03 April 2008

No, I still think she'll make it!

I have never followed television soaps very closely. Since I've had children though, I've been completely oblivious to whatever is going on in Ramsay Street and Summer Bay. But tonight I watched Home and Away, because Sally Fletcher was leaving.

She just ... left. Unless some salacious piece of information comes to light in subsequent shows, she just moved away. Pffft. Just like that. No explosive death, no car-crash death, no shooting death, no wedding-day death. Just moved away. Wow.

I remember watching Blue Heelers when I was younger (much younger). My best friend and I had an unbreakable date with the TV to watch the latest in the saga of terrible crimes in the sleepy Australian outback town Mt Thomas, often travelling up to half an hour to each other's houses to watch it together.

Then when it was announced that Lisa McCune was moving on and therefore her character Maggie Doyle was leaving the show, I was quite devastated. Maggie can't go, I thought. Well, at the very least, Maggie can't DIE. That would be out of the question.

Months before Maggie's departure I heard an interview given by someone in the know. Maggie is such a well-loved character, he said, that she won't be killed off. She will leave in some other way.

Good, I thought. Just as it should be.

As Maggie's final days in Mt Thomas drew closer, ads for the episode seemed to show images of her in a possible death situation, (despite her intention to start a new life in Melbourne in the Witness Protection Program.) I thought this was ridiculous, as she most certainly would not be dying. They're just teasing us, trying to get more viewers to watch to boost their ratings, I reasoned.

The night for Maggies' final episode came, and my friend and I got ready. How would she go? What would happen? How would she escape the sinister events shown in the ads? Were the ads a complete hoax after all? Ooooh, the intrigue!

What a dark episode it was. As Maggie's situation became more and more dangerous, I telepathically begged her to forheavenssake getoutofthere! Save yourself, I silently cried, you have a touching farewell scene to come! You have to be safe and happy before you start your new life in Melbourne!

Then: horror of horrors! Maggie was shot by a nemesis whose face, name and details I must have erased from my memory. Get up Maggie! Save yourself! Run away! Remember the wonderful farewell and the exciting future ahead of you!

She drifted in and out of consciousness. Odd, I thought, for a person who will be well and happy by the end of the episode and rolling off into the sunset. She must be about to make a very stunning recovery. (I reiterate at this point that I was much younger then, and more apt to idealise.)

She had dragged her body across the floor, trailing dark blood behind her. It was looking grim, but I still thought she could make it.

Then PJ entered the scene and cried as he held her. Don't sit there sobbing you fool! She's not going to DIE or anything! They'd never kill off a character as popular as Maggie, don't you know how these things work?! She will be alive and well soon, and she'll need you to help her to the hospital! C'mon!!!

But PJ sat there weeping like a lost little puppy. "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Noooo!!!!!" Stupid PJ. If only he'd stop going on as if she's going to die! He needs to start helping, not sooking there on the floor with her!

Well Mags, you're going to have to do it yourself. Just hop up now and head off down to the hospital, there's a good girl. You've only got 10 minutes until the end of the episode - that's not a lot of time to get patched up, make a full recovery, sort out something with PJ to make sense of the fact that you're leaving the show and he isn't, tie up loose ends with your job, sort out some new job in Melbourne and head off into the sunset to make a new life for yourself ....



Oh. Oh heck.

She's really dead. Fully, completely dead. Oooh heck. I didn't see that coming. NO, SERIOUSLY I DIDN'T! Because they couldn't possibly kill off such a popular charact...

Hm. Seems they did. Oooh.

So a decade (= a lifetime) later when Sally Fletcher leaves Summer Bay just like *that*, pardon me for being sceptical. I still think that tomorrow's episode might see her body washed up in the waters of Summer Bay, or her plane bursts into flames just after take-off, or she's driving out of town and - I don't know - her HEAD drops off or something.

You just can't trust these writers. They never let our beloved characters leave a show without killing them off.


Anonymous said...

It was Maggie's brother Robbie who shot her, wasn't it? Something to do with heroin. Then Maggie's Dad figured it out and killed Robbie. So PJ found out about that sent him to jail.

Exit the entire Doyle fmily from Blue Heelers.

Givinya De Elba said...

Nope, Maggie's brother Mick, who was part of the drug ring that brought Robbie to his doom previously, and therefore not happy that Maggie was busting the ring up. Wiki is my friend.