On this week’s Home and Away in Australia, Willow Harris leaves Summer Bay behind for a fresh start in Queensland, as Mackenzie struggles to cope with losing her baby. It’s set to be an emotional week!
As we reported earlier this week, Home and Away is set to revisit Willow Harris (Sarah Roberts) and Alex Neilson’s (Zoe Ventoura) romance just over a year after the two went their separate ways. It’s now been confirmed that their potential reunion is part of Willow Harris’s exit storyline, as she leaves Summer Bay behind after 3 1/2 years.
Willow dated Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor) back in their Mangrove River days, and had a brief liaison with Justin Morgan (James Stewart) shortly after moving to town. Yet it was her relationship with Dr Alex Neilson that made the biggest impact.
After a whirlwind romance, in which Willow came to terms with having feelings for a woman but struggled with commitment issues, the two eventually realised that the time just wasn’t right for them.
Alex’s job as a locum doctor meant that she was never settled in one place for too long. She had arrived in Summer Bay as the temporary Head of ED while Tori Morgan (Penny McNamee) was on maternity leave (and then later in a coma), and when it was time for Tori to head back to work, Alex was forced to start looking for a new position.
When she got an offer of a job in Queensland, she initially suggested to Willow that she come with her, but the thought of moving thousands of kilometers away from her friends and family was too much. When Alex later suggested that she get a job locally and that the pair move in together somewhere in Sydney, Willow was still reluctant, and it became clear that she just wasn’t ready to settle down.
In emotional scenes, Alex was forced to accept that she and Willow didn’t have a future together, and snuck out in the dead of night leaving Willow a heartfelt letter.
Since Alex left Summer Bay in March 2020, Willow’s life has taken some major twists and turns. She hasn’t had another relationship since, and instead devoted her time to that of her pseudo family – Colby (Tim Franklin), Dean and Bella (Courtney Miller). She eventually made a huge sacrifice to protect Dean when she was revealed as Witness X, the key witness whose court testimony led to Colby going down for the murder of Ross Nixon.
She and Dean had been friends for decades, growing up together in Mangrove River, and she hated that Colby’s bad decision was ruining Dean’s life. By testifying against Colby, and giving Angelo a recording of him confessing to murder, she freed Dean of the danger of going to prison himself. She fled the bay straight after, knowing that she had betrayed some of her closest friends and that they would likely never forgive her.
However, she returned to Summer Bay earlier this year, and put the final piece of the puzzle into place when she reunited Dean with Amber (Madeleine Jevic) and Jai. The three are now one big happy family, all thanks to Willow’s selflessness.
Now it’s time to think about herself for once. Amber put the idea of reconnecting with Alex in her mind last week, when she asked Willow what her future held now that things in her life have calmed down.
Amber wants Willow to be selfish for once and move her own life forward. Prying to see if there was romance on the horizon, she ended up asking Willow what happened to Alex, and encouraged her to get back in touch with her ex-girlfriend.
This coming week, Willow does exactly that. She’s initially set to dismisses the idea, telling Amber that “not everybody gets the happy ending”, but Amber assures her that “it happens, you and Alex can still do this!”
Willow eventually plucks up the courage and calls Alex from outside the Diner, sheepishly starting the conversation with “Alex, it’s uh, it’s me.”
Those words end up changing Willow’s future forever. This week will be Willow Harris’s last in Summer Bay, as actress Sarah Roberts bows out from Home and Away after 3 1/2 years on the show.
She heads off to Queensland later in the week, saying goodbye to her Mangrove River besties Dean, Bella and Amber, along with her Summer Bay housemates Irene and Jasmine in emotional scenes. As she leaves the sleepy seaside town for the next flight to the north-eastern state, it looks like she’s set to finally find happiness with Alex.
Talking to TV Week about her exit, Sarah Roberts said that “it’s a lovely way to leave the show. Zoe [Ventoura, who played Alex] and I have made a wonderful friendship and we still catch up, which is nice.”
