In the wake of recent tragedies, Summer Bay comes together this week to pay their respects to Robbo (Jake Ryan).
Forced to a clifftop at gunpoint after learning that his AFP colleague Scott Larkin (Trent Baines) had been working for the Ouroboros gang, Robbo had initially managed to talk Scott around and they set off to stop the siege at Northern Districts Hospital.
But on the way, Scott realised that Victor and his men would always have control of his life, so he chose to end it by crashing the car they were travelling in.
Scott was killed instantly but Robbo miraculously survived and was rushed into surgery. But it ultimately wasn’t enough to save him, and after sending Jasmine (Sam Frost) home to get some things, Robbo flatlined after asking Colby (Tim Franklin) to promise to look after her.
Robbo’s parents Ian (Frankie J. Holden) and Wendy (Amanda Muggleton) return to Summer Bay on Monday to help Jasmine with the funeral arrangements. Telling Jasmine that they have to get through it as they have no choice, Wendy helps her pick out some family photos for Robbo to be buried with.
The next day Summer Bay gather for the funeral, with federal police forming a guard of honour as Robbo’s coffin is piped into the church.
Ian delivers a moving eulogy to Robbo, with a story of Robbo getting drunk after his police graduation being enough to raise a chuckle amongst the congregation.
He fondly remembers Robbo’s words to him on that night, about how eager he was to start his career and protect others. But as he moves onto more recent times he breaks down, and Wendy has to support him as he finishes.
Colby then steps up to pay tribute to Robbo’s determination to protect his loved ones, and tells them of Robbo’s final words to him in the hospital—that his family are now safe.
The words bring little comfort to Jasmine however when, in a heartbreaking moment, her grief finally spills over and she starts screaming at Robbo’s coffin, calling him a liar for promising that they were safe and they’d be together forever.
As the congregation file past Robbo’s coffin before he’s taken for burial, Tori (Penny McNamee) places one of Grace’s soft toys on top.
Wendy then places a single white rose, taken from a bush on the family farm that Robbo had gifted to her when he was only 12 years old.
Back in Summer Bay a wake is held at Salt. Ian and Wendy aren’t able to stay long as they have to attend Lance’s (Angus McLaren) funeral the next day, but they tell Jasmine that she will always be part of their family and she’s welcome at the farm anytime.
After saying goodbye to Tori, who promises them that Grace will always know her father, Ian rounds everyone up to make a final toast to Robbo.
However talking to Colby outside, Jasmine can’t shake off the feeling that something is not right with Robbo sending her away just before he died.
Robbo made Colby promise to not tell Jasmine the truth about Scott turning against him, so she’s been under the belief that Robbo & Scott’s car crash was simply an accident. But with Scott’s family not attending the funeral, or his name being mentioned, she knows something isn’t right, and demands Colby tell her the truth.
Will Colby be able to keep his promise to Robbo?
Talking to Australian magazine New Idea about the episodes, Sam Frost said “It is just heartbreaking, and I felt that pain for Jasmine. It was really difficult and sad even to film these scenes. It was very emotional and challenging, as I do feel very connected to Jas. I had to dig deep and bring out grief of my own that I’ve been through personally. It was really, really painful.”
When is Mason’s funeral?
“But what about Mason?” we hear you cry!
Gunned down in the season finale whilst heroically attempting to help others make an escape from the hospital siege, Mason (Orpheus Pledger) will sadly not be getting an on-screen funeral.
Having flown down to Victoria to tell siblings Brody and Raffy the tragic news off-screen, Tori and Justin eventually decide to hold Mason’s memorial halfway between Summer Bay and Melbourne, so that it’s easier them all to attend.
Marilyn & John together with Willow & Alex join the Morgans as they leave for the service, but Mason’s former sister-in-law Ziggy decides against attending, not wanting to see Brody and Simone. When she later comes to regret the decision, boyfriend Dean comes up with his own way for Ziggy to say goodbye.
Although the decision to have Mason’s funeral off-screen has upset fans watching at Australian pace—who have rightly felt he’s getting short shrift—we have good reason to believe there may be another small on-screen gathering in a couple of months time. So stay tuned!
Here’s a full rundown and video slideshow of this week’s episode spoilers (be sure to turn the sound on!):
Monday 16th March
The Shaws arrive back in the Bay. A grief-stricken Tori and Justin continue to clash over Mason’s funeral arrangements. Willow’s concerned with how Alex is processing her trauma after the siege.
Tuesday 17th March
Marilyn admits to Alex that she is struggling with normalcy post siege. Bella gives Mackenzie her blessing. Colby comforts Jasmine. The Summer Bay community pay their respects at the funeral.
Wednesday 18th March
Dean helps Ziggy say goodbye to Mason. Bella is relieved to finally be released from the hospital. Jasmine forces Colby to answer some tough questions.
Thursday 19th March
The Stewart household prepares for the big event. Dean and Marilyn unwittingly threaten to blow the Paratas secrets. Jade’s latest trap backfires.
Friday 20th March
Alf and Martha’s special moment. Will Nik and Ryder put their misunderstandings aside to stop Jade? Marilyn’s on the back-foot when she realises her good deed had undesired consequences on the Paratas.