In heart-wrenching Home and Away episodes airing next week in the UK, Ryder says goodbye to his father for what is likely to be the last time…
Ryder Jackson (Lukas Radovich) has faced a rollercoaster of emotions since his estranged father Evan Slater (Cameron Daddo) turned up on the doorstep of Summer Bay House six weeks ago.
After initially wanting nothing to do with the man who walked out on his mother Quinn all those years ago, Ryder eventally warmed to the idea of having a father figure in his life.
But he felt that Evan was constantly holding something back, and it wasn’t long before Evan was forced to reveal to Roo (Georgie Parker) the real reason for his turning up in Summer Bay—he’s dying, and wants to put things right with his son before it’s too late.
Having performed in numerous dives over the years as a musician, Evan is suffering from terminal cancer as a result of asbestos exposure.
Evan begged Roo to keep quiet, not wanting Ryder to feel obligated to spent time with him, but after realising the deep bond that was forming between father and son, she felt she had no option but to tell Ryder the truth before his heart was broken.
Ryder was understandably devastated, but decided to not let on to Evan that he knew. Instead, he arranged a live music night at Salt, wanting to see Evan in his element in order to create some lasting memories of his father.
When Evan performed a song he’d written especially for Ryder, it hit Ryder hard, and after the gig he revealed to Evan that he knew he was dying.
After an overnight stay in hospital following the gig, with his condition deteriorating rapidly, Evan attempted to sneak out of Summer Bay, not wishing to burden Ryder.
But Ryder caught up with Evan just as he was boarding the bus out of town, and demanded that Evan stay, telling him that it was his turn to make the decisions.
With Evan now resident in the main house, he confided in Roo that it wasn’t what he wanted. Whilst grateful for their accepting him as part of their family and wishing to care for him, Evan was adamant that he didn’t want Ryder to have to watch him die.
This week, having given up work to spend time with Evan, Ryder is enjoying learning how to play the guitar. But they’re brought crashing down to earth when Evan has a coughing fit.
Roo attempts to help Evan as he clutches his chest whilst struggling to breathe, and Evan encourages Alf (Ray Meagher) to take a reluctant Ryder outside.
Once Evan has regained his composure, Roo comments that his condition is getting worse, and asks whether he’s considered palliative care. Evan explains that he has made no plans, his only concern was to spend time with Ryder and make up for lost time.
He hadn’t looked this far ahead, but with time now running out, decisions need to be made for everyone’s sake.
That evening, Evan breaks the news to Ryder that he will be leaving town the next day. Ryder begs him to stay a few more weeks, but Evan says they’ve run out of time.
With Evan still not having made any firm plans, Ryder can’t believe that he’d rather go and die alone somewhere rather than being with people who care about him.
He storms out, and a tearful Evan begs Roo to help Ryder see things from his perspective.
The next day Ryder avoids talking with Evan about his departure and escapes to the diner. There, he watches the video taken of Evan performing his song for Ryder, as Alf tracks him down.
Ryder asks why Evan should be the one to make all the decisions whilst he gets shut out. Alf tenderly tells him that whilst Evan can’t choose to live, he can choose how he wants to die. Alf explans that he needs to make the most of the little time they have left.
Heading outside and finding Evan on the pier, Ryder spends the afternoon talking with Evan as he attempts to teach him how to fish. Ryder asks how he can be so calm about dying, and why he wants to do so away from his family.
Evan explains that they need to focus on their final memories of each other, and to make sure they’re good ones. Ryder finally understands.
Alf and Martha (Belinda Giblin), who herself is heading back to Merimbula for an art exhibition, throw a farewell picnic for Evan.
When Roo brings the car around for them both, there’s one final surprise for Evan. Roo is going with him as he seeks palliative care—it’s the only way that Ryder would be comfortable with letting Evan leave Summer Bay.
Evan will not be alone when the time comes.
With that settled, Ryder and Evan say what is likely to be their final goodbye.
Ryder tells Evan that he’s proud of him, which chokes Evan up, and they express their love for each other as they embrace.
Ryder can barely hold it together as he and Alf watch Evan, Roo and Martha drive away.
Here’s the full spoilers for next week in the UK:
Monday 27th July (Episode 7356)
Maggie gives Ben one last chance to explain.
Marilyn prepares for John’s return home.
Jasmine’s behaviour towards Grace becomes intense.
Tuesday 28th July (Episode 7357)
Ben and Maggie come to their final decision.
Ziggy and Dean celebrate a milestone.
Jasmine bends the truth.
John returns home.
Wednesday 29th July (Episode 7358)
Ziggy learns the fate of her parents.
Evan makes a heartbreaking decision.
Colby reignites the diner investigation.
Thursday 30th July (Episode 7359)
Ryder and Evan share a deeply emotional moment.
Colby tightens his gaze on Ari.
Martha returns to Merimbula.
Friday 31st July (Episode 7360)
Mackenzie makes her biggest sacrifice for Ari.
Colby’s investigation turns personal.
Nikau’s lapse in judgement could change his life forever.
Marilyn and John refuse to accept reality.