Hollyoaks had a week of huge reveals and I could not have been more pleased! This show truly understands how to not only weave a story through many different characters and story arcs, but also how to extend it so it doesn’t drag. Two of my favorite highlights for this last week have been stewing for months now, making the climaxes that aired this week so satisfying – but also left me hungry for even more! It was truly a great emotionally impactful week in the village of Hollyoaks and I’m ready to tell you all about it! Let’s get right into it!
Week in Review for Hollyoaks episodes airing March 13th – 17th.
Night of the Living Bride
In true soap opera form, Darcy Wilde who was introduced to viewers as the long since missing and presumed fiancée of Adam Donovan, turned up in the village alive and well this last week. But instead of simply appearing and being accepted back into the fold like many soaps unrealistically do, people had lots of burning questions for her. While others aimed to get away from her as well. Hollyoaks expertly crafted this storyline from its beginning a few months back, adding layer upon layer to the Donovan family drama that centered on this enigmatic woman. I have a feeling that Darcy is everything the different Donovan family members have cautioned and much, much more.
Maxine Minniver is a character that honestly and truly deserves her happy ending. The hell she endured under the thumb of her violently abusive ex-husband Patrick Blake was enough to break even the strongest, and while she was portrayed as submissive to him for years, his treatment never completely broke her. She’s still there and that’s a testament to how strong she really is. Unfortunately, being abused by your husband for a number of years breeds things from trust to intimacy issues. Adam Donovan is the beauty shop owner, a doting and well-rounded man who absolutely adores Maxine. He seemed perfect for a long time and their romance was only ever marred by a pregnancy scare in their time apart, other than that? Perfect couple.
But she later found out he was once engaged to a woman who went missing. In those cases isn’t it always the boyfriend who’s suspected? Maxine had jumped to that same conclusion too, ignoring everything she knew about Adam to fabricate ideas in her head that he really may have been responsible for his fiancée Darcy going missing. Suspicions were later dropped and his sister Grace Black was eventually and wrongfully arrested for Darcy’s death, but there was still this curiosity Maxine had toward the case. Everyone in the Donovan family seemed to walk on egg shells when speaking about Darcy and it was clear Adam had yet to completely let go of her. Together with Neeta Kaur, they went to investigate a lead on a woman who’d been questioning about Darcy. The woman claimed to know nothing so then they move on – until Maxine sees a picture of Darcy and realizes the woman she questioned was the lost fiancée with a blonde dye job!
After telling Adam’s mother Tracey that she thinks Darcy is alive, the alcoholic Donovan family matriarch tells Maxine to keep it quiet. She doesn’t want Adam to be hurt again by this woman. But during his engagement party to Maxine, just after professing their love to one another before friends and family, Darcy walked in to throw it all off. I almost lost it when Adam lost it, bubbling out tears of disbelief that his first fiancée was actually alive after three years of being presumed dead. At the same time, you couldn’t help but hurt for Maxine who had to watch the woman she knew still inhabited her fiancé’s dreams return to fill her space in reality once again. Completely unapologetic about disrupting an engagement party, Darcy attempted to woo Adam back to her side but with all the watching eyes, Adam couldn’t even focus on what was happening. Dismissing everyone, including Maxine whom he’d lashed out at for knowing of Darcy being alive, he talked to Darcy to find out the truth.
What he learned is that it wasn’t Grace at all who’d pushed her off the boat but Tracey herself. From having an affair with Jesse Donovan and doing drug deals with Liam Donovan, Darcy was far from the perfect girl Adam had assumed her to be. Tracey probably knew of this to some extent which was why she always said she wasn’t good enough for Adam, too much of a bad influence so apparently she had to die for it.
Even though I am an avid shipper of Adam and Maxine, the unbridled deviancy of Darcy is so attractive. She didn’t even do anything necessarily bad except kiss Adam in front of Maxine but just the look on her face, her actions and gestures just feel like a femme fatale. She’s definitely no angel.
Coming back from the dead is a tried and true soap opera trope, for some it’s worn out its welcome in our sudsers but I love it when it’s done right. Hollyoaks did this story so well by adding so many different layers to the mystery behind Darcy Wilde’s disappearance. Everything just went together so perfectly, running like a well-oiled machine up until the climax at the engagement party this last week. The Donovan family is easily one of my favorite soap families now with so many different personalities and stories to each family member, each one of them having a less than pleasant tie to this mystery woman Darcy. Tracey thought she was a bad influence on Adam, Grace followed her mother’s lead, Jesse slept with her, Liam sold drugs with her and Adam had made her his entire world. All of these different facets of this character run through this family like a string, connecting them all together in ways they hadn’t imagined to be connected. But even hearing all of these sides to her, you wonder which is really the truth?
Who’s the real Darcy Wilde? I’m excited to see what comes of her stay in the village especially as more and more layers of this delicious family mystery are revealed.