‘Hollyoaks’ Week In Review: Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Shane knows priest to be Joel’s dirty little secret.
Shane knows priest to be Joel’s dirty little secret.

Internal Affairs

Joel wants Shane and his secret away from his father.

Joel wants Shane and his secret away from his father.

There’s nothing more painful than being wronged by someone close to you and poor Warren Fox is set to feel that pain again. He only just learned that girlfriend Sienna Blake was attempting to set him up to kill his own son whom he only recently reconnected with. And unfortunately this week yet another betrayal was revealed to the audience leaving Warren still in the dark. Joel Dexter, his son, was revealed to be directly tied to the death of his little sister Katy Fox. If Sienna’s betrayal was a blow then this next one will be devastation for Warren… Am I awful for being excited about it?

Warren has become Hollyoaks’ de facto anti-hero; he’s the guy that you’d probably feel very nervous around while also being the guy you want around when it hits the fan. Being the anti-hero though tends to bring Warren a lot of trouble that makes the viewers want to root for him to come through unscathed. This new bombshell is going to wreck him in the worst way, so much so that I’m not even sure if Warren will even know how to process the information. Goldie McQueen’s baby daddy Shane dropped into the village and was immediately sleazing it up, being completely open about what a scumbag he was.

Joel is at Shane’s beck and call, we saw that early on when Shane swiped Joel’s prized motorcycle and the priest in training could do nothing about it. At that point, viewers were unsure of what secret the ex-con held over Joel’s head. After a little more intimidation and finally another car theft (this time stealing a vintage car worth enough to pay for damages of Warren’s garage), the stirred pot finally boiled over the edges. Joel is set to lead Celine McQueen’s funeral and has since been growing closer to her sister, Cleo McQueen. The friendship is already bordering on beautiful as Cleo, lost without her big sister, is looking for something to believe in and Joel’s offer of faith is comforting to her. She offers him support when she can see that he’s troubled, that push from his new friend (maybe future lover? Please, please, please!) gives Joel the confidence to stand up to Shane…

But Shane is a savage with no remorse especially when it comes getting money; the means don’t matter neither do the people he has to step on to get there. In response to Joel trying to take back his freedom and vowing to stop Shane before he can hurt his family, Shane produces video evidence of the night Katy died. Together with Shane and Bart McQueen, Goldie’s cousin, the young men all took some kind of drug which they also shared with Katy who unfortunately overdosed. When Warren was released from prison last year, he was excited to finally reconnect with his little sister and go about things the right and proper way – only to find out she was dead. The reveal was unceremonious especially since Katy was a character we saw on screen involved in some juicy storylines a decade back. To simply write her out should have been a major clue for viewers.

But I don’t think anyone expected this! To Warren, the only people that matter to him are Katy and Joel. Your son contributed to your sister’s death? It’s the worst kind of conundrum to be in; Joel showed distress in the video when he tried to revive his aunt, it was clearly an accident but keeping quiet about it until now won’t sit well with Warren. Will he even be able to process this? I honestly feel like this might break Warren right down to his core. When Joel returned to the village as a priest in training, it raised a lot of eyebrows because when he left the show the first time, it was because he was out running the streets with his other thug friend Bart. Seems like being directly involved with the death of his similarly aged aunt messed Joel up big time.

Now with Shane’s brazen behavior and Bart set to return to the show next week, life and its hard knocks are coming at Joel very fast. This reveal was so well done that I’m already adding it to my 2017 favorites list, the potential for fall out story is immense and exciting as well. And if I’m being honest, I’m super excited to see more of Rory Douglas-Speed’s Joel because… well, look at him!

Big Little Lies

For months, Nancy Osborne had been experiencing uncontrollable and unexplained tremors. She’d find herself dropping objects or nearly collapsing but not even the panic that all brought on was enough for her to seek medical help, she was too terrified to know. While on the run for a crime her father in law had committed, Nancy’s condition worsened to the point where it was necessary to seek medical counsel. The news came quickly and hit hard; Nancy had multiple sclerosis as she’d initially feared.

Kim wants to do what she thinks is best for Esther.

Kim wants to do what she thinks is best for Esther.

Nancy and Darren Osborne weren’t on much this last week, but every time this story is shown, it’s a highlight for me. Hollyoaks may be the go-to soap for shocking deaths and explosions and whatnot, but they know how to write the hell out of a good human story too. One our soaps, diseases are often fictional, rushed and cured by something magical but not in the United Kingdom. At least as of lately. The show has been slowly building up Nancy’s storyline, developments only happening every now and then on screen, each one minute and not earth shattering. Clearly the writers have done their research on MS as some sufferers only notice small symptoms initially that grow into bigger issues. The unpredictable progression of the disease has Nancy on edge. She’s the type of woman who likes to plan ahead to have her ducks all in a row, a wild illness like this one is everything she’s against.

The fight for normalcy in Nancy’s life will be the most interesting part of this. She’s always sought comfort and stability but her husband is very much the opposite of that, a loud jokester who is always trying to think positive. From him, you can see that Nancy’s severity has lessened but the diagnosis has her back on edge. That’s one of the saddest parts about this story as well. Nancy and Darren were always a bit of a comedic foil to the show’s more serious stories, when they didn’t have drama, they brought you laughter or made you swoon with how saccharine they were. It’s utterly heartbreaking to have to see Nancy suffer through this and Darren suffering over not knowing how to help his wife.

As a teacher at Hollyoaks High, Nancy’s job can be high stress – the very thing her doctors suggested Nancy avoid. Darren wants his wife to inform her boss Sally St. Claire about her condition but in fear of being pitied, Nancy chose to keep it quiet. Her pride is a big setback for her, it’s clear. Nancy knows that realistically she will not be able to hide her illness forever but the prospect of having to be cared for by everyone, when she’s always cared for everyone probably feels awful. At school, Nancy is presented with a promotion that she takes without divulging her diagnosis and without telling Darren she’d kept it quiet too.

With Hollyoaks, one is never too sure if this storyline is set up to come a predictable climax with Nancy getting her dream job but collapsing during a spasm episode in the middle of it or if she’ll just bow out gracefully. There has been a large amount of realism put forth into this story, so the latter is a very plausible possibility. Wherever this story may go whether it’s short term or long term, I am invested. And ready to be put through the painful wringer along with them.

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

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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