It’s the unrequited love story we’ve watched unfold for months and while we can’t be completely won over by Daniel’s rapid turn around, seeing Daniel and Imogen finally have their moment was definitely enjoyable. Since they first met there’s always been a spark between the two of them and the fact we can still champion their relationship despite the awful Daniel/Amber plots, is a testament to Tim Phillips and Ariel Kaplan’s on screen chemistry. We think Imogen deserved the man of her dreams and Daniel rightly went out of his way to woo her this week. Sure it was sickly sweet, cringey and cheesy all at once as he serenaded her outside Lassiters but it’s the kind of romantic gesture Imogen has been crying out for. If Imogen can make him put down the ukulele and tone down the hippie vibes and he can mellow her short fuse then they’re probably a match made in heaven.
The End of the Lie
This week saw the end of one of the show’s darkest stories and the exit of one of their most original and complex villains in many years – Nick Petrides and his cancer lie. The plot has produced some terrific drama and took a character we all think we know well, like Paul Robinson, and turned him on his head and showed us a whole new side of his character: vulnerable, remorseful and scared. After Georgia’s uncovering of Nick’s lie, it was no time at all before Brennan was taking Nick into questioning and his house of cards began to collapse in epic fashion. Our highlight, however, wasn’t Georgia’s justice or even the great scene where Karl, Paul and Naomi pieced everything together but rather the exploration of Nick’s relationship with Terese. Horrified by her brother’s actions, Terese was stuck between a rock and a hard place as she urged her brother to give himself in and yet, loved him too much to do it herself. It’s been some much welcomed drama for Terese and we hope there’s lots more to come as he is left to deal with the fallout of her brother’s lies.
We’ve already made our appreciation for Tyler and the Tyler/Imogen pairing clear – we really love them together. Tyler’s been exactly the sort of fun Imogen needs to show her how to let her hair down and once again they had some great scenes this week. Travis and Ariel showed a natural chemistry in the scenes where Tyler tried to make Imogen’s first time special and after his realisation that he might be rushing her, we were impressed at how he handled the situation – like a proper gentleman. Of course, it wasn’t meant to be (what with Imogen still in love with Daniel) and she left him disappointed and their sparky connection severed. We then saw Imogen in a heartbreaking moment – which almost made our scene of the week – tearfully write in her diary before collapsing into sobs. Our hearts truly broke for her and we really hope she finds happiness soon.
Bye Bye Bailey (and Lou)
Okay so Bailey has been a real brat the last week or so in his grief, but we’ve always had a real soft spot for him so we were really sorry to see him leave this week. On the plus side he had a nice exit and the scenes saying goodbye to his family members were lovely and touching. It’s going to be pretty strange without him but we hope that someday we hear he’s off to work for NASA. We also saw another departure for Lou who we know will be back at some point, but this one felt a bit more like a goodbye than previous occasions but the tributes and speeches were a nice touch. But our absolute highlight had to be Lou’s present to Sheila (a photo of his face) which she threatened to use as a dartboard and her present to him – a great big smacker on the lips. Classic! We’ll miss Sheila and Lou’s interactions a lot.
Josh and Danni
We’re definitely not opposed to Josh having romance and stories outside of Amber and we actually like Danni a lot but the Josh and Danni pairing just didn’t seem to work that well this week. Firstly it all seemed just like a big plot device for Amber and Daniel to get pissy (which we hate) and make even more mess for the godawful pentagon (or whatever the triangle has become now!) and secondly it seemed so rush. We know Josh is a fan of the older woman but for someone so hell bent on winning back his precious Amber would he really go there with the woman who caused her family so much pain – even if accidental? We’re not sure. In some ways Danni is probably quite similar to Amber – blonde, dull, quite needy – but we’re just not really feeling much of a connection between them. Still, we’ve got a feeling they won’t last long now that the baby secret is out!
