Emmerdale Exits – Painful and Distressing?

With characters Frank Clayton and Megan Macey having left Emmerdale, and Robert Sugden and Jessie Dingle set to leave soon, The Emmerdaily contributor All In The Name Of Emmerdale asks what impact will their exits have on the Dales?

Emmerdale Opinions: The impact of the Emmerdale exits

In all serial dramas, characters invariably come and go at almost a constant. The Emmerdale exit door has been flung wide open once more for various characters whose departure will have profound impact upon the series dynamic. Most effected will be those closest to them with families torn apart…

It’s fair to say it’s been a tumultuous time as of late for Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley). Fiercely determined to seek justice for his sister Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins) after her sexual assault by Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie), his arrest followed an altercation with Lee that saw angry Robert hit him over the head with a shovel. Subsequently charged with GBH with intent, he faces the daunting prospect of a significant stretch behind bars. Emmerdale bosses have been very tight lipped about the circumstances behind Robert’s departure but the exit will be heart-breaking for the solid family unit he leaves behind.

Husband Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller), sister Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steel), son Seb White (Opie Atkinson) and sister Victoria will be devastated by not having him in their lives. It will weigh very heavy in particularly on Aaron, after all they have carved out a stable family life at the Mill. For both Aaron and Robert, feeling secure and a sense of safety with each other, the prospect of tearing them apart is an unfathomable notion to many Emmerdailians, already distraught at the thought.

Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley as Robron in Emmerdale
Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley as Robron in Emmerdale

Aaron will feel the loss of his loving husband most of all and spoilers have indicated he will go off the rails after Robert’s departure. Without knowing the full context of how he leaves the Dales, it is fair to say Aaron’s past issues with mental illness could rear its ugly head once more. Such is the loss of the safety net that Robert has brought him and the unconditional love that goes with it. It will be an interesting narrative to see actor Danny Miller grapple with the trauma of losing his character’s nearest and dearest.

But Robert’s departure also means Aaron’s lost the potential for having a child of his own through surrogacy as a very real prospect plus he may no longer be able to have access to stepson Seb. Aaron does lose everything at Robert’s exit and, whilst that notion is feared by many Robron fans, you can guarantee that Danny will bring it the necessary gravitas it needs and demands.

As Aaron struggles to cope with whatever circumstances cause the loss of his beloved Robert, will he push the rest of his family away and head down a very dark path? Whilst Robert’s exit will tear apart power-couple Robron, it provides all the ingredients of high drama which soap viewers devour as if they were at a Michelin stared restaurant.

Megan Macey (Gaynor Faye) has already got her boarding pass and left the Dales departure gate, leaving another family torn apart – . a concurrent theme for all the exits this year with the disbanding of families within the village.

Emmerdale Opinions: The impact of the Emmerdale exits
Jai Sharma’s world has fallen apart in recent times.

Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) faces the life of a ‘weekend dad’ as he watched Megan take their daughter Eliza Macey (Kyrena Robinson) with her to Newcastle. The destruction of his business empire, the factory went up in flames, the knowledge his part in the new business was not what he thought and now Eliza not being a constant in his life – it creates a new dynamic for Jai as he sees the remnants of his life scattered around him, trying to fight back!

For Megan, still reeling from the loss of Frank, trying to adapt outside of the village with a fresh start is a positive message to send people, showing you can rebound and regroup from the most traumatic moments of their life.

Meanwhile, for those left behind the devastating impact of the death of her late partner Frank continues. The profound loss of a father to Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) and Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick) thrown into the fervent mix.

Emmerdale Opinions: The impact of the Emmerdale exits
With Jessie set to leave, Marlon looks to get his heart broken again…

Then there’s Jessie Dingle’s exit as actress Sandra Marvin has announced she is leaving Emmerdale. This means we’ll see the disintegration of Marlon Dingle’s (Mark Charnock) tentative family harmony. The shocking events of Jessie’s shooting and the problems surrounding her sons Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) and Ellis Chapman (Asan N’Jie) were all brought to a head after Jessie’s drunken outburst in the Woolpack, magnifying the chasms in their relationship and bringing it into sharper focus.

It does seem once again that Marlon’s relationship and marriage is doomed, although in truth it was from the very start. The arrival of Jessie’s ex Al Chapman (Michael Wildman) at Tall Trees adds further complexity to the narrative.

Whilst no details are forthcoming to how Jessie exits, it leaves another child bearing the brunt of a departure. With April Windsor (Amelia Flanagan) forming a good relationship with Jessie and feeling a degree of stability, her world will be turned upside down. Loosing another mother figure will be devastating for her as well as for Marlon who will be left picking up the pieces once more. Will he ever find ‘the one’?

Whilst families are resilient, the very real implications of them being torn apart due to separation, potential divorce or prison terms could be reflected in the story-lining. How do those left behind cope with supporting children that are losing the very structure that is in place to support and protect  them? How do those children cope when told they have to move and what does that do for the absent family members like Jai left behind? What implications do these departures have on Aaron, Liv and Marlon who are left to pick up the pieces? So many questions the Emmerdale viewers will want answered.

Soap exits are utterly heartbreaking but for Emmerdailians separating one of its power-couples is traumatic and for many characters grappling with a breakdown of familiar bonds, their situation’s are reflective of millions of families the length and breadth of the country. It’s painful and distressing and Emmerdale creatives have woven these realities into the narrative, just make sure you have a supply of tissues as these departures are set to hit hard…


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