Next week at Home and Abroad in the UK, family and friends gather for Grace’s first birthday, but the celebration comes to an early end after a surprising turn of events…
The youngest resident of Summer Bay, Grace Morgan, saw her fair share of the drama in the first year of her life. Born in a remote cabin while Tori’s mother (Penny McNamee) was under witness protection, Grace spent her first six weeks with Robbo’s father (Jake Ryan) and Jasmine’s stepmum (Sam Frost) after Tori fell into a coma shortly after her birth.
Just as Grace was reunited with her mother, news came that Robbo and Grace’s uncle Mason (Orpheus Pledger) had been murdered by members of the Ouroboros gang—all while the Morgan family was dealing with the abduction of Justin’s girlfriend Leah (Ada Nicodemou) who had been abducted.
As Morgans continued to turn away from the recent disaster, Jasmine developed an unhealthful fascination with her stepdaughter, to the point that she stole Grace’s belongings and masqueraded as her mother online. Tori was forced to put the AVO on Jasmine, but this was ultimately lifted as Tori sought to help Jasmine work through her problems.
However, the tensions for Jasmine have been growing slowly again in recent weeks, with the arrival of Dr Christian Green (Ditch Davey).
As she watched Christian develop a friendship with Tori’s new girlfriend, Jasmine couldn’t help but feel resentment about Christian’s role in Grace’s life, something that was never lost to Jasmine’s trusted Irene (Lynne McGranger).
This week, plans are in full swing for Grace’s first birthday party, with the cake becoming Tori’s most recent kitchen disaster. While Jasmine is offering to pick up one from the dinner, Tori says she’s sure to get it right.
In the meantime, Jasmine has picked up a very special gift for Grace—a silver bracelet she had engraved on “Love Dad.” She’s showing it to Irene, who thinks it’s a lovely gesture and a fitting homage to Robbo.
The next day, the guests arrive to celebrate, and Jasmine asks how the cake went. Tori informs her that after her third attempt failed, she asked Christian to pick one up on the way back.
Jasmine’s face drops when she hears Christian’s name, and she’s trying to put on a brave face like Tori’s joke tells her that Christian is her hero to save Grace’s band.
Talking to Irene outside, Jasmine doesn’t understand why Christian was invited, but Irene tells her to forget about it and focus on Grace—just as Christian comes along with the cake.
When Grace eventually wakes up from her sleep, Jasmine takes the opportunity to follow Tori into the house, hoping to give her a gift to Grace. But she’s frustrated when the hurried Tori asks if she and the rest should pop it up on the gift table.
As the birthday girl is brought out to join the crowd, Tori gives Grace her own gift—a bracelet that happens to be the same as Jasmine’s, that Grace’s name was engraved on. Jasmine watches as Tori asks Christian to help her put her on Grace’s wrist.
Later, Irene meets a down-hearted Jasmine inside, who reveals to her that she thinks Tori has gone back to her vow that Robbo will never be replaced in Grace’s life. Jasmine wonders why she has taken the trouble to attend the party, particularly considering that her gift is worthless in her eyes. She’s going back to the crowd, but flings the bracelet in the bin en-route.
“Jasmine is still grieving the tragic loss of Robbo,” Sam Frost told TV Week. “So Grace’s first birthday is a bittersweet one.”
Tori gives a brief speech in which she thanks everyone and pays tribute to Robbo, but as Marilyn is happy to take pictures of Tori, Christian and Grace, Jasmine can’t hold her tongue any longer and asks her softly to stop. Christian is not Grace’s dad, and he’s not a true family.
“It’s a challenge to see this new family unit move forwards and enjoy special milestones without Robbo,” Sam said. “However, Jas can see that Christian makes Tori happy and what she brings to her life.”
But that’s the least of everyone’s worries, as there’s another serious matter that’s been going on, without Tori’s awareness.
After being rushed to the hospital in pain earlier this week, Justin (James Stewart) discovered that his spinal cavernoma had once again grown in size, with tests indicating that radiotherapy had not had enough of an effect. Inflammation around the tumour causes pressure on his neck and is in danger of leaving Justin with permanent damage if he does not undergo further surgery.
Christian told Justin that the swelling was too serious for them to operate immediately, but if he remained in the hospital for steroids and more radiotherapy, he would be eligible for surgery in a couple of days.
However, going against the infuriated Christian’s advice and appeals from Leah, Justin declined to be admitted to the hospital, insisting that he was going to be there for Grace’s birthday. He also forbade Leah or Christian to tell Tori what was going on.
Justin throws himself in to prepare for the party, set up decorations and set up a swing set for Grace, insisting that Leah feels good after taking his medicine.
Justin is subdued during the dance. Christian wonders whether all is going well and if his symptoms have improved. He told Justin again that leaving the hospital was a major mistake, and Justin thanked him for his cooperation.
But shortly after Tori’s speech, Justin is dragging himself into the house. Leah follows and is surprised when Justin explains that he can’t feel his legs.
An ambulance is called to Morgan’s home, and as Justin runs to Christian and Tori’s hospital in search, he’s left wondering if his stubbornness has changed his life forever.