Hello everyone! It's been a while since I did an actual personal update-y post on here, so I thought I'd write a blog entry to let you all know how things are going in the land of Von Trapps, Dirndls, and, most surprisingly, the Austrian national cricket team. (...Not that I expected the Austrian national cricket team to be anywhere else, I'm just shocked to find out there is one at all. Though tbh, from the squad list on Wikipedia it does seem that most of their players are of Subcontinental heritage...not that that matters.)
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My new favourite team. One can never be too overly literal, imo.

In seriousness, I've had a smashing time so far. I don't know whether it's an Austrian vs British thing or a small town vs larger city thing, but people here are so friendly and generous. And mostly very patient, even when they have to say things at me twelve times and I still don't understand. Shops continue to be a bit confusing to me, took me a while to realise the question that the checkout people were asking me every time in Billa was whether I have a clubcard or not.
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I do have one now. And, yes, that does say "BA Morag Brenan". The British one on the right you will notice does not give the same respect to my academic successes.
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Though as I managed to get a railcard as Herr Morag Brenan, perhaps I don't deserve to keep my BA #oops

In non-clubcard news (...what, that's not thrilling enough for you?), I went to the Wiesenmarkt in St Veit. Here I am on the ferris wheel.
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That's Cate with me on the left, and John's nose with me on the right. I met them at the Language Assistant induction course thing in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. The Wiesenmarkt is like a fair really, with candy floss, and dodgems, and beer.
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That's the view of it from the top of the ferris wheel, or at least as good a picture as I could take when it was all tippy and stuff.
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We went on this very spinny ride, and nearly threw up all the Kärntner Kasnudeln we had eaten on to the poor people below. Thankfully vomiting was averted. Also, I saw a girl who was about 7 or 8 years old wearing t-shirt that had a giant pair of lips on it and the English words "you won't be the first, but you can be the next" which was...awkward. Speaking of awkward things for children:
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Ass games!
And speaking of other awkward things for English speakers:
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I think if we're stuck on a broken train we just have to wait for an Austrian sort everything out. Because by the time we're finished working out what that sign is trying to tell us to do, we're going to have perished in an on-board fire or something.

Working at the school is interesting, because it's two schools in one building, but with completely separate staff and classes. I'm still not fully clear why...I mean, people have explained it to me, and I understand the reasons, it's just the reasons themselves are weird to me, but it's probably just because it's very different to the English school system I'm used to. They have no uniforms (...I think they should, but only for the self-interested reason that it might stop me getting mistaken for a student and thrown out of the staff room in the HAK, lol), and even the classes that the teachers say "oh, they're not very well-behaved" about are so much better behaved than any of the classes in my highschool. It's cute the way they address their teachers so respectfully too, like "Mrs X" or "Frau Professor (X)", rather than just bellowing "Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss!" (or "Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiir!", but I don't work with any male English teachers here) at them (though after age 16 we called teachers at my school by first names, not surnames).

I live about 20 minutes walk from the school, in a studio/garconnaire/whatever you want to call it. It's nice, and the landlord is lovely and helpful. My neighbour is nice too, she does my washing because I don't have a washing machine. But she's 70, and quite...blunt ("you're very fat for a vegetarian"), doesn't speak much English and talks a lot about Klaus her friend who is not her boyfriend but she looks after and apparently he drinks too much and he hit someone over the head with a bottle (?!). Who knows, I lose track. I have also found that, unlike in Germany where if you're struggling to say something in German it's often helpful as a last resort to switch to Dutch, in Austria this does not work at allllll. (Maar wat kun je doen?)

The town where I am is quite isolated.
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Emphasis on the quite. But the views are nice:
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Okay, see now that's actually near Hinterglemm, not where I actually live at all, but I cba'd to go around taking more pictures of hills, you know?
Plus, there were cute bunnies there <33
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Anyway, I think that's actually all I have to say rn. Those of you who are regular readers may have noticed some omissions in this post, and I might do another one under f-lock with some gossip later. To those of you who are new readers, and are maybe only reading this because you have an English lesson on blogs, I say 'welcome!', and well done on getting all the way to the end, and I hope you will enjoy writing your own blog post, even though it is being done involuntarily.

Feel free to add me on Twitter or Facebook, and someone please let me know what people who are over the age of 15 but under the age of 50 do in Feldkirchen, because a social life is rather passing me by atm.

Ciao, etc.
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

In No Limits, Bella is fantasising abot her time with "sexy" Dr Jo. Olli tells her to calm down because her moaning is distracting the other patrons and he thought they'd talked about this last week, but Bella tells him her gasps were not ones of pleasure due to erotic daydreams, but simply ones of frustration now that she is unemployed and boyfriendless.
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It turns out Olli used to work a financial advisor, so he is able to give Bella his number one tip for those who newly have no secure source of income: Go out and buy yourself something pretty to cheer you up.
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Over they head to LCL, where Olli at least gets a staff discount, and he picks out a lovely yellow number for Bella. Now, obviously I'm not a fashion expert, but I was under the impression that if you have ginger hair, then yellow is second only to green in terms of "colours you might want to reconsider wearing". More importantly, I'm not sure that's exactly appropriate for interviews. Olli say she'll look sexy though, as if the moment earlier when he wrapped his arms around her from behind and started whispering in her ear hadn't been enough incestuous subtext for one episode.
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They get to chatting about Jo, and about how Bella hopes the dress will impress him (does he like girls dressed as a fire?), and it's amazing how destiny keeps bringing them together - first they met, they then shagged, then they found out they were related - she hasn't given up hope and actually her hand really hurts so maybe they should go to the hospital and see if there isn't a doctor there who can soothe her ills. (Incidentally, in Germany would you really go to hospital with a cut hand? Fairly sure if you turned up at a hospital in England with a non-bleeding, day old, uninfected wound which didn't require stitches, they'd tell you to go away and make an appointment with your regular doctor...actually, they wouldn't tell you to go away, they'd treat you, but they'd warn you not to come back again with something so trivial.)
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Bella's out of luck though, because instead of "sexy" Dr Jo, she gets lumbered with actually sexier in my opinion Dr OneEpisodeGuestRole.
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And boy is she belligerent about it. Jesus, gal! You're clogging up the health service with your unnecessary appointments just because you have a crush, and then you act like a spoilt brat when you don't get the right doctor? Grow the fuck up, or at least have some class. (Can't Bella just be killed off already? ...If you're thinking this is a very abrupt change of tone, I've always hated Bella. Just now that she's behaving terribly on the show I don't feel the need to suppress it and hide it from you guys any more.) It turns out Münchhausen's syndrome does pay off though.
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Jo, Jo, calling Doctor Jo, or actually, Bella wants Jo to call her this time, so she gives him her number.
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Meanwhile, Olli has bought them both ice-creams (...you're allowed ice-cream cones in German hospital waiting rooms?!).
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He asks how her hand is, and she's all "what hand? oh! right, yeah, they just put some cream on it, but more importantly, destiny brought me and Jo together again!"

At home, Olli is pissed off. He wanted to go out with Bella tonight, that was the whole point of buying her a sexy dress, but now Bella has decided to sit at home and wait by the phone all evening instead.
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Sascha is happy to listen, and provide little plot recaps for any viewer who has missed the past week or so of episodes. ("So, the doctor, that's Frank's half brother, right? Not Tim, who now lives with us and works at LCL, but the other one, who is slightly older and once had an affair with Frank's wife?")
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He is also grateful for his subscription to Radio Olli, when it's revealed to privileged listeners that Bella and Jo have already slept together.
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You weren't meant to tell him that.
Olli makes him promise not to tell Andi, which Sascha agrees to on the condition that Olli tells him all about his little crush on the doctor. Olli says he doesn't have one. Sascha says that Olli thought the doctor was sexy before. Olli says that the past is the past, and Sascha should know better than anyone that the moment Olli claims to be over someone that means he has absolutely zero feelings for them any more.
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Sascha isn't buying it though, and Olli tells him that his perceptions of sexiness are all screwed up at the moment because he hasn't got any in a while, and at this point he finds anyone who winks at him sexy. Sascha starts furiously winking (...I said winking), but unfortunately Olli has already got the idea to go out to the clubs on his own and see if he can't find something sexy there.

