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Home and Away evaluation: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

I was really looking forward to meeting Karen but Amber waltzes into the diner first thing and crushes that dream.

Dean is still building that bike but he’s feeling pretty down because Amber made it clear that his mum, Karen, won’t be attending the party and can’t be a part of Jai’s life.

But Willow, the voice of reason is there to hand out the praise.

“You’re amazing, Jai’s lucky to have you,” Willow says to Dean.

They set off for the party and not only is it an incredibly windy day in Summer Bay, there’s no kids in attendance and most of the guest are adults Jai only recently acquired so his past birthdays must have been even more grim than this.

But Jai doesn’t care and is literally stoked with his bike.

And then a woman shows up and I immediately think it’s a surprise Karen.

Is this surprise Karen?
Camera IconIs this surprise Karen? Credit: Channel 7

But it’s another mum, Amber’s mum.

She’s not pleased to see Dean and wants to get this “charade over and done with” and now we know why Amber is the way she is.

Willow sticks up for Dean yet again and Amber’s mum — who hasn’t been given a name yet because she’s so horrible she doesn’t deserve one — gets stuck into Dean straight away.

Willow: number one fan of the Dean club.
Camera IconWillow: number one fan of the Dean club. Credit: Channel 7

To be fair, Dean was in the car crash that killed the unnamed woman and Amber’s little brother — also by the name of Jai — which of course the scriptwriters get in there a few times.

The non-Karen also hates Willow, the “president of the Dean Thompson fan club”.

Finally she introduces herself when John comes over for a sticky beak.

Her name is Francesca and she stresses that she hates being called “Franny”.

Non-Karen is eventually introduced.
Camera IconNon-Karen is eventually introduced. Credit: Channel 7

John sticks his foot in it a bit by asking “is Karen coming?” and then he disappears probably because Francesca banishes him.

This dynamic continues for some until Dean thinks it’s a smart move to stand up for himself and threatens his mother in law.

“Hey Franny, the next time you have a go at me in front of my kid, there’s going to be trouble,” Dean says.

They head to the diner for more birthday treats, and still no kids in sight.

As the party wraps up, Dean pulls Amber aside for a talk about the grandparent situation and she unleashes at him.

I’m hoping in the heat of the moment she’s going to yell out “Karen can’t meet Jai because he’s not your son”, but I am disappointed yet again.

Amber does however blurt out that Karen is a “psycho”.

Meanwhile Leah, Justin and Christian are in cahoots so Tori doesn’t find out that Justin is at the hospital for more tests.

Such childish games.
Camera IconSuch childish games. Credit: Channel 7

It seems utterly ridiculous — firstly because they’re all grown adults — but also because Tori already knows there’s a high probability of the tumour growing because it was never fully removed no thanks to her decision.

But then Justin says something about how Tori would blame herself for leaving some of the tumour and I literally have no recollection of any of them having this conversation and I thought Tori was keeping this from Justin to protect him.

But alas I must have missed it because no one makes a big deal of what I assumed was big news.

Christian is in another eclectic outfit today. He’s wearing a tie, paisley blouse and what appears to be a vest, but it’s his outerwear that is particularly catching me off guard as he tops it off with a leather biker jacket.

Also Tori keeps telling herself there’s nothing going on between her and budget McDreamy aka Dr Christian Green.

Leah reminds her that “single doctors don’t grow on trees” which is sound advice.

OK, back to the diagnosis and the ominous music starts up again as we’re told the scans aren’t good.

Another grim prognosis.
Camera IconAnother grim prognosis. Credit: Channel 7

Christian is sorry he doesn’t have better news and is going to get his entire team — which is news to me — onto it.

I’m convinced he has the Leah’s dead husband curse so medically there’s nothing that can be done.

Tori spots Justin getting in the lift at the hospital and interrogates budget McDreamy, but he pulls the doctor patients confidentiality card and won’t tell her.

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