Home and Away is now over for 2020, as the season finale aired on Monday evening in a special triple-bill episode. The Paratas seemed set for big trouble as they prepared for their armed robbery, Alf struggled with Martha’s revelations about Kieran, Tane and Ziggy spent the night together, while Colby’s identity as a cop was discovered.
The show will be off the air in Australia until early 2021. The return date isn’t yet confirmed, but it’s likely to be late January or early February.
Until then, here’s a look at what’s coming up in the early part of next year, as we dissect everything that we know.
Most of these spoilers have come from filming spotted by fans, tidbits from actors’ social media, or photos taken by the press. While we think everything is accurate, very little has been officially confirmed by the show.
UPDATED – View the new Home and Away 2021 promo, previewing what’s in store when the show returns in early 2021.
The end for Colby Thorne?
It’s been rumoured for months, but it looks like it’s about to happen – is Colby (Tim Franklin) set to die in prison in the 2020 season finale? With other inmates finding out that he’s a cop, it seems his days are numbered.
We’re expecting Tim’s final scenes to air in Monday’s triple-bill, putting an end to his time in Summer Bay once and for all. Although nothing is officially confirmed, Tim hasn’t been spotted filming outdoor scenes for many months, which is usually a good sign that a character has left.
A recent trailer for the show’s final week also hinted that “any day could be their last”, giving us a sizeable clue that we’re about to say goodbye.
Colby first arrived in the Bay in February 2018, breaking up a fight between Mason and the River Boys. He was quickly revealed to be Summer Bay’s newest police officer, a replacement for Kat Chapman who had died a matter of days before.
Yet he was hiding a dark secret – his past as a River Boy, which was sure to do him no favours in the police force. The secret eventually came out, as did the revelation that he joined the force in an effort to track down his half sister. Bella, now an integral part of the show, had been snatched away by her father Ross Nixon many years before, and Colby had spent years trying to find her.
He was reunited with Dean and Willow, friends from his Mangrove River days who were surprised to find their old gang mate on the force. Dean wasn’t too happy to find Colby in town – the pair hadn’t spoken since the day they tried to chase after Bella’s dad in a stolen car.
Colby crashed the car and made a run for it, chasing after Ross on foot. By doing so, he left Dean to take the rap for the stolen car, and left their friend Jai for dead. Once the old friends finally reconciled, they resumed the task of finding Bella, and eventually tracked her down. Unfortunately the discovery eventually led to Colby murdering Ross Nixon, burying the body and landing us where we are today.
Despite everything Colby put Dean and Bella through, they both still loved him and never wanted the story to end like this. If the rumours are true, just how will they react to his death when the show returns in 2021?
Willow comes back to the Bay
Willow was last seen driving away from Summer Bay, the day after testifying at Colby’s murder case. She helped Angelo put Colby away, knowing it would free Dean to be able to focus on himself and his family without fearing jail time himself.
However, she also knew that Dean would never forgive her for what she did, and decided she needed to leave town. With only Irene, Jasmine and John Palmer to see her off, she was a sorry sight to behold as she left Summer Bay behind.
Yet it seems like her departure isn’t forever, with something or someone eventually tempting her back to the bay.
Sarah Roberts, the actress who plays Willow, has been seen filming at Palm Beach in the past few weeks. With Home and Away filmed approximately 6 months ahead of episodes airing, this suggests she will be in the show for some time to come.
With Bella and Dean both sticking around in 2021, and Colby’s prison sentence still fresh in their minds, how will the Mangrove River gang be able to repair their rifts… especially if Colby ends up 6 feet under!
A return for Heath
We were expecting this one before the end of the year, but it looks like we might have to wait until 2021 for Heath Braxton’s return to Summer Bay.
Actor Dan Ewing was spotted filming scenes alongside Ari, Tane and Dean earlier this year. The four were filming a fight scene, in which they took on a bunch of unknown men likely to be Paul, Leon and their cronies.