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In the other flat, Bella has got all dressed up, waiting for "sexy" Dr Jo to phone her so they can go out.
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And at the hospital, Jo gets asked for a drink by sexy Dr OneEp, but he stares at Bella's phone number and says he has other plans. So, obviously he's going to call her, and they're going to get together, and have lots of technically-not-inbred-but-still-tricky-to-put-on-a-family-tree babies. Show, you're so transparent about these things, we can all see it a mile off...
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Oh, wait, what's he doing in the gay club with Olli?
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Drinking at the gay club with Olli...
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Dancing at the gay club with Olli...
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Oh, even that, at the gay club with Olli...
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Unfortunately it cuts before they head off to the dark room. So, it turns out that Dr Jo likes classical music and hip hop, eats salad on Monday but steak on Tuesday, drinks beer and wine, and is also bisexual. Though of course so was Olli, once upon a time. ...Who's going to break it to Bella?
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today, Bella thinks it's not a good idea for her and Andi to work together any more, but Andi thinks it is a good idea and just because they've broken up doesn't mean they can't still be business partners.
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Bafflingly, Bella picks this moment to suddenly listen to Andi's opinions and desires about their future, so they agree to meet later.
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In No Limits, Olli tries to tell Andi what a terrible idea it all is, but they get interrupted by this lovely blonde thing.
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That's Lara, who has been recast since the old days, but you can see her and her former face in this video of Olli and Tom, she's the one in the blue coat. The other girl is Alexa - not evil Alexa Berg, but Tom's sister Alexa. Anyway, Lara used to go out with Christian - not Olli's Christian, but a different guy who used to live with Olli and Tom and became a popstar or something. She's Elisabeth's granddaughter - not Elisabeth von Lahnst- oh, wait, actually, yes, the Elisabeth is the same.
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In any case, Olli is pleased to see her, and also happy to help her in any way he can in her current endeavour to try and free Emilio from prison. (Brief summary of what's happened there: Evil Per Mertens is still trying to sleep with Emilio's wife Kim, so he has framed Emilio for an attempted hit-and-run, but Lara and Sascha know it wasn't him so are trying to help. I was vaguely tempted to recap that storyline because of Sascha, but I didn't because of Kim and the fact that I've completely gone off Per since he no longer spends half of his screen time sharing meaningful looks with Sebastian.)
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Bella turns up, ready to leave for work, and Andi introduces her to Lara as "Olli's sister who I used to go out with, but we only broke up the day before yesterday and I'm still totally in there, so don't make a move on her and if you see anyone else doing so let me know, because she's completely and truly mine" and Bella says "We might need to talk abou-" and Andi says "Quick, we need to get to work!" and they leave.

At work, Andi's lack of chill is so overwhelming that Bella decides to slice open her own hand just to distract him.
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Unfortunately, while that may be a fabulous tactic on Olli "Oh God, is someone injured? I'd better run away and fling myself into the pool at No Limits" Sabel, Andi seems to find it more of an aphrodisiac...
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Only Bella's quick reflexes protect her from being caught by his lips and turned into a frog. She tells him that this isn't working, and she wants out of their business.

Back in No Limits, Sascha echoes Olli's earlier words and tells Andi that some space from Bella will probably do him good. He also tells Andi to stop making everything difficult for Bella, and accept that the relationship is over, and start worrying about the business because his track record in that department is really terrible.
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Andi says that Sascha knows nothing about it because he has no girlfriend or business of his own, and actually Andi has only run two businesses into bankruptcy which is more than Sascha's ever had the chance to do.
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Then he goes upstairs to sulk.
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But Lara interrupts him. She tells him she knows how he feels, because he was the first guy she was seriously in love with and it broke her heart when he left her. Now, I don't want to be picky, but as I understood it, Lara's first love was Christian (not Olli's Christian, but...oh wait, I covered that already). Andi was completely in love with Lara, but she was happy with Christian, and then when she and Christian broke up, she left to live in Greece. Andi told her his feelings before she left, and they shared one kiss, but she left anyway. (Admittedly I haven't seen all the relevant episodes from this time, mostly just clips and occasional full eps - but the various online character histories I've found seem to agree with that more or less.) So it's a bit weird for this scene to have Andi apologising for how much he hurt her, and her telling him how long it took her to get over him, and that she left because of him. I mean, there's retcon, and there's just Find+Replacing one character's name with another for a whole segment of backstory. It's lazy, there are plenty of other people who have just gone through bad break-ups who could provide advice (...hey, how about his best friend Olli?). Anyway, probably no one else cares about this except me, but I thought I'd mention it. The long and the short of it is that Lara's advice helps Andi see things in a new, maturer light, and he goes and agrees to let Bella leave the company, and says maybe one day they could get a drink together to toast the end of the era. Then he comes back to replace his The Schuftis t-shirt with his old The Schufti one.
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Not really a flattering torso angle.
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Then he maturely tears up all his pictures of Bella and uses his hockey stick as an air-guitar. Baby steps.
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today, Bella is in bed with Andi.
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She tells him leaving was the biggest mistake of her life, she loves him, she wants to be with him, she wants him to accept her apology and take her back, and she'll let him do her in the arse if only he'll forgive her, and what's this, she's even willing to morph into a bottle of vodka...?
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Oh! It was all a dream.
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Sad Andi is sad, though at least he's probably warmer without Bella hogging all of the duvet.

Meanwhile, Olli is trying to find a new flatmate. They've decided it has to be a woman, so that Andi and Sascha can ogle her coming out of the shower, and Olli will get help with the cleaning (...!). Unfortunately, the effort is hindered by Sascha's hangover rendering him prostrate on the sofa...
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And Andi emerging to tell everyone exactly which of his bodily fluids he has managed to cover the bathroom in.
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Before trying to hit on the prospective candidate.
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For some reason she decides this might not be the flat for her after all, and runs away faster than Andi can say "It's only vomit! I didn't get poo anywhere!"
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Olli thinks maybe they should postpone the meetings with the other potential flatmates. But Sascha says he got specially dressed up all nice, and he ain't going to that trouble again.
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And Olli's all like "but you're dressed like a toddler...", and Sascha's like "you know, we could get one of my hot, fit, sexy friends from the boxing club to take over the room" and while Olli was daydreaming for a moment he organised all the interviews anyway.

Andi is tasked with handing out some flyers and buying some snacks, but unfortunately he gets very stressed when he meets Bella in No Limits. She's with a new mystery man who is having problems with his roof and wants her to get felt laid down in the loft
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Oh, wait, he is genuinely just a customer who wants her (and Andi's) help. Well. Easy mistake to make. And thanks to that, Andi is in a terrible mood for the interviews.
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First he has a go at this lovely florist who happens to be okay at DIY...
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Then he gets angry with this girl for liking football...
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And he objects to this poor gal's name of all things. Olli and Sascha realise they're wasting their time, so Olli decides to do something more productive with his mouth than trying to ask questions.
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And eventually they have no willing candidates left.
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Olli tells Andi it might do him good to go away for a few days, but Andi only gets as far as his bedroom before he gets distracted by looking mournfully at an old publicity shot of him and Bella. (...I genuinely don't understand why VL can't take some more natural photos of actors together when they're playing a couple. I mean, this one isn't as blatant as some of the Chrolli ones that were once on the wall, but still, if AWZ and HO can manage to set aside five minutes for the actors to take selfies together, why can't VL?)
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Thankfully, Olli and Sascha arrive to help cheer him up by reminding Andi that just because he and Bella aren't actually a couple any more, it doesn't mean they can't act coupley as fuck.
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Sascha also tries a more hands-on approach, because he and Andi "are friends". But Andi knows what Sascha does with his friends, and he isn't ready for that yet.
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So Sascha is reduced to lying on the bed on his own, sharing flirty glances with Olli.
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Somehow through all of this they decide to get a male flatmate instead of a female one.

They agree to have their Weekly Flatshare Greek Wrestling Contest first, but before they can start oiling each other, someone appears at the door.
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It's Tim Helmke from next door! He says he's desperate to take part in the Weekly Flatshare Greek Wrestling Contest too, but they let him know that unfortunately it's only for residents of the flat.
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So Tim decides that if that's the case he'll have to move in.
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This turn of events especially pleases Olli, who offers to help Tim get immediately undressed unpacked undressed. Flatmate search over (...except there's still at least one more spare bedroom, right?).
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today, Andi wants answers. Why is Bella breaking up with him? Is it because she's in love with the guy she slept with? Is Andi not good enough for her any more? What's gone wrong?
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I make fun of Andi a lot, but I adore him really, and at this point he really does deserve answers. Especially given how she treated him when he cheated on her with Alexa, Bella owes him some honesty, the truth about her feelings. It's just common courtesy if you're dumping someone after telling them barely a month ago how much you want to start a family with them.
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So Bella, sensitive and considerate as ever, tells him to stop fucking badgering her and just leave her alone because it's over, get over it.
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Leaving Andi to go and have a weepy montage in the woods. (With all respect to Dominic Saleh-Zaki (sp?), I've not been totally impressed by his crying acting in these eps. Shocked he does brilliantly, but crying not so much.)
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While Bella gets cuddles and sympathy from Charlie. As a feminist, I am all for bucking the usual trend of having the woman demonised as a bitch and a whore in any soap break up, but I do wonder if this is maybe going a bit far in the other direction... But I've never been Bella's number one fan anyway, so maybe I'm not the best judge.

