- Karl learns from Wendy that Haz and Holly have been on a break, due to Mackenzie declaring feelings for Haz
- Karl invites Haz to dinner and quizzes him over his approach to committed relationships, embarrassing Holly
- Holly angrily asks Karl to back off and let her figure things with Haz out on her own
- Krista is organising a New Year's Eve party for the Waterhole
- David warns Leo he could derail Krista's recovery if he gets romantically involved with her
- David implores Krista to call him at any time if she needs support, rather than Leo
- Melanie excitedly tells Nell and Toadie that she and Krista will not be extradited to the UK
- When the old Drinks Divas van goes up for sale again, Melanie's thrilled when someone buys it for her
- Terese assumes Toadie's responsible, and rages at him about it, but he just looks confused
Frustrated by Terese's accusation, Toadie denies buying the Drinks Divas van for Melanie, and asks her where this idea is coming from.
TERESE: It's just... it's the new reference you wrote for her (...) It was just so sincere and heartfelt.
TOADIE: That was to make up for the bad one that I wrote, which you told me to do.
TERESE: I know, I know. I'm just...
TOADIE: How did we get from that to me buying Melanie's old business for her?
TERESE: Well, I saw the van on the street and I put two and two together. But I get it - I'm wrong, and I'm sorry.
TOADIE: ... Why'd you jump to that conclusion?
In the hallway, Haz is reassuring Holly not to stress about Karl interrogating him over dinner.
HAZ: He was just being a dad.
She asks if he's coming to the New Year's party later, and he confirms he will. Byron is lying on the sofa with a novel, listening to this conversation. Once Holly's gone...
BYRON: I take it dinner didn't go too well?
HAZ: It was fine. Holly's just worried about our relationship.
BYRON: I wonder why (!)
HAZ: We should be in a good place by now.
BYRON: It's not that simple, you know. You guys are going out, then you're on a break, then you save her life, then you're going back out again...
HAZ: Shouldn't you be looking for a job, instead of sitting here catching flies?
Byron explains he's reading a list of legal thrillers that Mackenzie has been hounding him to get onto. Haz casually asks if Byron's heard from Mack while she's been away; Byron's had a few messages, but Haz hasn't at all. Flicking through one of the books, Haz finds some photographs inside, from one of Mackenzie's modelling shoots from 2022. Haz says he'll find a safer place for the photos, and keeps hold of them.
Melanie is on the phone to the roads and transport department about the Drinks Divas van, but they're not able to give any information about who bought it from the previous owner. Karl, who is checking out the van, tries to engage Holly with the news of its return as she crosses the street, but she just scowls silently and keeps walking.
MELANIE: I've got a good set of crystals that are perfect for resolving family conflict.
KARL: She'll be over it by lunch.
David and Jane turn up, and Melanie fills them in on the van being gifted to her anonymously. David thinks it must have set whoever it was back by around $30,000. Jane remarks that it's a very generous gift.
Terese says to Toadie that Melanie living on the street has been bringing up 'weird feelings' for both of them. Toadie agrees that there are 'insecurities on both sides' despite their having been working through their respective issues with Melanie and Paul.
TERESE: Melanie is not quite the same as Paul... When we found out what they'd done, it was easy to feel anger towards them both - I mean, rage even. But as time's gone on, I've realised that Melanie never meant to hurt anyone. And maybe you're realising that too?
TOADIE: Our relationship is safe. You know I love you.
TERESE: And I love you, too.
TOADIE: Yeah, I know that. And no matter what Melanie says or does, doesn't change the fact that she left me. Time has passed, and I fell in love with you. And I wouldn't change that for the world.
TERESE: Thanks for telling me what I needed to hear.
Karl comes in to find Holly in the living room, and the atmosphere between them remains tense. Karl asks if Haz is angry with him for the interrogation over dinner.
HOLLY: He says he isn't.
KARL: Well, if you're not sure, would it help if I apologised?
HOLLY: Maybe. So long as you don't grill him while you do it.
KARL: Is what I said so wrong? (...) Help me understand. I don't want to put my foot in it again.
HOLLY: ... Right now, I like Haz more than he likes me, and that's fine. I just need time for him to catch up. But he's not going to catch up if people don't stop causing us drama.
KARL: Well, who's doing that?
HOLLY: You... and Mackenzie (...) It was hard for us to be a couple with her around. Now that she's gone, things are easier. I need you to make them easier too.
KARL: Is that why Mackenzie went away? Because of you and Haz?
HOLLY: It was one of the reasons... I told Haz that I didn't want him to live with her anymore.
HOLLY: And I did it because I was angry and upset. But the space has been good. We need space.
KARL: You think Haz has feelings for Mackenzie?
