As Home and Away returns to Australian screens this week following its summer break, Colby fights for his life after a vicious beating, and could the return of an old face save Ari and Tane from their blackmail hell?
Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin) looked to be in a dire situation when the 2020 season ended back in November. After being jailed for 25 years following his confession to killing stepfather Ross Nixon, Colby was on tenterhooks as he hoped his identity as a copper would remain a secret on the inside.
But as the closing scene of the season revealed, that wasn’t to be the case. Heading out into the exercise yard, Colby found himself surrounded by an intimidating group of inmates, as one of them then asked him “You really thought you’d get away with it? Constable Thorne?”
As we rejoin the action this week, Colby is already in a bad way, with prison infirmary nurse Lewis Hayes (Luke Arnold) desperately performing CPR on him. He shouts urgently for an ambulance and Colby’s condition worsens when he suffers a seizure en-route to the hospital.
Jasmine (Sam Frost) is shocked to see Colby being rushed into the emergency department, she only visited him in prison the day beforehand and he seemed to be in good spirits.
With Colby barely clinging onto life, Jasmine realises that Colby’s sister Bella (Courtney Miller) and best mate Dean (Patrick O’Connor) need to see him before it’s too late. But she knows that with Colby being under police guard it wouldn’t be allowed.
With Jasmine and Lewis’s assistance, Dean rounds up the River Boys to create a diversion at the hospital whilst he and Bella sneak in to be at Colby’s bedside.
Dean knew from the off that Colby could be in huge trouble if he ended up in prison. After it was revealed that their friend Willow (Sarah Roberts) was the mysterious Witness X, and had provided evidence to Angelo in order to save all of them being dragged down by Colby’s actions, Dean told her she had pretty much sentenced Colby to death.
“Dean is scared for his mate” Patrick told TV Week. “He would be absolutely devastated if Colby died.”
Meanwhile the Parata brothers are dealing with big issues of their own, with the clock ticking on the armed robbery they are being blackmailed into carrying out.
The trouble started when Tane (Ethan Browne) took part in a job for Paul (Jack Finsterer) which went wrong. Tane was left with a van full of stolen goods to dispose of, which unbeknownst to him also had drugs hidden in the panels.
After initially storing the van at Summer Bay Auto before being rumbled by Ziggy (Sophie Dillman), the van was hidden at the farmhouse whilst Tane went away to try and organise it’s removal. But after days of no contact with Tane, Ziggy and Willow took matters into their own hands and handed it over to some River Boys who made it disappear.
Tane realised he was in trouble when he returned and found the van gone, and he was told he had to come up with $25,000 to cover the cost of the lost drugs. After a failed attempt by Paul and his ever-grinning sidekick Leon (Will McNeill) to bash some sense into the Paratas, which saw them all carted off by the police, Paul came up with an alternative. Tane and Ari could do an errand for them.
The brothers took the job and hoped that would be an end to it, with the debt cleared, but even Mackenzie (Emily Weir) giving Paul her Porsche as another sweetener wasn’t enough.
In the final weeks of the season, Paul informed the Paratas that he wanted them to perform an armed robbery on the Reefton Lakes league club—and he tried to ensure their compliance by sending them incriminating photos of Ari and Tane handing the stolen goods from the last job! The message was simple, commit the robbery, or the photos end up with the police.
Ari was all too happy to call Paul’s bluff if it meant keeping the family safe, even if it meant going back to prison himself, but Tane knows Paul will never back off. As the season ended, the brothers were informed that the robbery was arranged for next week.
In this week’s episodes, Mackenzie is fuming when she finds out about the job, and asks Dean if there’s anything he can to to help Ari and Tane.
Dean and Ari have had something of an awkward friendship since Ari’s arrival in the bay, when it was revealed that they had formerly been cellmates in prison. But Dean knows that he owes Ari—Ari saved his neck in prison, and it was Ari who went searching for Dean in Mangrove River, to convince him to return to Summer Bay after he fell apart following Colby’s imprisonment.
“Dean thinks there are a few holes in the Paratas’ plan,” Patrick told TV Week. “He’s worried they’re going to get stitched up.”
Knowing that Reefton Lakes is on the River Boys’ patch, Dean comes up with a plan to derail the robbery and potentially save Ari and Tane from jailtime, by putting a call in to the boys.
As Ari and Tane meet up with Paul and Leon in preparation, they’re rudely interrupted by the arrival of a gang of River Boys, led by none other than Heath Braxton (Dan Ewing)!
Heath’s return has been teased for some time, since we first reported his presence during the filming of these scenes back in August, which were correctly speculated at the time to be for the first week of the 2021 season.
Although Heath’s return is little more than a cameo appearance, Dan Ewing revealed to the Daily Telegraph this weekend that there as an unusual catalyst behind his appearance.
“Series Producer Lucy Addario had a dream about me,” Dan laughed. “Ok, well not me per se, but about Heath returning to help sort out a situation in the 2021 season return storyline.”
Will some River Boy muscle be able to put a hold on proceedings, and free Ari and Tane from the grip Paul has on them?
Home and Away returns to Australian screens tonight, 7pm on Seven.
Here’s the full spoilers for this week’s Home and Away episodes in Australia:
Monday 1st February – Episode 7476
Colby’s life hangs in the balance.
Alf gives Kieran a firm warning.
Dean tells Bella the shocking truth.
Tuesday 2nd February – Episode 7477
The Parata brothers’ luck runs thin.
Bella stumbles across a secret.
Kieran does his best to fit in.
Wednesday 3rd February – Episode 7478
Dean calls in a favour from the old crew.
Justin returns to work.
Ziggy’s pushed into a corner.
Thursday 4th February – Episode 7479
A mysterious woman arrives into town.
Justin gets serious with Ziggy.
Christian looks for a place to live.
This is just the beginning.
We’ve got an extensive article covering everything we know about Home and Away in 2021, so click through for a much more in-depth look at everything that’s coming up over the next few months.