Coming up this week on Home and Away in Australia, Ryder Jackson says goodbye to Summer Bay as he accepts his dream job offer and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.
Before Mackenzie announced that the company was on the verge of failure, Ryder (Lukas Radovich) graduated from TAFE and obtained a wage raise at Salt.
Ryder spruced up and served his finest cocktail creations as he observed the proceedings in awe after agreeing to Felicity’s (Jacqui Purvis) suggestion of organising elegant after-hours poker evenings…
Observing the poker sessions from behind the bar has piqued his interest in pursuing a new job as a casino croupier.
We discovered in Tuesday’s Australian-paced episode that Ryder has contacted his mother to tell her about his new dream. She soon got him the ideal position aboard the Pearl of the Sea, a massive cruise ship with a zip line, ice rink, and, most significantly, its own casino floor.
He’d start out as a mixologist, but he’d have plenty of opportunity to advance throughout the ship. He could apply to train as a croupier once he’s found his feet. He would be provided with food and lodging as part of the employment, allowing him to save a lot of money.
Ryder is seeking for something like this. The only catch is that the ship is leaving in a few days. While leaving his family in such a terrible time is difficult, Dean (Patrick O’Connor) reminded him that possibilities like this don’t come along too often. He eventually decides to accept the position.
It’s the adventure of a lifetime, and Thursday’s episodes see his friends and family prepare a sendoff at Summer Bay House, before they say goodbye.
However, there’s still time for one final moment of drama for poor Ryder, as tensions fray and his goodbye party turns vicious. Will Ryder diffuse one more awkward situation before he heads off for his job of a lifetime?
As Ryder says goodbye after 4 1/2 years, we take a look back at his time in the bay.
Ryder originally arrived in Summer Bay in October of 2017, causing a ruckus by stealing money from Hunter King (Scott Lee) and VJ Patterson (Matt Little).
They apprehended him and showed him to Alf, who recognised him as the child who had been stealing juice from the juice bar earlier. He was taken aback when Ryder revealed that he was his grandchild.
After an enquiry by Alf and Roo, it was discovered that Ryder’s mother was Alf’s estranged daughter Quinn (Danielle Spencer/Lara Cox), who Alf had only met for a few weeks back in 1995. Quinn was the outcome of a romance Alf had during the Vietnam war.
Quinn nursed a hatred towards Alf for abandoning her mother, but by the time she realised he was actually unaware of her existence, Quinn had already wrecked an Alf-planned development in Summer Bay.
Alf was uninterested in her apologies, but by the time he changed his mind and went after her, Quinn had already boarded the seaplane leaving Summer Bay. It had been nearly two decades since the two had spoken.
Quinn struggled to deal with Ryder’s behavioural troubles coming from a sleeping disorder, so she sent him to a boot camp.
Quinn’s return to Summer Bay was unpleasant for everyone, and when Ryder overheard Quinn telling Roo how his inconsistent sleeping pattern had ruined her life, he sped away in Alf’s car, hitting Roo by accident.
After being blasted by Alf, Ryder sought refuge at friend Raffy Morrison’s (Olivia Deeble) house before boarding a boat and heading to a quiet cove—only to be met by the washed-up body of Dennis Novak, prompting their return.
Ryder’s sleeping pattern improved as he settled into Summer Bay, and Quinn agreed to let him stay with his grandfather for the sake of stability. Ryder was soon putting on a show for both Raffy and Coco Astoni (Anna Cocquerel), eventually falling in love with Coco.
After Coco’s mother Maggie (Kestie Morassi) was afflicted with cancer, Ryder enrolled at Summer Bay High and supported her.
Ryder was the first of the family to greet a stranger who came at Summer Bay House, unaware that she was Alf’s estranged wife Martha, who had pretended to die over 30 years ago.
He became friends with John and Marilyn’s foster child, Ty Anderson (Darius Williams), but was dumped by Coco after he became envious of her talking to a guy she met at camp.
Ryder was taken aback when Ty planted a kiss on him after complimenting his music inventions, as Ty had begun dating Raffy. Before Ty left after reuniting with his mother, Ryder supported him as he grappled with his sexuality.
Although Ryder and Coco got back together, things became awkward as Ryder tried to divide his time between Coco and Raffy, and the pair ultimately decided they’d be better off as friends.
