Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! I had lots of Faves in a week of love, friendship, community and brilliant performances.
Tragic Love Story
The Lawrence and Ronnie saga came to a head this week as Lawrence was outed right in the middle of the pub. Is Chrissie getting déjà vu here or what? The week began with Lawrence fainting thanks to his “gentleman’s helpers” tablets in a bid to make his marriage work once and for all. But after meddling Andy had whispered in Bernice’s ear, she orchestrated for Lawrence and Ronnie to be alone in a hotel room together to force her husband to come to some sort of decision. “You’re gay!/Are you gay?” must have been the most used phrase of the week. But what followed were a series of completely heartbreaking scenes as Ronnie tried to get Lawrence to admit who he is and what they were to each other. Ronnie has fast cemented himself as a lovable and empathetic character in the village and his anguish was played beautifully by John McArdle. I don’t know about you but I was absolutely rooting for Lawrence to be able to give Ronnie the affection they’ve both had stolen from them. While the melodrama of the pub outing and Lawrence’s gun-toting breakdown was a brilliant watch, nothing could quite live up to the stunning tragedy of the hotel room scenes where we learnt about Lawrence’s past and saw the glint of hope in Ronnie’s eyes – as if his love for Lawrence had been frozen for decades. This storyline manages to intertwine with the plots of others (more on this community feel later) and create moments of empathy for all the key players involved. Emmerdale at its best.
Love and Happiness
In amongst the angst and misery that some of the villagers were suffering with, thankfully there were happier times for others. In rare and welcome scenes, Aaron Dingle had a smile on his face as he and Robert indulged in some (interrupted) couple time and he plucked up the courage to ask Robert if he fancied getting a place together. It wouldn’t be Emmerdale if they didn’t give Aaron a few obstacles to jump cry over (and with Robert dithering, the police and Ryan showing up at the wrong moment – there’s going to be a rocky patch ahead), but his cute hopeful smiles were a nice change. Then there was Tracy and David indulging in a low key but carefully curated romantic date at the Woolpack after Diane had locked them in a room together and David had had a good ogle at Tracy’s bum. Like Aaron and Robert, David and Tracy’s romance faced obstacles and miscommunication by the end of the week, but just like Robron they’re a couple with chemistry that you can’t help but root for. And hey, don’t these couples deserve a bit of happiness?
There was a strong sense of friendship this week and that was another burst of positivity through the more emotionally taxing storylines. There was Dan rescuing Nicola and giving her a bit of tough love (although let me reserve judgement on that if it’s going down the dreaded affair route!); the surprising and yet lovely new friendship between Lisa and Ronnie who deserve each other’s warmth and company; Tracy and Carly – the latter who was encouraging and supportive; Priya and David; and the humour of long term BFFs Adam and Aaron. Not only did these scenes of friendship and support bring a great deal of warmth to the show, they gave a greater sense of community rather than jumping from one plot point to the next. More of this please, Emmerdale!
A Sense of Community
Community is something that should be at the heart of Emmerdale and you often see it when a funeral or a wedding is involved but sometimes, understandably due to filming issues, the show lacks that community spirit. Plot crossovers, characters getting involved in each other’s stories, gossip, lurking about in the background of the pub – it’s the little things. But if you’re a nerdy viewer like me you might have noticed there seemed to be a good amount of that during this week. In one scene, Rodney and the King kids conversation walked by Adam and Aaron mid-convo, who crossed the road in front of Chrissie, looking at Ronnie, as Tracy ran past back to the shop. We all know it’s a fictional little village but these little touches make it feel more real and bring the stories out of their little bubble.
Surprising and Stand-out Performances
Another fave of mine this week is going to some stand out performances. I’ve already mentioned John Bowe and John McArdle but at the start of the week Natalie J Robb stole the show as Moira, as she coped with looking after a screaming Holly going through withdrawal. Tough scenes and difficult to portray as Moira took a solid stance to try and get her daughter through her addiction. At the end of the week it was Amy Walsh leaving me in bits as she heard what she believed to be David slagging her off – running out before he expressed his real feelings for her – and broke down in tears to Carly. Until then we’d not seen Tracy be given anything as upsetting to play but seeing her so vulnerable and hurting definitely had me choked. What a talented bunch of actors there are in The Dales!
Rinse and Repeat
Only one ‘fail’ this week and that’s the Belle “I’m pregnant so that he won’t leave me” plot. It just feels like we’ve seen this story a hundred times before, doesn’t it? With Charity in the know, she’s convinced they need to cook up a fake miscarriage plot – which is just as repetitive as the age old fake baby scan – and I’m just eager for this part of the story to be over. Producer Iain MacLeod has promised twists ahead and things that are different to what we’ve seen before so I’m holding out hope that these are coming soon because frankly, fake baby plots never work and they’re not all that original anymore, are they?