Fave or Fail? (24-28 Oct 2016)

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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 aftermath of James’s death, the Bartons and the characterisation of female characters (barring Queen Emma) suffered!

Faves

Broken Bartons

emmerdale-the-police-want-to-question-emma-about-jamess-death-youtubeIt’s no surprise that in the immediate aftermath of last week’s crash that the Bartons were a broken family and Emma in particular was a mess as she tried to deal with her involvement in James’s death. Once again Gillian Kearney played Emma’s behaviour – from jittery state to her calm innocent act – to perfection and I loved how there were moments where her resolve broke and she almost confessed to her part in the accident. The blood splattered wedding dress played another iconic role as she burned the evidence of it outside the now very cursed Wylie’s Farm as her boys remained oblivious to her part in their dad’s death. With Emma’s breakdowns about how much she loved James and how sorry she is, surely it’s only a matter of time before someone gets suspicious, but hopefully not too soon – Emma continues to be one of the most interesting characters in Emmerdale!

Rare and Precious Smiles

vlcsnap-2016-10-30-10h03m13s923With James dead, Rhona in agony and Ashley bewildered and confused at least someone had reason to smile after last week and that person was Aaron Dingle. I’ve long bemoaned Aaron’s lack of happiness so what a real pleasure it was to see him with a soppy grin on his face, engaged and surrounded by loved ones as he recovered in hospital – even if he couldn’t remember how he got that ring on his finger. With everything Aaron’s gone through in his depressing life, especially when you recall his life-changing struggle with his sexuality, it’s a joy to see him content and confident, excited to marry the man of his dreams. Robron’s touching heart to heart made my scene of the week already but it was a reminder too of just how far they’ve come as a couple and despite Chas’s excitement I think she’s going to be great fun as Robert’s mother in law from hell. Bring it on!

The Final Breakdown

emmerdale-cain-walks-away-from-a-screaming-charity-youtubeThe breakdown of Cain and Charity’s reunion and Cain’s love for Moira resurfacing seemed inevitable from day one, but this week saw it finally come to a head as Cain realised he couldn’t leave with Charity as planned. Even though Charity’s clingy reaction didn’t seem to belong to the woman we know and love, the scenes in which Cain realised he needed and loved Moira, and not in the same way as Charity, were powerfully performed on the roadside. Despite Jeff Hordley’s brilliant on-screen partnership with Emma Aktins, the tension between Cain and Moira is almost unbearable and even though it might take him a long time to work for Moira’s love again, those two seem like they’re destined to be together in the long run.

Fails

The Real Charity Dingle?

emmerdale-cain-walks-away-from-a-screaming-charity-youtube-1Emmerdale have got a serious problem right now when it comes to their female characters and unfortunately it’s having a really negative impact on one of their best: Charity Dingle. You can’t deny the scenes where Cain left Charity were incredibly well acted and it’s a testament to Jeff and Emma’s chemistry that they’ve made the Charity and Cain scenes watchable – even if in this story they’re hard to root for – but Charity is not the strong woman she should be. We’ve all seen that she loves Cain and is desperate to have the complete family package but in her quest she’s ignored so many signs that this isn’t what he wants. Charity isn’t desperate or pathetic and she should be gutsy and fiercely independent. Instead we’ve seen her lose her spark in her mission and instead of seeming vulnerable, she just doesn’t seem herself. Would she really scream and sob at him before faking her own suicide? Charity’s better than this, she’s deserves better than to have her whole character dependent on Cain’s (lack of) affection. Sort it out, Emmerdale.

All the Women, So Dependent

emmerdale-chrissie-slaps-rebecca-and-rebecca-slaps-her-back-youtubeTwo other females also suffering under Emmerdale’s treatment of women are sisters at war Chrissie and Rebecca. Following on from last week’s truly epic episodes we had a tiresome and unpleasant plot about two rich girls sniping at each other over daddy’s money and Robert – a man who didn’t want either of them. It was a real come-down story wise and worse than that, it reduced two supposedly feisty women to slapping each other in the pub and making their relationship solely about money and men. The Whites are a divisive and antagonistic family with privileged characters who are hard to relate to, but the desperation and spitefulness coming from both women hasn’t made their scenes an enjoyable watch either. The Whites seem to be stuck in their own bubble and before Rebecca’s arrival, there were hopes she might bring something fresh to the table – but if all their plots are going to revolve around money, paternity and who got screwed over by Robert worse, then maybe someone else needs to shake up the Whites. Failing that, there hasn’t been a fire at Home Farm in a while…

