This week, Kat Chapman (Pia Miller) finally uncovers the identity of Summer Bay’s serial arsonist, but will she get to them in time to avert more disaster?
Viewers were dealt a shocking twist in the closing moments of the 2016 season finale when Summer Bay favourite John Palmer (Shane Withington) was revealed as the arsonist—just as he ignited a huge bushfire which not only endangered the nearby Summer Grooves festival-goers, but had devastating consequences for Billie Ashford (Tessa de Josselin) and also left his wife Marilyn (Emily Symons) with serious burns.
In the last few weeks, whilst trying to help Marilyn come to terms with her injuries, it’s become obvious that John has so far had no memory of starting the fire.
Things haven’t been right with John since he fell and hit his head last year—which resulted in a bleed on the brain. Whilst assured by the doctors that it was nothing serious, in the months since we’ve seen John suffer dizziness, physical and mental blackouts, and display some very out of character behaviour.
This week, John’s aggressive mood swings become a concern for both Marilyn and Alf (Ray Meagher), who agree that he isn’t acting himself. John also begins to worry after he drops Marilyn at the hospital and then completely forgets to go back and pick her up.
“John knows something is wrong with him, because he’s getting angry all the time and forgetting things” Shane told TV WEEK. “But he’s a bit scared to look into it – he hopes it will all just go away.”
“He’s having strange outbursts and weird turns” added Emily. “Marilyn’s a bit concerned about him. She thinks perhaps something else has happened as a result of his original injury that she doesn’t know about.”
Meanwhile, Kat has been under pressure to find the culprit, and this week finally makes the shocking discovery that John is responsible.
Up until now, the police’s main suspect was Hunter King (Scott Lee), but having seemingly managed to provide GPS evidence from his phone that proved he was nowhere near the fire, Kat began to look elsewhere. Having identified the accelerant used to start the fires, it was tracked down to both the bait shop (where Hunter would have had access to it), and the surf club.
But when Kat makes her realisation, John has already taken another can of the petrol from the surf club—with his symptoms rapidly worsening, will she get to him in time?
Speaking of how the storyline will progress, Shane stated “It goes a long way – further than people will think. Fans are in for a hell of a ride. This is the biggest, hardest storyline I’ve ever done on the show – it’s a whopper”
For other storylines and a full rundown of what’s to come over in the next couple of weeks, as synopses become available, visit our Australian Spoilers page.
Visit Summer Bay!
With Sydney in its summer months, there’s no better time to see ‘Summer Bay’ in all its glory – you may even be lucky enough to spot some cast members!
The Official Home and Away Tour departs from central Sydney four days a week, and costs just $99 per person. For more information, and to book tickets directly through the official tour provider, click here or on the button below.