The arrival of Mia and Ari’s wedding day, as well as the dramatic aftermath that will transform the Parata family’s lives forever, is depicted in a new Home and Away promo showing in Australia.
This page includes big spoilers for UK viewers, as these scenes will air in the UK starting in mid-April.
Since Matthew Montgomery (James Sweeny) arrived in town, Mia (Anna Samson) and Ari’s (Rob Kipa Williams) bliss has been broken apart.
Chloe’s (Sam Barrett) biological father, Matthew, was the consequence of a sexual attack on Mia at a party nearly two decades ago.
After learning she was pregnant, Mia ran away from town and raised her daughter on her own, using money given to her by Matthew’s mother in exchange for consenting to abort her pregnancy.
When Mia met Ari, he quickly became a father figure to Chloe – until a failed bank robbery landed him in prison, leaving Mia to raise her daughter alone once more.
Mia, Chloe, and Ari reunited in Summer Bay last year after more than a decade apart, and after a lot of turbulence, Mia and Ari’s previous affections for one other resurfaced.
Since then, they’ve been doing well, with Ari even proposing to Mia in the final week of the 2021 season.
Matthew’s arrival, unfortunately, threw everything into disarray. When he became hostile with Mia, Chloe accidentally killed him by hitting him over the head with a rock. Mia then drove away with the body, intending to bury it in the woods. When Ari was apprehended, she assumed responsibility for Matthew’s death in order to get his now-fiancée and step-daughter out of trouble.
He’s been in custody for the past few weeks, awaiting sentencing, and the Parata family has been coming to terms with the possibility that he’ll spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Mia has continued to pursue her dream of marrying Ari, even if it means doing it from behind bars, and in recent episodes, she has purchased both a bridal gown and a bridesmaid gown.
However, the most recent episodes, which broadcast in Australia today (Thursday 3rd March) in a triple-bill, brought her world crumbling down. Ari was rushed to the hospital with a suspected ruptured appendix, but when Logan (Harley Bonner) operated, he discovered Ari had pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP), a rare form of cancer with tumors that had already spread throughout his abdomen.
Ari’s prognosis is grim, and it’s likely that he won’t live much longer. There was the prospect of an operation, but it was one with a very low likelihood of long-term success, so Ari declined, preferring to control the story of his own death over facing many uncertain operations in the years ahead.
Ari informed Mia in heartbreaking scenes in Thursday’s shows that his biggest regret is that he should have married her years ago.
Mia pulls their wedding plans ahead in a new promo, hoping to make the most of her final days with Ari by becoming husband and wife.
In the upcoming episodes, she enlists the help of Chloe, Tane (Ethan Browne), and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) to plan a wedding in Ari’s room at Northern Districts Hospital, completely surprising her fiancé when she shows up in a bridal gown.
“It’s time to get your game face on, boy,” Tane tells Nikau before the pair head to the hospital to put the plan into action.
Since Ari’s arrest, Nik has had the most difficulty. The circumstance has brought back bitter memories of his father Mikaere’s death just over 18 months ago in a failed armed robbery.
“Nikau is tortured,” Kawakawa told TV Week when the storyline began. “It isn’t a pleasant sight, seeing someone you love in an environment like that.”
Tane’s plan to take his nephew into the jungle to educate him how to be a warrior – by giving him Mikaere’s taiaha, a traditional Mori weapon, and teaching him how to wield it – has thankfully helped him better his mental state.
However, will it be enough to prepare him for what’s about to come?
Tane arrives at the hospital with a suit for Ari, claiming to have planned a family picture shoot. So Ari has no idea what’s going on when Mia shows up in her wedding gown, followed shortly by Chloe in her bridesmaid gown.
“What are you doing?” he asks with a smile.
“We’re getting married,” Mia explains, as the celebrant arrives and the small but intimate service gets under way.
“With this ring, I marry you.”
As Ari places the wedding ring on Mia’s finger, he gets his dying wish to make Mia his wife.
“Remember this moment,” Ari tells Mia. “Forget everything that’s happened before, and everything that’s about to happen. This is all that matters.”
“I love you, I’ve always loved you, and I will always love you,” Mia responds, holding back the tears.
“I know we don’t get our happily ever after that we always dreamed of, but I will take tremendous comfort, great delight in being your wife,” Mia says in another commercial that ran following Thursday’s show.
For the Paratas, it’s a terrible, bittersweet day because they know it could be Ari’s last.
They share their first kiss as a married couple, and everyone in the room is beaming as they toast Mr. and Mrs. Parata’s marriage.
As happy and joyful as they are at the moment, their joy will be fleeting, and the moment they’ve been waiting for will arrive seconds after they finish reciting their vows.
Ari collapses to the floor, as Mia cries out, “what’s happening?”
They were all expecting to say their goodbyes, but no one anticipated it to happen so quickly.
The new commercial depicts Tane returns to the Parata residence, looking depressed.
Felicity (Jacqui Purvis) is waiting for him, and her surprised expression confirms what we already know: Ari hasn’t made it.
The promo shows Ari and Mia dancing in the Parata garden after Ari asked Mia to marry him for the first time.
Then we see Nikau on the pier, using the taiaha to summon his inner warrior strength to help him cope with his uncle’s loss.
We see Chloe and Mia at the beach, still in their dresses, at the end of the trailer. As the waves crash over her, Mia dives into the sea, her eye makeup ruined from weeping.
Ari’s possible departure has been rumored for a long time. With so many outdoor scenes filmed at Sydney’s Palm Beach, fans can usually identify when a character has departed when they stop seeing the actor or actress behind them filming sequences at the famed beach, and actor Rob Kipa-Williams hasn’t been seen filming there in a long time.
Late last year, when Sam Frost shared an Instagram story from the Paratas’ backyard in which a number of cast members were dressed in black as if attending a wake, it seemed virtually certain that a character would be leaving the show in the coming months.
Because the actors portraying the remaining Parata clan members – Anna Samson (Mia), Kawakawa, and Ethan – as well as their close friends and partners – Courtney Miller (Bella), Lukas Radovich (Ryder), and Jacqui Purvis (Felicity) – had all been spotted filming after the wake scenes, it seemed almost certain that the funeral would be for the Parata patriarch himself.
Unfortunately, that appears to be the case currently, with spoilers for next Thursday’s episode (10th March) stating that “Mia says farewell to her past and future,” while “Nikau and Tane find warrior strength through grief.”
Prepare your tissues as we prepare to say our final goodbyes to Ari Parata on Home and Away next week.