Ella Forster (Paula Lane) considered a hasty exit in tonight's powerful instalment of Emmerdale (31st May 2024), as most of the village turned their backs on her after learning her dark secret.


With Liam Cavanagh (Jonny McPherson) now aware that Ella murdered a child, Ella desperately hoped she could persuade him to listen to her story before he judged her.

But it all proved too much for Liam, as memories resurfaced of evil Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu), who murdered his daughter Leanna (Mimi Slinger) in 2021.

Liam ordered Ella to leave his house, and outside, Ella was broken and alone as she realised her new life had been destroyed.

An oblivious Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) pulled Ella inside the Woolpack for a drink, but it wasn't long before all locals present were let in on her secret.

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Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi) and Suzy Merton (Martelle Edinborough) eventually announced Ella's crime, pondering whether to tell Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) given his own young son Kyle Winchester's (Huey Quinn) history over accidentally killing Al Chapman (Michael Wildman) in 2022.

Cain sits opposite Kyle in Butler's Farm in Emmerdale
Cain's son Kyle also killed as a child. ITV

While Manpreet, scarred from sister Meena's reign of terror, disowned Ella immediately, there was hope when Cain agreed to hear her out.

Cain had just been discussing moving away after learning that Kyle was being bullied again, while Ella had apparently heard about Cain and Charity Dingle's (Emma Atkins) troubled childhoods, and felt only they might be able to understand her.

In the backroom of the Woolpack, and accompanied by flashbacks, Ella told Cain that she'd had an absent mother and a drug addict for a father who forced her and her brother to take part in drug collections.

Left with no pals at school, Ella, whose real name is Ruth, had been befriended by Joanne Phillips, and was cared for like never before by Joanne's kind mother June.

Having been through hell, including things she claimed she would never talk about, Ruth had been overjoyed to be welcomed into the Phillips family.

But when the girls were 11 years old, Joanne suddenly announced that she wanted her old friends back, and Ruth had to stay away for good.

Knowing she would lose not just Joanne, but mother figure June too, Ruth reacted violently and the pair fought. Ruth ended up repeatedly hitting out at Joanne until she stopped moving, ultimately killing her.

Ruth served a long sentence before being released some years earlier, and claimed that those who decided she was no longer a danger to society had put their faith in her, and she would not let them down.

Ever the cool, collected Dingle, Cain responded by casually announcing he was going to get another drink - only to bump into Liam outside the door, who had been listening in but couldn't bring himself to talk to Ruth, aka Ella.

Ella later told Cain she was leaving, but Cain urged her to speak up about the events of her past, insisting that he would backtrack on his own plans to flee if she did the same. Will Ella stay or will she go?

Former Coronation Street star Paula Lane gave a particularly compelling performance in this emotional episode, but will we get to see more?

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Emmerdale airs Monday to Friday on ITV1. Stream on ITVX.


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