HOLLY: ... I think we have a great time together, and we'll work everything out if people just leave us alone.
Karl looks worried as Holly walks away.
Krista and Leo are talking about her not being extradited; Reece was relieved to learn of this, we hear, and now Krista can focus on the New Year's Eve party at the pub tonight. Krista asks if Leo's coming; he says he'll have to check his schedule, but with the kind of grin that says he'll be there all night, grinning at her all night.
Paul turns up and queries why Krista's standing around the foyer when she has a party to organise. She reels off a list of everything she's already sorted out in advance of tonight.
KRISTA: Don't worry, Paul. Parties are my area of expertise.
PAUL (laughs): You know, attending them and running them aren't exactly the same thing.
LEO: Krista could be a huge asset to Lassiter's, if you just work with her instead of against her.
PAUL: She's not an asset, Leo, she's a liability.
KRISTA: Sorry, but aren't you the one that covered up what you thought was my death? Or have you forgotten? Gee, it must be hard keeping up with all these dodgy dealings to remember them, Paul.
PAUL: Oh, I wouldn't be so cocky if I were you, just because the family lawyers got you out of trouble. Eventually you'll stuff up, and then I can get rid of you for good. Only a matter of time.
Karl and Melanie are talking about who might've bought the Drinks Divas van for her. Melanie has decided that it must be Toadie - he knows what the van means to her, knew it was for sale, has plenty of cash as he's just sold his house, and was feeling bad about the nasty reference he wrote for her. Karl doesn't seem convinced, but Mel is sure that Toadie has bought the van.
MELANIE: I will pay him back. I just hope that Terese isn't upset, because I would hate for her to think that there was anything going on.
KARL: Yeah, well, don't get your hopes up, huh?
MELANIE: Who else could it be? Everyone else says it's not them.
KARL: I can't think of anybody.
Haz is doing some paperwork at the kitchen counter, but is distracted by the photos of Mackenzie from earlier. He picks them up and looks at them, then decides to text Mackenzie, typing, 'Hope you're having the best time. P.S. Trevor misses you.' He sends the message just as Karl comes in to talk to him.
KARL: Apparently, I was embarrassing at dinner. I just wanted to apologise, in case I made things uncomfortable?
HAZ: It's not a problem, Karl.
KARL: I promise, I wasn't trying to pressure you into declaring your intentions.
HAZ: Well, thank you for saying so, but I think Holly was the one that was more upset by the whole situation.
But Karl has noticed the photos of Mackenzie on the counter, and picks them up, recalling that they're from Montana Marcel's Fashion Week of 2022. Haz goes into a long- winded explanation of how they fell out of the book and how he decided to find a safer place for them, which makes it sound like he's making excuses.
HAZ: I know how much they mean to Mack. Not that we talk about that stuff all that often.
To prove he was in the process of putting them away, he shoves them casually into a kitchen drawer, then looks guilty. Karl doesn't comment.
Leo and Krista are chatting over a coffee. He tells her not to take Paul's jibes too personally.
LEO: Dad thinks anyone who's not him is an incapable screw- up until they prove themselves otherwise.
KRISTA: Thank you for defending me. I mean, you don't have to, but I appreciate it.
LEO: Yeah, of course. Any time.
They smile goofily at each other for a while.
KRISTA: So there it is.
KRISTA: What David was talking about earlier (...) He thinks that there's a vibe between us, and he warned me away from dating you.
LEO: Oh... umm, yeah, he kind of said the same thing to me too. I think he's just worried about a relationship derailing your recovery.
KRISTA: I thought he was imagining things... maybe not.
They continue to smile.
LEO: So, what now?
KRISTA: You're one of the kindest people that I've ever met, Leo. I'm really glad that I've had you here with me, through all of this. But David's right. I mean, until a few weeks ago, I was a mess. And I'm just starting to find my feet again.
LEO: Yeah, right. And I do just want to be there for you... as a friend.
KRISTA: Well, I'm glad. You're a great friend to have around.
The smiling continues. Meanwhile, Sadie comes in, and finds JJ at the counter buying up the last piece of cake! He apologises.
SADIE: You really ruined my genius plan to carb- load before drinking.
JJ: Uh, no, you can have it! I'll just get something else.
SADIE: Really? (...) Thanks! You're the best. What do I owe you?
JJ: Oh, look, don't worry about it... Actually, I mean, you could get me a drink at the party later?
Sadie readily agrees to this proposition, and promises to see him later. JJ looks like all his Christmases have come at once as Sadie walks off with his cake!
Toadie is just heading into his office when Melanie turns up to talk to him. She thanks him again for the second, glowing, reference he provided.
TOADIE: Well, it's what I should've said in the first place. I'm sorry.
