to best sum up my feelings for
you up, I thought I’d start with the first letter of the alphabet – A is for a…’ Sheila stops Paul and tells him not to take any notice of that - he knows what Karl’s like! Paul’s smile is gone, and he asks Sheila how many of the messages are like that.
Sheila tells Paul that he shouldn’t take it personally, but he angrily tells Sheila to get back to work. He then stomps off, looking wounded.
Back at the penthouse, Paul dumps the birthday book in the bin, while speaking on the phone to Andrew. It turns out that Tash is dragging her feet about coming to the party.
Paul attempts to convince Andrew to come alone, but apparently to no avail. Paul tells him to check his email in a few minutes, and ends the call. Lucy arrives, and Paul explains Andrew and Tash aren’t coming to the party as they’re off for a jaunt in
Stockholm instead. Lucy, meanwhile, has been speaking to Elle – and discovered that Paul has offered her the position of manager at the rebranded Robinson’s hotel, and Andrew the role of deputy manager. Lucy tells Paul that Elle is happy in New York,
and that she was probably just being polite when she said the offer was tempting. Lucy adds that Andrew’s response will likely be the same when he reads the email, and that Paul’s setting himself up for a fall. Paul disagrees with Lucy and tells her that
she’s worried that she’ll lose the hotel and that that it will look bad for her. Paul informs Lucy she’s only got herself to blame and he doesn’t mind her being here for his birthday but any business association they have is over and the sooner she
realises that, the better they will get along.
Imogen is working at Sonya's nursery, when Mason arrives to woo her by way of a rather laboured metaphor – namely, that their relationship is a ‘drooping flower’ that needs to be revitalised. Imogen is unimpressed, Mason asks Imogen what she’s doing
this afternoon - she tells him she’s arranged to watch a trial, streamed live from the US, with Isaac, as part of their bonding over their mutual interest in law. Mason tries to convince her she could have more fun with him, but she tells him to get lost.
At the Penthouse, Kate has been rifling through the bin and has retrieved Paul’s birthday book; she and Lucy read the comments from all Paul’s ‘friends’ on Ramsay Street.
Lucy asks Kate “What did Paul ever do to upset Chris Pappas?” but then Paul comes in and Kate quickly hides the book; they wish him happy birthday. Kate gives Paul his present from Kyle and herself, it’s a new briefcase, to replace the tatty one.
Paul makes out that he loves it; Kate leaves to check on the kitchen to see if everything is on track for lunch. Lucy asks Paul if Kate knows the significance of the old case - Paul tells Lucy no, she doesn’t and she doesn’t need to either, change is
good. Paul admits to Lucy that Elle came back to him and turned down his job offer but it just means Andrew will be hotel manager instead. Lucy says she hasn’t bought Paul a present, but wants to take him on an adventure instead.
Lucy takes Paul to see... Ramsay Street! Paul tells Lucy that this has got to be the worst adventure ever. Lucy tells Paul to humour her, to which Paul replies “What, by taking a trip down memory lane?” Terese wanders down her drive and wishes Paul a
happy birthday, and gives him a big hug, much to Paul’s confusion. Terese thanks him for making her life so difficult that she had to resign – she says that he did her a favour, as he’s helped her to reconnect with her family. As Terese walks off,
Paul reminds her she has two weeks to get out of number 22. Lucy takes Paul by the arm and says “Come on. Let’s go home”.
Inside number 26, Paul and Lucy stare nostalgically at the home they grew up in. Lucy mentions to Paul that a lot has changed since they were kids; she asks if he can remember
the blue wallpaper - Paul remarks that he could never forget it and thinks back to his gran, Helen, in the house. Lucy says that she was lucky to have her big brother to look out for her and they think back to Paul helping Lucy start her modelling career,
though he still put the interests of Lassiter's first, even back then. Paul and Lucy then wander into the kitchen, remember how Helen always took care of them - Paul looks affected as he remembers her pouring him a coffee. Lucy mentions that you can still
see her sitting there now, sketching, and they both think back. Paul, fed up of Lucy reminiscing about the past, tells her that if she’s trying to impart some kind of life lesson, she’s too late - Jack Lassiter beat her to it. Lucy asks Paul what lesson
he learnt, Paul informs Lucy he learnt to value family, and he is. Lucy asks Paul if he has any idea why Andrew, Elle, Sophie and Harry didn’t come today. Paul believes that in Andrew’s case, he didn’t realise what he was about to offer him. Paul
continues to tell Lucy that he knows he’s made mistakes but he has changed, and happens to have a very good relationship with everyone now. Lucy reminds Paul that is only the case because they don’t live near him. Lucy continues to tell Paul that
they’re all scared to even return for a visit, because they know things will go back to the way they were - there are always strings attached. Paul gets a call from Andrew and looks smug, before disappearing into the garden to answer it.