Scene of the Week (24-28 Oct 2016)

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After last week’s epic carnage and Scenes of a Distressing Nature, thank god for Monday’s healthy dose of romance for the Dales’ favourite dysfunctional couple, Aaron and Robert. With Aaron dosed up to the eyeballs and wary about Robert’s commitment, we were treated to another heart-to-heart between the pair as Robert tried to prove to him how much he wanted to marry him. After all the couple have been through it was a heart-warming moment to see them open up and express their love for one another, acknowledging that their ‘messed up’ love is one that they want forever. Seriously, with the emotions delivered by Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley you’d have to have a heart of steel not to be moved, especially when Robert, heartbroken at the thought of losing Aaron again, pledged he’d have died with Aaron in that lake. My heart! Now that they’re engaged – for real this time – I can’t wait for the wedding!

Super Soap Week Review: Episode Six

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Episode Six: The hospital and the end

What a week! I can honestly say I’ve never seen a week of soap this good. It was ambitious, cinematic, beautifully shot, written and acted and it made me feel very proud to be an Emmerdale fan. The episodes deserve to be treasured, watched multiple times and talked about for years to come. It didn’t really matter than the week’s victim was fairly predictable because the construction of the week was anything but ordinary. With three villagers looking close to death we finally got all the answers but it wasn’t until the final minute, making us all sweat a bit more than we should on an October evening. Congratulations Emmerdale for a bloody brilliant week of episodes which showed the rest of the soap world what can be done.

Scene of the Episode

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If you breathed during this scene – aka the one where everyone flat-lined – then congratulations because I certainly didn’t. So we already knew they’d be saving the final scene to reveal who died but they certainly toyed with us by teased three characters looking like they might croak. First Aaron, just after he’d agreed to marry Robert no less but THANK GOD the symbolic artsy funeral scenes revealed him to be alive, well and holding Robert’s hand with his engagement ring on. Then a wide-eyed and unconscious Rhona and finally, the actual death of James Barton much to the upset and horror of his family – minus Ross. The funeral scenes in the rain were beautifully shot and the suspense of these three “deaths” were expertly done, giving me that real heart in mouth feeling.

Quote of the Episode

Emma: Why? Why couldn’t you just love me? And marry me and grow old with me and the boys?

Favourite Bits

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-19h05m49s335Ryan Hawley gave a stand-out performance in the hospital aftermath during the final episode of super soap week. Robert was a broken man wandering the hospital and consumed with guilt and heartbreak for not being with Aaron in the ambulance. He hadn’t even had the chance to propose properly and you could see it was killing him. The scenes in which Chas and Liv discovered his plans to propose and tried to give him hope were crushing, particularly when Robert berated himself for wasting so much time. There were times last year that Robert was underwritten as the cold hearted villain but this week we saw whole new depths and Ryan really sold Rob as the grieving hero at the end of the week.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-19h06m06s595There’s a real sense of excitement following these big episodes and none more so than the big question – is Ashley going to remember Emma was there and will anyone believe him? He won’t be a reliable witness and his memory is understandably sketchy but there was a palpable layer of tension when he bumped into Emma in the corridor but just as we were lead to believe he might remember seeing her, he offered to pray for her instead! You’ve got away with it for now, Emma!

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-19h11m01s407I sound like a broken record now, but it was another gripping performance from Gillian Kearney as Moira confronted Emma in the car park of the hospital. Natalie J Robb is an amazing actress too so seeing the two of them together – when we know Moira is the root of all Emma’s issues – held so much power. Emma was vulnerable and on the verge of a breakdown as Moira confronted her and something tells me that there’s going to be even more brilliant scenes of these two in the future. I’m glad they didn’t have Emma try and kill off James like a panto villain – she loved him and her desire for the perfect family has destroyed her. At the end it was quite heartbreaking to see that all she wanted was James’s love and forgiveness.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-19h12m09s167It was dropped as a bit of a bombshell moment in the episode but what a shock it was when Pierce revealed to Paddy that Rhona had suffered a heart attack. It’s not clear how dark and shady Pierce is but the future of his, Paddy and Rhona’s relationship is definitely one to watch.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-19h13m05s888The moment everyone’s been waiting for – Aaron said “yeah” to Robert’s proposal. It was tragic, romantic and a huge moment of relief and happiness in the episode. This week has really cemented Robron as the power couple of Emmerdale and I’m stupidly excited to see them get married – they really deserve happiness together.vlcsnap-2016-10-23-16h59m18s431

We saw flashes of the moody funeral throughout the week but it was even better seeing it in full alongside the slow reveal of the teased death victims. Honestly I can’t say I’ll miss James but what an amazing exit he had.

