I’m going to get this week’s round-up out of the way before I tackle the very big, Channel 5-shaped elephant in the room.

Detective Dave Figures It Out

Paul is still malingering in order to trick Terese into feeling sorry for him. He insists that they have a big party to celebrate them being back together, then stuns everyone by proposing to Terese again and asking her to renew their vows. Terese says yes, but not everyone is thrilled about it. Glen is still feeling jealous, and David is becoming increasingly suspicious about Paul’s condition, as is Karl. The two doctors decide to meet with Paul’s dodgy specialist in order to get a read on him, and he behaves like an awful arrogant wand, which does nothing to quell their feelings of unease.

David somehow puts it all together, probably because he knows Paul’s MO well enough by now, and he confronts Paul about what’s going on. Paul denies it at first but eventually admits that he’s been lying in order to win Terese over. David mulls things over, but he ultimately decides that he can’t keep Paul’s secret, so he marches over to the penthouse, bursts in on Terese trying on her wedding dress, and drops the bombshell that Paul’s been lying to her again.

One thing I don’t really understand about this whole scheme of Paul’s is what his end game was. He begs David not to tell Terese and says he just needs a bit more time. Sure, by manipulating Terese he’s got her back for now, but it’s not as though he’s working towards trapping her in a marriage or anything – they’re already married. She was always going to find out he was lying, and then what was he planning to do? Probably lie a bit more, knowing him.

Zara is Still Terrible, But Her Friends Are Worse

I can’t for the life of me remember the names of Zara’s horrible little friends, so I’m just going to call them Crabbe and Goyle. We may well be seeing the start of Zara becoming less of a bad girl, as she’s realising that Crabbe and Goyle aren’t as cool as she originally thought. Not only did they play a prank on Jane that looked very much like Zara’s doing, but they are posting very stalkery photos of Hendrix online. Incidentally, what the heck sort of phones have those two got? They took a photo of Hendrix from across the complex and it was clear as a bell. If I zoom in on anything with my iPhone the photo looks like what I see when I forget to put my glasses on. Anyway, Crabbe and Goyle do step up to tell Susan that Zara didn’t pull the prank, but she might just be starting to see that she could make wiser choices when it comes to friends. Find yourself a Ron, Zara.

Photo: © Channel 5. Source: Digital Spy

Leo is Still Hellbent on Giving His Baby Away

It’s a week since Leo decided to foist his baby daughter off on his brother and brother-in-law, like an unwanted juicer he got for Christmas. Everyone he’s told about it has looked at him with horror and said, “But she’s your daughter,” and yet Leo is acting like it’s the best decision he ever made. He won’t even speak to Karl about her medical treatment, even though he’s still her legal guardian. This is obviously all going to come crashing down at some point, but for the moment Leo is being very Paul in his parenting style. Perhaps he’s hoping that she’ll move away, only to turn up and find him once she’s a fully grown adult, with someone else having done all the hard work. It’s the Robinson way.

Ned Does Some More Terrible Art

Ned has been flexing his dubious artistic muscles again recently. He gave Glen a really basic tattoo on his foot, and now he’s painted Amy’s drinks truck for her as a surprise, and it’s horrible. It has a big picture of Amy on the side that looks a bit like those paintings of celebrities you get on dodgems at the fair. Admittedly it’s better than those terrible boob casts he did that time, but that’s not really saying anything.

Roxy Turns Into A Burglar

Roxy is still suspicious of Freya, and she’s clearly right in thinking that there’s something a bit weird about her. Getting dressed up as a cat burglar and breaking into her Air BnB is probably taking it a bit too far though, and she gets more than she bargains for when Freya tackles her to the ground and nearly skewers her with a massive knife. The most ridiculous thing about this particular storyline is that Roxy is absolutely outraged that everyone is annoyed at her and not at Freya. You broke into her house, Roxy. Whatever she’s up to, you’re the one who looks like a nutter right now. Now Roxy is legally Canning-adjacent, their penchant for meddling in each other’s lives seems to have rubbed off on her because rather than accept that she did something bonkers and let it go, she decides to get the Mystery Inc gang (Ned and Harlow) together to go to Freya’s home town to try to dig some dirt up on her. It’s definitely not going to end well. Oh, and Ned is Scooby-Doo. Clearly.

Photo: © Channel 5. Source: Digital Spy

Channel 5 Can Get in the Bin

It’s Channel 5’s turn to get the Paul Robinson treatment and be sent directly to landfill after they announced that they would no longer be airing and funding Neighbours, leaving the future of the show hanging in the balance. Apparently, they want to concentrate on making British drama, which is a bit rich coming from a station that has been airing variations of freak-show “documentaries” called things like The Boy With Six Nostrils for the past couple of decades. I do not understand them dropping Neighbours at all, it’s a beloved institution with a ready-made solid fan base, and in recent years it’s been a trailblazer for inclusivity, particularly for LGBTQIA issues and characters. People are even allowed to be fat on Neighbours – heaven forbid you ever see a fat person on a lot of other soaps! There’s clearly a lot of progress that needs to be made in terms of ethnic representation and treatment of actors of colour, but our much-loved soap is trying a lot harder than some of the others.

Neighbours have been such a constant in my life – I’ve been watching since I was about 8 years old – and I can honestly say that right now is the best it’s ever been. It’s the perfect mix of drama and comedy, my little nugget of escapism that whisks me away after a long day at the office. I’m currently a little bit in denial about the whole thing. I’m hoping we can save it, hoping desperately that a streaming service or another channel will pick it up. Stay strong, Neighbours fans, and think positive thoughts.