Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! We lost a dear villager this week and it wasn’t a happy week for anyone!
Faith and Friendship
We lost an Emmerdale legend earlier this year when actress Shirley Stelfox (Edna Birch) sadly passed away. This week Ashley and Laurel returned with the upsetting news that Edna had died of ovarian cancer, away from the village. Her friends all gathered, along with cute Tootsie, but it was Sandy who took it the hardest. Sandy struggled with his grief, particularly frustrated by Ashley keeping her illness a secret and that he didn’t share their religious conviction of an afterlife so couldn’t make peace with it. But he was angry with himself too for not telling her how important their friendship was. In some really moving scenes, Emmerdale covered a spectrum of grief, faith and friendship and hopefully next week’s funeral will pay tribute to Shirley and Edna in a fitting way.
Emmerdale thrives on its brilliant cast of characters and this week it was a few of those on the side lines that really shined. Firstly, Bernice – who is unashamedly one of my absolute favourites and should be Queen of Home Farm if you ask me – valiantly tried to run the estate at the start of the week and then offered her unwavering support during the Lawrence/Chrissie fall out. She’s often treated badly by the snobby Whites, but her perseverance and warmth is admirable. Then this week there was the adorable Arthur who was so caring and sensible towards his ill dad, even managing to take a phone message from the hospital; Finn who tried to be a welcoming presence for brother Pete and Adam who offered Robert sensible advice in regards to giving Aaron Gordon’s letter. Sometimes the nicer characters, the ones offering their support and advice, are overlooked but in a week where lots of characters struggled under emotional pressure – it’s a good thing there are kind hearts in the village!
When he wasn’t dodging Liv’s hormones this week, Robert had business on the brain. With Chrissie away and Lawrence recovering from his heart attack, Bernice went into meltdown at Home Farm and was forced to rope Robert into helping which, as you can imagine, went down brilliantly with the Whites. After saving the day with his organisation skills, Robert was fuming when Lawrence pushed him out but it wasn’t long (with a bit of a nudge from the equally scheming Charity) before he had five hundred grand in his pocket and a plan up his sleeve. The Robert and Lawrence one-up-man-ship/rivalry is usually pretty fun, but especially when a smug Robert has the upper hand. Lawrence could only seethe. Now this is the kind of devious Robert I love, happy to lord it over his new employees (the Kings) and not a panto mirror scene in sight.
You can’t blame Chrissie for being upset, even angry, that she’s been lied to her whole life about who her father is. Understandably she took the news hard that Lawrence isn’t her biological father, but there were times this week where she was downright cruel. Lawrence didn’t handle it well either, but Chrissie was quick to forget how much love and support her father has given her. It’s not just about DNA so for her to start treating Lawrence like a stranger, and worse, like a bank – was incredibly cold hearted. Chrissie’s a character who is at her best when she’s in control and feisty and this is another plot which sees her as a little simpering and spoilt so it’s not one of her strongest. Luckily Andy was on hand to make her see sense, but with that romance feeling a bit flat and rushed, it would have been nice for her moment of realisation to come from within.
Ross the Martyr
Oh Ross! Yep another spoilt character makes my Fails list this week. There’s something inherently likeable about Ross, but sometimes don’t you just wish he would embrace his selfishness and quit playing the victim? He’s less lovable rogue more entitled brat. The Barton brother scenes this week just felt so repetitive – we’ve been here so many times before. Ross hates Pete, Pete hates Ross, Finn is stuck in the middle. Ross still harbours a grudge that Pete left him for dead – which yeah, alright, pretty shit thing to do (although we’d be more sympathetic if Pete had done more to him than cover him with a few twigs) – but has he forgotten the things he did to Pete? 1) Screwed his beloved fiancée behind his back and then rubbed his nose in it, 2) Plotted to murder him and make it look like suicide, 3) Plotted to murder him in a pact with Andy, 4) Dangled him off a viaduct after knocking him unconscious and threatened him with death (yes, a plot this stupid actually happened). I mean, would you be willing to forgive him if you were Pete? Pfft as if. And yet it’s Ross, ROSS, who’s playing the martyr here. It’s so unlikeable and immature that if he’s not going to grow up then I wish he’d find something else to do, rather than feeling sorry for himself.