So that’s it – another year of Home and Away is about to come to an end, with the three-part season finale airing at 7pm tonight.
By the end of this dramatic season finale week, we will have seen Colby and Chelsea tie the knot, Ross make a dramatic attempt to steal back Bella, a loved-up Robbo propose to Jasmine, and Brody and Simone share a kiss, so it’s fair to say the residents of Summer Bay deserve a 4 to 6-week rest before Home and Away returns in early 2019.
There’s plenty of excitement set to come in the new year, and, as we bid farewell to 2018, it’s time to take a look at some of the storylines coming up on Home and Away in the first half of next year – be warned, major spoilers ahead!
Bella’s sticking around
After spending most of 2018 hunting down his long-lost sister, it looks like Colby will finally get to spend some quality time with her. Actress Courtney Miller is still filming, suggesting Bella is going to be sticking around for some time to come.
…but no Chelsea
While Colby will be over the moon to be reunited with younger sister Bella, he’ll have to get used to his life without his new wife Chelsea.
Ashleigh Brewer, the actor behind Chelsea, has finished filming and moved back to LA, so although the couple married in the 2018 season finale, it looks like the writers are going to have to think of some creative ways to make their long distance relationship last without Chelsea ever returning to Summer Bay. That is, if she survives…
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Brewer confirmed that the season finale would the last time that we would see Chelsea, and that her ending was being left open for a potential future return.
However, with Ross’s dramatic limo kidnapping taking place in the final seconds of the season finale, it looks like she’ll at least be in the show for the first episode back in January 2019. Whether Ashleigh Brewer was also leading us astray by promising us she’d be leaving the bay alive, we’ll just have to wait and see…
Scenes filmed earlier in the year saw a dramatic showdown in the bush, with Ross tying Chelsea to a tree and holding her and Bella at gunpoint. We’d presumed those scenes would air in today’s finale, but it looks like we’ll be seeing them when the show returns next year.
Will Colby’s newfound happiness with his little sister and wife be short lived?
Simone and Brody to get together
Ziggy and Brody struggled to settle into married life, with Ziggy feeling smothered when Brody began making too many plans for their future. However, after the initial trials and tribulations, they moved into the granny flat in the Morgans’ back garden, and things started to settle down.
So one of the biggest shocks of the last few weeks has got to be Brody almost giving into temptation and kissing newcomer Simone (Emily Eskell). While he pushed her away after she made a move on him, it was clear that he reciprocated her feelings, and was struggling to stay faithful to his wife.
For UK viewers not up to speed, Simone arrived in Summer Bay for Maggie’s cancer fundraiser, and won herself a private cooking class at Salt – it turns out that’s exactly why she’d attended the fundraiser in the first place, to get to meet ‘celebrity chef’ Brody and get to spend time with him.
Having become enamoured by Brody through his newfound vlogging stardom, it didn’t take long for her to make a move. While Brody was quick to initially reject her advances, and reassure a jealous Ziggy that she had nothing to worry about, it didn’t take him long to begin to fall for newcomer Simone.
It doesn’t look Simone is set to take no for an answer, and the pair are set to couple up in the first half of 2018, breaking up Ziggy and Brody for good.
Scenes filmed in November of this year showed the new couple still loved up, and with scenes shot 4-5 months in advance of airing in Australia, it looks like Ziggy and Brody’s marriage is officially at an end after just a few short months together.
Brody sells Salt
Not only are Brody and Simone set to stay loved up, but it looks like they might be making big plans. Recent press photos have shown the pair on the balcony outside Salt, sharing a drink in front of a For Sale sign.
Another recent photo, taken by the Official Home and Away Tour, shows ‘SOLD’ emblazoned across the sign, looking like Brody is set to say goodbye to his beloved Salt in the first few months of next year.
The rumour mill has been working away over on our forum – many members have noted that Brody (along with the other Morgans) will soon have been on the show for 3 years. With most Home and Away cast members’ contracts lasting 3 years, many are speculating that this could be the start of Brody’s exit storyline, and that he’s leaving for a new start with Simone?
Others suspect that he may have been forced to sell Salt as part of his divorce proceedings with Ziggy. As for exactly what’s going on, we’ll just have to wait and see…
Ziggy and Dean to couple up
A few months ago in a previous article, we suggested that Ziggy was set to have an affair with Dean Thompson.