Stray Observations

  • The flashbacks to the crash worked really well for Emma and Ashley’s narratives at the start of the final episode
  • Ross being absent (too busy shagging) is going to give Mike Parr some really great material when Ross discovers James is dead and he wasn’t there
  • Loved Adam and Vic crossing over into two storylines – hopefully more of this happens next week when news spreads
  • The rippling tension between Pierce and Paddy worked uncomfortably well when they talked about Rhona’s next of kin
  • Robert’s romantic attempt to retrieve the ring might’ve been foolish but it finally got him a hug from future mother-in-law Chas and considering their history, their scenes were especially moving
  • James’s death was framed in a very similar way to John’s and it just makes you realise how much tragedy the Bartons have been through. It’s going to be even worse when they realise what Emma did!

Super Soap Week Review: Episode Five

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Episode Five: Bypass Aftermath

I don’t know about you but I barely survived that thirty minute gap between episodes on Thursday. The second episode of the night picked up straight after the horrific collision to find our favourites all in varying states of hell. Ashley and Emma locked eyes over the wreckage, Paddy and Pierce struggled trying to work together for Rhona’s survival, Finn was the on-site hero oblivious to his unconscious father in the road and Aaron and Robert panicked as they awoke to their car at the bottom of a lake. This episode was outstanding. I stopped breathing at several points.

Scene of the Episode

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There’s something very grim about watching someone trapped and drowning and Emmerdale brought this into our homes on Thursday night just to get our hearts racing a bit harder. We’re used to seeing Aaron Dingle as brave and fearless but seeing him face death like this was a torturous watch. With water sloshing over the camera and the in-car shots you really felt the claustrophobia alongside Aaron and Robert as their desperation to escape heightened. There’s nothing quite as painful as the heart-rippingly tragic “I love yous” when someone thinks they’re going to die and watching these two, who had been so close to happiness, fight for their chance was agonising. Thank god for Robert’s determination and kiss of life. This scene was traumatic in all the best ways a drama should be.

Quote of the Episode

Paramedic: Was there anybody else in there?!
[long and evil pause]
Pierce: No.

Favourite Bits

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-17h28m32s752God, that opening. There was something so stressful and unsettling in the quiet of the disaster. Unconscious people, the sound of vehicles smoking, the bubbles underwater of Aaron and Robert’s sinking car. Emmerdale managed to create a real sense of danger and jeopardy in these episodes quite unlike the helicopter crash when most villagers removed themselves from the wreckage pretty quickly. Once again there were some beautiful shots, particularly as Ashley and Emma made eye contact through the fog. Chilling! Luckily for Emma, Ashley’s unlikely to remember her being there.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-17h25m18s479Having other villagers come to the scene gave the episodes a real community feel, especially having the usually comedic Finn right in the thick of it, which was even harder knowing that he was oblivious to his dad’s condition. Massive kudos to Joe Gill in his devastation when he did find out as Laurel broke the news – his cries for his dad were haunting. But out of everyone, Finn would be my choice of hero – what a star he was, saving lives and being calm and supportive of Ashley.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-17h27m20s578Paddy managed to keep himself talking and entertained even though he was close to passing out but the tension between him and Pierce over Rhona was strained as they tried to save her life. Although it seems like Pierce is madly in love with her, his villainous dark side materialised in the jaw-dropping “You bastard” moment that I really loved – when he didn’t tell the paramedics about Paddy’s condition. Of course he played the hero later but it showed us just what he’s capable of!

