Emmerdale delivered some distinctly dark storylines over the last 12 months with Maya Stepney’s creepy abuse of schoolboy Jacob Gallagher, Victoria Barton’s rape ordeal and Cain Dingle’s discovery his secret son had seduced his wife.
As we enter 2020 the grim reaper is lurking and there’s a murder on the horizon that launches a year of shocks and thrills in the village – here’s the top 10 plots coming your way…
1. Who kills Graham?
Half the village wants gruesome Graham Foster gone, and later in January one of his numerous enemies will be pushed to murder the man in black launching an epic ‘whodunnit‘ with a distinctly unique flavour. Across a week of special episodes, the same day will be played out from the perspectives of different suspects, with all eventually becoming clear in a game-changing twist that turns the village upside down.
“It’s always exciting to step outside of our usual storytelling style,” teases producer Laura Shaw. “Viewers will be on the edge of their seats. Graham has been at the centre of some big storylines so it felt only fitting he left us with an enormous, explosive bang to kick off a massive year for Emmerdale.”
Among the suspects are Marlon Dingle, desperate to stop son Leo’s mum leaving the village for a new life with Mr Foster, Kim Tate who’s complicated history with her ex-lover/employee has turned distinctly sour, her daughter-in-law Andrea Tate who blames Graham for ruining her marriage to Jamie by revealing their one-night stand, and Charity Dingle. Why Charity? Good question…
2. Charity fights for her son
The loudmouth pub landlady has got it in for Graham over his part in son Noah’s drug dalliance that put him in hospital over Christmas. Bravely brandishing the blonde as an unfit mother riles her up and leaves Charity aching to teach him a lesson. Eldest kid Ryan Stocks is also set to be drawn into the plot as he confronts Graham over his secret financial fraud, leaving Charity with a double parenting dilemma as both sons threaten to career off the rails thanks to Mr Foster’s unhealthy influence.
3. Sarah’s drug drama
Charity’s granddaughter will also give her sleepless nights, as teenager Sarah Sugden falls deeper under the spell of school crush Danny who tries to convince her to deal drugs for him. Will the vulnerable girl end up slowly spiralling into a life of crime while mum Debbie is not around to protect her?
4. Jai tempted by cocaine
Illegal substances are also on Jai Sharma’s mind – tension working for Kim Tate at the outdoor pursuits centre leads to temptation for the former cocaine addict and he scores drugs to alleviate the pressure. Whether he takes them and properly falls off the wagon or not remains to be seen, but it appears Jai’s demons are set to haunt him in 2020.
5. Aaron’s shock announcement
The end of Robron was one 2019’s most heartbreaking stories, and the aftermath sees abandoned Aaron Dingle slide into despair and self-destructive behaviour at the start of 2020. Next week he reels from Rebecca White’s refusal to let him see Rob’s son Seb any more and the messed-up mechanic hits the town and hooks up with two random fellas. Caught the morning after with a one-night stand by disgusted Liv and Victoria, Aaron gets aggressive and lashes out at his loved ones. He’s full of remorse afterwards and makes a huge decision that has massive consequences…
6. Victoria’s future
Never mind brother-in-law Aaron’s meltdown, new mum Vic has her own stuff going on as she adapts to being a single parent to son Harry, and tries to avoid his granny Wendy, mum of her newborn’s dead rapist dad Lee. As Vic has counselling to deal with her sexual assault, the penny starts to drop for Wendy who faces the truth that her son was guilty of the heinous crime – is it too late for her to build bridges with Victoria? And what about that spark with Lee’s brother Luke, could it lead to romance in the year ahead?
7. Goodbye Pete – for good
We’ll be saying goodbye to hunky farm hand Pete Barton early in 2020 following Anthony Quinlan’s decision to quit after seven years in the role. Arriving back in 2013 with brothers Ross (who left in 2018) and Finn (killed off in 2017), he’s the last sibling standing. It remains to be seen if the door will be left open…
8. Goodbye Moira – for now…
Pete’s auntie Moira Dingle will also be vanishing from the village, albeit on a temporary basis. Mucky Moira has a wake-up call after her boozing puts her in hospital and she decides to go and stay with mother-in-law Nana Barton for a while to dry out. You can’t blame her, seeing as she’s become a pariah after her ill-advised fling with hubby Cain’s long-lost son Nate Robinson. However, when it comes to the crunch will Cain be able to let her go? Or will he think good riddance to the woman who broke his heart?
9. Mum’s the word for Nate
After numerous mentions and teases, Nate’s mum, and Cain’s ex, Cara Robinson has finally appeared. Her pregnancy 20 odd years ago was kept kept from Cain thanks to meddling mum Faith, who silenced her for fear of reprisals from bigoted late husband Shadrach’s reaction to a mixed race grandchild. What impact will her arrival have on the village in 2020 as she reels from her son’s revenge fling with Moira? Will she shed light on her and Mr Dingle’s past? And could there still be a spark that upsets anyone out there still hoping for a Cain and Moira reunion?
10. Baby daddy twist?
David Metcalfe was confirmed as the father of Maya’s baby when the DNA results came in, but it all feels too neatly tied up. Especially considering David practically begged Dr Liam to fake the results if he had to in order to ensure everyone believed him, and not teenage grooming victim son Jacob Gallagher, was the daddy. Did Liam tamper with the test so Jake wasn’t saddled with a kid at such a tender age, and a reminder of his abuse by the doc’s manipulative ex-wife? Pure speculation, but if it turns out to be true remember where you read it first…
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