It was the spoiler that every Neighbours fan didn’t want to be true but unfortunately, it’s official: Sonya Rebecchi is leaving the show. Brb, we’re sobbing.
After nearly ten years in the role, the much-loved Eve Morey will bow out as her character succumbs to ovarian cancer – but she’s certainly leaving on a dramatic high.
In the weeks since Sonya’s diagnosis, fans have been reaching for the tissues on a daily basis as the heartbreaking twist provided some of Neighbours’ saddest moments ever.
So, let’s have a look at some of the most emotional scenes so far, as we prepare to say our final goodbyes to Sonya.
1. Toadie and Sonya’s false hope
Before they received the devastating news that Sonya was suffering from stage four ovarian cancer, the Rebecchis dealt with a less fatal – but no less poignant – hurdle, as Sonya faced a possible hysterectomy when doctors removed an ovarian cyst.
As every Neighbours fan knows, the Rebecchis haven’t had a lot of luck in the baby department in recent years. Sonya tragically miscarried the baby she was carrying for Mark Brennan – just as Toadie impregnated the woman pretending to be his dead wife. The product of that affair, Hugo, ended plans for Toadie and Sonya’s own attempts to conceive another baby.
As the reality of a hysterectomy loomed, Toadie and Sonya tentatively planned for the future, and renewed plans to try IVF to complete their family. It was a final moment of hope for the couple that made the following scenes that much more brutal…
2. Sonya’s brave fight
Hands up who cried as Sonya and Toadie faced the bleak truth about Sonya’s condition? In frank and honest scenes, Neighbours didn’t shy away in hitting Sonya, or viewers, with the tough facts – and the scene was much stronger for it.
Despite being told that the cancer had spread through her body, Sonya’s resolute determination to beat it broke our hearts. Faced with the thought of aggressive chemotherapy and organ removal, Toadie began to fall apart but Sonya held him – and herself – together, ready to face whatever is coming.
Away from the clinical environment of the hospital, the true pain of Sonya’s future didn’t hit until the Rebecchis returned to Ramsay Street. In an unusually quiet, slow scene, Toadie and Sonya planned the next step in the safe bubble of the car before facing the world. Producers promised a death that will change the lives of the neighbours and Ramsay Street forever – but for Sonya, it already has.
As Terese waved across the street, life went on for the neighbours but Toadie and Sonya’s world had come crashing to a halt. It was exactly as Sonya noted: “Nothing’s changed but everything has.”
4. Karl breaks the truth to Sonya
The Kennedys have acted as surrogate parents to Toadie since he rocked up on Ramsay Street in 1995 as a wayward teen. As a result, they’ve also developed a close bond with Sonya and have helped the couple survive many a crisis and the aforementioned imposter dead wife.
This meant we saw Sonya turn to Karl, not only as a friend but as a doctor, wanting to hear the facts from someone she trusts. As Karl revealed that Sonya could only ever ‘buy time’ and would be unlikely to survive five years, she broke down. Karl broke down. We all broke down.
Always reliable, Alan Fletcher and Eve Morey played in a blinder in a highly emotional moment. Scenes the following week where Sonya affirmed that she doesn’t blame Karl for her situation were similarly affecting. The father-daughter bond between the two is very sweet and real and we’re going to miss it.
5. Nell’s first day of school
While Toadie and Sonya are going through such turmoil, life always goes on and they had to prepare for Nell’s first day of school. Determined not to let her illness stop her from missing such an important moment, Sonya soldiered on despite her nausea.
The following scenes were incredibly bittersweet as Toadie and Sonya took photos together with their daughter, both aware that this could be the last time Sonya will be around for the new school year. In the poignant moment where Sonya told Nell about everything she’ll have to look forward to, we were left gutted that Sonya won’t be alive to experience it with her.
6. Dipi and Shane find out
Though the Rebecchis haven’t broken the news to their wider circle yet, they had to update Shane and Dipi after Toadie’s angry outburst at Yashvi. The scene where they broke the tragic news was awkward and uncomfortable – just as the conversation would be.
However, we loved seeing Shane and Dipi jump into action and offer their support. Shane trying to take Toadie’s mind off things by talking footie worked, albeit briefly. We also loved seeing Dipi and Yashvi helping Sonya spend a nice afternoon with Nell and Clancy. The little moments in the story are proving to be some of the most heartfelt.
7. Good neighbours who become good friends
It wouldn’t be Neighbours without those strong friendships and heart-to-hearts between the characters and this story needs them more than most. With Karl under attack from Toadie, and Susan still at her medical trial, he has needed someone to talk to. So it’s been great to see David acting as a rock for Karl and giving him advice.
In addition, the welcome return of Lucas was perfectly timed. Though Sonya hasn’t yet told him the truth, their friendship has been one of the show’s most memorable in recent years and the story wouldn’t feel right without him.
8. A touch of light
With such a dark and upsetting story, it would be understandable if the story continued down a path of a doom and gloom, but we also know that’s not the Neighbours way. It’s certainly not the Toadie and Sonya way either, as the couple have had their fair share of fun comedy moments.
We know things will only get sadder as the weeks go by, but with Eve Morey and Ryan Moloney’s talent for lighter scenes, we can surely expect moments of levity to make the heartache more poignant.
For example, Toadie finding a sobbing Sonya and assuming she was upset about the cancer only to discover she watched a very emotional Bake Off episode was hilarious. It was a much-needed moment of comic relief that we’re going to treasure while we can.
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1.45pm and 5.30pm on Channel 5 (UK) and 6.30pm on 10 Peach (Australia).
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