Coming up next week at Home and Away in the UK, Martha’s openness with Alf about their recent problems prompts Alf to propose a big sacrifice—will he leave Summer Bay for good?
Since their return to Summer Bay last week, there has been a huge amount of tension simmering between Alf (Ray Meagher) and Martha (Belinda Giblin) Stewart.
considering their daughter Roo (Georgie Parker) in an emotional state when she returned to Summer Bay House did not change the situation. Roo has so far refused to comment on why Owen did not come back with her, or what went wrong between them, having recently returned to Summer Bay on her own, having been last seen on a road trip with the new Beau Owen Davidson (Cameron Daddo).
A protective Alf wanted to try to ring Owen to find out what had happened, while Martha had agreed to let Roo deal with it in her own way, only to meet a dead end when Owen said it was just him and Roo.
When Alf came out and asked Martha if she was going to sell her house near Merimbula, the root of Alf and Martha’s own problems eventually came to light.
Alf and Martha had a very unorthodox friendship after their remarriage at the beginning of 2020, when they split their time between their respective homes in Summer Bay and Merimbula, often together, often with Martha on her own in the south.
Alf made it clear, though, that he was getting tired of the relationship, implying that they should live together forever. With Martha trying to explain why she likes to protect her independence, even though the couple sat down to try to get things done, it wasn’t enough for Alf, who believed that life was too short.
As Alf told her that they were going to live under the same roof, Martha answered that, in his words, he actually meant under his roof.
As the couple’s rumblings continue, friends and family of Alf and Martha continue to express their interest this week. She exclaims that when Alf has a moan for Irene (Lynne McGranger), she can’t believe that two people are so stubborn they will marry each other twice!
He explains how Roo is trying to talk to Alf that it almost sounds like Martha’s keeping her house just in case things don’t work out for her.
Eventually, Roo convinces Martha to speak up, and she tells her that Merimbula is considered to be her safe location. If her mental health issues lift her head again, she’s in a position to recover.
Martha had a borderline personality disorder in her younger years, but she was not aware of it at the time, which made it difficult to feel a bond with her family. Martha faked her own death in 1985, leaving behind Alf and 15-year-old Roo, believing they’d be better off without her.
While at the end of 1988, when she wrote him a letter confessing everything, Alf would later discover the truth about Martha’s disappearance, Martha’s survival was not disclosed to Roo (or indeed to the audience) until 2018.
In those three decades, Martha lived a largely reclusive life in her rural property a few hours away from Merimbula, and her health was eventually diagnosed and brought under control. It’s hard for Martha to describe to Roo, but she sees the house and her art studio as her safety nett, and letting it go is not something she’s ever going to be sure of.
Having been advised by Roo to sit down and talk to Alf, as Alf presumes Martha has no trust in their union, things are almost going bad again. But Alf is quick to apologise, and Martha will finally be able to make a complete clarification. Alf fully understands Martha’s plight, much to her relief, and it seems like their woes are almost over.
The next day, Alf will come up with a brave idea. He thinks he was unwise to believe that Martha will just want to get rid of everything and move back to Summer Bay permanently. He says he doesn’t give a damn where they’re staying as long as they’re together and he mentions that they’re all going down to Merimbula.
Martha is moved by the idea, but is she going to accept Alf’s proposal?
In the meantime, when Owen unexpectedly shows up at Summer Bay Place, Roo is finally forced to face the beat.
Alerted by a phone call from Marilyn (Emily Symons) to Owen’s presence, Roo asks her to come up with an excuse as she hides out unsuccessfully to escape from him at the surfing party. Yet Owen doesn’t give up too easily, telling Alf, Martha, and Marilyn that he’s willing to hold on, even though he didn’t bet on Alf and then challenge him.
Ryder (Lukas Radovich) shows up at home and says they’re going to Yabbie Creek, running to Roo at the surf club, and assigning the task of distracting Owen, but Owen doesn’t really go anywhere. Owen knows what happens when Ryder gives Marilyn a not-so-subtle tip to meet Roo at the surf club.
Roo finally reveals to Marilyn the humiliating situation that prompted her and Owen to part with Salt. He was wrongly called Evan, the name of the late twin brother of Owen and the father of Ryder.
Marilyn doesn’t think it’s worth worrying about, knowing that Roo was in love with Evan when he died. But then Roo claims that she and Owen were in love at the time! Too ashamed about what she had done, Roo fled to Owen in the middle of the night without a word.
Returning home that night, Roo learns that Owen has rented a caravan, and knows that she can no longer put the unimaginable behind her…