My guilty TV pleasure, the Aussie soap Neighbours, has gone off air until after Christmas, but fans wanting a conclusion to the recent murder plot will have to wait until next year to find out who killed Hamish.
If you’re in need of a recap, on the night that the Ramsay Street residents were celebrating their suburb of Erinsborough being named the Most Liveable Suburb (in a competition that everyone was inexplicably passionate about) Tyler’s detestable long-lost father Hamish was found face down in a hot tub, dressed in a Guy Fawkes costume and having been hit on the head with a garden gnome. No, I’m not having a fever dream, this is the story which has been building up to a crescendo for the past few weeks. I do love Neighbours and its ridiculous plotlines.
The big question has been who killed Hamish, but it remains unanswered. Plenty of Ramsay Street residents had a motive. Hamish seemingly murdered the Brennan brothers’ father, tried to sabotage Amy’s business, was dating two women at the same time (Sheila and Louise), and was attempting to turn Tyler against the rest of his family while all the while trying to con him out of his inheritance. And if all that didn’t clue you in to the fact that Hamish was a bad guy, his pantomime-villainesque hammy acting just might have done.
In a peculiar comedy of errors typical of Neighbours, Gary and Sheila both suspected each other of having killed Hamish for a while, with both of them being angry at him for cheating on Gary’s mum Sheila. After weeks of sneaking around trying to cover for each other, they eventually had a thirty second conversation and realised they were both innocent.
The most recent Ramsay Street resident to put their hand up and admit to killing Hamish is Tyler, although even he isn’t sure if he did it. Hamish was still alive when Tyler left after hitting him on the head with a gnome, but he’d thought that Hamish’s spurned lover Louise had come by and finished him off afterwards. In the final episodes of 2017, Tyler found out that someone else had seen Louise at the time Hamish was going for his final dip in the spa, so she cannot have been the murderer. Thinking he was responsible, Tyler turned himself in at the police station on Christmas Day, not even having the decency to let the detectives finish their Christmas dinner in peace.
I could probably quite easily find spoilers online and solve the mystery for myself, but where’s the fun in that? Personally, my money is on Tyler’s mum Faye. She has plenty of motive, having found out that Hamish killed her ex-husband, was trying to con her son, and was also attempting to turn her other boys against each other. Neighbours loves to drag a storyline out, but even by their usual standards, this one seems to have dragged on interminably, and I can’t believe we have to wait until next year to find out who the Garden Gnome/Hot Tub/Guy Fawkes Murderer is.
In separate storylines, perennial villain Paul promised not to do any more dodgy dealings, then immediately did some more dodgy dealings, in a move that surprised nobody. Kirsha’s temporary deafness caused by a freak firework accident seems not to be temporary at all after she underwent some tests. Her family have all started to learn sign language together, but I predict a miraculous recovery in 2018 for Kirsha – she’ll probably have some sort of head injury that magically cures her deafness. Neighbours continued its blasé approach to mental illness when Piper suffered agoraphobia for about a day, curing herself by just getting up and going outside. If only we’d known how easy it was, agoraphobics everywhere could all have cured themselves by now.
Like the fireworks for the Most Liveable Suburb award, the season finale ended up being a bit of a damp squib, even with three (count them, three) cliffhangers to take us into the new year.
Aside from the murder cliffhanger that’s still rumbling on, Paige’s gigantic baby Gabe was kidnapped as she was trying to get him into the car. If I was Paige, I wouldn’t worry. The kid looked about 18 months old when he was born, so with his advanced ageing, I suspect he hasn’t been kidnapped at all, but has rather gone off to find a job, or gone on a gap year or something. He’ll come back after Christmas having become a vegan, with a newfound passion for Eastern mysticism.
The final cliffhanger is one which I am struggling to care about, even if it did elicit a gasp when I was watching. Earlier this year, Ramsay Street stalwart Toadie was conned by a woman claiming to be his dead wife Dee, miraculously returned from the dead having been driven off a cliff on their wedding day back in the 1990s. Dee’s ‘return’ caused all kind of problems for Toadie and his current wife Sonya, and they’re only just getting their marriage back on track. The final episode of 2017 saw them renewing their vows in typical Ramsay Street style, in their back garden. Very few Ramsay Street celebrations take place anywhere other than the pub or someone’s back yard, with school principal Susan Kennedy officiating in her sideline as a wedding celebrant. The pub had already been used for the terrible Christmas variety show, so the back yard was the only option left.
Just as Sonya and Toadie finished renewing their wedding vows we saw a taxi pull up, with Dee peering not-too-subtly out of the window.
But was it Dee, or was it fake Dee? Or, as some of the internet are theorising, was it fake Dee who through some sort of freak memory-loss doesn’t realise she’s the actual Dee? Surely the big questions is, does anyone actually still care at this point?
I guess we’ll find out in 2018!