Hotten Police reacted swiftly to the discovery of Graham Foster's dead body and arrested Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) for the crime, even though viewers know it was really rapist Pierce Harris (Jonathan Wrather) who remains at large and is not even on the cops' radar.
As news of the brooding bloke's bumping off rocked Emmerdale on Monday 27th January, following Priya Kotecha and Billy Fletcher stumbling upon the corpse covered in leaves near a bridge, the cops' questioning of the pub chef revealed his rivalry with the deceased, who was planning to take his son Leo to live in France for a new life with Marlon's ex, Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry).
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Graham made numerous enemies in the run-up to his murder but none more visible to the villagers than Marlon, who made his feelings very public about Mr Foster playing stepdad. Eye witnesses to Marlon fighting with Graham over Leo, and the fact Mr Dingle arranged to meet the man in black later that night shortly before his death, gave the police the perfect motive.
The episode ended with Marlon being arrested for the murder as Rhona wondered whether her ex could really be guilty…
Elsewhere, we were drip fed some info that shed light on some - if not yet all - of what the other suspects were up to while Pierce was battering Mr Foster to death in the woods.
Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) confessed to girlfriend Vanessa Woodfield she and son Ryan Stocks stole a bundle of cash from Graham's abandoned car to teach him a lesson, explaining the ambiguous ending to their 'point of view' episode in which they were creeping around discussing having 'no regrets'. 'Ness was not happy her other half had broken the law yet again on what was meant to be their wedding day.
Meanwhile, warring couple Andrea and Jamie Tate gave each other an alibi for the night in question, despite it emerging they weren't actually together: Priya quizzed Jamie on where he was zooming off to in his car when his estranged wife stepped in and claimed they'd met up to discuss custody of their daughter Millie.
In a private moment later on, the spouses kept quiet about what they were really up to (still no news on why Andrea was covered in blood) but have reached an uneasy truce to presumably protect each other from going to prison and disrupting Millie's life.
They definitely weren't in the same place at the same time, but Jai Sharma continued to be confused as to his missing hours following his cocaine blackout and why he had blood on his hands when he woke up in a field - sparking further speculation him and Andrea may be conspiring together…
Interestingly there was no sign of Pierce himself - did he scurry back to his bedsit or take off in that car? And when will we see him again? Speaking to RadioTimes.com last week, Wrather revealed he is back for a short stint three years after leaving the show: "He will be around for a little bit. I can't say much, or what he goes on to do, but there’s very exciting stuff to come – it’s not what you expect.
“It’s a curveball and it’s interesting – the storytelling is great and the writers are great.” The actor also confirmed he will come face-to-face with ex-wife Rhona for the first time since she visited him in prison following his five-year sentencing for rape back in 2017.
"He is fixated on Rhona. Without a doubt it is terrifying for her to discover Pierce is even back, and she will wonder what he's going to do next. But the effect it has on her can go a number of different ways and we will see that in how she reacts to seeing him again…”
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