Neighbours Spoilers – Harold’s return is tinged with sadness

Next week on Neighbours, Harold Bishop makes a permanent return to Erinsborough, but why is his return tinged with sadness?

A few weeks ago, we learnt that Harold had bought an apartment in Terese’s (Rebekah Elmaloglou) nearly complete Eirene Rising development, and would be making a permanent return to Erinsborough for the first time in 15 years.

Harold Bishop was a mainstay on Ramsay Street from 1987 until 1991, when he was swept out to sea after the character was written out.

He returned in 1996 where we learnt that he’d been rescued by a sea trawler and taken to Tasmania. He had suffered amnesia, and, with no memories of his past life, had begun a new life under the name of Ted.

He remained in Erinsborough until 2009, but has returned on several occasions since – first in 2011, then in 2015, before his more recent returns in 2022 and 2023.

Harold was temporarily staying with Karl (Alan Fletcher) and Susan (Jackie Woodburne) when Neighbours returned to our screens last September, but soon departed on a train trip across Australia, before returning to his home near daughter Sky and her wife Lana.

Now, he’s sold up and next Tuesday 28th May sees him make his permanent return to Erinsborough, on the eve of Eirene Rising’s grand opening.

Terese and Toadie (Ryan Moloney) host a welcome dinner, and as Harold sits down alongside Karl, Susan, Jane (Annie Jones) and Nell (Ayisha Salem-Towner), he’s reminded of how loved he is by the community.

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

The following morning, Harold moves into his studio apartment, and a familiar sense of normality returns to the suburb as he unpacks his belongings, including his trusty tuba.

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

Yet as the official opening gets underway outside, Harold is struck by an unexpected feeling of emotion.

Jane Zhang / Amazon Freevee

Susan and Toadie worry that he’s grappling with having to face up to the next stage of his life, losing some of his independence by moving into a retirement home, but the real reason behind his sadness is much more sentimental.

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

Harold admits that being back among friends in Erinsborough is reminding him of his beloved late wife Madge.

Will Harold find a way to navigate returning to the suburb where he spent so many happy years with Madge?

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

Madge passed away in 2001, leaving Harold heartbroken. He did find love again, marrying Carolyn (Paula Duncan) in 2011, but upon his 2015 return, he revealed that he and Carolyn had since separated.

Despite having somewhat briefly found love again, Harold has always struggled to get over the death of Madge (Anne Charleston), and her memory has been a recurring theme in Harold’s many returns to Neighbours.

In his 2022 return, he comforted Mackenzie (Georgie Stone) after the untimely death of her husband Hendrix (Ben Turland).

When Mackenzie feared that she would eventually forget Hendrix, Harold told her that while the pain would eventually ease, the memories would never disappear, and that he could still hear Madge’s voice when he closed his eyes.

On a previous visit in 2015, during the Erinsborough Festival, Harold was confronted by memories of Madge everywhere he turned. He eventually began hearing her voice, which caused him to crash his camper van after he lost control of it.

A vision of Madge then appeared next to him in the passenger seat, and later as he was being checked over in hospital, and Harold enjoyed filling his late wife in on the events of the past 14 years.

Harold isn’t the only former Ramsay Street resident set to move into Eirene Rising in the coming weeks.

Jane Zhang / Amazon Freevee

In next Monday’s episode, Terese is delighted when she learns that another apartment has been sold, until she discovers that it’s been bought by Paul’s (Stefan Dennis) cousin Hilary (Anne Scott-Pendlebury).

Terese sought feedback from Erinsborough High’s former librarian Hilary Robinson back in September, when the idea of combining her retirement complex with the existing school site was still in its infancy.

Despite hoping for Hilary’s approval back then, Terese isn’t happy that a relative of Paul’s is moving into her newly completed development, believing that it’s just another way for her ex-husband to stay relevant in her life.

Terese chews Paul out in front of Hilary, but is left embarrassed when she learns that the purchase was all Hilary’s decision – Paul knew nothing about it until after it was a done deal!

Terese is forced to apologise to Paul for her mistake, and the pair share a strained farewell as Paul departs for New York.

And while Harold and Hilary’s returns are now confirmed, they may not be the only old faces returning to Erinsborough as part of the Eirene Rising storyline.

Earlier this year, Executive Producer Jason Herberson told TV Tonight that the development could be a way of bringing back some “older cast members from yesteryear.”

“I love creating new workplaces and this one has the potential to fold in several members of the street,” he explained.

“It’s also been an ambition of mine to find an organic way to reintroduce some older cast members from yesteryear who I believe still have so much to offer.”

Harold’s return airs Tuesday 28th May.

New episodes of Neighbours air Monday–Thursday on Network 10 and 10 Peach in Australia, and on Amazon Freevee in the UK.

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Here are the Neighbours spoilers for the next two weeks:

Monday 20th May (Episode 9044 / 141)

A mistake puts Abigail’s life at risk.

Karl’s last day doesn’t go to plan.

Toadie crosses a boundary.

Tuesday 21st May (Episode 9045 / 142)

Karl is twice surprised.

Toadie confronts an uncomfortable truth.

A surprise visitor challenges Mackenzie.

Jane Zhang / Amazon Freevee

Wednesday 22nd May (Episode 9046 / 143)

Mackenzie works through her feelings for Haz.

Karl’s determined to clear his name of dirty business.

Sadie struggles under the burden of Vic’s secret.

Thursday 23rd May (Episode 9047 / 144)

Nicolette and Byron digest some shocking news.

Mackenzie is worried about her uncertain future.

Cara attempts to get JJ a job.

Monday 27th May (Episode 9048 / 145)

JJ and Nell are stuck in teen misery.

Byron struggles with his conflicting emotions.

Terese finds herself on the wrong end of an assumption.

Tuesday 28th May (Episode 9049 / 146)

A local celebrity makes their return.

Ray Messner / Amazon Freevee

Karl and Aaron make an unpleasant discovery.

A liquid threat looms large.

Wednesday 29th May (Episode 9050 / 147)

The residents of Erinsborough rally together after a tragic event.

Susan issues an ultimatum.

Vic bonds with his children.

Thursday 30th May (Episode 9051 / 148)

Susan and Terese give voice to their concerns.

The Share House deals with an awkward dynamic.

Vic’s meddling backfires.

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