Soaps

‘Hollyoaks’ Week In Review: Stop And Think First

Santa Set gives Leah her tablet.
Santa Set gives Leah her tablet.

Hollyoaks had another jam packed week this last week. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to talk about every highlight of the week nor would I want to overload you with it all anyway! This last week had disguises, addiction and even murder all spread out over five quick paced days. The highlights I chose for the week all dealt with bad decisions with reasons I could understand but not necessarily agree with. Let’s get into what went down in Hollyoaks village this last week!

Week in Review for Hollyoaks episodes airing December 5th – 9th.

Good Heart, Rotten Brain

Sometimes it really feels like Ste Hay will never catch a break. Just when life seems to have settled to a nice calm rhythm, something always comes hurtling his way to shake it back up again. But then you have to realize that most of that shaking and stirring is from Ste’s own hand. Every single time. Now it’s awful that Ste can’t be with his children over the holidays, but Amy Barnes only took away custody from him for a temporary period. Once again, this arrangement was not a permanent one but to Ste it sure felt like it. So what does he have to do? Go and risk it all, of course!

Leah comes in between Ryan and Amy.
Leah comes in between Ryan and Amy.

With multiple relapses into drug addiction under his belt, Ste is far from the perfect image of a father. He always does his best though, no one can fault him on that but he only tends to do that after making huge mistakes. Christmas celebrations had just begun to take place in the village, making Ste miss little Leah and Lucas even more than he did before. Knowing that his kids were only a few doors down and yet a court order had him completely blocked from their lives, killing the young father. And when Ste is hurt, that’s when the dumb plans come out. His idea this time was actually pretty creative but was foiled so easily and so quickly, it’s pretty laughable.

Before, during and after planning this, best friend and roommate Tony Hutchison warned Ste that this was a bad idea. The plan this time went as followed: dress up as the village Santa Claus (or Father Christmas, my bad.), pass along a tablet to Leah and use it as a secret communication device for just the two of them. Is it me, or does Ste’s idea feel like it came from a Saturday afternoon children’s sitcom? Ste is so lucky to have a horde of supportive, smarter people around him to help balance out his rather dense decisions; he’d be so lost without them. Just like that sitcom I mentioned, what actually went off pretty smoothly for a Ste plan, quickly fell off the rails the second Leah took home the tablet. It was obvious that Ste had forgotten one very important thing about his daughter – she loved to brag. The tablet was supposed to be their secret, a way to keep in touch behind Amy’s back so the court order wouldn’t be violated but Leah was ready to show it off to friends and very quickly became lazy with it. Amy and boyfriend Ryan Knight quickly found the tablet that they certainly had not given her and traced its origins back to Santa Claus.

Unfortunately for Dirk Savage, everyone in the village knew he’d been playing Santa this year, no one had suspected that Ste had sneaked in to pass along the gift to Leah. So very quickly, Dirk went from the caring village uncle to a pervert, giving little girls expensive gifts whenever they sat on his lap. I loved that Dirk wasted no time in knocking down Ste’s door, berating him for tangling him up in this messy custody war. Because of his stupid ideas, Ste had already gotten Goldie McQueen and Warren Fox arrested last week for trying to catch Ryan as a sex fiend and now it was Dirk’s turn. It wasn’t fair for Dirk’s reputation to get ruined for a friend’s stupid idea. Funnily enough, when the village’s jolly fat man went to meet Ryan and Amy to explain the situation, he suddenly turned his tale around. He’d planned to rat Ste out but meeting the pompous jerk that was Detective Knight, well Dirk wanted to stick it to him too (as If there’s any room with the stick that’s shoved up there…)! So Dirk said the tablet was originally for his wife, Cindy Savage but Leah took it from him. Which is honestly, a very believable and realistic thing for Leah to do. – Definitely when the items is expensive.

Ela-May Demircan’s Leah has always been a strong character, even though she’s still in grade school. Much like her father, when faced with problems Leah never takes them on lying down, she’s always finding way to tackle the problem. Only difference between her and Ste is that she actually uses her brain. While the adults bought Dirk’s story, Leah was not ready to give the tablet back so she made a run for it during which she falls and breaks her arm. In the hospital, Ste sneaks in to retrieve the tablet after telling Leah of the trouble he could get into for using it. They part on sad terms but Leah immediately crafted up a plan in the face of this new reality she wasn’t so into and it’d be easy for an evil mastermind like her. Using techniques expected of a schemer twice her age, Leah planted seeds of doubt in her mother’s mind about Ryan being faithful. Unaware that Ryan had Goldie McQueen’s number for an undercover job to get back at Ste, Leah made her mother think that affair was in effect instead.

He may not be a cheater but maybe Amy can finally see Ryan for the prick he really is! I don’t blame her for not wanting Ste in the kids’ lives, he’s unstable on so many levels but Ryan is just awful. Pretty with a terrible personality, it really happens far too often.

Sweet Goodbye

Cameron ties up Celine in the cabin.
Cameron ties up Celine in the cabin.

