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Why the brilliant Witness X reveal from Home and Away was a great game changer

Big spoilers of Home and Away follow from episodes of Australian-pace, which some UK readers might choose to avoid.
This month to put a soap whodunit storyline with a distinction on Australian screens, Hats off to Home and Away.
Forget the usual mysteries of murder or abrupt knocks to the head that our beloved shows enjoy so much the great mystery that this time was the “Witness X” identity following the unlikely deception of Colby Thorne.
For almost two years, after he fired his manipulative stepfather Ross Nixon fatally at the beginning of 2019, the longest-running storyline of the Summer Bay soap has seen Colby get away with murder.
Before Witness X jumped in, that is, slippery Colby kept trying to escape justice, even after Ross’s body was found and ruthless investigator Angelo Rosetta got into the investigation.

Earlier this month, on Aussie screens, the new plot twist began when a mystery witness approached Angelo, who promised to help him build his case against Colby.
Before long, Angelo took this individual’s claim and proceeded with preparations to sue Colby, now believing that he had enough proof for a successful trial.
The adjustments on the screen coincided with Home and Away’s Australian broadcaster Channel 7 ramping up its promotions for the show, as advertisements began to air that teased viewers about the identity of Witness X. The Aussie trailers are not exactly legendary for being understated, but the excitement undoubtedly added to the OTT advertisements.
Although Colby’s guilt in the Ross case was still the worst kept secret of Summer Bay, the frame was full of suspects: Dean, Bella, Nikau, Willow, Mackenzie, Ziggy, and characters like Chelsea were still absent. (There should never be a curveball counted out.)

At the end of last week, Home and Away put us out of our misery by finally unmasking Willow as Witness X. After Colby confided in Willow about the mess he’d made for himself a jaw-dropping scene saw Willow head off for a discreet after-dark meeting with Angelo.
Willow was seen holding a wire and handing a copy of Colby’s conversation over to Angelo, claiming that it would be fitting to sentence her close friend to a long term in prison.
The on-screen revelation posed a rarity for soap whodunits, hitting the perfect combination of shock factor and truly making sense as a storey.
While it was a shame to see Willow betray someone she had once considered to be a close family member, there had been tell-tale signs in previous weeks that she had steadily lost Colby’s patience and the consequences of his actions.

Willow suddenly defended the right of Dean to consider it and do what was best for him, rather than for Colby, because a few weeks earlier, Angelo had offered Dean a contract. She had also rebuked Colby for being untouchable because of his smug attitude against the murder investigation.
The drama intensified further in this week’s scenes, when Willow’s video was played in court and she pleaded against Colby, sharing a version of events covering Dean and Bella.
Colby changed his plea to guilty, admitting that the game had ended, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
With Bella and Dean both outraged by Willow’s behaviour, she explained that she was acting out of loyalty deep down. She interfered once and for all by putting an end to his plans, realising that Colby was spiralling out of control and potentially taking them all down with him.

As Willow knew she was unlikely to be forgiven anytime soon, she decided to flee from Summer Bay to escape the heat.
Although some fans have asked if this is a permanent break, Sarah Roberts, who plays Willow, has been seen filming a number of times on location in recent weeks. With Home and Away, we don’t have to worry about not seeing Willow again, usually filming scenes four to six months in advance.
It would be fascinating to see how the betrayal of Willow changes the dynamics in the long term among the rest of the Mangrove River gang if it is suggested that Colby could leave the show in the near future.
Above all costs, honesty has always been the unwritten rule of the Dean/Colby/Willow/Bella dynamic, so it will be interesting to explore whether Willow can ever recover her broken friendships or whether she will go in a completely different direction as a character once she is back in the Bay.

The shaking up of the current dynamic of friendship, in the way it goes, is a welcome change that as we step into 2021, theoretically provides lots of new storey possibilities.
We are very keen to see more of Willow in her own right instead of only taking a part in her peers’ dramas, so if this paves the way for that, it can only be a good thing.
Home and Away will air its season finale episode in Australia in the coming weeks, but the writers are definitely ending the year on a high. The unmasking of Willow as Witness X was arguably the Bay of 2020’s biggest shock and has created a buzz around the show again.
In fairness, we could happily have watched the immediate consequences play out for a little longer. Despite so much build-up, our only real concern is that the trial itself felt rushed, with Willow testifying in the course of just two episodes and Colby being sent to jail.
It is also a shame that UK audiences will have to wait too long to see these scenes play out on Channel 5 early next year, so they are unlikely to experience the same element of surprise as Aussie viewers did. If the Summer Bay drama stays this solid, we wouldn’t be surprised to see demands growing for same-day airings.

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