- Karl asks Holly if she's questioning Haz's commitment
- Holly is caught ripping up Mackenzie's 'infuriatingly thoughtful' Christmas present for Haz
- Holly tells Haz that she thinks either he or Mackenzie should move out of No 32
- As Mackenzie jets off to visit her dad, Haz and Holly get closer in the wake of the pool accident
- David tells Remi to stay out of his business; she says she will if he remembers he's not a doctor anymore
- Melanie's angry when Nell asks Toadie for a character reference on her behalf
- Melanie's thankful when Toadie writes a glowing reference, after initially sending a bad one to her lawyer
- But Terese isn't so pleased to read how heartfelt and gushing the reference is
Karl is at the bar when Wendy emerges to greet him. After updating her on Susan's activities with Aster in Sydney, Karl asks for a reasonably priced wine recommendation for a 'cool twentysomething guy'.
WENDY: Karl, I know you like to think you're young and hip, but the twentysomething ship has well and truly sailed.
KARL: It's for Haz. I'm inviting him for dinner.
WENDY: Oh, right - oh, that is so lovely that Holly and Haz are back together. And with Mackenzie off visiting her dad, it gives the two of them -
KARL (interrupting): Wait, wait - back together? Were Holly and Haz on a break or something? And how's Mackenzie involved in this?
WENDY (realising she's said too much): Uh... are you coming to our New Year's Eve party tomorrow night?
KARL: Wendy, tell me.
WENDY: I don't have all the details; listening to one side of a phone conversation isn't exactly ideal. But I heard Mack told Haz that she liked him - and something about 'scarf- gate'. I'm really sorry; I thought you knew.
KARL: ... I'll have the Shiraz.
Terese is deep in thought when Toadie comes in, presumably about the reference he wrote for Melanie. But when Toadie asks if Terese is okay, she changes the subject to the Eirini Rising development. With the councillors back at work after the break, she'll now need to meet with them and 'fix Paul's mess'.
Toadie then says he's going to take Nell out to make sure she's okay after the whole Melanie reference brouhaha, and kisses Terese. Once he's gone, she looks deep in thought again.
David and Aaron are walking towards the courtyard, discussing Krista; David thinks it's good she has work to focus on, to keep her mind off other things. Aaron tells David that he's working at the bar at the Waterhole on New Year's Eve, having been made a full- time staff member.
DAVID: Does that mean I get free drinks?
AARON: Well, if Cara can get them for Remi, then I'm sure I can get them for my Boo.
But even the mention of Remi's name brings a scowl to David's face, which Aaron quickly picks up on.
DAVID: I'm sure *Cara* is fine.
AARON: Hey, Cara is awesome. So I'm sure Remi has some good points too.
DAVID (unconvinced): Yeah, sure.
David gets a notification on his phone - it's a message from Amy Greenwood, telling him that the Drinks Divas van is on sale again. (Presumably he and Melanie sold it when they moved away from Erinsborough.)
AARON: It's still got your face on it, and Melanie's.
DAVID: (...) Would you drive a van with two strangers' faces on it?
AARON: Maybe they just didn't use it that much.
David accosts Toadie and Nell, who are walking by, and tells them about the van being back on sale. David thinks it's strange about him and Melanie still having their faces on it, but Aaron assures him the next buyer will probably paint over it.
Haz serves a coffee to Holly. She promises it'll be her only one of the day, but Haz seems to be going out of his way to show how 'chill' he is about their relationship, and says she can come in any time she likes. He kisses her on the head, just as Karl comes in and asks if Haz has plans tonight.
HAZ: Not really. Why?
KARL: Oh, I'm making pizzas. I thought you might like to join Holly and me for dinner.
HOLLY (panicked): It's okay if you're busy.
HAZ: No, it's cool. I'll be there.
Haz goes to make Karl a coffee too, at which point Holly remarks that Karl could have run the dinner invite by her first.
KARL: I didn't think it'd be a problem. Haz has been very attentive since the party. Think of it as a 'thank you for looking after my daughter' dinner.
HOLLY: I don't want him to feel pressured.
KARL: I would like to get to know Haz a little better. He's clearly very important to you, and I want to be part of your life. I missed out on so much of it already.
HOLLY: Okay, we can do dinner. Just promise you'll be chill.
KARL: Of course!
