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.
The climax of the Nick storyline brought many highlights as it drew to a close this week but when it came to choosing our favourite scene, it simply had to be his final scene as he lashed out at his family. While it’s been one of the plot’s few criticisms that we’ve not seen enough of Nick’s relationship with his family (and that was true), what little we did see showed the clan’s hero worship of successful Nick. Intelligent, driven and thriving in his career, he was an inspiration for Josh and in particular, Imogen. Similarly Terese made no secret of her love for her brother, defending him and worrying for him even when he was doing in indefensible. So with that in mind, it was all the more powerful when Nick cruelly tore his family apart for their seeming betrayal of him. Rejecting Terese’s offer of help, he hit each and every family member where it hurt them most in a vindictive rage. It was a fitting and memorable final scene for such a nasty character and we’re sorry to have lost him so soon.
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…
It was Karl vs. Nick in this week’s Scene of the Week, as Paul collapsed and Karl rushed to his aid. In a great, tense cliffhanger, it was fantastic to see all the key players in the story united in one scene. With Paul unconscious, it was left to Karl and Georgia (who obviously relished a chance to remind us, and Nick, that she is a nurse) to save the day. When control-freak Nick arrived to see what was going on, he desperately tried to take over. However, Karl, super doc, shut him down and refused to relinquish Paul’s care to suspicious Nick. It was a brilliant moment as we saw Nick doing his best to remain inconspicuous whilst being incredibly worried that his secret could be blown. It was awkward, uncomfortable and exciting – and yet another memorable moment in this story.
Paul and Naomi
One of the highlights of Dr Nick’s reign of terror (and there are many) has been the focus on Paul’s friendship with new assistant, Naomi. Stefan and Morgana are terrific actors and share a great chemistry onscreen. Whether they be bickering or having a heart to heart, we love their scenes. Even better is the fact that after so much time spent verbally sparring over the Erinsborough festival, few of us could’ve predicted the emotional turn their relationship would take and we’re loving it. Whilst it seems that Naomi may have begun to fall for Paul in a way he didn’t expect (and to be honest, we’re unsure about the idea of a Paul and Naomi relationship) we can’t deny that their sweet friendship has been a highlight episode after episode. From the powerful moment where Naomi shaved Paul’s head to the playful one where she gave him a hat to keep warm, they effortlessly manage drama and comedy, and we’re looking forward to more of it.
Imogen and Tyler
It’s about bloody time Imogen got some attention from a cute guy considering lately she spends most of her time pining over drippy Daniel and this week Tyler stepped forward to give her some much needed fun. We’re all for uptight career girl Imogen and we love that she takes her ambitions seriously but it was nice to see her let her hair down this week with a spot of strip poker with Tyler. We loved their playful chemistry and after all her love life dramas it was great to see Imogen enjoying Tyler’s carefree company and his hot bod. She might be still hung up on Daniel but there’s no harm in the sparky fun Tyler has brought into her life.
While Mark Brennan has become a bigger pain in the neck – and narrowly missed our bottom slot this week by the skin of his teeth – is is therefore refreshing to see his little brother Tyler continue to impress us. We’ve mentioned in previous weeks how we’ve quickly warmed to his character and this week was no exception! We love a bit of the good old ‘Neighbours does comic nudity!’ plot and frankly it’s been too long. So when Imogen managed to best Tyler at cards this week and get him stripped down, the scene was made even better when Kyle interrupted and was horrified at the sight before him. Thinking on his feet, Tyler quickly had Kyle believing he was a nudist and led to some great interaction later in the episode as Kyle tried to subtly question Mark on his little brother’s naked leanings. It’s the simple comedy Neighbours does so well and we think that Tyler and Kyle could have the potential to be a great comic double act.
Oh Georgia. What else can we say? She sure knows how to put her foot in it. We all know she’s the victim of the piece and it’s her we should be cheering on but frankly she’s made so many daft decisions in trying to out smart Nick it’s a wonder he hasn’t ruined her life even more! While we can wait to see Nick’s lies unravel Georgia has even faced the rare disapproval from Dr Karl this week as her plan to expose Nick fell apart. Her crafty lie to sneak into Nick’s hotel room backfired as soon as she had no excuse handy when Nick walked in the door – d’oh. While we’ve grown fond of Georgia in recent times, her ‘wronged woman on a mission’ just comes across as whiney and entitled even though we know she’s in the right and we can’t help but feel she should just let this one lie. In her mission to stop him she’s actually made matters worse by not reporting his bet to bed her and by not handing in the USB stick, and besides – Nick is not someone you should mess with!
