This week on Home and Away in Australia, Bella returns to Summer Bay after nine months away, and she wants answers from Nikau!
In May 2022, Bella Nixon (Courtney Miller) departed Summer Bay when Emmett Ellison (J.R. Reyne), her photographic mentor, unexpectedly made a surprise return and encouraged Bella to join him in New York to embark on an intriguing new project.
Even though it was just for three months, Bella and Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) were concerned about their future and if they would be able to handle the strain of living apart.
At first, Nikau thought about joining her in the US, but he ultimately made the decision to stay in Summer Bay and advance his own career after realizing how vital his new position as a lifeguard was.
The pair began a long-distance relationship, but Nikau soon struggled when the hefty time difference and Bella’s busy schedule meant that they could barely find more than a few minutes at a time to chat with each other.
Yet, in the end, their relationship survived the time difference.
The Death Adder bikie gang arrived in July, and when they showed up in Summer Bay seeking retribution for a robbery Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) had committed a decade earlier, they completely upended the Paratas’ world.
When the bikies turned down Tane’s (Ethan Browne) offer to buy the gym and pay them back and started utilizing it for their shady transactions, it was obvious that they weren’t fooling around.
As a kind of intimidation, Leader Tex (Lucas Linehan) and his buddies even rode up to the Parata residence on motorcycles.
Tane and Nikau moved Chloe (Sam Barrett) to New Zealand to be safeguarded by the whanau after realizing how much danger they and their loved ones were in.
Nikau also broke up with Bella in an emotional video call, knowing that she’d be in danger when she returned to Summer Bay at the end of her placement.
Bella informed the caller that she and Emmett were almost through with the assignment and that she would be returning home early, thus the call came just in time.
It was just in time, as Bella revealed on the call that she and Emmett were nearly done with the job – she was coming home early!
But Nik faced the painful task of telling Bella that things were over – there was nothing for her back in Summer Bay, and she should stay in New York.
He pretended to be strong as he disregarded Bella’s cries for an explanation and sternly advised her not to call him again since he wouldn’t pick up.
He knew he had to make the choice even if it broke his heart for Bella.
Bella is returning to Summer Bay now, 7 months after that traumatic video call and 9 months after her initial departure!
Izzy Astoni-Thompson, the couple’s new baby girl, was born to Dean (Patrick O’Connor) and Ziggy (Sophie Dillman), and this week, Ziggy struggles as a result of Izzy’s gastroenteritis.
Dean’s tolerance for her domineering behavior is put to the test when she employs Emily Symons’ Marilyn to visit the farmhouse and use her crystals to purify the air they are breathing.
Fortunately, Bella walks through the door and surprises them with a familiar face!
Could her return make them forget about their issues?
While Dean and Ziggy are thrilled to see Bella again, Nikau is going to find the unexpected visit to be a little more difficult.
When Bella and Nikau eventually meet up at Salt, it is evident that there is unfinished business and that Bella wants to know the truth about their breakup, despite her initial assurance that she has no reservations about meeting Nikau.
“Bella and Nikau now live in two worlds,” Courtney Miller tells TV Week. “New York is very different to the feel of Summer Bay. Nikau is taken aback by her return, as much has happened – for both of them.”
During coffee, Nikau confesses the real reason he broke up with her: he had to stop her from being harmed by the bikie group, even though it hurt his heart to be unable to tell her.
While Bella, who was stunned, comprehends what he did, she is baffled as to why he didn’t contact her back when it was safe.
The two decide to put the past in the past. Yet, as they continue to talk, their previous chemistry starts to reappear.
Is there still something between them?
Bella’s return has been long expected, after fans of the show spotted Courtney Miller filming scenes alongside Irene actress Lynne McGranger at Sydney’s Palm Beach.
It’s also believed that Bella’s brief return could spell the end for Nikau’s time in Summer Bay – just like when Emmett’s brief return led to Bella’s exit.
Shortly after Courtney Miller was spotted on set, Kawakawa Fox-Reo headed to LA, before taking to Instagram to post a dramatic hair transformation.
Big hairstyle changes are often a sign that an actor is free from the constraints of their role, having left the show.
It’s also a little over three years since Nikau made his debut appearance on 28th January 2020, and it’s not uncommon to see an actor exit after three years in their role.
Could Bella’s Summer Bay return be the catalyst for Nikau’s exit, as they get their happily ever after?