The 2002 Season opened with both Vinnie and Leah, and Gypsy and Will coming to terms with the births of their babies. However there were varying emotions from both sets of parents, with Will and Gypsy celebrating their engagement, and Vinnie and Leah worrying about Vinnie’s impending court case for fraud.
Vinnie wasn’t the only person to be in trouble with the law early in 2002. Alex had a coroner’s inquest investigate into the part he played into Miles’ death, but they decided that no further action was required. It however took Brodie slightly longer to forgive Alex for killing Miles, but eventually they were able to rebuild their friendship.
Flynn also found himself briefly in trouble with the law when Justin Bell, a kid Flynn was trying to help, accused him of assualt. However when Justin’s mother, Mrs Bell tried to blackmail Flynn. Noah dobbed Mrs Bell into the police and though she quickly dropped the allegations she was then arrested for perverting the course of justice.
Rhys’ brother Pete came to the bay to visit, along with his son Max. Peter suffered from a gambling addiction, and so decided to leave his son with Rhys and go on the run. Shelley and Rhys looked after Max whilst searching from Pete. This wasn’t the only problem that Sutherland’s had in the early part of the year with a disruptive Kirsty, who eventually left school and started work at a hairdressing salon. She was also dumped by Seb, who disliked the new Kirsty.
Will was offered a job by Gil. However this meant that he would have to move up to Queensland. After initial trepidation and some angst from Nick, Will and Gypsy decided it was the right move for them and prepared to move. Their departure left them without enough time to plan their wedding and had a “faux” ceremony in front of friends at the wharf before sailing off.
Vinnie was found guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison. Not wanting Leah to see him suffer, he told her to stop visiting in prison, convenient that Ryan K’s contract was up at the same time, and left the show.
Arriving back in the Bay at the same was Irene’s troubled son, Nathan, who had been staying with Flynn following his recent release from prison. Nathan tried to rebuild his life, working at the diner, but when sales dropped, Alf and Leah had to let him go. He went back off the rails again, but became a hero when he helped rescue the Year Ten’s from the remains of their bus crash. It was whilst Nick was being treated in hospital that he met Nurse Grace, and the two feel in love, before leaving for Alice Springs together.
Talking of the school, Brodie fought a campaign to stop a proposed closure of either Summer Bay or Reefton Lakes High. Reefton’s representative, Ethan, took quite a shine to Brodie, but was warned off by Josh, following Miles’ recent death.
A swap teacher, Kick Johnson, came to take charge of the History classes at Summer Bay High whilst Sally was teacing at Reefton Lakes. On excursion, the bus they were travelling crashed off the road and Nick was left paralysed and Don suffered head injuries. Following this near loss of his grandfather, Seb deciced to move in.
Nick’s recovery was a lot slower, and he spent few months in a wheelchair, before he eventually was able to walk again.
Kirsty was hanging out with new friends at the salon, and they coaxed her into taking ecstasy tablets. Kirsty had a bad reaction to the drugs and went into a coma, which she pulled through.
Charlotte found out that she was pregnant with twins to Jude, whilst Noah had a bout of menigitis.
The students held a lock-in at the school to protest about it’s closure. When Don disobeyed department orders to get the kids (and grown-ups) to leave the school, he found himself suspended and was replaced by a younger principal, Paris Burnett. June Reynolds returned to the bay to comfort Donald.
Brett Egan visisted the bay again, now working for the department. He gave Sally a file containing information that allowed the school to stay open.
Dani and Josh were wanting to take their relationship to the next step, but this reached a stumbling block when Dani ran out, traumatised still from her experiences with Kane the year before. She had some counselling to help her overcome this.
Noah, Hayley and Josh moved into a new house called “The Palace” and to celebrate, they had a paint party, where Kirsty and Seb shared a kiss, that eventually led to the end of his relationship with Lara.
2002 was the 150th anniversary of Summer Bay. Several old faces including Frank, Floss, Sam, Matt, Blake and Sophie returned for Summer Bay’s biggest party. However it didn’t go to plan. The ship taking them out for a cruise sunk, an event foreseen by Floss, leaving many missing. Kirsty and Kane ended trapped in the bush together whilst Blake and Sophie rekindled thier romance. Irene and Paris also found love. Don learned he had a new grandchild thanks to Rebecca and Travis. Alf broke his leg after falling off a ladder.
Paris and Irene’s relationship was however cut short when Don got his old job back and Paris was forced to move to another State.
Max returned to the Sutherland house, this time without his father, and lived there permanently.
Charlotte’s miscarried the twins, and around the same time Shauna returned to the Bay. Jude after much tooing and froing, eventually decided that it was Shauna that he wanted to be with and left the bay with Shauna.
Kane and Kirsty, knowing what damage would be caused if people found out, desperately trying to keep their relationship a secret. First Flynn found out, Josh as well and then, more importantly it clicked for Shelley when she recognised a T-shirt in the wash she had earlier seen on Kane. Rhys and Shelley put an end to the relationship at once, causing Kane and Kirsty to go on the run. However, for Kirsty’s sake, Kane decided the best thing to do was drop her back home.
