Ari Parata died on the most recent episode of Home and Away, which aired Monday evening in Australia, in what are likely Rob Kipa Williams’ final scenes as the Parata matriarch.
It brings the character, who originally appeared in Episode 7269, the 2019 season finale, to a close after little over two years.
Ari has been held on remand since feigning a confession to the murder of Matthew Montgomery (James Sweeny) in order to protect the real killer, Chloe (Sam Barrett).
As he argued with Mia, Chloe accidentally killed her biological father by bashing him over the head with a brick (Anna Samson). Mia was apprehended after Cash discovered her driving Matthew’s car with his body in the boot, but Ari subsequently confessed to Cash that it was he who had done it in exchange for Mia’s freedom.
Ari was brought to Northern Districts Hospital last week with severe abdominal discomfort, as if facing life in prison wasn’t enough. Logan (Harley Bonner) initially misdiagnosed the problem as appendicitis, but it wasn’t until he began doing keyhole surgery that he realized the problem was significantly more serious.
Ari had pseudomyxoma peritonei, an extremely unusual malignancy that had originated in his appendix and expanded over his entire abdominal cavity. Ari’s family was told by a grim-faced Logan that whatever they could do would simply postpone the inevitable—Ari was dying.
Although Ari was given one surgical option, Logan informed her that it was a grueling 16-hour procedure that would have to be repeated every three months if the tumors returned. Ari decided against the operation because there was no certainty that it would lengthen his life.
Ari’s decision was the most difficult for Mia and Nik since they thought he was giving up, but Ari emphasized that he wanted to die on his own terms, with his family at his side.
Ariki Wiremu Parata was first presented in the 2019 season finale episode, when he befriends Marilyn (Emily Symons) during the siege at Northern Districts Hospital.
Ari devised a scheme with his coworkers Mason (Orpheus Pledger) and Alex (Zoe Ventoura) to divert the gunmen’s attention while he assisted some of the captives in escaping.
Ari was able to guide several of the captives to safety, but Mason was slain. Ari didn’t want to stay once the siege ended, and when his sister-in-law Gemma (Bree Peters) came, he quickly fled.
Ari had served ten years in jail for an armed robbery, and his brother Mikaere had been slain by police six months prior while participating in another crime.
Ari had pledged to be on the straight and narrow in order to care for Mikaere’s widow Gemma and son Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), but there was conflict between him and his younger brother Tane, who was still involved in nefarious activities. Nik was initially angry of Ari, whom he believed was attempting to steal his father’s place.
The family was trying to make ends meet with Ari out of work, so when Marilyn saw them sleeping in their car after being ejected from the motel, she wanted to repay Ari’s charity by offering them a place to stay.
Despite Ari’s agreement to stay at the trailer park, Marilyn’s husband John was not happy about having Gemma and Nik around, and after some research, he discovered Ari’s past.
However, John’s ultimatum to Marilyn did not go as planned, and he soon found himself living next door to Ari in the caravan park.
Despite the fact that the Paratas’ history was well-known, they chose Summer Bay as their home when Tane came to town and bought them a house, much to Ari’s chagrin.
After he started meeting Colby’s ex-girlfriend Mackenzie Booth, Ari managed to build an adversary in the form of local cop Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin) (Emily Weir).
Colby’s vengeance against the Paratas—and his assumption that Nik had perpetrated a recent attempted robbery at the diner—led to his blocking their passports when they attempted to return Mikaere’s ashes to New Zealand on the first anniversary of his death.
Because Gemma was the only one allowed to travel, she chose to stay in New Zealand with the family’s elders. Ari, Nik, and Tane were compelled to commemorate the anniversary in their own unique way, including performing a haka on the beach in a memorable episode.
Tane got engaged with Leon Carruthers (Will McNeill) and his boss Paul, and Ari was unwittingly lured back into crime (Jack Finsterer). After a planned meet-up went awry, Tane was stuck with a stolen automobile, which he kept at Ziggy’s farmhouse.
It wasn’t until Ziggy and Willow decided to dispose of the van using Willow’s River Boy contacts that they discovered the $25,000 worth of cocaine hidden inside. It was too late at that moment, and Leon and Paul began making threats against the Parata family as Tane battled to raise the funds.
Ari and Tane agreed to return the loan by executing a job for Paul and Leon, but they broke their word when they revealed they’d secretly captured Ari and Tane transferring stolen goods and used the photos to blackmail them into committing an armed robbery at Reefton Lakes. Only Heath Braxton (Dan Ewing) and the River Boys intervened to get Paul and Leon to back off… for a while.
Meanwhile, Nik was on a trip to New Zealand when he met Chloe, whom he brought back to Summer Bay. Ari had been in a relationship with Chloe’s mother, Mia, before he was sentenced to prison. Mia had relocated a 9-year-old Chloe from the neighborhood, and away from the only father figure she’d ever known, in order to start over.
Mia quickly followed Chloe to Summer Bay, where she ran into Ari for the first time. When both Chloe and Mia opted to stay, Ari was torn between his previous affections for Mia and his new feelings for her. Ari broke up with Mac after realizing what his heart sought, oblivious to the fact that she had just found out she was pregnant with his kid.
