- Determined to put her feelings aside, Amy organises an engagement party for Toadie and Melanie
- Harold is among the attendees, but Melanie is uncomfortable having learned how Harold feels about her
- Toadie's mum Angie turns up, and immediately makes it clear to Melanie she won't easily be won over
- Toadie tells Harold that what he said to Mel was completely out of line; he asks him to leave the party
- Susan and Karl are thrilled when their eldest child Malcolm pays a surprise visit
- Mal admits that he's separated from his wife Catherine, but Susan feels like there's more to the story
- At the hotel, Mal tells his new partner he hasn't told his parents about her yet. No wonder - it's Izzy!
As the engagement party continues, Toadie is trying to show Melanie a gift that Paul has brought them (offscreen), but notices she's not looking very happy.
MELANIE: I just feel awful about Harold leaving.
TOADIE: Yeah, I feel bad too. But I wasn't gonna let him off the hook.
MELANIE: I just wish we knew why he thought so poorly of me. I mean, sure, Joe and I broke up, but I always had a good relationship with the kids.
TOADIE: Well, clearly he's got the wrong end of the stick somewhere, hasn't he?
Toadie decides it's time to make a speech to the remainder of the guests - namely Karl, Susan and Angie, as well as Amy, Zara, Nell and Hugo.
TOADIE: I can't tell you how happy I am that this beautiful woman agreed to marry me. It wasn't that long ago that I thought I was gonna be done in the love department, but then life - or as Mel would say, the universe - had other plans in store. And I met this wonderful and wacky and beautiful human. And Mel, I just feel like I'm the luckiest guy in the world. And I can't wait to marry you.
They kiss. Amy looks uncomfortable, and Zara glances back at her.
MELANIE: There's also someone else here who deserves a huge shoutout, because today would not have happened without the one and only Amy Greenwood!
Amy is startled by the shoutout, and downs her drink before regaining her composure.
TOADIE: Yeah, good on ya, Ames. Friends like you don't come around too often, and you've always got my back - and I know you just want the best for us.
MELANIE: We think you're amazing.
AMY: That's because I am amazing!
But it's evident from her face as Toadie wraps up the speech that she doesn't feel so amazing.
Malcolm is getting dressed having seemingly indulged in an afternoon romp with Izzy, who suggests they have time for round two. But Mal says he wants to go for a walk and clear his head a bit before heading back to Susan and Karl's.
IZZY: Still figuring out what to say?
MALCOLM: I've gone over it a thousand times in my head. I mean, where do I begin, with all the history?
IZZY: You just need to tell them the truth. If they'd been in London, if they'd seen us these past few months, they would be... they would understand.
MALCOLM: But they haven't. Which is why it's gonna be an almighty shock.
IZZY: I'm sure you'll figure out a sensitive way to break it to them... The offer's still there if you want me to come too?
MALCOLM: I think I should be the one to break it to them.
IZZY: Okay. Well, I'll just stay cooped up in here a bit longer then, I guess.
Mal thanks her, and kisses her.
MALCOLM: We just can't risk anyone seeing you yet.
IZZY: I know. I know. You're amazing.
MALCOLM: You're amazing, too.
IZZY: I know!
Susan and Karl head home, while Toadie goes off to get Nell and Hugo cleaned up - leaving Melanie alone with Angie in the kitchen. Angie continues to be abrasive, bossing Melanie around as regards the washing-up and cleaning routines. We learn from their conversation that Toadie and Mel have split wedding organisation duties - he'll take care of the ceremony, while she arranges the reception.
Angie seems unimpressed, and reels off a list of ways in which she's dissatisfied with Melanie as a future daughter-in-law!
ANGIE: Cleaning, dressing, pig trinkets, and ridiculous planning. I just don't know where to start.
MELANIE: That is enough, Angie! I will not be treated like this in my own home! I don't need to be told how to clean up, what to drink, what to wear - and I certainly don't need your snide remarks about the kind of wedding we're going to have! Your son and I love each other very much, and that should be enough for you!
Melanie storms off. Angie smiles to herself.
Izzy is climbing the walls in her hotel room as she waits apprehensively for news from Malcolm. Unable to remain cooped up any longer, she grabs a hat and sunglasses, and heads out of the room.
At the bar, we see Izzy in her hat-and-sunglasses 'disguise', but nonetheless when Harold walks in he takes zero time to identify her!
HAROLD: I'd recognise that perfume anywhere!