Back at the flat, it's Andi's turn to get a little support.
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Except Olli is actually a little more concerned to hear that Bella is in love with Jo. Let's generously assume it's because he's worried about family dinners being awkward as heck, and not because he's still hoping to stake a claim himself.
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Come on, Olli, sit a little closer. Then take him in your arms, kiss him softly on the forehead and say "Shh, I'm with you now." He's going to need you nearby when you have to cruelly disabuse of the notion that he might be able to win Bella back.
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Which Olli doesn't do very successfully, because there's about 20 more minutes of this episode which is just back and forth between Andi and Bella where Andi is like "please, please, please take me back, what can I do to change?" and Bella is like "not happening, sorry", over an over again. I'm not going to recap it properly or with pictures because I have neither the will nor the patience, but it is vaguely of interest if you want to contrast Ansgar's comment to Emilio about how there's nothing worse than a proud idiot (when Emilio refused to accept €50,000 as a gift not a loan), with how Andi has completely surrendered all pride. I think in this instance, Ansgar's theory doesn't really hold up.

Downstairs in No Limits, the show's new power couples have arranged themselves into formation. Andi/Tim and Sascha/Charlie OTPs!
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(Focus, Sascha...eyes away from Tim's crotch.)
Andi apologises to Tim for hitting him, and I'm fairly sure Charlie grabs Sascha's thigh (at about 9:36 on my Youtube upload).
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But it might not be smooth sailing, because, when not looking at Tim's crotch, Sascha still only has eyes for Olli...
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And his penetrating gaze causes Olli's shirt to ride up.
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It's alright though, Charlie quickly moves on to new ground... But then who will Andi have? Oh no, does this mean next episode we'll have to watch him still chasing Bella? Why do you have to ruin everything, Charlie? You already have one Helmke at home.
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Olli is disappoint. I am disappoint. Frank would be disappoint too, if he wasn't busy boning your best friend.
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today, Olli is out jogging with Andi again.
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That's what I admire about Olli, his persistence and tenacity. Just because Andi wasn't up for it yesterday, doesn't mean there's not hope for today. On the other hand, I probably would have worn clean trousers.
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He ruins his chance though, by accidentally revealing some info about Bella's cheating to Andi. See, Olli thought Andi and Bella had talked about everything and sorted it all out, he didn't realise their coping strategy was Andi putting his fingers in his ears and saying "NANANANA I CAN'T HEAR YOU". So he tells Andi that the tryst happened while jogging.
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He realises his mistake, but compounds it further by suggestion they follow Bella and Jo's example and enjoy the sexual woods.
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Inappropriate timing.
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Thankfully Tim arrives to provide a distraction, though for some tragic reason he's fully-dressed in this episode. He is very friendly, and tells Andi all about his love of jogging and the fact that he lives with Bella now, which sets Andi's spidey-senses into motion and he deduces it must be Tim with whom Bella slept.

Andi tries to approach the situation like a mature adult, first he makes a schedule for Bella so he'll know exactly where she is at all times, then he tries to interrogate Tim.
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Unfortunately, he does it in such a nudge nudge, wink wink way, that Tim thinks he's asking him to share dirty stories, and then Andi has to attack him.
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This disturbs Jo and Bella who are exchanging fluids in the other room.
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They (and Olli) come out to break up the fight, and hear Andi's accusations that Tim slept with Bella. It's weird how on seeing the sexy mofo that is Jo, Andi doesn't automatically realise his mistake, after all we have been led to believe Dr Jo is instantaneously attractive...
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Anyway, Olli and Jo eventually corral Tim and Andi into separate flats, and Olli tries to act as the responsible observer and mediator to this whole cluster fuck. First with Andi and Bella
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And then with the assorted Helmkes. Charlie has also turned up, and is desperate for some gossip, but Jo and Bella have agreed to keep their liaison a secret, and Olli promised he wouldn't tell so she's not having much luck.
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On the plus side, Olli is looking very attractive.
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And there's some nice fraternal wound tending going on.
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Aside from stroking his brother's face, Jo picks this time to share his thoughts on yaoi why what Bella did was okay, and inevitable, and really hot, except he has a bruise now where the seatbelt dug into his back- oh, what a give away! Charlie and Tim don't catch on, but Olli loses all patience and asks him outside for a fight.
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That's his best 'grr!' face, you know.
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And that's just Jo's best face, fullstop.

They decide it will be better if they have a fight in the hospital, because then Jo can get paid and Olli can get fixed up immediately, but it turns out Olli had more of a morality battle planned. He tells Jo that it's gross that he would ruin his sister's relationship, and Jo says "Wait, what, she's your sister?! I'd never have thought such a dirty goer could be related to a sanctimonious twat like you."
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Jo says he's not in a relationship, he didn't cheat on anyone, he's not responsible for other people's actions, and actually he has better things to do than stand around being judged when he didn't do anything wrong. He assures Olli it will all be fine, and implicitly invites him to a threesome.
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Meanwhile, Bella dumps Andi.
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today the sky is as dark as my mood.
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Andi, on the other hand, is a very happy bunny.
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This is because he has just made some tasty paella with Ricardo's recipe, and also he does not yet know that his douchenozzle of a girlfriend just shagged her dickwad of an uncle (in law) in the backseat of the car on a deserted dirt road in the woods (...because apparently Bella is 15 and her daddy mustn't find out that she's going steady with a senior).
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But before Bella can finish her "thank God I can be rid of that moronic builder and can replace him with this lovely doctor"-thought and get her clothes back on, Jo tells her that he only does One Night Stands so he definitely will not be doing this again with her. Bella is so upset by this news that she goes home and tactfully cries all over Andi about it.
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And then at Olli. She tells him sleeping with Jo was just an "Ausrutscher". Now Ausrutscher is a slightly difficult word to translate, it can be a lapse or a gaffe or an error, with the implication that it was a one time thing that was out of character and won't happen again. If you have been following the storyline from the olden days though, you will be very familiar with it, because Christian said it about a hundred thousand times after every time he cheated on Olli. Olli seemed to accept it as a valid excuse on all of those occasions though, so it was wise for Bella to pick that tacti-
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Oh, apparently not as easily won over this time. What does it say about your self-esteem when you require a higher standard of fidelity from your sister in her relationship than from your own husband? In any case, Bella tells him he's just jelly because Jo put it in her not him and Olli tells her that's exactly what she should tell Andi.
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Bella tells him she's actually not going to tell Andi (yet), and my day brightens up because Olli trying to conceal the truth from anyone ever about anything is always good for a laugh. (Although if there's one person who might be stupid enough to not be able to see through him in less than 20 seconds, it's probably Andi... #genuinesuspense)
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Having heard from Bella how overwhelmingly sexy jogging is, Olli decides to take Andi to the scene of the sex and try to make a move. But even though he's wearing his most distracting capri pants, Andi is only interested in finding out Bella's secret.
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In fairness to Olli, he does manage to avoid blurting it out unprompted. I was really expecting
Andi: "So, what's wrong with Bella?"
Olli: "What affair?"
Instead Andi gets to the truth through a process of elimination, after Olli emphatically denies that Bella has cancer, got raped, enjoys Bernard Manning or was abducted by aliens.
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Adultery was the only option left.
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Andi walks away, a picture of misery. Olli doesn't follow him because he is a good friend and knows even if Andi's vulnerability might make him open to the idea of "revenge infidelity" to get back at Bella, it would be wrong to take advantage.

Back at home, Bella has decided she can't bear to be with Andi any more, and she is happy to consider incest with Olli instead.
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But Olli is a good brother and knows even if Bella's vulnerability might make her open to the idea of shagging literally anyone who has a higher IQ than a pineapple just to make a change, it would be wrong to take advantage. Meanwhile, Andi has reached some conclusions after conversations with both Leni and Sascha.
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Yep, you. Between them, they convince him that it doesn't matter if your partner cheats sometimes, as long as it didn't mean anything to them. You're better off not knowing, not thinking about it, and not getting hurt, and just being happy that they love you.
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So he applies this new knowledge to his own situation, and tells Bella it's all fine and they should stay together.
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...As you can see, she's thrilled.
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today, Olli is a little miserable.
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We don't get to see the aftermath of him asking Doctor Jo out for a drink, we only get to hear Olli's recount of Jo's response. Which apparently was "Why not?". This has confused Olli, because it was said apparently with neither enthusiasm nor disdain, but Leni assures him those are the only two possible tones of speech. (Leni and Olli are apparently two of those lucky sorts of people who have never had their request for a date lead to total amusement or murderous rage or anything like that.)
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Bella is also a little out of sorts, to the extent that she's even losing table football to Andi, and he only understands the rules about as well as the Chuckle Brothers (I wanted to link to a video here of the clip from Chucklevision where they celebrate accidentally scoring a goal against their own team, but I can't find it on Youtube...here's the one where they play tennis though, it's fairly representative). Bella is distracted by her thoughts of allegedly sexy Doctor Jo.
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Speak of the bellend, he arrives in No Limits. Olli is all excited about their date, and Bella is excited because she's a hussy my No Misogynistic Language policy is going to get a real work-out this week.
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I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say that sometimes I wish there were trigger warnings for things that feature high levels of second-hand embarrassment...I mean, admittedly, for VL that would probably have to apply to the whole show, but still. I've watched the next scene twice already, once when I first saw the show, the next when I did the English subtitles for Youtube, and I cannot bring myself to sit through it again for the purpose of this recap, so I'll just have to comment on it from memory. The jist is, Olli is very excited that Jo is there for the drink they arranged, and he offers Jo a tasty beer or a tasty coffee or a tasty smoothie or a tasty blowjob or a tasty apple juice, and then Leni comes over and is all like "here's your coffee, bui", and Jo's like "yeah, I wasn't actually here for a drink", and Bella's like "YESSS, FUCK YOU OLLI, HE'S MINE...hi, Andi" and Andi's like "Olli/Jo OTP 5EVA".
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Jo leaves, and Olli gets all embarrassed that he embarrassed himself and he hopes Jo didn't really turn up for the date but then find him so embarrassing that he pretended he had to leave.
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Andi tries to be helpful and reassuring.
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Bella takes the opportunity for a little private fantasy.
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And afterwards, her hand is sore. So she goes to run some cold water over it in the bathroom. Olli follows her and starts spilling the truth tea about how she's a terrible sister for being happy that Jo doesn't want Olli, and that masturbating in No Limits breaches the terms of the licence.
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Count how many fucks she gives.