MELANIE: And I am beyond grateful to have the opportunity to rebuild the Drinks Divas. And I will pay you back every cent once I am turning a profit.
MELANIE: No, no. And I understand if you want to keep this on the down low, because I would not want to make Terese feel insecure. But I needed you to know that I am very, very thankful.
TOADIE: ... I didn't buy you the van.
MELANIE: You didn't.
MELANIE: ... My mistake. Never mind.
She walks out, embarrassed. Toadie cringes.
David is in Krista's room, advising her about the party tonight. He says if she feels uncomfortable at any point, just to give him the signal and they can leave.
KRISTA: Don't worry. Tonight, I'm solely focused on annoying your father as much as possible, by creating the best event that Lassiter's has ever seen. Actually, I'm gonna make that my New Year's resolution - creating amazing events, just to irritate Paul.
DAVID: Funfairs, open- air cinemas (...) You know what would really annoy him?
KRISTA: Tell me.
DAVID: A sleep- out in the complex. Fill it with beds and people he can't escape from - and the last person standing, or sleeping, wins a prize.
KRISTA: Okay, love that. Need a catchy name, though.
DAVID: How about... Lassiter's Longest Lie- In?
David sees something on the desk - a vehicle registration form - and quickly surmises that Krista bought the Drinks Diva van for Melanie. She confirms it.
KRISTA: Don't tell her, please.
KRISTA: Just wanted to make up for all the pain that I've caused her in my life.
DAVID: Why do it secretly?
KRISTA: Because if she knows it's from me, she won't accept it (...) This could be a really good thing for her. I don't want to risk that.
But David thinks there have been enough 'secret favours' between everyone, and suggests Krista let Melanie make up her own mind.
Darkness has fallen, and the partygoers are heading towards the Waterhole, including Byron and Sadie.
SADIE: Nice jacket! I mean, you're probably the best- looking non- date I've ever taken to a party.
BYRON: Sades, I like your hat.
SADIE: It's not a hat, it's a headband!
(It is, for the avoidance of doubt, a headband.) David and Krista are also on their way to the pub, and spot Melanie heading towards Harold's. David suggests this might be an opportunity to tell her the truth, so Krista bites the bullet and fesses up.
KRISTA: Look, I didn't know how to make things right with you, so... I took a leaf out of the Sinclair family book on how to solve a problem, and I used money to fix it.
MELANIE: You didn't have to do that!
KRISTA: Yes, I did. Please don't make me take it back, okay? I want you to have this.
MELANIE: I am not in a position to be so proud!
KRISTA: So you'll keep it?
MELANIE: Keep it? I am gonna cherish it forever!
They hug, as Melanie thanks Krista. Aaron then emerges from the pub with a special jug of pink non- alcoholic 'mocktail' that he's made for Krista. (It's more peachy- orange than what I'd call pink, but let's go with it.)
AARON: Just remember, pink is good, and every other colour is bad.
This 'Chekhov's punch' scenario having been established, Krista grabs a glass and gets stuck in. Nearby, Byron admires a tattoo- like design on Sadie's shoulder - she explains she did it herself, with the makeup kit the sharehouse guys got her for Christmas. Jane turns up and is also very impressed with it. She explains she was going to have a quiet night in, but Terese wanted a chat with her about the school.
JANE: While I have you, I saw an ad for a junior lawyer. I thought you might be interested.
BYRON: Nah. I'd rather get back into escorting.
JANE: Well, I'll take that as a, 'thanks, Mum, but no'.
Sadie adds that Byron's jacket is giving off 'lawyer vibes'. He's about to argue but she's already walked off.
JJ is walking around on his own with what looks like a lemonade, in a dapper suit and shirt. Sadie greets him and says he looks good all dressed up.
JJ: Thank you. Hey, if you're hungry, the 'wench dovers' are great.
He gestures over to a table of dips and finger foods.
SADIE: Oh, the hors d'oeuvres!
JJ: ... Yeah.
SADIE: I thought you were more of a cake guy yourself.
JJ: Yeah, I'm... I'm a man of many tastes.
SADIE: And many pronunciations, apparently!
JJ looks embarrassed! Sadie assesses the room and remarks that there are a lot of underage kids in here. She suggests he go home to his mums, so that he doesn't risk getting kicked out along with them. JJ agrees, but stays put when she walks off.
At a table, Jane has joined Terese, who tells her that the council wants to meet with them on Friday. Jane thinks it would be awful if it all fell apart now; Terese replies that they have Paul to thank if it does. Toadie joins them with drinks for himself and Terese, and explains that it was Krista who bought the drinks van for Melanie. Terese apologises again for assuming it was him, but he makes it clear all is forgiven.
Paul and Leo are nearby, Paul having been staring over at Terese. Leo remarks that Krista's done a good job with the party; Paul retorts that it was mostly Chloe's work before she left.
