Sophie seemed to kind of slither to an end, as if they had a few more days with Rebekah but weren't really sure what to do with her in them.Still, the friendship between her, Fin and Blake shone through in her last week and I'm glad she and Blake had a goodbye, I was worried it was going to be skipped given that they already had one when he went to Les.I was thinking her last episode was a bit of a disappointment from the point of view that she was hardly in it but then that last scene with Michael at the airport was genuinely heart-breaking, with a real sense that neither of them wanted to be parted.Given how close they've been the last year it was entirely appropriate that that was her last moment.Still, it's nice that after months of misery she did ultimately get a generally positive exit.
One door closes and another one opens as we say hello to Sarah.She didn't exactly make an immediate impact, coming across as a bit bland and passive, but by the end of the week we're seeing how she could fit well into the beach house and shake the dynamic there a bit, there's an interesting half-sibling, half-crush relationship building between her and Sam.Her father is a potentially interesting character, with the casting of Jeff Truman, arguably Home and Away's first Big Bad, kind of subverting the audience's expectations in that while Matthew is a bit of a bully, as well as rather close-minded(although some of his stuff wasn't that dissimilar to the stuff Alf was aiming at Blake), underneath it all is a man who does genuinely love his daughter and want what's best to her and who ultimately is capable of being reasoned with.I can't help feeling that Greg's card game is just waiting for him to turn up and find Sarah's new home full of drinking and gambling.Bobby actually seriously annoyed me with her rants towards Greg, they weren't entirely unwarranted but it felt like she was determined to think the worst of him and making up sinister motives for stuff that was thoughtless at worst.
(As an aside on Barlow, the gun did effectively discharge by accident, and he definitely didn't intend to shoot Kerry, so any competent lawyer could have claimed manslaughter.Given that Dodge got let out in the mid-90s for a broadly similar accidental-but-not-all-that-accidental killing, it's possible Barlow served a similar sentence.As someone said, it definitely sounded like he was out by 2000.)
Slightly disappointed at Alf quickly reverting to his "Not in my house" attitude towards Blake and Fin(which will come and go depending on how the writers feel at the time over the next twenty-odd years, I seem to remember him having no worries about Curtis having a girlfriend stay over when he's the same age).And Fin heads towards the perennial "Repeating Year 12" storyline:Interesting that Irene seems to be the one that persuades her.I'm glad they seem to have highlighted Irene's smoking and used it as a plot device, Michael's insistence on allowing her to smoke when everyone else was finding it unpleasant was starting to verge on irresponsible.
Roxy is catching my attention despite not having done much since she turned up, although she's got the beginning of a storyline with the arrival of Max and they've quickly found a way to get her into Summer Bay High.It had slipped my mind she was the home economics teacher, which it really shouldn't given that I can remember a storyline from later in the year which should have given that away.It's interesting that, despite the cursory treatment of their relationship, they're still writing her and Nick as close, I wonder how long that continues for.
And the return of the chip on Shane's shoulder.Michael seemed to abruptly snap back into disliking him, especially after defending him to Irene.Nick really should have realised that Shane wasn't going to take that job.But the big question is...wither Tug?I seem to remember when he next appears there's a reference to him having been away for a bit but I don't think there's any mention of that until he comes back, so as it stands at the moment it looks to the viewers as if he's still around and yet the confrontation you'd expect between him and Shane isn't happening.