Emmerdale Review: Guest blogger The Woolie Weekly is back with a run down of the best and worst happenings in the past month in our monthly Emmerdale review. Here’s what they had to say about what happened in the Dales during February 2019…

Emmerdale Review: February 2019's best (and worst) bits
Thurs 14 Feb 2019 – 8pm: With the factory job not going well and Jimmy still being frosty at home, how much more can Nicola take?

With Valentine’s Day in the middle of February, it should have been the month of romance, but February in Emmerdale was far from hearts and flowers, as Nicola King suffered the fallout of the scheme discovery, Rhona Goskirk’s life was rocked by an accident, and Jacob Gallagher confessed his love for twisted Maya Stepney. Let’s take a look back at what happened…

February was a big month for the Kings as Nicola (Nicola Wheeler) faced the music in the wake of her and Robert Sugden’s failed scheme to overthrow Home Farm. Lonely Nicola was left out in the cold by husband Jimmy King (Nick Miles) and rejected by her family, but this gave Emmerdale’s most enduring couple a meaty chunk of screen time.

As Jimmy dealt with the Kings’ naturally funny kids, Nicola tried her best to rebuild. Nicola’s attempts to fight for justice included a hilarious sit-in hostage situation at Brook Cottage where Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles) and Nicola’s sisterly clash gave us pure comedy moments, but Nicola’s tender reassurance to Elliot was also a real highlight of this story.

Nicola’s now stuck as Graham Foster’s cleaner and general dogsbody (which feels like a re-tread of Jimmy’s odd-jobs for Joe Tate) but at least she seems to have made amends with the people that count. The Kings have been underused in Emmerdale for ages so it was a welcome more to see that change.

Emmerdale Review: February 2019's best (and worst) bits
Tues 19 Feb 2019: Jai Sharma warns Manpreet that he’s on to her.

Another set of often overlooked characters are the Sharmas who also moved away from sitcom silliness to get a more serious storyline, as Manpreet’s spending addiction came to light. Money plots can be a bit dry to watch, but actress Rebecca Sarker gives Manpreet both heart and humour, providing Manpreet with some much needed depth. Manpreet’s chemistry with all three of the Sharmas made the scenes far more engaging than expected.

It’s been another tough month for the teens of Emmerdale with Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) close to crumbling at his 16th birthday party and Liv Flaherty opening up about her asexuality. Liv’s story has been a slow burn for quite sometime, but it’s a fresh and involving story for Emmerdale to be tackling. As with all her emotional plots, Isobel Steele’s performances hold so much vulnerability and honesty and Liv’s growing confidence was an enjoyable watch.

Emmerdale Review: February 2019's best (and worst) bits
Wed 27 Feb 2019: Jacob is nervous but excited as Maya leads him up to his bedroom. Thrown by visual reminders of Jacob’s youth, an uneasy Maya makes her excuses and leaves.

What has been more challenging viewing is Maya Stepney’s continuing grooming of Jacob. February saw him confess his love for her after she suffered a fall and the pair planned to sleep together. Actor Joe-Warren Plant’s raw performances have showed the suffering of Jacob’s plight and it’s also impossible not to appreciate how clever Louisa Clein’s acting is in making us despise wicked Maya. As the story gets darker and makes us more uncomfortable, it can only be a good thing that this is Emmerdale’s most talked about storyline.

Another big moment in February was Rhona’s accident on the farm, which lead to the breakdown of her relationship with Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan). It was great to see Emmerdale return to its farming roots – something which many fans would like to see more of – as Pete’s hungover driving of a dodgy tractor caused a crash.

In hospital Rhona (Zoe Henry) learned she would have to have a hysterectomy and the couple were thrown by the news. With Pete wanting children and Rhona unable and not wanting any more, the pair could not reconcile and despite Pete’s claims he accepted Rhona’s decision, she told him it would be best if they lived apart and had a rethink about their future.

Pete and Rhona have been a surprise hit with viewers and their difficult conversations about the future of their relationship have offered compelling scenes. Their complicated and frank relationship struggles are exactly the kinds of drama worth watching.

Marlon and Jessie Dingle also faced challenges in their relationship in February as they fought about Jessie’s over involvement in her sons’ lives. They aren’t the most engaging couple, but the conflict between them added some grit to their otherwise stale relationship. Brother Ellis and Billy’s feud has become a bit of a bore as the escalation of their fight boiled over into unbelievable scenes of jealousy and Ellis (Asan N’jie) driving a van at his brother. This hasn’t done any favours for Jessie (Sandra Marvin) either whose parenting decisions have become irritating rather than relatable.

Emmerdale Review: February 2019's best (and worst) bits
Thurs 14 Feb 2019 – 8pm: Ryan Stocks dares to hope as he and Dawn enjoy their evening.

We can’t let a recap of February pass without mentioning two of Emmerdale’s biggest missteps of the month. First there was Ryan Stock’s clunky personality transplant. After his compassion for Dawn (Olivia Bromley) and her heartbreak over losing contact with her son, Ryan (James Moore) became almost a different person, trying to pay her for sex and acting like an immature brat. This wasn’t the guy we loved, so hopefully Emmerdale don’t have any more plans to show his petulance.

Then there was the cringefest of the Bear Wolf story. If it wasn’t uncomfortable enough watching Chas (Lucy Pargeter) and Marlon (Mark Charnock) push Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) into meeting his ‘real’ dad, then Emmerdale’s embarrassing attempts at comedy with this cartoonish wrestler was unbearable. I’d say enough’s enough, but Bear’s return is already on the cards, unfortunately.

Not the strongest month of Emmerdale but all eyes are on the events of March as a certain Kim Tate returns, for good this time. Here’s hoping it’ll live up to the hype.

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