If Harold's story proves one thing, it's that he's right about life being too short.
Susan and Karl spent most of Neighbours during the week of 9-25-23 shutting each other out after a huge argument, only putting it aside to confront their houseguest about his memory issues.
But when they finally talked, it was the kind of honest conversation that more soap couples need to engage in, and it opened a compelling new story for Susan and the couple.
Karl and Susan finally talked after Harold went to lie down following the testing he underwent at the hospital. Susan's admission that she must find some new purpose was so relatable.
Susan: I realize this is all about me. I have to work out what I want to do next. You know, I'm always telling Holly she has so much potential, and I've been saying the exact same thing to Wendy.
Karl: Well, you know, a lot of people look up to you.
Susan: Well, I still have potential. I still have something to give. I've just got to figure out what it is.
It was a far cry from the accusations she threw at Karl only a week before. This is the Susan I know and love, a pillar of the community and generally the more mature one in her relationship.
I'm curious as to what new purpose Susan will embrace now. Her jewelry addiction storyline got somewhat shorted—it was mainly a plot point to create tension between her and Karl and make her think about what she is doing with her post-retirement life—but now it'll be exciting to find out what she gets up to next.
Susan is often encouraging young people to be their best selves. That was one of her strengths as a high school principal and what she was trying to do for Holly. Could she perhaps find fulfillment as some kind of counselor?
One of the ways Neighbours is different from American soaps such as Days of Our Lives is the faster pace; Susan and Karl took a few days to go from anger to silent tension to working things out, leading to this next storyline in which Susan searches for a new purpose.
But while this story is zooming ahead, it doesn't feel rushed, although I would have liked a deeper exploration of the addictive aspect of Susan's online shopping sprees.
The Kennedys also are dealing with Harold's medical issues, which will be one of the most moving storylines in recent Neighbours history.
Harold is an iconic character who has been a beloved part of the Ramsay Street community for a long time, so it's heartbreaking to think he may have an irreversible disease that could rob him of all his memories.
I was disappointed that his testing was off-screen, but the rest of this story has been perfect.
Harold's disorientation on the street and his arrival at the wrong house were emotional scenes that reminded me again of Rebecca's decline on This Is Us. In addition, he had just left Toadie's home, so it seemed strange he was looking for him again.
But the most heartbreaking aspect of this story so far was when Susan and Karl confronted Harold, and he admitted that he was aware of the problem but was hoping no one else would notice.
Susan: We've been noticing you've been having some problems with your memory.
Harold: I was hoping nobody else would see it.
Harold's not yet ready to face a possibly devastating diagnosis. The Kennedys agreed not to tell his family for now, but they probably won't be able to keep that promise.
Harold's tests might lead to a definite diagnosis, and his family will need to know as he declines.
Meanwhile, Toadie and his kids moved in with Terese.
I'm a sucker for any Sonya mentions. I'm still upset about her death half a decade later, and I loved that Toadie remembered her voice as he was leaving his home and that Nell put up photos of her.
I'm not a big fan of the Nell reveal, though. Nell was always a sweet little girl, so I'm not thrilled with this change in her character. In addition, it doesn't quite make sense.
Melanie was Toadie's next great love after Sonya's death, so it would be more logical for Nell to have hated Melanie and secretly driven her off, especially since Melanie's supposed reason was that she didn't feel up to the task of being a stepmum to the kids.
In addition, are we supposed to forget that Nell has known Terese most of her life? Sonya and Terese supported each other's recovery from alcoholism. They worked together on an International Women's Day project, but the dialogue between Terese and Nell was written as if Terese was a stranger to Nell.
I'm also not sure why Toadie was obsessing over the discovery of Melanie's striped pig. There was an easy fix: send it back to her with a note saying he found it, and then it's out of his sight.
It doesn't bode well for his marriage to Terese that he is still half grieving Melanie's disappearance. I know jumping into a new relationship too early is a soap opera trope, but come on!
Toadie has kids to think of, and if Nell is right that this was nothing but a rebound, that's not good for anyone.
Terese's decision not to tell him what Nell had done will surely return to bite her. Nell may pretend to make peace with her, but she surely hasn't given up on breaking Terese and Toadie up. Plus, Terese keeping secrets from Toadie about his children's behavior isn't a good idea.
Over in the UK, what's going on with Jane?
Mike: I reckon the first leg should be straight to Cardiff, and we can stay overnight there.
Mike: In Wales.
Jane: Sandra Stirrer.
Jane: Vic had an affair with Sandra Stirrer and I caught them in the carpark of Cardiff Castle.
Mike: Carpark. Cardiff Castle. Alright, we don't have to go there. I mean, we could go straight to Swansea, I'm sure. Granddad wouldn't mind.
Jane: Winnie Winslet.
Mike: Winnie Winslet?
Jane: Mm hmm. That's who Vic moved onto after Sandra.
Mike: Wow, he really worked his way along the coastline, didn't he?
This is probably leading up to the end of Jane and Mike's relationship since movie star Guy Pearce is not staying long-term.
But right now, it's odd. Nobody should be as tired as Jane keeps getting unless they're ill, and her vetoing of every one of Mike's travel plans was ridiculous.
Jane didn't seem thrilled about a five- to six-hour bike ride. Are she and Mike in different places in their lives, figuratively and literally, or is something else wrong?
In Erinsborough, Paul's attempt to impress Reece was the silliest story of the week.
His plan to distract her so that Holly could secretly set up the room for the cocktail hour was so obvious that it wasn't worthy of him, and Byron isn't being subtle in his resistance to wooing Reece, either.
But Reece might have been impressed with someone else: Holly.
She wasn't happy that Holly hid behind a table or that Paul engaged her services without running it by her. But now that she's experienced what Holly can do when she puts her mind to it, she may consider rehiring her.
JJ's plan was also poorly thought out, but he's a teenager, so he gets some slack.
Why is he bothering Andrew about becoming a cop when he has no interest? And he got defensive when Dex asked what he was up to with that book.
Many viewers have speculated that JJ is related to the Rodwells. He was likely conceived via a sperm donor since he's the child of a gay couple, so Andrew may be that donor.
Better that than Paul, who has far too many surprise children as it is. But how does pretending to want to be a cop help JJ's search for information?
In any case, I doubt the family is leaving Erinsborough after their holiday, no matter what they say. Either they'll build a house here or stay for another reason.
The idea of them having to run because Cara is a whistleblower is compelling, and with the multiple references to the Linwell brothers, it seems likely they will turn up at some point and cause trouble.
Finally, will Mackenzie and Haz's "romance" end in heartbreak?
Sadie's been pushing for them to date, only to back off when she learned Haz is taking another girl out. She had plenty of opportunities to tell Mackenzie what she knew but didn't.
She didn't want to hurt Mackenzie's feelings, but leaving that info out only left Mackenzie bewildered. And if Haz gets serious with this other girl, it'll be devastating for Mackenzie. That could have been avoided by Sadie telling the truth.
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Neighbours streams on Amazon Freevee on Mondays through Thursdays in the US and UK and on Amazon Prime in Canada after broadcast on Australia's Peach 10.