Secrets coming to the surface is only half the fun on soaps.
While it’s exciting to finally learn the truth, the best part is how it impacts our favorite characters. It feels pointless if the characters walk away unscathed after an explosive plot.
Fortunately, Neighbours during the week of 11-20-23 didn’t make that mistake. This Thanksgiving Day, American fans can be grateful for a tense, exciting week that included fallout all over Erinsborough.
Unsurprisingly, Toadie’s family struggled the most after learning what Melanie had done.
Although Melanie’s in jail for the time being, that didn’t stop Nell from hoping that everything would return to how it used to be before Melanie took off. Nell’s teenage angst could turn into a tired soap trope if it’s not handled correctly, but for now, it makes sense.
Nell is only fourteen years old, and in the last few years, she’s suffered the double heartbreak of her mother’s death and her stepmother’s disappearance and claim that she didn’t want anything to do with raising Nell.
So, for her, the news that Melanie didn’t reject her is the most crucial bit of the story — she cares about that a lot more than she does that Melanie is accused of manslaughter (or was, until Krista turned up alive.)
When Terese confidently stated that Nell wouldn’t sneak off to prison to visit Melanie without permission, I couldn’t help thinking of when Days of Our Lives‘ Rachel did precisely that. Fortunately, Neighbours handles such scenarios a bit more realistically.
Melanie seemed to be able to receive whatever visitors she wanted whenever she wanted them, but at least guards were watching the visitor’s room. (Though I’m still confused about why Reece visited her with glass in between them and no one else did!)
Instead of Toadie and Nell butting heads endlessly, Toadie talked with Jane and Susan about what to do, which was a refreshing change from how American soaps handle such things. My favorite part was when he asked Terese what she thought instead of making a unilateral decision.
Toadie: I don’t want anything to do with Melanie.
Susan: I understand that, but as parents, it’s not about us. It’s about what’s best for Nell.
Most fans hope that Toadie will eventually end up back with Melanie and that Terese reconciles with Paul, but I’d rather Toadie and Terese stay together.
They’re co-parenting Nell and Hugo through a difficult situation, have excellent communication, and find ways to have fun together despite the high drama of the situation.
To me, they’re a solid couple that deserves a real chance. Besides, Terese has gone in enough circles with Paul to last several lifetimes.
Will Melanie get out of jail now that Krista’s turned up alive?
She didn’t commit manslaughter, but she did agree to keep quiet about the crime she thought occurred. I’m not sure if that’s a criminal offense in Australia, but even if it’s not, there’s the matter of the warrant for her arrest in the UK.
Of course, that happened a long time ago — Krista is far older than sixteen now — so the clock might have run out on prosecuting her for that.
Storywise, Melanie should be free. Nell’s already convinced that she can put her fractured family back together, and her opportunities for doing so — and Melanie’s for causing trouble between Terese and Toadie, too — are severely limited if Melanie’s behind bars.
Plus, it doesn’t sit well with me that Paul got out on bail while Melanie is stuck in prison.
Ultimately, Melanie cared about Krista despite pushing her into the pool, which might count for a lot.
On the other hand, Paul is so insensitive that he’s happy Reece’s father having a stroke means Reece has to leave Erinsborough.
I’m sure he was sincere about knowing what it’s like to lose a parent because of Jim’s untimely death, but his private comments about it being good news were still awful.
Paul is often one of those baddies people love (or love to hate) but would never hang out with in real life. But his remarks about Conrad’s stroke being good news were a step too far for me.
Reece put him in his place before she left. If Paul thought that Krista turning up alive would erase his legal woes, he was sorely mistaken. Reece will probably push for him to face some consequences despite this turn of events, even if she does it off-screen.
Krista’s reappearance was meant to be shocking (the official Neighbours social media called it a bombshell!), but many viewers had expected it.
Krista disappeared in the two minutes between Melanie running into the penthouse and Paul going up to deal with the problem. Eden didn’t seem tired from the exertion of dragging a body somewhere.
Were you surprised that Krista turned up alive?
Still, I’m glad it wasn’t dragged out too long. Reece only had to grieve someone who wasn’t dead for one episode.
When she couldn’t get ahold of her father, I thought he wrote her off because she failed to find Krista alive and hadn’t read her later message. But when the recap reminded me that Tess had said Conrad was in poor health, I guessed correctly that he had ended up in the hospital.
Reece’s ending allows her to return to Erinsborough later, perhaps to support Krista or testify if Eden or Paul ends up on trial. But what’s happening with her and Byron now?
Byron plans to have a long-distance relationship and to join her in the States later, but will that happen?
Krista’s a wild card who might decide she wants Byron for herself, or he may grow sick of waiting for someone who is on the other side of the world for an indefinite period.
Helping care for Krista until she’s settled may be more complicated than he thinks. No one said she’d agree to rehab; Reece decided that was the next step without consulting her.
She’s also clearly emotionally fragile and, like many people with an addiction, can manipulate others easily. Of course, Nicolette is far from straightforward, so he may be used to dealing with a schemer.
But something tells me he’s bitten off more than he can chew here, and it’ll be fascinating to find out how this develops!
David’s story so far consists of hating Paul and wanting to go home, while the rest of his family would prefer to stay in Erinsborough. But what, if anything, will come of his treating Cara’s hand?
Aaron: You didn’t tell her?
David: I didn’t see a reason to tell a complete stranger that I was deregistered for medical malpractice.
David lost his medical license when he allowed Gareth to die after Gareth attacked Aaron. But is there any chance he could get it back?
There has to be more to this incident than David helping Cara with a cut. He’s already on thin ice with his probation because he listened to Paul about covering up Krista’s alleged death.
But the advice he gave Cara was little more than what anyone with a first aid kit and a basic knowledge of cuts would provide, so is it grounds for legal problems?
Finally, Holly and Haz went an unusual route. This story barely qualifies as a twisted love triangle.
Mackenzie chose to let Haz go and give Holly her blessing to pursue him, and Holly was perfectly willing to back off for the sake of their friendship.
It was refreshing for two women to talk honestly about the man they both like instead of being at each others’ throats. But is Mackenzie capable of letting go of her jealousy as things progress?
She’s right that she can’t reserve a man while not ready to date, but that doesn’t mean she can switch her feelings for Haz off, either.
Still, I was surprised Haz went for Holly. He had never displayed any interest in her advances before, so I was fully expecting this to be a drunken one-night stand that he regretted later.
What about you, Neighbours fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button to describe this week’s episodes.
Don’t forget to check back over the weekend for the latest Neighbours spoilers.
Neighbours streams on Amazon Freevee. New episodes drop on Mondays through Thursdays.