Neighbours Pre-Finale Recap: Jane & Clive, Paul Robinson’s NYC Move, Toadie & Mel’s Wedding, Ramsay St For Sale!
If you’re diving back in to Neighbours this week ahead of the series finale, here’s what you need to know about the current storylines.
Contains spoilers for Neighbours.
The end of Neighbours has prompted the return of its prodigal children. Not just the on-screen ones journeying to Ramsay Street to reunite with lost loves/burn down Lassiters/marry Paul Robinson, but also us – the Aussie soap’s lapsed viewers. We’re back too, sticking one last hopeful hand into the cookie jar of nostalgia, hoping to feel… well, anything.
The only problem: Neighbours is unrecognisable now. There’s no Helen Daniels and Bouncer has long retired to the big farm in the sky. If you drifted away at some point between the third Lucy Robinson and the plane crash that turned Harold Bishop into the Erinsborough strangler, then this is for you. Here’s a handy guide to Neighbours’ current* plots and characters. Never ask ‘Who’s Paige? again.
*As of Thursday 28th July. Will be updated as necessary.
Ramsay Street For Sale
No. 24 Ramsay Street aka Harold and Madge’s old place, is currently owned by Chloe (works at Lassiters, bisexual, her brother Aaron is married to Paul Robinson’s son David Tanaka, her other brother Mark is married to Paige who lives in Adelaide but has flown back to develop her real estate career by selling one property in Ramsay Street, which later turns out to be five properties on Ramsay Street). Chloe recently flew to Sydney on a whim to declare her love for ex-squeeze Elly, who was still figuring out her sexuality and knocked Chloe back. Hurt, Elly decided she wants a fresh start and so put No. 24 on the market. Her lodgers Freya, Mackenzie and Kiri now need somewhere to live.
Chloe’s ‘fresh start’ idea spreads around Ramsay Street like a rash and soon, it’s not only No. 24 for sale. Everybody but Karl and Susan Kennedy decides to sell up and start afresh. Who will the new buyers be?
Paul’s Big Move
In need of money, Lassiters owner/bigshot Paul Robinson (OG 1980s character, capitalism on legs, in real life released this single) was approached by Shane Ramsay (another OG 1980s character, trained to be an Olympic swimmer, has recently come into a cryptocurrency fortune) about starting a partnership. On the advice of Paul’s ex Jane (almost OG 80s character, of Plain Jane Superbrain fame, more on her later) and others, Shane decided he didn’t want Paul as a business partner but instead intended to buy and run the hotel complex solo. By insisting on betting the future of the hotel on a card game, Shane called back to a founding event in Neighbours lore, when his great-grandfather Jack Ramsay played a game of blackjack with Paul Robinson’s great-grandfather Sam to determine whose family the street would be named after.
Paul then got on a Zoom call with his ex-pat grown-up children (hello cameos!) who live in New York as does his little sister Lucy Robinson (went temporarily blind as a child, hotelier, mother of Annie who was fathered by her gay pal Chris) and Chris Pappas (Lucy’s aforementioned gay pal, who started out in 2009 as an Erinsborough High pupil). Paul’s kids told him to sell up and move out there to be with them. David and Aaron, and David’s twin brother Leo also decide to sell up, make the move and go with Paul. But, there’s Terese to think about…
Paul and Terese: Unfinished Business
First things first: Paul’s estranged wife Terese is played by Rebekah Elmaloglou aka Sophie from Home & Away 1990- 1993! Now that’s established, Terese (bereaved mother, recovering alcoholic, moneyed) is currently with Paul’s half-brother Glen Donnelly (pictured above, illegitimate son of Jim Robinson, half-sibling of Paul, Lucy and Scott Robinson, and until-recently estranged father of Kiri, who’s dating Nicolette, daughter of Jane – more on her later). Kiri grew up in the bush in a place called River Bend which her parents are selling. Terese is on the verge of buying and developing the land there with Glen and Kiri.
However, Terese and Paul are clearly not over one another. She was touched when Shane told her that Paul made it a strict condition of the sale of Lassiters that he could never remove the memorial plaque erected there to her son Josh, who died there. He was touched when Shane told him that Terese had encouraged the partnership in an attempt to help Paul. In packing up their respective homes, Terese accidentally discovered some love letters Paul had written to her in the past, and then raged at a jealous Glen when she discovered him poised to throw out Jim Robinson’s ‘Compendium’ (Paul’s lucky charm). Would Paul just hurt Terese again, or could those two crazy kids work it out?
