So, the mystery is solved – Ross Barton shot Robert Sugden.
The special rewind episode of Emmerdale – just broadcast on ITV – saw Ross enter into a murder pact with Andy, which resulted in Ross agreeing to fire a bullet into Robert if Andy agreed to bump off Pete. A dark twist indeed and one that left Michael Parr, who plays bad boy Ross, fearing for his own future on the ITV soap.
“I was nervous when [producer] Kate Oates told me that Ross shoots Robert. I was thinking, ‘well, my days in this show are numbered then’,” admits the actor. “I do worry about it when Ross does bad things. On soaps, there has to be moral justice – characters have to get their comeuppance, otherwise what does that say to our audience? But with this, I’m thinking that if Robert can get away with killing Katie, then Ross can get away with shooting Robert!”
And what Parr hopes is that this latest twist gives Ross devotees the chance to see that he has a proper murderous streak. After all, despite a year that has seen him scheme, steal, threaten and cheat, Ross does seem to be Teflon-coated in the eyes of Emmerdale fans.
“There was a point where I was thinking, ‘it doesn’t matter what I do, everyone just seems to be cheering for Ross’. So hopefully this will remind people that I am meant to be the villain. Maybe I was doing my job wrong before.”
The climax to tonight’s flashback saw Ross quit the village after bidding a tearful farewell to Debbie. But don’t think we’ve seen the last of him: next week’s Emmerdale episodes will see Ross return to wreak revenge upon Pete by hitting him with a baseball hat and dangling over a high viaduct. But could Ross also have it in for Andy after discovering that he’s not kept to his side to the bargain?
“Well, you can’t spell ‘cross’ without saying ‘Ross’,” laughs Parr. “He is going to put the heat on Andy. Ross genuinely thinks that he’s killed someone, so what is that going to have done to his mental state? He’ll be in a worse state when he returns and if the truth comes out, it’s not going to be good for anybody.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.