There's no getting through to her, so Olli tries talking to Andi to see if he can control his woman.
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But Andi has his own problems with Bella, because for the purpose of dramatic irony today is a day when he has to be unusually perceptive (again, I wanted to link here to a clip from Blackadder S02E01 - Bells, where Kate says "Father, all day long you mutter to yourself, gibber, dribble, moan and bash your head against the wall, yelling: 'I want to die!'. Now you may say I'm leaping to conclusions, but you're not completely happy, are you?", but I can't find that on Youtube either...none of my Andi insults are working well today).
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Anyway, Andi says he could almost think that Bella were cheating on him, if that wasn't such a completely ridiculous idea.
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And Olli says "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOL THAT IS SUCH A STUPID IDEA, LOL ANDI YOU'RE SO STUPID, STUPID STUPID STUPID...probably she just needs some time... *cough* *bluster* *wink*". But Andi apparently already used up his intelligence ration, because he doesn't even notice that Olli nearly choked on his own tongue trying to say that.
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Meanwhile Bella just shows everyone that they might be the goodies in Harry Potter, but in real life ginger people are evil, by shagging Jo in his car.
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Neither of you look good right now, you know that don't you?
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

Today, Olli meets Tim, the naked half-brother of Frank and Jo.
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(I fear Photobucket might delete the above picture because bums are against their nudity policy...if anyone can recommend an arse-friendly image host (which will give me unlimited bandwidth for less than £20 a year) then I'd appreciate suggestions.)
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Frank isn't as impressed by Tim's nudity as Olli or me, and asks him to put something on. (Though really, it isn't nudity, because he's awkwardly holding that cushion in front of his junk the entire time. I've got to say, this whole scene would be much better if Tim was actually uncovered and they hid his nether regions with camera angles and stuff. ...Just some advice for next time there, VL.)
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Anyway, Olli isn't actually there to ogle naked men, but to ask for some help with the surprise wedding party later. Which is apparently between Thore and Giselle. I might be generous and assume that it was a deliberate acting choice to show how Olli is distracted by Tim's gorgeousness, but I think we all know that this storyline has reached a point of such tediousness that not even Jo Weil can be bothered to pay attention to what's going on any more. In any case, Bella isn't around to help.
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But Tim immediately offers his services. At which point Olli forgets the name of every single person he ever met.

Down in No Limits, Olli has been given the task of distracting Thore and Caro and stopping them from going home. And ideal job for someone who couldn't lie his way out of a paper bag, I'm sure you'll agree.
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After tales of malfunctioning paper cups and offers of croissants, he manages to keep Caro and Thore there by asking about their plans in Paris. Thore wants to leave straight away, but Caro thinks they shouldn't rush it.
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Go on, Caro, live on the edge. Please. Just this once. We beg of you... Thankfully Rebecca phones and gets Caro and Thore to come to LCL, saving Olli from having to do any more lying, and freeing up his time to burn Tim's hand.
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(It's probably just me being weird, but every time I look at that pic it feels like there's more than 4 hands in it...)
The burn is a nasty one, so Olli wants to take Tim straight to the hospital, but Tim is worried because he hasn't been keeping up with his health insurance payments (if he's unemployed, doesn't the Arbeitsamt cover that?). Olli says it's fine though, because he knows a doctor. And then he phones Ricardo and says "Hey Ricky, how are things at the North Sea?" and Ricky says "Well, Hagen's still a nutjob, and to be honest four parents for one child is a bit much really." and Olli says "Do you want to come home and look at my hot naked friend's hand?" and Ricardo says "Only if you get naked too, I can't wai- Oh, shit, Jessi's here, gotta go." and Olli sighed and decided he'd just have to see Dr Jo Helmke instead.
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Jo is all smiles and helpfulness until he sees that it's Tim who needs help, and then he tells his little brother to go fuck himself. Olli won't stand for that though, and tells Jo he's a terrible human being and a bad doctor and if he won't treat Tim then Olli will scream and scream til he's sick [/Violet Elizabeth]

Jo reluctantly agrees, and they go to LCL so he can look after Tim.
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D'aww, hand-holding <333
Then Bella turns up, and Olli breaks it to her that Jo is her step-dad's brother.
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She thinks this is terrible news, so Olli is like "What about Andi?" and Bella is like "Who's Andi?" and Olli is like "I think he's marrying Thore." and Bella is like "I love The Voice Kids." and Jo is like "TIM WOULD YOU JUST PUT YOUR SHIRT BACK ON, THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS".
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So Olli and Bella both promise that they won't have anything to do with Jo, which they prove by interrogating Tim about his brother. Tim doesn't know anything about Jo, except that Jo and Frank hadn't spoken to each other in three years, and Jo isn't a relationship kind of guy (if that's what you want Olli, then, I mean, Sascha's crap at relationships too...just saying). Tim does know that Olli and Bella fancy Jo though, which I would say is incredible deductive skill, except they were being about as subtle as a fart in a library (still, Andi wouldn't have noticed).

Jo gets back to bandaging up Tim, who tries to talk and go to know him a bit, but Jo basically tells him to shut up. Tim tentatively raises the idea of seeing each other again, and Jo tells him he'd rather kill himself.
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Then he leaves. What a charmer.
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He forgets his pen though, and Olli decides that it must be returned.
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He asks Bella to give him Jo's number so that he can call him and tell him about the the pen, but Bella is all "I have totally forgotten what the number is - I have definitely not copied it out in triplicate and saved it in three separate places around the house and on my person so as to ensure I never lose it - and he is far too straight for you anyway, bro, lol, you loser" and Olli calls her a bitch and shoves the pen into her eye.
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But it bounces right off because her eyes are made of as thick stone as her heart. (Tim and Olli need to commiserate about how their siblings are douches.)

Olli was left so miserable by the whole exchange that he even missed most of Caro and Thore's party. So at least some good came of it.
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Unfortunately they managed to hunt him down anyway. But Thore is able to reassure him that all doctors are bisexual (I assume he found that out during his months of physiotherapy with Dr Mendes?) and Olli should make a move.
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Olli shares one final touching hug with Caro.
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And a brief awkward one with Thore.
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To celebrate Caro and Thore being finally gone, Olli heads off to the hospital to return Jo's pen, and inspired by the adorable receptionist who blatantly ships it, he asks life's most important question.
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"Wanna get a drink sometime?"
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You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

There's plenty to celebrate this week on VL, because Caro and Thore are leaving for Paris soon.
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Olli is all "please, take me with you, I can't stand this terrible place where every man I meet is straight or ugly or both, but I hear French men are hot and will shag anyone" and Caro's like "sorry, but I'm sure you won't have to hang around here for too much longer either [/what fourth wall?]".
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Then Caro's mum turns up and orders an Ayurvedish tea, and it turns out that there are actually some drinks that No Limits doesn't stock, because Olli has to fob her off with a chai latte.
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Giselle tries to order one with normal milk, but her mum tells her that her karma is already bad enough without stealing milk from baby cows, so she'd better have soya. Burn.
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To redeem her conscience, Giselle decides to secretly organise a wedding party for Thore and Caro, at the exact same time Thore and Caro decide they don't want one. At this point they're just being difficult tbh. GET LOST ALREADY.

