- Paul doing a deal with David to allow him to return to Erinsborough.
- David agreeing to return to Erinsborough.
- Terese being reminded how different she and Paul are.
- Byron and Reece declaring their 'I love you' to each other.
- Byron telling his mum he's on standby to fly to the USA.
- Mackenzie giving Haz some love advice.
- Nicolette thinking Chloe needs someone to chat to after seeing her at the hospital.
- Chloe denying she was at the hospital.
- Nicolette wanting to help Chloe.
Nicolette is pushing Chloe to know what is going on and when she asks if its related to her Huntington's, Chloe breaks down and reveals she's started developing some of the symptoms. Chloe is very fearful of what she stands to lose when her mind starts to go.
CHLOE: I'm so scared.
Byron updates his housemates how great Krista is doing in rehab but they can't see her yet and when they do, it's only going to be David... more so because he is off to the States to see Reece. Mackenzie seems surprised at this, more so given he's bought his own plane ticket rather than Reece buying him one.
Chloe reveals to Nicolette that her symptoms started a few months ago when she fell over at the supermarket and kept dropping things at home.
CHLOE: It's like my fingers weren't connecting to my brain.
The specialist is running some tests but Chloe was told to prepare herself "for all scenarios" and doesn't think it could be a virus as Nicolette suggested, because she's having the same symptoms Fay did at the start of her illness. Chloe is very fearful too that her symptoms are starting much earlier than when Fay's did and thus she doesn't want to burden Elly (and Aster). Nicolette is shocked that Chloe is 'hiding out' in Erinsborough to avoid them and points out that Elly loves her.
NICOLETTE: I know this is hard, but you have to tell her for your sake as well as hers. If… When this happens, you're gonna need Elly. Your mum wasn't alone and you don't have to be either.
Chloe thinks its too much for Elly, especially so given she has Aster, however Nicolette thinks that Elly "should decide for herself." Before Chloe heads off to sort out a work issue, Nicolette reminds her that she is here for her and Chloe can call her at any time.
Number 32 (garden)
Unlike Mackenzie, neither Haz nor Holly seem too fussed that Reece hasn't forked out to buy Byron his plane ticket. Next she turns to why they are both wearing the same Christmas jumper (a koala bear one) and we hear its Holly's suggestion as a "memento to celebrate our first Christmas together." Haz doesn't seem too keen on that interpretation, so she quickly changes it to being a celebration of Christmas "in general" which seems to get his approval. What also gets their approval, is Mackenzie agreeing to go to the Christmas Fair.
Paul looks about as interested in the stalls set up in the complex for the Fair as the prospect of a wet weekend in Blackpool!
Eventually he sits down on one of the benches and looks over to the bench where he reunited with Terese in 2022, recalling those memories of happier times.
When Mackenzie hears that Byron's visit to the US could be for quite a bit rather than a short visit, she is worried that he might be coming on a bit too strong for Reece - she doesn't think the pair of them are on the same page when it comes to their relationship. "That's not the case," he replies and doesn't look too impressed at Mackenzie saying something. When she then adds that she doesn't want him getting hurt, that's a step too far for Byron and she's told to stop as he knows what he is doing.
Everyone looks like they are having fun at the Fair… other than Paul!
NICOLETTE: You're really bringing the Grinch to Christmas!
Paul's justification is that this time of year, "is not all about joy for some of us." Nicolette twigs why he's down - memories of his vow renewal. And if Paul's day couldn't get any worse, it just did after a call from Chloe - Santa has cancelled!
What does seem to cheer him up though is spotting his young granddaughters arriving with their parents for the Christmas Fair, even if David scowls back when he spots him watching. And to almost make Paul's day, Isla ignores her dad and runs over to Paul for a hug and the pair spend a few precious minutes together before Isla heads back to where the others are standing. The sad face goes back on though when he gets 'pity' looks as they walk off to go have fun at the Fair.
Aaron checks in with Nicolette as she seems a bit down to him, but she reassures him she is okay, simply "taking it all in." He admits that it "feels good to be back" especially with a "Lassiters shindig" to attend. After spotting Chloe talking to Paul outside the hotel, she asks Aaron if he has Elly's number (yes) on the pretence of running a Christmas pressie idea via her first. With the number received from Aaron, Nicolette foregoes tasting some mulled wine to give Elly a call.
Lassiters managers office
Chloe has tried every avenue to find a replacement Santa but she can't get hold of one. She has a brainwave on who could fulfil the role… Paul! "No way!" is his response and so she begins the process of trying to break his resistance down!