Holly still looks unconvinced...
Nell apologises to Toadie for making him mad at Melanie. Toadie insists it wasn't Nell's fault - he shouldn't have overreacted and written the bad reference.
NELL: Terese says you're a human who makes mistakes.
TOADIE: Well, Terese is a very, very smart woman, isn't she?
As they approach Harold's Lakeside, they see Melanie sitting at a table, who waves to them - but the atmosphere is still tense after Mel shouted at Nell for asking Toadie for the reference. Melanie asks if they can talk about it, and Nell agrees. Toadie gives them some space.
MELANIE: I am so sorry. I know you were only trying to help. I was just so scared.
NELL: You were upset. I get it. I never should've done what I did.
MELANIE: You don't need to apologise to me.
NELL: Yeah, I do. It wasn't my place to get involved.
MELANIE: Thank you for caring, though.
Mel says that Toadie's second reference was 'very generous'. Nell says she's glad, and rejoins Toadie. Melanie looks wistfully towards them.
In the kitchen, Holly apologises to Haz for Karl, saying it's just his way of making up for lost time with Holly. But Haz seems cool about coming to dinner.
HAZ: I like pizza. And I like your dad.
HOLLY: Well, I guess he can't grill you any more than he already has.
HAZ: Maybe I'm the one who should be doing the grilling.
HOLLY: Oh, I can give you a list of subjects that once he starts on, you will not get a word in (...)
HAZ: (grabs pen and paper) Okay.
HAZ (writing): Guitars...
Back outside, Melanie gets good news on her phone, and excitedly tells Nell and Toadie that the British government has decided not to extradite her for the drugs charges, or Krista.
MELANIE: I can't believe it! All those years, I've been so terrified of facing the consequences.
TOADIE: You've faced them now.
MELANIE: Mm. Probably not helpful to reflect on what might have been if I'd been honest sooner.
TOADIE: Nah, best not to look back - only forward.
NELL: What are you gonna do now?
MELANIE: I have no idea. I haven't allowed myself to think that far ahead.
Toadie mentions the Drinks Divas van being up for sale. Melanie says she can't believe she once had such a fun job.
MELANIE: It feels like forever since I was that happy.
NELL: You could do that again - right, Dad?
TOADIE: Yeah. Yeah, actually, you should seriously consider buying it back.
MELANIE: Oh, I would if I could. But that is well beyond my means at the moment.
TOADIE: Right. Sorry, I shouldn't have said anything.
MELANIE: No, no - it was a lovely idea.
Toadie and Nell go on their way. Toadie looks back towards Melanie, conflicted.
Aaron is putting a poster up for the New Year's Eve party, while Cara watches; Remi is at a table nearby.
AARON: How's that? Are we straight?
CARA: All evidence points to no.
Wendy appears and (jokily) tells Cara not to distract her staff; she needs Aaron focused for the party tomorrow.
AARON: Are you and Remi coming?
CARA: No, she's on night shift. That hospital really cramps my social life.
REMI: You could go on your own - but no, you're the one that wants to stay home and watch that TV show I hate and eat takeaway I don't like.
David comes in, and gives Aaron the good news that Krista and Melanie aren't being extradited. Displeased to see David, Remi does a poor effort of hiding behind her coffee mug! Seeing her, David quickly leaves again.
AARON (whispered, to Cara): Sorry about that.
CARA: It's okay. I know it's not about me. It's such a shame, though - from what you've said about David, he sounds a lot like Remi.
AARON: Yeah, look, it's nothing personal. He's just going through a lot of stuff.
CARA: You know, Remi's not on shift tonight...
Aaron and Cara exchange a glance.
Karl is preparing dinner, and notes that Haz is a bit late - Holly says it's only been a couple of minutes.
KARL: Maybe he's changed his mind.
HOLLY: What? No! Why would you say that?
KARL: Maybe I heard about the break you and Haz had.
HOLLY: (...) Okay, well it's not really any of your business... Is that why you invited him over for dinner, to suss him out or something?
KARL: I'm just taking an interest in your relationship, like any good father would.
At this point, Haz knocks at the door. Holly frantically begs Karl not to give him a hard time. Karl assures her it'll be fine, and welcomes Haz in. Holly looks worried as they start talking pizza toppings.