Also in this episode, some things are revealed: Dr Helmke is called Jo. He is Policeman Frank's half-brother. And therefore Olli and Bella's uncle (by marriage). There is also a younger Helmke brother, called Tim.
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Their dad just died. They don't get on. Tim is hot.
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I ship Jo/Tim.
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And also Frank/Tim.
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Frank/Jo I am not sure about yet. Partly because their whole backstory is stolen word for word from Ludo/Janine/Stefano's backstory on Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden. Frank got injured at work and became paralysed, so he got depressed/grumpy and pushed everyone around him away. Including his then-wife, Saskia, who bonded with his brother Jo during the tough time. Then Jo and Saskia slept together. (On GTST, Ludo got injured at work and became paralysed, so he became depressed/grumpy and pushed everyone around him away. Including his then-wife, Janine, who bonded with his brother Stefano during the tough time. Then Stefano and Janine slept together.) I mean, I ship Ludo/Stefano like burning, so it should be my ideal ship, but on the other hand Stefano is really hot and Jo is really not and I am really shallow, so there are a lot of factors at play here.
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And Charlie forces them all to have an awkward family meal anyway. Because that's the Schneider way.
You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

In the gap between episodes, Andi's heart has broken.
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And Olli tries to send Sascha telepathic messages, that if Sascha were to propose to him, then he wouldn't turn him down like that, but I think Sascha has been completely put off the idea now.
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(No but seriously, why is their a candle between them? Stop teasing me, show!)
Bella tries to explain she was just surprised by the proposal, and she only said "no" out of a toddler/creationist-like reflex to deny everything immediately without thinking, but even Andi doesn't buy that so he storms off and Olli and Bella go upstairs to chat.
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She tells him that while Andi was proposing, all she could think about was the guy she met (Dr Helmke).
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You know that alien sex-spray stuff that Owen on Torchwood had, to make everyone he squirted with it become infatuated with him? Now I'm not saying that Dr Helmke has been using the same stuff, but I really have no other explanation.

Bella tries to make up with Andi though (who had a bit of a paddy and through the engagement ring in the river), and he's happy that she still wants to be in a relationship with him.
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Except then he proposes again, and she says she's still not ready, and Andi is all "either you want me completely, you want all of me, you want to be devoted only to me for the rest of our lives, OR you're a commitmentless hussy" and Bella's like "well, that's kind of a false dichotomy" and Andi storms off.
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Bella goes to talk with Olli again, and he's all like "you turned him down AGAIN?? but you didn't even let me watch, you're no fun :( ...I have to call Sascha".
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Olli takes this chance for a prime spuddling opportunity, and suggests maybe Bella should just call the sexy guy who's distracting her. Sucks to be you, Olli, accidentally recommending your sister hook up with the guy you fancy... Or are you hoping she does get together with him, so you can make a move on Andi?
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Don't try your poker face on me, babe. I know you better than that.
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Anyway, Andi and Bella make up and decide not to get married, and Olli is ecstatic.
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And so is Bella, or at least she is a better actor.

So to take their mind's of their impending futures with or without Andi, they go for a walk, where who do they spot? Only mystery doctor post box man!
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And then they both realise that they've been lusting after the same guy for all this time, and finally, for the first time all episode they both genuinely smile.
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Or at least Olli tries. (I think it's because he's more genre-aware and realises that they're about to get locked into a love triangle of doom. Whereas Bella's just excited about the prospect of a threeway.)

And then they get run over by a dog. Who Bella immediately falls in love with, just like how she met Dr Helmke. Since Christian left to live with his horse, there really hasn't been enough properly forbidden love on Forbidden Love. We don't find out the dog's name yet, but I shall call him Poirot for now.
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So with Bella happy to pursue Poirot, she offers Olli the opportunity to take his chance with Andi. Or the doctor guy, if he prefers.
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Well, this is a little late, but I'll catch up. You can watch this ep with English subtitles on this Youtube playlist here.

So as you may remember, last recap we met Olli's new crush, Dr Helmke.
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And now Bella has also had the pleasure. She is just as enchanted by the guy as Olli, which is a bit weird as Olli at least met him at a time of mental vulnerability. If you think you're dying of Dengue fever, then a half-attractive doctor being nice and smiling at you probably is enough to tip you over the edge into "OMG, lurve!". But Bella has no excuse, she has no idea he's a doctor, and in fact he nearly runs her over. In some ways I sympathise with her position, because going out with Andi for any length of time will probably affect your ability to think reasonably and critically just by association, but still.
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I mean, she acts like she thinks Dr Helmke is aesthetically more attractive. Andi's influence on her mental faculties can't be so strong that he's sent her blind, can it?
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Anyway, Dr Helmke gives her his number (in case she feels any ill effects following him nearly running her over), and also reveals that the car he's driving isn't his, so the baby on board isn't his, so the baby isn't his, and so Olli might still have a chance!! Happy days!!!! Or whatever.
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...Usually I don't like to criticise any aspect of the physical appearance of women on this show. (Obviously the men are fair game, but that's because as a society we don't ascribe the same worth to male standards of beauty, and male actors are freer to gain value and credit for their abilities outside of perceived attractiveness, and...etc, etc, etc.) But, what is it with Bella and standing so pigeon-toed all the time? Genuinely, when I try and stand like that, my leg starts to hurt...although, in fairness, I did recently tear several ligaments in my leg... I don't know. Looks weird though.

Later, Andi picks this day to ask Bella Something Romantic in No Limits.
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I know they don't have much money, but could he not have taken her to the beach or a park or something? Still cheap, but more romantic than her brother's bar with red cardboard stuck up everywhere.
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Then Sascha and Olli turn up, and have a little silent couple-y conversation about WTF Andi's up to, which does actually make it seem more romantic in there.
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Neither of them know, so they decide to settle down with drinks and watch the show.
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Then Charlie arrives as well... (Charlie/Sascha OTP, it's gonna happen).
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And they all quickly finish their drinks and take their places to ensure the best view of the imminent drama.
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Andi gets down on his knees, and not in the fun way.
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Charlie: "Not sure that's a good idea, Andi, maybe-...Well, you know best."
Olli: "Oh, this won't end well."
Sascha: "Would it be a bit much if I proposed to Olli?"
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Andi: "Will you marry me?"
Bella: "I would literally rather gnaw off my own face."
Watch this episode with English subtitles here.

Today, Olli is home from another date that went wrong. I'd like the show more if we got to see all Olli's fail-dates rather than just his recounts of them later, but whatever. He goes home to be comforted by Captain Mixed-Signals.
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(I will go down with this ship... [/Dido])

Anyway, the actual reason Sascha was so interested in Olli's back is because he has some sort of terrible skin eruption which is so gross that Sascha has to flee the bathroom, leaving Olli alone to self-diagnose. Being the rational, level-headed guy that he is, he will obviously conclude that he has developed mild eczema, or heat rash, or contact dermatitis, or something else innocuous and treatable...
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Oh, or Dengue fever. So he takes himself off to the hospital.
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Because of his highly contagious potentially fatal tropical disease, he gets put in a quarantine room and is attended to by Logar, the Trion god of fire Dr Helmke in a hazmat suit.
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Dr Helmke teases Olli a little about his impending death, and his fear of needles, and general scaredy cat nature. So Olli tells him about how actually he is a very daring, un-anxious chappy who is never normally panicked about anything, except having an itchy back. They chat about their recent travels - Dr Helmke rode his motorbike through Asia, and Olli shares some more info about his Africa trip. In Botswana he went on a water safari, camped in the Kalahari, and then got the bus down into South Africa. He also says he went travelled through 6 countries. So Cameroon, Botswana, South Africa...any bets on the other three? If he went direct, that would have to be a Cameroon>Congo>DRC>Zambia>Botswana>South Africa route. Which is not the safest, so maybe he flew over Central Africa and went to Namibia and Zambia and somewhere else nice and friendly...Mozambique, say. He got back in one piece anyhow.
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Olli tells Dr Helmke that he's actually the first person who's heard the stories from his trip, because all of his friends are terrible people who only want to talk about themselves and don't give a shit what's going on his life. Dr Helmke shows off how much he's been paying attention and tells Olli he has a hot body.
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Then the test results come back, and it turns out Olli's fine and probably just had an allergic reaction to Justus. In celebration, Dr Helmke takes off his helmet.
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Eh, not bad.
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Olli is much more whelmed than I am about Dr Helmke's face, and in under 24 hours has broken his pledge to Sascha not to fall in love with anyone else. (What did you expect, Sascha? You can't play doggy in the manger for ever.) So he does the only thing a German in love can do, and shakes Dr Helmke's hand twice in under a minute and invites him for a drink.

Later, Olli realises that he doesn't actually know Dr Helmke's name (...can't you look on the prescription he gave you? or do German prescriptions not have the doctor's name on?), so he runs back to the hospital to find out.
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And literally runs into him. He pretends he left his deodorant in the hospital so he came back to fetch it, and then there's teasing, and smiling, and flirting, and adorableness, and aww.
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Olli looks so cute when he's in love.
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And...sullen might be a better look for Dr Helmke.
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But then when Dr Helmke drives away, Olli notices the Baby on Board sticker on his car, and knows that yet again he's got the hots for a straighty :(
You can watch these episodes with English subtitles here, here and here.

