Home and Away returned to Australia tonight after a week’s break for the Commonwealth Games, in an action-packed episode which saw one character killed and another’s life on the line.
The series made a dramatic return to Australian television with an episode that was entirely devoted to the Paratas’ conflict with Tex’s (Lucas Lineham) bikie gang and resulted in shootings that left one person dead and another fighting for survival.
Before the break, Aussie viewers saw Tane blackmailed by Tex and Marty (Ben Wood), members of the gang of bikies who Ari robbed a decade earlier.
The gang has located the family in Summer Bay because Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) used the stolen money to purchase Summer Bay Fit the previous year. They initially said they wanted the money back with interest to Tane (Ethan Browne), but their strategy quickly changed.
They just gave Tane a new employee, book-keeper Geneveve, who would be in charge of processing the money via the gym’s accounts. They now want Tane to utilise the gym to launder money for their shady transactions.
Rose (Kirsty Marillier) turned to Tane for clarification when she started to wonder if her new boyfriend Tex was who he claimed to be. The two joined forces to bring Tex and Marty to justice after he eventually admitted to being the target of blackmail.
Tane arrived at the gang’s warehouse refuge in the last seconds of the show’s midseason finale. The wire he was wearing, with Rose waiting outside in a van ready to listen in on his discussions with his tormentors, was something we missed seeing.
The bikies welcomed Tane at the start of tonight’s return show, admiring his intelligence in discovering their stronghold. They were wary of him because of this, and Tane had to work hard to persuade them that he was simply there to talk business.
Tane insinuated that people had been asking questions about Genevive, the gym’s new bookkeeper, who’d been provided by the bikies as a way to launder money through the business.
“The woman you sent in is attracting attention we don’t need.”
However, the bikies seemed suspicious, what with Geneveve simply being a new employee – hardly out of the ordinary for a growing business.
Since Tane’s disappearance occurred immediately after speaking to Rose, Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) and Flick (Jacqui Purvis), who were back at Summer Bay, were understandably concerned. They are both aware of Tane’s propensity for getting into trouble.
They were conversing along the beach when Dean (Patrick O’Connor) overheard them and thought something wasn’t right. However, they ignored his questions and moved in the direction of the surf club to see whether anyone from the gym had seen them.
Felicity was caught off guard when Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) and an officer suddenly burst into the surf club and ordered her to report to the station. Cash informed Flick that she was being arrested for assaulting a police officer while she resisted and shoved her brother.
“This is for your own good,” Cash explained as they got back to the station, and he bundled her into a police cell. As he instructed another officer to look after his confused sister, he ran out the door, heading towards the base where Rose was waiting.
“My family doesn’t need your help,” Nik told him, but Dean assured him that he knew where to find him if he changed his mind.
After hearing the phrase “you know where to find me,” Nik got an idea. He grabbed his phone and recalled that the Find My Phone software would allow him to locate his brother.
Cash was reunited with Rose and another officer as he approached the van. He slipped on some headphones and joined the others in hearing what was being spoken within the bikies’ lair.
Tane was at that point probing Tex and Marty as much as he could about their money-laundering activities in the hopes that they would reveal something damaging.
“Tane, did you just do something stupid?” Marty questioned, concerned that the gym owner was gathering information since he had informed the tax authorities, but Tane was able to persuade them that he was just seeking clarification on their plans so that he wouldn’t make a mistake.
Rose appeared to be optimistic that they were going to obtain the necessary evidence as he asked the guys how much money they would be investing in the company.
Unfortunately, at that point Nikau turned up, being manhandled by the gang’s heavies as he explained he was just trying to find his brother.
“This wasn’t part of the plan!” exclaimed Rose, horrified that Nik was about to throw all their hard work out of the window.
Flick questioned the officer about what was happening and why she hadn’t been interviewed when she got back to the police station.
She needed proof that there was more going on than what first appeared, and she got that proof when she couldn’t obtain any responses.
When Dean arrived at the station a little while later, he was shocked to discover the officer there as “Jo,” evidently an acquaintance from their time at Mangrove River.
With a wry smile, Jo introduced herself to you as Constable Devlin and agreed to let Dean talk to Felicity for a few minutes if it meant that he would then go.
Dean questioned Flick for any information she could have after she told him that Ari had purchased the gym with money he had stolen from bikers.
The discussions proceeded at the warehouse, where the gang was now worried about how many people knew where they were.
They were reassured by Tane that Nik was the only person who knew anything, and he emphasised that his only goal was to clarify their accounts so the police wouldn’t pursue them.
Tex and Marty then joked about how there was no need to worry about cops – Tex had them eating out of the palm of his hand. As Rose listened in to the pair making sordid jokes about her and Tex’s relationship, it gave her even more determination to put her fling behind bars – “I want to wipe that smug look right off Tex’s face.”
In a momentary break from the matter at hand, we also had answers as to why Jasmine decided not to return, as Cash explained to
Rose that his now ex-girlfriend “was more in love with her husband’s memory than she was with me.”
The cops pounced as Marty finally provided Tane with the information they required by letting him know how much filthy money they intended to funnel via the company.
As heavily armed cops cut the locks and stormed through the gates, riot vehicles and police cars descended on the facility from all sides.
Tex and Marty fled as the police concentrated on capturing the several gang members who were attempting to flee on their motorcycles.
They were stopped in their tracks by Rose’s threats to fire, but when she noticed Tex, she paused briefly, giving Marty a chance to flee.
Rose stayed behind to handcuff Tex, as Cash, who was the only one not wearing a bullet-proof vest, gave chase on foot.
In the dying seconds of the episode, two gunshots rang out.
As Rose and other officers raced towards the sound, they found Cash and Marty lying on the ground.
Cash struggled to breathe, bleeding profusely as Rose raced to his side, while Marty had already passed away.
Cash is critically ill in the episode preview for tomorrow. As they drive him to the hospital, Xander (Luke Van Os) feverishly administers chest compressions in the ambulance’s back before Bree Cameron, the new doctor, takes over and does everything in her power to save his life (Juliet Godwin).
Bree warns Flick that her brother’s survival is “touch and go,” so they have a fight on their hands.
Will Cash make it? And how will Rose handle the realisation that her scheme put the guy she loves in danger?