The emergence of Paul and Leon, who kidnapped Nik, Chloe, Bella (Courtney Miller), and Ryder, ruined Ari and Mia’s reconciliation (Lukas Radovich).
Mia swiftly called things off when she spotted Ari involved in crime again, fearing that history might repeat again. Ari couldn’t leave Paul’s side when he was ran down and put in a coma, and the two were reunited after Mia and Chloe moved into the Parata household.
Mia realized that she had just miscarried Ari’s baby when she visited Mackenzie at the hospital. Mia was obliged to tell Ari the truth when he subsequently observed Mac collapse due to a new sickness.
For Mia and Ari, the incident brought back memories of their own losses. Before Mia gave birth to their son, Kauri, in 2010, the couple had suffered three miscarriages. Kauri died tragically when he was only ten days old, and it was this that sent Ari on a downhill spiral that culminated in his imprisonment a year later.
Ari and Mia eventually decided to try for a second child, and were overjoyed to find out Mia was expecting in June. But, two months later, Mia lost the baby in a vehicle accident, causing the couple even more anguish.
Mia was unable to bear another pregnancy, so the couple considered adoption, but Ari’s criminal record would work against them.
Mia utilized money she’d stored away from Ari’s robbery ten years earlier to put down a deposit when the opportunity to buy the gym from Jasmine (Sam Frost) arrived, much to Ari’s chagrin.
Finally, in the hopes of gaining approval for their adoption application, Ari took the risk of using contacts to ‘legitimize’ the remaining funds, and the two quickly completed the transaction.
But all was in vain, as the adoption agency still turned down their application.
Mia was obliged to tell Ari that the calls were from Chloe’s father, Matthew, after she began receiving unwelcome phone calls. She went on to tell Ari that when she was 19 years old, Matthew sexually attacked her at a party, and she hadn’t seen him since.
Mia was desperate to keep her daughter away from him when he subsequently came up in Summer Bay and introduced himself to Chloe, while also hiding her from the reality about her conception. Mia and Ari were left with no choice but to inform Chloe about Matthew’s actual nature in order to prevent her from moving in with him in the city.
Ari believed it would be the perfect time to propose at a family gathering in the garden now that Ari and Mia were back on track.
Mia joyfully accepted, but they had no idea that Matthew’s return the next day would be the beginning of the end….
Ari has been in remand for the past few weeks after faking a false confession to Matthew’s murder in order to get Chloe and Mia out of jail. He slumped with agony in his abdomen while on remand, and he was diagnosed with cancer.
Mia granted Ari’s dying wish of marrying her in the final episode, and she called a celebrant late at night to come into Northern Districts Hospital the next morning for a surprise ceremony.
After persuading Logan to temporarily move the equipment out of the way, Nikau, Chloe, and Tane stood by as the couple married in Ari’s hospital room.
“I’m not very good at this speech stuff,” Ari began, before briefly doubling over in pain.
He found the strength to continue, adding, “when I first met you, I told my big brother I was going to marry you one day.”
Mikaere told me I was punching above my weight, which I was. That I was drunk, which I was,” Ari continued, to laughs from those around him.
“With this ring, I marry you,” Mia began. She needed some help from the celebrant as she choked up while saying her side of the vows. “Let it be a symbol of our everlasting love and commitment to each other.”
Ari encouraged Mia to forget about all that had happened previously and what was about to happen. “This is the only thing that matters.”
The terrible moment occurred just seconds after they were pronounced husband and wife.
Ari slumped over in pain for the second time, and Logan snatched him up and dragged him back to the hospital bed.
The celebrant instructed Chloe, Tane, and Nikau to speak with Mia about getting the paperwork signed, emphasizing that the marriage could not be finalized until all of the documentation was done.
Ari was in shock after suffering a massive bleed. Logan was giving him a blood transfusion to attempt to keep him alive, but he told them that it might not be enough. Thankfully, Ari had just enough time to complete the paperwork, formalizing his marriage to Mia.
Ari struggled to tear off the oxygen mask and rush out of bed as Logan glanced through Ari’s medical records for some changes in his ECG. “I don’t want to die like this,” he said Logan, as he made an emotional plea to spend his final moments at the beach.
Logan was unable to grant him this final wish, so he spent his final moments in the hospital bed, softly singing a Maori song before passing away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones.
Tane returned to the Parata house to break the news to Felicity and Bella, while Nikau exhibited his new warrior strength by using his father’s taiaha on the pier in the episode’s final scenes. Chloe stood on the beach, watching as Mia stepped into the sea in her bridal gown, her makeup smudged from saying goodbye to Ari, her life partner.
Rob Kipa Williams posted to Instagram on the eve of his final episode as Ari, commenting “One last walk down memory lane.. Tomorrow’s gonna punch ya right in the goolies ???.”
The video, which saw him walking through a number of Home and Away’s sets, finished with the words, “See you on the other side. It was something. One more. See you tomorrow night.”
Goodbye, Ari Parata.
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