Fave or Fail? (1-5 Jan 2018)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! An amazing start to 2018 for Emmerdale. Let’s hope it keeps getting better and better! 

Faves

Not Your Average Joe

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h54m06s632Bravo to Emmerdale for a great start to 2018. Not only did the “Tom Waterhouse” reveal give us a campy and gloriously thrilling shock, but it also manage to seamlessly integrate Emmerdale’s past and answer all the niggling issues with the Tom and Debbie plot. As Tom stepped aside, Joe brought us a wicked yet charming villain, unashamedly cruel and done so with power and confidence. He evoked all the icons from the Tate dynasty, leaving us clamouring for returns of Emmerdale legends like Kim Tate and his bitterness is one which looks to cause continuous conflict in the village. Even better than all this potential was the explanation for the criticisms made about the Tom and Debbie story – that this was all meant to look like a too-good-to-be true whirlwind romance, that the money and sex ties were totally intentional – meaning this was a twist done oh-so right. Clever and exciting. Great job.

Adios Adam!

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h51m13s584This week we saw the wrongly convicted Adam Barton go on the run and actor Adam Thomas leave Emmerdale after almost nine years in the show! Even though the “fleeing the country” plot is well used in Emmerdale, thankfully Adam’s last episode was full of heart as he managed to say emotional goodbyes to his loved ones. Unable to say a proper goodbye to mum Moira, Adam left her a tearful voicemail and although life on the run can’t be fun, Adam’s final scene just about managed to be uplifting. Adam probably didn’t deserve such a sad ending, but Adam Thomas really pulled on the heart strings and made the original Barton boy’s goodbyes meaningful and emotive, having shared so many of his storylines with BFF Aaron and wife Victoria. Adam’s exit also meant Cain and Aaron got to do their Dingle best in their efforts to break him and mastermind some great alibi trickery with Robert’s help. It’s going to be strange with Adam in the show and I hope that if he does decide to return one day then a bit of storyline magic will absolve him of his convictions!

The Future is Female

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h55m12s441With Joe’s arrival, it has thrust Debbie and Charity straight to the front and centre of the show and if this week is anything to go by then it’s a good thing. For all my criticisms of Debbie, this week saw Charley Webb give some of her best performances since her return as she battled with fury, vengeance and heartbreak. Debbie attached a lot to her relationship with Tom – stability, security and a bit of excitement too – and her crushed hopes of the future rang true at the end of the week. If Debbie struggles between lingering feelings on top of her anger then this could be really good. As for Charity, it’s about time she had a juicy plot and with such strong ties to her past and Joe’s connection to Noah then we’re going to get a lot more from Charity than just comedy hi-jinx behind the bar. I can’t wait.

Fails

Too Much

vlcsnap-2018-01-07-11h50m31s612Having spent a good proportion of 2017 off screen, keeping us less suspicious of her shock pregnancy, Moira Barton has had a horrific time of it since October. In just three short months she has had her life rocked by an unplanned baby, suffered PND, killed someone and suffered the guilt, almost turned to drugs, had her son escape jail (for a crime she committed) and now appears to be embarking on a domestic abuse story. It’s all too much. That much darkness for one character is relentless and suffocating (see: Aaron Dingle) and can at times desensitise us viewers from empathy when we’re watching a factory line of hardship with no sign of happier times. When are things going to get better for Moira? It doesn’t seem like any time soon. And was it necessary to add more violence to an already turbulent relationship like Cain and Moira’s? Scenes this week seemed to cross a line, adding more misery and more issues to an over-egged story. With the guilt, their separation and Isaac to deal with – there’s more than enough drama there. Did the characters really need another agonising issue to deal with? For such a great start to 2018 for Emmerdale and such a popular couple, this violence really feels like a misstep.

