I hope everyone who wanted them managed to get their tickets to the Neighbours Farewell Tour. I will be there with bells on. Now all I need to do is start an online campaign to get my chaotic King Mick to come.
Well. What a week it was in Erinsborough! I can’t remember the last time a week of Neighbours was this much fun to watch. It was an absolute bonanza, and I have so much to talk about.
Another Day, Another Hostage Situation
You know how it is, you’re just relaxing for an evening, when in walks a crazed woman with a gun and her mortally wounded criminal friend. It’s happened to us all at one time or another. Maybe not, but it certainly has if you’re Freya or a friend of Freya’s, and probably if you’re just someone who once walked past Freya on the street.
Honestly, this girl is an absolute chaos magnet, and her latest catastrophe involves giving dodgy medical treatment to members of a criminal gang in exchange for David’s safety in prison. David is isolated from the prison population and held at knifepoint to ensure that Freya is in a cooperative mood when Emma turns up with a gun, a bleeding man, and a crazy look in her eye. In the drama that follows, Freya, Kiri, and Nicolette are forced at gunpoint to try to save the bleeding man, even though he looks to be in need of major surgical intervention. Freya somehow wrestles the gun from Emma’s grasp while Nicolette dives on top of Kiri to protect her in a move that is sure to earn her some romantic brownie points later.
For once, Levi’s timing is perfect. He hears the gunshot, strolls into the middle of it all, and does his job for once. Well done, Levi. The true hero is the sofa, though, because it manages to support a man who is bleeding out without getting a single drop of blood on it. Remarkable.
And Just Like That, David is Released
It’s become clear that there’s a dodgy guard at the prison. Sergeant Rodwell (he will never be Andrew) proposes a deal to David – he wears a wire to try to identify the corrupt guard, and in exchange, he’ll be set free and given a non-custodial sentence. We hear how dangerous this all is, and they really ramp up the drama about what a threat it is to David’s safety, but then the whole Emma thing happens, and David gets released, just like that. Did he even identify the guard? If he did, then I missed it.
A Super Tense Engagement Party
Amy’s weird, out-of-nowhere fixation with Toadie continues, and she goes into full denial mode by throwing herself into organizing the world’s least enjoyable engagement party. It’s pretty much a disaster from start to finish. Amy is close to tears all day, Toadie’s mum Angie rocks up and immediately upsets Melanie, and the spectre of Harold’s disapproval of the wedding looms large over all of it. When Toadie finds out that Harold has expressed his concern about Melanie being a suitable stepmother, he asks him to leave, which is the equivalent of asking a big squashy teddy bear to leave your party. I honestly don’t know how he did it.
After Melanie blows up at Angie for her snidey comments – which include slagging off Melanie’s voluminous smock dress while wearing an even more hideous and even more voluminous smock dress herself – Angie reveals that she’s just testing her, which makes absolutely no sense at all. She claims that she and Sonya got off on the wrong foot, and she didn’t want the same thing to happen with Melanie, which is why she rocks up at the engagement party and is unfeasibly rude to her all afternoon. It really does take some mental agility to make that one make sense. It’s like saying you really don’t want to burn your hand on the grill, so you’re going to hold it over the lit hob instead.
After a brief Zoom cameo from Joe Mangel, Harold realizes he’s made a terrible mistake and apologizes to Toadie and Melanie. Phew. I genuinely couldn’t cope if Harold and Toadie fell out properly.
Shane’s Back (No, Not the One Who Got Shot by a Pizza Oven)
Shane’s Ramsay’s back, without his mullet, but with a whole bunch of money, he wants to use to buy into the hotel. Sadly for Paul, but hilariously for me, there isn’t a soul alive in Ramsay Street who isn’t willing to throw Paul under the bus at the earliest opportunity, including his soon-to-be-ex-wife, one of his oldest friends, and his son. They all tell Shane that Paul is basically an unhinged sociopath with whom he shouldn’t go into business. Good on you, guys. Excellent work.
This storyline took me quite by surprise, and let me tell you, there was some very loud shouting and gasping in my living room on Thursday! Initially, I didn’t care all that much that boring Malcolm Kennedy was back for a surprise visit. Still, then he started acting suspiciously, and it was revealed that he was back with his new partner – none other than Izzy Flipping Hoyland. I gasped so much that there was limited oxygen left in my living room.
I did not see this one coming, which is already causing fireworks with Karl and Susan. Karl muddles along with Izzy for the sake of their daughter, but Susan would not only not pee on Izzy if she was on fire, but she’d also probably drive down to the shops for some firelighters and petrol just to make sure she was really burning.
For some reason, Izzy seems to think they’re going to be pleased that she’s having sex with her daughter’s half-brother and turns up at the Kennedys’ with a bottle of champagne to toast the new and rather inappropriate relationship. It’s weird. Malcolm is now in a relationship with the mother of his half-sister, which, while not being “Elon Musk’s Dad” level of creepy, still makes me feel decidedly queasy and uncomfortable.
Nicolette Seems to Have Mastered Invisibility
Nicolette and Byron are still trying to prove that Clive is having an affair, so Nicolette follows him to Danielle’s house, where she stands in full view of a massive window to take photos of them. Like, she’s right there. Right in front of where they’re standing. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing and don’t really care about the rest of this plot. I need to know how they didn’t see her.
It’s Into the Bin for Wendy
Right. I’ve not hidden the fact that I’m finding it difficult to warm up to Wendy, she’s annoying, and she tries too hard, and she needs to wind her neck in and try to be a bit more normal. I suspect this week was my first encounter with Drunk Wendy, and I like her even less than Sober Wendy. She adds the Rodwells to Harold’s precious Ramsay Street history book, which he carries around lovingly, and then she knocks it into a bucket of iced water and saunters out of the party. I sometimes make notes on my phone while I’m watching, so I can remember things when I come to write this, and the note for this incident reads, “WENDY!”
She says she looked through the whole book, so I’m assuming she saw all the photos of Harold’s dead daughter and his dead wife, yes? So why, and I cannot emphasize this enough, the heck did she just walk off and leave the book submerged in water? Honestly, forget the bin. She needs to go straight to prison for ten thousand years. No trial.
The Writers Are Having Fun
There were three moments this week that filled me with so much glee that I was chuckling out loud on my sofa like some sort of demonic pajama-gnome. One is where Glen is looking through the history book and happens upon the page with photos of Lucy. He says, “Lucy loves a makeover, doesn’t she? If I didn’t know different, I’d say that was three different people.” This is so perfect, and I can just see the writers grinning to themselves as they penned this one. More of this, please.
The second is Karl modeling his new wig for Susan before the party. It is a very, very bad wig, and Susan’s response is, “No.” He adds a hat on top, and she stares him down and says, “Still no.” If you never saw any more of Susan and Karl, this clip would tell you everything you needed to know about their dynamic.
My favourite, though, is when Byron confesses to Jane that he’s a sex worker, and at that very instant, the portrait of Mrs. Mangel falls off the wall. I laughed so hard, and it was sheer perfection. I love all these little treats the writers are rewarding us with, and they seem to be having real fun. I simultaneously can’t wait for the next couple of weeks but also don’t want them to go too quickly…