On the patio, Toadie tells Terese that he ran into Melanie earlier, and that she's not being extradited. Terese says that's good, but could be more enthusiastic, and says Toadie's reference must have helped. But he admits he put his foot in it by suggesting Mel buy the Drinks Divas van back given she can't afford it. Toadie remarks that it would be good for Mel to have something positive to focus on. Terese looks worried.
Karl, Holly and Haz are eating dinner. Karl asks if the pair are going to the party at the pub tomorrow. Holly says yes, but when Haz says 'maybe' simultaneously, she is keen to stress to Haz that he's under no obligation.
HAZ: We might go.
HOLLY: Or not! We don't do plans.
Karl notes the tension, and asks Haz about Harold's - is he thinking of expanding the food menu?
KARL: It's a lot simpler than the tram's.
HAZ: Well, you know, there's so many great places to eat here. I thought I'd so something different.
HOLLY: Haz says the focus of a coffee shop should always be on the coffee.
KARL: Ah. And you're gonna keep it that way?
HAZ: I dunno. I might expand, I might not. I like to keep my options open.
KARL (pointed): Really?
HAZ: I'm a bit of a nomad at heart.
KARL: Oh. Is that a business philosophy, or does it apply to all areas of your life?
HAZ (awkward): Such as?
KARL: I dunno. Going to parties?
HAZ: I guess. I guess it does, yeah.
KARL: What about relationships? Do you like to keep your options open when it comes to those?
Holly looks horrified.
HAZ: Umm... I dunno how to answer that.
Karl looks down at their still full dinner plates and gives her a quizzical look!
Aaron is cooking dinner when David comes in. Observing that Jane, Nicolette and Isla are Not In This Episode™, David asks why, therefore, there are extra dinner plates on the table.
AARON (feigning innocence): Oh, did I... did I not tell you?
DAVID: Tell me what?
There's a knock at the door; it's Cara and Remi! Aaron welcomes them, and both David and Remi look awkward. Cara and Remi take seats at the table as directed. In the kitchen...
AARON: Boo, I'm sorry. But I thought it would be nice to celebrate Krista's win with my co- worker and her wife.
DAVID: Two people who barely know her, as opposed to - I dunno - Krista herself?!
AARON: Yeah, well, Krista doesn't drink, and I really wanted to try this wine. It's the one Tyler got me from the Barossa.
At the table...
REMI: I thought you said we were just popping in to get wine off Aaron.
CARA: Yeah, we are. With dinner as well. How about that?
REMI: Well, excuse me for thinking date night was at a restaurant!
CARA: We used to do this all the time, remember? Friday night, friends night.
REMI: Yeah, 'friend' being the operative word. Not a neighbour I don't particularly like!
Aaron and David come to the table. Remi forces a terrified smile, and David looks tense...
Nell comes in, and sees Melanie sitting alone at a table, so joins her. Mel explains that Karl is in 'protective father mode' with Holly and Haz back at home, so she feels safer here! Nell asks about the charges Melanie still faces in Australia - Mel replies that Paul's fairly confident there won't be too much trouble with those, although possibly 'some trouble'.
NELL: Is there something else on your mind? Is it Dad? You know you can talk to me.
MELANIE: It was good to clear the air before. It's just hard not to think about all of those years - all the decisions I made based on what happened back in the UK.
NELL: You were just scared to face your past.
MELANIE: And the result is that a lot of people were affected. You kids, your dad... David and Aaron, and Nicolette, and all their families. The whole thing started a chain reaction, and it all goes back to that one event... I'm sorry. I shouldn't be putting any of this on you.
NELL: You're not. I asked.
MELANIE: I said I wouldn't do what- ifs, and I'm not. Especially since you probably only came in for a hot chocolate!
NELL: Well, the seat wasn't taken, was it?
NELL: Good. Cos I came in for *two* hot chocolates.
Melanie gives Nell a hug.
Haz has gone, and Holly is ranting at Karl following his performance at dinner.
HOLLY: How could you do that to me? I told you to be chill!
KARL: And I was.
HOLLY: You literally asked how serious he was about me!
KARL: Oh, come on, I was just talking generally.
HOLLY: You used the word 'relationship'. Me and Haz are just seeing each other, okay? No labels, no pressure.
KARL: I thought you were crazy about this guy?
HOLLY: I am! Which is why I don't want to stuff it up by having my father interrogate him again!
