‘Hollyoaks’ Week In Review: Romance on the Horizon, Dark Pasts Surfacing

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

Hollyoaks was much more quiet this week than the last few, giving viewers a bit of a rest from the shocking stunts and humor to show more character development. It has to be said that even when Hollyoaks goes the plot driven route with murders, accidents and mysteries, the showrunners never forget who their characters are and stay faithful to that. You cannot say that about a lot of soaps. So it really was a breath of fresh air to just see these characters go through their days this last week. The change of pace was truly refreshing. Let’s get into some of the highlights of this last week in Hollyoaks!

Week in Review for Hollyoaks episodes airing September 19th – 23rd.

Better In Time

I would have never expected to love the combination of Lisa Loveday and Nathan Nightingale as much as I do now. In the beginning, their relationship was devoid of any connection or spark but slowly, with more time they really became something. Cleo McQueen, friends to both parties, was the one who initially set the two of them up even though she was crushing on Nathan without noticing. Nathan and Lisa were just in it to have a good time together as their personalities incredibly clashed but after a blackout brought them closer together and the constant pressure from their meddling mothers, a genuine bond formed. Now I’m caught in between rooting for Cleo or Lisa to get Nathan which is stressful, but it has to be one of my favorite love triangles I’ve seen in recent times and I hope it continues to grow.

This last week showed us yet another development in Lisa and Nathan’s romance, pushing it into a more serious realm than the non-stop party where it once began. Speaking of, the first we see of the couple is actually when Simon Loveday found her daughter and Nathan passed out on her floor after an all-night rager. The Nathan that viewers once knew to be much more upstanding and tightly wound was finally loosening up thanks to Lisa which is why her father, Louis Loveday saw no problem with their relationship. To him they were twentysomethings living and loving it up but Simone saw them more as a car crash waiting to happen. The bad cop routine only seemed to make the couple act out more as if all the bad behavior was solely about gaining attention which makes sense in Lisa’s case. Lisa was kidnapped as a child and has had issues about feeling abandoned since the incident, sometimes even going so far as to think her mother didn’t love her for not trying harder to find her. The two have a push and pull relationship thanks to their contrasting personalities, so Louis recommended that Simone try something opposite of what she usually did for Lisa. Instead of disciplining her like a child, embrace her and join her at her own game.

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

For some reason, Simone thought joining Lisa’s hard partying game meant she had to arrange a 1930’s murder mystery dinner party. As Lisa had said, Simone was a woman who lived to keep up appearances so of course she goes out of her way to ask Lisa to invite her boyfriend and his “delightful” mother. Marnie Nightingale does not have many friends in the village – as expected because she’s a total bitch – but the blood between her and Simone is particularly bad. Both women are notoriously staunch characters so for Simone to even think of bringing Marnie into her home is a huge deal. Louis hilariously told Lisa that her mother was an extending an entire olive tree which she eventually accepted. After some convincing, Marnie decided to attend as well but only if Cleo came with her. With two women who did not get along but both disproved of their child’s relationship, a father stuck in the middle and a girl suffering in unrequited love, this murder mystery party was never going to work out. To say the least, Nathan and Lisa shake up the party after playfully announcing their intentions to move in together before fleeing the scene. And no one even got to solve the mystery!

At first, the couple had made the announcement to solely rile up their mothers. They expressed this to mutual friend Cleo whose sister Celine McQueen then urged her to make her move on Nathan, stressing that he wasn’t as serious about Lisa as she’d feared. Unfortunately before she can make her move at The Loft later that night, Lisa took over Nathan’s attention after Marnie offered her money to break up with Nathan. She was tired of being the girl only good enough for one night and wanted to know if Nathan was serious about them – like she wanted to be. In a move that surprised even me, Nathan declared they were to really move into together as Cleo watched on. See, in the past it was clear that Nathan had a thing for Cleo but she turned him down at every turn. A child sexual abuse victim, Cleo was not great at expressing her feelings to men so she bottled them up instead. This is how Nathan and Lisa came to be, as well as Cleo’s suffering. Though you want to root for Cleo for all of those reasons, Nathan’s heart warming up to Lisa and vice versa has been the cutest development to see. I literally have hearts in my eyes whenever the two share a scene.

Their week ended on an ambiguous note for me as the torn viewer. Hollyoaks is all abuzz about new luxury rentals opening up soon which Nathan and Lisa go to check out. Marnie took jabs at the couple for shopping out of their price range, considering she was the main source of income for Nathan then how would they afford a home if she cut him off? One has to wonder exactly why Marnie cannot stand Lisa so much but she belittled her to the point that even the confident Lisa looked to second guess the decision, making viewers uncomfortable. Does Marnie have an issue with Lisa because she’s black or is it more classist than racist? Either way, when Marnie told Lisa that she wished for her to get kidnapped again just to free her son, I knew that I was not on the old witch’s side in the matter. That’s why when Lisa later showed up to Marnie’s restaurant, sullen and asking for the earlier offered money, I was surprised that she’d given in so easily. But of course our Lisa had a plan! In a great twist, it was revealed that Lisa and Nathan had concocted up the scheme to get the blackmail money, cash it and use it as a deposit on a new home. I found myself cheering with the couple who’d defeated the evil Marnie but soon enough that feeling died down when Cleo expressed her concerns. Where had the Nathan she respected gone? After hearing about the plan, she confronted her friend about his behavior changing for the worse and stormed off to leave viewers hanging in between.

