Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! It was James’s funeral (again) this week and we saw Emma get cruel in a bid to cover her crimes, but there were a lot of good deeds done this week too.
Towards the end of the week we saw huge performances from John Middleton, Charlotte Bellamy and Gillian Kearney as both stories converged in a way that’s already exciting. The camera! The camera! John Middleton continues to impress as Ashley’s dementia gets worse and worse, but it’s the impact on Laurel which might prove most interesting as the story moves forward. This week saw the strain of her family’s wishes piling on the pressure and by Friday, as she snapped at Ashley and then sat on the sofa beside him, there was a resignation to it which made me wonder if she might relapse again and lose her fight against her sobriety. Across the street Emma is on a meltdown over the loss of James and her part in it. I loved seeing her crack at the funeral and in front of Ashley because despite her cruelness you can’t help but feel her intense guilt, one that she projects onto others, especially “precious Moira”. Both these plots are powerful, steered by great performances and their merging makes them even better.
If this was a week for anyone, it was a week for those ‘good’ characters, the ones often overlooked and forgotten about. I’m talking about Noah being an absolute sweetheart and promising to look after mum Charity, making her a cuppa and giving her a box of tissues, even when she herself admits she’s not been the greatest mother to him. I’m talking about little good deeds of kindness like Liv making Lisa a dating profile and giving her a little boost of confidence. Then there’s ultimate sweetheart Sam who was prepared to cook Kerry a full breakfast and took her cruel rejection with a brave face, then later was the sweetest flirt ever in the shop and even helped Frank try and win Megan’s heart. And finally Finn, the most trod on Barton brother who had been visiting coma patient and the man he’d rescued in the crash, Kasim. Finn broke down this week with grief and finally snapped at Ross, giving him the cold hard truth that he’s been selfish. Finally someone said it!
Reopening Old Wounds
I’m not sure I’ve ever been as conflicted about a couple as I am about Zak and Lisa. On the one hand this week proved that they’re still a great team. They give you that warm and cosy feeling and really, I think we all know they are meant to be together. Let’s be real – Emmerdale should never have had Zak cheat in the first place, but he did and now he’s remarried so we can’t wipe the slate clean. That’s the issue isn’t it, for us and for Lisa? Lisa seems resolute that she doesn’t need a man and that she was finally getting over him when he had to go and ruin everything by kissing her. Zak made his choice and he hurt a lot of people. Really, there’s no way Lisa should forgive him and take him back. I know this and I fully support this but at the same time, Zak and Lisa apart just seems wrong. Still, them being apart and Lisa still smarting gave us some incredible shade when she had dinner with Zak and Joanie – that was classic. I have a feeling they will reunite one day, I just hope if they do that Zak works bloody hard to rebuild that love and trust because frankly Lisa deserves a lot better.
I’ve got a real issue with two of Emmerdale’s brashest characters right now – namely Ross and Kerry. We get glimpses of their softer sides and the odd empathetic moment, but often I find their nastiness means their emotional moments don’t do enough to soften them. We know Ross is grieving for his father (see: his heartbreaking scenes with Emma) but his bragging to Dan, his snarling confrontation of Cain and his persistent misogyny is hard to overlook or brush off when he looks a bit mournful occasionally. There’s a similar lack of balance with Kerry. On the one hand her comedic lines and upset over her relationship breakdown make her more rounded, but using Sam and her general spiteful rudeness to others (she gave Lisa a hard time again this week) makes her seem cruel and unpleasant. We all know these characters aren’t angels and are vicious when they’re suffering, but there needs to be more balance to their barbed comments.
Here we are again Rakesh, on the Fails list. Will you ever reach the dizzy heights of my Faves? Looking unlikely, isn’t it? If this week proved anything it’s that Rakesh is one of the show’s most underwritten characters and be honest Emmerdale, it’s that you’re struggling to care too, right? We finally got a glimpse into Rakesh’s sob stor- sorry, I mean backstory, only to find that it feels like a tacked on post-it note. Apparently his dad always made him feel inferior and apparently this has never come up in conversation with Priya before. It all seemed a very shallow way to try and make Rakesh’s behaviour in some way explainable but honestly the whole thing, like the rest of Rakesh’s plotlines, felt flat and uninspiring. Priya wanted them to have fun this week, a word I’d never have associated with Rakesh before – that marriage must be a laugh! They’re not a couple you can really root for because you wonder why they’re even together, no chemistry or connection, and despite Fiona Wade’s solid performances – they only serve to prove Priya would be a much better character away from Rakesh’s dead weight.