The drama is ramping up for the Summer Bay residents next week, as we hit Home and Away’s UK season finale and the show’s final episodes of 2023.
Recent episodes have seen Justin (James Stewart) excitedly tell Leah (Ada Nicodemou) that he’d received a call from a local radio station, saying that he’d won an all-expenses-paid five star getaway for two people.
Although neither of the paid had entered the giveaway, Justin clarified that it was ostensibly a community effort to honour nearby companies (that’s Summer Bay Auto, for those who are having trouble remembering, the company he’s failed to play band management for much of this year!).
The only negative aspect (so far) is that they’ll have to depart the very next day. When we revisit the scene the following week, Leah is unsure of her ability to leave at any time, especially because her pals Roo (Georgie Parker) and Marilyn (Emily Symons) are still at odds.
After being persuaded by their pals to embark on their opulent journey, Justin and Leah are ecstatic as they are waved off from the coffee cart.
TRIVIA BITE: Watch out for a cameo appearance from Ada Nicodemou’s mum Jenny and aunt Thea, who are sat at one of the tables as Marilyn farewells Leah.
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But when we reunite with Justin and Leah later in the week, there’s an unexpected turn of events: instead of sulking at an opulent retreat, we discover that they’ve been abducted and taken hostage in a deserted factory!
It turns out that the entire incident was staged, and mechanic Justin got caught in the trap when he couldn’t ignore the broken-down automobile that the two were approaching.
The ones who did it? Why, it is none other than Vita Nova, the sect that spreads doomsday prophecy, against whom Justin battled earlier this year to free Andrew Lawrence (Joshua Hewson) from their hold.
Whilst the police (naively) stated that the group had disbanded after the arrest of leader Margot Dafoe (Mandy McElhinney), despite the fact that numerous members had been released without charge, those left behind are now exacting their revenge.
After going for several days without food or drink, Justin and Leah finally discover they’ve been abandoned to perish there.
Justin is frantically attempting to break the padlock on the door that is holding them captive, but Leah, who is getting agitated, yells at him to stop, telling him that he is just wasting energy.
Justin later looks up at a pipe gantry, theorising that it must lead somewhere. The only problem is how to get up to it.
Justin begins building a tower out of all the leftover materials. Leah has already given up and believes it is a waste of time because nobody will be looking for them because everyone believes they are on vacation. It would be too late by the time they realise it. However, Justin makes the point that if they didn’t attempt at least, they would be handing the cult the upper hand.
Leah is fearful as Justin gingerly climbs up the unstable structure where he’s able to reach the pipes. But as he hangs from gantry and shuffles along, tragedy strikes as the whole thing gives way.
Justin crashes down to the factory floor, with all the metal landing on top of him.
As Justin turns back, a shocked Leah attempts furiously to remove the debris from his chest. It is evident that he is having difficulty breathing and has broken ribs.
Upon realising the seriousness of the situation, Leah devises a plan of escape and constructs an additional tower with the aim of reaching the remaining portion of the pipe.
However, she has no choice but to go back to Justin when he starts coughing up blood, and things are becoming worse quickly.
Justin repeatedly apologises for getting them into this mess, and Leah is distraught as he struggles to keep his eyes open.
Begging him not to die, Leah tearfully tells Justin that she wants to spend the rest of her life with him as she cradles his head, and then asks him a very important question…
“Justin Morgan, will you marry me?”
Justin is able to muster up the energy to smile and nod his head… “Of course I will” he replies, before he finally slips into unconsciousness.
Leah is beginning to think that all hope is lost as she lies down next to Justin, but she suddenly spots some prongs jutting out from one of the metal columns next to the factory wall… a ladder!
As she works out a route to take, a determined Leah tells Justin to hold on, she’s going to get them out of there.
Will Leah be able to make her escape and save her fiance, or is it already too late?
The UK season finale airs on Friday 17th November on Channel 5, or as part of the ‘first look’ on Thursday 16th November on 5STAR.
Home and Away will return to Channel 5 in January 2024.