Emmerdale are teasing some of their most explosive episodes of the year, with the reveal of who was up on the viaduct with Emma Barton (Gillian Kearney) during the time of her death set to cause some major ripples throughout the farming village. Seven suspects are in the frame for Emma’s death, but did anybody actually shove her off the viaduct, or was somebody simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Ross Barton is one of the biggest suspects in the show, and with his shifty nature increasing tenfold as of late, viewers are wondering why he burned his mother’s bag if he wasn’t involved in her death.
Actor Mike Parr comments: “Ross clearly had his reasons for wanting Emma dead. He was furious when he discovered she had killed his dad so in essence it would have been for revenge. Ross never wanted Emma in their lives again. And he always saw through her. He had never forgiven her for walking out on them as young boys or for nearly killing him when he was a baby. So killing his dad and his brother would have definitely pushed him to the edge of his tolerance of her.”
Admitting that his character “is more than capable of murder”, he reminds viewers that he has “also arranged a pact with Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) when they planned to swap roles and kill each other’s brothers.” With plenty of motive, could Ross have taken the life of his own mother?
Acting stranger than ever before, Pete is another leading suspect after finding out that both his father and his brother Finn were killed by his mother.
“Pete is not himself at the moment,” says actor Anthony Quinlan who plays him. “He and Ross have absolutely no trust between each other and are both suspicious of each other.”
He adds: “Pete to-date has been the happy-go-lucky brother but things have gone wrong. His relationships in the village have broken down after his affair with Priya and he’s been dealing with a lot of stress. Finn was his adored younger brother so he would never forgive Emma for killing him and his dad. Plus, she had taken his baby so yes he’s got more than enough motive. Also, don’t forget that Pete did leave Ross for dead. So he does have it in him.”
Adam isn’t the typical suspect when it comes to a murder, but when he came across a blood-covered Emma outside the burning barn, he jumped to the conclusion that she had tried to harm Moira. Coupling that with his failure to provide an alibi at the time of Emma’s death, and it’s not looking good for Adam.
Actor Adam Thomas explains: “Adam knows he’s got a pretty dodgy track record and a terrible alibi. He ran after Emma into the woods with a gun. Even his wife Victoria has doubts over whether Adam has done it. Adam is really worried and he is trying to get people like Moira to cover for him. He’s been dug out of a few scrapes before.”
“Plus, he feels aggrieved that because Emma killed his dad he never got the time to get to know him,” he adds. “Adam was taking it slowly regarding building bridges with his dad but Emma denied him that.”
Moira and Emma have never seen eye-to-eye, due to the relationship both shared with James. Having been unfaithful to Emma on two occasions with Moira, Emma could never be swayed in her bitter nature surrounding her love rival.
Natalie J Robb, who plays the character says: “Moira is very maternal but also as hard as nuts. She always puts her kids first. It is a year since she lost Holly then she has a new baby and within minutes Emma has posed a threat to her new child. Moira would not have tolerated that. Moira will protect her kids at any cost and could well have seen Emma off but you will have to wait and see.”
Though she’s the youngest suspect on the list, that doesn’t mean Rosie Bentham’s character Gabby is naïve. In fact, she’s more capable than many listed here to follow through on her threats, protecting her younger brother and the memory of her father.
“Gabby knew things were getting out of control with Emma and she rang her mum to get help,” says the actress. “Could Gabby have gone one step too far? She’s acting very guilty and perhaps has something to confess…”
Though he’s now dating Harriet, Cain is never going to stop watching Moira’s back following the relationship they shared. Jeff Hordley has been through a lot in the role of the Dingle family’s hardest nail, so shoving Emma off the viaduct is not something we’d put past him.
“Cain wants to protect Moira,” Jeff explains. “Emma putting Moira in danger could probably be enough motive for Cain to finish her off. When Emma stole the baby, he would’ve seen red and thought, there’s a problem here and I need to go and sort this. Although Cain didn’t realise he was the dad, a small part of him probably knew he was. Cain just wanted to protect Moira and find the baby.”
After assuming Laurel was still away visiting her sister, Laurel is the latest and final addition to the suspect list. Having made incriminating phone calls and keeping a train ticket that Gabby discovers this week, it’s looking increasingly likely that Laurel finally got her revenge against Emma, for harming the late Ashley Thomas.
“Every fibre of Laurel hates what Emma did to Ashley,” explains actress Charlotte Bellamy. “And then, of course, there’s what Emma did to Arthur. Finding out she mentally tortured a 10-year-old boy who was totally vulnerable was Laurel’s worst nightmare.”
Emmerdale continues weeknights on ITV, with the whodunit storyline set to continue for a few more weeks before the big reveal.
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