Meanwhile, Krista has caught sight of some of the underage kids who Sadie had seen hanging around; we know one of them, Noah Dawes, who teased Dex at school about having two mums. She asks if they have adults supervising them.
NOAH: We *are* adults.
KRISTA: Then I'm gonna need to see some IDs.
NOAH: Left it at home.
KRISTA: Okay - no IDs, no drinks.
She snatches his glass off him, and says that without IDs they can either leave, or she'll call security.
NOAH: Let's go, this party's lame anyway.
Noah walks off, and his acolytes follow.
Holly emerges from her room in a bright dress and elaborate floral headpiece, which Karl thinks looks 'beautiful'. He asks if he can have a moment before she heads to the party.
KARL: You know, when I first started dating Susan, we couldn't stay away from each other. She was the first thing I thought of in the morning, the last thing at night - and I know she felt the same. It was electric.
HOLLY: Okay! Please don't go into any more detail than that.
KARL: The point I'm trying to make is... I appreciate how much you like Haz. And I'm concerned that your relationship seems rather one- sided.
HOLLY: Like I said, he'll catch up.
KARL: Yeah, well, I'm also concerned you're in the process of censoring yourself to suit him.
HOLLY: Well... love is about compromise!
KARL: Yeah, well, there's compromise and there's completely changing your personality.
Upset, Holly gets up to leave, but Karl sits her down again.
KARL: You deserve to be with someone who loves you as much as you love them - no matter what you do. And I'm not sure Haz is that person.
HOLLY: You don't know anything about our relationship, and you definitely don't know how Haz feels.
KARL: Well, I've got a pretty good idea based on his behaviour... When I went over there to apologise, he had...
HOLLY: He had what?
KARL: He had photographs of Mackenzie beside his work.
HOLLY (upset): Well, that doesn't mean anything.
KARL: Well, maybe you should ask him about it.
HOLLY: It's none of your business.
KARL: I don't want to see you making mistakes!
HOLLY: You're gonna lecture me about mistakes, like you've never made one of those?
KARL: Well, I'm not saying I haven't.
HOLLY: Well, clearly. Cos if it wasn't for your mistake, I wouldn't even exist!
Karl looks troubled as Holly walks out.
The party continues with a mini- montage, as Aaron serves David a drink at the bar; Leo pours Krista a drink from the designated 'pink' jug; and Holly walks in, clearly in a mood, followed by a confused Haz. Jane is in tipsy mode again, while JJ paces up and down with his lemonade, seemingly avoiding being identified as underage by Paul. Paul joins Jane at the bar, but she gives him a dirty look and goes elsewhere.
David is watching Leo and Krista flirting from a distance. Aaron dances suggestively with his cocktail shaker to get David's attention, which eventually works.
AARON: Finally! Because it's not a turn- on when your husband ignores you the whole evening, especially the last one of the year.
DAVID: Sorry. But maybe you can distract me by doing that at home.
JANE (appearing from nowhere): Doing what at home?
AARON: Making cocktails!
DAVID (simultaneously): Watching a nature documentary!
JANE (tipsy): Strange combination, but could be fun!
She wanders off again. Meanwhile, Haz tells Holly that Karl came over earlier to apologise.
HOLLY: He said.
HAZ: Did he say anything else?
HOLLY (lying): Nothing important.
She downs an entire cocktail. Haz asks if she's okay; she says they're here to party, and that she wants to end the year on a high.
Meanwhile, Krista gets up from her table with Leo, but stumbles as she does so, putting it down to tiredness, although Leo suggests it's her impractical shoes. Paul approaches and starts ranting about 'an underage kid who needs dealing with', though we don't see who he's talking about.
KRISTA: I sent them out.
PAUL: Well, clearly not!
But as Paul rants, Krista's vision seems to be blurring and her ears ringing, as the ten- second countdown to midnight begins.
PAUL: This threatens our liquor licence, you know?
LEO: Back off, Dad.
REVELLERS: Nine, eight, seven...
KRISTA: Hey, I don't feel so good.
LEO: What's wrong?
REVELLERS: Five, four, three, two, one - Happy New Year!
Krista looks around, confused and disoriented, as her vision blurs even further...
Coming up on Neighbours
- Sadie tells Byron, 'She's gonna lose her mind'. He replies, 'It's your life, not hers'
- We see Sadie in a heated conversation with Wendy
- Leo angrily asks Paul how he's the victim; he responds by calling Krista an 'unqualified basket case'
- At the hospital, David asks Leo and Aaron if Krista would tell them the truth if she'd relapsed
- Byron has found a key sticking out from under the doormat at No 24
- Nicolette turns up at an unknown multi- storey building, looking purposeful