She hugs him, delighted to see him.
HAROLD: Isabelle Hoyland!
IZZY: What are you doing back in the old digs?
HAROLD: Oh, I could ask you the same thing - I'm just visiting.
IZZY: Well, actually, I'm here with my new man.
HAROLD (intrigued): Oh?
IZZY: He's gorgeous, and smart, and handsome - a little bit goofy - and a great dad.
HAROLD: Well, I can't wait to meet this mystery man, eh?
IZZY: Oh, it's so good to see you, Harry. I have told Holly all about our Coffee Shop shenanigans!
HAROLD: And how is young Holly?
IZZY: Yeah, growing up too fast. She is 19 now, a fully fledged uni student.
HAROLD: And has she inherited her mother's magical way of making chocolate?
IZZY: Sadly, no. She takes after her dad. She's studying medicine!
HAROLD: Karl didn't tell me that - I'm staying with the Kennedys.
Izzy tentatively asks how they are - Harold says they're well, aside from the loss of Hendrix. Izzy admits she'd heard about that.
HAROLD: Do they know you're here?
IZZY: No. I mean, not yet (...) Surely they're solid in their relationship - an appearance from me shouldn't upset them too much?
HAROLD: Ah, yes. I'm sorry, it's not for me to judge. That's got me into enough trouble lately.
Izzy gets a text from Malcolm, saying, 'Here goes nothing', presumably as he's about to tell Karl and Susan about their relationship. Izzy tells Harold she has to go, and orders a bottle of the best champagne from the bartender. Izzy suggests to Harold that they catch up later; Harold says that's fine, as there's something he ought to be doing anyway.
IZZY: That sounds like a story.
HAROLD: It is. Now, you go off and celebrate with this new man of yours.
Izzy nods and smiles, but looks apprehensive...
Angie is chuckling to herself in the kitchen when Melanie returns.
ANGIE: I was just testing you, love. And you passed with flying colours.
MELANIE: Testing me?
ANGIE: Rebecchi women need a certain toughness about them, and I had to see if you'd got what it takes.
MELANIE: So the digs about the drink and my dress -
ANGIE: Oh, I was just pushing your buttons - I don't give a darn what you wear! And lord knows, I've had enough stiff drinks at family functions.
MELANIE: I thought that we were headed towards full-blown monster-in-law territory.
ANGIE: I'm sorry - it probably was a bit mean. Sonya and I hit it off on the wrong foot, and I didn't want the same thing to happen with us. But I had to make sure you were made of the right stuff. If I haven't pushed too hard, I'd like us to be friends.
Melanie does her trademark laugh.
MELANIE: You are a wicked old bat!
Malcolm is with Susan and Karl, but hasn't yet got round to telling them about his new relationship. Susan's keen to talk about what happened with Catherine, but Mal says it's done.
KARL: Come on, mate. You know, we're the expert at marital problems.
SUSAN: Yeah. We don't need to revisit our history, though, do we?
Delaying the inevitable, Mal asks if he can make himself a sandwich, but Susan rushes to do it for him.
Harold is having a video chat with a familiar face - his former son-in-law and Melanie's ex-husband, Joe Mangel! Harold's explaining the rift he's created with Toadie and Mel.
HAROLD: I kept remembering what you said about Melanie. How she wasn't a good stepmother to Sky and Toby.
JOE: You remember all that?
HAROLD: Well, how could I forget? It was such a surprise - I thought they got along.
JOE: (...) Oh, Harry. It was too much grief and too many stubbies, mate. I went a bit troppo, didn't I? And it was around Kerry's anniversary.
HAROLD: Well, yes, that's why I visited you.
JOE: Thirty years. I couldn't believe so much time had passed.
HAROLD: Me losing my daughter, you losing your wife... brought up a lot of things for the both of us.
JOE: Yeah, it sure did. I just don't think my take on it was very fair, Harry (...) Anniversaries are funny things, Harry - started to muck with my head, you know? I started to think, what would it be like if Kerry was alive, you know? And how happy we'd be together.
HAROLD: Where does Melanie fit into this?
JOE: Well, I mean she came up spectacularly short in comparison. But the thing is, it was all twisted (...) No, the truth was, Harry, it was my bad. I was just so miserable at the time.
HAROLD: But you told me Sky and Toby were still upset with Melanie.
JOE: Yeah, I did.
HAROLD: And you also told me not to mention it to Sky! Which I respected.
