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!
It’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
With 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
The 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.
The Real Charity Dingle?
Emmerdale 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
Two 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…