Coming up next week on Home and Away in the UK, Dean’s mother Karen turns up in Summer Bay with a secret, but Dean has a revelation of his own…
Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor) receives an alarming phone call as this week’s episodes come to a close, informing him that his mother, Karen (Georgia Adamson), has gone missing. Karen’s next-door neighbor hasn’t seen her in several days, and knowing Karen’s mental health issues—a result of schizoeffective disorder—Dean sets out on a search for her.
Karen was last spotted in Summer Bay in 2019, when she appeared out of the blue after being discharged from a psychiatric facility. Not only was she surprised to find that Dean had tracked down his father Rick Booth (Mark Lee), but she was also surprised to learn that Dean had a newfound half-sister Mackenzie (Emily Weir) who lived in Summer Bay.
Karen poured a jug of water over John Palmer’s (Shane Withington) head before collapsing, prompting Mackenzie to extend an olive branch by offering her a job at Salt. Dean learned she had checked herself back into the clinic when she left town to take up a job in Reefton Lakes.
Back in the present, Dean keeps trying to reach Karen on her phone, while Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) contacts the Reefton Lakes leagues club where Karen works, only to be told that she hasn’t shown there in a few days. Knowing she hasn’t returned to the clinic, and Karen’s phone has since been deactivated, Dean and Ziggy have no choice but to travel to Mangrove River in an attempt to locate her.
We learn that their excursion was unsuccessful when they return a few days later, with no one who knows Karen having seen her.
So it comes as a bit of a shock to Dean when John shyly points out that Karen is standing just behind him as he criticizes John for delivering some poor counsel.
“What the hell is your problem Deano?” she exclaims. “Quit calling me, quit stalking everyone I’ve ever known… what is the big emergency?!”
Storm Karen is back!
Karen is evasive when the two meet up in Salt, merely noting that she didn’t feel like talking to anyone when Dean inquires about her disappearance.
Dean is initially irritated by his mother’s evasiveness, but when Karen responds by asking what has been going on with him, he becomes just as evasive. He instantly recalls that Karen is not only unaware of the vehicle accident that nearly killed him, but she is also unaware that she is a grandma.
Dean only found out he was a parent 18 months ago, when his ex-girlfriend Amber Simmons (Maddy Jevic) showed up in town and revealed that her 5-year-old son Jai (River Jarvis) was the product of their hook-ups at Mangrove River.
Amber has deliberately prevented Karen from becoming a part of Jai’s life, thus he has never met Granny Thompson, who is now 7 years old. Amber recalls Karen at her worst, and despite Dean’s assurances that Karen is no longer a loose cannon as a result of her treatment, Amber refused to budge.
Knowing he’d have to lie to his mother crushed Dean’s heart, but he had no option because Amber threatened to cut him out of Jai’s life if he didn’t cooperate.
As Dean softly confides in Mac about his predicament, she remarks that he and his mother are just as lousy at keeping secrets as one other.
When John describes all of the ‘drama’ that has been going on, Dean almost gets caught up in it, but it’s quickly forgotten when Karen receives an unwanted phone call. She demands to know how the caller obtained her phone number and is visibly agitated as she expresses her dissatisfaction with the situation she has been placed in.
Karen warns the caller to leave her alone and hangs up, but Dean has heard everything… he fears the worst as he asks whether his mum is in trouble, and she admits that she is on the run from a guy named Brett.
Dean demands she tell him everything!
He’s floored when Karen then reveals the real reason why she’s on the run…. Brett has asked her to marry him!
She goes on to explain that she met him at the leagues club and, much to Dean’s surprise, has been seeing him for about a year. But whilst Karen explains that Brett is the perfect gentleman, she claims that she’d probably just break his heart.
Ziggy comes dangerously close to revealing Dean’s secret when she mentions Jai, but Dean manages to change the subject just in time.
When they agree to let Karen stay at the farmhouse with them, they quickly realize they’ll have to give her Jai’s room… and it’s jam-packed with his things!
Dean quickly enlists John (with the help of $50) to help distract Karen, as he and Ziggy rush back to the house to remove all traces of Jai.
But, when Karen has a drink with John at the diner, his dubious assertion that he enjoys her company convinces her that Dean set him up—and she demands to be transported to the farmhouse right away.
Dean and Ziggy have completed the clearout just in time, but they fail to notice that a photo of Dean, Amber and Jai has fallen under the kitchen table.
Dean and Ziggy finish the clean-up just in time, but they miss a photo of Dean, Amber, and Jai that has dropped beneath the kitchen table.
Dean is taken aback when he tells Karen about Amber’s ultimatum, and her reaction astounds him. Karen calmly admits she would have done the same thing instead of kicking off.
She recognizes that she was a disaster when Amber first met her, and she understands Amber’s need to keep Jai at far.
Karen wistfully comments that Jai would be much better off without her presence in his life… as would Brett.
Both Dean and Ziggy are heavy-hearted as they watch Karen go to her room and shut the door—they weren’t expecting this.
With Karen clearly at a very low point, will Dean and Ziggy be able to help her regain some self-confidence?