The Astoni family face a huge challenge this week when Maggie (Kestie Morassi) is forced to finally come clean about a secret she’s held for over twenty years, but it leads to a shocking question that she didn’t see coming…
The family have had their fair share of heartache over the past couple of years, what with Maggie’s year-long cancer battle; youngest daughter Coco (Anna Cocquerel) leaving for Cairns; the breakdown of Ziggy’s (Sophie Dillman) marriage to Brody Morgan; and Ben (Rohan Nichol) spiralling into a deep depression after being falsely accused of drug trafficking through his surfboad business.
Although it was far from easy and they came close to losing everything, Ben has been doing well on the road to recovery over the past few months, and his and Maggie’s marriage is as strong as ever.
What they didn’t bank on however was a blast from the past arriving on their doorstep—Ben’s little brother Marco (Tim Walter).
Back to the Bay were the first to reveal of Marco’s impending arrival back in February, with the promise that his presence would shake up the Astoni family.
Little had been known of Marco up until this point, other than the fact that Marco had once cracked onto Maggie at a party when they were in their late teens and Ben had stepped in to stop him—Marco ended up in hospital as a result, and Ben was convicted of assault.
This fractured the brothers relationship and they’ve barely spoken to each other for over two decades.
Understandably, Marco’s arrival at the Astonis farmhouse was not welcome, and Ben was quick to tell him to sling his hook.
It was Ziggy, who had bumped into Marco at Salt, who eventually convinced Ben to give Marco a second chance, and the brothers finally reconciled at Ben’s birthday party.
Maggie was uneasy however, and made it clear to Marco in private that he was not welcome. The reason soon became clear when Marco responded that she should back off, as he didn’t want to have to tell Ben that they had once slept together.
In the following weeks, Marco’s true motive has become clear—he wants Ben to invest money in the family business, that he has recently taken over from their father.
Having faced financial ruin only last year, Ben was initially talked out of the idea by Maggie, much to her relief.
However Marco then turned again on Maggie and outright blackmailed her—get Ben to invest, or Marco tells him everything.
“Maggie knows that she made a terrible mistake all those years ago” Kestie told New Idea magazine. “But at the time she and Ben had temporarily broken up. Now she just wants to move on and can’t take the pressure anymore.”
Having changed tact and convinced Ben that he should invest after all, Maggie could only watch as the brothers toasted their future partnership.
But Maggie’s conscience is getting the better of her, and this week she knows that she has to put a stop to things once and for all.
“She feels she has no choice but to tell Ben” Kestie continued. “She needs the truth to come out, even though she knows that it may destroy her marriage.”
Maggie finally summons the courage to reveal all to a devastated Ben, who can’t believe that Maggie has kept this from him for all these years.
When Ben angrily confronts Marco, Ziggy also learns the truth.
But in a shocking turn of events that Maggie didn’t foresee, Ziggy does the maths and comes to a horrifying realisation… there’s a possibility that Marco could be her real father!
“When Marco first turned up in Summer Bay, Ziggy did all she could to help form a new beginning between him, Maggie and Ben” Sophie told New Idea.
“Marco made a big plea to start afresh with his brother, and Ziggy thought she saw some genuine care and regret in Marco’s eyes” Sophie continued. “She thought she was helping her father and his brother—and they did temporarily reunite—but now this discovery changes everything.”
Where the family will go from here after a year of such fragility, and whether Marco is in fact Ziggy’s biological father, remains to be seen.
“It’s a very sensitive time” Sophie teased. “Everyone goes through a huge roller-coaster—and it’s only just beginning. Everything could come crashing down.”
Here’s the full spoilers for this week in Australia:
Monday 20th April
Ari’s attempt to set Mackenzie straight doesn’t go to plan. John’s gossiping gets more than just himself in trouble. Bella attempts to flirt. Colby finally gets his answer.
Tuesday 21st April
Maggie must decide between two paths fraught with danger. Will Nikau and Bella be able to find a path forward together? Will Gemma be able to get John to see sense?
Wednesday 22nd April
Ben’s in turmoil after Maggie drops a bombshell. Marilyn opens up to John about why she insisted on taking the Paratas in. Tori and Jasmine bond.
Thursday 23rd April
Ziggy’s hunger for the truth could tear her family apart. A phone call threatens to derail Leah’s recovery. Willow starts to crack.