After a nine-week hiatus, Home and Away returned to Australian screens today. Mia was caught with Matthew’s body in the back of her car in the explosive return episode, and Ryder realized there’s a big danger he won’t live.
Mia (Anna Sampson) had put recent newcomer Matthew’s (James Sweeny) deceased body into the back of his car and gone out of town when we left things over two months ago.
The newcomer was Chloe’s father, and as he became hostile, Chloe (Sam Barrett) whacked him over the head with a rock, killing him instantly. Mia stuffed him into the back of Matthew’s car, told Chloe to go inside, and drove away, intending to locate a place to bury the body.
The return episode picked up the tension moments later, with Ari (Rob Kipa Williams) attempting to phone Mia as she rushed through the country roads away from Summer Bay, with Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) hot on her tail.
As she attempted to lose Cash, she avoided his calls. Unfortunately, it was evident that there was no way out — Cash quickly phoned for backup, and Mia was suddenly confronted with patrol cars coming towards her from the opposite direction.
She was forced to come to a halt, and Cash was stunned to find a Summer Bay local in the driving seat.
He began searching her vehicle after noticing the blood on her jacket, and it only took a few seconds before he discovered Matthew’s body buried in the boot.
The forensic officers recovered the body from the boot, wrapped it up and moved it into a black minivan.
Cash tried to get Mia to give him an explanation on the side of the road, asking her how she knew the victim and why she was in his car, but she refused.
He was forced to arrest her on suspicion of murder, handcuff her, and take her back to Yabbie Creek Police Station.
After an emotional Chloe confessed everything in the season finale, Ari knew precisely what had happened back in Summer Bay. He got the phone he’d been dreading — it was Cash, notifying him that Mia had been detained – while he was dashing across town looking for his fiancée.
He arrived at the station shortly after, where Cash informed him that he would not be able to meet his fiancée since she needed to be formally interviewed for the “strange death of Matthew Montgomery.”
When Cash questioned her about how she knew Matthew and where his injuries originated from, she said “no comment.” She refused to say anything until she had hired a lawyer but pleaded with Cash to allow her to talk with Ari for a few moments.
Cash eventually succumbed and allowed the two to share a time together, despite his initial refusal and knowing that he shouldn’t.
Mia went into panic mode as they hugged. She explained to Ari that she hadn’t told the officers anything and that Chloe was attempting to protect her – the cops didn’t even need to know she was there.
“I’ve got you,” Ari comforted her, despite the fact that she was in grave danger. As he walked back out, he begged Cash for a private conversation, and it was then that he made a life-changing decision.
He’ll go to any length to protect his fiancée and daughter, and he’s about to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to do so.
“She didn’t do it. She’s covering for someone else,” Ari told Senior Constable Newman. “If you can clear her of all charges, I will tell you who really murdered Matthew.”
Cash released Mia from her holding cell in the episode’s last scene, revealing that Ari had taken the hit. Ari had told Cash that Matthew was Chloe’s father, that the two had a falling out, and that he had lost his cool and murdered him by accident.
Is Ari really about to go to jail for Matthew’s death?
Meanwhile, Ryder (Matt Evans) was still locked underground as part of his and Theo’s latest challenge.
He was ecstatic to have completed four hours below, meaning he just had one more hour before Theo would release him – but he had no idea that his co-star, Theo, was stuck above ground by barbed wire with no way out.
When a viewer messaged him on the live stream, saying he’d likely run out of air in 90 minutes, he became concerned – but with only 60 minutes left in the challenge, he should be alright. Right?
After the fall that knocked him unconscious, Theo finally regained consciousness on the ground. His leg was wrapped in barbed wire, and his phone was just out of reach when he awoke. He, too, began to fear when he realized he had no chance of saving his co-prankster.
When the final hour had passed, Ryder called for Theo to let him out, presuming his friend was still watching the live stream. Of course, with Theo writhing in pain on the ground above, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
Theo screamed in agony, but they were in the middle of nowhere, and no one was nearby to hear him.
“Alright, I’m done,” Ryder said. “I can’t rely on him anymore, I’m just going to have to do this myself.”
He pushed on the wooden coffin’s top, but it just caused the earth to fall on him. He was still suspicious that Theo was waiting until the last possible moment to get a rise out of him – but because he couldn’t be certain, he decided to seek assistance.
Summer Bay’s final Morgan sibling, Justin (James Stewart), barely stayed on the phone long enough to tell him that he hadn’t seen Theo before hanging up to enjoy his pint in Salt.
Ryder’s phone ran out of battery at that precise time, and he’d just missed his one opportunity at freedom.
With very little oxygen left, he began to get dizzy. Is it time to say goodbye to Ryder?
Roo (Georgie Parker) struggled to cope with Martha’s (Belinda Giblin) decision not to proceed with the kidney donation in the return episode.
Neither she nor Alf (Ray Meagher) understood why Martha turned down Roo’s offer of a kidney transplant, which would have saved her from having to spend the rest of her life on dialysis.
Martha later convinced Alf that dialysis isn’t all that horrible and that it only takes an hour out of her week, twice a week.
He understands she’s simply trying to cheer him up, but it doesn’t work – he and Roo are still angry that she didn’t go through with the transplant.
What will become of the Stewart family dynamic as a result of this? Is Martha truly willing to spend the rest of her days in and out of hospitals?
It’s unclear how Ari and Ryder will get out of their tight positions, but there’ll be plenty more drama in Home and Away’s unmissable comeback week, which airs this week on Seven.
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