- Wendy and Andrew appear to reconcile, kissing and exchanging declarations of love
- Chloe tells Nicolette that she's begun developing Huntington's symptoms; Nic encourages her to tell Elly
- Later, Chloe follows Nic's advice, explaining she's invited Elly to fly down so she can tell her
- Jane and Terese accept one another's apology for their months of feuding
- Haz jumps to conclusions when he sees Byron emerging from Mackenzie's room in his undies
- Later, Mackenzie tells Sadie that she doesn't appreciate Haz spreading rumours about her
- Snapping at Haz, Mackenzie tells him she has no interest in Byron, 'because you're the one I want!'
- Toadie tells Melanie that Terese has suggested Mel recuperate at the Kennedys' place
- When asked, Terese insists to Mel that her being on Ramsay Street won't pose a problem for her and Toadie
We open from the perspective of FridgeCam™ as Karl performs an audit for the shopping list that Susan is writing, in preparation for Melanie's arrival. Karl tells Susan that Terese is expecting the council to approve the plans for the school and Eirini Rising; but Susan points out that the Education Department still needs to back the plan.
KARL: Do you think Mel likes pickles? She seems like the type.
SUSAN: What's the pickles type?
KARL: Put down pickles.
Holly comes in, and Karl asks if she's going to see Haz, mentioning that he'd really like the chance to get to know him now that he and Holly are dating. Susan gives Karl a look.
HOLLY: You do know him.
KARL: Oh, yeah, but as a barista. Not as my daughter's boyfriend.
HOLLY: ... I'm sure you'll see him soon enough.
Holly leaves, and Susan continues to glare at Karl for having the temerity to take an interest.
Holly is trying to persuade Haz to go on a 'dessert bar crawl' tonight, which judging by the expression on his face leaves him feeling as nonplussed as I am.
HAZ: That sounds fantastic - but I think I might be too wiped out for it tonight.
HOLLY: Oh, don't worry, I'll keep you awake.
HOLLY: Unless this is one of those times where you just need some space and I shouldn't push it?
HAZ: ... Yeah. I'm sorry.
HOLLY: Hey, it's fine. Don't apologise for wanting some Haz time.
She asks him to let her know if he changes his mind.
Chloe looks nervous as a taxi approaches, and greets Elly, who gets out of it, with a hug and a kiss.
CHLOE: Wow. You smell amazing, and you look delicious. Or the other way around. Or both.
ELLY: I think that's the best and weirdest greeting I've ever had!
Chloe asks where Elly's daughter Aster is - Elly explains that her dad, Shaun, has volunteered to take her for 'some extended daddy- daughter time' before he goes away in the New Year. Elly says she'd have come for the school protest too, but Chloe acknowledges it was a bit last- minute, seemingly to cover for the fact that she didn't tell Elly about it.
Chloe suggests that they should get Elly settled in the hotel room. Elly seems like she's about to say something significant, but then backtracks and just says that she's missed Chloe. Chloe returns the sentiment, and heads indoors.
Terese is breaking out her classic speciality for dinner with the Rodwells - Thai takeaway! She tells Toadie she'd have appreciated a heads- up; it seems Terese is apprehensive because Wendy has been so against Terese repurposing the Erinsborough High site. She and Toadie kiss, just as Andrew and Wendy come into the garden with a pavlova for dessert. An awkward silence soon descends, so Toadie and Andrew escape inside for drinks.
WENDY: Terese, I'm really sorry about how messy things got at the protest at school.
TERESE: No more sorry than I am.
WENDY: So there's no hard feelings?
But Terese admits she has other things on her mind currently, which Wendy correctly guesses means she's worried about Melanie coming out of hospital - and specifically, back to Ramsay Street. Wendy thinks it can't be easy to talk about that with Toadie, and Terese doesn't contradict her.
WENDY: Well, it's a good thing I'm here, then.
Susan and Karl are visiting Melanie, and tell her that 'Casa Kennedy' is ready and waiting for her arrival; Karl will come back first thing tomorrow to pick her up. Mel, whose arm is still in a sling, doesn't seem hugely keen on becoming reliant on the Kennedys, but admits she would've struggled living on her own.