At the time, we were surprised at her hypocrisy, given her reaction to Olivia cheating on Hunter…. but it seems like we had the culprit all wrong, and it was in fact Brody who was set to break the pair up by cheating with newcomer Simone.
It seems it doesn’t take Ziggy too long to get over her heartbreak, as she falls into the arms of Dean. The two of them grew close while they worked at Summer Bay Auto, with Brody experiencing a few pangs of jealousy at how well the pair got on, so it’s no great surprise that they end up together after Ziggy and Brody split.
As with Brody and Simone, it doesn’t seem like a fling for the pair, as they’ve also been spotted together in scenes shot in late November, suggesting they’ll be together well into 2019.
Another new couple in Justin and Leah
Poor Justin – the writers must already be planning the oldest Morgan brother’s exist, as they’re pairing him up with Summer Bay’s very own black widow.
Having gone through an array of partners and surname changes in her time on the show, Leah hasn’t been the most lucky in love, so fingers crossed Justin Morgan will be the one to break the spell.
Justin first expressed a drunken interest in Leah in early December, making a move on her whilst drowning his sorrows on the day of Mason’s final exam.
While Leah rapidly brushed off his advances, with Justin being quick to apologise to her the next day, it seems there was more than just drunkenness at play, and one of Summer Bay’s more unexpected couples look set to get together in the first few months of the year.
Robert Robertson’s Return?
Detective Robert Robertson (Socratis Otto) was a detective with a personality just as quirky as his name. He first arrived in the bay in 2009 to investigate the murder of Grant Bledcoe, Ruby Buckton’s biological father.
He had a brief but troubled romance with Leah, and returned to the bay a year later to investigate the disappearance of Penn Graham, initially arresting Alf for his murder.
After eventually solving the case, he was offered a promotion in the city, and invited Leah with him, but she declined, telling him that she wasn’t yet ready to move on from Elijah.
Socratis Otto recently posted a photo on Instagram of him and Jake Ryan (Robbo) at Palm Beach, starting a rumour that Robert Robertson may be on his way back to the bay.
While this could have simply been a quick personal visit for the actor, recent press photos have shown him on Palm Beach chatting with Jake Ryan in costume, making it look more likely that he’s back in a filming capacity.
Why would Senior Detective Robertson be back after 8 years? That we don’t yet know, but could his arrival shed yet more light into the still murky past of Ryan “Robbo” Shaw?
Martha Stewart returns again
Early in 2018, viewers were shocked (and some annoyed) to learn that Martha Stewart (Belinda Giblin), the long-deceased wife of Alf (Ray Meagher) and mother to Roo (Georgie Parker), was in fact alive and Alf had been keeping this secret for nearly thirty years.
Unfortunately her appearance in Summer Bay, which only consisted of a handful of episodes, did little to answer the many questions of long-term viewers—with much of the details of Martha faking her death avoided.
Filming back in Palm Beach back in August revealed that Martha will be returning to Summer Bay once again, around the time of the season finale.
Eagle-eyed forum member ter06 also spotted Belinda Giblin in the background of one of Emily Symons’ Instagram posts on 26th November, suggesting that Martha will be in the bay well into 2019.
Ray Meagher has also teased in an interview with Now to Love recently that a future romance could be on the cards for Alf.
“Let’s just say over the next year or so there is the possibility that Alfred Stewart may find a romantic interest somewhere along the way” he said. “Look, he’s far from past the post. It’s definitely a possibility.“
Could Alf and Martha possibly get back to together after all this time?
Robbo takes a break
Robbo has certainly had a dramatic 12 months, saying goodbye to Kat and his unborn baby, finding out the truth about his identity, buying the gym, coupling up with Jasmine, becoming Tori’s IVF donor, and getting engaged – it’s not surprising that the guy needs a bit of a rest.
Jake Ryan, the actor behind Ryan ‘Robbo’ Shaw, recently landed the lead role in Savage, a film by New Zealand director Sam Kelly.
According to Variety, the film, which focuses on New Zealand’s gang culture, “tells the story of Danny (Jake Ryan) at three different ages and critical moments in his life, which push and pull him towards and away from gang life“.
