As the UK descends into some sort of post-apocalyptic hellscape, I’ve become ever more thankful for my little dose of escapism every weekday evening. There’s a distinct possibility that we’re going to have no food, no central heating, and no petrol soon here on Plague Island, but hey, at least we still have Neighbours… for as long as the electricity lasts anyway. Last week’s episodes were pretty entertaining, so they were a pretty good distraction from the fact that absolutely everything is awful.

Strike One for Lassiters

Harlow’s promotion has gone down like a cup of cold sick amongst the Lassiters staff, including Chloe, and things come to a head as the mysterious Rebecca From Housekeeping, who we never actually see, leads the staff on strike. Paul blames it all on Chloe because she fails to calm the staff down, rather than taking responsibility for his own actions of promoting his granddaughter to a job that she has neither the experience nor qualifications for. Chloe’s had enough, so she walks out and leaves them in the lurch. What follows is hilarious chaos as Terese, Jesse, Harlow, and Paul attempt to run an entire hotel by themselves. Things are so bad that they even call in Kyle and Roxy to help. Things must be bad if you’re inviting the people who nearly killed everyone with poisonous mushrooms into your hotel. I hope they weren’t on kitchen duty at any point. Honestly, for a businessman, he’s not very smart sometimes, because it takes Paul far too long to realize that he can stop all the drama just by demoting Harlow back to her housekeeping position, which he reluctantly does in the end.

Harlow Seems to Have Recovered From Being Evil

When Paul demotes Harlow back to her old position, she has a massive hissy fit befitting her newfound evil alignment, but after Jesse talks some sense into her, she calms down and accepts it with a bit more grace. Who’d have thought that Jesse would turn out to be the one talking sense into anyone? And then that’s it – she seems to have been rehabilitated and is good again, she didn’t even have to go to a villain support group at the community centre or anything. I’m kind of disappointed that this is how it all ended because I was enjoying Evil Harlow, she was way more interesting than the old square version. I hope she rediscovers her evil again before too long.

Photo: © Channel 5. Source: Digital Spy

Levi’s Mum Continues to be a Right Laugh

Evelyn is an absolute riot, and she and Levi are having a truly wild time doing things like walking around Erinsborough and getting hot chocolates. I thought I was a bit of a square, but compared to Evelyn I feel like Sid Vicious. Levi is understandably still anxious about her finding out about his unconventional relationship with Amy, and he starts sweating every time Evelyn catches sight of Amy and Ned because in the thirty minutes she’s been in Erinsborough she’s developed quite the fixation with them. Predictably enough, she does find out about Levi and Amy, and all hell breaks loose. Levi understandably assumes it was Sheila who told his mum and gives her the hairdryer treatment for creating tension between him and Evelyn, even though it was actually Karl who spilled the beans, and whose tendency to gossip is entertaining me greatly at the moment. It’s Amy who manages to smooth things over between Levi and his mum, by going to speak to Evelyn about her relationship with Levi, which I did not see coming at all. Levi’s mum still doesn’t fully understand the situation but seems to appreciate Amy’s openness, and so tries to make an effort to accept it. It then becomes apparent (as it has been since she first rocked up) that it was Sheila who got Evelyn to visit in the first place because she clearly wanted to cause trouble between Levi and Amy. When will Sheila ever learn not to interfere? It literally never ends well.

Why Isn’t Rose in the Bin Yet?

Rose is one devious, spiteful little woman. In the wake of her kissing Toadie, things between him and Melanie hit the rocks again, and Rose seizes the opportunity to try to cause more trouble by convincing Melanie’s ex to arrange a meeting with her, and then making sure that Toadie sees them together. I always knew she was no good, that one. She even just assumes that now they’ve kissed, Toadie will automatically end things with Melanie and start something with her instead. Get over yourself, Rose! When is she leaving? I never thought I’d be championing Melanie, but I’d much rather Toadie was with her than with Rose. She’s just awful.

UGH. Photo: © Channel 5. Source: Digital Spy

David Finds Out About Paul’s Latest Dodgy Deal

Paul asks Leo for a loan, and Leo immediately tells David, because both of them know enough about Paul’s antics to not let something like that remain secret. David starts putting two and two together, but he can’t quite figure out exactly what’s going on, just that he knows Paul is hiding something from Terese and the family. In the end, he pulls a very Robinson-esque move by threatening to tell Terese about the loan unless Paul comes clean. It’s at this point that Paul admits he paid Nicolette a million dollars to give up baby Isla and that he’s struggling to pay it back. David is, of course, horrified that his daughter is only with him because Paul bribed her mother, and is threatening to tell Aaron about it. He should, because Aaron is going to hit the roof when he finds out David is keeping things from him again. There’s a definite sense that this whole baby drama is coming to a head, especially since Aaron is fretting about something white that he keeps spotting on Isla’s chin and clothing. I know Neighbours well enough to know that he wouldn’t keep mentioning it if it wasn’t going to end up being relevant later, but I don’t know enough about babies (or drool) to figure out what it means. I’m excited to see this all play out though.

Terese Calls Jesse the Wrong Name

Terese has been getting closer to Jesse and is blurring the lines somewhat between a business mentor and mother figure. After his help during the strike, she gives him a hug (which is weird anyway) and then calls him ‘Josh’. The whole thing is just as awkward as when you accidentally call your teacher ‘Mum’, or if Terese had called Paul ‘Gary’ at an inopportune moment. How long do we reckon it’ll be before Jesse moves in with Paul and Terese? I don’t think it will be long. Maybe he’ll even take up swimming…