After spending six weeks in a coma, new mum Tori Morgan (Penny McNamee) is understandably keen to see her daughter Grace, but what should be a happy moment is marred by a heartbreaking reaction from Tori…
It’s been touch and go as Tori was brought out of her coma, after being transferred to Northern Districts Hospital from the city. Initially Tori struggles to make sense of what’s going on, doesn’t react to Grace’s name being mentioned, and it’s discovered that she cannot move the left hand side of her body.
Mason (Orpheus Pledger) and Alex (Zoe Ventoura) try to reassure Justin that it’s just a case of waiting, it’s very early days.
However after another night’s sleep Tori rallies around and regains her full movement, waking up Justin who’s at her bedside and telling him he looks like crap. Both Justin and Mason are delighted that she’s seemingly back to her old self.
Tori then asks if Robbo (Jake Ryan) and Jasmine (Sam Frost) will be bringing in Grace, and the pair are quickly summoned.
Tori’s eyes light up as Robbo approaches her bedside with Grace and places her into her mother’s arms, but as Tori stares at her baby, something’s not right. Tori starts crying and asks Justin to take Grace away from her, as she explains “That’s not my baby“.
“Tori has been in a coma for six weeks,” Penny McNamee told Australian magazine New Idea. “So when she now comes to and baby Grace is put in her arms, it’s quite a shock. She thinks that Grace should still be a newborn and she cannot reconcile the fact that this is her baby – that she’d been cared for by someone else for six weeks and is now a lot bigger than when she first held her before suffering a stroke.”
Robbo returns shortly afterwards with Grace and tries to convince Tori that the baby he’s holding is their child, but Tori explains that she feels nothing towards that baby.
“Tori is convinced that this is actually not her child and that her child must be somewhere else,” Penny continued. “She begs Robbo, Jasmine and the staff at the hospital to bring her ‘her baby’. It’s terribly traumatic.“
“It was a heart-wrenching scene for us all to film,” added Penny. “Tori now somehow has to come to terms with the fact that she missed out on those first precious six weeks of her baby’s life. It’s just heartbreaking.”
As the family continue talking to Tori, Jasmine comes up with as she looks through some of Grace’s photos at home.
She later returns to the hospital with a present for Tori—a memory book. Jasmine and Robbo hadn’t wanted Tori to miss out on anything so had taken a load of photos, and Jasmine hopes that seeing some of those will help Tori fill in the gaps.
Tori initially refuses to look at the book, but is eventually talked into it. As she browses she starts to tear up, has Jasmine’s plan worked?
These past couple of weeks mark the full-time return of Penny McNamee, after she took her own six-month maternity leave from the show.
Penny and her husband Matt Tooker welcomed their second child Neve in March 2019, after years of fertility issues that were discovered to be the result of Penny suffering with endometriosis.
On-screen, Penny’s absence was explained by having a pregnant Tori whisked away to a remote safe house alongside Robbo & Jasmine immediately following their wedding, when it was discovered they were in danger from the men who had murdered Robbo’s family.
Whilst Robbo and Jasmine returned to the bay, Tori stayed put with AFP officers protecting her.
Several scenes were filmed at the safe house that were slotted into later episodes to extend Tori’s time on-screen, and Penny made a brief return to set during her leave to film Grace’s birth and the subsequent hospital scenes. Tori then remained off-screen at a city hospital for a further number of weeks whilst comatose.
Here’s a full rundown and video slideshow of this week’s episode spoilers:
Monday 24th February
Tori wakes from her coma, but will she be her usual self? Jasmine and Robbo are filled with despair over losing Grace. Irene is concerned about Leah, who isn’t answering her calls.
Tuesday 25th February
Jasmine and Robbo struggle with the idea of losing Grace as Tori tries to connect with her baby. Irene’s fear builds when she suspects Leah is missing.
Wednesday 26th February
Mackenzie tries to stop a miserable and booze-fuelled Dean from self-sabotaging. Ziggy is throwing herself into the pit crew gig, but is clearly still hurting. Justin and Irene report Leah as missing.
Thursday 27th February
Ziggy and Dean struggle with the break-up in very different ways. Ryder learns Jade is up to her old tricks but she’s unrepentant. Mackenzie fails to make Colby see that Bella is playing him.
Friday 28th February
Colby questions whether or not Bella is manipulating him. Ryder’s convictions falter at the worst time. Martha sees how much her disappearance affected Alf. A grim delivery arrives for Robbo.