A 'sideways' review of the latest goings-on in Emmerdale, the popular British Soap Opera.
For episodes broadcast in the UK 15th-19th October 2012
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
That was the week that was …
This is a big post. It's been a big week!
It seemed – from my Twitter feed – that half the country was sick with nerves in the build-up to the live episode. There'd been a bit of a scare the night before as the England v Poland football had been abandoned and there was talk of playing the match on Wednesday night.
It's ironic really, as the actual 40th Anniversary was on Tuesday but the football took precedence, yet it was also raining in Leeds on Tuesday night so it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise that it was was scheduled for the Wednesday!
Oh, no … oh, yes!
Everyone was SO worried that something would go wrong, and as poor old Betty faltered slightly in one of the first lines of the night our stomachs collectively lurched as – for a fleeting moment – we braced ourselves for what we all feared was about to turn into an hour of 'car crash' TV.
Thankfully, by the time we'd got to the first set of adverts I'd almost released the vice-like grip on my glass (I'd treated myself to a half bottle of champagne for the occasion) and was able to relax and enjoy the rest of what proved to be an absolute triumph – in every sense of the word.
The acting was spot on. Moving; funny; powerful, poignant and word-perfect (with even a bit of ad-libbing thrown in!) and all that technical planning proved to have been worth every long hour. Let's not forget Wednesday's writer though – Paul Roundell – who got the balance between the shocking drama and delicious comedy absolutely spot-on.
The whole thing was way beyond my expectation (even though I'd expected it to be good), and as I watched it for a second time at 6.00 the following morning to make notes for this review (I'd watched it like a 'normal' person for once when it went out live!), it became clear just HOW good it was.
BIG mistake there, Cameron
There's not much point in me talking too much about the plot as we all saw what happened, but I really hadn't expected Debbie to see the photos, so that was an amazing twist at the end of Thursday's episode!
I'd genuinely assumed that Cameron would have had the foresight to delete them from Carl's phone after he'd 'bopped' him then delete them off Debbie's phone while she slept – getting both himself and Chas neatly off the hook.
What great viewing it made though, and (of course) the 'Defective Detectives' only went and arrested Jimmy for the murder, didn't they?
It goes without saying that the first person to be charged after ANY Soap murder will always be completely innocent so I wouldn't be losing any sleep over it if I were Jimmy, but I wouldn't like to be in Cameron and Chas's shoes right now.
I'm living in hope though …
However … from MY point of view 'it's all good', as if you're a regular reader you'll know that I've been campaigning for Chas and Cameron to be together, married and running the Woolpack since way before they even shared their first kiss, so I'm not taking that confetti back to the shop quite yet …
There's no way that Debbie and Cameron could be together after all this and – don't forget – it's his and Chas's desperate love for each other that started all this off in the first place, but assuming that they are going to end up together eventually (God, I hope so), they're firstly going to have to survive the fury of both Cain, Charity and the rest of the village.
Charity's soft centre
Charity and Cain have been exceptional this week, and the scenes at the hospital with all the Dingles were moving and beautifully acted.
It's always nice to see Charity's soft/maternal side. She keeps it very well hidden most of the time (while she's out there being her normal, gorgeous and extremely feisty self), but it's an absolute joy to see her other side occasionally.
Same with Cain. He's either 'good Cain' or 'bad Cain', but his and Zak's scenes were very moving, and he loves Debbie and her children so much that he'd do anything to protect them. Just WHAT he'll do to the star-crossed lovers I dread to think though!
After this week it's surely clear where Debbie's future lies too, isn't it? HOW sweet was Andy at the hospital? He couldn't have looked more proud if it had been his own real baby being born, and now that they've got two children together it's surely a no-brainer for he and Debbie to get back together and live 'happily ever after' (well, for a little while, at least) now?
Who else was happy this week? The Smile for one – after pushing Princess Katie's face in the cake!
Again, what excellent planning it must have taken for that scene to work so perfectly – LIVE – and the look of genuine elation (mostly in relief, I suspect!) on Katie's face as she looked at Deccers will surely become an iconic Emmerdale moment?
More Happy Days
Someone else was happy too: Nikhil, as Gennie gave birth to their daughter.
Wonderful comic scenes – not least when Gennie told him to "Work with THIS" as she tweaked his nose (hard!) and called him a pig as her labour was witnessed by half the village.
"Oh my God, is that the head?" Rishi gasped.
"No, it's a coconut, Rishi. Have a shot at iiiittt!" she screamed!
Who didn't shed a tear as the proud new father whispered, "Beautiful," and Gennie looked at the baby and agreed that she was, to which Nikhil replied, "You're right, but I was talking about you." Aaahhhh. How sweet?
Despite all the drama we were also treated to a feast of Grins of the Week:
Nicola: "I'll go back where I'm useful."
