UK Air Date: 23rd December 2005
Writer: Dan Bennett
Director: Geoffrey Nottage
Current and former Summer Bay residents gather for the celebration of the year. But none of them are prepared for the deadly event that is about to befall them.
The party’s in full swing. Alf can’t believe they organised this for him. Ric and Martha smile – it’s not over yet. Alf turns to see… Mitch! Elsewhere in the party: Jesse and Chloe are laughing and getting on well together; Kim and Hayley share a smile; Colleen fusses over Lance; Humorous tension between Celia and Morag; Blake and Sophie chat, the ice clearly thawing. Hayley and Mitch share a warm hug – he can’t believe she’s pregnant. Dan tells Jesse if he likes Chloe he should tell her.
Every time Duncan tries to talk to Alf, Alf gets sidetracked talking to someone else. Sam arrives. Alf’s thrilled to see him. Sam adds – and look who I found out front… Then Will comes in. G’day, Stewie! Alf can’t believe it. How many more people are going to spring from the wood work?! Jesse tells Chloe how he feels. Chloe’s embarrassed and sorry if she made him think there was anything going on – she thought they were just hanging out as friends… Jesse attempts to backtrack and pretend all is good but we see he’s hurt. Jesse slips out.
Sophie tells Sal it feels just like it used to with Blake … Sally – so what does it mean…? Sophie just smiles. Meanwhile, Blake is filling Flynn in on his feelings for Sophie and how pleased he is that things are going well. They’ve wasted enough time. Blake promises Sophie he’d never hurt her again and they kiss. Will and Hayley catch up re: her heart condition, her pregnancy…and Kim. Seeing them together, Will senses she’s not really that into Kim and calls her on it. Hayley’s silence speaks volumes and Will guesses she’s not over Scott. He tells her to be true to her heart.
Alf watches on fondly at the party going on around him. Pippa joins him. ‘Let me guess – you’re thinking about Ailsa?’ Alf smiles – she’d have loved this. A tender moment between the two friends. Then he spots another face come through the door a…it’s Sarah! Stone the flamin’ crows! Troy crashes the party, begging for Chloe. The guys get rid of him – but not until he’s given one final threat. Chloe’s shaken – she’s never going to be able to escape him, is she?
They do have one final surprise for him… Who’s the one member of the family that’s missing? Barbara! The first time all the siblings have been together for years… Alf comments how glad he is to have his family around him, but it’s such a shame Roo couldn’t get here. Duncan’s starting to get a bit annoyed at being ignored. Duncan has a go at Alf (he came back trying to do the right thing – but Alf has just proved he couldn’t give a stuff about him!) He leaves the party and Alf feels bad.
Blake proposes to Sophie! She accepts. Fisher, Celia, Ric & Sally give speeches and the cake is presented, leading into a flashback sequence. The party winds up and Alf’s thanks everyone for coming. Left alone, Sally and Alf share a moment… It’s been a great 18 years, hasn’t it? The best…
Laughing and chatting about the party, Chloe drives Alf, Ric, Cassie and Kim into Yabbie Creek to continue the evening. Then, out of nowhere, a car travelling in the other direction comes straight for them, forcing Chloe to swerve. As there are screams and the screeching of brakes, we fade to black to hear the sound of an impact and metal being crunched – an accident, the magnitude of which we can only begin to imagine.
PIPPA ROSS (DEBRA LAWRANCE)
DONALD FISHER (NORMAN COBURN)
LANCE SMART (PETER VROOM)
CELIA STEWART (FIONA SPENCE)
BARBARA STEWART (BARBARA STEVENS)
Return one-off appearance, last seen in Episode #2024 played by RONA McLEOD. Returned for Alf’s 60th birthday.
MORAG BELLINGHAM (CORNELIA FRANCES)
SOPHIE SIMPSON (REBEKAH ELMALOGLOU)
BLAKE DEAN (LES HILL)
SAM MARSHALL (RYAN CLARK)
Return one-off appearance, last seen in Episode #3289.
SARAH THOMPSON (LAURA VAZQUEZ)
Return one-off appearance, last seen in Episode #1665.
MITCH McCOLL (CAMERON WELSH)
Return one-off appearance, last seen in Episode #3000.
WILL SMITH (ZAC DRAYSON)
Return one-off appearance, last seen in Episode #3774.
TROY PETERS/BRADLEY (CHRISTIAN WILLIS)
Third appearance, last seen in Episode #3992. Burst uninvited into Alf’s party celebrations to see Chloe.
Bobby’s Theme is used as an underscore during the speeches at Alf’s party.
An extended edit of the alternate 1995-1999 Home and Away theme tune is used during the flashback sequence.
Though Sarah returned after a 10 year absence, her only pieces of dialogue were unfortunately cut from the final episode for timing reasons. Conversations with Barbara, Blake and Mitch, as well as other references to past characters were also cut.
Ric referring to Duncan as “a tosser” was cut from the UK broadcast of the episode on Five, though was reinstated in subsequent repeats.