Mia (Anna Samson) was surprised to receive a call from the prison instead of Ari—who is currently on remand after falsely confessing to being responsible for the killing of Matthew Montgomery (James Sweeny).
Logan (Harley Bonner) initially diagnosed Ari’s severe stomach pain as a ruptured appendix. However, it was only when surgery began that he discovered Ari’s ailment was due to something far more serious.
Logan informed Ari’s family that the mass was in fact pseudomyxoma peritonei, an aggressive cancer that begins in the appendix and has already migrated throughout Ari’s abdominal cavity.
With little more they could do, they were forced to accept Ari’s death.
Logan continued to explain to Ari that they could do a large procedure to buy some time, but there were no promises. The torturous sixteen-hour treatment would have to be repeated every few months until the inevitable occurred.
This week, Ari informs his family that he has decided not to proceed with the operation. Ari explains to his nephew Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) and brother Tane (Ethan Browne) that there is no use in living his life in a hospital bed or prison cell waiting to die.
Ari continues by stating that he wishes to die on his own terms, but upon seeing Mia’s outrage, he requests that Tane take Nik and Chloe (Sam Barrett) home so they may speak alone. As Mia angrily informs Ari that she is not okay with him wasting his life, Ari takes an unexpected turn, frightening Mia and immediately bringing her back to reality. Mia promises to be there for him in these final days, and when Ari expresses sorrow for not marrying her years ago, Mia understands exactly what she must do.
The following day, Ari is perplexed when Nik and Tane bring him some smart clothing to wear for a ‘family portrait,’ but everything becomes evident when Mia enters the ward in her wedding gown, accompanied by Chloe.
Mia informs Ari that the celebrant will soon arrive to marry them; she does not want him to have any regrets!
When the celebrant Julia (Ana Maria Belo) comes, Ari and Mia are treated to a brief and romantic ceremony in which they profess their love for one another.
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Ari fights his way through and encourages Mia to forget about all that has happened and what is about to happen—this is the moment that matters, and the one he wants her to remember 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, determining that he is suffering from a significant hemorrhage and has entered hypovolemic shock. Ari is on the verge of signing the paperwork that legalizes the marriage, but she is able to do so.
Ari panics as he realizes his final minutes are nearing and informs Logan that he wishes he could be at the beach, but that is not feasible. Rather than that, all equipment is removed at Ari’s request, and his family joins him.
Ari begins to sing a Mori song to himself before quietly falling away.
Ari’s body is transferred to the Parata residence, where he is laid in state in accordance with Mori tangi (funeral) customs. The Parata whnau arrive and depart during the week to honor Ari, with Mori elder Wiremu (Peter Paki) presiding.
Mia remains at Ari’s side as Nik exercises his newly acquired taiaha ability in an attempt to cope with his sadness.
The family spends their final night with Ari, but when Mia awakens from a dream to find Ari’s body in front of her, her reaction is too much for Chloe, who goes to spend the night with Bella. The rest of the family agrees that tonight should be a celebration of Ari’s life, and Tane pulls out his guitar.
The following morning, everyone meets at the house to say their final goodbyes to Ari before Nik and Tane return his body to Aotearoa (New Zealand) for burial.
Following the placement of Ari’s coffin in the hearse, Nik, Tane, and other members of the whnau perform a haka.
Mia bids her final farewell, and Ari embarks on his return voyage to his hometown.
Following the poignant episodes’ premiere in Australia, Rob Kipa-Williams took to Instagram to express his gratitude for the remarks and to pay respect to the show.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to the fans for the overwhelming quantity of love and messages and support.
Thank you to everyone involved in making the wheels turn, including the cast, crew, camera, directors, production, writing, makeup, and art department.
This iconic Ozzie television show took calculated risks. I’m thrilled to have co-created Mori cultural tales and will always be proud of the moments that made the cut… it was true cooperation. My goal is that this will pave the way for increased diversity.
Many thanks for everything, Ariki Wiremu Parata; you have taught me a great deal.