Hollyoaks kicked off 2017 with big revenge stories gone awry. Both stories had scheming women in desperate straits at the epicenter of them, but the similarities truly ended there. This show does that often, running two similar stories parallel to each other to better highlight the differences that could arise just from the way one character behaved instead of the other.
Sienna Blake’s scheme fell to bits even though she was smart about everything while Eva Falco failed time and time again because she was motivated by emotion with no clear thinking; similar messy outcomes but vastly different approaches. All in all, I enjoyed this week in Hollyoaks village, there was nothing really outstanding save for a few scenes here and there; the really great emotional scenes between some family units this last week stood out far more than any explosion stunt did. While Hollyoaks often blends together humorous and serious storylines very well, I do think that some of the sillier stories showed in the middle of the week felt out of place considering the serious stories this time were incredibly intense. But anyway, let’s get into some of those more vengeful highlights from this last week!
Week in Review for Hollyoaks episodes airing January 2nd – 6th.
Liam Donovan has been making many mistakes in the last few months, all traced back to the ties he formed with vengeful Detective Eva Falco. Having never been a fan of the pairing, I had to trudge my way through their stories of her blackmailing him, trying to kill her elderly uncle and so on but finally, this week everything came to a fiery climax. And no, the fire did not come from another Hollyoaks trademark stunt (that’ll come later) but from a blowout between family members, one that was honestly long overdue.
The Osbourne family finally returned to the village after learning that Jack Osbourne’s niece, Eva was out to kill him for selling his brother out back in the 60’s. Both men were at fault when it came down to a young boy’s death though Jack had been provoked into the crime by brother Billy. The confrontation with Eva last week led to Esther Bloom, Jack’s granddaughter and perpetual victim in situations like this, to get shot in the head. While that left Jack a pariah in his own family, it was Eva that everyone was out to destroy for firing the gun. Luckily for Eva, her boyfriend Liam is dumb enough to still protect her and has put her in hiding in some abandoned apartment in the village while his mobster sister Grace Black tries to hunt her down.
For their entire relationship, Liam has been sacrificing things for Eva who was always sure to trample over him in the end anyway. While I don’t think the writers intended for the pairing to become something spectacular, a couple to root for, there really just isn’t anything likable about them together. With no one to turn to, Eva berates her puppy dog Liam into helping her escape the village and the crime she committed. At this point, after she’d used him for sex, threatened his sister’s freedom and even implicated him in her own crimes, one would think that maybe Liam would take a step back from the detective. Nope, not this time at least! He promises that they’ll run away together and even goes to steal money from his family owned beauty salon to finance this getaway from the law.
Before one could even question why Liam was being so stupid, his family of Grace and brothers Adam and Jesse Donovan caught him with a few questions of their own. Liam lied his way right through every question, pretending he never knew that Eva was out to get the Osbournes, even lying about not knowing where she could be now after he’d been the one to stash her away. Adam and Jesse buy the story at first but hard as nails Grace was not going to let answers so simple fly. To Grace, Esther was more than just a best friend; for a time they were lovers and Esther was even Grace’s surrogate once, so stopping before she got her own brand of justice for Esther was not on the books. Grace needed information that she knew Liam had. Out of everyone, only Grace ever seemed to see that Liam had turned into a sad puppy for Eva so it was only natural that she was the one to first see through his lies.
Most families on Hollyoaks are a bunch of dysfunctional but tight knit units; the Donovans/Blacks were no exception to that until Liam messed it up. When everyone was on the hunt for the Osbourne family, his big sister crumbling in fear of what might have become of her best friend; Liam sat on identity of the threat that caused their disappearance in the first place. So much grief could have been spared had Liam grown a pair and stuck up for his family instead of the woman who blatantly uses him. Liam used to be something of a playboy about the village but instead he’s been reduced to nothing more than a subservient goof.
In the end, Liam finally admits to knowing where Eva may be and agrees to set her up to finally end it all. But instead of sticking to his word to his family, Liam sets it up so Eva and Jack can skip town together. His pathetic actions finally bring to light everything he’d been doing to protect this wicked woman over his own flesh and blood. Grace kicks him out of her apartment and when Adam learns that even though Liam seemed to care about Esther’s plight but only cared more for Eva, fired him from the family business because why? Family comes first. That’s one of the golden rules, we all know that. It’s things like that which will get you disowned!
The main problem with the Eva and Liam mess is that there’s nothing likable or redeemable about Eva. Unlike Sienna Blake who also takes her revenge schemes to the next level (which we’ll go over soon), the audience has no emotional connection to this character of Eva, no investment in anything about her because – well, we don’t know much. We don’t even know if she really even likes Liam, or loves him like she says she does. They had so many starts and stops in the beginning of the relationship mainly because Eva would admit to using him that it’s very hard to tell what’s true with her. Is her often used but never explained story about suffering in foster care even true? Eva wanted Jack dead for a crime he was talked into over 50 years ago when she should be blaming her father for her plight, Jack wasn’t in his life to make sure he continued his life of crime. The timeline of it all is so confusing and the story itself is thin, I just don’t understand what Eva’s deal is and really don’t want to. Eva better hope that her fellow cops get to her before Grace does.
Also can we stop hurting poor Esther?