Amber is devastated when Dean fails to tell her he loves her on next week’s episode of Home and Away in the UK. Is he just unprepared, or are his feelings for someone else interfering?
You are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to him. And it’s the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. That is why I admire you.
After Dean suggests they do something for Jai to celebrate him receiving two merit awards, Amber says those notorious three words to him at the end of this week’s episodes.
It’s deafeningly quiet. Dean’s face is flushed with surprise, and before any of them can say anything more, Roo bursts in with a list of urgent tasks for the surf competition. Amber bolts before Dean can say something, leaving him to contend with a frantic Roo’s massive to-do list and Amber’s brain in shambles.
Amber seeks advice from Mackenzie the next week, and no one is more shocked than Mac. She’s still reeling from her own breakup with Ari, so she’s not the best person to tell Amber that love conquers everything, so she gives her a dose of reality instead.
Amber enquires about Dean and Ziggy’s relationship, specifically how long it took Dean to tell her he loved her. Mackenzie has no idea about the intricacies of her brother’s love life, but she does have some tips for him.
When Amber inquires about what will happen if he is unable to say I love you to her, Mackenzie advises, Well, you’ll have to ask yourself if you’re willing to settle for second best. Ari wasn’t with me.
Do you believe I’m second best?
While they have a great friendship, Mackenzie tells her that their slow-burn reunion after years apart isn’t exactly massive, life-changing love. Although she doesn’t say so, it’s clear that Dean’s relationship with Ziggy was more thrilling and passionate.
Dean and Amber had just recently discussed having another child, as Amber points out. But she’ll soon realise that’s just part of the story – Dean is with her because he wants a family, not just because he wants her.
When Dean finally catches up with Amber, he tells her that she is completely mistaken. When she told him she loved him, he panicked because he wanted to be sure. But right now, he’d rather be with her and Jai than somewhere else.
He tells her, “Look, it feels like we’re creating something amazing here.” I hope you are aware of this.
Is that, however, sufficient?
The surf competition takes place later in the week. Dean and Roo have done an amazing job putting the event together under daunting conditions, and they’ve even managed to persuade the sponsors to bring in enough money – once again – to cover the costs!
The sun is shining, Dean has taken to the waves for one last practise session, and all is set for the proud father to win a trip to Movie World for himself, Amber, and Jai. He’s almost guaranteed Jai a vacation, so the emphasis is on him to win the competition and take home the grand prise.
Ziggy arrives ready for her own practise while he’s out surfing, and pauses for a fun talk with Amber and Jai – but one that may confirm Amber’s worries about her relationship. Ziggy expresses her delight at seeing Dean compete, and she can’t believe it’s taken so long.
As Amber inquires about what she means, Ziggy reveals that Dean had always seen the two of them travelling around the country on weekends, competing in surf tournaments, but it never materialised. It’s fantastic that he’s finally got a competition right outside his house.
Amber realises that while she makes Dean happy, he isn’t really living the life of his dreams. She’ll go through any length to make their partnership work – after all, it’s what she’s wanted since she was a teenager – and once he’s back on dry ground, she suggests they go to their own tournaments, just as he and Ziggy had anticipated. He easily knocks her down, pointing out that she doesn’t even surf. It’s a crushing blow.
When Ziggy emerges from the water after her heat, she dives right into Tane’s arms. Amber can’t help but note Dean’s gaze is locked on his ex, and she realises she can’t provide him with what Ziggy did.
Is Dean still smitten by Ziggy?
The winners of the surf competition are announced later that day, and it’s the two ex-lovers, of course!
They get to choose who gets what, with Dean taking the Movie World tickets right away and Ziggy content to accept an all-expenses-paid trip to the Hunter Valley. Dean has won the family vacation of his dreams, but will he ever be able to take it?
Amber’s smile fades as she whispers to Tane, “tell me again how solid you two are,” as the ex-lovers toast their victory arm in arm.
And suddenly, Dean and Amber aren’t the only ones in trouble. Tane has some serious doubts after Amber’s casual remark, and as he and Ziggy relax in the Surf Club afterwards, he only has one question for you and Dean. Tell me why you and your partner aren’t still together.
Knowing the truth about their split will put Dean in jail, so how would Ziggy handle the situation?
Ryder is also struggling with Mackenzie’s suggestion that he fire Chloe next week. His employer is unaware that he and Chloe are dating, and she has determined that she needs her to leave in order to live a Parata-free life.
Ryder is still reluctant to shoot his girlfriend, and he makes excuse after excuse to stop doing so. He notices how well she handles a big customer over the phone and realises how unfair it is for her to lose her work as a result of Mackenzie’s envy. When Alf arrives at Salt and finds Chloe still working there, he remarks to Ryder that she seems to have handled the news extremely well!
When Chloe tells him she’s thinking of asking Mac for a promotion – she wants to be Salt’s new event manager – he feels even more guilty. He can’t even bring himself to tell her no, knowing how wonderful she will be.
Unfortunately for Ryder, the decision is quickly taken away from him when Mackenzie returns to work early due to her inability to cope with the necessary two weeks of rest. When she arrives at Salt and finds Chloe still working, she is taken aback, and she fires her on the spot, telling Ryder that’s how it’s done, fast and painless.
Chloe is taken aback by her firing, but even more so by the fact that her boyfriend knew it was coming.
Before the week is out, there’s one more surprise in store. Ryder makes a bold move to prove his allegiance when Chloe informs him she expected more from him and that he should have had his back when she told him she expected more from him.
How can a still-recovering Mac cope with being two team members down on her busiest day of the year, with the surf competition looming?