This week on Home and Away in Australia, the Paratas find their plans to honour the late Mikaere thwarted, and Ben & Maggie make a huge decision…
It’s been a stressful few weeks for the Parata family, as they’ve faced scrutiny from local police officer Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin) over the break-in at the Pier Diner.
Convinced that one of the three men of the family had something to do with it, and letting his personal feelings towards Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) get in the way of his professional duty, Colby has been determined to pin them down.
As Ari, Tane (Ethan Browne) and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) faced being put into an identity parade, after Colby found a black hoodie at the house, Nik’s childhood memories of his family being ripped apart by the police caused him to panic and commit a crime of his own—stealing Tori’s (Penny McNamee) car to escape Summer Bay, not realising that baby Grace was sat in the back!
Although Nik eventually came to his senses, and with the help of Tane was able to return Grace, Colby was all too keen to put the two incidents together and come down on the Parata family even harder.
Amongst all this drama however, thoughts in the latest Australian episodes turned to Gemma’s late husband, and Nik’s father, Mikaere.
Mikaere was shot dead by police whilst taking part in an armed robbery last year, in which an innocent bystander was also caught in the crossfire and killed.
With the one year anniversary of Mikaere’s death rapidly approaching, Gemma feels it important that they return his ashes to New Zealand.
Gemma explained to Marilyn (Emily Symons) that her grandmother once told her their spirits go to their ancestors a year after death. If Mikaere isn’t returned to his people, Gemma worries that he will never be at rest.
Revealing her plan to the rest of the family, Gemma told them that she believed this could explain all the troubles they’ve suffered with. If Mikaere found peace, perhaps they all will.
Gemma contacted Mikaere’s family back in New Zealand who told her that they could have everything prepared in a few days time, and Ari, Tane and Nik all agreed to accompany Gemma on the trip, with Tane offering to pay for the flights.
“This trip has been on the family’s mind for a while” Ethan Browne told New Idea magazine. “This is something they all need to do in order to begin the healing process.”
This week the family begin the emotional journey back home, but immediately find a problem.
Arriving at the airport, Ari, Tane and Nikau are all denied travel at the customs desk. It transpires that, after learning of their plan at the last minute, Colby has rushed to place a travel ban on the three of them as part of his investigation.
“Gemma gets through but the boys don’t” Ethan continued. “It certainly comes as a big shock to all of them.”
The Australian Border Force shared pictures of filming at Sydney Airport for the episode back in December.
Back in Summer Bay, the three are determined to honor Mikaere, and come up with a plan to farewell him in a deeply spiritual way.
We believe this comes in the form of a haka on the beach, which Ari, Tane, and Nikau were spotted taking part in during filming at Palm Beach back in December.
With our assumption that Gemma will continue her journey to New Zealand to reunite Mikaere with his ancestors, we’re left with another question…
Is Gemma leaving for good?
We’ve been speculating for some time whether Gemma would in fact be sticking around in Summer Bay for the long haul, or whether the eventual plan was to have the three Parata men on their own.
Bree Peters has not been seen filming at Palm Beach since last year, and whilst this alone isn’t enough to base any speculation on, Bree also spent the first few months of this year working with the Pop-up Globe theatre company in her native New Zealand.
It has also been publicised that both Rob Kipa-Williams and Ethan Browne at the very least had signed three year contracts with the show, but there hasn’t been such confirmation for Bree. A lot of the publicity for the family has also concentrated solely on the male trio.
In another possible sign, Australian viewers have spent several weeks seeing the new ‘four-bedroom’ Parata house on-screen, but are yet to see where Gemma sleeps. The set clearly has three bedrooms for Ari, Tane and Nikau, but the mysterious fourth bedroom has failed to materialise, with not even a door visible…
We hope we are wrong, as the relationship between Gemma and Nik has been one of our highlights of the last few months.
But if we are about to see the departure of Gemma, it will leave us with a family dynamic (two brothers with a criminal past plus a teen male) which the cynical amongst us may find all too familiar… John Palmer’s recent comment of “déjà Braxton” perhaps seeming rather appropriate.
Ben & Maggie are heading to Italy!
Meanwhile, travel plans are also in the mind of another family, as Ben (Rohan Nichol) and Maggie (Kestie Morassi) make a huge decision about their future.
Viewers have seen the couple recently reunite after their separation, agreeing to give their marriage another go.
Maggie had been all set to leave Summer Bay for good and head to Italy, before Ben decided at the last minute to put his pride aside and fight to win Maggie back.
Stepping in front of her car as she drove out of Summer Bay, Ben convinced Maggie to stay one more night—as he battled to overcome his inner demons to forgive her for sleeping with his brother Marco over twenty years ago.
Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) was ecstatic when her parents finally revealed to her that they were back together, but how will she react when Ben and Maggie explain their latest plans to her?
With the couple feeling they need a fresh start in the next chapter of their lives, Ben and Maggie decide that they will move to Italy together.
“Moving to Italy with Ben has always been one of Maggie’s dreams,” Kestie told New Idea. “They’ve decided to give their marriage another go, but they’re very different people now. It’s as if they’re starting over again, which is both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.”
But Ziggy is thrown when asked if she would like to move across the world with them—will she find herself having to choose between her family and boyfriend Dean (Patrick O’Connor), who wishes to remain in Summer Bay?
Here’s the full spoilers for this week in Australia:
Monday 6th July (Episode 7363)
Jasmine is confronted over her recent behaviour.
Ryder struggles to live a normal life.
Maggie has concerns about the future.
Tuesday 7th July (Episode 7364)
Maggie and Ben make major plans.
Marilyn and John struggle to see eye to eye.
Ryder gets some heartening news from Evan.
Wednesday 8th July (Episode 7365)
Colby makes an unforgiveable decision.
Gemma, Ari, Tane and Nikau begin their journey.
Marilyn gets some much needed respite.
Thursday 9th July (Episode 7366)
The Parata men farewell Mikaere in a deeply spiritual way.
Ziggy receives a generous offer.
Ben and Maggie’s adventure is imminent.