This week on Home and Away in Australia, Justin and Cash track down Andrew and his cult captors, but they’re in for a shock when he refuses to leave.
As he and Justin (James Stewart) set out to uncover the headquarters of the evil Vita Nova cult, Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) is determined to make amends for his previous gaffe with the Andrew (Joshua Hewson) case.
When Justin stepped in to save Andrew last month, it came to light that his father had been a doomsday prepper who had fled with Andrew when he was just 4 years old, leaving his mother in despair.
Last week, after being made aware of Theo’s (Matt Evans) social media post concerning Andrew, a stranger (Mandy McElhinny) entered the police station and pretended to be Andrew’s mother Esther. Simply presenting Cash with a driver’s license that, to be honest, looked dubious convinced him that she was telling the truth, and he was happy to reconnect ‘Esther’ with the kid she hadn’t seen in more than a decade.
Justin and Leah also took ‘Esther’ at face value, even inviting her to stay for dinner, as an uncertain Andrew struggled with knowing what to do—he had no recollection of this woman.
Taking Justin’s advice to give her a chance, and overhearing Leah talk about how heartbroken ‘Esther’ would be if Andrew didn’t want to connect with her, was enough for Andrew to decide to go with the stranger.
Not until Andrew had bid Leah and Justin goodnight did Cash learn that the woman was in fact Margot Dafoe, the head of the cult they had been attempting to keep Andrew away from! In order for Cash to recognize her when she stepped in, it appears that no one at Yabbie Creek police thought to look up who was leading the cult when they originally began investigating.
Tegan, Andrew’s estranged sister who is currently employed abroad, broke the news to him and stated that the actual Esther had vanished soon after Andrew was abducted.
Andrew was being punished by Margot with cruel physical workouts when we last saw him for discussing the cult with someone outside the group.
After the (let’s be honest, equally incompetent) taskforce removed Cash from the investigation, he swore to Justin that he would find Andrew on his own and requested his help.
A Yabbie Creek police officer going rogue? That always ends well…
This week, Margot continues her brainwashing of Andrew as she keeps him captive in a darkened room, repeating the mantra that plays across the cult’s tannoy system—“We are only as strong as our weakest link.”
“She’s a woman of great belief and faith in her way of seeing the outside world – as a dangerous place that’s falling apart,” Mandy told TV Week. “There’s an element of truth in that – you just have to look at the news. So she’s created a place that protects her family from the world.”
“Everything she’s doing is to protect Andrew,” Mandy continues. “She feels it’s her duty to save him, even if that means punishing him to make him see what she does.”
After being removed from a case, Cash returns to his customary method of gathering information and approaches Rose (Kirsty Marillier), after learning from her that the taskforce has finally been able to locate an address.
Eventually discovering the location of the cult’s compound, Justin and Cash pay a visit, finding it guarded by men armed with bows and arrows.
Nevertheless, TV Week reports that Justin won’t back down; he wants to see Andrew.
Margot believes she has nothing to hide and extends an invitation to the duo while expressing apparent confidence in the effectiveness of her lessons.
Justin is happy to learn that Andrew is unharmed, but he is taken aback when Andrew insists on staying since he feels as though he has found his place in the world.
Andrew has obviously been brainwashed or is just too afraid to speak up. Andrew is not persuaded to leave even when Justin tells him the truth about his recently discovered sister.
Marilyn (Emily Symons), who is still being threatened by Stunning Organics, is tense elsewhere in Summer Bay.
Since Marilyn spoke to the media about her experience with the shonky organization, they have been pursuing her. Marilyn refused to return her final delivery despite receiving the contract termination she sought and telling the Coastal News that she wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that others were going through the same thing.
Alf (Ray Meagher) and Roo (Georgie Parker) were both mentioned in the story, so after receiving a threatening message telling Marilyn and her friends to be on the lookout, Marilyn went to the police.
Rose soon learned that the caller’s number had actually been faked, which indicated that they were dealing with some sophisticated techniques and that this wasn’t just a prank call even though the caller hadn’t concealed their number.
While Irene (Lynne McGranger) is gone, Marilyn is taking care of the plants at the Beach House, so she decided to make it the headquarters for her anti-Stunning Organics campaign. She opted to stay there rather than go home. We’re not convinced it would be any safer given that the business already has the address because she had her most recent delivery shipped there.
This was confirmed to be true when Stunning Organics decided to deliver something else, this time warning Marilyn not to perform any more interviews with a message attached to a brick that was thrown through the glass.
A writer in the city had expressed interest in covering the tale earlier that day, and Marilyn was discussing this with John (Shane Withington) at the coffee cart when a shady-looking man nearby appeared to be very interested in her.
The gentleman, Dylan (Simon Emmanuel), made sure to leave the Coastal News on the table face up with Marilyn’s story in it, as if to warn her.
Emily told TV Week that Marilyn’s realization that they would do anything to get her to quit what she was doing was “a frightening wake-up call.”
Marilyn battens down the hatches in the Beach House, trying to keep her friends out of it now that she is confident the firm is spying on her.
This week, Marilyn speaks to the police again, only for Cash to tell her that they’re no nearer to finding who is behind the harassment.
“Cash has a serious conversation with her about how to deal with it,” Emily added. “But it escalates in a way she never imagined.”
That evening, when Marilyn hears a disturbance at the door, she prepares a frying pan and waits.
When someone enters, Marilyn prepares to charge the potential attacker—only to discover that it’s Irene!
Irene must have been quite the sight when she returned from abroad to a living room full of boxes, a boarded-up window, and a crazy Marilyn charging her with cooking utensils.
Irene calls Roo and the pair rally round Marilyn who is clearly in a very fragile state… but could her ordeal be about to get a lot worse (and we don’t just mean after Irene sees the electricity bill).…?