This week at Home and Away in Australia, Martha’s mental health is taking a surprising turn as she deals with the disappearance of Kieran’s son. Plus, Willow makes a surprise come back to Summer Bay… did she find a way to turn Dean’s life around?
Martha’s mental health is declining
Martha Stewart (Belinda Giblin) was shocked to receive a word from her son Kieran (Rick Donald) late last year, who had been away from him for several years. Their partnership was so broken that they hadn’t even told husband Alf (Ray Meagher) or daughter Roo (Georgie Parker) about their life.
After a secret meeting with Kieran back in Merimbula, Martha returned to Summer Bay and eventually told her family about her son and how she wanted to meet them. Little did they know that Kieran had made his own way to Summer Bay.
With Martha talking about some serious issues that Kieran had suffered from in the past, Alf was uncertain about the arrival, but still made an effort to welcome Kieran to his home with some strong ground rules.
As Kieran spent time with Sister Roo, the edginess of Martha concerned Alf, and she was compelled to reveal the reason why she and Kieran had lost contact all those years ago. Kieran, like his father, was a violent alcoholic, and Martha was forced to call the police after he had beaten her. Alf was smoking, but Martha clarified that Kieran had told her that he was sober.
But it soon became apparent to viewers that this was not the case, as Kieran took swigs from a hip flask at any opportunity.
Ryder (Lukas Radovich) and Roo started to believe that Kieran had fallen off the wagon after attempting to order a drink in Salt. Later, Martha and Roo searched Kieran’s van, and although they found no signs of alcohol, Kieran caught them and smoked because of their lack of confidence. Kieran violently began tossing his belongings out of the car, and while Roo could see through his lies, Martha was trying to make it up for Kieran, begging him not to leave.
Things eventually came to their head when Roo found Kieran’s cache of empty bottles concealed under his truck. When Alf challenged Kieran at the surf club, Kieran became violent and tried to attack Alf. Alf and Roo were compelled to call the police and were told that Kieran was already under investigation for domestic abuse offences.
But when they returned to the caravan park with Sergent Cooper (John Atkinson), they found Martha sitting in tears in the doorway of Kieran’s van, and he had already missed the area. Martha then turned to Alf and Roo, accusing them of pushing Kieran out of town.
As Martha continues to struggle to deal with recent events this week, her mental health is beginning to spiral drastically.
Martha has borderline personality disorder, which was the reason behind her faking death and leaving Alf and Roo back in 1985. Although she was diagnosed later and was able to seek care, Martha still has periods of fragility in times of stress. She recently explained to Alf that she wanted to keep her home in Merimbula, as she saw it as her safe place, a refuge where she can heal herself when times are rough.
But now that Kieran is aware of where Martha lives in Merimbula, having recently stayed there himself, would Alf even consider allowing Martha to return there on her own?
The first warning sign comes when an anxious Martha pleads with Irene (Lynne McGranger) to support her, while Alf and Roo are keeping her hostage.
That evening, we see that Martha is having a talk with Kieran at the caravan park, where he apologizes to her. But it soon becomes obvious that Martha is simply hallucinating, as Alf and Roo see her talking to thin air.
“Roo has been told about her mother’s mental health challenges,” Georgia Parker told TV Week. “But when she sees Martha talking to herself, she realizes that she’s extremely serious and knows that her mother needs professional help.”
But with Alf and Roo obviously losing the confidence of Martha, are they going to be able to persuade her that she needs help?
Willow is taking Amber back to Summer Bay
There’s also a surprise this week as Willow Harris (Sarah Roberts) returns suddenly to Summer Bay.
Willow was last seen skipping town back in November, after giving evidence to Detective Angelo Rosetta that proved that her friend Colby Thorne (Tim Franklin) had murdered his stepfather Ross. When Willow was identified as a mysterious Witness X, Colby knew that the game was over and changed his plea to guilty, and received a sentence of 25 years.
Back in the bay, Willow tried to explain to the distraught Bella (Courtney Miller) and Dean (Patrick O’Connor) that she had spoken just to defend them. It was clear that Colby was on a dangerous downward spiral as he tried to keep one step ahead of Angelo, and it became all the more possible that he was about to take everyone down with him.
Dean and Bella were not able to listen to Willow’s logic, however, and Willow determined that the only thing to do was leave Summer Bay that night, with only Irene (Lynne McGranger), Jasmine (Sam Frost) and John (Shane Withington) out there to see her.
Now, she’s decided that the time has come to return to Summer Bay, and she’s reappearing this Thursday’s triple bill.
Willow’s return is definitely hard on Dean, whose own life has fallen apart in the last few months. He lost his girlfriend, wife, and two of his best friends in a fast succession, and Willow’s deception is still hard on his mind.
Last week Dean received another blow when Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) told him that she had started to see Tane Parata (Ethan Browne), putting the final nail in the coffin for any chance of reconciliation.
It may be that his downward spiral leads Willow to make a phone call, which happens in Amber Simmons (Maddy Jevic) also returning to Summer Bay!
With Amber leaving town with her and Dean’s son Jai (River Jarvis) last year, Dean had almost given up hope of seeing him again.
Dean’s involvement with Colby was one of Amber’s big concerns, and he stood in the way of being able to forge a proper relationship with his son – now that he’s out of his life for good, has Willow managed to persuade Amber to forgive Dean and let Jai back into his life?
Will there actually be a light for Dean at the end of a dark tunnel?