Home and Away star Patrick O’Connor has shared that his character Dean Thompson is set to make a BIG mistake by turning to his former surf gang to exact revenge for his sister Mackenzie Booth (Emily Weir).
The one-time River Boy has mostly kept to the straight and narrow after leaving behind a rough upbringing in Yabbie Creek.
But when his friends and family are threatened by crooked high-stakes poker player PK (Ryan Johnson) his old instincts kick in.
After finding out that a debt-ridden Mackenzie’s naively been running illegal poker nights at Salt, Home and Away favourite Dean was alarmed, especially as she was keeping it from boyfriend Logan Bennett (Harley Bonner).
“There were — at least to Dean — ways to get out of the debt. He suggested talking to Logan and just taking it a day at a time as opposed to walking down the illegal track,” explained Patrick.
“He wanted Mackenzie to have a better life than criminal activity. She hadn’t really dabbled in that area before.”
When PK scammed Mackenzie into thinking the house had lost, she came close to sleeping with him to write off her ‘debt’.
Things take a terrifying turn when two tooled-up thugs hold Mac and Dean hostage at Salt and stab Tane Parata (Ethan Browne).
“Dean’s at a crossroads because in order to get an ambulance to come to Salt he’s going to have to admit that there’s been illegal activity and that means Mackenzie would be in a lot of trouble,” he insisted.
“Tane and Dean are best buddies and there’s no way he’s going to let him die but at the same time, it’s his sister.
“He suggests calling Logan and that is a big positive for the situation.”
Dean and his girlfriend Ziggy Astoni (Patrick’s real-life girlfriend Sophie Dillman) go on a quest to steal supplies from the hospital so Logan can work on Tane.
“It's like a mini storyline where Dean and Ziggy go into the hospital,” shared Patrick.
“I don’t think Dean really knows what Ziggy's capable of doing but he needs to have a partner through some of this to get the medical supplies as he needs someone to make a distraction.
“He puts the pressure on Ziggy and she rises to the challenge. It was so funny to film this because when Soph goes for things she really nails it!
“Logan ends up performing a blood transfusion to make sure that Tane can survive.”
Determined to warn PK off, Dean makes it clear he’ll get pasting from his pals. But PK isn’t fazed and things escalate big time when Dean receives a sinister threat against his young son Jai.
Despite Ziggy’s plea to go to the police, Dean is willing to put his relationship on the line for a second time (after their former split when he kept secret his complicity in Ross Nixon’s murder).
She's stunned when three of the River Boys walk in and he tells them he's got a job for them.
The boys deliver up a bound and gagged PK to Dean in a deserted car park and Ziggy is worried when a grim looking Dean returns home with bloodied knuckles.
Despite her questions, he refuses to talk about what he's done.
“When he receives a threat about his son he starts panicking because he doesn’t know if PK’s the kind of guy that would hurt a kid and if so Dean’s got to be that much quicker than he is,” confirmed Patrick.
“At the back of Dean’s mind he knows that Ziggy disapproves of the River Boys. The reason they broke up before was because he lied about something so big.
“This kind of code that Dean has, this association with the River Boys, is something that hasn’t been fully addressed between Dean and Ziggy.
“As with most of Dean’s life, instead of talking about something he’s going to take the quick option and not talk about it and he ends up shutting her out.
“She’s pleading with him not to call the River Boys and he ends up doing the exact opposite!”
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Fans haven’t seen much River Boys action since the Braxton family left the bay but where the gang gets involved, there’s always big drama!
“It’s crazy and there’s a lot of stuff that happens,” teased Patrick.
“Even though it’s the worst possible choice Dean can make, it’s the most exciting.
“The River Boys are such a big part of his history and it’s been scattered throughout his time in Summer Bay.
“The writers always take an exciting angle, so it’s always good to play that part of Dean.”
While Patrick and Sophie have been enjoying their most recent Summer Bay storyline, the couple’s cute cavoodle dog Winnie is becoming a star in his own right!
“Winnie’s had his first life TV appearance [on Australian TV’s The Morning Show], which was pretty funny,” Patrick revealed.
“But just before he had a really bad bout of a tummy bug and spent a week in hospital. He’s much better now and back to his jump-y self!”
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15 pm on Channel 5 and 6.00 pm on 5Star followed by a 'first look' episode at 6.30 pm.
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