The burgeoning romance between Emmerdale’s Debbie Dingle and Tom Waterhouse took a few twists tonight when Deb confessed she was in love with her new fella, and viewers were teased with more intriguing hints as to what the enigmatic entrepreneur was hiding.
The quad biking session Tom had organised as a way of bonding with Debbie’s daughter Sarah went horribly wrong when the young Ms Sugden lost control of her bike and was knocked unconscious.
In the hospital, devastated Debbie lashed out at her loaded lover for putting fragile Sarah in jeopardy. Opening up about how she’s already spent more than enough time in hospitals with her daughter due to her cancer battle, emotional Debbie blamed Tom for the accident leaving him mortified at the chaos his gesture had created.
Thankfully, Sarah was okay and told her mum not to give well-meaning Tom a hard time – despite the way it ended, she enjoyed the quad biking and felt like a ‘normal’ kid for once.
Meanwhile, Tom and manservant Graham Foster had a hushed conversation in the hospital corridor that dropped more thought-provoking clues about the pair’s big secret. “Why stick around? You know you can’t go ahead now,” said Graham, with Tom sternly replying: “This doesn’t change anything… This will still work. I’ll do what’s right.”
Whatever the wealthy gents have got planned, Tom falling for Debbie was obviously not part of it – and Mr Waterhouse’s feelings for the moody mechanic appear to be genuine.
In the episode’s final scene, Debbie forgave Tom for Sarah’s accident and helping her daughter to have fun for a change – and then confessed she was in love with him… In one of this week’s most awkward moments in soapland, Tom smiled uncomfortably and stumbled over his response as the L bomb was left unreciprocated.
Making her excuses and leaving before she embarrassed herself any more, Tom looked tormented by Deb’s declaration, clearly haunted by Graham’s warning. What exactly is the real reason the mysterious men came to the village and focused on Debbie and her business? Earlier this week, Tom told Graham when accused of deviating from their plan: “You don’t dig a grave and leave it empty,” sparking fears that Debbie’s life was in danger through their involvement.
Next week the awkwardness of Debbie’s romantic admission seems to have dissipated as the couple’s relationship continues, but when Charity invites them to attend the village Christmas lights switch-on together so she can finally meet Tom in person, him and Graham conspire to get out of it. Then suspicious Charity tells Debbie there’s something she needs to tell her in private…
Has Charity worked out what Tom is up to? Graham seems to have a tight grip on his employee, is he the true power behind the throne and masterminding their antics? Can Debbie trust Tom, or will she find herself in too deep and part of something unsavoury?
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