If you like Olli acting as shoulder to cry on, a sounding board for queries, and a selfless comfort in times of need for all of his friends and even people of whom he is not too fond really, then this last weeks worth of episodes are unmissable Verbotene Liebe classics. For the rest of us...well, we'll muddle on through.
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First, Emilio. Sweet, moronic Emilio is very upset that Evil Per Mertens had his hand on Kim's arse. I mean, I know he's only young, and I know Evil Per Mertens is trying to have it off with Kim, but Kim and Emilio being constantly jealous and possessive to the max is so tiresome at this point. Rehashing it all almost looks like it will be worth it when Emilio offers to demonstrate Evil Per's actions on Olli...
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But Emilio remembers he's a homophobe and rescinds the offer. Even though he doesn't get a grope out of it, Olli is still happy to provide advice, and reminds Emilio that sabotaging Kim's career just because he's a jealous jelly bear is not a very husbandly thing to do so don't be like Christian. Emilio agrees, and there's some back and forth where Emilio tries to take an important DVD that Kim needs for work to the important event where she needs it, but the doormen won't let him in. Rather than handing the DVD to someone else to hand to Kim, he decides it isn't her success that is actually important here but instead his own macho self-image as her saviour, so he goes back to Olli who is selflessly minding the burrito wagon to help formulate a plan.
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I mean, what's the point of having an erasable blackboard sign if you're going to leave the same 'BURRITO MANIA' message up there for months and months? Anyway, Emilio decides the way to show off what an awesome, clever, wise, dependable husband and businessman he is by spending the money for the next instalment of his expansion plan on a suit so he can sneak into the party and impress Kim.
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Which all goes horribly wrong, so now he's involved with a loanshark.

Speaking of morons in debt, your man Andi also needs Olli's help. He's got himself in some trouble again, none of which is his fault, obviously, because it never is, hence much exclaiming of "it's not fair" and bawwwing all over the shop.
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Bella has found out about Andi helping Alexa hide in their loft while she was fleeing from the police and that he kissed her, and Alexa is claiming they slept together. Because of that, she's decided she needs time to think about whether she and Andi should be together any more. Andi wants advice from Olli about how to convince Bella that he's not a dishonest, gibbering, cheating, lying, incompetent imbecile after all.
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Olli thinks that's probably not possible without lobotomising Bella, but treats Andi to a hot chocolate in No Limits because bros before hoes sisses, man.
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Bella forgives Andi anyway, and even inexplicably decides to take some of the blame (a mistake to concede the high-ground, she could have saved up her 'One kiss with someone else' and 'Harbouring a fugitive' IOUs for use in later storylines, might've come in handy).
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And they let Olli know, who manages to very convincingly hide his disappointment that his glimmer of a chance of getting with Andi has evaporated again. Then he accidentally overcompensates by giving them a bottle of champagne.

But good news, everyone! Olli has found someone new. I mean, not a new partner, obviously, the way the soap has been going we will obviously have to wait ages and ages for that to happen *wink*, but a new person who wants to pour their problems on him in exchange for...I think clothes in this instance.
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Pleasingly for love-triangle completionists, it's Thore. See, Giselle tried to actually commit suicide, and then Caro dumped Thore because she felt so guilty about it, and now Thore is all sad panda.
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Olli is also sad, because he can't believe this storyline isn't over yet Thore makes him re-live that traumatic time when he walked in on Giselle covered in red paint and he was so flustered that he completely forgot himself and did something useful in the face of panic.
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Olli takes Thore back to No Limits, because he figures if he's going to have to sit through endless lovesick whinging then he might as well sell some coffee at the same time. And then Thore realises Giselle was never really suicidal, she just pretended to try and break Caro and Thore up (...VL, socially responsible as ever, playing up the "she was just doing it for attention"-trope).

This week's Advice Seeker Number 4: Caro.
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Seen here being patted on the head while her pretending-to-be-suicidal sister orders a coffee. Though actually this isn't the source of her problems, she's really worried because she can't work out any designs for her Femme Fatale project for her fashion school application.
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Olli suggests she just send in more naked pictures of Sascha, and helpfully draws some possible poses for her to consider. Then Caro's all like "wait, how did you know about his tattoo down there?" and Olli is all "no reason...wait, how do you know about it?" and then Caro's like "no reason" and then they side-eye each other awwardly until Marlene turns up.
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She's moving to America (specifically New Haven - I assume for the tennis tournament), so she needs some muffins and coffee, which she orders from Olli. First the muffins...
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Then the coffee.
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Someone needs to retake their "pretending empty cups actually have drink in them"-class at acting school, I fear. I mean, I'd check inside that muffin box too Marlene, I think Olli's trying to fob you off. ("Check inside that muffin box, Marlene" also being the original storyline pitch for the Rebecca/Marlene romance. #funfact)
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Somehow, this solves all of Caro's problems though, hooray.
Watch these episodes with English subtitles here, here and here. Btw, I'm moving to Austria on Monday, so both subtitles and episode recaps will probably be slow next week. Sorry about that.

Today, half of the cast are leaving the show. Well, not quite half, but Jessica, Dana, Hagen and baby Max are all off to the North Sea, and Ricardo plans to go back to Majorca.
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Jessica is sad about this. Ricardo is sad about it too, because he is in love with Jessie and Jessie is in love with him, and obviously he's not really going to go to Majorca, but we have to sit through a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with lost phones and unhelpful hospital receptionists who seem to be more focussed on arranging treatments for patients than playing cupid before we actually see them properly reunite on screen.
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Ricardo has the bright idea of going to Olli for help though, and so we get a lot of ~last moments~. The last time Olli will call Ricardo his "Tiger".
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The last time Olli will pull this face at Ricardo's awful romance ideas.
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And the last time Olli will stare in disbelief at Ricardo's retreating back. Memories.
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Naturally it all works out in the end, and as they prepare to leave, Jessie, Ricardo and Dana reflect on all the wisdom Olli has brought them through sharing stories of his own failed love life. What are friends for.
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Another of my favourite couples in the show also reconciled in this episode: Hagen and Sebastian love each other again.
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Here you see Hagen leaving Sebastian to get dressed after they've had epic make-up sex... Alright, no that's not quite what happened. What did happen was Hagen tried to be a bit amiable, which isn't easy for him because he's a massive arsehole and a bit of a nutjob.
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Sebastian wasn't willing to forgive or forget however, so Hagen shoved him into a pillar which cut his eyebrow open.
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But later they met at their father's grave and shared some of their feelings about how difficult it is to say goodbye, but incest just isn't socially acceptable in modern Germany and it's too hard to be around each other all day without giving into temptation, so it will be better if Hagen leaves so that they can both try to get over each other and come to terms with the situation. At least, I think that's what they said, my aural comprehension of German isn't always 100% accurate.
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So Hagen cleaned Sebastian's wound.
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And drank some scotch.
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And then they hugged each other one last time before Hagen departed to be with Dana and Maxi.

Thursday and Friday
Olli is again being thrown into the Caro/Thore mess, but this time from a completely new angle! *exciting*

Giselle has found out about Caro and Thore being together, and has decided to drown her sorrows in No Limits.
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Here you can see her drinking behind Olli and Leni.
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And here you can see Olli looking concerned.
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I can't seem to get a good screenshot of it, but does Jo have a coldsore...? Something near the centre of his top lip, just on (his) right-hand side? ...Frustrated by the lack of attention I'm showing her in this recap, Giselle decides to go home where, as she'll be in a scene without Olli, I might even post a pic of her in focus.
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She also trashes Caro's flat with some paint.
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But then Olli turns up there too, because he's all worried about her.
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Okay, now the dialogue suggests that Olli initially mistook the red paint for blood. Fair enough, easy error to make. But on mistaking the paint for blood, Olli's first reaction is to run in and check if she's alright which is basically the most out of character thing to happen since Andi solved that crossword puzzle. Philipp hit by a car: Olli stands very still for ages and watches while Charlie has to do everything like phoning for an ambulance and helping Philipp. Christian has a heart-attack: Olli runs away and dumps his boyfriend. Charlie tells him Bella is her daughter: Olli throws everyone out of No Limits and flings himself into the pool. But Giselle potentially having committed suicide: Olli is suddenly cool and capable, checks she's conscious and gets her some water when he realises she is.
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Anyway, then Olli's all like "omg, Caro is gonna be so pissed off when she sees this mess, what were you thinking" and leaves, and Giselle thinks "hmm, suicide, now there's an idea" and overdoses.
Watch this episode with English subtitles here.

