In Australia’s Home and Away this week, Justin and Cash find Andrew and his cult captors, but they’re surprised when he won’t let them.
As he and Justin (James Stewart) set out to uncover the headquarters of the evil Vita Nova cult, Cash (Nicholas Cartwright) is determined to make amends for his previous gaffe with the Andrew (Joshua Hewson) case.
When Justin stepped in to save Andrew last month, it came to light that his father had been a doomsday prepper who had fled with Andrew when he was just 4 years old, leaving his mother in despair.
Last week, after being made aware of Theo’s (Matt Evans) social media post concerning Andrew, a stranger (Mandy McElhinny) entered the police station and pretended to be Andrew’s mother Esther. Simply presenting Cash with a driver’s licence that, to be honest, looked dubious convinced him that she was telling the truth, and he was happy to reconnect ‘Esther’ with the kid she hadn’t seen in more than a decade.
Andrew was unsure of what to do because he had no memory of this woman, but Justin and Leah took ‘Esther’ at face value and even invited her to stay for supper.
Andrew decided to go with the stranger after hearing Justin advise him to give her a chance and overhearing Leah mention how upset ‘Esther’ would be if Andrew didn’t want to connect with her.
Not until Andrew had bid Leah and Justin goodnight did Cash learn that the woman was in fact Margot Dafoe, the head of the cult they had been attempting to keep Andrew away from! In order for Cash to recognised her when she walked in, it appears that no one at Yabbie Creek police thought to look up who was leading the cult when they originally began investigating.
The information had been provided by Tegan, Andrew’s estranged sister, who is currently employed abroad and had claimed that the genuine Esther had vanished shortly after Andrew was seized.
Andrew was being punished by Margot with cruel physical workouts when we last saw him for discussing the cult with someone outside the group.
After the (let’s be honest, equally incompetent) taskforce removed Cash from the investigation, he swore to Justin that he would find Andrew on his own and requested his help.
A rogue Yabbie Creek police officer? That always works out beautifully…
This week, Margot holds Andrew imprisoned in a dark chamber while reciting the catchphrase that plays over the cult’s tannoy system: “We are only as strong as our weakest link.”
Mandy told TV Week that the woman “is a woman of great belief and faith in her way of seeing the outside world – as a dangerous place that’s falling apart.” You only need to glance at the news to see that there is some truth to it. So she built a sanctuary to shield her family from the outside world.
Mandy says, “She’s doing everything she can to protect Andrew. She believes it is her duty to save him, even if it requires torturing him to get him to understand what she stands for.
After being removed from a case, Cash returns to his customary method of gathering information and approaches Rose (Kirsty Marillier), after learning from her that the taskforce has finally been able to locate an address.
When Justin and Cash finally locate the cult’s compound, they go there and find it being defended by men with bows and arrows.
But according to TV Week, Justin won’t give in because he wants to see Andrew.
Margot maintains she has nothing to hide and invites the duo to see him, appearing assured that her lessons have been effective.
Justin is pleased to see Andrew okay, but he is surprised when Andrew then insists on staying because he feels like he has found his home.
It is obvious that Andrew has been brainwashed or that he is simply afraid to speak out. Even after telling Andrew the truth about his recently discovered sister, Justin is unable to persuade him to leave.
Since Andrew is under 17 and Cash lacks the legal authority to have him expelled (even if he was present formally), the two grudgingly depart.
Justin is adamant about getting Andrew to safety, but how will he succeed?
It’s still not done, according to spoilers for later this week, as Cash is expected to act erratically once more.