List of Home and Away characters (2021)
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Susan "Susie" McAllister, played by Bridie Carter, made her first appearance on 4 February 2021. Carter's casting details were announced on 10 August 2020. She began filming during the same week. Carter was pleased to be offered the role during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it unexpected. She stated "I was astounded and ecstatic at the same time. I am very fortunate and very grateful because I have a lot of friends who are sitting in a very precarious position." Carter has previously appeared in the serial as Toni Jarvis and Brooke Taylor in 1995 and 1999. Susan is a real estate agent who relocates from Western Australia to Summer Bay. Carter described her as "a really fun, dynamic woman" and "fiercely independent". She also said Susan "befriends certain people quite particularly." Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy later reported that she would a possible love interest for John Palmer (Shane Withington). The character was killed off in June 2021, starting a whodunnit storyline.
Following her move to Summer Bay, Susie is first required to help Tori Morgan (Penny McNamee) and Christian Green (Ditch Davey) who are in search of a new home. She soon has her eye on John Palmer (Shane Withington) and approaches him while he is dining alone at Salt; the pair initially hit it off and Susie takes keen interest in John's personal life. The two eventually become more involved with one another and when Susie claims she has no place to live, John agrees to let her move in. Susie shows signs of suspicious behaviour when she begins asking questions and searching through John's bank statements, aside from feeling uninterested every time John touches her. Susie then persuades John to run for Surf Club president, much to Alf Stewart's (Ray Meagher) shock as it is unusual for anyone to run against him for president. Marilyn Chambers (Emily Symons) confronts John about his sudden change of character since he has started seeing Susie, causing her to clash with Susie on a number of occasions. Fed up with Marilyn's interference, Susie presents Marilyn with divorce papers from John. Following John's appointment as president, Susie persuades him to raise money for the Surf Club's renovation and she attempts to get sponsorship from local businesses such as the diner and the gym.
Leah Patterson (Ada Nicodemou) and Justin Morgan (James Stewart) decide to enlist Susie's help in finding them a new house, while Irene Roberts (Lynne McGranger), having felt that something was not right with Susie since she first arrived, become more suspicious of her. Susie sees Irene as a threat and accuses her of being attracted to John. John urges the women to make peace and invites them to dinner; Susie orders three glasses of wine and drugs Irene's drink, however, she is unaware that Irene is a teetotaler. John drinks the unwanted wine and become violently ill. Irene realises that the wine meant for her was drugged, which sparks her suspicions even further when Susie refuses to seek medical help for John. Justin and Leah receive the news that the house they believe was sold to them is not actually theirs. Irene and Willow Harris (Sarah Roberts) soon discover that Susie McAllister does not exist when they stumble across a photo of Susie with the name Imogen Simons attached. Susie tries to convince everyone that Irene is spreading lies about her and advises Justin and Leah that there was an administrative error with the house which she intends to rectify. All becomes clear when Susie decides it is time to flee with Justin and Leah's life savings, along with the Surf Club funds. Irene confronts her and Susie drugs her with chloroform. Susie finally makes her escape, leaving John heartbroken, while Justin and Leah realise that they have lost all $90,000 of their money, as there is no trace of anyone by the name of Susie McAllister.
Several weeks pass and Leah is still determined to find Susie, while trying to convince John to help her. She eventually comes into contact with another of Susie's victims, Stephen Tennyson (Bren Foster), via an online forum, who claims that he and Susie had a brief relationship before she ran off with his life savings. Leah, John and Stephen continue their search to no avail, until John receives text messages from Susie. They plan a meeting that proves unsuccessful when she does not appear. Susie's body is recovered from the ocean and it is determined that she was killed by blunt force trauma to the skull, not drowning. The police realise that Susie could not have sent the texts to John, as she was already dead. Justin becomes the prime suspect after Susie's phone is found in his car. Leah later realises Stephen is the culprit, after finding a burner phone, Susie's laptop, and her and Justin's money in his motel room. Stephen tries to escape Summer Bay with Leah in fear that she will turn him in, but is eventually arrested and charged with Susie's murder.