Last night, 37 years of Australian television came to a close as Neighbours aired its final ever episode.
Kicking off the nostalgia for the evening was a quick title card montage from over the years, but that was only the tip of the ice berg.
In a nod to his early days on Ramsay Street, Clive (Geoff Paine) donned the gorilla costume to deliver a gorillagram to Jane (Annie Jones) in an effort to patch things up. Unfortunately, the romantic gesture was interrupted by a motorbike cruising into the street. Turns out, the rider of that bike was none other than Mike Young (Guy Pearce)!
We soon found out that Mike has been back in the area for a while, and his daughter has actually been working at Lassiter’s – Chloe’s (April Rose Pengilly) assistant Sam (Henrietta Graham)! Jane offers to give Mike a tour of the houses since most are on the market, and we were treated to some nostalgic 80s flashbacks from when the duo were teens. As the pair reconnected, it was clear that there were still some sparks flying between the high school sweethearts.
After what could almost be considered 1986 finale boxing match 2.0, where this time Mike and Clive battled it out with a lamp in the street, Clive realised he should probably let Jane go, while Mike came to the realisation that he wanted to see if there was still something between them. In the end, Clive revealed he’s heading off to LA, with Jane and Mike sharing a moment when he decides to purchase No. 24.
Meanwhile, it’s all systems go as everyone pitches in for the final preparations for Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Melanie’s (Lucinda Cowden) wedding. Callum (Morgan Baker) has arrived, and in a surprise turn, Amy (Jacinta Stapleton) returns from Cairns, having had a visit from Joel (Daniel MacPherson), who made her realise that she isn’t actually in love with Toadie. And something may or may not have happened after the duo shared one too many cocktails…
In the lead-up to the wedding, Karl (Alan Fletcher) works on a song that he’s posted on the newly created former Ramsay Street residents Facebook group. Here we see Beth Brennan (Natalie Imbruglia) and Flick Scully (Holly Valance) bumping into each other while listening to the song and discovering they both have a history on Ramsay Street, even though they never actually crossed paths back in the day.
Toadie finally has a successful wedding – no one was driven off a cliff, no one was getting married out of convenience, and there wasn’t an explosion at the reception. The street is decked out for the ultimate street party reception, but before the party can start, Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and Karl have cooked up a little surprise since Toadie is also planning to leave the street.
The surprise is in the form of video messages from former Ramsay Street residents who couldn’t make it back for the big day – there’s Libby (Kym Valentine) & Billy Kennedy (Jesse Spencer); Steph Scully (Carla Bonner); Nina Tucker (Delta Goodrem); Sky Mangel (Stephanie McIntosh), former House of Trouser residents Stu Parker (Blair McDonough) and Lance Wilkinson (Andrew Bibby); Toadie’s cousin Tad Reeves (Jonathan Dutton); Noami Canning (Morgana O’Reilly); Flick Scully (Holly Valance Beth Brennan (Natalie Imbruglia, who sent her love to son Ned (Ben Hall) since she doesn’t actually know Melanie or Toadie; Joe Mangel (Mark Little); Sharon Davies (Jessica Mushcamp); and Donna Freedman (Margot Robbie), who says to the happy couple “Have an amazing wedding day Toadie. And I love you guys so much. My years on Ramsay Street were some of the best of my entire life.”
Having heard that Toadie was planning on moving, all their messages urge him to stay because he can’t leave Ramsay Street. And with that, No. 30 is suddenly off the market.
Earlier in the day, Paul (Stefan Dennis) and Terese (Rebekah Elmaloglou) finally have a conversation about their feelings for one another, both admitting that they still love one another and that they want to give their relationship another shot. And with that, Paul isn’t selling Lassiters or going to New York, while Terese isn’t buying River Bend, so No. 22 is off the market too.
The deal may be off with Shane (Peter O’Brien), but he seems to have found happiness with Izzy (Natalie Bassingthwaighte), who finally started to learn a little something about herself and why she was with Malcolm (Benje McNair) to begin with, and it wasn’t love – she desperately wanted the Kennedy’s approval because if they could see the best in her, then so could everyone else. Mal is devastated that his relationship is over, but Izzy finally seems to be changing for the better.
With Paul staying, that puts Aaron (Matt Wilson), David (Takaya Honda) and Leo (Tim Kano) in a bit of a pickle. Leo is fine with staying in Erinsborough and continuing with the vineyard, but David is still contemplating the idea of New York. But when Nicolette (Charlotte Chimes) reveals that she and Kiri (Gemma Bird Matheson) want to give things a go for real this time, No. 32 comes off the market too.
Since everyone else is staying, the Rodwell’s decide to take No. 26 off the market, taking Paige (Olympia Valance) back to square one with just No. 24 for sale, which she’s fine with anyway. And having caught the bouquet at the wedding, Chloe is surprised by the arrival of Elly (Jodi Anasta) and Bea (Bonnie Anderson), but she’s finally made her decision – she’s going to join Elly in Sydney and give their relationship another go.
Meanwhile, while the wedding was going on, a green mini and two very familiar faces drove into Ramsay Street – Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue), Especially For You blaring on their radio. The pair go back to the place they met – the window at No. 24 where Scott thought Charlene was breaking in. When everyone returns for the street party, they reunite with Jane and Mike, as well as Paul and Harold (Ian Smith) on the balcony of the former Ramsay house.
Earlier in the day, Harold informed Karl and Susan that, since at that stage Toadie was leaving, they were the custodians of the street and the history book, telling Susan she should have the honour of writing the introductory piece in the book. As Susan looks around the street at the festivities, there are some extra faces in the crowd – Lauren Turner (Kate Kendall), Lucas Fitzgerald (Scott Major), Philip Martin (Ian Rawlings), Vera Punt (Sally-Anne Upton), and Curtis Perkins (Nathan Borg). But there are some ghostly ones too as Susan thinks of those who sadly couldn’t be here – Madge Bishop (Anne Charleston), Doug Willis (Terence Donovan), Hendrix Greyson (Benjamin Turland), Sonya Rebecchi (Eve Morey), and even Finn Kelly (Rob Mills).
“Together, we have been the perfect blend.”
And as we cycle through the various versions of the theme song, everyone celebrates on Ramsay Street. The closing credits themselves feature photos of the cast throughout the years, and the final shot of Ramsay Street is a drone image of the entire cast AND crew, truly celebrating all aspects of the show.
Despite not wanting the show to end, the final episode was a truly perfect way to say farewell to Erinsborough. Shane Isheev and Jason Herbison crafted a wonderful ending that focused on all eras of the show, delivered something for all fans, and gave a nod to the future for some of these characters. The entire cast and crew came together to deliver the perfect end.
As someone who has watched Neighbours for over 25 years, I cannot imagine a more perfect way to close this chapter of Australian television history. The cameras may have stopped rolling, but life in Erinsborough will continue without us, and it’s a comforting feeling.
As I wrap my last Neighbours story, special thanks must go to Kristy Harper at 10 for her extensive hard work over the last few weeks. Doing articles for the last 20 episodes in the space of just 2 weeks is no easy feat, but it’s a challenge I’m glad I took on.
Farewell Erinsborough. It’s been a pleasurable dose of unmissable drama.