As Barney (Russell Dykstra) starts to rebound from his recent marriage woes, Joe Sandilands (Geoff Morrell) is publicly outed as one of the MPs who patronise brothel Club Jules. Meanwhile, seeking relief for a hang-over, Cleaver (Richard Roxburgh) gets hit over the head during a botched robbery at a local pharmacy. So too does one of the hapless robbers when his accomplice takes a wild swing at a CCTV camera and misses, badly injuring his mate.
Feeling sorry for himself Cleaver calls Barney to the hospital, hoping Barney will see his injuries as punishment for his betrayal. But Barney sees this as just as another of Cleaver's manipulations To add insult to injury, a small piece about the attack on Cleaver in the newspaper is overshadowed by a story of an assault on a woman in Glebe. So Cleaver is delighted when he's presented with handling the defence of the woman's assailant, Travis Tanner - a case which came to him via Missy (Adrienne Pickering) , who says she saw the accused elsewhere at the time of the assault.
When the injured robber dies, his mate is charged with manslaughter, and Cleaver is asked to defend him. Meanwhile, Joe Sandilands, having lost everything - including his wife and children, looks to Missy for solace but realises it's Cleaver who has her heart. Barney and Scarlet (Danielle Cormack) visit a marriage counsellor, where Barney makes it clear that their marriage is over - leaving Scarlet reeling.
When Joe commits suicide, everyone is devastated: after the funeral Barney uncharacteristically visits a pole-dancing club; a maudlin Cleaver, yearning for the good old days, kisses ex-wife Wendy (Caroline Brazier); and Missy, the last to see Joe alive, turns to Cleaver, only later having to confront an angry David (Matt Day) who wants to know why she's always going missing.
A family dinner for Fuzz's (Keegan Joyce) birthday turns ugly when Fiona tells Fuzz she's leaving him for a younger boy.
Meanwhile Missy arrives at the Tanner trial to give evidence for the defence, but is instead confronted with something from her past that could change her relationship with Cleaver forever.
Whilst barrister Cleaver Greene's ex-wife may call him unreliable, his son will call him a mate. To his learned friends at the bar table he is a real wag, and to most judges he is an outrage. To the Tax Office, he is a defendant, to a certain brothel owner a legend, and to his former cocaine dealer a tragic loss.
The clients he loves the most are those that appear to be utterly hopeless. He will do whatever it takes to defend and save life's truly lost souls. The big sinners. Its drug lords. Its cannibals. Its bestialites. And at the same time, he will struggle to save himself, to stop himself falling back into the abyss that has characterised most of his self-destructive adult life thus far.
Despite his own hopelessness, his wit and charm have won him hordes of companions over the years. Most nights of the week, there is no shortage of invitations: dinner with a judge, drug dealers, or his copper mates.
He tends to wake up bruised. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Usually it's a combination thereof. Occasionally he wonders how his life came to this. Living in a studio above a café in the Cross, without his wife and son, in love with a prostitute, defending hopeless cases.