It’s a surprise – but not a good one (Picture: ITV)
There was a shock for Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) in Emmerdale recently when he went for a hospital appointment about his recovery from his stroke and got the brilliant news that he’s officially discharged.
Elated, Marlon left the consultant’s office and bumped into Rhona (Zoe Henry)’s former husband, Gus (Alan McKenna), and his pregnant wife Lucy (Charlotte Asprey).
We last met Gus when he came to the village seeking Rhona’s permission to use some embryos that he and Rhona had had frozen when they were trying to have a baby. Rhona wouldn’t give her permission, but it seems that Gus has gone ahead and forged it anyway – by stealing Rhona’s passport previously.
At the moment Marlon is holding on to this secret as he hasn’t been able to tell Rhona, but it’s not long before the truth comes out.
Zoe Henry told us how her character reacts to the knowledge that Lucy is soon going to give birth to a baby which is genetically part of Rhona.
‘It’s just the shock, really,’ she explained. ‘Something that she absolutely thought she’d put to bed 15 years ago and suddenly it’s right back here again and it’s imminent. How do you even begin to comprehend the enormity of that?
‘It’s beyond shocking and the rug’s been pulled from under her because there’s no right or wrong way to react to this news. How do you get your head around that?’
Rhona’s in for a huge shock (Picture: ITV)
Soon viewers will see Rhona coming face to face with Gus in scenes that Zoe described as ‘explosive.’
‘She’s very angry, as you would be. She said no. He did try and do the right thing and go through the right channels and ask permission. She thought about it very seriously and she said no. Of course he’s just gone ahead and done it anyway and that’s fraud, that’s all the things you shouldn’t be doing. It’s very explosive and she’s very angry.’
Zoe told us that, for Rhona, ‘It’s hell.’
‘Finding out that this baby you said no to is going to be born imminently, and then it being born. How could anyone come out of that unscathed and not be really hugely affected by it?’ she insisted. ‘It’s hell, because he’s lied and he’s stolen.’
Rhona heads to confront Gus (Picture: ITV)
The whole situation is incredibly difficult for Rhona to process and Zoe reflected that her character has mixed feelings about whether it would have been better if Marlon had never bumped into Gus and she’d never found out about the baby.
‘They were trying to get away with it and if Marlon hadn’t seen them they probably would have done. It’d be easy to say it would be easier if she never knew, but the thought that your child is out there somewhere and you don’t get to be a part of its life – I don’t know, I think it’s probably right that she knows.’
Rhona knows she has to tread very carefully with Gus.
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‘She knows how difficult he can be. She’s not frightened of him but she is cautious in dealing with him,’ she said.
‘She is treading carefully. Whether she’d admit it or not, I think she instinctively wants to be part of that baby’s life.’
This story is set to unfold over a long time period and will involve a lot of twists and turns, with the moral complexities taking viewers on a journey where their sympathies to the characters could well switch over time.
‘I think there’s a long road ahead, really,’ Zoe said. ‘Nothing is ever straightforward or linear, is it, but I think this is a really tricky situation for everybody involved. It should make for great viewing.’
It’s going to be a difficult few months.