What is nostalgia if you don’t try to travel to another time?
As Jane Harris says towards the end of the Neighbors series finale: “Daring to dream, I could bring back time from the past. Over the years, I started to miss the girl I used to be.”
For the Aussies tuned into Neighbours, episode 8903, it was an exercise in nostalgia – and the producers knew it.
Maybe you haven’t watched the iconic soap opera since Charlene and Scott left, or since Susan Kennedy slapped Carl in the face of his con man. Or maybe you last paid attention when Delta Goodrem was still Nina Tucker, or maybe you’ve reached the Margot Robbie years.
For most Australians lyrical about the end of Neighbours, 37 years later, the goodwill towards the show comes not from following it religiously last week, but from long-standing memories.
This is the place he occupies in Australia. Neighbors is a show that we all know and are happy to have as part of our culture, even if we haven’t watched it in years and decades. And he joked that only the British were concerned.
Because when something you’ve always taken for granted comes to an end, nostalgia kicks in.
And there was nostalgia throughout the final episode, with little attention given to the new cast, even though they all had a small moment, and most of the 90-minute episode was given to outdated characters.
So where did they all end up? How did Neighbors end?
Mike and Jane
Jane Harris (Annie Jones) and Mike Young (Guy Pearce) are characters from the first era of Neighbours, contemporaries of Charlene and Scott.
Jane has returned to Neighbors in recent years, which has given the producers the opportunity to create a rich final storyline involving her and Mike, her “one who got away.”
Mike returns to Erinsborough on a motorcycle, mysteriously interrupting Clive’s attempt to get Jane back. When he visits his daughter Sammy at Paul Robinson’s (Stefan Dennis) office where she works for him, he and Jane grope for an awkward reunion.
They literally bump into each other, props are involved, and later they both reach for the heart-shaped box at the same time, making eye contact. This is cute.
She takes him on a tour of all the houses on Ramsay Street and there are flashbacks to the old days when they were still children.
But there are two complications. One of them is Clive, who still wants Jane back, but eventually succumbs to Mike when it becomes clear that the two former young lovers keep bulging eyes at each other. The other is Jane and Mike’s own neuroses.
She is convinced that her past means she is too damaged to allow herself to hope for a rekindling of their romance, while he needs her to understand that he too has baggage and that together they can work it out.
He tells her, “Jane, you were the first person I wanted to see when I got back here. The reality is that I still love you. Probably more now than ever. I realize this is probably too much, but if I were here we could take our time and see where things go.”
Oh yes, because he chose to stay in Erinsborough. He made an offer to buy a house on Ramsey Street (because everyone is selling it, which seems like a stupid real estate decision) and asked Susan about her high school job.
This is love after all these years.
Toadie and Mel
The main feature of this episode – and how the writers managed to get everyone back on the show – is the wedding of Toadie and Mel. This is his fourth marriage, but at least this one won’t end with him falling off a cliff. At some point, he gets out of the car, but this is where his participation in the car ends.
But just before the wedding, Amy (Jacinta Stapleton) returns after being tracked down by Joel (Daniel McPherson) to a bar in Cairns (but clearly filmed in a dressed-up corner of the studio) where she’s wallowing in a daiquiri in her confusion about any feelings. she might have for Toadie.
Joel convinces Amy that she does not love Toadie and never has, so she returns to Erinsborough in time for the wedding, where she is expected at the ceremony and street party after her.
They don alternative wedding attire (he in a striped knitted shirt and converse, and she in gold-patterned pleated culottes) and exchange vows in their typical fashion.
Afterwards, they all gather at Carl and Susan’s, where some old neighbors who couldn’t be there in person send messages over the Internet.
Here, a group of ex-residents, by nature, relay their messages to Toady and Mel (and Neighbors fans), including Kim Valentine, Jesse Spencer, Carla Bonner, Delta Goodrem, Stephanie McIntosh, Blair McDonough and, his most famous alum, Margo . Robbie.
Robbie, as Donna Friedman, tells Toadie and Mel, “Have a nice wedding day, Toadie. And I love you guys so much. My years on Ramsay Street were some of the best of my life.” And you just know what Robbie says about his time on the show. Ahh, that’s nice.