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Scene of the Week (18-22 Dec 2017)

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What a scene this was! Both thrilling and devastating, the fates of mother and son, Moira and Adam Barton, lay in the hands of Hotten’s finest after the two of them confessed to killing Emma. I loved the way this was shot, juxtaposing both characters being lead to their futures, Moira to Cain and the outside world and Adam back to a cell. There was a cold, resigned horror on Adam’s face – played perfectly by Adam Thomas – whereas Moira’s dazed sense of calm shattered into screams when she realised her confession hadn’t worked to free her son. Poor Adam was left to slump to the floor as reality set in and Adam Thomas really piled on the heartbreak. Great moment in this hard to watch story.

Fave or Fail? (11-15 Dec 2017)

faveorfail

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! This week we learnt the shocking truth about Emma’s death!

Faves

Emma’s Final Stand

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h51m29s050What a joy it was to see Emma Barton again this week, if only in flashback form! Gillian Kearney helped create such a captivating character in Emma and every performance during the reveal was stellar. The scenes which stood out to me were the ones that took place on the now iconic viaduct as Emma had showdowns with both Ross and Moira. The scenes with Ross showcased their complicated history but was charged and intense, keeping the exchange gripping throughout.  Despite all of Emma’s bad and misguided deeds, it was hard not to feel a slight twinge of sympathy for her at times but her twisted nature was in full force right until the end as she goaded Moira to push her, so that she wouldn’t have to kill herself. In the end it seems fairly fitting that Emma’s death was as complex and interesting as the woman herself, it’s just a shame we had to lose the brilliant Gillian Kearney in the process!

Killer Reveal

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h51m15s366Moira killed Emma – now that was a shocker and a half! My money was pretty firmly on Pete as Emma’s’ killer and I was surprised at the reveal, something which doesn’t usually happen when you’re a soap addict! First I was unsure how I felt about feisty farmer Moira being responsible for pushing Emma, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked how unexpected it was. It’s a brand new direction for Moira, who is worth a lot more than just being stuck at Butler’s. This new path has already reignited her deep bond with Cain (Coira fans rejoice!) and let’s face it, no one really blames Moira for what she did. The psychological effect of this one reckless action has already plagued Moira enough to consider drugs and abandon her son and with Emma’s words still haunting her, it’ll be interesting to see how she deals with the guilt and with Adam as prime suspect – how will this pan out in light of his upcoming exit from the show?

Unbreakable Bond

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h48m28s520With a protective and observant Cain on the case, it wasn’t long before Moira was forced to reveal she was the one behind Emma’s fall from the viaduct and even though their bond has been slowly repairing (albeit strained) since Isaac’s birth, this week really saw the return of Coira. Granted they’re not back together yet, and Harriet’s presence feels ever more frustrating, but there’s no one that quite shares the relationship that Cain and Moira do. Earlier in the week, with Isaac ill, Cain was the only one able to offer her any real comfort and support and now with her killer secret out in the open, Cain is on hand like never before, unflinching in his love for her. My favourite soap relationships are built on tempestuous love and shared secrets and Coira have both of these, tied together with unbreakable chemistry. Long may it live – the love, the support, the darkness and the rows. They just work.

Style and Substance

vlcsnap-2017-12-17-15h52m52s665You’ve got to had it to Emmerdale again that they really know how to pull out all the stops on their special episodes. Not only did the Emma reveal episodes manage to weave present day and flashback sequence (with a nice noir colouring) but the split narrative maintained the intrigue and tension throughout. It’s been a bit of an unengaging storyline on the whole but these episodes changed that and managed to set up gripping consequences for all the main players.

Fails

Down With This Sort Of Thing

_1050 Aaron amp; Robert 12th December 2017 Aaron Only - YouTubeI’m all for stories of the little people fighting The Man and the Dingles are such a bright and bold family that their moment to fight the good fight should be something for us all to enjoy. I can’t help but feel however that this whole protest plot is a little bit pointless and it feels very unlikely that the Dingles would ever lose Wishing Well cottage. The building is the heart of the Dingles and has been their home for so long it would be like them trying to pretend they needed to demolish the Woolpack – never going to happen. So while we kill time with various members of the family and their placards, alongside Zak and his cough – but I wonder where they’re going with all this. With the demolition not feeling like a real threat, the conflict and the drama is pretty empty and hasn’t been a very engaging watch.