Why do the good die young? That age old questions was posed this last week on Hollyoaks when we lost yet another McQueen, this time one of the only ones who didn’t live off of public assistance. Nurse and spiritual enthusiast Celine McQueen had her lights snuffed out and fans couldn’t be more upset. For a show that has often been referred to as a package deal with murder, one would think the fans would get used to the premature loss of a character. But nope! This time though, I can understand both sides; the outcry against Celine’s death as well as the reason the writers’ penned it in the first place.

After coming across video evidence of Cameron Campbell setting the deadly Halloween fire, Celine played every single card all the way wrong. Instead of immediately taking the evidence to the police to exonerate boyfriend Jesse Donovan who’d been under suspicion, she confronted Cameron. This led to a back and forth that escalated to him belittling Celine and blackmailing her with the fact she’d tried to kill her pervert stepfather once. Now Celine can get fiery when she needs to be, but most times she’s an absolute sweetheart who’d much rather see the best in people and be there to bring it out using crystals and meditation and yet none of that fire came out in the face of Cameron. Instead she fully put her trust into the man who claimed he’d turn himself in soon enough. The two had once been friends, even dated in the past so Celine had all the more reason to want to believe that Cameron would do the right thing.

But like history has always shown us, Cameron always winds up doing the absolute worst. Last week he lead the unsuspecting nurse to his cabin in the woods on false pretenses and this last week, he tied her up to keep her quiet. At this point, Cameron really seemed ready to just leave her there for the time being until maybe she vowed to not rat him out. Celine had been planning on flying out of the country to meet big sister Porsche McQueen, so her sudden disappearance wasn’t of much concern. Cameron had the perfect set up – for now.

Cameron is a man who wants to be everything to everyone but has an awful time multi-tasking. Set to perform for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Cameron’s daughter Peri puts the pressure on her father to slow down and see the performance but he’s too on edge by this time. Since he’d been holding onto Celine’s phone, he listened to the message Jesse had left for her, urging her to do the right thing (ratting out Cameron) eventually while she took this time off to sort herself out. This message was a realization to Cameron that he may be safe for now, but at any moment Celine could turn on him – unless he got rid of her. With tears in his eyes, Cameron murdered his ex-girlfriend in that cabin while his daughter was on stage singing Christmas carols. The scene was incredibly dark and unsettling to watch. Celine had pled for her life by reminding Cameron he was good person, that he was better than what he was thinking of doing, that she’d keep his secret but it wasn’t enough for him. Hollyoaks tended to have character committing these heinous crimes with little to no remorse (not to mention repercussions) but Cameron was not one of them, he was sputtering through tears the entire time. It’s very obvious that he’s at the end of his rope.

In the middle of trying to dump Celine’s body, Cameron got pulled over by the police for a broken tail light. After missing his daughter’s performance then mysteriously getting locked up, Cameron’s fiancée Leela Lomax is having none of it with him. Somehow the police decided not to search his car and released it to Leela who took it for a shopping trip with Peri, much to Cameron’s horror. He’s released the next day just as they were set to open the trunk to find the body but only find Celine’s ring, the gift Jesse had given her with a certain engraving on the inside. Cameron passed it off as his Christmas gift to Leela and let her wear it, something Cleo McQueen immediately noticed as a similar accessory to her sister’s. Now that was a rookie mistake, Cameron! Though Cleo passed it off as just a coincidence, she’s far too inquisitive of a girl to not notice any of Cameron’s slip ups that are sure to come. Not to mention the McQueen family is thick as thieves (and have been a part of many murder investigations), they’ll figure it out together!

Cameron as a killer still has a human heart and conscious unlike straight evil Fraser Black or one time big bad Big Bob, it’s a little different. The murders are senseless in the sense that Celine should have been able to live on, take her time away from the village to collect herself again and find that simple, happy love again that she had with Jesse but it was also a natural development for Celine and Cameron. One character was far too trusting in a world where that can honestly be fatal while another is unraveling as he finds himself unable to handle everything he thought he could. Cameron’s character has definitely evolved into an intriguing, multi-faceted villain but I think it’s time for him to go! I’m tired of people messing with my favorite family in town!

I had to stop watching Hollyoaks for a while because all of the killing had become out of hand. There are still naysayers who will argue the fact that the show hasn’t changed, but in my own time away I believe it definitely has. In my opinion, Hollyoaks as a village is one of the most realistic soap opera towns. The show has been on for 20 years now and unlike other shows, it doesn’t necessarily have core families. The show is generational, refreshing and restarting itself every few years to focus on a new set of people for the time until the focus shifts again. Sometimes death is used to shift the focus but so is moving out and onward. The village actually feels alive, like an actual small town where yes, people do die every single day but life goes on for those left behind anyway. While the show runners can definitely get a bit trigger happy (literally), I do think each death serves a purpose to keep the canvas fresh and evolving toward the next new something.

Please comment below with any questions about the show or tweet me, let’s get you addicted to Hollyoaks too!

About the author

Coryon Gray

Coryon Gray joined as Staff Writer for Soaps at TVSource Magazine in October 2014. Prior to TVSource Magazine, he's written for and moderated Asian entertainment blogs all while staying updated with his multiple "stories" like the elderly person in his soul. TV is a big part of his life, and it shows as he has been known to try to incorporate TV hijinks into his life with varying results. Follow him at @sourcecoryon for soapy soap reactions and more!