Bella decides to go and investigate the odd noises emanating from Andi's bedroom, but Olli is all like "Andi wouldn't cheat on you, and even if he did, he wouldn't be stupid enough to do it here at home where you would overhear it!".
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He says that Bella's evidence (Andi having bought a second phone, and Charlie thinking she saw Andi with another woman) is nothing to go on, and that Andi is a grown up now. You know, I'm beginning to fear that Olli has contracted some sort of exotic disease that causes delirium...
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Bella seems comforted by it though, and goes off to forgive Andi who has since pushed Alexa off him and hidden her in a wardrobe. Bella tells him she's sorry for thinking he would cheat, and Andi says he's sorry too but wisely doesn't really specify what for.
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Bella's convinced though, so there's make up kissage.
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Until Olli bursts in and is annoyed that he's only been back 5 minutes, but he's not getting any attention and is just having to stitch together other people's relationships.
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That's the third person Andi's been ~intimate with in as many minutes, what a slag. Olli wants to talk about how great Africa was, and how tall Lilly has got, and so on, but Andi hurries them all out of the room away from the incriminating criminal.
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In the living room, they prepare Dana and Jessica's going away present - autographed photocards of their favourite soap actors. Olli takes this opportunity to try and tell a story about a failed date on the Table Mountain. Now you might be thinking "didn't Olli go to Cameroon? isn't the Table Mountain in Cape Town 3000 miles away? and didn't Olli promise he wouldn't be driving off on any long trips while he's there? didn't the show establish that London to Düsseldorf was a basically untraversable distance and that's only about 300 miles?", and...well, I have no answers for you on that front, and was actually fairly sure I'd drastically misheard something... Quick, Sascha, come in and distract everyone from this completely nonsensical geography.
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Thanks, babe. Sorry to fluster you like that.
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Sascha's almost as happy as I am that Olli is back and they have some banter about how Olli wasn't eaten by crocodiles or trampled by rhinos or captured by Boko Haram. Then they have a cuddle.
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No groin contact, but there's a cute little backrub from Sascha. [/important observations]

Later, Olli tries to tell Ricardo about his fail-date on the mountain...
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And then Jessica too...
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But they are both hardcore Scholli shippers and don't give a toss.

Meanwhile, Sascha is telling Emilio how happy he is to have Olli back home and in his arms.
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Mate, it's only been a day since Caro dumped you, don't get all reboundy. ...Actually no, do. But Emilio's happy too, because earlier he got very close to a wet Evil Per Mertens.
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And then Per gave him a pressie afterwards.
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And we all know how nuts make Emilio smoulder.
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I feel a bit bad for him, because Per is being all manipulative and giving him allegedly sentimental presents to lure him into loving him, while also making the exact same move on his wife. But if the commemorative nut Per gave him was really the first one Per ever nutted and he carries it everywhere, wouldn't it be tarnished and/or a bit battered and worn? If it's meant to be years old, it wouldn't look brand new. But Kim fell for it too. And it's weird that Per assumed the two of them will never compare nuts... Occasionally this show doesn't really stand up to close scrutiny...
Watch this episode with English subtitles here.

You might have noticed my absence and lack of episode recaps lately. I can but apologise, first the show was off air, and then I was in Spain without much internet, and then after some mistranslated googling I got stuck listening to this awful song Verboden Liefde on a loop because it was more enjoyable than watching the show, and then I was much too lazy to catch up with the bits I'd missed (though I have done subtitles for the Sascha bits if you're interested, see my Youtube channel). But I'm back! And Olli's back! (Which of those are you more happy about? Be honest, after all you won't hurt his feelings because he's fictional.)
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But let me provide a quick update of what's happened lately: Caro is going out with Thore now, and Sascha has taken solice with some guy who has a chain necklace and a mohican agreed that he and Caro should just be friends.
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It's a quick turn around from his "she's mine, not yours, na-nuh-na-nuh-na-nah!"-attitude from before, but I'll take it. In other news, Jessica, Dana, Hagen and Ricardo are all moving to the North Sea with Max, and Elisabeth chucked Ansgar out of the castle while he was in his dressing gown.

But more relevantly, Andi is helping a fleeing criminal who lives in their loft now. Well, technically it's her loft since she bought the building from Olli, but whatever.
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He's been bringing Alexa food and clothes and bought her a new mobile phone, and all of this has made Bella very suspicious. Andi's badness at lying has led her to believe he might be having an affair, so she turns to Olli for support and advice.
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I'm just so glad he's back.
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Anyway, Bella decides on balance that although Andi is behaving oddly, he probably isn't having an affair. Good deduction, because even Andi wouldn't be that stupi-
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Or, you know, he would. I am surprised he's cheating with Alexa of all people. Given he's gone out with Olivia and now Bella and neither has sufficed, I was expecting Charlie to be the next target of his "substitute Olli with his female relatives"-method of selecting a date.
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Anyway, at that moment, Olli and Bella in the living room overhear a weird noise created by Andi and Alexa's passion, and wonder what on earth it could be. Dun-dun-duh.
Watch this episode with English subtitles here.

Today, Caro is unconscious.
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Now, I don't want to get all sanctimonious on you, but as I recall from my Brownie First Aid badge if someone gets knocked out, you need to be seeking some sort of medical assistance from someone actually qualified to tell you how severe the injury to the brain may be. In the absence of that you need to at least keep an eye on the person, and to check that they're responding normally to stimuli such as light and pain.
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So what Sascha and Thore do is first have a spat about who should go and fetch ice, who should drive Caro where, whether Thore is good at punching... All the important issues.
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And then Sascha takes her home and falls straight asleep. I mean, I could forgive Thore maybe not knowing what to do, at least he didn't just and leave her lying there and drive off - this is real progress for him. But Sascha? He should know how this goes, because Olli showed him the exact right way when he had his own head injury. And if Olli "oh no, there's been a traumatic event, I'd better stand very still and watch unresponsively or run away and hide somewhere or throw everyone out of No Limits" Sabel can manage it, then Sascha has no excuse for being a big heap of fail.

The next morning, Caro comes into work wearing a scarf whose pattern I will describe diplomatically as "brave". I can't say Olli would have made a better choice, because if someone emails him a pic of this one he would probably fly back immediately from Cameroon just to steal it. First his man, then his cakes, now his scarves... Low blow, Caro. (Sort of reminds me of She Wants To Be Me by Busted, though obviously that's a slightly different angle.)
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But I think even Olli would have realised that if he's trying to deflect attention away from part of his body, then surrounding that one part of your body with a garish carnival flag while keeping the rest of your outfit very drab is not going to have the desired effect. Could you not have tried a heavy-coverage foundation? The only thing keeping anyone's eyes off your neck/chin area is the childish stand-off going on between your two love interests.
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Yeah, Thore, shut the fuck up. I mean, you're not speaking, you're just moving your eyebrows, but what you're doing with them, stop it. You have no business feeling put out right now.
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Sascha, you can grow up too.
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Caro and Giselle go to have a conversation in private, and without Ike and Wyatt there to distract her, Giselle quickly spots Caro's bruise. She assumes that Sascha hit her, and the Thore knew which is why they were they were facing off like Ennis and Jack Clint and...the Sheriff (okay, I've basically only ever seen two Westerns...). Caro tells her that of course Sascha didn't hit her, she got the bruise while she was having sex with her bedside table and she wants to keep it secret because she doesn't want anyone to know about her furniture fetish.
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Giselle buys it, even though that's the German equivalent of "I walked into a door". Also in the office, Thore has realised that there's someone who has done a serious wrong to, and he should go and apologise, immediately and sincerely for his conduct:
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You know when you punch a woman in the face and you apologise to her boyfriend for it? Mate, this isn't like you scratched his car... Anyway, Sascha's like "probably not me you should be having this convo with". Taking this advice on board, Thore tries to apologise to Caro, but she doesn't want to talk, so he respectfully grabs her...
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...and slings her over his shoulder.
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Because nothing says "I'm sorry for hitting you in the face" like physically manhandling someone into a storage closet, am I right? Does LCL even have a human resources department? I feel like it's a job no one would deserve. Anyway, then they have a long tedious conversation where Thore is a dick, and Caro tells him to just be honest about how he feels, and then Thore tries to do a suspenseful reality-show build up to how he really feels, but then Caro decides actually she doesn't give a shit and tells him to let her go already.

In other news, Jessica fancies Ricardo again but has stopped trying to pursue anything with him, because Bella called her "cheap". Maxi has, like, terminal asthma that he means he has to move to the seaside or else he's going to stop breathing altogether or something, but with some sea air he will be perfectly fine apparently. I'm beginning to think Ricardo qualified as a doctor in the 19th century. So Maxi, Dana, Jessica and Hagen are all moving to the North Sea. Sebastian and Per Mertens' plan has all come together wonderfully, except Sebastian dropped the ball at the final moment by letting Ansgar listen to him have sex. (I find the name "Per Mertens" very satisfying to say - it has a rhythm to it, like Fin Bartels, which I enjoy.) In response to this, Hagen is actually staying to run the Lahnstein Empire and as Dana has promised both Jessica and Dana that she won't leave either of them, I guess Maxi's lungs will just have to man up for now. Plus Per has dumped Sebastian for Kim, which is a bit of a step down imo, but I am biased.
Watch this episode with English subtitles here.