With Coco and Raffy spending more time together, Ryder became dissatisfied and formed a friendship with Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor).
Raffy was injured when an ancient escape tunnel fell on her after Ryder recommended that he, Coco, and Raffy spend the night in an abandoned River Boy hangout he’d heard Dean mention.
Ryder’s guilt was only compounded when she was diagnosed with epilepsy as a result of the accident after witnessing Raffy suffer a seizure. With the exception of Raffy, Ryder began to drink, and his 18th birthday was forgotten.
After turning up at the Morgans’ house drunk one night, Ryder decided to leave town the following day, but after hitching a lift with Dean he ended up bringing him back to Summer Bay.
After a rocky start, Ryder began dating Raffy while Coco was gone, both of them fearful of Coco’s response when she returned. Coco walked in on the couple kissing at Salt as a result of their delay in telling her, and while she was initially taken aback, she eventually accepted their relationship.
When Coco left Summer Bay for boarding school, Ryder made a new buddy in Bella Nixon (Courtney Miller), whose erratic personality provided plenty of opportunities for Ryder to bail her out of sticky situations. Ryder had also been supportive of Raffy as she battled epilepsy, even going to the trouble of purchasing cannabis for her to use.
Though the two decided against it because they were worried about being able to disguise it, it inspired Raffy’s half-brother and medical student Mason (Orpheus Pledger) to conduct his own unofficial (and illegal) medicinal trial.
Working at John’s juice bar provided Ryder with little satisfaction, and the number of shifts he was assigned began to hinder his schooling as his HSC approached. Ryder’s tardiness cost him 40% of his HSC result, despite Roo intervening and stopping him from working until after his exams.
When Mackenzie offered Ryder a job behind the bar at Salt, he jumped at the chance because he didn’t want to go to university.
He fell in love with Jade Lennox (Mia Morrissey), a new guest at the caravan park, and lost his virginity to her.
Ryder discovered Jade stealing money after helping her get a job at Salt and threatened to tell Mackenzie unless she told him a sob tale about sending money home to her mother and siblings. When he found her stealing again, he refused to stand by and told Mac what she was up to.
He became smitten with Jade Lennox (Mia Morrissey), a new arrival to the caravan park, and lost his virginity to her.
Ryder caught Jade stealing money after helping her get a job at Salt and threatened to tell Mackenzie unless she told him she was sending money home to her mother and sister. When he found her stealing again, he refused to stand by and informed Mac of her actions.
Jade retaliated by seducing Ryder and secretly taping their sex encounter, then publishing the footage online and accusing Ryder of doing it without her permission.
Ryder was charged once it was revealed that the video was uploaded from his phone, and he was fired from Salt. Ryder was only exonerated after teaming up with newbie Nikau Parata (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), who snatched Jade’s phone after seeing through her falsehoods.
At the same time, Ryder was proud to act as best man for grandfather Alf’s remarriage to Martha.
Ryder was shocked when a stranger, Evan Slater (Cameron Daddo) turned up on his doorstep claiming be his father, which was confirmed after a phone call with Quinn.
Despite his initial aversion to Evan, Ryder was finally persuaded to give him a chance after learning that Evan had been unaware of Ryder’s existence until he was about two years old. Quinn had gone on at that time, and he was unable to locate her.
The two grew closer over time, but Ryder was wary of Evan’s decision to seek out now. Evan was eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma, which he contracted while performing as a musician in a number of asbestos-filled dive bars over the years.
Wanting to see his dad in his element, Ryder talked him into performing at Salt, under the guise if it being a TAFE assignment, and was moved to tears when Evan performed a song he’d written for Ryder as a child, ‘Son and Moon’.
See the music video for Son and Moon, an original song by actor Cameron Daddo and starring Lukas, below:
As Evan’s condition worsened, he didn’t wish for Ryder to watch him die and so decided to leave Summer Bay.
Ryder, who was visibly upset, agreed to let him go on the condition that Roo accompany him to palliative care. After a few weeks, Roo returned with the tragic news that Evan had died.
The whole family were stunned a few weeks later when Evan’s ghost turned up in Summer Bay.
Owen Davidson, the man who had been lured to Summer Bay while driving down the coast, turned out to be Evan’s twin brother, with the two of them having been adopted out separately at birth.
Owen was disappointed to realise that he had missed out on knowing his late brother, but he and Ryder were relieved to be reunited.