Our dislike of Daniel is well-known on this blog. For a character who is the son of such icons, he’s not just been a disappointment since his “”vibe” with Amber began, but an actual nuisance. What bugged us most this week was his hypocrisy and rudeness towards love rival Josh. While we’re no great fans of the Josh and Danni pairing, it’s certainly none of Daniel’s business and his infuriating need to fight Amber’s battles despite being explicitly told not to is a long running character trait. Daniel failed to grasp the irony as he criticised Josh and warned him not to flaunt his relationship – a very crime Daniel and Amber have been guilty of doing ever since their affair behind Josh’s back. The scene did nothing for Daniel’s character and we’re really hoping the show finds a way to turn him around. The character onscreen is absolutely nothing like the character we were introduced to and we really need the show to realise that.
This week we waved goodbye to Matt Turner and I think it’s fair to say after the rushed and underplayed response (apart from Paul’s fantastic depression arc) to Kate’s untimely death, we were all wondering how the show would deal with Matt’s death. We were pleased to see Neighbours learn from last year’s mistakes by both giving us a proper response to Matt’s death in the aftermath episodes and not rushing into the funeral and jumping ahead in the timeline, thereby sacrificing dramatic potential. Kate Kendall gave a powerful and raw performance as always and in particular her scenes with Tom Oliver tugged at our heartstrings. Matt’s death also meant that Amber’s self pity over her non wedding was put into perspective and we were really happy to see Calen Mackenzie give his best performance so far as Bailey struggled with his father’s death. With the funeral to come and Sharon still around, we can’t wait to see what developments the next few weeks bring.
Tension Down the Well
The well plot was pretty ridiculous and we spent time last week moaning about it, however our minds were almost changed this week as we found ourselves pretty gripped by the cliffhanger and tension surrounding the drama. Even though we knew there was no possible way Daniel and Imogen wouldn’t make it, as the water started pouring and Imogen began hallucinating we couldn’t help but be gripped. Switching between the scenes in the well (great set!) and over ground where a clueless Josh and Kyle continued with their mission to drain the lake, oblivious to the trapped pair, was a great touch. We think Tim Phillips and Ariel Kaplan did a great job convincing us of their plight. Great scenes.
Bailey and Alice
Space Alice was back this week and completely clueless to Bailey’s grief over his dad’s death as she berated him for not being around on social media. We’ve always been big fans of Bailey and Alice so we were thrilled to see them reunited even in such sad circumstances. As Bailey pretended everything was fine to cope with his pain, Alice carried on in her usual manner only aware of Bailey’s problems when he grew a little hot and heavy. Bailey’s final breakdown was incredibly simple and moving – Calen Mackenzie did a great job and left us feeling genuinely choked up.
This week saw everyone’s favourite injury-prone mechanic Chris Pappas leave Ramsay Street for good to start a new life in New York with baby mama Lucy Robinson. We are pretty sorry to see Chris leave Neighbours as our freckled friend made quite the impact as Neighbours’ first regular gay character, but we were pleased he had a fairly upbeat exit. Sadly Chris leaving meant a disappointing and rather rushed end to the rather touching Chris and Nate relationship which we had grown rather fond of. Chris’s final scenes with his friends were nice (although Josh’s inclusion was a little strange considering the history) although we think the obligatory ‘taxi goodbye’ scene might have been a nice touch.
Driving Miss Danni
Now, don’t get us wrong, we know Neighbours has a limited cast for budgetary reasons and that also includes guest cast. Therefore if a recurring or guest cast member pops up, it usually means there’s a proper purpose for them. This was nowhere more evident this week when Danni Ferguson popped out of the Erinsborough black hole of guest cast to promptly run Matt over. We are big fans of Danni and at one point suggested she be made a regular and while it is great to see her get her biggest story so far (and potentially her final story), we would’ve liked to have seen her establish a bit more of a regular presence at the garage before the story began. But if having Danni around meant we lost out of the recent influx of returnees then the right decision was made! That said, we’d have happily sacrificed a Dimato appearance or two if it meant some more Danni!
There’s no denying what a great joy Sheila Canning brings to Ramsay Street and our lives. Not only is she the coolest gran but the most loveable motormouth. We adore the way she winds up Lou and would clip him round the ear if only she had the chance and this week saw her on one of her outlandish ideas – Dining in the Dark. It might have been a bit of a disaster but didn’t she look amazing in those night vision goggles? We also have to mention how much we love her family scenes. We’ve totally taken the Cannings to our hearts and we’re excited by the prospect of Kyle working with her at The Waterhole now too. It’s great to see her back on her feet and stronger than ever.