MELANIE: And I am gonna be so glued to your couch that I will barely even see Toadie and Terese.
But she doesn't look altogether convinced by her own words.
Sadie and Mackenzie are relaxing in the Hamish Roche Death Spa. Sadie is talking about how things have improved somewhat between Andrew and Sadie, but Mackenzie's thoughts are elsewhere.
SADIE: Hello? Could Mackenzie Hargreaves please report to this conversation?
MACKENZIE: Sorry - sorry.
SADIE: What metaverse did you drift off to?
MACKENZIE: One where I accidentally told Haz that I like him.
SADIE: You *what*?!
Mack explains that Haz was being really judgy when he thought she'd slept with Byron, accusing her of taking advantage.
MACKENZIE: So I had to defend myself. And it just slipped out.
SADIE: Does Holly know?
MACKENZIE: No - no, no, and she doesn't need to (...) I wasn't making a move.
SADIE: You told me it was under control. And you said you weren't gonna do anything.
MACKENZIE: I'm not.
SADIE: Telling him is doing something! Okay, Holly is your friend - and his girlfriend.
MACKENZIE: You're right. I'm such an idiot.
SADIE: She needs to know, Mack. And you should be the one who tells her.
Haz awkwardly greets Byron when he comes in.
HAZ: So, I owe you an apology... I'm sorry.
BYRON: For what?
HAZ: I had a go at Mack for hooking up with you when, really, you were just in a rough spot.
BYRON: Me and Mack - I mean, we didn't hook up.
HAZ: Yeah, I know. I just, I thought that... anyway. She got her back up, and blurted out that she's into me.
BYRON: She's *into* you? (...) Okay. And you thought this might've been the case a couple of months ago, right?
HAZ: Sadie was convinced. I asked Mack, she denied it, and I accepted that.
BYRON: Look, are you a hundred percent sure that you don't have any feelings for Mack?
HAZ: ... I just wish I'd known she felt like that.
BYRON: Haz (...) That wasn't really a 'no'. Okay, you need to figure out how you feel. Because Hols - man, Holly, she's really into you.
In the garden, Andrew and Toadie are hanging out by the fire, and talking about the plans for Nell's birthday party (not the official one, but the one for 'the oldies'). Andrew is 'stoked' to be invited, but can't make it as he and Wendy will be on their beach getaway.
ANDREW: How do you feel about Mel moving back on the street?
TOADIE: Yeah. Glad that's only temporary.
ANDREW: I still can't get my head around Terese being the one who suggested it.
TOADIE: Yeah. She's a pretty amazing woman.
Meanwhile, Wendy and Terese are talking about the same thing as they play mini golf on the lawn.
TERESE: It felt like it was the right thing to do at the time.
WENDY: But now you have regrets?
TERESE: A little. You know, Paul accused me of 'keeping an enemy close'. I find that offensive and ridiculous.
WENDY: Yeah, it's ridiculously offensive!
TERESE: Hmm. But it's not just that. I've been in this situation before, with my ex- husband Brad, and Lauren. And I vowed that I would never make the same mistake again.
Melanie is packing up her possessions in preparation for her discharge tomorrow. She picks up the toy pig that Nell and Hugo bought for her, and holds it close to her, as she takes a seat and looks apprehensive for what's to come...
Holly is proudly showing Byron the Christmas gift she's bought for Haz - a coffee tamper with his name on it. But Byron can't summon up enthusiasm for her gift after his conversation with Haz earlier, and Holly just compounds his concern by gushing about how she and Haz are 'finally on the same page'. She notices his quietness.
HOLLY: Sorry, relationship stuff is probably the last thing you want to hear post- Reece.
BYRON: No, it's fine - it's not that (...) Don't worry about it.
HOLLY: You are such a bad liar. Come on, tell me.
BYRON: I can't, Hols.
HOLLY: Byron, come on. You have always had my back, and I've always had yours.
BYRON: Look, if I tell you, you can't say anything... Mack told Haz that she has feelings for him.
Holly is blindsided by this - she knew Mack liked Haz, but never thought she'd tell him.
HOLLY: Well, how does he feel about it?
BYRON: Oh, no, I... I dunno.
HOLLY: No, come on - he must've given you some idea. Byron?