Shouty and Grouchy

Emmerdale - Adam's Own Wife Suspects He's a Murderer! - YouTube (1)It doesn’t seem like that long ago that Adam and Vic were one of the cutest couples in the Dales. They were sweet and chilled once, but now I can’t remember a recent scene where they aren’t shouting at each other. It’s common knowledge now that actor Adam Thomas is leaving Emmerdale which means it’s been hard to really care about Vic and Adam’s make ups and break ups when it won’t be long until they’re separated forever. Lately all their material has been centred around the fact Adam is the lead suspect for Emma’s murder so most of the scenes involve Adam getting smug and unpleasant with the police, panicked Victoria doubting his innocence and the pair of them sniping and shouting at each other. The whole atmosphere between them has become a bit of a drag and honestly after the to-ing and fro-ing and split earlier in the year, it has soured the former sweetness of their coupling. Shame!

Fave or Fail? (4-8 Dec 2017)

faveorfail

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! Faith and Pollard broke up this week and we said a sad goodbye to Emmerdale stalwart, Alfie the dog.

Faves

Bonnie and Clyde

Emmerdale - Pollard Faces the Music - YouTubeI know when it comes to Faith Dingle, I am a bit of a broken record, but I truly think she’s the best thing that’s happened to Emmerdale in 2017. She proved that even more this week when she and Eric went all Bonnie and Clyde on us in an attempt to bring down Morris from the council. I love the pairing of Eric and Faith, they go from funny to heartwarming to that special kind of delicious soap angst that I love. Eric’s face of terror when Faith was speeding was genius but it was only a matter of time before she uncovered his lies about the access road. The two of them broke up after Faith found out what Eric had done but their confrontational was beautifully painful, as both Sally Dexter and Christopher Chittell really sold Faith and Eric’s love for each other and her heartbreak at his betrayal. The two clash on their outlooks in life and the dodgy ways they deal with obstacles to what they want, but even still they are pretty well matched. Even if their future is a rocky one, you know they’re a couple that should be together. Fingers crossed!

Goodbye Alfie

vlcsnap-2017-12-10-14h54m12s818The Dingles and us, the humble viewers, had to say goodbye to scruffy-furred Emmerdale legend, Alfie the dog, this week in some really moving scenes. Alfie is as much a part of Wishing Well as the crocheted blankets so to see him look so sad and ill was a horrible thing and the decision fell to Zak to put their poor old dog down. Even someone like me who isn’t a dog lover (I know, I know) couldn’t fail to be moved as the Dingles said goodbye to their dear old mutt. Rest in peace, Alfie. You’ll be sorely missed.

Both Sides of the Story

vlcsnap-2017-12-10-14h58m10s779With actress Roxy Shahidi soon to leave for maternity, we knew it wouldn’t be long before Emmerdale needed to engineer an exit story for her. As Alicia lives in Portugal now you’d think Leyla could just jet there but it seems something a little more convoluted is in the pipeline. Don’t get me wrong, I love Leyla and I’m even slightly curious about how a David and Leyla romance attempt would work these days – but I’m just not sure it’s worth sacrificing their friendship. But despite this and Tracy’s OTT reaction, this story becomes a fave simply for the impressive scenes between Roxy and Amy Walsh. Amy always manages to give Tracy a lot of heart and soul in her stories and both actresses carried a lot of emotion in their scenes which actually made you empathise with both parties. With all these brilliant moments between the powerful females in the Dales, it does make you long for them to stop falling out over the lacklustre men though!