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-17h26m36s006Robert and Aaron regained consciousness to find themselves in the worst possible situation underwater and Aaron was still panicked about Lachlan in the boot. After some heartbreaking scenes reminiscent of Jack and Rose in Titanic, Robert managed to save Aaron’s life and get him to shore, before diving back in to rescue slippery Lachlan. Luckily Adam and Vic were on hand for moral support but the whole thing was tense beyond belief. It was great to see Robert so calm and heroic in his desperate rescue attempts but his exhausted heartbreak and anger at Lachlan almost made me wish he’d finish Lachlan off for good. vlcsnap-2016-10-23-17h27m54s846Would it be such a loss?

Gillian Kearney stole the end of the episode with her shattering screams of distress when she returned to Wylie’s. In a panic she began packing her belongings until Finn called. We saw what an actress Emma could be when she needed to as she gathered herself together to answer his call, but the brilliant twist to finish the episode? James was still alive!!!

Stray Observations

  • Cluck cluck cluck – loved the way chickens featured all week
  • If the rumours are true that the guy Finn rescued is going to become his love interest then Finn’s a lucky guy – cute!
  • Trust Paddy to make jokes during a near death moment
  • Laurel’s horror movie scream was chilling but her off-hand comment that it was James in the road not Ashley was unintentionally hilarious. The shade!
  • Poor Ashley clutching the teddy and remembering the christening 😦
  • “I’m not leaving you!” // “I love you. Please just go.” – yes readers, that’s the sound of my heart breaking into a million pieces
  • Robert looked like a sexy merman when he went back to save Lachlan
  • Lachlan emerging safe on the backs and watching on was another “Ooh ya bastard!” moment (hate him, but loved that moment!). How did he get out that boot?!
  • What. An. Ending!

Super Soap Week Review: Episode Four

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Episode Four: Ashley and Laurel; the plots converge

Thursday, part one. The big one. It began just like the others had, with one story in focus. This time it was Ashley and his heart shattering portrayal of dementia. This really was a masterclass in acting from John Middleton and a test for the tear ducts. But as we all knew, disaster was only minutes away – 17:27 to be exact – and when those other stories started coming together, wow. There’s never been a moment in soap like it. Without question THE best moment in soap I have ever seen.

Scene of the Episode

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Often with big soap events they’re so hyped you’re left feeling a little underwhelmed even if the stunt is impressive. But despite all the press excitement and the information surrounding the big movie style stunt, the Emmerdale car pile up managed to exceed all expectations leaving me stunned and breathless just watching. Most of us managed to guess this is how the events would turn out but I don’t think anyone expected something as prolonged and brutal as we got. What was even better – and don’t get me wrong, the stunts were outstanding – is that we were so damn invested in every storyline and character and that made the horror of the crash even more intense.

Quote of the Episode

Arthur: I know you said you’d always love me, but you will forget me one day, won’t you?
Ashley: To tell you the truth, one day. I might. Hopefully not for ages yet. But one day. This, my brain, might. But I promise you, okay? I promise you that no matter what I say or do, this [my heart] never will.

Favourite Bits

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-14h03m30s814John Middleton has been exceptional in his portrayal of Ashley’s decline for so long now but this episode really showcased his skill at subtle, nuanced performances. The close up shots and transitions were a fantastic technique to demonstrate what dementia does to the brain with the confusion of time and space, and Ashley’s grip on his world was shown through the smallest of details in John’s expressions.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-14h04m59s304I’ve always had a huge soft spot for little Arthur Thomas and he proved why in this episode as he tried to help his dad Ashley remember the christening and get ready for it. Their hug and conversation, where Arthur wrote a reminder on Ashley’s arm, were genuinely moving and a real gut-punch of emotion. Later he grew frustrated and upset because Ashley had forgotten again, which made me realise just how crushing it’ll be when Ashley does forget his little boy. Ouch.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-14h07m12s737Another moment which had me completely devastated was Ashley’s breakdown in the church. It was a scene which benefited greatly from the special cameras used, as the light came in through the stained-glass windows creating a beautiful glow on the scenes. Seeing a grown man cry because he had forgotten his daughter has to be one of the most heart-breaking moments of the whole week.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-14h08m56s296As soon as Ashley got into that car, we all knew doom approached. Once Ashley joined the Hotten Bypass we began to see different shots of the stories we’d already seen and knew the moment had come for them all to merge. There was a genuine sense of anticipation and excitement as the tension grew and grew waiting for that huge moment to take place – and it was the opposite of disappointing when it finally happened.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-14h14m15s699Emma and James’ final confrontation on the bridge in the mist, her still in the wedding dress, was a glorious moment. Gillian Kearney played Emma’s madness perfectly – the bitter, paranoid rage over Moira, her delusions that James still loved her – it all crackled with tension, particularly as the pieces had fallen into place and we knew James would end up falling off that bridge. Once he did and carnage ensued, Emma was a trembling mess rising from the mist to look down on the apocalyptic chain of events she’d started. Epic.