We’re hoping that Heath will make a surprise appearance in Monday’s season finale, but if not then we’re expecting to see him very early into next season.
Much more from Jai and Amber
Dean is currently struggling with losing his best friend, his girlfriend and his son within a few short months. His relationship with Ziggy fell apart thanks to Colby’s actions, and his erratic behaviour caused Amber to disappear, taking their son with her. Now, with Colby behind bars, he’s at breaking point.
Thankfully for poor Dean, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Amber and Jai eventually return to the bay, with their shared son continuing to play a major part in Dean’s life.
River Jarvis, who plays Jai, is still actively filming on the show.
A number of photos were added to River’s Instagram on November 10th, showing him backstage with Patrick O’Connor (Dean), as well as on the set of Colby and Dean’s apartment with Madeleine Jevic (Amber). Presuming these are recent photos, it suggests that River and Madeleine have been filming as recently as last week.
Paparazzi shots from the last month also saw Amber and Jai turn up at the Diner with a box of possessions. Fans were eagerly speculating whether this means Amber shacks up with Dean in his now quiet apartment, although it’s equally possible Jai was just staying the night with his dad.
Either way, we can’t wait to see more of little Jai on screen!
The first photo from the above Instagram also shows a door with ‘AVA / Alice Roberts‘ written on it. Ava, Justin’s daughter, is played by Alice Roberts, suggesting she’ll also be back in Summer Bay in 2021.
For something cute, check out the video in the Instagram post above.
The post, taken backstage at Home and Away just a few days ago, shows River and Patrick O’Connor interacting away from filming. The cute clip shows the two playing a multiplayer game together, with Patrick laughing as he exclaims “How did you get that gun? Is that, is that a knife in your hand? That’s so ridiculous!”
A love interest for Ryder
Actress Sam Barrett joined the show earlier this year, and it seems her character is set to couple up with Ryder (Lukas Radovich).
Since Raffy’s departure, Ryder’s only major love interest has been Jade, which ended disastrously when she filmed a sex tape of the pair and posted it online. Hopefully he’ll have an easier time with Sam’s character.
We initially thought that she would be a love interest for Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), proving a rival for Bella (Courtney Miller). The first paparazzi shots, taken a number of months ago, showed her interacting with Rider and Nikau, but with Nikau’s arm around her.
However, new photos emerged in November, showing Ryder and Sam’s character frolicking in the sea together, before embracing and seemingly going in for a kiss.
Hopefully this means the bond between her and Nikau was entirely platonic, leaving the path clear for Bella and Nikau’s relationship to continue.
A ghost from the past
Seven Network’s “Upfronts” earlier this year promised that 2021 would bring us “A ghost from the past” which would “threaten to derail one of the Bay’s favourite couples“.
At the time, we speculated that this could be one of many couples – perhaps Bella and Nikau, based on the photos of him with another girl; an issue affecting Owen and Roo, which has already come to pass as Roo’s grief over Evan eventually ended their relationship; or one of the Morgan family’s drug syndicate enemies.
However, it now seems almost certain that the ghost is Kieran, Martha’s son who is set to cause issues for her and Alf. He seems set to stick around for at least the first few weeks of next year, and we suspect his violent tendencies could ruffle more than a few feathers.
Plenty of new characters
Aussie actress Anna Samson has also been spotted filming at Palm Beach. She’s rumoured to be playing a new cop, filling the gap made by Colby’s departure.
However, other fan photos from filming seem to show her wearing a Summer Bay Fitness uniform, and getting close to Ari. Who knows what the future holds for Anna’s character!
Bridie Carter is also joining as a real estate agent named Susie McCalister, who forms a relationship with John Palmer.
Speaking not long after filming her first scenes, Bridie took to Instagram to say, “Very happy to be join the team/family on one of Australia’s longest running shows – Home and Away. Very, very grateful in these strange times to be invited into the family fold.”
Recent episodes have seen John venture into online dating, so we don’t think it’ll be too long before Susie appears on screen. The fact she’s joining as a real estate agent must also have some significance – is it simply that the Astonis are selling the farmhouse, or is another Summer Bay property about to change hands?