When each character of the love triangle is adorable and deserving of love, how can you possibly choose just one? Which is how a love triangle should go. Some shows should take notes.

Dirty Grandpa

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

Jack Osborne, what did you do? Known as the grandfather of Hollyoaks, Jack’s history has been cleaner than most others in the village (not to say it’s spotless) but this last week we learned there were skeletons to be dug out of that closet. But how far back were they buried and why?

In true Hollyoaks form, Jack’s troubles came to town in the form of a long lost brother named Billy. Jack took every precaution to keep his family from knowing he was heading to the local prison to visit this man, sneaking out before anyone could notice him gone and question his moves. It’s there that we learn the sweet old man may not be as sweet as everyone had assumed for over 20 years. According to brother Billy, Jack is the reason he was locked up in prison for all of these years and he was hoping his brother would do the right thing, speak up and help to get him an early release as he’s dying from a heart condition – or a little cash on the side, whichever. Jack turned him down of course which only further enraged Billy.

See, I am not exactly sure why Jack wouldn’t do whatever this man had asked of him unless this secret crime was really that awful. It all began with Kim Butterfield returning to town after skipping out on Esther Bloom on her wedding day a month back. She oddly showed up at Esther’s café, the first sighting of her after police found her burned clothes in the woods and sought out her wife. I almost thought Esther was hallucinating and that Kim was actually dead, but the two spoke though Kim had nothing much to say save for the fact that she no longer trusted Esther and that Esther should no longer trust Jack. This paired with the fact that Jack was receiving calls and letters from Billy in jail, detailing things in his home, had the old man on edge. After heeding Kim’s warning, Esther kept track of her grandfather and confronted him until he finally gave in. Somehow, Kim had discovered his dark secret and Jack had lied to her on the wedding day, telling her Esther was still in love with Grace Black which caused her to flee. Esther was rightfully upset considering she’d assumed her wife had been kidnapped and murdered for weeks when her grandfather had known the entire time that she was not. It was a deep betrayal that Esther almost did not get over until Jack promised to help her find Kim in exchange for keeping his dangerous game with Billy a secret. She relented then.

While the two worked on ways to neutralize Billy and find Kim, Billy was wasting away after being rushed to the hospital. His daughter Eva Falco made it just in time to have a few last words with her father, crying through them all as Billy wished for his daughter to give up on her revenge. They’d planned to take out Jack and his family together after losing so many years as a family because of his jail sentence, but he just wanted his daughter to live freely and happily. Though made the promise before he died, as soon as Billy was gone, Eva was back to stalking the Osbornes. Turned out it was her all along, feeding information to her father on the inside so he could unnerve his brother with every little detail. One night, Eva actually broke into the Osborne house to watch Jack while he slept, all the while holding a gun at the ready. She didn’t shoot but she did damage some property in warning that prompted Jack to seek help from the police. Unaware to both him and Esther who lead the charge to the station, Eva was the new detective in town and took the reins on the investigation for the crime she committed herself! Now with unfettered access to the Osborne home under the pretense of investigating, Eva can go through with her mission to avenge her father. But every time the perfect opportunity arose, Eva wavered, thinking back to her father’s dying wishes.

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

Photo Credit: © Lime Pictures

Just what could Jack have done to make his niece want to kill him in his sleep? There really aren’t any clues to this new mystery as it’s just come out of the blue. No warnings, no context clues, pretty much a whole lot of nothing. I can’t tell if that makes this mystery more exciting or more frustrating. The worst that I remember Jack ever doing during my time watching Hollyoaks was try to hire a prostitute after suffering through a late-life crisis… Other than that, he’s the sweetest! Though it was a bit odd when after learning of son Darren Osborne’s involvement in the Patrick Blake murder cover up, he urged his son to deny any participation. Being such an upstanding citizen usually, one would expect Jack to encourage his son to confess yet he adamantly told him not to. Could Jack just not have wanted Darren to meet his long lost uncle in prison or had he been in a similar situation in the past and was speaking from experience? We will find out…

Trust me on this, you do not want to be missing this show right now as it’s easily the most entertaining soap on the air! Please comment below with any questions about the show or tweet me, let’s get you addicted to Hollyoaks!

Coryon Gray
Coryon Gray joined TV Source Magazine as a staff writer in October 2014. Prior to TV Source Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs and forums. On top of writing duties, Coryon is also a panelist for the TV Source Podcast, Soap Countdown Podcast and Our Take Media.

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1 Comment

  1. The chemistry between Lisa and Nathan has surprised me too. The two actors are great together, and they just work so well. I sometimes wonder if the writers expected this to happen, since they still seem to making us want to sympathize with Cleo. No way, now. She’s become like a little pest who won’t go away, and I really want to see Lisa and Nathan make it work.

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