Hollyoaks’ theme for this last week seemed to be the dangers that even family can bring. There was betrayal, anger and isolation highlighted in the stories surrounding the village’s family units. In theory, they should all work together to form that perfectly functioning unit but there are always kinks in the machine. Even though they may not have been the healthiest of reactions, seeing families behave like families on UK soaps has reawakened my emotional tie to the soap genre.
Week in Review for Hollyoaks episodes airing February 6th – 10th.
Father Son Reunion
There’s just something about seeing grown men cry that chokes me up. I think it’s the sad fact that it’s not portrayed enough in the media, so that even the few men who show their sensitive sides are often poked fun at too. Yes, Darren Osborne is a comedic character on Hollyoaks but the writers don’t use his emotions as a punchline. He’s a bit like the heart of the show, at least one of them, and seeing the way his emotions fluctuated like a roller coaster this week culminating in a touching reunion with father Jack Osborne, it’s clear to me why.
So about two months back, the entire Osborne family went underground when Jack’s homicidal niece was hunting them. No one had a clue as to why they were hiding but they were forced into compliance as the patriarch dodged all questions about the reasoning. It all came to a head when they came back to the village, Jack’s niece shot Esther Bloom in the head and was eventually killed herself; that was the time that Jack’s secret was revealed. As a teenager he sent his older brother down after he forced him into helping to beat another teen to death. For decades Jack held the secret in until he could no longer which unfortunately put his family in the line of fire. Because of Esther was caught in the crossfire, Jack’s entire family disowned him even as a lengthy prison sentence loomed over him.
I felt horrible for the man as each family member turned him away each time. He couldn’t even check in on them, see how Esther was doing without being accosted, even by his own son. While I could understand the anger behind involving them in his lies, I do think there was some overreaction on the family’s part when it came to the lie itself. He made a mistake, coaxed into it by his charismatic and much more dastardly brother whom he suffered abuse beneath. Everyone in the village (save for Jude Cunningham) forgave Jack for his turn as a perverted old man, having an affair with an underage girl back in the 90’s but an accidental killing from decades back was unforgivable. Made no sense to me! Jack’s wife, Frankie Osborne, eventually gave into her husband’s pleading and offered him another chance. The couple went out for a romantic date and actually had a good time when Frankie chose to hear her husband out instead of berating him. That development was quickly smashed when she learned that not only had Jack inherited all of Eva’s money after her death but that he helped with her funeral and even aided her in her escape from the village. That was the last straw for Frankie considering Eva was the one who almost took her grandchild from her, one of her remaining few and her husband had been there to help. Granted, Jack was doing his best to make amends to the side of the family he’d wronged for decades but Frankie’s distaste with the situation made sense there.
Everyone went back to being Anti-Jack after that even though he was set to be in court the next day to learn his sentencing. Darren was the most vocal proponent of all things his father, but a talk from his wife Nancy Osborne made him reconsider. Suffering from MS, Nancy has been trying her damnedest to keep her life the same but Darren has been there to remind her it’s okay to adjust, to change but he hasn’t been taking his own advice. Nancy told him to let go of his anger so as to not have any regrets should his father get locked up. A testament to their love, the impenetrable wall of of Darren’s anger toward his father was finally cracked and he raced to be by the old man’s side on his faithful day. Just before Jack went into court, the two reconnected in some of the most emotional soap scenes I’ve had the pleasure of watching in a long time. Maybe because I have a much older father myself much like Darren does, I could sympathize with him. Jack could be facing up to fifteen years in prison for his crime – there’s no telling if he’d come back out of there alive. That’s a very real fear with aging parents, not being able to see them again and regretting every missed chance. I was so happy to see them come together right before this big moment, even more happy to see Jack happily accept his son back into his heart but to send him away in the end. He wanted to face his crime on his own with honesty and that was pretty damn admirable.
As expected, Jack wasn’t sent down because the crime happened over fifty years ago now. The lack of public interest in the case ultimately proved beneficial for Jack who eventually met up with his son for a tear-filled drink. By then I was bawling like a baby, seeing two men expressing their familial love for one another so openly, so uncaring of gender stereotypes that men shouldn’t cry. These men were reminiscing and crying without any shame in the world. Darren is easily one of the most emotional characters on the show but no matter when or why he’s crying, I’m right there with him. He’s literally a big part of the show’s emotional core; Ashley Taylor Dawson has been killing it all throughout this storyline too, he’s so deserving of whatever praise he might get. That’s so important for the media to display that. It’s okay to show your love for other men even if you’re not in love with other men. It’s even more important to show healthy relationships between fathers and sons. Hug your dads more, everyone!
While the family slowly began to piece together in other places, it also began to fall apart even more elsewhere. Frankie always seems to be looking for a way out whenever something goes wrong. With the prospect of Jack going to jail and him supporting her granddaughter’s shooter, she immediately fell into bed with Myra McQueen’s ex-beau Diego. It wasn’t that long ago that Frankie cheated on Jack with another hot young thing, Ziggy Roscoe, so it’s not surprising for her to fall into another pair of strong arms. But it’s still pretty messed up considering Jack has been doing his beast to repair what they had. What Frankie doesn’t know is that Diego overheard Jack had inherited money from Eva and is in dire need of his own cash flow with his child on the way. Being a skilled love swindler of older woman, it’s clear he’s playing the still married woman for what he thinks will soon be her fortune. It’s unsure whether or not this idea of an entertainment agency is legit or a scam he’ll use to ensnare Frankie, but they’re both set to go ahead with it. I think Diego was expecting Jack to give up the money as soon as he went down. Unfortunately, he’s a free man and all of this sneaking around just might be for naught.
Are you feeling the love for Jack or do you think he deserves to be ostracized by his family?