Fails

The Show Mustn’t Go On

Emmerdale - Thursday 7 Dec 8pm - The ITV Hub (1)At this festive time of year I do love to see all the traditions on screen and the Emmerdale nativity story began with gusto. Rhona went all Nativity-zilla on us, getting squeaky and irate as her plans struggled, roping in a reluctant Vanessa and getting Marlon dressed as a donkey. It wasn’t without its amusing moments and the kids of Emmerdale are always worth watching. Disappointingly though, so few villagers bothered to turn up meaning the community spirit was more than a bit lacking. Add to that some crippingly cringey comedy from Paddy and Chas (not to mention even more of their gross romance) and the whole thing was a bit of a flop. Bah humbug!

Pete’s Pity Party

vlcsnap-2017-12-10-14h56m26s322Ordinarily you’d feel sorry for someone like Pete Barton. Father and brother murdered by his mother, mother then murdered, son he thought was his wasn’t, thought he had a second chance with his girlfriend but turns out she was in love with someone else, knocked unconscious after a fall down some stairs. All in all, not a great time to be Pete Barton. The problem is, I still wish he was the one shot to death by Emma. On paper Pete should be sympathetic, but with all his aggression and shouty spitefulness it’s hard to feel sorry for him. He speaks to others, even those trying to help like Harriet, like he’s going to punch them in the face. And it was poor David this week that did actually get punched. But when Pete’s not raging around like some uncaged alpha male, he’s being colossally dull. What a shame that we lost two interesting Barton family members and got stuck with Pete!

Fave or Fail? (6-10 Nov 2017)

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Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! This week Robert became a father and did some soul searching and Adam was arrested for Emma’s murder.

Faves

Classic Emmerdale

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h26m07s636With Eric Pollard at the front of the show this week, getting involved in local council schemes, it really felt like classic Emmerdale and I loved it. I really enjoyed getting to see some of the older characters in the village getting material and there was a nostalgic vibe to it all. Rodney and Eric were back wheeling and dealing with dodgy antiques and Faith continues to be the object of their affections. Even the little moments like her belittling Diane’s relationship with Doug had a classic and humorous feeling to it. Eric’s focus especially was a welcome return to the feel of older storylines and even though he has softened over the years it was fun to see his ruthless side up against the Dingles. With all the insular drama between families, it was a nice change to have a storyline about the wider community and council that Emmerdale is part of and I hope we get similar stories in future.

Robert’s Redemption?

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h30m59s259After months of scheming, schmoozing, smirking and sneaking, we might have seen the end of panto villain Robert Sugden as his more human side returned. At last! Well, for now at least. It’s been a bit of a chore the last few months to watch Robert stuck up at Home Farm, complexities diluted and a caricature in his place. This week gave us a chance to see again what was driving him and fully explained why he’d gone so far to ruin the Whites. His self-loathing at Jack’s graveside and to Aaron was a return to the multi-faceted character we know and love, the selfish and vengeful alongside the remorseful and lonely man. Along with the ridiculous comedy of the hotel scenes, Ryan Hawley took on every side of Robert’s personality this week with gusto and his performances help edge Robert back onto a redemptive path following his fast fatherhood epiphanies. Despite me having hated almost every part of this story since Robert’s one night stand with Rebecca, we’re now at least getting to explore Robert’s psyche a bit more and it seems like this will continue into the new year too.

Waif and Stray

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h34m37s993I feel like every week Gerry appears in Emmerdale it becomes an automatic highlight. Whether its riling up Doug or grating on Aaron, Gerry offers something weirdly endearing to existing dynamics in the show. He’s already managed to make a lot of connections in the village, showing us a softer side to Liv and even managing to make Aaron smile (which is no mean feat!). This week he sneaked back into the B&B, stole Doug’s cooked breakfast and then wandered away like a little lost puppy until Aaron was cornered and Gerry found himself with a place to stay and work. Now he’s at the scrapyard, I can’t help but think he’d be great value there permanently, or if he gets forgiveness from Doug, then someone he can take under his wing.

