When Emmerdale said they had a hugely emotional and shocking flashback episode up their sleeves. That ultimately would turn the conventional wisdom on Charity Dingle on it’s head. It really should have come as a storm force emotional warning for the episode we have just witnessed. Penned by the astute and bold Maxine Alderton the architect of recent scripts connected to Charity and Vanessa. It pulled at the heartstrings from the off giving viewers just the advertisement break to take initial stock.

As the rain lashed down on Charity, Harriet and Vanessa it soon would become an emotional torrent. Delivering a powerful narrative throughout the episode matched with innovative camera angles, it did not suffer from a lack of vision even through Charity’s car rear view mirror. Some fans were disheartened by the news that the episode length at 30 minutes, rightly so in some respects it felt rushed far to rushed an hour would have been just right.

In a moment of domesticity between Charity, Noah, and Moses before the carnage unfurled, it added another complexity of Charity being blindsided at a time she least expects and by having another thing to confess. Seeing Vanessa not learning her lesson going behind her back is entirely in keeping with continuity of the story, even if it was explained later on. So was Charity’s fierce response to seeing Vanessa and Harriet ask about her now alive son.

Dropping in seeing Charity speed of in Bails squad car an added moment of brilliance. It was a superbly written script by Alderton and the juxtaposition of the flat and church, where Charity is pouring her heart out to Vanessa a master-stroke. A place of ultimate safety and solace to a space where Charity felt at her most insecure and vulnerable did not go unnoticed.

It was never going to be easy playing the younger version of such an iconic character as Charity. However Mica Proctor who frankly looks every inch her elder-stateswoman. You knew the care and attention to detail surrounding this episode was considerable. Proctor’s ability to capture those movements and physicality of Charity added texture and layers to the performance. Whilst delivering little dialogue her ability to emote and convey the scenes was remarkable. I do think however she still was under-utilised but it’s a creative decision Emmerdale chose to make. It did however make them stand apart as Emma delivered stunning monologue after monologue.

Emma’s performance was the best of her Emmerdale tenure and it’s no wonder she and Michelle sat in silence between takes. We saw every single conceivable side to Charity tonight and in essence Emma’s most stunning work. Mixed with Michelle Hardwick’s performance matching the intensity of Emma’s going toe to toe it worked. Michelle’s heartbreaking performance seeing Vanessa struggle to cope with another shock when she thought she knew everything. Should also draw praise and she has also given one of her best performances not only in Emmerdale to date but her entire career.

Promised further blows to Charity’s already growing list of hurdles to overcome will undoubtedly bring Emma Atkins considerable acting prowess to the forefront. Like she has done before supported more than ably by Michelle Hardwick and now add to the mix Katherine Dow Blyton. Throughout this episode Emma and Michelle pitched it to perfection, throwing light and shade into a hugely powerful episode. Emmerdale made viewers wait long enough to explore Charity’s past and in 30 minutes everything finally with irrecoverable clarity made sense. And to Maxine Alderton probably overlooked, it was a stunning piece of writing.

(Picture ITV)

This review was written by Ishipvanity on Twitter