Stray Observations

  • Having the dodgy fuse in the Thomas household was a great way of having the alarm clock in Ashley’s room read the the wrong time and confuse him more – great little detail
  • The exciting moment as all the plots began to intertwine was great fun – particularly as we got to glimpse scenes from a different perspective alongside other stories
  • Ashley singing a hymn as he hit James – nice touch!
  • Those car flips looked genuinely brutal and it’s a miracle Pierce survived being battered from all sides!
  • Emma on the bridge scratching her legs in the middle of a breakdown is an image that will stay with me for a long time!

Super Soap Week Review: Episode Three

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Episode Three: Emma and James

With James already a prisoner in his new home at Wylies and well aware just how disturbed his ex and future wife had become, James’s suffering and attempted escape was a horror/thriller inspired installment in the week. Tense, claustrophobic and a little bit bonkers, Emma and James’s episode was unbearably exciting and took us closer to the oncoming disaster around the corner.

Scene of the Episode

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Was there a more iconic or shocking moment this week than Emma appearing, in her blood-splattered wedding dress holding a dead chicken and telling James that dinner wouldn’t be long? Okay – it’s totally mad. But Gillian Kearney is a real talent (this will be an ongoing comment in these posts just FYI) and she sold the absolute bonkers stuff with a perfect blend of grisly darkness and black humour. It’s a memorable moment in the episode – perhaps not the most heart-pounding or as tense as others – but it’s one that will forever stick with me. Plus, a consistent character trait of Emma’s from day one is that she can’t cook, so to have her so pre-occupied with dinner, burning it and then having to go and slaughter her own chicken just seemed somehow fitting.

Quote of the Episode

Emma: It’s supposed to be bad luck to see the dress before the wedding! But we don’t need to stick to all the traditions, do we?
James: No. Just as long as we keep the one where the groom’s trussed up like a hostage.

Favourite Bits

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-10h09m35s940Watching James struggle to escape, hobble out of bed and down the stairs with his broken leg was grim viewing at its finest. You could almost feel his pain. Juxtaposing this with Emma in the DIY store looking like she was planning something brutal was genius. You had James shouting and screaming at the oblivious chicken man just as Emma was returning home. The tension was glorious.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-10h11m56s407The thing about Emma, why she’s such a compelling character and why Gillian has owned this week, is that she’s not just a crazy villain. She’s a broken woman struggling for control. When we saw Emma in this quieter, deluded moments, where James was keeping calm and playing along with her instability, that was really powerful viewing. You’re never quite sure just what Emma’s going to do next and the most frightening part is that she believed every word she was saying.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-10h15m55s048One of those unnerving moments was when, having drugged James, he regained consciousness to find himself in a suit and tied to a chair. As his vision unblurred he saw Emma dressed up like Miss Haversham in her old wedding dress, preparing dinner like nothing was wrong. It was the skewed normalcy of this scene and the way Emma snapped, telling James he had upset her in refusing to write his vows. Once again Gillian portrayed that on-the-edge temperament so well it ramped up the thrill factor.

vlcsnap-2016-10-23-11h36m23s023James as a character has coasted along during his entire tenure on the show with very little gumption about him, meaning his scenes often came across as disinterested and passive. Luckily Bill Ward gave his best performance in this episode, particularly during the dinner scenes where he tried to play Emma and convince her that they still had a future. The scenes were chilling, with moments of black humour but were surprisingly full of real human drama as the pair discussed their relationship. Even though the episode had its outrageous moments, vlcsnap-2016-10-23-11h43m38s453the conversations between unbalanced Emma and nervous James were gripping.

Speaking of gripping, those final confrontations as James made his attack and escaped only to be tracked down in the woods by Emma was incredible to watch. We knew James would have to end up by the Hotten Bypass somehow but we weren’t sure how until it happened. Having Emma emerge eerily from the mist, when she might have been lying dead in the kitchen, was a cliffhanger of movie proportions.