Saved By the Bell

vlcsnap-2017-11-12-18h29m12s151I can’t ever remember watching scenes as excruciating and hilariously cringeworthy as the ones this week as Lawrence took Robert to a hotel. Despite Robert’s manipulation of Lawrence’s feelings being a really cruel and cold hearted move, the story has been so outlandish and comedic that it was impossible not to find the hotel scenes hysterical. You have to commend Ryan Hawley for his facial expressions alone and wonder how Lawrence didn’t pick up on Rob’s sheer terror and horror at the thought of having to get intimate with Lawrence. They even worked their way through a whole plate of finger sandwiches! It was hide-behind-a-cushion viewing and the deed was thankfully thwarted by a phonecall about the baby’s arrival, but surely Robert’s discomfort, in his array of expressions, will live on in our memories for a long time.

Fails

Stop Start Suspense

Emmerdale - Adam's Interrogation Becomes a Shouting Match - YouTubeOn paper the Emma Whodunnit should be great, and when the story progresses – with flashbacks and mysteries like last week – it’s an engaging and intriguing storyline. But weeks like this, when it seems sluggish and stalled, and knowing we have another month or so before discovering the truth, it feels a bit of a drag. This week Adam was arrested (and if you’ve ever watched a murder mystery you’ll know the first few arrested are usually innocent) and it was a bit flat. Does he really have much of a motive compared to others? Most of the Whodunnit this week was Adam shouting, Victoria shouting back and plenty of the suspects openly chatting about alibis and motives right in the middle of the pub! Ross left town which stalls the story again and besides the odd exciting flashback, the story mostly consists of Pete accusing anyone he decides is guilty that week! Let’s hope it picks up again soon.

Fave or Fail? (30 Oct-3 Nov 2017)

faveorfail

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! This week Pete was busy accusing and Laurel returned with more secrets!

Faves

Murder Mysteries

Emmerdale - What Is Laurel and Bob's Secret - YouTubeWhodunnit plots in soapland aren’t often my favourite but the “Who Killed Emma?” story definitely became more interesting this week. With Gabby a prime suspect it gave Rosie Bentham a great chance to show off her talents under police questioning against the great DS Benton. I was also glad to see Laurel return to the village and bring with it new questions and mysteries such as – what’s going on with Bob? While the storyline does have his weak moments (namely fairly repetitive scenes of the brothers arguing and Pete accusing anyone he can) it’s gathered a good ensemble of cast and I’m genuinely clueless as to who the culprit is – it really could be any one of them! The final flashback scene lined up all the suspects nicely and it was made even more intriguing by the extra videos released on YouTube exploring motives!

Quirky Friends

Emmerdale - Friday 3 Nov 7pm - The ITV Hub (1)Sometimes it’s the strangest groups of characters that make some of the best scenes and that was the case this week at the B&B. We’ve already seen ex-con and cheeky trouble maker Gerry form an unlikely but kind of sweet friendship with Liv but having them work at the B&B with straight-laced Doug was a work of genius. It might be a very short lived working partnership – what with Gerry’s dangerous fireworks causing Doug to burn his hands – but their opposite natures worked well in giving us a fun and surprising group of characters. Doug’s serious and humourless personality clashes with Gerry’s slapdash troublesome ways but their shared enthusiasm for niche interests meant their strange relationship was a believable one.

It’s War

-995 Aaron amp; Robert 30th October 2017 Robert Only Part 3 of 3 - YouTubeRobert’s revenge might have dragged on for half a century but going up against Lachlan might be his dangerous and most interesting move yet. While Robert’s attempts to scheme, schmooze and seduce his way through the family to gain their wealth and status has been going well so far, Lachlan proved he’s Rob’s biggest threat this week. Thankfully for this endless story, Lachlan offers a more believable threat and a more worthy opponent than the other family members who seem to be hanging off Robert’s every word. It was enjoyable this week to see the conflict front and centre with Lucky being the only one to see straight through Rob and manage to unnerve him too. Lachlan has a history of being cold and twisted and is perhaps a bigger worry than Robert anticipated. Thomas Atkinson has proved himself a great little actor and his antagonistic relationship and chemistry with Ryan Hawley is the most watchable this storyline has been.

