There’s lots to talk about this week, but please bear in mind that this is a UK pace round-up. I don’t know why the UK and Australia can’t just get their acts together and get on to the same schedule to stop me going cross-eyed, but here we are.
I Forgot to Mention the New Credits
I’m very forgetful, so last week I forgot to talk about the new credits. I love it when Neighbours gets a new credit sequence, and this time we got a couple of characters confirmed as regulars, in the shape of Freya and Glen. I’m pretty happy with both of these sticking around, as neither of them gets on my nerves, which makes a change. I might have kicked off if Zara had been in the titles though.
It’s fairly obvious, from Freya’s placement in the credits and also Chloe floating the idea of looking for a lodger, that she is going to end up living at number 24, which will be fun. It seems like Chloe hasn’t been seen in her own house for weeks, so maybe she might actually go home if she’s got a lodger to keep her company.
Sheila Gets a New Girlfriend
In related news, Sheila has found herself a lovely new girlfriend. By that, I mean that Levi has started dating Freya, but with how invested Sheila is in the whole thing, it might as well be her instead. Sheila absolutely cannot just let her grandsons get on with their own lives like actual functioning adults, so she is elbows-deep in playing matchmaker between Levi and Freya. Erinsborough blow-ins never come without some secret agenda or huge character flaw, and Freya is no exception. She’s been snooping around the smashed-up Flamingo Bar and telling people she’s searching for someone, and she’s also taking a slightly over-the-top interest in Levi’s tragic back story. I’m not sure what she’s up to, but if anyone’s going to find out it will be Sheila, so I’ll just wait for her to figure it out.
Leo Lashes Out
Leo is right in the middle of grieving for Britney while trying to be a single dad and running his own business, so no wonder he’s all over the place at the moment. He finds out that Terese hesitated when told to evacuate the complex and does some of his very best cry-shouting as he threatens to sue her for negligence. Everyone is worried about him, and I’m not saying that the way Leo is dealing with his grief is a particularly healthy one, but I definitely think that having David, Aaron, Nicolette, Jane, and Chloe ganging up on him all the time is more than likely going to add to his stress rather than relieve any of it.
It comes to a head as he leaves Abigail on the settee while he takes a call, and she falls onto the floor, and I can sense some terrible dad guilt in Leo’s future. If it makes him feel any better, my big brother escaped out of the back door and fell off our path and headfirst down into the next door’s driveway when he was a baby. Lord knows what my mum was doing at the time, she certainly wasn’t doing anything as involved as trying to run a vineyard. My brother turned out broadly fine as an adult, so I think Leo should probably cut himself some slack.
Amy Needs to Pop Zara Straight in the Bin
Zara is still in that phase as a new character where she is deeply unpleasant and rubs everyone up the wrong way, and this week she exceeded even my expectations for how awful she has the potential to be. First, she decided to deliberately set off the fire alarms at school, then lorded it up with her two new mean girl friends by telling them all about that awesome time she burnt her mum’s place of work down. This didn’t go down well with Amy, who is preoccupied with the fact that she randomly just bought a food truck, because god forbid anyone walks more than two metres without being able to buy something to eat in Erinsborough.
Amy and Zara have a big blow-up, and Zara shoves Amy out of the way as she storms off, causing her already broken ribs to puncture her lung. Zara sees Amy on the floor and assumes she’s faking it. Amy is rushed to the hospital when Ned finds her unconscious, and it’s touch and go for her for a while. Zara manages to wipe her usual expression – that of someone who just smelled a particularly potent fart – off her face for just long enough to apologise for almost killing her mum. And Amy’s reaction? Let’s just say she’s a lot more chill about it than most people would be. What the heck, Amy? Her temper tantrum nearly killed you! I’m starting to wonder if Zara will actually go through the Neighbours Normalisation Process™ at all, or if she’s completely irredeemable.
Paul is Being Reasonable and I am Suspicious
Who is this man and what has happened to Paul Robinson? He’s acting like an actual human being and it’s making me feel very uncomfortable. Paul and Terese are getting close again while she is staying at the penthouse to look after him, and after she starts wearing her wedding ring again Paul suggests they go for another counseling session. The session goes well, with Paul opening up about his need to protect his family at all costs, which he thinks might have something to do with his mother’s death. He claims he should have “stepped up” to help his dad raise the rest of the family, but if my memory serves me correctly Anne died in childbirth while having Lucy, at which time Paul was legitimately a child, so I’m not entirely sure what he thinks he might have done differently.
I know I’m always going on about how awful Paul is, but this new, softly spoken, reasonable Paul Robinson is doing absolutely nothing for me. Can we have the spiky old version back please, so I can enjoy hating him? Thank you.
Things Are Looking Up for Kyle
Kyle’s never been the brightest light in Blackpool, but it really was bold of me to assume that he’d never do anything more stupid than trying to look directly at a solar eclipse. After having a few issues in the bedroom, Kyle has proved me very wrong by covering himself in testosterone patches without consulting anyone more authoritative than Google, in order for him to be able to do the deed on his honeymoon with Roxy. Meanwhile, Roxy has really gone to town with booking activities so that their every waking moment is timetabled, in order to take Kyle’s mind off the fact that he can’t perform. These two decisions clash in the worst possible way when Kyle finds himself trying to do Go Ape with a massive erection.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then has to call David for advice on what to do. Imagine having to ring your neighbour to ask them a question about your genitals while you’re on your honeymoon. Sometimes I think it’d be quite nice to live in a soap opera, but it’s stories like these that make me glad that the most I’ve ever asked my neighbours to do for me are feed my tortoises while I’m on holiday…