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
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?
Ryan 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.
There’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!
I 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.
It 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.
The 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.
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.
- 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!