If you were thinking this week’s offerings were a bit bland, you’re not alone.
Thursday’s episode picks up at the Paratas’ house and things thankfully ramp back up.
They’re preparing for party and they’re expecting a big turn out (except for Leah because she’s inundated with running the diner) to welcome them to the bay officially.
Ari is in a good mood because things seem to be back on with Mac after their adult sleepover last week. He momentarily puts his differences aside with Tane for Gemma’s sake, and he even begrudgingly invites John to the party for her.
The family welcomes everyone to their home, something usually reserved for their older brother and Nikau’s father who has passed. It’s a very wholesome family viewing moment.
It’s a good party for Home and Away standards and Gem is having a good time, quite rare for the host of the party.
Even mopey Ben, who isn’t in the mood to party turns up to sus out the single lady situation since he’s been separated for all of a few days.
Bad boys Tane and Ari both turn their attention to Mac and battle it out for the rest of the episode to win her over.
Tane opts for plying her with alcohol between cheeky smiles.
She tells him to “keep dreaming mate”.
John arrives with a cheeseboard although he’s quick to point out it was “reduced”. He begins to fumble with his words and sends himself home from the party but not before making an exit like no other when he collapses and is rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
Tori gets called into the hospital to treat John. He comes to momentarily and can’t move the left side of his body. Tori suspects he’s had a stroke. “It’s serious,” she says, and tells Marilyn he could have permanent damage.
Tori suggests the stroke could have been brought on by stress and Marilyn blames herself because he’s been living in a “caravan”. They really love laying it on the poor vans in this show.
Of course, Jasmine is conveniently there to step in and babysit Grace and takes her to Irene’s house without permission.
Justin is furious given they had just come to an agreement earlier in the day and decided that Tori needs Jasmine in her life. But she continues to push the boundaries of their trust way too far.
Ben stays behind to comfort Gem but his presence is met with Nikau’s glaring eyes and he accuses his mum of flirting — but really it was just polite chit chat.
Tane and Ari continue to do their best to win the affections of Mac with their muscles and deep and meaningful conversations about the good old days when the two boys got along.
She plays along, because who wouldn’t! But Ari suspects it is in fact Mac who is being played by Tane.
She confronts Tane and asks him if this is true.
He admits it was, but now that he knows her, he “reckons we’d be good together”.
There’s no doubt there’s chemistry between them and they have an intense moment where they almost kiss on the beach.
Eventually Tane and Ari see eye to eye and Tane says he’s going to back off and let Ari have her for the sake of family which is very mature of him considering he’s into her.
We don’t know who Mac chooses yet, but this will probably draw out for as long as humanely possible.
John’s condition isn’t improving as quickly as Tori hoped. He starts bleeding from the nose and mouth which Tori explains is a side effect from the medication. He’s very good at acting and looks very confused and out of sorts.
Jasmine continues on her downward spiral even though weeks of the show have been dedicated to it.
Nevertheless, we learn that she has joined a forum for new mums.
Willow comes to see Jasmine, but Jasmine completely misunderstands her concerns and once again accuses everyone of gossiping about her.
She fires Willow from the gym that dead Robbo left to her, although we don’t see this encounter, probably because we’re a bit over it.
Colby takes Willow in because obviously she can’t stay with Irene and Jasmine.