JOE: That's because I didn't know the full story. See, because I was so dirty on Mel, Sky and Toby stopped talking about her. And I thought that's because they'd had it with her. But really, they just didn't want to poke the bear - me.
HAROLD: So you don't believe that Melanie let them down?
JOE: No, no - we thrashed it all out over the following Chrissie. No, the kids said that Mel was a great stepmum. And that I should lay off the turps. And that was the best decision I ever made. I'm much happier now, Harry.
But Harold is despondent over the error he's made in accepting Joe's tales about Melanie, and worrying about her having the same impact on Nell and Hugo as he'd believed she'd had on Sky and Toby.
HAROLD: Oh, Joe, I've caused the most terrible rift.
JOE: Oh, Harry - you want me to talk to the Toad, straighten things?
HAROLD: No, no, I'll sort it out.
JOE: Look, Kerry was top notch, Harry. And so's Melanie. We've both been really lucky to have them in our lives.
Harold instigates a virtual fist-bump - a gesture which Joe returns!
JOE: Good on ya, geezer!
As Mal enjoys his sandwich, Karl sits down with him, and says he has a feeling there's something he's not telling them.
MALCOLM: You're right - there is.
But he assures Karl that it's not financial issues, or any problem with Susannah, Mal and Catherine's daughter; and that his separation with Catherine was amicable.
KARL: Then, what is it?
MALCOLM: I'm not really sure how to tell you this...
Susan's just emerging from the bedroom, when the front door opens, to answer all Karl's questions. It's Izzy, with a bottle of champagne.
IZZY: Guess you've heard the news about me and Mally?
Susan and Karl both look aghast!
MALCOLM: Yeah! Umm... we're together. We're in love.
Izzy forces a smile as she realises she's put her foot in it. Susan and Karl are horrified!
IZZY (holding up the champagne): Drink?
A contrite Harold turns up on Toadie and Melanie's doorstep.
HAROLD: Would you mind a visit from a deeply apologetic old man?
Mel invites him in.
HAROLD: Melanie, I've made a very bad mistake. I completely misjudged you, and I am so sorry.
TOADIE: I still don't understand where it came from?
Harold explains that Joe said some things about Melanie a couple of years ago when Harold paid him a visit. But now Harold realises that Joe's anger was misdirected, and that he was foolish to take it at face value.
MELANIE: I loved Sky and Toby very much.
HAROLD: Yeah, I know that now. Because Joe just straightened me out on it - now. I was worried about Nell and Hugo; I was worried they'd end up in the same situation. And - oh, I was wrong.
TOADIE: I really wish that you'd given Melanie the benefit of the doubt, there, mate.
But it's Mel who decides to let bygones be bygones.
MELANIE: I have also misjudged *you* in the past. There was a time when I thought Harold was a perv up in a tree, taking pictures of me and Chrissy Alessi sun-baking.
HAROLD: I was bird-watching.
MELANIE: Yes, and I thought that we were the birds.
Toadie stifles a smile.
MELANIE: I got it wrong.
HAROLD: Can you forgive me? Please?
MELANIE: Of course we can.
TOADIE: Come here, Jelly Belly.
They go in for a group hug!
Karl and Susan are still in disbelief at Malcolm and Izzy's news.
KARL: I don't understand - we Skyped with you and Catherine at Christmas.
MALCOLM: I told you, we'd separated by then. Christmas was for Susannah.
SUSAN (to Izzy, furious): So you have ruined *two* marriages in our family. What is *wrong* with you?!
MALCOLM: No, nothing happened with me and Izzy while I was with Catherine.
IZZY: We didn't understand our feelings at first.
MALCOLM: We tried to fight the attraction.
IZZY: Actually, it was Holly that brought us together (...) She saw how upset Mal was at the separation, and she kept inviting him round, more and more...
SUSAN: You just swooped in and took advantage of a man who was vulnerable!
IZZY: No, we just... we started to see a side of each other that we hadn't seen before.
SUSAN: You've only got one side!
MALCOLM: Oh, Mum, stop, please. Izzy's not the enemy here.
IZZY: We told Holly not to say anything because we... we wanted to tell you in person.
SUSAN (incredulous laugh): Yeah, I bet you did.
MALCOLM: I get this is hard for you, Mum...
MALCOLM: Yeah, but please understand, our relationship is real - there's no agenda here. We wouldn't be standing here in front of you if we weren't one hundred percent committed to each other.