Stray Observations

  • Emma’s DIY store of choice? ‘Savage Hardware’ of course!
  • Wylie’s looked run down at the best of times but add some fog and it was seriously spooky
  • Finn’s DVD choice for his dad – Shawshank Redemption – was inspired
  • Loved Emma’s definition of ‘marriage problems’
  • James needed a better method of escape and help than just shouting HELLO! He tried it three times and it failed every time
  • James complimenting Emma’s cooking as she fed him was funny in a very twisted way. Don’t lie, James. We all know it was awful
  • The page ripped when James tried to cross out his ‘vows’. It’s a sign, said Emma and yes – as James quite rightly pointed out – it’s a sign he shouldn’t have to write with his mouth. Awkward
  • Emma is like that famous Chumbawamba song (she gets knocked down…)
  • Who knew Wylie’s was so close to the Hotten Bypass?

Super Soap Week Review: Episode Two

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Episode Two: Paddy, Marlon, Rhona and Pierce

Episode two had quite a different feel from the first in the week and overall (Pierce and Rhona’s spats aside) was a much lighter, comedic episode. Quite a blessing really because from this episode onwards it was all tension and bleakness but first there was Tuesday’s bromance to get us through it!

Scene of the Episode

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Away from Marlon and Paddy capers in the woods, Rhona and Paddy were given a quiet moment to reflect on their relationship. While Paddy still clung to the idea that him and Rhona were meant to be, she sadly admitted she thought so too until his betrayal. This scene was played with truth, without histrionics, as Rhona revealed her hurt at Paddy’s repeated and deliberate behaviour in cheating with Tess. There are feelings there, a closeness, but it never felt overplayed or out of place – there wasn’t a swell of forgiveness and sudden feelings from Rhona. It was an emotional moment that felt like closure for Paddy, even if his love for Rhona won’t diminish and although nothing could make me like the Tess/Paddy affair plot, the aftermath for Rhona and Paddy has given Zoe Henry and Dominic Brunt the chance to really shine.

Quote of the Episode

Paddy: So you left April, with your credit card and put her online?
Marlon: Note to self: must check that. Quite urgently.

Favourite Bits

vlcsnap-2016-10-22-21h12m33s975This episode was the ultimate showcase of Paddy and Marlon’s iconic friendship, full to the brim with hilarious one liners and banter between the two which is something we missed desperately during Paddy’s descent and temporary exit. I loved how clueless they both were about camping, realising they were going to need many books and their debate over their camping song lyrics!

It wasn’t all fun and games as Rhona and Pierce’s bubbling tension blew up in their first vlcsnap-2016-10-22-21h11m45s415big fight. Pierce simmers with anger and resentment in a way that can be quite unnerving and I love when Rhona’s given the fight and the guts in her scenes – Zoe Henry always delivers this brilliantly – so you’re often cheering her on.

Knuckles! One of the highlights of this episode was the mysterious and odd guest character ‘Knuckles’ with his mute son. Initially Marlon and Paddy were quite terrified by his weird behaviour and creepy talk about the vlcsnap-2016-10-22-21h18m26s599woods but the punchline came later (after both men had been completely shaken up) when it was revealed he was actually harmless, middle class (with his son called Tobias!) and was just playing with them.

After leaving adorable Leo at a camp club, Marlon and Paddy entered “The Forest of Murder” and managed to spook themselves during their reluctant adventure to collect wood for a fire. Already tense from Knuckles’ strange vlcsnap-2016-10-22-21h46m32s435comments, they jumped at every noise, shrieking and clutching each other for safety. Sure this episode was a bit light on plot but Marlon and Paddy’s friendship is so endearing and lovable that their sitcom fear was a hilarious moment of joy in a dark week.

vlcsnap-2016-10-22-21h59m26s046It was a bit of a yikes moment when we realised Pierce knew Rhona was lying and showed up at the campsite. We saw real flashes of Pierce’s unreasonable temper and it all added to the unease of not quite knowing where we stand with Pierce thanks to an engaging and dark performance from Jonathan Wrather. And then with all the characters on the road (except Marlon and Leo thankfully) once again we were left with the feeling of dread…

Stray Observations

  • The flashforward with the blood/paint was probably my favourite of the whole week
  • We got glimpses of the other plots in the first episode but this is the first chance we got to see how it worked in action, so we saw Marlon see Robert but not know what the conversation was about with Paddy – a really fun thing to spot
  • Loved all the cross overs again with the same radio music and the chicken van heading to Wylie’s Farm
  • Pierce ignoring Leo might just be the worst thing he’s ever done – cruel. Until Thursday that is
  • I love that Paddy and Marlon are basically big children in the Forest of Murder
  • The reveal that it was Rhona with the dinosaur was classic horror direction – brilliant

Super Soap Week Review: Episode One

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Considering how incredible Super Soap Week was for Emmerdale, smashing ratings and perceptions of soap into a whole new ball game, I thought I’d dedicate a whole post per episode just so I could properly do the week justice.

