In 2014, at the end of its fifth season, Offspring gave us a near-perfect series finale.
After the loss of her true love Patrick, giving birth to her daughter Zoe, navigating life as a single mother and living through more Proudman family disasters than the Offspring wardrobe department has printed scarves, we were treated to our last glimpse of Nina.
At her mother Geraldine’s house, the location of so much past Proudman drama, Nina sat in a group with her family and friends around her, daughter in her lap, looked directly into the camera and calmly reassured us that she “was ready”.
It felt like the Offspring door had firmly closed, but with the knowledge that your favourite characters standing on the other side of it were exactly where they needed to be. And they were all going to be ok.
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Then, in 2016, Offspring defied the laws of the TV Gods and actually made a comeback. Bringing back almost the whole cast in its entirety and pushing the Proudman family drama back into overdrive once more.
But as the sixth and seventh seasons of the dramedy unfolded on our screens, true-blue Offspring fans began to feel a little tingle of doubt worming its way through their heads, because these new “rebooted” seasons just never felt quite… right.
All the pieces were there, but the magic was gone.
And longtime Proudman devotees began to wonder if having Nina and co back in their lives was even worth the angst they were feeling now. We’d had the perfect ending play out already, and now that lovely closure had completely unravelled.
Tonight, we saw perhaps the last ever episode of Offspring, as there has been no official word from Network Ten that season eight is even in the pipeline.
And yet, against all odds, Offspring just gave us Nina’s Perfect Ending: The Sequel.
There have always been two main loves of Nina’s life, that have received equal billing and airtime over the past seven seasons.
One has been her family (this includes all the hospital staff who became her family by default) and the other is her career.
Because the fact that Nina excelled at her job and at her work life, while also sometimes failing at it, is what made her more than a boho fashion goddess with a crazy family and the ability to still function at a basic adult level while having hallucinations.
In the finale episode of season seven, Nina made the shock decision to say goodbye to one of her true loves, St Francis Hospital.
She resigned (well, actually, she resigned and then took it back and then resigned again for good) after she was passed over for the Head of Obstetrics position. Throughout the episode Nina grappled with leaving the hospital and tried to talk herself into the idea of settling.
She was trying to convince herself that it was enough for her, that she could make do with what she was left with (kind of like fans have been doing with this latest season. Oh, the symmetry). But in the end, she couldn't turn it around, declared that she wasn't finished professionally developing and there was nothing left for her at St Francis anymore.
Being Nina, she actually blurted this all out in the middle of her "welcome-back" party at the hospital, to the absolute shock of her friends and colleagues. But once again she managed to land on her feet, being unemployed for only a short amount of time before accepting a Head of Obstetrics Research role at another hospital.
Then, in the show's final moments, all the Proudmans (and their assorted hangers-on) came together under the same roof to celebrate the wedding of Kerry and Will.
This was when, just like that iconic ending of the fifth season, we were given the assurance that our favourite TV family was going to be ok.
Zara and Jimmy had worked through their differences and had a tentative plan going about how their new life was going to work together. While also engaging in some hot bedroom action. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't a real solution, but it was very them.
And Billie looks like she's actually going to make things work with her new boyfriend, Dan. (I'm forever team Billie/Mick, but that ship has completely sailed.)
But the very best moment came towards the very end of the episode and involved Nina and her live-in boyfriend/father of her unborn baby, Harry.
The thing about Nina and Harry, and the thing that has irked audiences the most this season, is that their relationship has never felt needed. It has never felt properly earned. It was just always there.
But as they sat together in that pub, Zoe came over to them, jumped up on Harry's lap and offered up the cutest phrase that has ever been uttered on Offspring.
"Harry, would you be my Daddy?"
"Would you like me to be?"
Yes, it was a little cheesy and gooey and all those things that dramadies can be. But it also felt real, a tiny moment in Nina's new little family that felt like it had slowly been building up all season. And Nina's face gave the illusion that she was looking into the camera for a second time and saying goodbye.
We don't know if Offspring will return to our screens, but if that was the last we see of it, it was a pretty good ending.
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Did you watch the Offspring season seven finale? What were your thoughts?