OK, I swear I’m not going to keep posting little things about Hollyoaks every month or so, but I am going to comment on a couple of interesting episodes they’ve done recently, namely the Flashforward one and Hollyoaks Later.
CONTAINS SPOILERS if you haven’t seen those episodes.
Flashbacks have been common on TV for a long time, but flashforwards are getting quite popular, and Hollyoaks have done one before. That one though was six months, this one is a whole year! Set on New Year’s Eve one year apart no less!
It is a bit risky – a lot can change behind the scenes for TV shows in a year as much as what happens onscreen. But it was a great episode, AND it gives the people working on the show an incentive to plan ahead and build up storylines knowing they’ve already commited to where it will lead to.
For now though, the episode worked well with the idea of a flashforward. Setting it on New Year’s Eve was a good idea too, as on that day people tend to look forward as to what life changes they want to make for the upcoming year, and they are also taking stock of how they got to where they are now.
The best part of it on first viewing though is how what is going on in New Year’s Eve 2019 contrasts so wildly with what is going on in New Year’s Eve 2020. The initial “Oh my God!” reaction you have, and wondering how the hell it is going to get to that point. It’s also a great teaser for what’s coming up for the show in 2020.
From what we’ve seen, by New Year’s Eve 2020:
There will be a wedding, probably involving the Nightingales and the Maaliks, because Marnie Nightingale and Misbah Maalik look happy and like they are going to be in-laws. Alfie Nightingale and Yasmine Maalik were boyfriend and girlfriend for a while, but Alfie left the show last year, so unless he’s coming back it could be a brand new romance.
Tom Cunningham is telling Romeo Quinn to stop as he is “going to ruin the wedding”, but Romeo says he’s “still love[s] her”. So is Romeo getting married to someone but in love with someone else, or is not getting married but in love with the bride? (Of course the wedding could have two brides or two grooms).
The biggest “Oh my God!” moment was probably the fact that Juliet Quinn and Peri Lomax are in love with each other! I don’t think anybody saw that coming! (Is Juliet
going to go goth/emo as well, or was that just a wedding outfit?)
A lot of much darker stuff is going on too. Many of the younger teenagers will be involved in a county lines storyline, where they are being used as drug mules by dealers. Nancy Hayton is shocked when the police arrive at her house and they are later seen bagging up her nephew Charlie Dean’s games console, as he has drugs hidden in it. Mandy Richardson is distraught to find what appears to be drug money in her daughter Ella’s rucksack.
Ollie Morgan says in New Year’s Eve 2019 he wants to make fitness his life, but we see that in a years time he will be taking drugs. He says he “misses him so much”. Could he be talking about his dad Luke who has been diagnosed with dementia, or his (currently unborn) son?
Sid Sumner had been told that he could go down a road of drugs or go back to playing the guitar and have a chance of making a success of himself. In a year’s time, Sid’s foster mum Leela Lomax is phoning him asking where he is as “the band is set up, everyone’s waiting for you” – but what she finds is a smashed up guitar. Has Sid taken a turn for the worse or has he been attacked?
Darren Osbourne appears to have been stabbed.
Most shockingly there is a dead body covered up, with John Paul McQueen crying. So there’s going to be a death, and most likely it is someone who is or will become close to John Paul.
It looks like a lot will happen in the show in 2020, and much of it will be pretty dark as well.
One of the first things they did in 2020 was a new Hollyoaks Later. A late night version of the show which is known for allowing the characters to swear (Liam Donovan says “bullshit” in this one), and for them to have more sex and violence than they can get away with at 6.30/7.00 PM.
This one dealt with the end of a serial killer storyline, about “Scary Poppins” nanny Breda McQueen who murdered men who she saw as “bad dads”. While, like most soap serial killer storylines they probably dragged it out too long, this was a good ending to it.
In this episode, Breda drugged John Paul after finding out he was on to her. (The flashforward episode already confirmed he’d survive, but still).
Mercedes McQueen, who Breda intended to frame for all the murders, had come to the pig farm to get some evidence against Breda. She found Tony Hutchinson, who Breda had been keeping locked up for months. Breda found the two of them, stabbed Tony with a pitchfork and locked both of them in a barn, out and out saying she intended to leave them to rot.
Breda’s son Sylver and daughter Goldie came to the pig farm, and here the whole horrific truth came out. Breda’s own father was abusive and violent to her, and she killed him – and fed his body to the pigs! She also killed Sylver’s dad, and buried his body somewhere on the farmland (and she said there were many more bodies buried there!). She killed Goldie’s dad, and let Sylver not only think he was responsible, but sat by and let Sylver be sent to prison for 18 years for the crime. After stabbing Sylver, Breda got some petrol intending to burn the whole pig farm to the ground, with herself and Sylver going with it. But Goldie managed to free Mercedes and Tony, and Mercedes went in to the burning farmhouse rescue Sylver. Mercedes and Breda fought each other with a glass shard, but it was Sylver who ultimately finished Breda off, sticking her own knitting needles into the back of her head, causing blood to come from her eyes!
A lot of Hellish fire and violence, but the best part of this episode for me was a scene with Mercedes and Tony when they were trapped in the barn, and fearing that they wouldn’t be found in time. Tony was understandably in a very bad way, having been stabbed and starved for months, and Mercedes was doing her best to keep him awake, and therefore alive. Especially the part where they bonded over the fact they had both had children who had died as babies, Mercedes’ son Gabriel and Tony’s daughter Grace. It was a very moving scene, and as entertaining as Mercedes can be when she’s a soap bitch, I love this side to her, when in this terrible situation how she was so caring to Tony, and it showed how strong she was as well, because she must have been worried herself that they might die here.
Oh, and another thing this Hollyoaks Later had. Rachel Adedeji (who plays Lisa Loveday) and Kelle Bryan (who plays Martine Deveraux) singing a lovely version of ‘Amazing Grace’.