It didn’t take long for Kim to slip back into old habits as she returned to Home Farm and she began picking off the villagers one by one. This camp scene full of bitchy put-downs made an entertaining Scene of the Week. Once the claws had been sharpened against Charity, Kim moved onto sloshed Brenda, revealing she never frequents cafes and wouldn’t make the exception here either. Kim revealed in the fun bitchiness, gleefully teasing that she might repossess Kerry’s home – in the cold way villains do best. Even though the party might’ve been full of strangers, this scene was a fun slice of pantomine and nicely sets up a wealth of antagonism for when Kim returns in the new year.
In a week that covered a whole spectrum of emotions – happy and sad – it was the wedding speeches scene which encompassed all of those feelings in such a moving way. With the grooms’ speeches sticking traditionally to heart-clutching love declarations, and little sister Liv’s telling of the trio’s first meeting, it was mainly a scene for Paddy and Chas to destroy us all and reach for the tissues. Paddy’s long and colourful history with Aaron was touched on in his speech, tearing up as he talked about how proud he was to call Aaron his son and how far Aaron had come to accept himself. Anyone who’s been watching Emmerdale in the last ten years will remember the agony Aaron went through at 18 so Paddy’s words held a real poignancy. It’s the beauty of the soap genre that we have seen this progress for ourselves. Then there was Chas, whose week had been tragic and deeply traumatic, but this was a beautiful moment for actress Lucy Pargeter in an understated show of Chas’s strength and resilience. For me, these two speeches, showing how difficult and courageous it was for Chas and Paddy to express their joy and also their grief in this celebratory moment, were a stand out of a very emotional week.
Charity had an unlikely ally this week, in the shape of village regular PC Swirling and this surprise and tender moment makes my Scene of the Week. Poor Charity has been struggling in the wake of Bails’ sentencing and after a maddening lack of support from the Dingles she spiralled. Swirling picked Charity up after an altercation with a farmer, but when he dropped her off home he was sympathetic and sensitive to her plight which was an immediate relief to Charity. Swirling has been a regular copper in Emmerdale having multiple run-ins with the Dingles so it was nice to see him be one of the few actually perceptive to Charity’s struggles rather than dismissive. Emma Atkins gives so much to even the smallest scenes and you could tell how much of a relief it was for Charity, albeit briefly. Great unexpected scene.
I was massively disappointed in what seems to be Lachlan’s final week on Emmerdale, but I couldn’t let the week pass without praising the bristling face-off between Lachlan and Robert in Monday’s episode. Since their antagonism began, Lachlan’s been one of the few characters that ever felt like a real challenge to Robert, one of the few able to outsmart him, and with their final showdown this week, even behind bars, Lachlan managed to unnerve Rob. Knowing the ball was in his court, Lachlan taunted Robert with clues about Rebecca’s fate and whereabouts, before revealing his plot to murder Robert and Liv and how they’d resisted his attempt by “inconveniently breathing”. Hats off to Thomas Atkinson who gave a brilliant, darkly funny impression of Robert clinging to life like a guppy and Rebecca’s clueless reaction. It was stone cold sinister but a fantastic final display of just how good Thomas has been in the role. He’ll be missed.
This moment isn’t just my favourite scene of this week, but might just be one of my favourite scenes of Emmerdale this year. Between the high tension of Bails’ trial, Charity took a breather outside and was given a pep talk by Cain in a moment that was steeped in character and history and even managed to move me to tears. Although their days of being a couple are long gone, there’s a complicated history behind their interactions which is palpable in the actors’ chemistry and in this moment you could really grasp the journeys they’ve taken to get to this settled place. We’ve lived through it, just as the characters have, and this kind of reflection was a beautiful moment, quietly powerful. I found Cain’s reassurance that it wasn’t luck that Charity had a lot to be thankful for, but through her own progress, especially moving. His encouragement that she should be proud was an uplifting moment for her and the audience. Emmerdale at its finest.
Shock twists and surprises are hard to pull off in soaps these days where spoilers and savvy viewers can see them coming from miles off, but this moment holds my Scene of the Week title for its pure shock value. With Belle on the run from a gun-toting Lachlan (not too dissimilar from Rebecca’s recent escape) it was the glossy camera work that made the shots intense and adrenaline filled. But did anyone predict what followed? A bickering team of Robert and Ross had clearly learnt nothing from Emmerdale stories of recent years and took their eyes off the road, only for a fleeing Belle to walk straight out in front of the car and roll off Robert’s roof. This scene was brilliant in its unexpectedness and it was fun to have a genuine shock in this kind of episode.
I was so impressed by Jack Downham’s performance in this scene that I had to make it my Scene of the Week. With Ryan’s introduction to the Dingles not going as smoothly as Charity hoped, his was sprung on a confused and hurt Noah without warning. What followed was Noah packing his bags and taking out his pain on Charity and Ryan by saying they didn’t need or want Ryan in their lives as a reminder of what Bails had done. It was one of those really difficult to watch scenes, but one where your heart breaks for all those involved. Noah’s had a rocky relationship with Charity at best and now in his adolescence, with the arrival of Joe and the discovery of Charity’s traumatic childhood, his world has been rocked. Jack’s performances are getting better and better and his complex relationship with his mum is one of the most interesting parent/child dynamics in Emmerdale too.
This week’s choice for Scene of the Week is this surprisingly sweet moment with Rhona, Pete, Leo and Marlon. With Pete moving into Rhona’s, the pair were unsure about Leo’s reaction so they did their best to explain the situation to him using Makaton. It was really endearing to see Pete attempt to talk to Leo and try to sign “tractor” and even Marlon tried to reassure Pete when Leo seemed less keen to respond. Now that Pete’s out of the testosterone hot-house of Dale View, it’s been a welcome change to see him show a more sensitive and mature side. I loved this scene for its warm glimpse into a real-life situation of children adjusting to new partners and vice versa. Even more so I loved the use of the characters’ on-screen history to explain why they had both been hesitant, with Rhona mentioning her trust issues after Pierce and Pete wary to get attached to kids after his failed relationship with Debbie. This was such a casual, everyday scene but one which gives Emmerdale a feeling of normalcy and reality amongst some of the more outlandish stories. More of this please.
Sarah’s tragic storyline has been one of the strongest and a real highlight this week, but I particularly enjoyed this scene with her mum, Debbie, when she agreed to go ahead with the transplant. With Debbie battling to stay positive, the pair had a frank discussion with Sarah feeling like she caused her mum too much trouble in life. Charley Webb’s performance in this moment was a real tear-jerker as she struggled to imagine how painful life would be without her daughter and how powerless she felt. Young actress Katie Hill is so much like a young Debbie that their scenes together have a genuine charm, one which makes this storyline work even better.
Lachlan’s story might be going round in familiar circles, but Rebecca’s escape attempt and chase this week had all the thrills and tension of a horror movie. There was something pretty exciting about this scene and the way it was shot meant you were never quite sure just how close to freedom Rebecca was. With both her and Lucky tripping and falling, it was a perilous mission, one with a frustrating ending of course, with Lachlan capturing and dragging Rebecca off to meet her fate. Whether that’s a new cabin in the woods or a shallow grave (my money’s on the former) we’ll have to see, but I’m expecting more horror tropes before this story is out.