Comedy can be hit and miss in Emmerdale, but Nicola’s determined fight against Graham’s house repossession in Friday’s episode was a chucklesome hit. After burying the key down her bra, Nicola held Diane and Bernice “hostage” as she ranted at Graham and tried to put off new residents by threatening that they’d have the villagers pooing on their lawn. Meanwhile Bernice and Liam took the hostage situation seriously with brilliantly funny love declarations and OTT claims of sacrifice. The sisters’ rivalry and clash of personalities is always entertaining, especially with Diane’s eye rolling along side it. It was great to see Nicola fight back and see Graham out of his dry lonely existence up at Home Farm – this was great entertainment at the end of the week.
My favourite scene in this week’s Emmerdale is a low key choice, happening right at the beginning of the week, but managing to be both touching and amusing in its impact. With Jimmy and Nicola’s marriage on a knife edge, Elliot bunked from school in an effort to make the couple realise they needed each other. As Elliot, Luca Hoyle’s performances are always smile worthy and he always shines even in a family as funny as the Kings. Wandering alone outside, Elliot questioned Nicola whether the end of her marriage to Jimmy would mean losing her as a mum. Nicola was quick to comfort and reassure him that both him and Carl would always be “her boys” but as their soft and emotional moment triggered a few tears watching at home, she soon made the atmosphere light and teasing again, talking about his smelliness! Nicola and Elliot’s relationship gets you right in the heart, and this scene was an Emmerdale family moment to cherish.
Whether you’re #TeamGraham or #TeamNicolaandRobert the moment when Graham revealed he’d got the scheme team rumbled was a good scene. With Robert realising that Home James Haulage was no more and contracts had been given to the new Home Farm account, both couples assembled and headed to the big house for answers. A seething Graham revealed he knew Nicola and Robert had been swindling him and this act of revenge was only the beginning. As Graham held a call to the police over their heads, an amusingly drunk Jimmy offered to sacrifice Robert for his and Nicola’s safety and Robert tried to explain actions, citing Joe’s bruising deal from last year. While Graham just seems to be taking over Joe’s ruthless personality, it’s surely going to be small fry compared to Kim’s retaliation. Graham’s butler-turned-robot routine isn’t as menacing as Emmerdale thinks it is, but with the Kings and the Sugden-Dingles being two of my favourite couples, their struggle is always one I’m going to enjoy watching.
This week’s gut-wrenching Scene of the Week saw Harriet discover an unconscious Bob who had found himself sleeping rough on a bench in the rain. We’d seen Bob nestle down for the night in the awful weather with the oblivious villagers leaving him with nowhere to go. Guilty Harriet suspected something was up and found him by the river, skin blue and suffering from hypothermia. Harriet’s complete shock and devastation was echoed in the thoughts of viewers watching and a great performance from Katherine Dow Blyton really made the moment hit home. Bob’s suffering had really hit rock bottom and this was a powerful moment to see.
Charity Dingle’s first proposal attempt was an easy highlight this week, in a scene of brilliantly comedic mayhem. After locking the posh groom in the cupboard, Charity hijacked his whole proposal and lead oblivious Vanessa around Home Farm on a horse and carriage. While Vanessa cluelessly waved to Megan, Charity sprung an engagement ring on her besotted girlfriend, all as the intended bride and groom to be chased after them. This scene felt like classic Charity madness, with her good intentions overtaken by her mischievous spark and it was a whole lot of farcical fun, until the penny dropped for poor Vanessa.
Unlucky Vanessa was in the wrong place at the wrong time this week as vengeful Donny, doing son Lachlan’s bidding tried to set fire to The Woolpack. Fearless Ness tried to confront him and ended up being stabbed with broken glass as the pub lit up in flames and Donny bolted, with little Johnny in the backseat. The episode’s best scene was Vanessa trying to scuttle away from the fire, clutching her side and already suffering with the wound. After a trembling call to Charity, the Dingle gathering dispersed to put out the fire. It was quite arresting to see the pub on fire and it’s been a while since the pub’s been at the heart of a stunt like this. It was full throttle tension as the blaze roared and Vanessa bled out on the ground, crying for her boy. At the heart of any good stunt should always be an emotional punch and Michelle Hardwick’s performance was the real highlight, as Vanessa’s gave desperate pleas for Charity to find her son.
A predictable choice for my Scene of the Week maybe, but Mandy’s arrival at the end of Friday’s episode gave me that “Oooh!” factor. Her timing was impeccable, as in true soap style Paddy had just declared that nothing would break him and Chas apart, ever again. Right on cue, Mandy! Mandy’s iconic status means her return has a lot riding on it, but being as I missed her original tenure, I have no preconceptions except that Mandy looks like she’s going to cause a lot of fun and chaos. After Sam did some quick intros and Belle filled in the gaps for oblivious viewers, Mandy introduced her son, who unsurprisingly looks suspiciously like Paddy. Could this be the obvious twist we were expecting, or is the doppelganger look all a ruse? All I know is, Lisa Riley has bags of charm and I’m excited to see what happens next!
Until this week, we’d only heard about Billy from his biggest fan – Jessie – and his biggest critic – Ellis – but this week we met him for ourselves. Billy was quick to explain how he’d changed his ways, but his brother Ellis was having none of it. As the two brothers came face to face at night in the kitchen, Ellis told Billy he saw right through his act and was going to make sure everyone learns exactly who Billy is. This scene bristled with tension, which was an especially impressive feat for two newcomers, and it showed great promise of what the Ellis and Billy rivalry is going to be like. It feels very very promising for 2019!
Eric’s dodgy ticker was going double rate this week when he returned home to find Faith wearing sexy underwear, having set the mood with candles and music. With open-mouthed Eric enthralled, Faith’s plan was working marvellously. Eric was all ready for a Christmas treat when Rodney burst in with fish and chips, shattering all Eric’s romantic hopes. Devious Faith kept a poker face and disappeared upstairs, letting the bromantic duo be the makers of their own destruction. This scene was laugh-out-loud brilliant. This three’s a crowd set-up has been the best kind of sitcom comedy and it was only made better in this scene by the actors’ hilarious expressions. In these dark times, these are exactly the kind of laughs Emmerdale does best.
Kudos to Emmerdale for creating a genuinely surprising reveal this week as the truth gradually unravelled when Harriet and Dawn came face to face. Their shared history had been teased in the press, but their past connection was something I doubt many viewers were expecting. It was surprising that their history was revealed in the first episode of their meeting, rather than leaving viewers in the dark for weeks but I liked that it took a few scenes for Harriet to reveal that Dawn didn’t have the full picture. This introductory scene revealed that Harriet was once “Michelle” and Dawn’s almost step-mother. Not only did this reveal show Harriet in a whole new light, but it left us all wondering if Dawn’s life could’ve been a whole lot better, had Harriet not lead a double life. Great scene!