Sisters Doing It For Themselves
It was a great week for Paige and Imogen who finally spent some much needed time together. The only issue with Paige having such a wide family circle is that occasionally it has left her ignoring one side of the family for the other. However, after a couple of ‘Paige Turner’ heavy months, it was fantastic to see her bond with Imogen. The topless protest plot with certainly unexpected and led to some great comedy, wonderfully played by Ariel and Olympia, as well as a nice reference to Imogen’s ongoing body issues. Not only that but it was great to see Imogen come out of her shell and try her best to have fun this week. As the only member of the teen quadrangle acting with grace and maturity, we hope things really begin to look up for her.
What We Did in the 90s
Long terms fans were pleasantly surprised when Sue Parker, last seen in 1987, returned to Neighbours last year, every bit the thorn in the side of our Ramsay Street regulars as she was back then. And even better, by making her a councillor, it has ensured Sue has a reason to pop in and out in recent months but it has been her most recent stint that we’ve enjoyed the most. The reveal that she and Paul shared a stolen kiss and their desperation to hide it brought the two rivals together and allowed us to see a whole new side of Sue: a little softer with a difficult domestic life. The photograph story may not have led to the exciting murder reveal some were expecting but it led to some nice scenes between Paul and Sue – and dare we say it, a potential romantic partner?
Not so much of a miss, more of disappointment. This week saw Cat trying to get the Rebecchi’s to take her in, having told them that her foster parents were neglecting her. This was all lies of course but Cat made such a fun and welcome addition to the Rebecchi house that we couldn’t help but be really disappointed to see her leave, possibly for good. Toadie was a lot of fun around her and it’s a shame that she couldn’t stick around. With the Rebecchis shaping up to be the new Kennedys we wouldn’t be surprised to see them take on a new tearaway though.
Fools Rush In
No you haven’t got deja vu – we’ve put Danber at the bottom of list again. We wish we didn’t have to, but things haven’t got any better. Having sworn off men a mere few weeks ago, this week saw Amber reunite with hopeless hippie drip Daniel – complete with talk about fate, destiny, rainbows, magic crystals, unicorns and peace (we might have zoned out and guessed). Then after a few sepia flashbacks of Rain, Amber and Daniel decided to get engaged again. Yay! Or not. Amber needed time on her own, independence and to find a life of her own and instead it’s back to square one based on coincidence. Had Karl been wandering by when the car was stolen would she have declared him her soulmate? You’ve got to wonder.
Sometimes for Scene of the Week it’s those big dramatic moments we pick or laugh-out-loud comedy, but other times – like this week – it’s small character moments which break our hearts. This week it’s Imogen’s crushingly realistic scene with dad Brad, where she crumbled over the heartbreak of being the girl that nobody wants, after another attempt to get Daniel to see the blindingly obvious. Brad reminds her of the things we love about Imogen – she’s beautiful and smart and guys are IDIOTS not to want her. We wholeheartedly agree and it’s insane that Imogen has no one and yet Amber has not one, but two, guys fighting over her. We know who we’d rather spend time with! We love that Imogen isn’t bogged down in insufferable love plots but at the same time we hate seeing her lonely and sad and hope one day someone sees how special she is. In the meantime we enjoyed her chat with new big-sister Paige who promised to be a bad influence on her – in a PG way!
Like his scene with Paige the other week, Doug’s ‘prom’ scene with grandchild Imogen was another touching moment. He didn’t sugar coat the problems in Terese and Brad’s marriage but was honest with Imogen telling her that it was going to be difficult. We really liked how he brought up his memory problems too when he said Imogen could speak to him over the phone any time if she was upset. It really felt like a scene between a grandfather and his granddaughter. We must praise Ariel Kaplan again for continuing to show the vulnerable sides to Imogen’s personality as she deals with her parents’ break-up alongside her complicated feelings for Daniel Robinson. Great scene!