Nicolette catches Chloe leaving the hotel to tell her about calling Elly… but it turns out Nicolette felt bad and she actually hung up before Elly could answer. Chloe is bemused why Nicolette would do that and the response is "because I don't want you to feel alone in this" and she also thought "Elly should know what's happening." Chloe is not amused!!!
NICOLETTE: I'm sorry. I'm crap at relationships. I'm constantly self- sabotaging and then I hurt the people that I care about. And that's why I can't stand to see you do the same thing right now.
CHLOE: If you recall, I'm tyring to do the opposite and not hurt anyone.
NICOLETTE: That's not how it'll work out. Can't you see that?
When Chloe doesn't reply, Nicolette comes up with a story she can use to cover the call if Elly contacts her back and acknowledges that it's up to Chloe who she tells…
NICOLETTE: But you are facing something so bit and terrifying and you don't know what the future holds. And I just… I don't want you to have any regrets later.
It was as if Mackenzie had a premonition earlier when she talked with Byron, as after their clear the air chat, she hands Byron a package that has arrived for him. It's from Reece and contains a chain with a compass design pendant for him and a letter saying she is breaking up with him. Byron looks utterly guttered as we head into the commercial break.
Commercial break later and Byron is drowning his sorrows with the leftovers of the cocktail Haz made earlier. He's not in the talking mood either and so rejects Mackenzie's offer to stay home and let him vent. She however decides that Byron needs to get out and suggests that they go to The Waterhole for drinks.
Holly can't decide which pair of earrings to buy, and neither can Haz… so he offers to buy both as a Christmas pressie for her. She didn't think they were doing pressies, but since its their first Christmas, he's buying something for her.
"At least someone's feeling the love" Byron comments to Mackenzie as they spot Haz and Holly kissing when they arrive at the complex and quickly decide drinks are needed!
Chloe, suitably attired as an Elf, rounds up the Tanaka/Brennan/Stone troops and guides them towards Santa. David spots that it is Paul dressed up as Santa and tries to entice Isla with face painting instead of seeing Santa but the wee lass insists on seeing Santa. Nicolette points out Isla has so been looking forward to it and so David takes up Leo's suggests of waiting elsewhere rather than watching.
Both girls run up to Santa and he places one on each leg to ask what they want for Christmas. Isla would like a robot but has to settle for a gift bag instead. Paul reveals to his granddaughters that its really him behind the suit, he's "helping Santa out" and that its to be their secret.
Over their drinks, Byron is after answers about his relationship with Reece (was he just a distraction while looking for Krista and how long Reece was thinking about dumping him) but Mackenzie can't give him those as she can't read Reece's mind. She does lament with him though about how it "sucks when they don't feel the same way you do" after spotting a very together Haz and Holly in the pub.
Sitting alone in the rotunda, Chloe gets out her phone to call Elly. After apologising for being too busy at work to call earlier, she invites Elly (and Aster) down to Erinsborough for a visit and is surprised at how readily Elly agreed to her plans. As Chloe goes to end the call, she can't control her hand to hit the button.
The girls have had a ball getting their faces painted and return very excited to their parents. "Aren't you glad we came back," Aaron says to David while they queue to get more mulled wine. David has enjoyed seeing the girls bond today and even Nicolette comments on how the girls are "besties" with each other.
Santa Paul is glad his shift has finished, telling Chloe he never realised how many kids there were in Erinsborough! After looking over to the other side of the complex and seeing his happy family, he starts pulling off the costume, declaring that he's "done with this ridiculous suit."
Chloe spots Nicolette and tells her about calling Elly and inviting her (and Aster) down to Erinsborough where she plans on coming clean with her. Nicolette reassures her that she's made the right decision. Even though it's the right thing to do, Chloe make it clear she doesn't like "being jockeyed into this" and thus requests that Nicolette doesn't get involved again!
As they leave the bar, I'm not sure who has had more to drink - Mackenzie or Byron as both are unsteady on their feet and slurring their words!
Byron is still mumping about being dumped as the pair stumble towards the lake and literally end up stumbling into each other… although that's probably more to make sure neither end up falling to the ground! Indeed, they are that close to each other that Mackenzie compliments Byron on how great his hair is and he says the same back to her!
BYRON: You are nice, you're so nice, and you are so smart and gorgeous. How the hell are you single?!
MACKENZIE: You're right, I do have great hair.
She then asks the question of why they are both single and they seem to move even close to one another as the promo comes on!
Coming up on Neighbours
- Leo having a go at his dad.
- Holly gossiping to Sadie!
- Haz puzzled by a comment from Byron.
- Holly quizzing Haz.
- Jane chatting with Mike.