Ari and Mia’s sorrowful wedding is swiftly followed by a funeral, as Ari tragically passes away next week on Home and Away in the UK…
The world of the Parata/Anderson family came crumbling down last week when patriarch Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Mia (Anna Samson) was surprised to receive a call from Ari, who is now on remand after falsely confessing to the murder of Matthew Montgomery (James Sweeny), instead of a call from the prison informing her that Ari was being transported to Northern Districts Hospital.
Logan (Harley Bonner) had initially diagnosed Ari’s severe stomach pain as a ruptured appendix. He didn’t realise Ari’s condition was due to something far more sinister until surgery began.
Logan informed Ari’s family that the cancer was pseudomyxoma peritonei, an aggressive malignancy that begins in the appendix and has progressed throughout Ari’s entire abdominal cavity.
They had no choice but to accept Ari’s death because there was nothing else they could do.
After informing Ari of the bad news, Logan went on to say that they could perform a large operation, but that while it might give them some time, there were no promises. Before the inevitable happened, the torturous 16-hour treatment would have to be repeated every several months.
Ari tells his family this week that he doesn’t want to go through with the surgery. Ari says that it’s pointless to spend his life in a hospital bed or a prison cell waiting to die, despite the protests of his nephew Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) and brother Tane (Ethan Browne).
Ari goes on to say that he wants to die on his own terms, but when he sees Mia’s rage, he asks Tane to take Nik and Chloe (Sam Barrett) home so they can talk alone. Ari takes a turn that frightens Mia and rapidly brings her back to her senses as Mia angrily tells him that she isn’t OK with him throwing his life away. She promises to be there for him in his final days, and when Ari expresses sorrow for not marrying her years ago, Mia knows exactly what she must do.
When Nik and Tane send Ari some smart clothing to wear for a ‘family photo’ the next day, Ari is perplexed, but everything becomes evident when Mia enters the ward, accompanied by Chloe, dressed in her wedding gown.
Mia informs Ari that the celebrant would be there shortly to marry them; she does not want him to be disappointed!
When Julia (Ana Maria Belo), the celebrant, comes, Ari and Mia have a short and romantic ceremony in which they declare their love for each other.
Ari fights through and encourages Mia to forget about all that has happened and what is about to happen—this is the moment that matters, and he wants her to remember it for the rest of her life.
Ari kisses Mia and then collapses in anguish as Julia pronounces the two husband and wife.
Logan rushes Ari back to his bed, where he discovers that he has a severe bleed and has gone into hypovolemic shock. Ari is able to sign the paperwork that legalises the marriage, but it’s a close call.
Ari panics as he realises his final minutes are nearing and tells Logan that he wishes he could be at the beach, but it’s not feasible. On Ari’s request, all of the equipment is removed, and his family sits at his side.
Ari begins to sing a Mori song to himself before quietly falling away.
Ari’s body is taken to the Parata residence, where he is laid to rest in accordance with Mori tangi (funeral) customs. The Parata whanau come and go throughout the week to honour Ari, with Wiremu (Peter Paki), a Mori elder, directing the rituals.
Mia stays at Ari’s side as Nik practises his newfound taiaha skill in an attempt to cope with his loss.
The family spends their final night together with Ari, but Mia’s reaction is too much for Chloe, who goes to stay with Bella for the night after waking up from a dream to find Ari’s body laying in front of her. Tane pulls out his guitar, and the rest of the family agrees that it should be an evening of celebrating Ari’s life.
Everyone arrives at the house the next morning to say their final goodbyes to Ari before Nik and Tane transport his body back to Aotearoa (New Zealand) for burial.
Nik, Tane, and others from the whnau perform a haka after Ari’s casket is placed into the hearse.
Mia bids her farewell, and Ari sets out on his trek back to his homeland.
Following the poignant episodes’ premiere in Australia, Rob Kipa-Williams took to Instagram to express his gratitude for the positive feedback and to give respect to the show.
“Thank you to all of the fans for all of the love, messages, and support.
Thank you to everyone who makes the wheels turn, including the cast, crew, camera, directors, production, writing, makeup, art department, and everyone else in between.
This iconic Ozzie TV show was not afraid to take chances. I’m honoured to have collaborated on Mori cultural storylines, and I’ll always be proud of the scenes that made it to the screen… it was true teamwork. My hope is that this will lead to more diversity.
Thank you, Ariki Wiremu Parata, for everything; you’ve taught me a lot.
“I’m going to miss you,”