Since patriarch Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) confessed to the murder of Matthew Montgomery, the Parata family has been on a knife’s edge (James Sweeny).
Although it was Chloe (Sam Barrett) who delivered the fatal blow when Matthew grabbed Mia (Anna Samson) outside the house during an argument, it was Mia who was arrested first after Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) was caught speeding with Matthew’s body in the boot of his car.
Ari went to the police station and took responsibility for the crime, hoping to spare Mia and Chloe any jail time.
Knowing that Ari is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison due to his criminal record, both Chloe and Ari’s nephew Nik (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) have struggled with the idea of remaining silent about what really happened.
Despite the fact that Mia or Chloe could claim self-defense and receive a much lighter sentence, Ari has forbidden it, and Tane (Ethan Browne) wants to make sure they all follow his orders.
Nik still wants the truth to come out this week, after the family visits Ari on remand.
“Nikau is tortured,” Kawakawa said in an interview with TV Week. “Seeing someone you care about in a situation like that isn’t a pleasant sight.”
Nik’s father, Mikaere, died in a botched armed robbery just over 18 months ago, and the situation has brought back painful memories for him.
Nik’s traumatic memories of Ari being dragged away to prison when he was a child are becoming too much for him, and he announces his intention to leave Summer Bay.
“The trauma of already having gone through this is a lot to handle,” Kawakawa said.
Tane recognizes that the family must stick together if they are to survive their ordeal, so he tells Nik that he is taking him camping.
Tane’s plan, however, is to take Nik into the wilderness and teach him how to be a warrior, much to Nik’s surprise. Tane hands Nik Mikaere’s taiaha, a traditional Mori weapon, and instructs him in the proper techniques for mastering it.
Nik struggles at first, but eventually relaxes into it and finds the inner strength he requires.
“The Yamaha sequence has a significant impact on Nikau because it is such an important part of who he is as a person,” Kawakawa continued.
“Grounding him and reminding him of the values that come with it is very empowering and grounds him in a way that he desperately needs.”
Dean Thompson (Patrick O’Connor) sets out on a mission to find his mother Karen in Summer Bay (Georgia Adamson)
Things had been looking up for Dean and his girlfriend Ziggy (Sophie Dillman) in recent weeks, as he took tentative steps to resume surfing after his rehab, and Dean’s good mood even extended to inviting Bella (Courtney Miller) to live with them at the farmhouse.
However, as last week’s episodes came to a close, Dean received a call from Karen’s next-door neighbor informing him that she had gone missing.
Karen has a long history of mental health issues, which were discovered to be the result of schizoaffective disorder, so Dean is understandably concerned.
Karen last appeared on the show in 2019, when she showed up at the caravan park unannounced after being released from a psychiatric facility. Not only did she learn from Dean that he had tracked down his father Rick Booth (Mark Lee), but she also learned that Dean was dating Ziggy and that he had a half-sister named Mackenzie (Emily Weir)!
Mackenzie offered Karen a job at Salt when she was looking for one, and Karen warmed up to her as they talked about their dislike of Rick. Her first shift ended with her pouring a jug of water over long-time foe John Palmer’s (Shane Withington) head.
Karen left town after realizing she was causing Dean problems, but not before giving Ziggy her blessing to be the mother of her grandchildren. Karen claimed she was going to Reefton Lakes for a job, but Dean later discovered she had checked herself back into the psychiatric hospital.
Karen has since become a source of contention between Dean and Amber (Maddy Jevic). Amber recalled Karen from their Mangrove River days and forbade Dean from informing her of his newfound son, Jai (River Jarvis).
Will Dean be able to locate Karen, and is she in good health…?
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