Today, Caro is nervous. She got a letter from the Paris fashion school, but she's worried she's failed and won't be accepted and will have to forever stay being an accountant for an elite fashion label who keep trying to lure her to be a designer and constantly offer her jobs to do designing, meaning she will never get to be a designer and do designing (the logic is strong with this one). Which is her biggest dream. (I had a slight flashback to the "My second biggest dream"-clip, that awkward moment when Christian looks comparatively romantic.)
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Sascha gets her to finally open the letter, and all her troubles were for nothing anyway, because she's through to the next round and hasn't been evicted to the Jury House. (...I have literally no idea what that last sentence means by the way - I recently started watching the US Big Brother because Zach and Frankie ("Zankie") have a slashtastic bromance, but it's so different from the UK version that I'm constantly confused. They're allowed to discuss nominations! There's no public vote to evict! They have an upstairs! Total mind-fuck.)
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I am getting so bloody sick of the pounce-jump-cling pose, I can't even tell you. Does it really have to happen in every episode? Caro used to be restrained and now she leaps into a man's arms at a moment's notice, and that's meant to be progress, or what? Calm the fuck down, gal. Hooray, good for her! She does have a new task to complete though, 'Underwear As Your Second Skin' it's called. But before she can worry about that, Thore drags her off to a meeting.
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Someone somewhere seems to have overruled Thore's "young, female accountants surrounded by sweaty, naked janitors" design proposal, and so the new fashion collection is being marketed with international music stars wearing the clothes under the name 'LCL Goes Pop', which is possibly the only time in VL history where I have found something vaguely amusing that was actually meant to deliberately be a pun. Usually them trying to be funny and what I find funny don't synch up nearly so well.
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The meeting is going well, except Caro is distracted trying to design Underwear As Your Second Skin, and Thore is distracted by Sascha suddenly turning up. So much so that he can barely speak. Being distracted by Sascha is a bit of a running theme this ep, it happens to Caro as well during the meeting, then later when Giselle's trying to talk to her about wedding decorations and so on (she sorts out that conversation by assuring Giselle that she definitely won't be at the wedding alone, Sascha will be coming with her just like he does in bed). It's weird that people find him so irresistible, because Sascha's one of those guys who tries to wink even though they can't wink so it just looks like a very emphatic, odd blink:
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Anyway, part of the reason Caro is finding him so sexy is because actually she has the idea of using him for her design project. His tattoos are his second skin after all. So she wants to do a photoshoot with him after work using the company's camera and lighting equipment.
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Meanwhile, Thore in the next room, having to listen to their incessant giggling. (Seriously, if someone was laughing that much at me undressing, I think I'd develop some kind of a complex. Sascha must have more self-confidence than Sepp Blatter.)
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Yeah, so whatever. Here's some pictures of Sascha getting naked, because when Olli, Andi and Ricardo stripped for when Christian was meant to come back and then didn't, Sascha couldn't take part because he had a poorly hand. So this makes the tally even. (Don't actually know if these will last or if they'll fall foul of Photobucket's no-nudity rule. I know fronts aren't allowed, not sure about bums. Anyway, if they've been taken down, then drop a comment and I'll upload them somewhere else.)
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And then Thore walks in and is all like "omg, I can't believe you're defiling company property with his nakedness" and Caro's like "dude, is there anything in this building you haven't defiled" and Sascha's like "it's actually work because she's going to Paris" and Thore's like "...wat?" and Sascha's like "lol, you didn't even know" and Thore's like "you're both bitches" and Sascha's like "better a bitch than a cock with no balls" and Thore punches him but misses him and accidentally hits Caro.
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Good job, Show. You made Thore semi-likable for an episode and a half and then had him hit a woman? Isn't that your code for 'irredeemable'? Like why you had Hagen never go that far when he lost in temper in front of Dana and he merely grabbed her arm a bit, got a bit more feisty with ersatz-woman Olli, but only properly violent with a proper man like Ricardo? Or is there a new code and thumping woman is fine if it's by accident? If I was going to line up all the VL characters in the order I would like to punch them in the face, then Caro would not be top of the list. But nor would she be bottom. She has middling-punchability, imo. But the dread of all the sympathy she'll probably get in coming episodes mean this is not a development I approve of.
Watch this episode with English subtitles here.

There are three reasons I continue to do recaps of Sascha's storyline with Caro, even though I don't like it: a) I've started so I'll finish, b) I can't switch to commenting more on Sebastian's storylines with Hagen and Per that I do actually enjoy because I haven't got to the Blackmail module in my Duolingo German course yet so I don't know any of the vocabulary, and c) [livejournal.com profile] chrollianne is a sweetheart. With all that in mind, I have decided to embrace the Caro/Sascha development just as Sascha and Caro embrace each other - i.e., awkwardly and unconvincingly. I resolve to stop whinging about Olli being gone, and I will focus on seeing the positive in Sascha and Caro, and their feelings for each other.
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Oh Lord, I can't take it. Olli, please, I miss you! No. Be strong... Yes, so we start off where we left off. With...that. This positivity lark isn't as easy as I imagined. But Caro and Sascha are definitely enjoying themselves, with much snoggage going on until Sascha puts his hand down the back of Caro's trousers and she puts a halt to proceedings. Because she's a woman of quality [/Jack McFarland] and is hungry.
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They sit down and eat, and Sascha tells her she's weird for still not having slept with him yet. It sounds like arrogance, but in fairness he has had basically every girl or Olli that he's wanted. The only logical explanation he can think of is that Caro is still in love with Thore, so at least he's genre-savvy. Caro tells him she just wants to take things slowly.
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How...cute. (I'm trying my best, okay?)

Meanwhile, Giselle is still thrilled that Caro has found someone to bring to the wedding. Thore less so. He doesn't think they should invite Sascha, after all Caro definitely doesn't want anything serious with him. Definitely.
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Giselle tells Caro to come round, to try and find out more details and also for her to choose a bridesmaid's dress.
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Caro says there's nothing going on, she and Sascha are just good friends, and also she doesn't want to get her baps out. She wants to be mysterious and enticing, not a ho. Giselle says actually being a ho and getting your baps out it is loads of fun and Caro should have a go. At least then she won't be alone at the wedding.
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Caro decides he sister is right. She would like to have some fun with Sascha, so that's what she'll do.

Since Caro turned him down earlier, Sascha finds something to screw at LCL instead.
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*badoom tshh*
Nah, he's just working. Even though he took the time off to run No Limits. Even though he hasn't actually been in No Limits during any of the scenes which don't directly involve him flirting with Caro, leaving the job to non-speaking extras. None of this makes any bloody sense... By which, I mean that it's incredibly sweet of Sascha to disrupt his entire work schedule just to accommodate his devotion to Caro <333
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Thore is unimpressed. He's all like "why did your lunch take so long?", "shouldn't Caro be working?", "jealousy, what jealousy?", etc. And Sascha decides to be a smug git who flaunts having gained a girl's interest by announcing his ~conquest to other men to make himself feel socially superior adorably territorial and tells Thore that Caro's a great kisser.
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At which point Thore's brain melts.
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Caro is looking for Sascha to help her pursue her new-found dream of having casual sex, but only finds Jessica. (Later in the show, Caro looks for an apple to sate her desperate hunger but can unfortunately only get a luxury four-course meal, and wants for €5 to put in her holiday fund but keeps finding €1000 notes on the street.)
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Jessica seems a bit confused by the whole situation, but doesn't mention the Olli/Sascha situation and lends Caro a lipstick to make her sexy. I don't know what's sexy about possibly transmitting cold sores or other oral infections, but whatever (seriously, sterilise your lipsticks if you're sharing).
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Caro then frightens poor little Andi, by saying the S-word in front of him.
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Please Caro, it's only been two weeks since he learnt how babies are made.

Sascha is eventually located, and immediately spots that Caro's lips are different. Which isn't a very heterosexual thing to do to be honest, I mean what straight guy notices a slight change in lip shade, it's not like she suddenly went for bright red or purple or something is a testament to his feelings, that he observes every detail about her.
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Caro's not really fussed about ~feelings right now though.
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These past few episodes, in which Caro and Sascha's interaction has basically been a 45 minute montage of them making out has made me feel a bit hard done by as an Olli fan. All the scenes where Sascha/Olli got some action faded to black pretty quick and in isolation that's okay because, you know, it's a soap not a porno, and I have internet access so I can watch men get it on whenever I like. But compared with Sascha/Caro, when we're shown constant extended sequences of them...rutting, it all feels a bit unfair/problematic/homophobic/displeasing. I am however reassured that at least there weren't Sascha/Olli moments shot from an angle as unflattering as this:
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So you win some you lose some. (...It's even worse when you put them the right way up. I feel like I owe Katja Sieder an apology for even linking to it.)
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Oh God, they're at it again. ....Sorry, not "Oh God", I meant "Oh good". Because I am thrilled. Such a gorgeous couple, what would I do without them. You know, if I start saying this often enough, it will become true. [/informal fallacy]

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Back at Giselle's, Thore is very, very troubled to find out that Caro has decided to "enjoy herself" with Sascha. He tries to dress it up as being concerned about Sascha using her, because she's so sensitive.
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Giselle doesn't notice however. She's still just happy that Caro won't be coming to the wedding alone. PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED TO BE SINGLE, GISELLE.

If you watch the preview for Monday's episode, you will learn secret reason number (d) for my sticking with Sascha. Not for the spoilerphobic, obviously.