They all tell Toadie that he can’t leave Ramsay Street because he was going to, and based on that, he decides he won’t leave.
Everyone gathers outside at the cul-de-sac, and there are many couples in love whose plans to travel to New York are thwarted in order to stay in Erinsborough.
At the end, Toadie accidentally releases a balloon into the air and it bursts, showering everyone in glitter.
Paul and Teresa
Even the longtime Erinsborough villain has a happy ending.
After selling Lassiter’s to Shane Ramsey (Peter O’Brien), Paul is ready to leave and fly to New York.
But he still regrets, namely that it did not work out with his sixth wife Teresa (Rebecca Elmaloglu). He says he left it too late.
Inspired by Mike’s attempts to reunite with Jane, things became real for Paul and Teresa at Toadie’s wedding. Each guest is asked to write down one word that they associate with love and that Paul associates with respect. When he reveals this, Teresa runs away from the wedding.
He follows her and they talk on a park bench about what went wrong, but also about his fears that he will hurt her again because he knows he is a scoundrel. And precisely because he respects her, he will not force her to go through this anymore.
That’s when Teresa reveals what she wrote down and it was “acceptance”. She tells Paul that she accepts him for who he is and that she doesn’t always like him, but she always loves him.
With that, they get back together and New York’s plans are cancelled. Paul cancels his deal with Shane, who is completely fine with it and has been busy cohabiting with Izzy (Natalie Bassingthwaite).
The Kennedys have long been the emotional center of Neighbours, and there would be no Neighbors finale without their heavy presence.
After eldest son Mal (Benjamin McNair) informs his parents that he was with Izzy earlier in the week, everything falls apart when it is revealed that Izzy only slept with him as an excuse to get back to Ramsay Street.
Izzy confesses to the Kennedys that she desperately wants their approval, because if the Kennedys could see the best in her, then so can everyone else. Mal is devastated, and Carl and Susan are trying hard not to say, “I told you so.”
When alone, Susan is generous to Izzy, telling her that until Izzy finds a way to love herself, she will never be truly happy.
While this is happening, the Kennedys are dealing with the fact that they are about to be the last residents of Ramsay Street left alive. They are the only ones who do not sell their house. Susan’s eyes glaze over in every scene, which is the physical manifestation of every longtime, diehard Neighbors fan.
Harold tells them that they are the last keepers of this community.
When other events happen and everyone decides to stay, it’s like their family has returned to them.
At the very end, Susan looks back at all the familiar faces, including a few ghostly ones, and sums up that special place that so many people call home. And that’s where it ends.
Carl, noticing his wife in a trance, tells her, “Where were you just now?”
She replies, “I was at home.”
Charlene and Scott
Oh yeah, did you think we forgot about the long-discussed return of Erinsborough’s beloved son and daughter, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue?
It was promoted as a VERY BIG THING, but ended up having no effect on the actual story. But fans of the old school will like it.
In an appearance that could only be classified as a cameo, Charlene and Scott pull up in a green Mini Cooper with Queensland license plates, while a snippet of Minogue and Donovan’s “Specially for You” can be heard in the background.
They come out to an empty cul-de-sac, look around and he says “Wow, wow, wow, look at that, crazy, we made it,” to which she replies, “Home, sweet home.”
Realizing that no one is in any of the houses, Charlene notices an open window and a mischievous expression appears on her face. It is implied that she is about to break in.
Later, the party on the street is in full swing – the same party that was definitely supposed to start when they drove out onto a deserted street at the same time as Toadie’s wedding.
However, Charlene and Scott are not among them, they are on the side of one of the houses, and Jane and Mike are told that they are there. The four run towards each other for a big hug, but it’s also clear that Pierce wasn’t filming on the same day as Donovan and Minogue.
Although there are shots where both sides are looking at each other, they are never together in the same shot. The same thing happens later when Charlene and Scott are sitting on the balcony with Jane, Paul and Harold looking at everyone with smiles and Mike is there too but he is always shown in a separate shot.
It’s a little strange that the prodigal son and daughter of Ramsey Street went all this way, but didn’t mix with anyone downstairs. But hey, it’s a problem with production schedules and very special guest stars.