Nine Month Nightmare
When Amber revealed she might be pregnant our hearts sank. When she revealed Josh might be the father we could feel our worst nightmares coming true. If there’s something worse than an Amber plot, it’s a Jamber plot. The end of that relationship was one of the best decisions Neighbours has made and we saw Josh become a much better character because of it so to revisit it is a HUGE mistake. In a series of strangely creepy flashbacks we saw Amber and Josh seeking comfort in each other after she was left at the altar and neither character came out of those flashbacks looking great. Now we have nine months of this hellish story involving the love triangle we despise and neither outcome is one we like the thought of, not to mention the story has somehow made Paige come across as a sanctimonious hypocrite. Boy are we hoping these next nine months fly by…
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.
It was another bad week for Lauren and Matt in terms of their marriage crisis but a good one for us viewers as their fiery arguments continued. It may have taken some time but it’s great to see some real drama and anger in a marriage that’s faced a lot of trauma on Ramsay Street so far and come out unscathed. However, as things appear to be looking up, Matt’s secret hook up is waiting to be revealed. Yes, this week resident good guy Matt succumbed to the charms of Sharon Canning much to Terese, and the viewers’ shock. It was a brilliant twist that we’d been hoping for since their flirtation at the wedding. We’re not one to often push for infidelity in Neighbours marriages but in this case, it’s felt natural and a long time coming. We can’t wait for the truth to come out!
The anniversary week continued with yet more returns including some faces we never thought we’d see again! Let’s start with Nina, who probably had the biggest impact out of all the recent returnees. Watching Delta onscreen has been a joy and it has been wonderful seeing the character reconnect with her old neighbours. The reprise of ‘Born to Try’ gave us goosebumps and the performance of ‘Only Human’ was a great bookend for all the anniversary events. We even found time for a mini story about her relationship troubles with Jack – and we’re very glad they reunited. Also this week we saw the long awaited return of Des, original character and all-round Neighbours icon. Although he was before our time, it’s always brilliant to see the show’s history be revisited in any form and to see an original character back and serve as a true friend for Paul was an unexpected highlight for us. Another highlight was the web chat cameo from Sky! With Stephanie McIntosh pregnant in LA we knew Sky wouldn’t rock up in Ramsay Street but it didn’t even matter. We were grinning as we heard all about Scotty Jr. and tying Harold’s exit to Sky, with him finding a proper place to call home with his granddaughter was the perfect ending. And all this is without even mentioning Tom and Guy! Can you tell we like returnees?
Just as we thought we couldn’t enjoy Dr Nick’s meddling in Ramsay Street any more, the show drops this killer plot twist into the mix! Friday’s episode saw a frustrated and devious Nick change Paul’s blood test results and deliver the news personally that Paul has cancer and could die! It was a really dark and twisted move from Nick, who is hell bent on getting the funding for the research centre but we couldn’t help but love how wicked it was! Really nasty villains don’t crop up in Neighbours too often but when they do and they’re as love-to-hate as Nick then we feel really spoiled. We can’t wait to see how far Nick’s lies go and how this will change Paul’s life – and how on earth will Nick get away with this? So exciting!
Hi and Bye
Now as you can tell from above, we’re fond of a returnee and while we understand Neighbours’ budgetary constraints and are aware that that’s most likely the reason these returns are so brief, some are ending up even shorter than expected. Whilst Nina provided the ideal template of how to do a short guest return, we also liked how Des and Sky’s fitted well with the plot as well as providing a glimpse of how those characters lived have turned out away from Ramsay Street. Tom and Guy? Not so much. It was brilliant to see them – especially Guy – but both got a scene each before disappearing. Would Guy really not hang around a few hours to support his sister and niece after the wedding fiasco? We hope no one views this as us being ungrateful as its a case of the more returnees the better as far as we’re concerned but in future, we’d like to avoid some ‘one scene wonders’!
Sending our Love Down the Well
In the least anticipated wedding of the century it was obvious things weren’t going to run smoothly but I don’t think anyone saw “being trapped in a well” as a reason for Daniel’s no-show (unless you’re a fan of spoilers, of course!). While the well set is good and the actors did a convincing job of portraying the horror of being trapped the whole situation was bizarre and honestly pretty ridiculous. Daniel isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but you’re hard pushed to believe even he would go down a well to retrieve a ring that was dropped down there a hundred years ago – even less believable that Imogen would follow, love or no love. Imogen’s one of our favourites so she can just about save this plot, but if things get really desperate we wouldn’t mind if she had to sacrifice Daniel for the greater good.