Emmerdale delivered a curveball at the climax of their much-hyped whodunnit week when Pierce Harris was revealed as Graham Foster’s killer, despite not being included in the line-up of suspects and having not been in the show for almost three years.
Poisonous Pierce’s return to Emmerdale was shrouded in secrecy until the moment he appeared on screen having attacked Graham in the woods (although RadioTimes.com predicted he was a possibility last week), and Friday 24th January’s twisty-turny episode flashed back to recent scenes retold from Pierce’s point of view, showing he has already visited the village without anyone’s knowledge.
Think Mr Harris being the murderer is a leftfield copout? Then you obviously weren’t paying attention. Mysterious phone calls, strange noises and disappearing passports are just some of the clues the more alert among the audience may have clocked and figured out the culprit before he was unmasked…
1. The parole news (16th December)
Just before Christmas, Rhona got the upsetting news from victim liaison that her jailed former hubby was due for parole, two-hand-a-half years into a five-year stretch for sexual assault. Sharing her fears with boyfriend Graham that Pierce would track her down and the nightmare would begin all over again, it cemented the couples’ decision to move abroad. Sensing Rhona’s fear of her ex spurred Graham into protective mode…
2. The mysterious phone call (13th January)
Dispatching stooge Ryan Stocks as they discussed their scam to rip off Kim Tate when he had to take a phone call, Graham’s expression darkened even more than his usual resting brooding face when he listened to the message. Fans were baffled as we didn’t hear who was on the other end at the time, but Friday’s flashback gave us the full info – it was Rhona’s victim liaison officer confirming Pierce had been released that day. Graham deleted the message and got a thunderous look in his eye.
3. The bloodied knuckles (13th January)
Later that day, Graham returned home after dark to a waiting Rhona and was a little cagey about where he’d been for the last few hours before sneaking into the kitchen to wash blood off his hands. Now we know he’d been to visit Pierce in his post-prison bedsit to warn him off tracking down Rhona by beating him to a pulp. Which ironically pushed Pierce return to the village and kill the fiendish Foster, believing he was a threat to Rhona’s safety.
4. The disappearing passport (16th January)
Swiftly hiding Leo’s passport when Marlon called round, so as not to alert him of the secret plan to take their son to live in France, Rhona had no idea creepy Pierce was peering through the window and saw her pop it in between the laptop keyboard and screen before snapping it shut. Mr Harris then broke in and swiped the passport, which Rhona later accused Marlon of stealing. Mr Dingle strenuously refuted her claims, but did no one stop to think who might have actually nicked it?
5. The strange noises (17th January)
Sitting down with Leo at the kitchen table to talk to explain all about his exciting new school in France, Rhona heard a noise and went to investigate – just as Vanessa Woodfield appeared for a natter and found out her BFF was doing a runner. It turns out Pierce was hanging around again, having broken in and menacingly stroked the sofa, then scarpered in the nick of time before ‘Ness arrived. He was literally in the next room!
6. The watching from afar (17th January)
Foreshadowing the horror ahead, Rhona surveyed the village from the doorstep and wondered aloud to Graham: “Do you ever get the feeling something really big is about to happen…?” If you’d squinted and zoomed in to the bushes across the road you might have caught sight of Pierce lying in wait, plotting to make his move the following day by bumping off Mr Foster.
7. The passport in the car
Finally, just seconds before we saw Pierce standing over Graham’s body (although that wasn’t the actual moment of death as there were several Terminator-style resurrections) we had prime suspect Marlon Dingle searching through the woods for his nemesis and walk past a parked car. Observant viewers would have noticed Leo’s passport on the passenger seat, exonerating Marlon of stealing it and a huge, last-minute clue. So if you put it all together – the fact Pierce was being released, the strange noises, the theft, Graham’s secret beating – and worked it out in those last few moments, congratulations! If not – concentrate during whodunnits in future, please…
Visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.