Emmerdale airs a dramatic armed siege on Tuesday 25th June when gangster Max (Jordan Reece) holds the residents of Tall Trees cottage hostage at gunpoint, ending with a shot ringing out and viewers left wondering who has taken a bullet.
If the dramatic set-up sounds familiar it may be because it mirrors a similar cliffhanger from 12 months ago, when arch rivals Joe Tate (Ned Porteous) and Ross Barton (Michael Parr) wrestled with a loaded pistol up at Home Farm only for Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) to end up caught in the crossfire.
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This time, there are a number of potential victims lined up as Max storms the house seeking vengeance on Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) for double crossing him over a van robbery by tipping off the cops.
While Billy stays at the village football match with little brother Ellis Chapman (Asan N'Jie), their mum Jessie Dingle (Sandra Marvin), her husband Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) and his daughter April Windsor (Amelia Flanagan) return home to find menacing Max wielding a firearm and demanding they call Billy back to the house…
"Straight away they're all in danger," says Marvin. "Max is threatening them with a gun when there's a little girl in the house. It's terrifying for all of them.
"He holds them hostage and makes them ring Billy but it's going to voicemail. Marlon and Jessie try to calm Max down and get April away from the situation. It's quite scary and, at moments, violent - until it all comes to a head…"
Will Billy get shot or does someone else take the bullet?
Stunned Billy eventually picks up the message and dashes home with his brother, tackling Max as he enters. A tussle ensues between Billy and Max and that's when the gun goes off and someone - who shall remain unidentified until the episode airs - is left fighting for their life.
"We don't want to reveal who gets shot and what the outcome is, but this event will affect Jessie's whole family going forward," teases Marvin. "Billy and Ellis have brought this trouble to Jessie's new family, Marlon and April. Jessie has been so consumed with protecting her sons and trying to get them on the straight and narrow she's neglected the duty she has to her husband and stepdaughter, and this has a lasting impact which could tear things apart…"
In May 2018's shootout, Debbie interrupted the showdown between raging Ross - who was about to pull the trigger on Graham Foster believing he had ordered the acid attack that left the Barton bloke with permanent facial scars - and Joe, who was trying to protect his beloved employee.
Could history repeat itself and the victim turn out, much like Ms Dingle, to be someone who shows up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and not in the initial line-up of characters? What if it's Debbie again? She'll need a temporary ticket out of Emmerdale soon to accommodate actress Charley Webb's maternity leave - but shot twice in the space of a year? That really would be bad luck…
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