Coming up next week on Home and Away in the UK, John is staggered by the no-nonsense attitude of his new carer, but it’s nothing compared to Colby and Dean’s shock when they come face to face with her…
There were heartbreaking scenes on Home and Away last week, as John (Shane Withington) forced wife Marilyn (Emily Symons) to admit that she didn’t actually love him anymore.
The couple were already living apart when John suffered a stroke last month, but Marilyn was determined to support her estranged husband through his recovery.
Moving back into the marital home on his release from hospital—which was already wheelchair-friendly following their adopted son Jett being paralysed—John found Marilyn’s care to be somewhat overbearing, and tensions gradually built between the couple.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came when Marilyn decided to leave John at home, telling him that he should be resting, whilst she went off to attend the Astonis farewell party.
Ben (Rohan Nichol) and Justin (James Stewart) came to John’s rescue, with Marilyn clearly uncomfortable when John rocked up to the gathering.
The following day, knowing that it wasn’t healthy for either of them to continue with things as they were, John finally coerced Marilyn into admitting the truth—she was only caring for him out of a sense of duty, not out of love.
With the end of their marriage now in sight, the first thing John has to put his mind to is his ongoing care. As he and Marilyn interview lots of potential candidates, John struggles to find any that meet his high standards. Marilyn is exasperated and wonders if John is making any effort to get on with them.
But it seems John may have met his match when the latest candidate rocks up to the Palmer House, in the form of Amber Simmons (Madeleine Jevic).
Marilyn has put on an afternoon tea, and as the three introduce themselves, John is taken aback when Amber orders him to put down a muffin he is about to start eating, before telling Marilyn that she needs to leave so she can go through things with John.
Amber’s no-nonsense approach is very confronting for John, as she asks why he’s remaining in his wheelchair when he should be training his brain to get full use of his legs again.
A furious John threatens to have Amber fired as she refuses to run around after him, but she softens ever so slightly as she explains that she’s doing this for his own benefit. He needs a carer, and she needs a job, so they need to work together.
“She’s got foot-in-the-mouth disease,” Maddy told Aussie mag TV Week. “She’s very blunt, but she’s got this caring, loving, loyal side. She’s just a really fun character to play – not one-dimensional at all.”
As Amber pushes John to prepare his own lunch, the two seem to be making progress—until Amber mentions Marilyn. This touches a nerve with John, and as Marilyn and neighbour Tane (Ethan Browne) talk outside the Palmer House, they hear arguing coming from inside.
Amber then storms out, having been sacked by John, and asks Marilyn how she puts up with her husband.
As she cools off in Salt, Amber spots Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor), and it’s clear the two have a history as she asks him to buy her a drink and then take her to bed!
Dean quickly puts Amber straight by telling her he’s now in a relationship, and as Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) arrives, he makes a quick exit with her. He later reveals that he and Amber had a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement after his release from prison a few years back.
The next day Amber comes across another face from her past in the form of Colby, but the reception she gives him couldn’t be more different as she punches him in the face.
With a renewed vigour, Amber reinstates herself as John’s carer by waltzing into the Palmer house as if nothing had happened. John barely has time to react before Amber tells him that they’re going to start on his next physio exercises.
As Amber convinces John to let her take him to the gym, the first time he’s been there since his stroke, it’s clear that John is beginning to warm to Amber.
On their arrival, she comes face to face with Bella (Courtney Miller), which comes as a shock to them both, and the ensuing conversation piques John’s interest about their shared history.
John convinces Amber to open up to him, and she tells him her story.
Amber had in fact grown up in Mangrove River with Dean, Colby and Willow (Sarah Roberts). They, along with Amber’s brother Jai, had been a closeknit group until a fateful night in 2012 that changed all their lives.
As viewers of the show may recall, Colby, Dean and Willow have previously spoken of the time Colby and Dean were involved in an accident, in which one of their friends died. That friend was Jai.
When Colby’s stepfather Ross Nixon skipped town, taking Colby’s mother Michelle and their young daughter Bella with him, Colby asked Dean to steal a car so they could give chase.
But the car crashed, killing Jai and seriously injuring Dean. Colby fled the scene to continue the chase, not realising the situation he had left his friends in, and Dean ended up in prison for the car theft.
Although eventually Dean came to forgive Colby when the former friends were reunited in early 2018—by which point Colby had left behind his River Boy roots to become a police officer—Amber has no intention of letting Colby off lightly for his part in her brother’s death.
Amber tells John that she idolised Jai, he was the best brother anyone could have had, and had always looked out for her.
But the moment is interrupted when Colby walks in, keen to finally talk with Amber about what happened all those years ago.
Will Colby be able to get through to her as he pleads his case?
In either case, there’s more drama on the way for Amber, as little do the Mangrove River gang know that she is hiding a huge secret of her own…
Here’s the full spoilers for next week in the UK:
Monday 17th August (Episode 7371)
Jasmine’s anguish is undeniable.
Tori protects Grace at all costs.
Bella and Nikau take one step forward and two steps back.
Tuesday 18th August (Episode 7372)
Tori draws a line in the sand.
Ari doesn’t want Mackenzie’s pity.
Jasmine shocks Irene.
Wednesday 19th August (Episode 7373)
Tane does a good deed.
Ari and Mackenzie overcome challenges.
Irene is deeply troubled.
Leah gives Justin some home truths.
Thursday 20th August (Episode 7374)
Amber arrives in the Bay.
Tane starts his new job.
Dean is shocked to learn Mackenzie’s secret.
Friday 21st August (Episode 7375)
Amber and Colby share a dark past.
John’s rehab progresses.
Ziggy and Amber meet.