As the storyline surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Leah Patterson looks set to make some significant progression next week on Australian screens, it’s time for us to speculate on everything we’ve learned so far (at Oz pace) and whether some of the theories put forward by fans could prove to be correct…
So what do we know so far? Well, not a lot!
Leah was last seen taking a phone call at Summer Bay House from an unknown number. Leah looked confused as she confirmed who she was and then asked “Who is this?”
We heard she then left the house in a hurry and neither Leah or her car have been seen since.
Irene and Justin went to the police to report Leah as missing 48 hours later, but they haven’t managed to find anything to assist in the investigation.
It wasn’t until last week when it was suddenly discovered by Roo and Maggie that Leah’s website had come back online, with some new anti-feminist blog posts which everyone agreed sounded very unlike Leah. As a result, it’s very likely that she may have been forced to write the posts, or reveal her login details for the site, by someone who is holding her captive.
The earliest blog posts were timestamped 5 weeks ago, and they were as follows:
5 weeks ago: “Stop demonising men when they sort problems out by agression and physical conflict. Violence and domination is how the patriarchy held it’s power, it’s been this way for centuries. It’s natural, it’s human instinct!”
4 weeks ago: “Toxic masculinity is an attack on men. We shouldn’t diminish the superior sex when they provide so much for us.”
3 weeks ago: “The war against men has turned them into second class citizans. There rights have been stripped away as women continue to wield there power, and overlook the inconvenient truth that most victims of domestic violence are men, who suffer at the hands of their female partners.”
Today: “I got it all wrong. Ive spent so much time turning men into the enemy, I couldn’t see toxic feminism is the real problem.”
We’ve scoured the posts in the hope that Leah may have managed to sneak in some secret code, but all we’ve found is a missing apostrophe, the misspelt ‘citizans’ and ‘agression’, and a couple of their/there misuses.
Next week will see a huge development when a new photo of Leah is posted on the site, announcing that she is “engaged”, with someone’s hand placed on her shoulder.
The 2020 Promo we’ve previously covered also showed an extremely blurry shot of Leah running through bushland in a wedding dress.
Will the person holding Leah really be attempting to force her into marriage, or could it could be a nightmare of Justin’s after he sees the blog post?
A further promo airing last night in Australia has shown Leah in a house somewhere, wearing an apron and being forced to wait on a well-dressed man whose face we do not see.
After we see her pour him some tea, he then locks her in a bedroom.
Fans have been speculating on who’s responsible for Leah’s disappearance since it first aired in November, here we take a look at just some of the names that have been thrown around over the last few months, and see how they still hold up…
Who? You’d have to be a very long-term fan to know the name, and whilst it’s a bit of a stretch, it’s an option we first thought of when we saw Leah in the promo wearing a wedding dress.
We have to go back 20 years as part of this theory, to when Leah first arrived in Summer Bay as a hitchhiker picked up by Vinnie Patterson.
With no room at the caravan park, Vinnie and housemate Tom Nash agreed to let Leah stay in Sally’s room for a short while whilst she was away. Only a couple of days after her arrival, Constable Ted Simos (Harry Pavlidis) turned up at Vinnie’s house asking to speak to Leah.
It transpired that the whole reason Leah had been hitchhiking was that she had just run away from her own wedding, having left fiancé Ted waiting at the altar (though contrary to popular belief, she didn’t turn up in Summer Bay in her wedding dress).
Although she loved Ted, she had felt pressured into agreeing to marrying him by their families, and she just wasn’t ready for such a commitment. She told Ted that she saw him more as a brother type figure. Ted understood and they parted on good terms the next morning.
He later returned to Summer Bay towards the end of the year having been placed on a temporary transfer. By this point Leah was in a relationship with Vinnie, and he quickly got on the wrong side of him when he pulled him over and gave him a warning for driving recklessly. Ted later came around to Vinnie’s house and threatened to remove Vinnie’s kneecaps if put Leah in danger by driving like that again.
Ted lodged with Colleen in her mobile home for a couple of weeks, making it clear to Vinnie that Leah would never settle down with someone like him, and that he was determined to win her back. In the end though, Ted realised that Leah was truly in love with Vinnie, having seen how upset she was that Vinnie had yet to propose—he had promised to do so, but had then held back because of his fear of not being able to have children.
Wanting Leah to be happy, Ted convinced Vinnie to propose to Leah, which she gladly accepted, and once again the three parted on good terms.
So could Ted have changed his mind and come after Leah again after so long?
Well, the 20th anniversary of Leah’s first episode is actually only four weeks away, and whilst it would be a clever way to mark the occasion, the show doesn’t currently have the best record of delving into it’s on-screen history.
The recent developments with Leah’s blog would also now indicate this to be an unlikely option.
Still, we may be surprised yet…!
Likelihood – 5/10
Yeah, we’re not really buying this one either. Vinnie, played by Ryan Kwanten, was of course Leah’s first husband. Jailed for fraud in 2002 after being set up by his father, Leah found out in the 2002 season finale that Vinnie had apparently died in a prison fire.
In 2004, Peter Baker revealed to Leah that Vinnie was actually still alive. It turned out that his death had been faked in order for him to go into witness protection, after testifying against some fellow inmates. Leah was asked if she and VJ would join him but she ultimately declined.