Owen had a brief relationship with Roo, but she ended it because she had been in love with Evan in the latter weeks of his life, and she was finding being with Owen too tough. Owen departed town not long after that.
Ryder had an immediate argument with newbie Chloe Anderson (Sam Barrett) when he refused to serve her in Salt due to her lack of identification, and his pride as Salt’s top bartender was shattered when Chloe applied for a job and pleased Mac with her equally amazing cocktail abilities.
The two continued to bicker whilst hanging out with Bella and Nik, but began to bond over their shared ordeal when the four were kidnapped by a gang of drug dealers that the Paratas had made enemies of.
Ryder and Chloe started a covert relationship before Nik caught them kissing, and his fear of telling Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) about it led him to beg Nik to teach him Maori so he could seek for his blessing.
Unfortunately for Ryder, Nik played a practical joke on him by teaching him to tell Ari how bad he was and how he deserved to be punished for lying to his buddies. While assuring Ryder that he had no problem with his seeing Chloe, Ari noticed the hilarious side.
At Salt, Ryder was promoted to Mac’s second-in-command, which backfired when she instructed him to remove Chloe because of her relationship to Ari, who had just rejected Mac in favour of reuniting with Chloe’s mother Mia (Anna Samson).
Ryder quit in solidarity when Mac fired Chloe, and the two created their own Mexican food truck.
A rivalry with Mac ensued when they pitched up outside the surf club, but it came to a swift end when a faulty gas pipe caused the truck to explode.
With Alf, Roo, and Marilyn having contributed finances to the business’s start-up, and the van not yet insured, Ryder and Chloe were forced to come up with a way to repay them.
After setting up a food delivery service utilising the diner kitchen after hours, Leah (Ada Nicodemou) and Justin discovered them (James Stewart). The owners, Leah and Irene (Lynne McGranger), consented to let them keep using the kitchen in exchange for a portion of the income, but Ryder’s two jobs, TAFE, and helping out at the board shop when Dean was away began to take their toll.
He discovered that newbie Theo Poulos (Matt Evans) had become Chloe’s knight in shining armour by assisting her with the day’s deliveries when he overslept after two days of little sleep.
Theo aggravated Ryder even more when he was assigned the responsibility of delivering Ryder to a local club for a surprise 21st birthday celebration. Theo pulled a hood over Ryder’s head and shoved him in the boot of his car, unaware of Ryder’s previous kidnapping experience. Ryder responded by drowning his sorrows after Chloe failed to grasp why he was so unhappy about the ordeal.
When he overslept after two days of little sleep, he learned that newbie Theo Poulos (Matt Evans) had become Chloe’s knight in shining armour by assisting her with the day’s deliveries.
When Theo was assigned the task of delivering Ryder to a nearby club for a surprise 21st birthday celebration, he irritated Ryder even more. Theo threw a hood over Ryder’s head and put him into the boot of his car, completely oblivious of Ryder’s earlier kidnapping. After Chloe failed to understand why Ryder was so upset about the ordeal, he drowned his sorrows.
With movies like a chilli-eating challenge, a fire walk, and a horrible cocktail tasting, the two became popular and made a lot of money.
With their relationship strained, Chloe’s biological father Matthew (James Sweeny) sent her money to cover her portion of their obligations and buy Ryder out of the firm. Ryder signed over his half of the company without taking any money in exchange.
Their final video nearly cost Ryder his life, as a live stream of Ryder being buried alive for five hours went disastrously wrong when Theo tripped over some barbed wire and knocked himself out.
When he came to, his leg was snagged up in the wire, and it wasn’t until the next morning when Roo and Justin found their location that an unconscious Ryder was dug up and rushed to hospital.
In the aftermath of his tragedy, Ryder suffered from panic attacks, which were exacerbated by Alf’s vendetta towards Theo, who was determined to hold him totally responsible for the accident. Ryder temporarily moved out into a caravan as a result of this, as well as the tension between Roo and Martha.
Alf eventually apologised for his treatment of Theo and the two made up, with Ryder finally able to pay Alf back his debt following the income from the coffin video.
With his debts paid off, Ryder has been able to give his TAFE course his full attention.
Now equipped with his Certificate of Hospitality Management, he’s perfectly qualified to take up the job on the cruise ship that will see him depart Summer Bay for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Goodbye, Ryder Jackson.
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