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'Neighbours' Hotel Death Trap Week - Review

14/04/2016 15:22

We've barely had a chance to get our breath back since Erinsborough High burnt down late last year, when last week our favourite Ramsay Street residents were faced with another disaster of epic proportions.

As part of what was hailed as the biggest week of Neighbours ever, Lassiters Hotel blew up disrupting the prestigious 'Erinsborough Citizen of the Year' ceremony and lives were placed in danger, again.

Lassiters, the hotel complex that has seen so many explosions and fires it's a wonder that anyone stays there. It can't rate too highly on Trip Advisor?

'Great place to stay. Loved the food. Close to the pub. Just make sure your smoke alarm is working. LOL'

But still people don't listen and flock to the tourist hotspot that is Erinsborough, risking their lives to do so.

This time it was a sabotaged boiler behind the destruction, causing the hotel to partially collapse. People died, old faces returned, new characters arrived and secrets as well as the survivors emerged from the carnage during Neighbours Hotel Death Trap Week. Catchy name eh, just rolls off the tongue.

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Copyright Channel 5. Lassiters goes kaboom, but not for the first time...

With same-day transmission in the UK and Australia this was a real chance for the show to deliver some surprises. But did it live up to the hype? So much happened during the action-packed week it's difficult to write about it all without writing something as long as 'War and Peace', so I'll stick to the highlights.

The Deaths

We were promised a death as emotional as the passing of Madge Bishop. Strong words considering that this was the death of a Neighbours legend, a character so iconic she was brought back as a wise old ghost for last year's 30th anniversary episodes. Her last scenes are some that I will never forget, so the victims of Hotel Death Trap Week had a lot to live up to.

So who was the first fatality? Josh Willis, a young man who clearly did not understand the rules of soaps. No one can leave Ramsay Street in good circumstances, so making plans to have a happy ending away from Erinsborough with ex-girlfriend Amber and their baby Matilda was like waving a red flag to the Grim Reaper, practically begging him to come get him.

Neighbours went primetime for Josh's death and we were treated to what every Neighbours fan cries out for, blood. Oh yes, us Neighbours fans are a bloodthirsty lot. When Kate Ramsay was gunned down two years, the only crying that could be heard were the cries of 'Where's the blood?! She's been shot in the back!' So this time Neighbours went all out and stuck a pole in Josh's lung, a scene so gruesome it warranted a warning of distressing scenes before the episode started. A first for Neighbours.

Was the death as emotional as Madge's?

Well yes, and then some. Josh died a hero, letting the emergency services rescue Daniel Robinson even though it meant his inevitable death. We were treated to a prolonged and tearful goodbye as his mother, father and two of his sisters said their farewells.

Just as I thought the Willis family had pulled on every heartstring I had, Neighbours pulled out the big guns and their first real surprise of the week, a video call from ex Amber and daughter Matilda. Even my tears had tears by this point.

Viewers online complained that Adele ruined Josh's last moments by singing too loud over his final words. (Geez that woman gets everywhere.) But in my household, it was my uncontrollable sobs that drowned out Josh's parting words to his daughter. It was certainly a death of Madge proportions.

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Copyright Channel 5. Josh Willis said his goodbyes in the rubble. Could they of not given him a pillow?!

The second death of the week was not as hyped but was equally as moving. Doug Willis, grandfather to Josh, collapsed and passed away after reuniting his son Brad with his estranged son Ned. Yep, it was a pretty big week for Brad. He had to watch both his son and father pass away in front of him and then try to reconnect with his long lost son.

Doug Willis had been living with Alzheimer's for the past couple of years in what was most often a very moving and touching storyline. So it seemed strange for this story to be cut short by such an abrupt ending. However, continuing the Neighbours tradition of coming back as a ghost, Doug appeared briefly standing over a reunited Brad and Ned, smiling, free of the disease and at peace. A more fitting and poignant ending for a character associated with the show for over 20 years, rather than the continued decline of his Alzheimer's disease.

The Returns

We were treated to a number of returns during Hotel Death Trap Week, but it was one familiar face that emerged from the rubble that got the Ramsay Street gossips in a flap. Sarah Beaumont, the woman responsible for tearing the Kennedys apart in the Nineties was back. This was the woman who caused Susan to give Karl 'the slap' that is now part of Neighbours history forevermore. Sarah was my university 'beard', the girl on TV I pretended to fancy, when really I probably wanted to be her, being all sassy and seducing Dr Karl Kennedy. Overshare?

She returned once before in 2013, in a story that reunited Karl and Susan who were going through their hundredth separation, but it seems this time her return is all about friction rather than reconciliation. Mystery surrounds why she is back and so desperate to speak to old flame Karl, but one thing's for sure, Susan is not happy and she wants her to crawl back in to the rubble where she came from.

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Copyright Channel 5. The iconic Nineties love triangle is resurrected from the rubble of Lassiters. What does Sarah want from old flame Karl?

The Surprises

Social media and the press gave away or alluded to most of the surprises during this big week. So it was great when Neighbours managed to shock their audience. For me the biggest gasp came from fan favourite Toadie, who was in trouble again.

Just how many times can one man find himself in mortal danger? The man can't even go on a bouncy castle without ending up in hospital!

Predictably he was saved, but there was a twist. Thinking his luck had finally run out, Toadie asked a favour of best friend Steph Scully. If he should die, destroy the red folder in the bottom drawer of his desk and do not let his wife Sonya see the contents. Now this was a curve ball that I did not see coming, what is Toadie hiding from his beloved wife? Could it be the truth about the whereabouts of first wife Dee, last seen being swept out to sea after Toadie drove them off a cliff on their wedding day? Who knows, but this is certainly one story that has got the fans talking.

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Copyright Channel 5. Invincible Toadie faces another life-threatening situation.

The Future

I've only touched upon some of drama from Hotel Death Trap Week, there was so much more that happened. It truly was a big week for Neighbours and it most felt like the show was pressing a reset button with so many new stories exploding quite literally on to our screens. You could tell that the whole production team had poured everything they had in to these episodes and they should quite rightly be proud of the results. A huge shout-out must go to Rebekah Elmaloglou, who plays Terese Willis, whose stellar acting shone bright throughout the week amongst a number of other standout performances.

Similar to last year's Neighbours Inferno Week, Hotel Death Trap Week has left us with more questions than answers. But whilst most people are wondering who caused the explosion, I'm left wondering, just who the hell was meant to win 'Erinsborough Citizen of the Year'?!

'Neighbours' airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5.

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