For me the main strengths of the acid attack storyline have been getting to see Ross in a vulnerable light and the far-reaching consequences of Debbie’s naive revenge – and this Scene of the Week showcases both. Ross was one of my picks as a character who needed a shake up last year and I’m glad that this story is allowing different material for Ross, to cut through the bravado and show him scared and sad. Armed with just a white board and pen, Ross was exposed in this moment and his dry humour landed in a much more poignant way. Debbie and Ross as a couple, or potential love story, leaves me stone cold, but there were other elements at work in this scene which made it far more compelling. It makes her feelings of guilt and betrayal more painful and Charley Webb played that conflict beautifully. Ross and Debbie can both be quite sour faced and cold characters but this storyline puts them both in a position of self-loathing rather than self-involvement and that’s an interesting change. Do I want Emmerdale to revisit Debbie and Ross as a pairing? No way. But this scene was a good tease at one hell of an emotional fall-out.
Charity’s incredible speech in support of Tracy blew me away this week, and it aired on International Women’s Day which couldn’t have been more apt. As Charity sat there with Vanessa and Tracy, the latter in tears, I think we all hoped Charity would be a support to Tracy knowing that she had experienced a similar past as a prostitute. Charity’s empowering speech wasn’t just reminding Tracy that she was an amazing woman, but that she deserves a whole lot more from her husband – not just love but compassion and empathy. Charity rightly reminded her that David is an adult and that it is his job to make her past easier to deal with and if he doesn’t then maybe he’s not worth it. It was hard for Tracy to hear but crucial that she did. Charity’s words were given confidently, but she’s taken a long time to reach this self-acceptance too and that’s why this moment was so resonating and inspiring. It’s a speech we all wish we could have given Tracy, a shame-free show of support and feminism that is vital in this story. Great story, Emmerdale. It’s what we should be seeing more of in our soaps.
Poor Brenda! We should have known Bob’s heart shaped buttons on his garish shirt would have come into play in this heart-breaking discovery. They were mentioned enough times! It’s these quiet, tragic moments for betrayed Brenda, played with a softness by Lesley Dunlop, that are the strength of this story. Her secret discovery of Bob and Laurel’s cheating didn’t come with shrieking and showdowns but was revealed to us right at the last minute and done in an understated way. Rather than us see Brenda reacting there and then to catching them at it, she bottled it up, breaking down when all the pieces had come together just like for us as viewers. The fact Brenda had managed to put on a brave face for us all made the moment even sadder. Won’t somebody hug her?!
As if my Scene of the Week choice was ever going to be anything else! In one of the most hotly anticipated moments in months, Aaron and Robert reunited in this romantic and hugely emotional scene in the street. With Thursday’s focus dedicated to getting Robron back together, both characters went on a fraught journey and were forced to confront their past and their strong feelings for each other. With Robert convinced he was a disaster and tearfully turning Aaron down after their split last year was too painful to handle, it was Aaron who stormed over there in a bid to convince him that their future was together. It was movie style epic romance at its finest as Aaron delivered a killer speech at Robert’s door with Danny Miller giving the perfect choked-up performance. Robert’s initial and comedic response (in reference to his dodgy dancing) was a beautiful moment of levity and they sealed the deal with a desperate kiss. Ever the romantic, and played with a fragility by Ryan Hawley, Robert made a call-back to their wedding dance by playing Adele and swapping surnames again and the pair walked hand in hand home. It was everything fans have been dying for – romantic, emotional, heartfelt, meaningful – and the deserved moment of happiness the couple have been crying out for. This is a scene that’s going to be treasured for a long time.
Scenes of teen bullying in soap can go one of two ways. Either they have that ‘after-school special’ cringey quality or are so effective they are excruciating to watch. Gabby’s betrayal of Liv was the latter and a very painful moment to witness. Having confided in her best friend about her asexuality, Liv’s birthday was shattered by Gabby’s jealous misunderstanding over Liv sharing a hug with Jacob. The tension leading to the horrible moment left me on edge, well aware that Gabby was about to do something awful and held all the cards to Liv’s most private feelings. The fact the scene played out in a very real, brutal way made it so effective. Isobel Steele is a true talent and her subtle, heart-breaking performance was incredibly emotive. I’m sure the fall-out is going to be just as emotional.