Fails

The Cringe Factor

Emmerdale - Lawrence Wants to Reveal His Fling With Robert! - YouTubeIt was Halloween this week but there were other reasons to hide behind a cushion when watching. If it wasn’t the sound of Lawrence gasping with lust as Robert played him again (oh Larry you poor fool) then it was Chas and Paddy playing doctor and patient. It’s not that both stories aren’t silly enough to be mildly entertaining it’s just that watching both pairings together in an episode is a bit much for my poor cringe glands. I’m going to go as far as to say Chas and Paddy is actually a bit worse as their OTT role play (which seems to have them gagging for it every five minutes) is the very opposite of sexy. At least with Lawrence and Robert, the carnage after his lies are exposed will be worth it, as for Chas and Paddy I’m not convinced they’re funny enough together and they certainly don’t seem like a great love match.

Scene of the Week (30 Oct-3 Nov 2017)

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The “Who Killed Emma?” storyline stepped up a gear in Friday’s episode as the suspects gathered around the bonfire and we were treated to flashbacks of the fatal day. There’s something really atmospheric about Emmerdale scenes shot at night and the firework explosions certainly made everything feel more dramatic, helping to move the story away from constant scenes of Pete pointing the finger. The flashbacks of all those involved really added to the mystery making everyone feel like a real contender for the culprit status and had me itching for even more flashbacks and the answer to the whodunnit. It was a great scene to finish the week and one that really ramped up the anticipation levels.

Fave or Fail? (9-13 Oct 2017)

faveorfail

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! We said goodbye to Finn this week and discovered that Emma’s death might have been murder.

Faves

Farewall Finn

vlcsnap-2017-10-15-12h56m01s905For a lad that spent most of the time in the village being unappreciated, Finn had a huge send off this week as Emmerdale gathered to mourn. It wasn’t just your usual church service and pub wake, but individual characters got to come and say their goodbyes to his coffin and there was a superhero themed get together in the Woolie too which was a really nice touch. All of the coffin-side mourners gave emotional and touching performances, especially Amy Walsh (Tracy) and Chris Chittell (Eric), making his death feel all the more impactful on the wider community outside his family members. Last week it felt like his death was overshadowed and bogged down under too many events happening at once, so I’m glad that this week gave enough time and space to letting the villagers grieve for him. RIP Finn, you’ll be missed.

Murder Mystery

Emmerdale - Ross and Pete's Suffering Is Far From Over - YouTubeEmmerdale went a little CSI this week as DS Benton began investigating Emma’s death as a murder rather than a suicide and kicking off an infamous soap Whodunnit. Whodunnits aren’t always my favourite plot as it often involves lots of characters doing unexplained shady things and looking suspicious all to ramp up the suspense, but so far it’s been pretty fun and it even included a suspect montage set to Kylie Minogue! I liked the twist of having the police conducting their enquires before the rest of the village knew, looking on at the Bartons as outsiders and making it seem like its own forensic spin off. There are lots of likely culprits but I hope Emmerdale doesn’t keep us hanging on for too long before we find out the truth of Emma’s death!

Baby Beginnings

Emmerdale - Moira Reads Out the Paternity Test Results - YouTubeIt seems early days for Moira’s baby storyline but the warning signs are there that she’s not bonding with him and his arrival has caused friction in the Charriet camp. The awkward tension of the paternity reveal was really worth watching this week as Pete got the news that he wasn’t the little one’s father and Cain had to deal with the consequences. Poor Harriet faced up to the inevitability that she’d always be second best while Cain and Moira remained their usual stubborn selves, insisting nothing will change. We’ve seen Cain’s reluctant father routine several times now so hopefully something new will emerge from this storyline in future and as for his future with Moira, the chemistry is there in spades, but it’s going to take a while for them both to soften up for the idea. Let’s hope for Harriet’s sake that Cain doesn’t drag out the inevitable and kid her – and himself – in the process.

