Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! A week where everyone snogged the wrong person and a donkey was the hero of the hour.
Easily one of my favourite things this week was Tracy’s 90s themed party. Being around her age I live in a constant state of Buzzfeed-nutured 90s nostalgia. Ponytails, S Club 7 and Steps, bad lipstick – it all brought back good memories. What was even lovelier is that newly discovered sisters Tracy and Vanessa even managed to share a hug and Vanessa went to a lot of effort to put it all together. Of course resentments about their father Frank got in the way of true bonding but while it lasted the girls shared some touching scenes. I love when Emmerdale throws a good party especially when they feature some inspired costume choices – Leyla as Britney was smoking hot!
I’m glad that Dan and Nicola’s emotional affair stopped before it went any further than a kiss. Their bonding, friendship and subsequent messy feelings has actually been believable and an interesting watch, rather than just another extra-marital affair plot. The good thing about the episodes this week is the grey area of all four players’ feelings. All four of them were hurt – Jimmy and Kerry because of the betrayal, Dan and Nicola because of the guilt and the pre-existing difficulties they had with their partners. Emmerdale did a good job at showing all sides to the fallout – Jimmy’s anger and frustration (he only wanted Nicola to communicate with him); Kerry’s quest for drunken revenge; Dan’s explanation for his comfort seeking and finally Nicola’s feelings of inadequacy. I enjoyed how my sympathies switched and were with all characters rather than pointing the blame at any individual and villainising them. Ultimately I’m just glad the Kings seem to be on slightly better ground now because Jimmy and Nicola are made for each other. Kerry and Dan on the other hand…it’s only a matter of time before Dan finds out about Ross!
Two big emotional moments in the week centred on Belle’s breakdown and Tracy’s upset about her father Frank’s neglect of her as a child, in favour of his other family. While I can’t say either plot is my favourite, the success of them lies heavily in the performances of the leading actresses. Eden Taylor Draper and Amy Walsh can’t fail to break hearts with their acting, particularly in those scenes of distress and upset. Tracy instantly becomes more sympathetic and likeable when we get to see her in a state of sadness and stripped of her brash defences and away from his tiresome proposals, David offered her the support she needed. Similarly Belle’s storyline is much stronger without the gimmick of Ellie’s presence and Eden’s performances are powerful enough alone without needing to see her delusions in an (irritating) physical form.
It’s all very well for Ross to be upset and angry about his father’s betrayal of the emotionally unstable Emma, but did anyone else think it smacked of hypocrisy? Ross spent most of last year betraying his brother and ruining his life by getting it on with Debbie but now he feels like he has the authority to rage at James’s behaviour? Pfft. That’s not to mention the day before he was happy to take advantage of Kerry (who was upset and vulnerable) when he berated his dad for doing the same with Auntie Moira. Not content with having a pop at his dad, he accused Moira “whoring” it about near his dad, which was a bit rich coming from the guy who was competing with his brother about how many women he could bed. Ross is no saint and it would be more believable if his upset came from worries about his mother rather than from his judgemental soapbox.
There’s not a single character in Emmerdale who is more pointless than James Barton. He’s a useless partner to Emma and a dreary influence in Moira’s life, more than happy to interfere in her private life as Mr Nice Guy, and now we know why. He loves Moira! Oh come on now. This desperate bombshell was an embarrassing and unbelievable revelation to convince Moira to stay at Butler’s. It came out of nowhere. We all know he’s Adam’s father (terrible retcon alert), so we know there’s history between them but there’s never a sizzle between them – not a single spark. So to see them start sucking face by the side of the road and the backseat of the taxi (sans knickers and bra) was totally implausible. Thank god for the donkey. Obviously Moira was trying to get one over on Cain, but surely even she’s not that desperate to turn to someone with all the personality of a fence post?! And as for James’s sudden surge of feelings for Moira, well that seems conveniently timed to send unstable Emma over the edge – in which case, bring it on. Team Emma all the way! It’s no loss.