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Home and Away Spoilers – Karen returns to Summer Bay with a secret

Dean’s mother Karen arrives in Summer Bay with a secret next week on Home and Away in the UK, but Dean has a revelation of his own…

Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor) receives an alarming phone call as this week’s episodes come to a close, informing him that his mother, Karen (Georgia Adamson), has gone missing. Karen’s next-door neighbour hasn’t seen her in several days, and knowing Karen’s mental health issues—a result of schizoeffective disorder—Dean sets out on a search for her.

Karen was last spotted in Summer Bay in 2019, when she appeared out of the blue after being discharged from a psychiatric facility. Not only was she surprised to find that Dean had tracked down his father Rick Booth (Mark Lee), but she was also surprised to learn that Dean had a newfound half-sister Mackenzie (Emily Weir) who lived in Summer Bay.

Karen poured a jug of water over John Palmer’s (Shane Withington) head before collapsing, prompting Mackenzie to extend an olive branch by offering her a job at Salt. Dean learned she had checked herself back into the clinic when she left town to take up a job in Reefton Lakes.

Back in the present, Dean keeps trying to reach Karen on her phone, while Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) contacts the Reefton Lakes leagues club where Karen works, only to be told that she hasn’t shown there in a few days. Knowing she hasn’t returned to the clinic, and Karen’s phone has since been deactivated, Dean and Ziggy have no choice but to travel to Mangrove River in an attempt to locate her.

We learn that their excursion was unsuccessful when they return a few days later, with no one who knows Karen having seen her.

So it comes as a bit of a shock to Dean when John shyly points out that Karen is standing just behind him as he criticises John for delivering some poor counsel.

She shouts, “What the hell is your problem, Deano?” “Stop phoning me, stop stalking every single person I’ve ever known… “What’s the big deal?” says the narrator.

Storm Karen has returned!

Karen is evasive when the two meet up in Salt, merely noting that she didn’t feel like talking to anyone when Dean inquires about her disappearance.

Dean is initially irritated by his mother’s evasiveness, but when Karen responds by asking what has been going on with him, he becomes just as evasive. He instantly recalls that Karen is not only unaware of the vehicle accident that nearly killed him, but she is also unaware that she is a grandma.

Dean only found out he was a parent 18 months ago, when his ex-girlfriend Amber Simmons (Maddy Jevic) showed up in town and revealed that her 5-year-old son Jai (River Jarvis) was the product of their hook-ups at Mangrove River.

Amber has deliberately prevented Karen from becoming a part of Jai’s life, thus he has never met Granny Thompson, who is now 7 years old. Amber recalls Karen at her worst, and despite Dean’s assurances that Karen is no longer a loose cannon as a result of her treatment, Amber refused to budge.

Knowing he’d have to lie to his mother crushed Dean’s heart, but he had no option because Amber threatened to cut him out of Jai’s life if he didn’t cooperate.

As Dean softly confides in Mac about his predicament, she remarks that he and his mother are just as lousy at keeping secrets as one other.

When John describes all of the ‘drama’ that has been going on, Dean almost gets caught up in it, but it’s quickly forgotten when Karen receives an unwanted phone call. She demands to know how the caller obtained her phone number and is visibly agitated as she expresses her dissatisfaction with the situation she has been placed in.

Karen tells the caller to leave her alone and hangs up, but Dean has overheard the entire conversation… He anticipates the worst when he inquires about his mother’s whereabouts, and she confesses that she is on the run from a man named Brett.

Dean is insistent that she tell him everything!

Karen then confesses the real reason she’s on the run, which astounds him…. Brett has proposed marriage to her!

She goes on to say that she met him at the leagues club and has been dating him for nearly a year, to to Dean’s amazement. Karen, on the other hand, thinks that she would undoubtedly break Brett’s heart, despite the fact that he is the perfect gentleman.

Ziggy comes dangerously close to revealing Dean’s secret when she mentions Jai, but Dean manages to change the subject just in time.

When they agree to let Karen stay at the farmhouse with them, they quickly realise they’ll have to give her Jai’s room… and it’s jam-packed with his things!

Dean instantly enlists John’s help to distract Karen (with the help of $50), while he and Ziggy rush back to the house to remove any signs of Jai.

But, when Karen has a drink with John at the diner, his dubious assertion that he enjoys her company convinces her that Dean set him up—and she demands to be transported to the farmhouse right away.

Dean and Ziggy finish the clean-up just in time, but they miss a photo of Dean, Amber, and Jai that has dropped beneath the kitchen table.

Karen wonders why Dean is so friendly with “that skank” Amber and who the child is when she later picks it up.

Ziggy begins fabricating a storey, but Dean recognises that the game is over and that he must tell Karen the reality… she is a grandma.

Dean is taken aback when he tells Karen about Amber’s ultimatum, and her reaction astounds him. Karen calmly admits she would have done the same thing instead of kicking off.

She recognises that she was a disaster when Amber first met her, and she understands Amber’s need to keep Jai at far.

Karen sadly observes that Jai, like Brett, would be much better off without her in his life.

Dean and Ziggy are both in tears as they watch Karen enter her room and close the door; they hadn’t expected this.

Will Dean and Ziggy be able to assist Karen restore her self-confidence now that she is plainly at a low point?

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