An old flame for Jasmine
Luke Arnold also joins the show as a love interest for Jasmine (Sam Frost), suggesting she’s finally ready for love a little over a year after the death of husband Robbo.
The pair have been seen filming a number of outdoor scenes together, usually ending in them sharing a pash.
It’s now been revealed that Luke plays a character called Lewis Hayes, a blast from Jasmine’s past who comes to Summer Bay seeking revenge. His character makes his arrival in the season finale as a nurse at Northern Districts Hospital, and it seems he knows more than one of the town’s residents.
He and Jasmine had a fling many years ago, which ended up going nowhere. He went on to find the love of his life, but she passed away… seemingly at the hands of Dr Christian! That’s right, Lewis arrives in the bay seeking out Christian, blaming him for his wife’s death and wanting to have it out with him.
However, when he reconnects with Jasmine, he’s torn. Is it worth pursuing his vengeance against Christian if he can find love with Jasmine?
Trouble for Justin
Justin’s health troubles look set to continue in 2021. Australian viewers have recently seen him recovering from a second operation to remove the carcinoma on his spine, which almost left him wheelchair-bound.
Although the first surgery didn’t remove enough of the tumour, we’ve been led to believe that the second surgery was a success. He’s finishing the season overjoyed at a normal life, finally able to focus on his family again.
Yet it looks like he’s set for some additional health problems next year. Scenes shot in October saw actor James Stewart filming a dramatic drowning scene. As Justin is a confident surfer, something must have gone seriously wrong.
Paparazzi photos show Justin surfing as normal, before losing control. Struggling to keep himself above water, one flailing arm is all he can use to get the attention of those on the shore.
Thankfully, someone catches sight of him and the lifeboat rescue team speed out to rescue him.
Another photo from the same day showed Leah (Ada Nicodemou) running towards him as he heads to the water holding his surf board. She has a concerned look on her face and seems to be trying to stop him – is Justin not taking his recovery seriously enough, wanting normality before he’s quite ready for it?
Romance for Ziggy and Tane
We’ve suspected for a while that Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) and Tane (Ethan Browne) would eventually hook up, after a press photographer snapped the pair walking arm in arm along the beach earlier in the year.
Recent photos taken by fans at Palm Beach suggest that their relationship carries on long into 2021, leaving little hope for a Ziggy / Dean reunion.
The Instagram photos above, which we believe were taken in the past few weeks, show the characters walking and chatting, before Tane leans in pretty close. Will they be our hot new couple for 2021?
A wedding for Summer Bay’s newest couple
Recent episodes have seen tensions grow between Summer Bay’s newest pairing. Doctors Christian Green (Ditch Davy) and Tori Morgan (Penny McNamee) have only been dating for a matter of months, but they have already had their fair share of issues.
First there was Tori’s disagreement with how Christian handled Justin’s case. Tori took issue with being kept in the dark, despite knowing Christian has no choice but to follow doctor / patient privilege rules. Now they’re arguing over Jasmine and her present for baby Grace, with Christian claiming Tori is the only one with an issue.
Yet despite their rocky start, it looks like they’re set for a happy future. Back in August, fan of the show Vikki Ross spotted them filming an engagement celebration.
As Ditch Davy and Penny McNamee walked along the grass outside the Surf Club, they were greeted with shouts and cheers from Ada Nicodemou (Leah) and James Stewart (Justin), and a sign reading “Tori & Christian, Together Forever”.
Will it be happily ever after for Tori and Christian?
The Home and Away season finale airs in a triple bill from 7pm on Monday 30th November. We’re expecting a 2021 promo to air right after the finale, and we’ll bring you any extra info from the promo as soon as it does.
With Home and Away about to go off the air in Australia and the UK, we’ve got plenty of time to sit and speculate over what will be coming up in the year ahead. We’ll be keeping our Upcoming Episodes page up to date with all of the latest as soon as we get it.