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Peace out SYD/AUS. Been working bloody hard for the last 5 months on my next project. Countless trips across the ditch for tests, rehearsals, research, 10kg gains (nowhere near as fun as it sounds) and yeah, on that note, sorry to the morons who seem to have a problem with a rounder, plumper me, zero F.!”$ given. All In the name of a bloody cracking, amazing, raw, brutal, beautiful story I’m so lucky to be helming. Never been more excited, nervous and in Awe of a project and can’t wait to share more info about it with you legends. #comeatmeNZ #robboandjaz4eva 🖤☠️🖤
The film was shot on location in New Zealand, which meant that Ryan took a short break from filming Home and Away to take part. No need for concern though – our eagle eyed Forum member Kelicopter spotted him on Palm Beach at the end of October, so he’ll be back before you know it.
He may be looking a bit different when he comes back to the bay, as he had to gain 10kg for his Savage role. He posted on Instagram that he’s taken a bit of flack for his weight gain, with some “morons” having a problem with “a rounder, plumper me“. However, he’s not phased by the change, posting “zero F.!”$ given.”
Jett jets back to the bay
Eighteen months after he was last seen in the bay, recent photos have shown that Will McDonald, who plays John and Marilyn’s adopted son Jett, has been back filming at Palm Beach.
Viewers have recently seen John, Marilyn and Raffy travel to Canberra to attend Jett’s graduation ceremony from military school, and press photos taken back in September show that Jett will seemingly return to the bay briefly before leaving for active duty, with an emotional John & Marilyn waving him off in his uniform.
However later photos, taken only last month, show Jett strapped into a wheelchair, suggesting he’s sustained an injury during his short time in service – though with other press photos showing him running enthusiastically down the beach, exactly what they have planned for Jett remains to be seen.
Some clarity on Coco’s future
Back in August we reported that it looks like Coco Astoni (Anna Cocquerel) is set to take another break from the bay. Scenes filmed earlier in the year showed the Astonis, along with friends Raffy and Rider, bidding an emotional farewell to her outside the Pier Diner, before she’s driven away by mother Maggie (Kestie Morassi).
These scenes are expected to air in the first weeks of the 2019 season. While at the time we debated whether this could spell the end of Coco’s time on Home and Away, Anna Cocquerel recently confirmed that she’s staying on the show, but that she’s going down to part-time to give her time to complete Year 12.
“I’ll still be in the Bay, but I’m also at a regular school with all of my friends,” Anna told New Idea in a recent intervew. “I’ve been at the school since Year 1 and I’ve always had great friends there too. Just to go back and finish with all of my peers was something I didn’t want to miss out on – it’s something that I think is very important for every teenager there.”
Alf takes a break
On top of Coco and Robbo’s short breaks from the Bay, stalward Alf Stewart also says goodbye to Summer Bay for a short while in 2019.
Actor Ray Meagher is taking a short break from the show to star in the 10th anniversary theatre production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Brisbane, which led to much newspaper speculation earlier this year that he would be bowing out of the show for good.
We don’t know much about what will cause Alf to leave the show, but Ray recently confirmed in an interview that the storyline that causes him to leave is “a fantastic one“.
Speaking to Inside Soap, he said “I can’t wait to see how they run with that one, because it’s a very interesting scenario that’s been set up. But if I told you any more, there would be a hit man on a plane from Australia now!”
Whether his break has anything to do with the return of his ex-wife Martha remains to be seen.
A break for Tori as well?
Penny McNamee, the actress behind Tori Morgan, is currently pregnant with her second child, suggesting that she’ll likely take a break for maternity leave later in the year.
She appeared on Seven’s The Morning Show back in October, discussing her real life pregnancy and the fertility issues she experienced along the way.
When asked about how they will cover up her pregnancy on the show, she hinted that the timing could coincide with Tori’s baby on Home and Away.
“Funnily enough there was already a pregnancy and IVF story in the works on Home and Away, which is airing at the moment, so it was actually quite emotional because we filmed that 6 months ago when I wasn’t pregnant.
“And that was completely unrelated to me and my journey.
“So we’ll see what happens with Tori, hopefully the timing might work out.”
So plenty to come when Home and Away returns to Australia in January 2019.
What do you think of this year’s dramatic season finale, and of the storylines set to grace our screens in the early part of next year? Head to our Forum to let us know, or scroll to the comments section below.
If you’re in the Sydney area anytime soon, why not take the time to visit the beautiful Palm Beach (Summer Bay) yourself – along the way you’ll get to see such filming locations as the Morgan House, the Pier Diner and the famous Surf Club, and you may even be lucky enough to spot some filming and take some snaps with cast members!
The Official Home and Away Tour departs from central Sydney five days a week (Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat), and costs just $105 per person. For more information, and to book tickets directly through the official tour provider, click here or on the button below.
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