In real life, Roberts is married to fellow Home and Away star James Stewart, who plays Justin Morgan. While Willow’s time may be up, Justin is still firmly part of Summer Bay, meaning Sarah Roberts still retains a strong connection to the show. “The cast and crew are like family,” she told TV Week. “I’ll always be attached to them, ’cause Jimmy is still in the show.”
As for her plans now she’s left, she told the magazine that she wants to step back, looking forward to the opportunity to relax. “I want to meditate, have family time, work out and enjoy life.”
Also this week, Mackenzie struggles to cope with the loss of her and Ari’s unborn child. She only recently discovered she was pregnant, a matter of hours before an oblivious Ari broke up with her, guilty that he still had feelings for Mia.
After days of deliberation, she eventually decided that she was going to terminate the pregnancy, wanting to have a few more years of freedom before having a child. She wanted to travel, see the world, grow her business and prove to her father that she’s better off on her own. She’ll only be young and free once, she told Ziggy in a heart to heart, and wants to make the most of it.
She also decided not to tell Ari – another decision she’d spent weeks agonising over. If she wasn’t going to keep the baby, it would only cause more strife telling him that he had the chance to be a father.
However, before she had the chance to terminate her pregnancy, the decision was taken out of her hands when she collapsed in pain at home. She had an ectopic pregnancy, and when her fallopian tube ruptured, the baby was unable to be saved.
Even though she had come to a decision, having the choice taken away from her has hit her harder than she could ever imagine. This week, she comes home from the hospital, and it quickly becomes clear that she isn’t coping.
She breaks down on the sofa, unable to hold back the tears as she contemplates everything she’s lost over the past month – first her boyfriend, then her unborn baby.
Turning to online parenting forums, she considers what could have been.
“[She] is completely burnt out and overwhelmed when she gets back home,” Emily Weir, who plays Mackenzie, recently told TV Week. “She’s in so much physical and emotional pain that she’s checked out and becomes numb to the world.”
In an attempt to forget about her pain, she decides to return to work at Salt. She should be resting, but when she rests all she does is think about Ari and the baby. Work is a distraction.
However, owning one of Summer Bay’s only drinking spots comes with its downsides. She’s unable to avoid Ari, who comes into Salt with Mia that evening, and tries to talk to her. He has no idea she was pregnant with his baby, so is confused when she completely shuts him down.
It’s not long until she pushes herself too far, and she collapses downstairs in the Surf Club. Thankfully she’s caught by Tane and Ziggy before she hits the floor, but she’s rushed back to hospital, where the doctors tell her that her body hasn’t recovered from the trauma of the ruptured fallopian tube. Over exerting herself has caused her recovery to take a big step back.
When Ari comes to visit her in hospital, she breaks down and cries into his arms. Will she end up revealing everything?
Here’s the full spoilers for this week’s Home and Away episodes in Australia:
Monday 12th April 2021 (Episode 7530)
Mac comes home but remains broken.
Christian learns the outcome of the autopsy.
Willow makes a chance phone call.
Tuesday 13th April 2021 (Episode 7531)
Roo comes up with a plan to help save the Surf Club.
Willow begins to hope for a future with Alex.
Christian is surprised when Lewis makes a surprising move.
Wednesday 14th April 2021 (Episode 7532)
Willow makes a decision.
Will Justin overdo things and risk his recovery?
Will the article be a help or a hindrance?
Thursday 15th April 2021 (Episode 7533–7535)
Ryder and Chloe crash Nikau and Bella’s romantic weekend away.
John decides to sell his house, it’s time for a fresh start.
Dean and Amber want different things.
Mac pushes herself too far. Justin takes his pain meds early.
Nikau and Bella’s getaway takes a scary turn.
Can Mac keep her secret from Ari any longer?
Lewis and Christian come to a head again.