When Theo throws a flying punch at his estranged father, the shocking truth about Dimitri’s past strikes with a bang — literally.
Dimitri (Salvatore Coco) arrives in Summer Bay with one objective in mind: to take Theo (Matt Evans) home in dramatic scenes from Home And Away.
Theo’s aunt Leah (Ada Nicodemou) planned the surprise visit in the hopes of mending fences between father and son.
But she is unaware of the tragic reasons for their split – Dimitri has a history of abuse, and Theo escaped to the Bay when his violence became too much for him.
Is he going to tell his aunt the truth?
“From a young age, Theo was a victim of both physical and emotional exploitation,” Matt, 25, tells TV WEEK. “When he was 14, he began to be physically abused. When his father did not get his way, he became enraged.”
Dimitri assures Leah that he is there to make up for his mistakes, but his actions imply otherwise. He tells Theo to pack his belongings before accusing Leah of interfering with his family’s affairs.
He also claims that she was the catalyst for Theo’s mother’s divorce request.
Later, Dimitri meets John (Shane Withington) at the Surf Club, the only person Theo has confided in about his father. Leah and Justin (James Stewart) are perplexed by their tense encounter and want to know the truth.
Sensing Dimitri pursues John for information, believing he knows more than he’s letting on. When asked about Theo’s time in the Bay, John is friendly, although he does make a not-so-subtle reference to his problematic upbringing.
Dimitri becomes enraged when John brings up Theo’s community service.
After spending the night with Chloe, Theo is temporarily preoccupied (Sam Barrett). He offers they go out on a date, giddy with anticipation, but is taken aback when she appears uninterested and says their time together was a mistake.
Theo, hurt and perplexed by the encounter, chooses to walk off his frustrations on the beach when he sees Dimitri conversing with Justin and Leah. His rage erupts, and he attacks his father, striking him.
Matt comments, “This [Chloe’s rejection] is a huge component of Theo striking his father.”
“When he is used by Chloe, all of his rage and hatred comes out, as he had feelings for her. It’s enough to push him over the edge.”