Vanessa let rip on Kerry this week in a really satisfying scene. With Amy issuing threats and Kerry wanting the quiet life (with Dan and Amelia completely oblivious) Vanessa wasn’t going to let this go. Furious, Vanessa ranted about the injustice of it all, that Kerry pretended to be a friend and lied to their faces. Grieving and horrified, Vanessa’s outburst was completely in line with how many viewers felt watching so this scene was a real high point in the week. The “assault” on the nurse was a little clunky but Vanessa telling Kerry exactly how she felt was exactly what this story needed. Not quite justice for Frank, but cathartic all the same.
There’s always something so satisfying about a big reveal in soap and Tracy’s showdown with Kerry did not disappoint. After putting together all the clues, Tracy approached her supposed friend with a restrained and calm demeanour, ready to catch her off guard. As her questioning increased, her fury was barely contained and Kerry crumbled and confessed confirming Tracy’s worst suspicions. As Tracy cycled through a range of emotions, from suspicion to anger to grief, it was another masterclass from the brilliant Amy Walsh. Laura Norton too, who had the difficult and significantly less sympathetic, role did a great job during the confession so that despite not feeling much sympathy for Kerry, the tension between the pair as everything unravelled was gripping.
Chas and Paddy’s storyline last year about losing baby Grace touched a lot of viewers and it was revisited this week in this scene with Chas and Charity. While not the biggest moment of the week, the writing of this scene was well done without feeling over the top. Admittedly the story last year was not one of my personal favourites, as I found it mawkish at times, the scene this week carried the sentiments of the heartache in something more nuanced yet just as effective. Chas’s dialogue this week felt authentic and sad as she avoided the ante-natal class, worried about how to respond to questions about her children and feeling conflicted about what she should say. There’s a raw honesty to Chas’s scenes with Charity that also makes their familial scenes a pleasure to watch.
It’s another Marlon Scene of the Week, but let’s face it, it was another rough week for the poor man! With Al lording it over Marlon, Aaron and Robert decided a little Dingle revenge was in order and after stealing Al’s nice new vintage car they presented it to Marlon for him to smash up. After some hesitance, Marlon relished the opportunity to get pay back and the scenes of Marlon hammering the windscreen were positively gleeful. Mark Charnock played Marlon’s initial timid smacks with great physical comedy and the whole scene was really good fun. It was nice to see Marlon having the upper hand in his own way, however unexpected and it brought some lightness to an emotionally heavy story for him.
If your heart didn’t break for poor Marlon in Thursday’s final scene then you must truly be made of stone! He arrived home and discovered Al with Jessie, and Jessie in tears, making the crushing discovery that she’d cheated. Marlon’s nervous reaction to laugh in disbelief soon crumbled to grief as he realised his anxieties about Al weren’t just him being insecure and his wife had betrayed him in the worst way. When we’re used to seeing Mark Charnock deliver comedy or in a more supportive role, it’s easy to forget how good a serious and emotional performer he is and this was a scene that showed how good he is at that emotive sucker punch.
It was the hug the characters needed (and let’s face it, the viewers too) as Robert and Aaron tried to come to terms with Robert’s future behind bars. With Aaron crushed and angry that Robert chose to plead guilty, it was down to his equally terrified husband to try and explain his decision. After the reveal of Robert’s lie previously there was a real lack of immediate emotional fall out for Robron when Aaron learnt Robert could be facing life, so this scene was a welcome inclusion. As Robert revealed his decision to plead guilty was impulsive, just like the first time he kissed Aaron, the emotional chemistry was as intense as ever between Ryan Hawley and Danny Miller. As the couple hugged, crying and clinging on tight, it was a gut punch reminder for the characters and fans that this enduring and beloved relationship will soon be coming to an end. Tissues please!
It was an emotional outburst for Megan this week as Frank’s funeral arrived and a brilliant performance from Gaynor Faye. Hurting and angry at herself too for doubting Frank, Megan let rip on the villagers gathered for the service. Furious at the way Frank’s memory had been tarnished and how few friends were willing to pay their respects, Megan didn’t hold back, telling everyone they should be ashamed for condemning Frank so easily. This scene was cathartic for us viewers who know how unfairly Frank has been blamed, but also it was a satisfying final hurrah for Megan and Gaynor before she left the village.
After losing her job as headteacher, Jessie was in no mood to hear any backlash about her (lack of) involvement in Maya’s inappropriate conduct. With a few drinks down her, Jessie was furious at the accusations and criticism coming from Nicola, especially after learning she was involved in parents complaining, and decided to let rip at the parents in the room and their angelic (or not so) children. This was one of those excruciatingly cringey scenes, and while she was out of line, Jessie also had a point – responsible parenting is not at home in Emmerdale. The criticisms pointed at Jessie could have come straight from social media so the whole scene was sort of meta, and felt like Emmerdale’s way of papering over the plot holes. Jessie’s meltdown caused one hell of a scene. Cringey – yes, but totally entertaining.
We knew it was bad as soon as Chas said “He’s innocent, he’s not going anywhere” and the scene cut to a very anxious looking Robert down at the police station, but the ground falling away under Robert’s feet was a stand-out moment of the week. Even after his optimistic solicitor gave him hope, Robert must have known his luck had run out, but the final blow came when the solicitor revealed the police wanted to charge him not with GBH, but with GBH with intent. As Rob scrambled to work out what this meant, the solicitor gave him the crushing news that this charge could mean a life sentence. Viewers know with Ryan Hawley leaving that Robert’s sentence would likely be a long once, but this didn’t lessen the impact of the scene. In a split second, Ryan’s impressive performance showed Robert’s complete devastation with his whole world changing in an instant and it was a great scene.
Thursday’s episode saw an explosion end to Frank as the Sharma sweet factory went up in flames, in a sequence that was arguably more thrilling than Frank’s entire tenure on the show. Sorry Frank, RIP, I know you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. Even the most spoiler oblivious fans could have guessed it was coming, but the way it happened left everyone shocked. Just as poor old Frank had rescued Tracy, he stumbled out of the smoke, smiling with relief. Those watching, including girlfriend Megan and his two girls, were thrilled, but a surprise explosion sent Frank careering into the side of the van and Tracy screamed in a blood-curdling way in horror. Frank was hardly a memorable character, but this was a good exit.