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 where Emmerdale celebrated more soap victories, the Bartons coped with the loss of Holly.
After last week’s emotional and shattering episodes surrounding Holly’s death, Emmerdale didn’t drop the ball in the aftermath. We saw a full spectrum of grief from the Bartons this week as Moira and Adam coped with their loss. Both of them sought answers and in Adam’s case – he wanted revenge and a sense of justice. But much like real life, both of them struggled through guilt, feelings of blame and confusion wishing they could have done more before realising that they had to stop taking out their tensions on each other. As the week progressed there was a brief feeling of resolution, that there is no sense or reason for tragedy such as this. It was a very truthful and heartfelt portrayal of the devastation death causes in a family and was a powerful aftermath to this storyline, showcasing what Emmerdale does best.
Jai was another person who found it difficult to cope with everyday life after Holly’s death. When the police arrived he lied and we saw him put on a front. But alone, this broke and he too battled his own addictions, seeking help from a support group. We learnt a lot more about Jai and Holly’s relationship in these scenes and thankfully saw a much more human, likeable and empathetic man than we’d seen in a long time. Jai’s scenes with Moira were particular powerful as they discussed the realities of vulnerability and addiction and there were poignant moments of grieving as the two of them bonded over Jai’s stories about Holly’s strength and plans for the future. This was a great example of Emmerdale utilising two characters who rarely interact and giving Jai a more tolerable, sympathetic direction rather than the sneering villain routine of last year.
Paddy vs Pierce
There are elements of this Pierce storyline that are a little hard to buy, but overall you can feel the tensions brewing and Pierce’s grip on Rhona tightening by the week and that’s why this drip-feed of control is working well. Okay, Vanessa’s change of heart is possibly the hardest thing to believe seeing as she saw a flash of Pierce’s darker side, but she’s also seen Paddy’s desperation to win Rhona back, so maybe she would believe him capable of crossing a line. Pierce’s quiet control – a hand on Rhona’s shoulder, a suggestion here and there, planting the nightie to set Paddy up – these are all clever and devious subtleties that make a great slow burn. I expect as Pierce’s influence spreads wider we’ll be screaming at our TVs, wanting to rescue Rhona and hoping someone will believe Paddy and for that I can’t wait!
I have many mixed feelings when it comes to the Charity/Cain/Moira saga and at times I think both women would be better without him, but the performances between all three actors are undeniably compelling whether you’re a Chain, Coira or even a Choira fan! This week, with Moira struggling in grief, Charity was battling her own issues of insecurity and belonging and wanted to escape Emmerdale. Cain has his guilt issues to deal with and a complicated history around addiction, and he decided he too needed a fresh start. There’s nothing simple about this trio and their feelings. Moira is boiling with rage and resentment on the surface but crumbles when alone and Charity feels a complex mixture of envy and inadequacy but her moments of selfishness seem understandable even when she’s not especially sympathetic. Their histories are rich – Cain’s with Charity, frankly disastrous – and this adds weight to their performances. Ultimately it feels like there’s unfinished business with Coira, whereas Charity is clinging to the past and will break her own heart. Either way, the actors know their characters so well – it’ll hurt whatever happens.
Is it just me or has Chrissie White lost her fun factor? Perhaps her superbitch ways were divisive but they were quite entertaining when she went all Gone Girl on us. Then there was the misjudged blackmail plot with Rakesh which I’ve tried to cleanse from my mind and now Chrissie seems to be buying up half the village. It’s no secret that the rich Whites are rather distant from the rest of the village but I can’t really understand why Chrissie would want to own a garage that makes no money, or a random cottage? She’s apparently not short of cash or businesses – what with her salons and the estate to run – so the big question is why? Is it to give the family more status or connections or a bigger purpose – good if so – or is it just to have her swan around sneering at others and holding all the cards? That’s a lot less fun that the camp ice queen routine. The only way I can imagine this being slightly more interesting is if she hooks up with Ross Barton, after all he’s the only man in town who she really has sparks with.