Kirsty, set about trying to rebuild her life, going back to school, hanging around with her old friends. She had a new goal in life, she wanted to become a teacher.
Jesse McGregor returned to the Bay after spending the past two years in prison. He had spent the past few months in the same prison cell as Vinnie and had been sent by him to take care of VJ and Leah.
Alex, who had a failed relationship with Kelli, a cake maker early in the year, then rescued her from her abusive husband, Jason. With Jesse seeing this as a threat to Leah and VJ’s safety, especially with the fact that Kelli and her kids were staying at the Patterson House, and attacked Jason, a move which could have landed him back in jail.
Two Bay residents found riches during this period too. Irene won some money on the lottery, buying herself an MG sportscar and Charlotte received a 2 million dollar inheritance from an eldery gentleman who had recently died in her care.
Two people who were have less luck at the time were Colleen and June. Colleen was finding that she was spending her money on the pokies which led to her being unable to pay her rent. June was having a reoccurence of her kleptomania with her stealing several items including Josh’s camera, Alex’s watch and a pool ball. Both cases came to head when money went missing from the diner till, where both women were working, but more about that later.
However, Charlotte, wasn’t in a well state. With the double blow of losing the twins and Jude to Shauna, she began self-prescribing and then kidnapped a baby she found at the drop-in centre. However, Vinnie’s cousin, Mav, helped clear her head and she was about to move across to Vietnam to help the orphanages when she took one last fateful dip in the pond.
She died, and Jude returned to her funeral. When her will was read it found out that the contents were still bequeathed to Jude. This caused anger between Noah and Jude, with Noah believing that Jude was going to use the fortune on him and Shauna, however Jude was going to go with Charlotte’s wishes.
Charlotte’s death caused Jade to launch headfirst into a live for the moment phase which lead to the cancellation of the school play, directed by Kirsty, a few dangerous stunt at the headland and souring in her relationship with Nick. However, possibly the most horrifying side effect of this period was that we saw Shelley go skinny dipping.
VJ was found out to be deaf, and underwent surgery, which was hoped would help improve the situation.
The Sutherlands, did their best to keep Kane and Kirsty’s relationship from Dani, but unfortunately for them Kirsty couldn’t keep her terrible secret. When Dani found out she ran away first to The Palace and then to The Beach house, saying that she wasn’t able to trust her family. Shelley through all her counselling know how out the window trying to smother Dani to make her rejoin the family before Rhys made her see the error of her ways.
Don and June had been living together for the past five months and then somethign that Alf said convinced Don that the time was right to propose to June, which she duly accepted.
Angela Russell arrived at Summer Bay as the schools new Assistant Principal and immediately set hearts racing amongst the teenage boys. She revealed that she used to be childhood friends with Rhys. She brought her son Dylan with her and he immediately fell for Kirsty. Luckily for him Kirsty fell for him as well.
Alf began acting strangely, misplacing items, leading friends to think he might be . He did something else, but I can’t remember what it was. When he accused Colleen and June of stealing from the diner, it caused both women to consider leaving town. Alf finally found he had simply misplaced the money. However, June, fed up of the way she was being treated, and hurt by the fact that Don didn’t trust her in saying she had not taken the money left town.
Summer Bay High, gained an autistic student, Mikey, who caused havoc including going missing and presumed drowned, going up on the school roof and causing a stench in one of the classrooms when Sally had to take her shoes off. He however, much to the delight of everyone passed his exams.
Alf’s behaviour became even more erratic, losing his cool in the school amongst others, so Don brought Morag to the Bay. In what way this was meant to help was unclear, and Morag went about protecting the assests for Alf’s children.
Back to Kirsty and Dylan, and Angie told Rhys that Dylan was her son. Shelley found out about this from a tape, causing Rhys to move out the house and then to the city, for a special one-off never seen on TV, but popular amongst e-bay sellers, episode. The Sutherland’s however pulled together and accepted Dylan into their family.
This however wasn’t enough to stop Kirsty having a mental breakdown.
Morag investigated into Angie’s past, remembering that she had taught at Duncan’s school and that she had left in “suspicious” circumstances.
Sally begain looking around for someone to be a surrogate mother and bumped into an old school friend named Tara. Tara was up for the idea. However Flynn found out that she been in accident that had killed her youngest son and her husband and had been missing since. Sally then turned to her old foster sister Sophie, who eventually accepted.
Josh began to try an aquire assets around the bay, becoming more and more asset happy as the year went on and by the end of the year his relationship with Dani had soured and they broke up.
An old enemy from prison named Grigg came to the bay looking for Jesse and held Irene and Nick hostage. He escaped and was then found dead in Don’s car.
Vinnie was to return home for VJ 1st birthday party. Noah tried to be a councillor, as well as a counsellor, but he failed. (Judging from his record with some of his clients, it could be argued he failed at both.)
Shelley decided she had enough, packed her bags and left the bay, but not before pouring punch over Angie. Leah received a phone call at VJ’s birthday party that caused her to break down in tears and Alf returned home to the diner to see Ailsa getting a box of eggs out the fridge.
What happened next? For goodness sake, what sort of question’s that?