Just weeks after the grisly murder of Graham Foster comes another violent incident in Emmerdale, as Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) shoots an intruder at Butler's farm.
Believing estranged wife Moira Dingle is at risk from the rustlers currently terrorising local farming folk, Cain leaps to her defence when they're chatting about their relationship in the barn and investigates a noise outside – despite the ink on their divorce papers barely being dry.
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Producing a gun, but refusing to explain to Moira where he got it from, Cain instinctively shoots when he sees a figure coming towards them assuming it's rustlers. However, when they discover who Cain has fired at, the warring couple are horrified…
Hordley promises the identity of the victim precipitates "a definite change" for Cain and Moira going forward, but what exactly does that mean? Who takes the bullet? And why is it such a closely-guarded twist? Here are some theories as to the identity of the mysterious figure entering the barn at the worst possible time…
Jittery Matty found himself threatened by the rustlers recently and may be out scouring the property on the lookout for further attacks. Could his stepdad end up inuring him in trying to protect his mum? And what would that mean for Coira's future? It's hardly going to bond them, is it?
Cain has struggled to accept Nate as his long-lost son, particularly as his revenge fling with Moira is what broke up his marriage. Saying that, there's been a slight thawing in relations, and remorseful Nate genuinely wants to reunite his dad and stepmother. Maybe he's followed Cain up to Butler's, only to end up killed by his father before they could truly make amends?
Sassy Cara is back in the village, desperate to keep her son away from Cain and the bad influence of the Dingles. What if she's marching to demand her old flame leave their offspring alone, and is mistaken for a rustler?
Graham Foster's killer is hiding in plain sight, though that's about to change as he kidnaps Vanessa Woodfield and secretly holds her and son Johnny hostage by the time of the shooting. Evil Pierce may be on one of his sneaky circuits around the village stalking oblivious ex-wife Rhona Goskirk and accidentally stumble into the farm – actor Jonathan Wrather says his alter ego is only back for a short time and warns events take an unexpected turn that fans are unlikely to guess… Does Cain kill Graham's killer by mistake?
We're getting into real crazy theory territory now, but Charley Webb's return date from maternity leave as Cain's daughter is still not confirmed – perhaps because they're keeping her comeback under wraps and she makes a surprise visit home, only for her trigger happy father to think she's an intruder? It would certainly bring her back with a bang.
Any time there's a mystery in Emmerdale the default setting is to think the soap is paving the way for Joe Tate's return – so why should this be any different? Kim's playboy step-grandson is living it large on the continent but has unfinished business in the village. Surely he's heard about pal Graham's death and wants to pay his respects? And wouldn't it be dramatic irony if he got shot by the same man who thought he'd killed him once before?
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