If the past few weeks haven’t been stressful enough for the Parata/Anderson family, fate is about to strike again when Mia (Anna Samson) receives a phone call informing her that Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) has fallen unwell.
Since confessing to being responsible for the killing of Chloe’s (Sam Barrett) biological father, Matthew Montgomery, Ari has been held in a detention center (James Sweeny). Of course, the Parata patriarch was covering for Chloe, who had whacked Matthew over the head with a rock while he was arguing with Mia.
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Mia had been keen to continue through with wedding plans, having become engaged to Ari the day before the incident, much to the chagrin of both Chloe and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo). She wants Ari to know that she will always be there for him, and if it means marrying in prison, so be it!
Mia is anxious this week when Ari fails to make his planned phone call, and she and Tane (Ethan Browne) are concerned that Ari is withdrawing from them, as he did when he was arrested for armed robbery over a decade ago.
These concerns fade almost quickly, though, as Mia returns home to discover her wedding gowns have arrived. She admires the gown but finds it unnervingly confronting as she tries to preserve her composure.
Mia finds it unpleasant to give Chloe her bridesmaid outfit that evening. Chloe informs Mia that she hates everything about the outfit after trying it on at her request.
Bella (Courtney Miller) is irritated with Mia and accuses her of giving Chloe the dress when she knows she’s having trouble with the wedding concept. Mia had gone to Bella pleading for her aid with Chloe, and her discussions had so far proven fruitful.
Mia reveals to Tane the next day that Bella was correct, but her worries are quickly dispelled when her phone calls. Ari has been brought to the hospital, and it’s the prison!
Mia rushes to the emergency room, where she meets Logan (Harley Bonner), who has no idea what’s going on until Ari is brought in, writhing in agony from abdominal pain.
Mia, Tane, and Nik are forced to wait outside until Officer Martinez (Shameer Birges) can validate their IDs while the paramedics give Ari over to Logan and Nurse Freya (Francisca Braithwaite).
Logan feels Ari is suffering from appendicitis, with the chance of a rupture, after some first testing reveals just mildly elevated inflammatory markers.
Ari is carried down for keyhole surgery, but Logan returns later with the revelation that he discovered something far more terrible.
Ari has pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare and severe cancer that began in his appendix, according to Logan. The tumors have already spread throughout Ari’s abdominal cavity, and there isn’t much they can do… Ari is on his deathbed.
Logan is surrounded by Mia, Tane, Nik, and Chloe as he gives the news to Ari. Logan informs him that they could undertake a grueling 16-hour operation known as the “mother of all surgeries,” but even then, the tumors would grow back and the procedure would simply postpone the inevitable.
Ari inquires as to how much longer he has if he refuses the operation, but Logan can only inform him that the volume of bleeding indicates that things could swiftly deteriorate…
Will Ari opt for the procedure despite the fact that it has no guarantee of enhancing his life expectancy?
Alf (Ray Meagher) and Roo (Georgie Parker) are working hard to persuade Ryder (Lukas Radovich) to return home after he moved out into a trailer last week.
For weeks, Summer Bay House has been filled with tension as the Stewart family dealt with the fallout from Martha’s (Belinda Giblin) refusal of a life-saving kidney donation from Roo, as well as Ryder’s anguish after being buried alive.
While Roo and Martha were at odds, at least until Martha decided to return to Merimbula, Alf had been relentlessly chasing Theo Poulos (Matt Evans), whom he blamed for Ryder’s ordeal despite everyone’s efforts to persuade him differently.
The continual squabbling in the house, along with his grandfather’s stubbornness over Theo, became too much for Ryder to stomach, and he packed his belongings and moved into a van.
A public reprimand from Theo lately helped Alf see the folly of his ways, and he apologized to both Theo and Justin (James Stewart) for his treatment of them. Ryder also called LifeLine for assistance.
This week, Alf brings some takeout to Ryder’s caravan as a peace offering. Knowing that Ryder only participated in the challenge to repay his obligation to Alf, Alf apologizes and tells him that if that is what Ryder truly wants, he will accept the money.
When Alf suggests that he help Ryder move his belongings back into the house, Ryder turns on him, claiming that he’s only offering to accept the money so that he can keep control over him. Alf treated him like a child, and Theo like a dog, in his opinion, and he is unwilling to forgive and forget.
He subsequently repays Alf the money, but is uninterested when Alf begins to discuss what to do with it in order to assist Martha—his it’s money, he can do whatever he wants.
Ryder is surprised to learn of Alf’s apologies from Theo, but he refuses to forgive Alf despite Theo’s urging.
Later in the week, Ryder mulls over his predicament while gazing at the Stewart family compass, which Alf gave him on his 21st birthday and has been passed down through numerous generations.
He sighs as he walks outside and sees Alf and Roo waiting for him. He says he doesn’t have time to talk because he’s off to work, but Alf and Roo reply that’s fine because they were just about to go there!
Alf and Roo stay at Salt all morning in the hopes of smoothing things over with Ryder, and they ultimately track him down when he takes a break downstairs.
Alf apologizes once more for not treating Ryder like a grown-up and assures him that if he needs to stay in the van for some privacy, he respects his decision. When Alf notices Ryder’s compass, he admits that he may have lost his way—Ryder implies that they both did.
Ryder then tells Alf that he accepts his apologies, much to Roo’s happiness.
Will this be the turning point that the family has been waiting for?