Emmerdale’s special week of episodes continued tonight with a spectacular car stunt.

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This week’s episodes have atypically been telling the same day from the perspective of different characters whose storylines have now converged in a terrible car accident.  

In tonight’s (20 October) first episode at 7pm, the focus was initially on dementia sufferer Ashley (John Middleton) as he became confused at the christening of his daughter Dotty. Later, Ashley suddenly got into his head that he’d missed the christening he’d actually attended earlier and set off to get there in the car he hasn’t been behind the wheel of for months.

The focus then switched to Emma Barton (Gillian Kearney) and her ex-husband James (Bill Ward) following his attempt to escape her in Wednesday’s episode. Emma sparked a catastrophic motor vehicle pile-up when during their confrontation she pushed James off a footbridge and on to Ashley’s car.

With James crashing through the windshield, Ashley’s car spiralled out of control and flipped over. Noticing the smash in his rear view mirror, Pierce (Jonathan Wrather) was momentarily distracted from his driving and swerved into the middle of the road to avoid a collision with the vehicle in front. A white van then crashed into both Ashley and Pierce.

As Pierce recovered he turned and saw Paddy (Dominic Brunt) and Rhona (Zoe Henry), who had been in pursuit of him, experience a brutal crash as they tried to avoid the situation. Another van then crashed into Pierce’s car whilst he was taking in the horror of Paddy and Rhona’s accident.

Robert (Ryan Hawley) and Aaron (Danny Miller) then hit the site amid Robert’s angry proposal. Their attempt to steer away resulted in them driving off a cliff and into a lake. At the main crash scene another car came along giving Paddy and Rhona a further bump.

In the ITV Yorkshire serial’s second outing at 8.00pm, the steering column of Robert and Aaron’s sinking car proved an hindrance to Aaron escaping the vehicle as it rapidly took on board water. 

In tense scenes Robert battled to free Aaron, and at the last minute the column gave way. The pair made it to the safety of the bank but there was something else Robert had to do. Robert was left unimpressed after returning to the water to rescue Lachlan (Thomas Atkinson) – who had been trussed up in their boot – only to realise he’d already made it to dry land without alerting him.

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Meanwhile, Pierce managed to get Rhona out of the wreckage of her and Paddy’s car. After which it looked as though his intention was to leave Paddy to die, but in a sudden change of heart he alerted the paramedics to his presence.

A bewildered Ashley was almost scalped by a crashing motorbike as he stood within the wreckage and spotted Emma on the bridge. Ashley then wandered off into the woods leaving Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) beside herself when she arrived on the scene.

The episode ended with a shocked Emma receiving a call from her son Finn (Joe Gill) informing her that James had been involved in an accident but was very much alive. Will Emma’s instigation of the destruction come to light?

At least one character will die in the final instalment of the week tomorrow. 

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Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV, UTV and STV with an additional outing at 8pm on Thursdays
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