Susan jabs at Karl sharply, to get him to say something. But he's lost for words.
IZZY: We are. We're in love, and... we can't hide it any longer.
Susan and Karl are still horrified.
In the driveway of No 30, Zara tells Amy that Harold has worked things out with Toadie and Melanie.
ZARA: Look, I'll stop banging on about you and Toadie.
ZARA: I get that you're on your own path with the baby, and that's good for you. I just want to be there for you, so if there's anything you need...
AMY: I think I know what I need. Look, I'm not as happy for them as I should be. And they're my friends. So there's only one thing that we can do.
Toadie and Melanie are with Angie in the kitchen. Toadie asks Mel to rate her engagement party on a scale of one to ten.
MELANIE: Well, it started off at about a one...
ANGIE: I'll take some of the blame for that.
MELANIE: ... but it ended up at about a nine.
TOADIE: Only a nine?
MELANIE: I can think of a few things that you could do to increase it to a ten?
ANGIE: Oh, I see that's my cue for going and checking on those two cherubs!
But as Angie heads off to find Nell and Hugo, she spots the Ramsay Street history book floating in the ice bucket, and sounds the alarm! Toadie and Melanie are horrified and rush over to try and save the book by drying it off.
TOADIE: Harold is gonna be devastated!
Amy and Zara come in, and Amy asks Toadie if she can have a word. Distracted, he nonetheless agrees.
AMY: Zara and I have made a decision. You guys are about to start an incredible life as a married couple. And, you know, you'll need your space to be a proper family. So... I think it's time that we move out.
Toadie looks surprised.
The fallout of Malcolm and Izzy's revelation continues. Mal asks Izzy if she'd mind giving him a moment with his parents. Karl and Susan glare at her with folded arms.
IZZY: Of course, Mally. Umm... sorry for surprising you both; I know it must be a huge shock. I'll leave the champagne.
She goes to kiss Mal, but then decides against it! Once she's gone...
MALCOLM: Are you two okay?
KARL: Oh, Malcolm - this is a *bombshell*.
SUSAN: Of *all* the people you could have chosen to be with!
MALCOLM: I know what she represents to both of you. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you.
SUSAN: We're not worried about us, Malcolm, we're worried about *you*! No, I'm actually terrified for you! Isabelle has never looked out for anyone but herself.
MALCOLM: I used to think that once, too, but she's changed.
SUSAN: Malcolm, people like Isabelle never change!
MALCOLM: Alright - this has been a lot. I'm gonna give you some space.
SUSAN: You don't think - no...
SUSAN: Well, you don't think that... she's trying to get to you through Malcolm?
KARL: No - oh, no, no. She's clearly got her hooks into him. And he's clearly smitten.
SUSAN: Well, he's just gonna get hurt, isn't he? We have got to put a stop to this, Karl.
In the sunroom, it sounds as if Melanie and Angie have assigned one another fish names - Melanie is Rainbowfish, and Angie is Wunderpus! Toadie watches them from the kitchen, smiling to himself. Amy appears behind him.
TOADIE: Hey. I get why you need to move out, but there's no rush.
AMY: Cool. Thanks. It'd be good for us. Be good for you, too.
He puts an arm around her.
TOADIE: I'm gonna miss ya.
AMY (sadly): I'm gonna miss you, too.
He kisses her on the head.
Izzy is alone in the hotel room when there's a bang at the door. It's Susan, who walks straight past Izzy into the room.
SUSAN: Where's Malcolm?
IZZY: He's just gone down to get us some dinner. Would you like me to call him?
SUSAN: No. No, I've come to see you, Isabelle. I don't know what game you think you're playing, but I'm not gonna stand by, and watch you take advantage of my son.
IZZY: I'm not playing games. Susan, I know this must be difficult for you, but I... love Mal!
SUSAN: I don't believe that for one second.
IZZY: Well, I'm gonna try and convince you that what we have is real. It's my hope that one day, we can be one big, happy family. And, in time, maybe I might be able to... call you Mum.
Susan glares at Izzy with incredulity.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Izzy tells Karl their situation is making Malcolm give up on what he really wants; Karl asks what that is
- Byron tries to talk to Jane, but she replies that no amount of talking will make her accept his career
- Nicolette tells Byron that Kiri wants her to return to River Bend with her, where they first met
- Clive asks for a 'proper chat' with Jane, but she replies that she doesn't know if there's any more to say