Woollie Weekly Emmerdale Review!
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 May 2019…
We’re used to October being the huge month for Emmerdale, but this year it’s been May that’s given the village a shake up. From the revealing flashbacks to Lisa Dingle’s tragic early death, it’s been an eventful month that deserves a recap!
May’s biggest event for viewers was the flashback episodes, showing us what really happened on that fateful Big Night Out. April’s episodes left us with big unanswered questions but they didn’t leave us hanging too long. Each special episode gave us a closer look at the night’s events.
First there was the Billy and Ellis stabbing story, arguably the weakest strand of them all but held together by Asan N’Jie’s charming performance as Ellis Chapman. Then Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi), Priya Kotecha (Fiona Wade) and Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) gave us a horror-movie inspired trip to the woods as they confronted Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) and left her for dead. Finally, Victoria Barton’s evening took a catastrophic turn after walking home from the club with a seemingly nice guy she met, he raped her.
There were plenty of twists and turns in these episodes but it was the performances that had us all glued. The payoff from the Maya story was edge-of-your seat viewing, giving us back the must-see Emmerdale we know and love. Victoria’s rape was stomach churning to watch, but the episode itself was incredibly affecting.
Unsurprisingly these flashback reveals triggered compelling aftermaths. David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) learnt the truth about Maya and Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant), causing him to lurch through a complex range of emotions. His initial self-centred but believable response soon turned to realisation and he struggled to cope with his guilt for what Jacob had been through. Emmerdale did a great job in the early aftermath, making the fall out both raw and uncomfortable viewing. Since the showdown in the woods pacing has waned a little, and Leyla and David made some questionable choices not contacting the police. Since Maya’s arrest we’re holding out hope for swift justice, but if slippery Maya (played brilliantly by Louisa Clein) has her way, we might not be so lucky.
Isabel Hodgins who plays Victoria has long been an underused character but her performances in the wake of her rape have been exceptional. After confiding in Moira Dingle (Natalie J Robb), Vic turned to brother Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) and stepmum Diane Sugden (Elizabeth Estensen). Both parties have struggled to deal with helplessness and guilt, but it’s been a welcome change to see the Sugden family share more screentime and meaningful, emotional scenes.
Portraying another sexual violence storyline could have meant viewers were desensitised by the plot, but the writing in the aftermath of Vic’s attack was poignant and emotional. It’s been difficult to watch, but the dialogue – especially between Vic and Moira– was hard-hitting and needed. Vic’s story in May was quite self-contained but much like how Lisa Dingle’s return affected various members of the village, the repercussions also had an impact on characters on the outskirts – like Diane, Aaron (Danny Miller) and Cain (Jeff Hordley). Stories are much more successful when they spread community wide.
No story in May could have affected the community more than Lisa’s return and untimely death. Just as the Dingles got used to Lisa’s bombshell news of her illness and the bittersweet return, she sadly passed away. Before her passing we were treated to some big Dingle fun as Zak (Steve Halliwell) and Lisa (Jane Cox) remarried in what was a warm nostalgic set of episodes. Lisa’s death was both understated and very fitting and the impressive performances surrounding her death didn’t leave us dry-eyed. Lisa will be a huge loss to Emmerdale but for a treasured character this was the perfect goodbye. On screen now we’re still seeing the family’s grieving process but at the end of May the shockwaves of her death had a huge impact on Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper) and Sam in particular, giving us a heart-wrenching showcase of what James Hooton is capable of.
So much happened in May! We also had the arrival of Jamie Tate (Alexander Lincoln) who made a good first impression on viewers, but less so on the villagers when he got caught up in an accident with Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell). Things are thawing between him and mum Kim (Claire King), and it’s done wonders for her character making her much less the cartoon.
Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton) found herself face to face with her stalker Will Taylor (Dean Andrews) and it wasn’t long before we went from church terror to the pair of them going at it. The actors do have chemistry but the slow burn we were hoping for has fizzled into something rushed and unbelievable. On the opposite side of rushed is Megan’s trouble with the law for being on her phone and causing a crash which seems to have lasted the entire month and hasn’t been very interesting to watch.
Something we are excited about is the beginning tease of Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) and Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy) – could they be the next big romance? Will it be a summer of love? Will Maya finally get put in prison? Can’t wait to find out!
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