BYRON: Oh, maybe... maybe he feels like he wished he knew how Mack felt sooner, okay? That's all I know, Hols.
Holly looks worried.
Elly notices that Chloe isn't drinking alcohol, and Chloe claims it's part of a health kick to keep her energy levels up.
CHLOE: Less Chlojitos, more mineral water and kombucha.
Nicolette comes in, sees them, and deliberately turns around again, presumably not wanting to encroach on Chloe's big conversation with Elly. But it seems Chloe isn't keen on having the big conversation yet, as she makes a point of calling Nicolette over and insisting she join them.
NICOLETTE: I don't want to intrude!
CHLOE: Hello? I just invited you. Sit, sit, sit - I'll get you a glass.
While Elly and Nicolette make the best of it, deciding to swap 'cheeky daughter stories' about Aster and Isla, Chloe goes to the bar, looking uncomfortable.
Holly is marching through the courtyard looking worried, when she sees Mackenzie heading towards Harold's. This worries her even more, and she goes over to intercept her. They make awkward conversation; Holly explains how she was going to 'hit up the dessert bars' with Haz tonight but that he needed some alone- time.
HOLLY (anxious): You know, I really like him. I think we're really gonna go the distance.
MACKENZIE (awkward): Good. Excellent.
HOLLY: Been waiting for something to go wrong. Like it always does. But it hasn't.
MACKENZIE: No. No, he's a great guy.
Mackenzie decides to get her coffee from the Waterhole instead, and Holly, who has been blocking the door to Harold's, watches her as she leaves.
Chloe and Elly are telling Nicolette about how Elly's daughter Aster has started to tell jokes, but keeps cracking herself up before she's finished telling them. Nicolette again attempts to leave them to it, but Chloe seems desperate for her to stay. Elly begins to sense that Chloe is stalling, and Nicolette pointedly tells them they have their own catching up to do, before leaving.
ELLY: Are we all good?
CHLOE: Yeah, golden!
ELLY: Only you've been a little bit MIA lately.
CHLOE: ... Well, I've been down here.
ELLY: Yeah, for an emergency, which was weeks ago. I dunno, is there another reason that you stayed on?
CHLOE: ... Paul needed me.
Elly looks unconvinced, so Chloe takes her hand.
CHLOE: Hey - you know that I'm stupidly in love with you, right? So much it physically hurts?
But before the conversation can develop, Susan and Karl come in and excitedly greet Elly, delaying the inevitable all over again.
The following morning, Toadie has the leaf- blower out and is giving the street a once- over, while Nell chats to JJ about... you guessed it, how long it takes to get from her own front door to Melanie's! (It's 30 seconds, by the way.) JJ seems a bit bemused to learn that she's timed it - but he's soon distracted by finding another piece of magical finale confetti (from Toadie and Melanie's wedding) on the roadside.
JJ: Can't believe this stuff's still around.
NELL: Told you. It's been raining glitter for two years.
JJ: It must've been some wedding reception, huh?
Nell says it was, before feeling obliged to add that Toadie and Terese's reception was pretty good too.
JJ: I see what you did there.
NELL: Just trying to be loyal to everyone.
She takes the pink confetti disc from his hand, and affixes it to his nose!
NELL: It suits you.
JJ: Yeah? I guess I don't need to get a piercing now. Ma will be stoked.
JJ heads home, just as Karl pulls up in the car, with Melanie. Toadie encourages Nell to go and say hi, and she enthusiastically rushes over to help Melanie out of the car. Before following Nell into the house, Melanie glances wistfully at Toadie. He's concentrating on his leaf- blowing, so doesn't look up.
Mackenzie, Sadie and Holly are having the awkwardest coffee ever. Sadie suggests they head to the beach at some point over the next few days, or hang out at her place given her parents are going away - but neither of the others embraces these ideas with enthusiasm.
Holly excuses herself, leaving Sadie and Mack to talk alone - Sadie can't tell whether Holly knows about Mack declaring her feelings to Haz. Mackenzie says she hasn't said anything, but expresses her intention to talk to Haz about it first.
MACKENZIE: She was talking about how good things are with him. I can't spoil that (...) Nothing is going to happen between me and Haz (...) I need to talk to Haz and make sure we're on the same page.