Bonus favourites:

  • Gerry’s continued integration into the village – he was sweet and supportive of Liv, helping Doug with his gardening (wingman goals), the comedy torture scenes with Zak and Sam
  • Vanessa finally getting a storyline
  • Sam and Lydia getting engaged!
  • Belle being there as a mentor of sorts for Liv

Fails

Silly Filler

Emmerdale - Tuesday 10 Oct 7pm - The ITV HubWith the big Barton plots dominating the screen this week, it was disappointing that many of the other plots felt a bit pointless. While there were good aspects (Sam and Lydia getting engaged, Gerry being a rather entertaining addition to a scattering of stories), the teen plot and the factory story seemed to go nowhere. Both Lydia and Rishi add comic value to Emmerdale and regularly make me laugh, but this week’s story of the elusive Una was short on giggles. With Lydia unable to let go of her old home and memories of Steve, her fake alias of Una was exposed by the Sharmas. It wasn’t the worst plot ever – it just wasn’t funny enough. If they needed a mix up to get Sam to propose surely there was a better way. As for the teens – we’ve seen so many of their alcohol inspired antics now – surely it has to be leading to an actual story soon?

Shouty Man

Emmerdale - Pete Can't Accept the Truth About Finn's Killer - YouTubePete Barton is the human equivalent of nails down a blackboard. One shout from him and that’s my teeth set on edge for the day. And boy did he do a lot of shouting this week. I get it, okay? He’s grieving, he’s angry at the world and he was told he was a dad – and then he wasn’t. Pete’s got a lot of things to be upset and angry about, but there’s still something so unsympathetic about him. If you’re able to put aside his sleazy behaviour with Priya and forgive him that (miraculously Leyla managed to, while still spouting off at Priya), you’d recognise that he’s suffering a big loss right now. The world is against him. But still, his sadness turns from zero to “I’m gonna thump you” in thirty seconds and all the aggression and gurning doesn’t exactly lead to much sympathy, sorry mate. In fact, Dale View is a bit too heavy on the male posturing and aggro right now which isn’t helping. Also there is the knowledge that Pete’s moods vary between just two – aggressive and dull – and if we were picking Bartons to lose, I’d have picked him over Finn any day.

Fave or Fail? (2-6 Oct 2017)

faveorfail

Every week I run through the best and worst bits of the week on Emmerdale. Tell me your faves and fails in the comments! The Bartons lost two of their own this week as Super Soap Week returned with comeuppance for Emma.

Faves

Emma Barton’s Breakdown

vlcsnap-2017-10-08-18h39m19s450Gillian Kearney took centre stage in Emmerdale’s Super Soap Week as Emma Barton’s story came to an end and I am really going to miss her. As Emma battled with her conscience and ghosts in the form of James and Finn, Gillian gave incredible performances proving once and for all that Emma wasn’t just a villain but a deeply troubled and complex woman. Emma’s story this week veered into dark territories again, but I liked that her actions often echoed elements of past behaviour (such as keeping Finn captive like she did with James) and were never cartoonish or “bad” in the name of soap villainy. Her guilt, her desperation, her love for her family and her religious convictions made her into a fascinating, sometimes even sympathetic, character and while I wasn’t totally satisfied with the resolution, I’ve loved the journey of watching a character as multi-layered as Emma.

The Big Showdown

vlcsnap-2017-10-08-18h37m22s680Monday and Tuesday’s big episodes were my favourite of the week as two powerful women came to blows when Emma revealed the truth about James’s death to her nemesis, Moira. Both Natalie J Robb and Gillian Kearney gave stellar performances during the confrontation which made the fire in the barn scenes all the more thrilling and intense. The claustrophobia and lighting in the barn added to the scenes of peril and also made the whole event feel more cinematic, much last like year’s big motorway crash. I almost wished the barn scenes could have played out longer as the big set piece of the week, and end on a pyrotechnic high.

