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.
Paige: If that doesn’t work, you can always give them a thump…
Paige: What? Always worked for me.
Bailey: I’m going to Queensland, not juvie!
You can always rely on Paige for some great sisterly advice.
Nasty Nick Nearing the End
It seems the net is finally closing in on nasty Nick in what has proved to be one of the Neighbours’ darkest, edgiest plots in many years – and we’re loving it. It’s been fantastic to see powerful Paul as the victim, and see how this horrible diagnosis has caused him to re-evaluate his life, as well as cause he and Naomi to consider the burgeoning feelings they have for each other. Not only that but Georgia’s descent into “crazy” Nick obsessive has been fun to watch and a real change from the usual work and relationship storylines the character has had. But it seems the best is yet come with the fantastic cliffhanger at the end of the week where, after two months, unlikely sleuth Georgia uncovered Nick’s fake diagnosis mere scenes after Nick told Paul of his “miracle” recovery. We’re dying to see Georgia expose the truth and to see how Paul reacts! As well as seeing how poor Terese deals with her brother’s fraud.
It might have been a little preposterous that the whole community gathered to give Paul their support and rally round to keep him as Mayor of Erinsborough considering the history his has with everyone. We’re sure everyone gathered has had their life made hell by Paul Robinson at one time or another but we couldn’t help but feel a little choked at the scene where everyone came together to support a sick Paul. Maybe seeing Paul so weak and downtrodden was another reason but we were moved. It’s not often we see him so choked up but when we do it’s powerful stuff.
This week it was a small but nice touch having the Kennedys and the Rebecchis interacting so closely and feeling like a big extended family. Susan and Karl are lucky to have Nate now in their family unit but we’re always glad when Neighbours remembers that Toadie is practically their son. We enjoyed that they planned a day out (even if it was a disaster!) and was a great opportunity for some hilarious dialogue which the four actors relished as usual. It’s always heartwarming to see these two families join up for dinner and we hope we see even more of it as Sonya is back home where she belongs!
We love Bailey and we totally empathise with his grief over the loss of his father but this week was a step too far even for us. Not only is Bailey acting like a serious brat but he actually shoved at shouted at Lou! Lovely cuddly granddad Lou! How can we forgive anyone for that? We do feel sorry for him, we really do but there’s only so much drinking and sulking on the Turner sofa we can watch. Not to mention his attempt to play cop when he looks like a baby George McFly was just plain cringeworthy! We hope this is as low as he’s going to stoop because we just can’t have anyone shout at Lou again!
Another week, another reason to be annoyed by Mark Brennan. Hot on the heels of upsetting to a widow, being awful to his friends in police questioning, being boring, being a constant nag to his little brother, this week Mark had a cold. And boy, did he go on about it. FYI, Mark, it’s not a good idea to act the needy, sick boyfriend mere weeks into a new relationship and certainly not while your girlfriend is looking after a man that, as far as everyone knows, is potentially near death. But, don’t worry, gang, Mark took a break from acting the victim in order to drag Bailey Turner into police questioning for a stern talking-to. One would think that Mark’s dodgy history with Bailey’s father would exclude him from talking to Bailey in a official capacity but it seems not. As one of the show’s most featured characters, Mark is just behind Amber in the nuisance character stakes and we hope it’ll be rectified…
Another fantastic scene dealing with the aftermath of Matt’s death saw Lauren comfort Bailey over his grief and him apologise for trashing Matt’s memorial. It was impossible not to be moved by their discussion about how unfair and pointless Matt’s death was and once again we were incredibly impressed by Kate Kendall and Calen Mackenzie’s performances. It’s been a while in Neighbours since a young adult has had to cope with the death of a parent and Bailey’s unstable, angry and lost reaction has been a real highlight of the show giving a realistic picture of how someone might cope with such a shocking and needless death. We’re glad that in the wake of tragedy we’ve been given some meaty and emotional scenes that have made Lauren and Bailey shine.
Funeral for a Friend
In another week of high emotion, we witnessed Matt Turner’s funeral and although far from an iconic character, we were really impressed by the effort made with the character’s farewell. Having seemingly learnt a lesson from the mistakes made with Kate’s and Priya’s funerals (rushed, and non-existent respectively) it was great to see Matt get a traditional Neighbours send-off. There was some wonderful emotional moments with Lauren and Bailey, played fantastically by Kate and Calen, and even better it was great to see a proper turn-out at the service. As Neighbours fans we’re used to seeing notable absences at weddings and funerals but instead everyone who would’ve been there was there – and that makes a huge difference in terms of believability. He may have been far from our favourite character but it’s great to see a regular given the respect and emotion they needed with such a shock exit.
It’s been a tough time for poor Nate lately with the end of his relationship with Chris and we were worried that Chris’s departure would leave Nate in a precarious position – it’s no secret that Nate hasn’t been quite as well integrated as some of the other new cast. However we were wrong to be worried as it seems Nate is finally beginning to develop a really natural and fun friendship with fellow newbie Tyler. In comparison to boring Brennan, it’s refreshing to see two of the younger cast having fun instead of getting hung up on their jobs or romance difficulties. It helps that the actors have a really natural and fun chemistry together and we’re pleased to see it bring out a whole new side of Nate. More of this bromance please!
Who wouldn’t love a very glam and entertaining woman like Naomi as their PA and secret keeper? She’s been an amazing assistant and friend to Paul this week as he suffers through Nick’s scheme and we can’t help but fall more and more in love with her as the weeks go on. No wonder Paul wants her around she’s the perfect pick me up, ever when Paul chucked his guts up over her dress (yuck!). We’re hoping that it’s not long before Naomi realises what Dr Nick is up to because seeing Paul so ill and fragile is hard going, but his scenes with Naomi have been so enjoyable.
We know that Brennan’s the good cop and being the good guy isn’t always fun, but we’re just so tired of his grouchy kill joy approach to everything. Granted it hasn’t helped that much of his time has been tied up in the Dimato plot but this week we also had him nagging at his brother and being off with Naomi too. Fine, Tyler is a bit immature and needs a steer in the right direction and Naomi has been letting him down to help Paul but Brennan’s been so uptight lately when you think he’d be happy to be back in blue. We enjoy Brennan scenes when he’s getting ratty over cleaning or he’s having a laugh but he just seems to have lost that fun factor lately.
This week finally saw the end (we hope!) of the Dimato plot and we have to wonder, are we the only ones questioning the point? Setting aside the fact that basing a story around the bland Brennan, Matt and a guest character was never going to be a hit but surely the story should’ve had some long term consequences? It could’ve had led to some really interesting drama for Matt and Lauren’s marriage but with Matt’s death, it no longer mattered. And had Matt’s death been Dimato related, we could understand it but he was coincidentally killed by an unrelated character. So with all that in mind, was it really worth putting us through weeks and weeks of boring threads outside Grease Monkeys? We think not.
We’ve always been huge fans of adorkable nerd Bailey Turner and have enjoyed watching him grow up. This week saw Bailey play a very emotional part in his father’s funeral and Calen Mackenzie got to show off his excellent acting chops once more and really impressed us. We remember well Bailey’s hatred of public speaking but he talked about this, explained his fears and the strength he gained from Matt’s guidance and it really helped to sell his moving tribute to his dad. It worked well to have him talk so honestly about the differences he and Matt had and made the funeral feel very genuine. Even though we were never the biggest Matt fans, Bailey made us feel like Ramsay Street had lost someone special.
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!