Marlon (drunkenly): "Good luck finding THAT place, baby!"
Dan: "It's me wedding night. I should be drinking champagne and consum— … 'doing' me wife."
Nicola: "Have you seen Jimmy?"
Andy: "Debbie's in labour."
Nicola: "Is that what I asked?"
Katie (about Megan): "Cheeky cow."
Declan: "Keep dancing."
Katie: "I'll dance on her head."
Sam: "Do you dancy a fance? I mean, do you fancy a dance?"
Kerry (in disgust): " … No."
Cain: "Does it go any faster?"
Nurse: "It goes as fast as we can push it."
Cain: "Well, push it faster."
Gennie: "If this is wind, you'd better evacuate the whole street."
Andy: "I got the message. What's happening?"
Cain: "Well, what did the message say?"
Andy: "Debbie's in labour."
Cain: "Well, that then."
Edna (in the Church): "D'you mind? This is supposed to be a holy ceremony, not a penny matinee."
Charity: "They're pineapple chunks Edna; we're hardly sacrificing goats."
* Carl and Jimmy's was a long fight. It was daylight when they started and dark in the last scene of them knocking lumps out of each other.
* Declan told Megan, "It's not personal – it's just business." Who are you mate: Tony Soprano?
* Lauren said to Rhona and Paddy, "Don't go on our account," to which Rhona replied, "Ooh, we wouldn't … on your account." Ha ha. It was like something straight out of a Gilbert and Sullivan Opera!
* I loved the scene when Nikhil shouted desperately, "Who hasn't had a drink?" and (blind) Lizzie cried "Me!". Can you imagine Lizzie NOT having had a drink though? The woman's a veritable 'slops tray' on legs normally!
* I was right about Adam and Vic getting together! She was moaning about about getting old, dying alone and being eaten by cats though. Honestly. HOW old is she? Try being my age, and I don't even have any cats to finish me off!
* When Edna rang 999, why did a Police car turn up and not just an Ambulance? There was no suggestion of any skulduggery at that point, and they weren't actually sure that Carl was even dead.
A small car (with only two policeman in it) arrived, yet in the very next shot (as Adam told a detective that they'd made the call only 10-15 minutes previously), it had miraculously turned into a 'major crime scene' with police tape surrounding the area; a tent having been erected and loads of people in white suits already hard at work wandering around.
How could it have gone from finding a body to a murder investigation in only 10-15 minutes? If Carl had been clunked on the head outside the main entrance to Millgarth Police station in Leeds City Centre I doubt they could have had all that lot set up in ten minutes, let-alone in a small, rural village?
This is my only small criticism/query over a whole week which has raised the bar of live Soap broadcasting SO high that I doubt it'll ever be surpassed, and if Emmerdale don't get 'Best Soap' at next year's Awards after this, then the Anti-Emmerdale bias (which many of us already suspect to be the case) will have been proved conclusively …
On the Press Day I went to in September, someone let it slip that it was Carl who was going to die. We were asked to please pretend we hadn't heard it (for the sake of the storyline), which I, of course did, and I was pleased to see that – apart from a lot of speculation – none of the Soap magazines/spoiler sites gave the game away in the lead-up to the night.
A couple of weeks ago I suddenly spotted something which made me wonder if the whole 'accidental slip' had actually been a huge red herring dropped deliberately to put us off the scent though.
I've been keeping clues for 'evidence' since, and here they are:
Chas: "You had that coming," (after Carl was rude to Ashley about Gobby & he made a sarcastic comment about how if he saw more of his own kids he might be a bit less bitter).
Jimmy (to Carl): "You deserve everything you're gonna get."
Jimmy: "You're going to die a very lonely man, Carl."
Jimmy (to Carl): "I'm going to knock some sense into you, whatever it takes."
Cameron (to Carl): "If you keep pushing me, this whole thing is going to end very differently to how you're expecting."
Carl: "Only me. How's business?" (ringing Chas after she got home from her break with Dan).
Chas: "Drop dead."
OK, you'd think it was pretty clear from those lines that it'd be Carl for the chop, wouldn't you, but then that wonderful trailer came out, and as I watched it (many times, I have to admit!) I suddenly spotted that Cameron exploded into black.
Was this a MASSIVE clue that it was in fact HIM who was going to die and not Carl? I then picked up on these 'clues' and went from being 100% certain that it was Carl to 50/50.
Chas (to Cameron) "Let's hope we all get what we want and not what we deserve."
Charity (about Cameron) "Ooh, I do love him, but do you know what? If he ever hurt my Debs, I'd have to kill him."
Cameron: "Plenty of time for sleep when I'm dead."
A few 'teasers' in there, for sure, weren't there, but (unless there's another twist in the tale?) it looks as if the right man's gone, and to quote Stuart Blackburn's (oft-repeated) words from that Press Day: "He had it coming"!
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