Baby Shock

vlcsnap-2017-10-08-18h40m45s788Okay, so it’s probably the plot twist we all saw coming, but Moira got a huge shock this week as she gave birth to a baby boy right in the middle of Emma’s carnage. We’ve been waiting since before Christmas for this revelation and it didn’t disappoint, made even more exciting by the fact Moira’s waters broke right in the middle of the huge barn fire with only killer Emma on-hand to help. With the birth being totally unexpected and the father in question (though, if you read spoilers you’ll know who the daddy is!) then the fallout is sure to be long-lasting, giving Natalie J Robb a chance for some really gritty drama again. Hooray! She’s been far too underused this year as they attempted to keep the pregnancy a secret and I’m looking forward to seeing how the shock of this new child impacts upon her relationships too.

Finn Fallout

vlcsnap-2017-10-08-18h40m31s441Poor Finn Barton lost his life this week after being caught in the crossfire of his mother’s unhinged actions. While the Bartons were preoccupied by Emma’s worrying behaviour and Moira’s pregnancy, it was left to Finn’s friends to really mourn him. In comparison to the rest of his family, aside from a spot of ill-advised stalking, Finn had a fairly tame and good-intentioned life (just don’t ask Kasim) so it’s obvious that his death would be the event to cause the most upset in Emmerdale. While I felt the death itself was a little rushed, Tracy and Eric’s emotional response gave his death the impact and heart it warranted, particularly as they talked about Finn and Val living it up in the afterlife together. Finn’s a loss to the village and the show as his nerdy comedy was a welcome relief amongst his brothers’ testosterone aggression and Joe Gill proved himself to be a great actor when faced with the more challenging material of late. It’s hard to say how the Barton boys will move on now that their family has become so fractured but it’s sure to be a lot less fun now that Finn’s gone.

Fails

The Final Fall

vlcsnap-2017-10-08-18h40m39s456Sure Emma’s death was soap karma and echoed a very similar fate to her husband, James, but overall it was a disappointment for me. While it’s true we’re all in the dark about how exactly she came to die (fall, pushed, suicide?) the final scenes of her fall were choppy and marred by some slightly dubious special effects. Emmerdale can do arty now and again but Emma’s fall just looked a little amateurish and took away from what had been a thrilling and well-acted week for her. Perhaps when we get the full story of Emma’s final moments I’ll change my mind but for such a significant character, her death seemed like a bit of a non-event.

Jam Packed

vlcsnap-2017-10-08-18h38m47s702Last week’s Super Soap Week saw two days in real time stretched out over six episodes so perhaps it was only natural that this week’s events would feel chaotic. While the fast pace was high octane and thrilling in the first few episodes, later in the week characters began flitting from place to place in record time and it left certain aspects of the drama feeling rushed. Of course, there’s still an element of secrecy surrounding what really happened to Emma so some of the awkward pacing has reason but I can’t help but feel they tried to cram too much into the week’s events. Aspects such as Emma’s kidnap of the baby, Moira fleeing hospital and grabbing her gun, Adam getting arrested, all seemed like too much in a short space of time, and left some of the drama unable to breathe. Finn’s death was overshadowed by Emma’s disappearing act and because of this it felt like his brothers weren’t given ample screentime to let it have any impact. When we were losing two big characters – two from the same family too – in such a short space of time, it needed a less is more approach. Perhaps next year we need to extend this Super Soap Week to a fortnight, just to fit everything in!

Scene of the Week (2-6 Oct 2017)

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In another of Emmerdale’s incredible Super Soap Weeks there was no shortage of standout moments, but it was this incredibly moving scene that stole the week for me. With Tracy wondering where Finn had got to, it was up to Victoria to break the tragic news. We all knew it was coming and as Tracy blathered on, making jokes and reacting to the goss about Pete and Moira, the tension grew as we waited for her to hear what had happened to poor Finn. It’s scenes like this, where shocking news travels slowly and grief sets in that brings the realism to these big soapy weeks and it was a testament to the emotional performances of Amy Walsh, Isabel Hodgins and Christopher Chittell that it was hugely affecting. You could feel the loss and the tragedy as it rocked the villagers and this made Finn’s death much more impactful and heart-breaking – perhaps more so than the death scene itself.