Mackenzie walks into the kitchen to do just that. But Haz wants to say something first.
HAZ: I am really sorry. I was so off- base about you and Byron, and you didn't deserve any of that.
MACKENZIE: It's already forgotten.... you need to forget what I said, too.
HAZ: Wait, do you mean that...?
MACKENZIE: We can't tell Holly. She adores you. And nothing's gonna happen between us anyway, so it's a moot point. Do you agree?
Haz hesitates, but eventually agrees that Mackenzie is making sense. However, at this point Holly returns from the bathroom, and wonders where Mack's got to. When Sadie explains she's in the kitchen, Holly rushes towards them.
MACKENZIE: I am curious about one thing... why did you overreact when you thought that I hooked up with Byron?
HAZ: ... Honestly? I'm not sure.
But when Holly bursts in, Haz changes topic immediately to his plans to 'switch it up' to gruyere instead of cheddar. Mack thinks this sounds 'gourmet', while Holly looks somewhat relieved that they're only talking about cheese.
Chloe and Elly are enjoying a walk and a coffee. Elly is looking at her phone; Shaun's on a bike ride with Aster. Chloe remarks that it must be nice for Liz, Elly's mum, too, as it will give her a bit of a break.
ELLY: Oh, I'm sure she's spending every second with her new boyfriend. She's totally obsessed (...) You know, I can probably only stay a couple of weeks. So I was hoping you might come home with me?
CHLOE: Yeah. If, umm, Paul doesn't need me any longer.
At this point, Chloe's hand gives away and she drops her coffee. Elly assumes it's just an accident, but...
CHLOE: I can't keep this from you any longer. This isn't a one- off slip- up. I'm having Huntington's symptoms, and I'm terrified of what that means for us.
Elly looks worried.
Susan brings Melanie a cuppa and offers her some brekkie - strawberry pancakes, specifically. While she's outside getting the strawberries, Mel chats to Karl, who notes that her plan to avoid Toadie and Terese didn't quite work out when they arrived home yesterday. He asks her to let them know if things get too much for her.
MELANIE: Thank you. But I have bigger things to focus on than T and T. My health, for one.
But as Karl leaves, Melanie looks out of the window and sees that Toadie is still bothering the leaves on the street, this time with a rake!
Wendy calls round to collect the pavlova dish from last night. Keen for the inside scoop, Wendy cautiously mentions that she felt Terese was holding back last night, and wanted to say more.
TERESE: ... Yeah, I guess I did.
WENDY: About your ex- husband Brad?
TERESE: So what happened was, we moved onto the street, not realising that his teenage sweetheart Lauren was living right across the road. At the time, I... I got so paranoid (...) I was a wreck. I was accusing Brad of things long before they even happened, and there was a part of me that... I guess I feel like I pushed him towards her with my insecurities.
Toadie is still raking leaves, when he finds a piece of finale confetti on the street! He's not nearly as happy about it as JJ tends to be, though, instead looking anguished as he picks it up. Dropping it to the floor again, he continues his task - but then finds another confetti piece!
TOADIE: Alright. Just stop.
He keeps raking, but no matter how hard he rakes, the confetti keeps coming to the surface. (Out, damned spot!) Eventually, it's so triggering that it pulls him into a memory, of the day of his wedding to Melanie, and he hears his own voice echoing from the past.
TOADIE (past voice): When I'm with you, it's just the best feeling in the world.
MELANIE (past voice): I do!
We see a brief flash of Melanie and Toadie embracing joyously at the street party, surrounded by their Ramsay Street friends (a blurry Glen, Aaron and Leo, for completists). In the present, Toadie starts muttering frantically to himself, until he squats in the street and has what looks like a full- blown panic attack.
Melanie is still watching Toadie, concerned, from the window.
We cut back to Toadie, breathing deeply to try and calm himself down...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Karl asks why Holly's so worried about him getting to know Haz, asking if she's doubting Haz's commitment
- Terese asks Toadie if he's okay, and what he was doing out in the street
- Melanie stares at her old home with Toadie, No 30, looking upset
- Chloe tells Elly that if her Huntington's is too much to take on, now's the time to end things
- An upset Elly seeks counsel and a hug from Susan