Toadie and Mel’s Wedding Bells
Remember Melanie Pearson (almost OG 80s character, kooky dress sense, statement laugh, dated Henry Ramsay but married – and later divorced off-screen – Joe Mangel)? She’s back and engaged to her former boss Jared ‘Toadfish’ Rebecchi (90s character, former ponytailed rascal, now a lawyer and pillar of the community). The wedding is imminent, but there’s a spanner in the works. Toadie’s long-time pal Amy (90s character, now runs a drinks van with Mel and is trying to buy the services of an anonymous sperm donor to conceive her fourth child solo) confessed her love for him. Amy was also catering the wedding and making Mel’s dress and has now done a runner to Cairns, so there’s that to worry about. After the wedding, Toadie and Mel plan to sell up to make a fresh start.
Toadie assures Mel that Amy’s feelings aren’t reciprocated but hang on, maybe they are. And maybe Joe Mangel is on his way back to Erinsborough to boot…
Mal Kennedy is Dating His Dad’s Ex
If you weren’t around in 2003 when Izzy Hoyland (former Coffee Shop and Scarlet Bar manager, ex of the Paul Robinson parish, schemer, recovering addict and good-time girl) was introduced, you won’t know that she once tricked Karl Kennedy into thinking she was pregnant with his child, a pregnancy she then sadly lost, and then later drugged Karl Kennedy into thinking she was Susan, had sex with him and became pregnant with daughter Holly (a baby Karl delivered on a ship in the middle of his second wedding to Susan).
Now Izzy’s back from London! And she’s brought Karl and Susan’s son Mal (90s character, former handyman, brother to Billy and Libby) with her, and is planning to buy No. 24 Ramsay Street with him. Izzy’s head is turned by newly wealthy Shane Ramsay, who’s been flashing the cash to impress her. She impresses him with her creative vision for the new precinct he’s planning to buy from Paul, and they end up kissing in his new car (which he’s thinking of calling ‘Bouncer’) – but are spotted by Kyle! Will he squeal? (Yes he will, it was in the Next Episode preview.)
Plain Jane Superbrain, Clive (and Mike)
Hands up if you remember Jane Harris (80s character, Mrs Mangel’s granddaughter, bookish, went out with Mike)? She’s back too, was acting principal at Erinsborough High, and has two grown-up children with ex-husband Victor : Byron (trainee lawyer turned gigolo) and Nicolette (dating Kiri, surrogate mother to David and Aaron’s baby daughter). In her youth, Jane dated Mike and then Mike’s foster dad Des, whom she married briefly after returning to the soap in 2015. She also had a thing with Paul Robinson (who hasn’t?) and until recently was with Clive Gibbons (80s character, former Gorillagram and ex-doctor, current hospital boss), whom she suspected of cheating on her with one of his former patients/squeezes. Clive wasn’t, but he was tempted, and his ex Sheila is still making a play for him. With Des Clarke and a certain someone else (Mike. It’s Mike) coming back for the finale, how will that affect Jane and Clive’s chances?
And Finally, the History Book
This is a very neat idea by the Neighbours writers. Years ago, Harold Bishop painstakingly put together a ‘History of Ramsay Street’ book, which was unfortunately destroyed. Now, nurse Freya, her boyf Levi, and pal Mackenzie (the show’s first transgender character, played by Georgie Stone. Mackenzie is grieving the loss of her husband Hendrix, who died following complications after a lung transplant) are recompiling the book. They’re going around the residents getting personal anecdotes, which, more often than not, come with clips of times gone by (in addition to the flurry of returnees this week including a now very pregnant Roxy and Kyle, fresh from Darwin, and Toadie’s old mate Joel). They’ve set up a FB page which is receiving comments from former characters, “Rachel Kinski. Brett Stark. Rick Alessi. Bronwyn Davies… It’s amazing how many of them moved to Queensland,” deadpans Freya. Messages also flood in from Eddie Buckingham, Annalise Hartman, Lisa Elliot, whom Harold doesn’t even remember. Harold is delighted to be asked to write the first entry in the book, which he insists will be about the love of his life. “Everything must start and finish with Madge.” Quite right too.
The Neighbours finale airs on Friday the 29th of July on Channel 5 and My5 in the UK, and on Thursday the 28th of July on 10 and 10 Peach in Australia.