The day Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) has been dreading finally arrives in Emmerdale next week when daughter Debbie (Charley Webb) discovers her father killed fiance Joe Tate (Ned Porteous) – or so he thinks.
Guilt-ridden Cain believes he delivered a fatal punch to his prospective son-in-law last year thinking he’d jilted Deb and thinks Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) disposed of the body, but viewers know Joe survived the blow and his true fate remains a mystery – with calculating Graham letting Cain carry on blaming himself.
There are emotional scenes next week when Debbie is asked to identify a body police fear is the missing Mr Tate, who was forced to secretly flee when stepgranny Kim Tate (Claire King) put a hit out on him for conning her. With Deb too distraught, Cain offers to view the corpse and tells her it wasn’t Joe, but when she tearfully tells her father she can’t move on from his disappearance he cracks and tells her what he did…
“This has been weighing heavy on Cain,” says Hordley. “He is at bursting point and Debbie’s distress at the body being found is the catalyst for him to tell her. One night he goes to the garage, they start talking and it just comes out. He can’t hold it in any more.”
Fleeing in tears, Debbie’s reaction is understandably emotional and it’s clear Cain’s confession is a game-changer in the pair’s dynamic. “Later on Debbie goes to tell Graham that Joe is dead. Graham calls Cain to tell him Debbie is at Home Farm so he goes round. As they talk she then realises that Graham was involved and has been in cahoots with her dad – all this, plus realising Joe is dead and didn’t just leave her at the altar, is too much and she breaks down.”
Why does Cain attack Moira?
Debbie’s week goes from bad to worse when she learns stepmum Moira (Natalie J Robb) also knows about Cain and Joe, with her horrified husband admitting all to her a few weeks after the tragedy. The betrayal threatens to tear the entire family apart when Cain explodes with angry frustration and throws Moira against a wall in a violent outburst.
“It’s pure frustration,” continues Hordley. “Debbie goes to Butler’s and Cain pleads with her that what happened to Joe was an accident, but she won’t have it and leaves. Moira tries to comfort Cain but he blames her for making the situation worse by trying to talk to Debbie, and he trashes the kitchen and instinctively pushes his wife against the fridge. Cain is broken like never before, it’s a new low.”
Fans have been waiting months for Debbie to stop being in the dark, but Hordley acknowledges the outcome has huge repercussions. “To play the truth of the situation there has to be a rift between them, but can they come back from that?”
Of course Cain is not really responsible for killing Joe, which gives hope to father and daughter one day reconciling. “Charley and love working together and we’re hoping the characters can come back together at one point. If the truth of the situation is that Cain didn’t kill Joe maybe it’s a road back for them to reunite which I’d love. But this definitely puts us in new territory as they’ve been so close up to now. I hope Joe walks through the door one day!”
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