Outside, Paul is sitting by Sheila’s vegetable patch, looking sadly at his phone. Lucy comes to join him, and realises that Andrew said no. Paul, looking disappointed, asks Lucy if she's going to gloat now. Lucy proceeds to tell
Paul that they need to talk about his real problem - the day she became his superior. Paul makes Lucy aware that isn’t the issue, but she doesn’t believe him and says he has resented her ever since she pulled rank. Lucy tells
Paul she decided to take the job of running head office so she could reconnect with him - when she heard what was going on in his life, she was really worried, so she put things in place. She says that it wasn't because she was on a power-trip,
but because she loved him - and everyone else loves him too, but if they don’t do it on his terms, it’s impossible. Paul asks Lucy if it’s so bad that all he wants to do is offer his kids an opportunity. Lucy reminds Paul that he’s only learned half the
lesson from Jack Lassiter. It’s great he values family, but he can’t control them. Lucy tells Paul to look at how he treats his friends and colleagues. Paul wonders what friends she's referring to, and she mentions the messages from people in Sheila’s
book, and tells Paul that they may not have said nice things about him but at least they went to the effort; it shows that they care. Lucy suggests that Paul tries a new approach, to treat people differently – they may just surprise him.
Lucy and Paul arrive back at the Penthouse and Kate asks Paul if he’d have preferred a brown leather briefcase. Paul insists the one Kate’s bought him is great.
Lucy, tired of Paul hiding his true feelings, tells Kate that the old one belonged to their father, Jim. Kate asks Paul why he didn’t just he say so, and he admits that the other one does have some sentimental value attached to it. Kate proceeds to go off
to find the receipt. Lucy asks Paul what their dad would say if he could see them now - Paul jokingly tells Lucy that he’s about to get a whole hotel named after him, so he thinks he’d be pretty chuffed. Lucy wonders if anything she's said today has actually
made a difference - Paul tells Lucy that he’s thought about some of the things, however as far as Robinson’s is concerned, the wheels are already in motion.
At number 22, Terese is packing up the family’s possessions in preparation for moving house, and nostalgically looks at her Lassiter’s business cards.
Back at the Penthouse, Lucy tells Paul that if he wants to pull the hotel from the Lassiter’s group, she won’t stand in his way – but points out that he’d be crazy not to get
Terese to run Robinson’s for him. Paul insists he couldn’t trust her, but Lucy reminds him that Terese has always had the hotel’s best interests at heart; and now he’s mayor, he’ll need Terese more than ever.
Paul assesses his empire inside Lassiter's reception area and looks thoughtful.
Terese continues to pack at number 22, looking at a photo of the family as she puts it in a packing box.
Paul stands outside the hotel, reflecting.
At number 22, Terese answers the door – it’s Paul. Terese assumes he’s here to hurry up the eviction, and tells her they’ll be out of the house soon. Paul tells Terese that it’s his birthday, and he finds himself in a very forgiving mood and she should
take advantage of that - he tells her she can have her old job back and the hotel will be staying as Lassiter's. Terese can’t believe what she is hearing and asks Paul if this is his way of an apology. Paul very bluntly tells Terese that he can’t stand
her and she is probably the most annoying person on this planet, but he needs her and she can have her old job back - there will be no unreasonable targets and she can stay living at number 22. Terese tells Paul that she wasn’t kidding, she’s happy now
and her family need her. Terese proceeds to show Paul the door. Paul says to Terese that he won’t wait, the offer is only good until the end of the day and it's her choice to make. Paul then leaves, and Terese sighs.
Featured Regular Characters: Paul Robinson, Kate Ramsay, Terese Willis, Imogen Willis, Sheila Canning, Karl Kennedy, Matt Turner, Mason Turner, Bailey Turner
Guest Cast: Melissa Bell as Lucy Robinson, Anne Haddy as Helen Daniels
• Anne Haddy is shown in several flashbacks as Helen Daniels, and is also credited for the appearance
• Past characters Jim Robinson, Elle Robinson, Andrew Robinson, Natasha Williams, Donna Brown, Jack Lassiter, Harry Ramsay and Sophie Ramsay are also mentioned
• Series Producer Jason Herbison is also the writer of this episode
• Former cast member Scott Major (Lucas Fitzgerald) is the co-director of this episode
• Although this was a very good episode of Neighbours, as a viewer I was disappointed that there was not a little bit more fuss for such a special occasion. I do think the
flashback clips could have had more of Paul’s family; Jim, Julie, Scott, Gail, Izzy and Rebecca to name a handful. Ideally they could have dedicated the whole episode to Paul and Lucy reminiscing and chatting about the old times and all the characters
they knew... It would have been a real treat for long-term fans of the show.