Dani and Beth struggle to pick up the pieces. Hayley begins a desperate search for Alex. Can Noah save the Drop In Centre? Hayley makes a life changing decision.
> New Opening Credits (complete overhaul from Episode #3650): Sally & Flynn holding camera; Leah with Jesse on the rocks; Jade, Kirsty, Kit & Tasha in family photo; Robbie & Seb mucking around behind a bemused Kane; Dani & Scott splashing water at camera; Rhys playing tug-of-war with Beth & Max; Alf laughing as Colleen & Irene look on; Noah & Alex being bear-hugged by Hayley.
> Dani was born July 1984, Dylan was born Nov 1985, Kirsty & Jade were born Nov 1986, Tasha was born July 1988
Alex recalls what jail did to Jesse, convinced that inside he’ll be seen as the “little Greek kid who stuffed up”, despite Noah trying to tell him that he mustn’t assume that will happen.
Leah reads Alex’s ‘goodbye’ letter – he has run away. Leah is furious that Alex could be so stupid, although Noah tells them what Alex feared.
Dani hysterically begs Rhys to start breathing as Flynn attempts to revive him.
Flynn tells Dani and Scott that the next 24 hours are crucial – and even if Rhys survives, there is the possibility of permanent brain damage.
Noah tells Hayley that he still hasn’t heard from Alex, with them both hoping that he gets back for sentencing – otherwise a warrant will be issued for his arrest. Hayley can;t believe he has done this to she, Leah and VJ but Noah assures her that they did everything they could. Noah tells her that they found the Sutherland’s a few hours back down the old mine. He breaks the news that Rhys isn’t looking too good.
Beth, Kit, Dani and Scott stand by Rhys’ bedside, and Dani and Kit leave to give Beth some space. Scott advises her to take it a day at a time – Rhys will be fine eventually. He then leaves she and Rhys alone, and she tearily talks to him, wondering if he can hear her.
Leah is on the phone to a relative, wondering if they have heard from Alex, avoiding telling them the truth about why they are looking for him. Hayley decides that she can’t sit around doing nothing, so acting on Leah’s advice she decides to check out some of the places Alex likes to go. She and Jesse successfully talk Leah out of going with them. Jesse promises that they’ll track Alex down, and they depart.
Dani worries about the situation when Rhys gets home – he won’t be able to get up the stairs. Scott and Kit try to calm her down – they don’t yet know how bad it’ll be and Robbie ‘helpfully’ comments that he may not even be coming home at all. Dani storms off, with Scott in pusuit and Robbie is seemingly oblivious to the pain his comment caused.
Jesse is angered at what Alex is putting everyone through, thinking that a stint in jail would do him some good, which upsets Hayley – she just wants to find him.
Robbie wonders if Dani will forgive him, and Kit advises him to think before he says things in future, but he is still entertained by the whole scenario. He is making something to help Beth feel better with all the stress she is going through, and Kit jokingly warns him not to break anything, as it’s a great house. Robbie asks her to stay in town for a bit longer – at least till the end of the holidays, as Beth needs a “chick” around, and he and Scott don’t look good in skirts.
Jesse and Hayley pull up outside a cabin (?), with Hayley cheered as she spots Alex’s car. They’re not sure how to approach him, Hayley begging Jesse not to get wound up, and as they walk up to the door, Alex exits. He is stunned to see them, but is adamant that he’s not going back, despite apologising for running off – he just can’t risk going to jail.
Later, Jesse and Hayley are still trying to convince him, but he stand his ground, as it’s his life, and he’s doing what’s right for himself. Hayley is upset, and Jesse is just getting more wound up by his stupidity, accusing him of running away from his own mess like a “pathetic gutless wonder” – he’s a coward, and no number of apologies will change that. Jesse storms back to his car, and Hayley follows shortly after – Alex in pursuit. He asks her to go away with him, but she turns him down, unable to walk out on HER life and responsibilities. She and Jesse leave a subdued Alex all alone.
Beth returns from the hospital, with no new news about Rhys – but Max should be home tomorrow, and the girls soon after. Robbie apologises to Dani for his earlier insensitivity, and she accepts, Robbie going on to tell them that if they think HE’S bad, then they have to meet the twins. He then announces that Kit’s sticking around – Beth is delighted, but they all realise that they must fit ten people under the one roof!
Alex arrives back home, and despite an initially joyous reaction from Leah, he goes on to state that “doing the right thing” always seems to be what everyone else wants. He is convinced that he’ll be going to prison because of them, but Jesse is still blaming him – after all HE took the steroids in the first place. A heated arguement ensues between Leah and Alex, as he accuses her of trying to control him, and she unable to believe his selfishness. Jesse intervenes, pinning Alex up against the wall and coming close to hitting him. Leah and Hayley yell at him to leave it, and eventually he releases Alex.
Noah asks what Alex was thinking when he did a runner, and why he’s pushing everyone away. Alex admits to being scared of being sent down – and he doesn’t want to put his loved ones through that pain – and he can’t stand the thought of life behind bars.
Leah is giving Jesse the cold shoulder, stunned at his earlier outburst at Alex. He apologises for losing his cool and snapping, but Leah is concerned about him losing his temper in future. He assures her that he would NEVER hurt she or VJ. Leah worries about the effect prison may have on Alex – as she has seen what it did to him.
Beth sits by Rhys’ bedside for hours, eventually lying beside him, crying as she holds him.
Alex strolls along in his suit
Hayley arrives, asking Noah after Alex, who has gone for a walk. Scott and Kit arrive, bearing no further news on Rhys. Noah and Kit are finally left alone. She tries to apologise for what happened the other night, but he tells her that he wanted it to happen. Although he is now willing to give them a go, she rejects him – too much has happened, it’s too late and she is now living with the fact that nothing will ever happen between them. She has a new life without him now.
Alex and Hayley stroll along the beach talking. He is still worried, but she tells him that she’ll stick by him in court, and is glad that he came back to them.
Kit arrives home, and breaks down in front of Beth – “I’ve told the only guy I’ve ever loved that I can’t be with him”. Beth consoles her as she cries
Noah arrives to bad news from Alf – he has had a call from Jackie West, who has told him that the creditors are closing in on the DIC earlier than first thought – today – and there is nothing they can do. Noah realises that he will be left with no job, wondering if his day can get any worse. They realise that Alex should now be in court receiving his sentence.
Scott assures Kit that she did the right thing in regard to Noah, and Robbie makes light of the situation – he gets along fine being single! The phone rings and Kit answers – it’s Flynn. After the call, she tells Beth that Flynn wants her at the hospital – now. It’s about Rhys…
Hayley, Leah and Alex arrive home, with Hayley jubilant at Alex’s sentence – twelve months good behaviour bond (?). Jesse hastily congratulates Alex, but Leah is being unusually quiet – after all, he put them through so much stress, and it has been so hard on them all. Alex takes it to mean that she’d have prefered it had he been sent to jail and despite her denial he goes on – he thought she might be happy that he didn’t wind up like her husband. Leah storms through to the lounge, but Alex continues to claim that she is selfish, before himself storming out.
Hayley arrives to see Alex, who is apologetic – he was happy, whereas Leah didn’t seem to care. Hayley can see Leah’s side of it, and doesn’t think they can put it behind them – he’s put them through too much with his behaviour, and he has changed too much. She doesn’t want to work it out – it’s the end. She leaves, leaving him standing tearily alone.
Thanks to Claire