Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! In the week that saw an explosion at Mill Cottage, it was the emotional aftermath that stole the show.
Nicola King had what she thought was a lucky escape from the Mill Cottage explosion this week, after Rakesh (I’m refusing to call him ‘Rak’) committed arson for insurance purposes. Sadly for her she collapsed the day after and was rushed back into hospital for brain surgery. While Jimmy worried this surgery might lead to a personality change (and Bernice thought her sister might develop a Russian accent – yes, foreign accent syndrome is a thing, Bernice!) they had bigger troubles to face. So far it seems Nicola is paralysed down one side. For a couple whose problems usually involve childcare or sexual mishaps, it’s nice to see them both with some serious and heartbreaking drama ahead of them. Thankfully the story hasn’t been without its humour (e.g. Nicola getting the old woman on the ward grief) but I’ll be interested to see how this impacts upon their dynamic as a couple, particularly if Nico feels she’s lost a sense of power. Assuming Nicola makes a full recovery (fingers crossed) let’s hope we still see glimpses of the silliness we know and love during the journey ahead.
All Hale the Hero
Ronnie Hale is a total star. Make me a member of his fanclub and I’ll wear badges and wave banners. The lot. Not only did he prove he’s a total hero this week by charging into the fire on a rescue mission, but he confronted Rakesh over the fraud. Okay so he probably should have gone to the cops, but I guess you could say he’s doing mostly the right thing. Of course the other fave aspect of Ronnie’s character is this tragic love story he has with Lawrence. With Ronnie hospitalised Lawrence made heartfelt confessions by his bedside, even holding his hand. I think everyone was waiting for those three little words but Lawrence just couldn’t and ended up seeking advice about his sex life instead. Repeat after me Lawrence: Viagra is not the answer! Their love may be doomed and Lawrence might be as far in the closet as last year’s winter coat BUT this storyline still remains one of the most gripping.
Charlotte Bellamy once again showcased why she was nominated for Best Dramatic Female Performance at the British Soap Awards in May with her impressive acting in episodes this week. Laurel’s been a rock for Ashley lately as he continues to adapt to live with dementia, but the pressure grew to an unbearable level for her this week and she turned back to drink. Charlotte makes Laurel’s actions both shocking and tragic to the point of desperately pleading with her (yes, through the TV screen) not to glug back the wine. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments was when Ashley confused her for previous flame Harriet, only for Laurel to snap and shout at him. In a storyline like this, which could grow repetitive quickly, it’s the performances like this that keep the dramatic tension as tight as possible.
Love Hate Relationship
I have such a love/hate relationship with Andy Sugden. One minute he’s all puppy dog cuteness and being a nice guy and the next minute I just want him off my screen with his all hypocrisy and judgemental speeches. He was pretty unlikeable to the long-suffering Bernice this week telling her she was just going to have to get used to Chrissie and him leaving a trail of snog-saliva everywhere they go. You know Andy, she’s quite clearly hurting and has just rescued your and Chrissie’s business pitch, but go ahead – have a dig at her. Then he moved onto Lawrence and sure, he might have been trying to look out for Bernice but confronting Lawrence like he did with an air of soapbox arrogance wasn’t pleasant to watch. Especially when you know Lawrence is cut up by this whole thing, Andy’s reaction seems rather callous.
One of Emmerdale’s greatest strengths is its ability to balance high drama and comedy but this week that equilibrium felt slightly off. There was something not quite right about the stunt episode this week, but it wasn’t the spectacle or the emotional aftermath, it was the lack of tension in its build. Rakesh’s plight and Nicola being trapped was intertwined with comedy scenes of David’s excess of taramasalata, suggestions that Rakesh had the runs and the gory details of Nicola and Jimmy’s sex life. Another side plot also featured Finn with a sprayed red face. Emmerdale’s brilliant sense of humour is one of things that brightens up teatime but the big stunt deserved more nail biting tension than just in the last ten minutes. Maybe Rakesh’s stress juxtaposed with the cluelessness in David’s shop was meant to be enough dramatic tension but it should have left us all pulling out our hair like those excruciating moments before the helicopter crash last year. Thankfully so far the aftermath has been great to watch!