Episode One: Aaron and Robert

A brilliant start to the week and an episode which had everything: romance, comedy, action, emotion and – like the rest of the episodes that followed – a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. This episode was a Robron shippers’ dream come true whilst holding very true to both guys and allowing their tumultuous relationship time to breathe and open up with some needed honesty.

Scene of the Episode

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After all the action and comedy (yes, comedy) of a kidnap, it was this breath-taking and visually stunning (not just Ryan Hawley’s face – promise) scene which slowed down the episode and gave it huge emotional weight. Since Aaron and Robert decided to give their relationship a go, there’s always been a bit of a question mark over Robert’s sexuality and history but this scene saw him open up in a way we’d not previously seen. We’ve seen many sides to Robert Sugden’s complicated personality but this scene which delved into his character in such a raw and intimate way was delivered beautifully by Ryan Hawley making Robert’s heartbreaking insecurities feel real and gave context to some of his more ambiguous moments in the past. Having Aaron tell him he loved him (yes, Rob, at last!) and that he never stopped after giving him his own boost of emotional support made for a memorable and poignant scene for the episode and the pairing.

Quote of the Episode

Robert: Nice spot. What – are we gonna ramble him into submission?

Favourite Bits

vlcsnap-2016-10-22-17h56m08s748Not only did the episode open with some gratuitous and very welcome nudity (after the artistic prophetic shots) but a great reminder of why we all fell in love with Robron in the first place – their sexual chemistry. No one quite does bedroom eyes like Robert Sugden.

Another star of this episode was Victoria. She was cute, funny and vlcsnap-2016-10-22-17h55m03s136handled her clueless and nervous big bro expertly. She pulled no punches telling him his proposal practice was crap but her genuine excitement was adorable. If the ginormous picnic was her making then I hope she wasn’t too sad it got left to ruin in the barn!

Lachlan might have tried to derail Robert’s best proposal efforts with his disgusting threats to accuse Rob of sexual assault, but Aaron wasn’t having any of it. It was fun to see Aaron doing the rash and dangerous action vlcsnap-2016-10-22-17h55m48s878instead of his vengeful boyfriend and there was a great mix of humour and action in the scenes, with some hilarious lines in the script. Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley have chemistry in truck loads but these scenes proved they can make a great comedy double act as well as sizzle.

Robert’s pivotal coming out scene was my pick of the episode but vlcsnap-2016-10-22-17h56m46s946huge kudos to Emmerdale for finally letting Robert vocalise his bisexuality. The frank discussion about bisexuality, cheating and all the myths was a ground breaking moment for soap and handled openly in a way that felt true to the characters. And to make the moment even more special – the scene in the forest was visually stunning.

vlcsnap-2016-10-22-17h57m35s106That ending! By the end of the week we knew what was coming but let’s not forget how much of a genuine shock that first car swerve was! As the boys continued to bicker (in a pretty cute coupley way) Robert sprung a very Robron proposal (mid argument) but before Aaron answered we were left with shouts, a screech of tyres and the credit music! Arrrgh the wait for Tuesday was hell!

Stray Observations

  • Our first glimpse at the mysterious funeral and what impressive shots they were in the rain
  • If only Emmerdale could use those fancy and expensive cameras always, every shot looked amazing – such high quality, glossy visuals
  • Scrapping has been very good to Aaron’s physique, if y’know what I mean
  • Loving Robron’s bedding – where can I get myself their purple duvet?
  • First the scene transitions felt quick and strange but with the use of music and soft focus shots I got used to it
  • Lachlan’s a nasty piece of work but Robert’s sharp retorts were perfect
  • Robert calling Aaron “Cain” – perfect
  • That saucy copper who thought the lads were having some al fresco fun. Brilliant