We’re back in Shortland Street’s hectic embrace (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)
We’re back in Shortland Street’s hectic embrace (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)

Pop CultureFebruary 5, 2024

Everything you missed from the return of Shortland Street

We’re back in Shortland Street’s hectic embrace (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)
We’re back in Shortland Street’s hectic embrace (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)

Shortland Street returned for 2024 with all the answers to our burning questions from last year’s dramatic cliffhanger. Tara Ward recaps.

A brand new year of gripping drama at the hospital of dreams (and nightmares) is officially underway. Our longest running soap has finally returned after a long summer hiatus, meaning we can finally find out what happened after the dramatic 2023 cliffhanger. 

Would Marty survive his accidental drug overdose? Would Harry be so wracked with guilt about letting Rahu die that he would confess to not being a doctor? Would Madonna admit to her new husband Vili that she bonked the local priest? Most importantly, do you know who this mystery baby is?

We had more questions than Marj Neilson in 1992 when she did a quiz about whether she was a pussycat or a lioness in the bedroom. Now, we have our answers. Here’s everything you missed from the return of Shortland Street for 2024. 

There was another dramatic time jump

Viewers lost their shit last year when the show took an unexpected jump forward in time, and guess what? Shortland Street has done it again, taking us forward four weeks after the cliffhanger. It seems Shortland Street is the Derren Brown of the soap world, bending our minds and manipulating time itself with something called a “montage”, a snazzy trick of the small screen that we simply don’t see enough of on Shortland Street. What if every single episode was just one long, wordless clip played to some emotional music? Makes you think.

Rahu is still dead

Rahu: still dead. Stella: still mad about it (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)

Even Derren Brown couldn’t save this guy. Weirdly, Rahu did not come back to life over the summer holidays, and as a result, is still dead. 

But Marty didn’t cark it

When we last saw Marty in 2023, he was lying unconscious on a superyacht having taken too much of that nasty drug Ziclastion. Worst episode of Below Deck ever! Perhaps it was the hand of god (aka Chris Warner doing CPR) or perhaps it was the power of the montage, but last night Marty went from being wheeled into the hospital completely unconscious to sitting up and smiling in a matter of seconds. He’s been through rehab, he’s now four weeks clean. What a transformation, what a hospital. 

There are lots of new doctors

Chris is acting CEO while Esther looks after Marty, and he’s gone absolutely batshit with the HR budget. First he hired that shifty racist from last year, Emmett Whitman aka Max from Neighbours, along with new surgeons Phil (“I’m a surgeon, not a babysitter”) and Ihaia (he slept with Monique in last year’s cliffhanger and then ghosted her over the summer; she’s spewing). 

Harry is still not a real doctor

Harry thinking about his next victim, probably (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)

Just as I do not magically transform into an athlete by putting on a pair of bamboo leggings, chucking on some doctor’s scrubs does not make Harry Warner a surgeon. But with Rahu the only one who knew the truth about Harry’s failure to graduate medical school, it seems that Warner Jr is going to continue his blunt-scapeled reign of terror into 2024. Last night he wanted to amputate a leg that didn’t even need amputating! He’s a babysitter, not a surgeon! Cue the montage, Derren Brown wants a word. 

Standards are slipping

A clear disregard for health and safety policy (Photo: Screengrab)

Everyone knows there’s nothing nicer than sipping a hot drink while you watch a surgeon operate on a leg that got chewed up by a boat propeller, but won’t someone think of the health and safety situation here? Or is Chris Warner such a power hungry hornbag that he’ll take his takeaway coffee wherever he god damn well pleases? Haven’t they seen that episode of Seinfeld?!

Nobody knows Madonna and the priest hooked up

Someone needs to go to confession, and it’s not just Chris Warner re: guzzling an oat milk flat white while inside a sterile area.

Everyone needs a hug

No, not like that (Photo: South Pacific Pictures)

The entire staff of Shortland Street are more miserable than the time Gina Rossi made everyone eat possum casserole. Vili and Madonna are barely talking, Harry’s fuming that Stella blames him for killing her boyfriend, and Monique’s pissed off that the doctor she shagged at the end of year party is now working at the hospital. Also, Dr Emmett keeps scowling at scans and saying “I wanted Chris on this”. Join the club, Doc. 

Drew and Vili are still pretending they didn’t hold a paedophile hostage in the basement for a week

Welcome back to Shortland Street, everything is fine. 

Shortland Street screens on TVNZ2 at 7pm every weeknight and streams on TVNZ+.

Keep going!