Vinnie made a secret visit back home on VJ’s 3rd birthday disguised in a bear costume to say a final goodbye to his family (unbeknownst to them), where he saw that Leah had moved on with new partner Dan Baker.
In 2010, Reverend Elijah Johnson came to town and eventually revealed to Leah that he had been at Vinnie’s bedside when he’d died around 18 months earlier following a farming accident. He took Leah and VJ to Vinnie’s grave, where they found he had insisted on being buried under his own name and mentioning them in the inscription
It could be argued that since we never saw his body Vinnie could still be alive, but we think that would be taking things too far. The storyline was intended to finally close that chapter on Leah’s life, and it would be cruel for Elijah to lie to Leah and then go on to become engaged to her.
Whilst a fun theory at first, once again the recent developments with the blog and trailer would now make this a very unlikely option too.
Likelihood – 1/10
Leah went on a couple of dates with Jamie Sharpe (the son of Adam Sharpe and nephew of Ricky) back in 2012, however she soon became concerned when he started coming on too strong.
Although Leah called things off, Jamie (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) wouldn’t take the hint and continued bombarding her with gifts. As his obsession grew, he trashed the diner and stalked both Leah and her son VJ. When Jamie ended up threatening VJ, Leah and VJ fled the bay for a number of months. Jamie was last seen in jail serving time for the crimes he and his father had committed.
Could Jamie still be pining for Leah? His obsession could explain the apparent engagement…
Likelihood – 5/10
Mick (Kristian Schimd) is Irene’s son, the result of being raped by her uncle, that she was forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenager. On his arrival in Summer Bay, he raped Billie Ashford and she ended up giving birth to a daughter, Luc.
With Billie having not reported the rape, Mick was free to try and gain custody of Luc once he learned of her existence. Leah’s son VJ, who had married Billie on her deathbed (although technically a mess-up with the paperwork meant the marriage was void), ended up escaping with Luc to Cyprus in order to protect her from Mick.
Mick was last seen agreeing to try and get his life together by taking a job in Western Australia.
With viewers never being quite sure whether we were meant to see Mick as a psychopath or as a man genuinely trying to overcome his demons in his later stints, this would be a tricky one to judge.
Could kidnapping Leah be a way to try and lure VJ home (not that it worked!) in the hope he would bring Luc? Could it be plain old revenge for the part she played in removing Luc from the country, and he kept tabs on her by reading her blog?
He also has a history of abuse against women which could explain the blog posts… though we don’t see him wanting to marry her.
Likelihood – 6/10
Tommy O’Reilly (someone connected to)
Tommy O’Reilly (Adam Sollis) may be dead, but could a family member or close friend have something to do with Leah’s disappearance? We know that Tommy does have family out there as it was they who dropped the charges against Irene following Tommy’s death.
We would presume that if someone was seeking vengeance for Tommy’s death then they would go after Irene, given his killer Teresa Masterson is (presumably) already in jail.
However some may feel that Leah’s vlog and articles seeking justice contributed to Tommy’s death, by inadvertently inciting Teresa to take vigilante action.
Likelihood – 7/10
A Random Blog Reader
As clever and deep as the storyline could be, we think this simple premise would be the more likely option.
The recent blog entries are clearly from someone who sees Leah’s views as a form of toxic feminism, so is more than likely a misogynistic man who has taken offence at Leah’s posts and now wants to put her ‘back in her place’. This would certainly explain the behaviour displayed in the promo also, with treating Leah like a slave.
Why wait so long after she took her site offline though?
However, we do have to ask whether the show would go down the route of having another warped, predatory male prowling the internet so soon after Tommy…
Likelihood – 8/10
As well as the photo, next week’s spoilers promise some more development in the storyline, which we expect to be wrapped up in the coming weeks as we approach Ada’s return to filming following her extended break last year:
Monday 24th February
Is Willow ready to make a big decision? Jasmine makes peace with Robbo’s gift. There’s shock when a mystery photo suggests Leah could be alive.
Tuesday 25th February
Justin is devastated as Leah’s photo leads to more questions than answers. Alex and Willow have big decisions to make.
Wednesday 26th February
Justin’s losing his mind in his search for Leah. What now for Willow and Alex?
Thursday 27th February
Jasmine struggles with grief. Justin and Colby’s search for Leah takes a dramatic twist.
If you’re heading to Sydney anytime soon, why not take the time to visit the beautiful Palm Beach (Summer Bay) yourself on the Official Home and Away Tour – 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!
There’s now various options for those wishing to take the tour, including the opportunity to have a guaranteed Meet and Greet with a Home and Away fan favourite. This Meet and Greet option provides exclusive access to the Morgan House garden on Wednesdays & Fridays, or lunch with the actor on Saturdays (lunch not included in tour price).
The tour departs from central Sydney five days a week (Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat), and costs $135 per person ($67.50 for children).
You can also now buy Gift Cards, the perfect present for any Home and Away fan! Once purchased, the recipient can use the provided code to book themselves onto the tour of their choice. Gift Cards have a 6 month expiry.
For more information on the tour options, and to book tickets or gift vouchers directly through the official tour provider, click here or on the button below.