Home and Away has teased a mystery surrounding Valerie, as both Justin and Kirby become suspicious of the newcomer and her interest in Theo.
Valerie Beaumont (Courtney Clarke) arrived in Summer Bay at the beginning of last week, and was revealed to be Leah’s (Ada Nicodemou) roommate from the mental health clinic she recently spent time in.
Leah has been struggling to reconnect with Justin (James Stewart) after returning from the clinic, fearful that spending time with him could trigger another episode, after their last encounter before the 2023 Season Finale saw her brandishing a knife at him in the diner.
Valerie’s arrival has been key in reuniting the pair, as she encouraged Leah to let Justin stay for dinner at Summer Bay House one evening, and later encouraged Justin to keep trying after his overenthusiasm once again pushed Leah away.
Her efforts appear to have worked, and despite a couple of missteps along the way, the latest Australian episode ended with Justin and Leah walking hand in hand together, after agreeing to take things slowly.
This week’s episodes have also seen Valerie begin to grow closer to Theo (Matt Evans). As Leah, Justin, Theo and Valerie enjoyed dinner at Justin and Leah’s former shared home, Valerie was impressed by Theo’s strumming skills as he performed a number on his guitar.
Leah then did her best to give Theo and Valerie some alone time together, and in a less-than-subtle attempt at matchmaking, suggested that her nephew take Valerie out and “show her the sights”.
The pair headed to Salt to enjoy a drink together, and things were going well – until Theo began to ask Valerie questions about her past after she mentioned a death in the family had caused her to put her career on hold.
Valerie shut him down, and Theo was forced to apologise the next day for making things awkward.
In the latest Australian episode, Valerie apologised to Theo for her secrecy and decided to open up to him, explaining that nobody – not even Leah – usually asked her about her history.
She explained that she used to party a lot as a teen, and while she was always close to her brother, he always judged her for her activities. One evening she got kicked out of a party and was forced to call him to get him to pick her up.
On the car ride home, Valerie’s brother launched into his usual tirade of judging remarks, and things began to get nasty. Fed up, Valerie tried to open the car door while they were still moving, causing her brother to take his eyes off the road for one second.
The next thing Valerie knew, the pair were upside down and stuck. She kept on calling out to her brother, but there was no answer, and he wouldn’t wake up. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her parents cut her out of their lives from that moment, and haven’t spoken to her since. She still blames herself for what happened, hence her stay in the same mental health facility as Leah.
Now, a new Home and Away promo questions who Valerie is, and suggests that she’s hiding a secret, as some of Theo’s closest friends become suspicious of his growing relationship with the new arrival.
“I still don’t know you that well,” says Justin, as he walks with Valerie on the beach.
“What’s your story?” he asks, to a surprised look from the new arrival.
In another scene, Leah asks Justin what he’s worried about, telling him, “I trust Valerie, that should be enough.”
Just why is Justin suspicious of Valerie so soon after her arrival in Summer Bay, and is he right to be worried?
The other person with concerns is Kirby (Angelina Thomson), but are her worries genuine, or is she simply jealous of her ex-boyfriend’s growing connection to the mysterious new face?
As Kirby walks back across the beach after a surf, she does a double take as she looks to her left and sees Theo and Valerie sitting together on the sand, Theo with his arm around Valerie.
Heading back to the Surf Club, she tells Rose (Kirsty Marillier), “I just saw Theo and Valerie getting all cosy on the beach.”
“Who’s Valerie?” asks Rose.
We then see more shots of Theo and Valerie getting close, as Theo reassures her, “whenever you need to talk, I’m here.”
“What’s she hiding?” asks the promo, giving us our first hint that she’s keeping a secret close to her chest.
As Kirby and Theo prepare to play another gig at Salt, Kirby asks her ex, “what’s going on with her?”, causing Theo’s eyes to light up.
The promo’s voiceover tells us that “her eyes are set on one person,” before a shot of Valerie and Theo collapsing back onto Theo’s bed, before sharing a kiss.
“But, it could destroy him,” the voiceover teases, as the pair walk along the alleyway next to Saxon Avenue.
“Wanna know my secret?” Valerie asks as she comes to a standstill.
Spoilers for next week tell us that “Valerie leads Theo astray” as “Theo and Kirby clash”, before “Kirby issues a warning to Theo” the following day.
Is Theo about to get himself into serious trouble with Summer Bay’s newest character?
Here’s the full spoilers for this week’s Home and Away episodes in Australia:
Wednesday 7th February (Episode 8195)
Mackenzie and Levi are drawn together. Harper feels alone. Remi and Eden get shock news.
Thursday 8th February (Episodes 8196-8198)
Eden fights for her rights. Mackenzie and Levi have a close call. Cash gets a mysterious call.
Eden speaks her truth. Mackenzie gets a reality check. Cash calls it a day.
Leah gives Justin an ultimatum. Justin and Valerie get off on the wrong foot. Mackenzie confesses to Tane.
Monday 12th February (Episode 8199)
Tane is ready for a fresh start. Dana plays Cupid for Harper. Mali confides in Xander.
Tuesday 13th February (Episode 8200)
Xander and Harper are the talk of the town. Theo and Kirby clash. Valerie leads Theo astray.
Wednesday 14th February (Episode 8201)
Kirby issues a warning to Theo. Bree falls apart.