KARL: Well, I was just trying to get a sense of his philosophy on life.
HOLLY: You were being nosy!
KARL: No, I was being interested. Holly, this is not my first experience with a new partner of one of my children.
HOLLY: I just said no labels!
KARL: Okay, whatever he is to you, I have seen this before. Now, I understand the nervousness - but all this prevarication. He either wants to be with you, or he doesn't.
HOLLY: You said you want to be a part of my life, right?
KARL: Yes, of course I do.
HOLLY: Then listen to what I'm saying. Back off and just let me figure things out with Haz on my own.
She marches out of the house.
Today's second awkward dinner party continues, meanwhile. To break the ice, Cara suggests that Remi recount a work anecdote about Karl! Remi's not sure David and Aaron will be interested.
CARA: Go on - they know him. They might be able to explain it!
REMI: The other day, Karl arrived at a 'bring a plate' morning tea with biscuits clearly taken from the staff kitchen. Is that normal?
DAVID: Karl hates it when admin doesn't provide food at those things, so he makes a point of putting in the least amount of effort possible, to send a message to the powers that be.
CARA: So, it's political, it's not stingy?
AARON: Oh, no, no - it is definitely stingy.
But David recalls that Karl was also the first doctor at the hospital to take him under his wing. As he talks, Remi begins to see David in a different light.
DAVID: He was always so generous with his time, and really made the place feel like home.
REMI: ... Do you miss it?
DAVID: Yeah. Of course. The place, the job. The career. It defined me.
REMI: Yeah. I'd be lost without it. How do you cope?
DAVID: Mostly, I don't. But that's why I'm loving this new position with Krista. I started thinking that as long as I'm in a caring role, I might be okay.
REMI: If only all doctors placed as much value on the caring aspect.
DAVID: I know, right?
Cara and Aaron smile at one another as they see that their cunning plan has worked.
The following morning, Karl discusses his concerns about Holly, who hasn't been home, with Melanie. She advises him not to worry - relationships can take time, and 'seeing each other' is more of a thing these days. But Karl is concerned that Holly's changing herself in order to please Haz. Mel suggests it may be to do with her recent traumatic experience.
A delivery guy, Josh, arrives at the door with a package for Melanie. It's a deed of ownership, and he also hands her a set of keys, telling her, 'It's just outside.'
Closely followed by Karl and the delivery guy, Melanie walks into the street, and begins laughing with joy: somebody has bought back the Drinks Divas van as a gift for her. She opens the cab, and sure enough, it still smells the same!
Nell, who is with Terese in the living room, looks out of the window and sees the Drinks Divas van. She rushes out to join in the excitement, followed by Terese.
Melanie tells Nell that she doesn't know who bought the van for her. She asks Karl if it was him, but he insists not.
KARL: But whoever did is a big fan of you.
Terese looks worried, clearly suspecting that Toadie might be responsible.
Aaron and David come in, and greet Cara and Remi who are sitting at a table. They get chatting again, and Remi admits she's finding night shifts at work tough because she can't get to sleep in the bedroom at No 30, which gets a lot of sun in afternoons. David offers to gift Remi his 'super- hi- tech eye mask' with built- in headphones, which he no longer needs.
DAVID: You're welcome.
REMI: ... Why don't you bring it to our next dinner?
DAVID: I'd love that. Last night was really nice.
REMI: Yeah, it was. And us rainbow families should stick together.
DAVID: I couldn't agree more.
The tension between them now seems fully lifted.
Terese is angrily cleaning the garden furniture when Toadie emerges from the house.
TOADIE: Are you okay?
TERESE: You know, if you'd asked me, I would've agreed.
TOADIE: Agreed to what?
TERESE: You know, it's the secrecy that gets me. When we promised we'd be upfront with each other.
TOADIE: What are you talking about?
TERESE: I saw Melanie with the Drinks Divas van (...) Why didn't you tell me you'd bought it for her?!
But Toadie looks perplexed.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Haz is impressed by some modelling photos of Mackenzie
- Karl asks Holly if she thinks Haz has feelings for Mackenzie
- Melanie tells Toadie she understands if he wants to keep something quiet, so Terese doesn't feel insecure
- Krista tells Leo that David thinks there's a vibe between them, and that maybe he wasn't imagining it