Ned and Harlow are lost in the wilderness after a calamity strikes River Bend in next week’s Neighbours, and their time together leads to an unforeseen bond.
Harlow (Jemma Donovan) and Ned (Ben Hall) haven’t had much luck with love in recent years.
Ned’s crush on his father’s new girlfriend, Lauren (Kate Kendall), didn’t help matters when he fell for her quickly after arriving in Erinsborough.
He briefly dated Elly (Jodi Anasta) after getting over that possibly disastrous crush before traveling to the Gold Coast to open a tattoo business. He kept it in the family when he returned a year later and began dating Elly’s half-sister, Bea (Bonnie Anderson).
Given Finn Kelly’s (Rob Mills) lethal fixation with both women, neither relationship panned out, which is probably for the best.
Thankfully, he found love with Yashvi (Olivia Junkeer), and the two had a nice time together once they got past their age gap.
However, they had various issues along the road, many of which were caused by Scarlett Brady (Christie Whelan Browne), Ned’s stalker, and it took a sham wedding to get Scarlett off their backs for good.
Despite surviving stalkers and Yashvi’s disapproving father Shane (Nicholas Coghlan), their relationship had plenty of flaws, and Ned eventually realized he and Yashvi weren’t the perfect fit.
Ned discovered someone with whom he shared a love of art and all things artistic when the second Sheila Canning (Shareena Clanton) arrived. Soon after, it became evident that his and Yashvi’s relationship was impeding their ability to be happy together, and they agreed to call it quits.
Amy (Jacinta Stapleton) was a promising fling until she developed feelings for Levi (Richie Morris).
Rather than forcing Amy to choose between him and one of his closest friends, Ned proposed that the three of them form a polyamorous relationship, in which Amy dated both guys at the same time while remaining exclusive.
It started out well, but Levi quickly became frustrated with the fact that he could only date Amy while she could date two people at the same time.
When Amy’s daughter, Zara (Freya Van Dyke), came, Amy suggested that the trio put their relationship on hold so she could spend time with her daughter.
Levi thought it was time to call it quits on their relationship, while Ned chose to put it on hold… But as the weeks passed and Amy’s life spiraled out of control due to Zara’s homecoming and the Flamingo Bar incident, there was no end in sight to their extended vacation.
Harlow’s love life has also been a disaster.
She dated Hendrix (Ben Turland), but was consistently disappointed by his poor judgment. Giving his father, Pierce (Tim Robards / Don Hany), ADHD medicine that caused him to collapse was a foolish choice, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back when Hendrix nearly got himself killed by falling in with Kane and his dubious blackjack games (Barry Conrad).
She made the natural progression to dating Brent (Texas Watterston), a boy with a squeaky clean record of good decisions, who would never dream of getting up to no good… ?
Toadie negotiated a deal with Brent to join the instead of going to jail for theft school equipment kept at The Hive, and he departed Erinsborough, leaving Harlow heartbroken.
Brent reappeared after a while, but Harlow had changed – she was viciously attempting to undermine Chloe (April Rose Pengilly) in order to secure a more senior position at Lassiter’s, and she seemed emotionless. After the events of the previous few years, she was diagnosed with compassion fatigue, but Brent had already passed away.
This week, the Ramsay Street inhabitants travel to River Bend, a picturesque vacation spot where Glen (Richard Huggett) has won a trip.
Glen doesn’t want to go alone, and Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) doesn’t seem to want a romantic weekend away with her potential suitor, so he gathers a motley crew of friends and acquaintances to accompany him: Aaron (Matt Wilson), Levi, Freya (Phoebe Roberts), Nicolette (Charlotte Chimes), and, of course, Ned and Harlow.
It’s been a week of turmoil, as Freya’s alleged ex-boyfriend Gareth shows up, shoots Levi, kidnaps Freya, and abandons Aaron. Yikes. More on the River Bend saga can be found here.
The search for Freya Wozniak’s ex Gareth continues in the days leading up to the trip away. When Levi receives yet another lead, the two amateur detectives seize the opportunity and go on a stakeout to a trailer park to see if they can locate Gareth.
When they’re found snooping, they have to pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend to avoid getting discovered.
The housemates, who have both lived at No. 22 for years thanks to Terese’s seemingly endless generosity towards her ex-husbands’ children and grandchildren, have been spending a lot of time together recently, and it appears their brief stint as make-believe boyfriend and girlfriend has left a lasting impression.
When gunshots reverberate across River Bend, the two know it must be related to Gareth and Freya.
However, as they travel in quest of the event, they become disoriented. The couple is delayed at River Bend as the rest of the congregation makes their way back to Erinsborough.
Even if they don’t know where their buddies are, they’re at least in excellent company.
They’re forced to huddle together until aid arrives as the hours pass, and they quickly find themselves getting along better and better.
They come upon a waterfall, sit down and take in the beauty while waiting for the rescue party.
Then, as their relationship becomes tenser, they surprise each other with a kiss!
How far will they go alone and with no end in sight?
After hearing about what happened in the bush, Amy is keen to speak with Ned back in Erinsborough. Panic sets in when she realizes that Ned and Harlow are the only ones who haven’t returned.
She’s realized how much she still cares for Ned and how much she wants to rekindle their relationship as a result of the fright. Zara recently provided her approval for them to rekindle their romance, and she now feels ready.
However, it appears that Amy isn’t on Ned’s mind as he and Harlow get heated near the waterfall!
Amy is desperate to find Ned and tell him how she feels, so she enlists the help of Toadie (Ryan Moloney) in the hunt. They return to River Bend and start searching the huge woods.
Will they be able to locate Harlow and Ned before the sun goes down?
Thankfully, the couple is apprehended and returned to the relative safety of Ramsay Street.
Amy confesses her affections to a befuddled Ned, but he doesn’t say yes right away – he needs time to ponder – and she’s forced to wait a long time for an answer, unaware that he’s just kissed someone else.
His surprise tryst with Harlow is weighing heavily on him – there’s significantly less stress with Harlow: she doesn’t have a disobedient child to deal with, she doesn’t have a checkered history with Levi; she just wants a new start with someone fun.
Kyle (Chris Milligan), who can’t believe what he’s hearing, confides in him. Suddenly, everyone on Ramsay Street wants to speak up – Zara defends her mother, while Harlow becomes emotionally tied to Ned and tells him that he deserves more.
He and Amy finally share their own kiss… But it isn’t enough, and Ned is still undecided about whether or not he wants to remain with her.
Will a beautiful romantic surprise from Amy be enough to rekindle his feelings, or has his kiss with Harlow put a stop to any hope of him and Amy reuniting?