This very harrowing moment took place in Thursday’s second episode and made for shocking, but intense drama. Having left us with the nightmarish cliffhanger of Ross being attacked with acid, the episode opened with Joe and Graham trying to find Ross and the stolen car. The audience knew they were about to step into a terrible situation and that anticipation and desperation for Ross to be found was gripping. Thankfully Graham used his heroics and quick thinking again to try and save Ross as Joe called an ambulance. Getting these two involved in the story was a great move as once again we saw their sympathetic sides and they’re immediately more engaging now that they’ve saved and cared for a show favourite. Not only that, but there’s a great sense of dramatic irony as we know Joe was the intended target. Mike Parr’s performance made the whole scene very traumatic and visceral to watch which bodes well for a strong story moving forward. Great scene.
It was the longed for reunion many Emmerdale fans had been waiting for and a moment that finally brought a smile to poor Moira’s face. After a hellish 18 months for Moira, it was only a matter of time before her and Cain reunited and let’s face it, they make a great couple. With Cain making one last attempt to reunite with the love of his life, he told Moira he’d be waiting at the bridge at 5pm and in true movie style there was a real will-she-won’t-she moment as she packed her bags ready for a new life away from the village. Thankfully for us all and sending excited squeals round the country (okay, just me?) Moira showed up at the bridge and Cain being Cain teasingly chided her for being late. But then it was time for some romance from Moira as she told him they had a lifetime together, before the two shared a big kiss to seal their future. The anticipation was high for this moment and in a beautiful cinematic style set up combined with Natalie J Robb and Jeff Hordley’s chemistry, Coira’s reunion was a winner.
I will openly admit that I am not Debbie Dingle’s greatest fan, nor was I a Tom/Debbie superfan, so you might be surprised to see that this scene of Debbie and Joe is my pick for Scene of the Week. Normally when Debbie gets involved in the dodgy troubles the Dingles are known for, there’s a dodgy gangster subplot with a heist involved and that never quite gels with the version of Debbie that I like best – the head-strong woman who fights for her family. Thankfully the Debbie we saw this week took control of her own revenge against Joe, not only trying to belittle him but also douse Home Farm with petrol. Debbie was fearless against Joe, but there were still sparks there (of a love-hate variety) perhaps more than there was before now that they’re sworn enemies, and despite Joe’s cockiness, even he seemed a little unnerved. Charley Webb seemed to be having fun with the material and the confidence suited Debbie, far more than being bogged down with love triangles and gangsters. It was even pretty disappointing to have Cain and Ross show up to steal her vengeful thunder.
What a moment! Graham Foster, action hero! We know so very little about Graham but what we do know now is that when it comes to big dramatic moments, he can already bring it! With Wishing Well moments from destruction, we all thought hope was lost – especially for poor Samson and Noah trapped inside. But as panicking Eric could do little else but flail his arms around at the demolition men, elusive Graham saved the day. By now we know that Graham is trying to be the angel on Joe Tate’s devilish shoulder, but we didn’t realise just how far he was willing to step in and sabotage his evil plans. In this scene, which was like something out of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Graham confronted and then beat up the builders without so much as a sweat. He’s a man of mystery by day and a skilful fighter by night and this twist was an easy Scene of the Week choice.
This week’s catastrophic Scene of the Week saw the combination of a horrifying crash stunt and a superb performance from Thomas Atkinson. With the Whites expecting to leave the village quickly and quietly (yeah, like that was going to happen) it wasn’t long before they were playing chase with Robert on the road after his taking of Seb. And if there’s one thing we know about the Whites it’s that their storylines only involve two aspects: a conflict with Robert or a family feud. So as an emotional and seething Lachlan sat in the front, maybe they should have been expecting the carnage to follow. As the tense scene played out, we all knew disaster was approaching and Lachlan’s embittered mood took hold, blaming Chrissie for the ending of his relationship and trying to destroy his life. Thomas Atkinson has always played Lachlan with an unnerving, unhinged edge and this was truly his finest work, as Lachlan’s fury peaked, embracing his inner psychopath and grabbing the wheel of the car, sending the Whites smashing into a lorry. It was a thrilling sequence, but it was that complex darkness of Lachlan that stole the show.