Brendan’s last week: Friday

There are lots of tears in the hospital. I think that, having made the set, Hollyoaks are determined to get their money’s worth out of it. Cheryl tries to stick to the story Brendan came up with despite Ste’s questioning. Unfortunately she’s so bad at lying she can’t even face Ste and probably wouldn’t fare much better with Dumb and Dumber.  Cheryl says she heard what Seamus said to Brendan although Seamus was dead when she got there.  Ste’s almost as slow on the uptake as Cheryl is bad at lying but even he knows that the dead aren’t famed for their chattiness and realises that it was Cheryl, not Brendan, who shot Seamus,.

Half way intelligent cop has disappeared. Dumb and Dumber want to interview Cheryl. And Brendan’s not actually dead, just a bit wounded. The man has more lives than a cat although since he failed to be dead when he was blown up I suppose it was silly to think a police shoot out would stop him. How different the ending to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid would have been if Brendan had featured.

Sienna thinks Seamus’s winning betting slip should go to Cheryl. Whatever. Myra breaks the news of the death and shooting to Nate in her own special way. Then she informs Darren that Nate is a millionaire with a country estate and will marry Cheryl so Darren decides maybe he can keep the betting slip.

Brendan is trying to convince Ste to let him take the blame. Max tells Sienna and friends that ‘It’s murder out there’.  Yes Max, that’s Hollyoaks for you. Will decides to turn detective to help his mother so frankly the woman is doomed.

Cheryl confesses to Nate that Seamus used to hurt Brendan. Cheryl tells Nate their relationship is over. I wish Nate didn’t remind me of chutney. Every time I see him I wonder if his breath smells of cheese. This worries me.

Ste tells Brendan it ends here. Poor old Ste, covered in bruises, asking if Brendan knows what love is. It’s like a lesson in denial. And Kieron needs a proper acting job away from Hollyoaks. Dumb or possibly Dumber comes to take Brendan away from the hospital to prison.

Darren tells his dad they don’t need to move. They are the new owners of the pub. He’s won the bet. Lying about the betting slip probably isn’t a great move. And Nancy hates the fact that he appears to be gambling again but goes along with it to keep the pub. Oh I don’t care. I want Esther back.

Anna tells her family that she got Mark to safety from Patrick and meant to go back for Sienna. She claims Patrick is the one who is dangerous and manipulative. Max however thinks that Anna tried to gas the kids and suffocate Sienna. This is Max who thought ‘Kevin’ the barman who drugged her was lovely and who fell for Walker’s ‘I’m a good cop me’ act.

Anna says she’s better but also makes it clear she did try to hurt the twins. Anna gets taken away by men in white t-shirts as if we’re in Hollyoaks: The Victorian Years. Patrick does a special villainous aside just so we all know it’s him really. Mind you, I’m not too sure about Sienna either.

Ste is falling apart. He wants Cheryl to go with Nate. She says she’ll confess to the murder. Ste does not want Brendan’s sacrifice to be for nothing. He bellows this just as Nate approaches. Ste bless him is rather accident prone. Cheryl tells Nate the truth and still blames herself for not seeing what was happening. Nate points out she saved Brendan when he really needed her. I’m warming to Nate. So long as he leaves I’ll like him. Ste tells Cheryl ‘you run as fast and as far as you can and don’t look back.’ He might have added ‘before anybody else is murdered, shot, strangled, or hit by an exploding van door’.

Mercy’s missing and creepy doc is back. Hollyoaks then murder a U2 song. There really should be an embargo on cover versions of their songs. If you hate U2 you won’t care if you never hear one again and if you like them you certainly don’t want to hear that kind of dirge. Ste’s kids are back. Cheryl at least gets a glamorous and tear free exit looking like a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, if such a thing is possible.

And Brendan. Well Brendan is looking at a long stretch in prison although the man is still alive and this is Hollyoaks. Who knows what will happen.

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Brendan’s last week: Thursday

So Seamus is dead and Cheryl is cracking up. Anna the Creepy Carer has some explaining to do. She says she has thought of the family every single day. Dodger says he thinks of the family everyday and then forgets he’s got a twin. Sienna does not look impressed.

Ste has heard gunshots which will put the kibosh on any cover up even though Brendan’s made Cheryl wash any gunshot residue off her hands and has fired the gun himself. Cheryl feels guilty about not seeing what Seamus did to Brendan and no amount of hand washing will rid her of either blood or guilt. Brendan wouldn’t tell her about the abuse because he loved her and didn’t want her world to come crashing down. Cheryl confesses that she too had wanted to be daddy’s favourite. Except no, not like that.

Dodger thought Anna was dead then was convinced she’d come back.  Will takes after his mother at least in general creepiness and manipulation. I need a stiff gin to get through this episode. Sienna doesn’t want Anna as a mum which is cool as Ann doesn’t recognise her anyway. She really is quite unhinged and I’m not sure this is the best way to portray mental health problems. In fact I’m fairly sure it isn’t. Anna can’t face Patrick. The cops are everywhere thanks to Ste.

Meanwhile back at the club/ O.K. Corral Brendan unplugs the phone. He wants to lie to get out of this. He’ll take the wrap for Cheryl. In fact he says he’s taking the bullet for her. I’m not quite that’s what that expression means.

The police, who have found someone halfway intelligent, are trying to make contact with Brendan. Darren and Nancy are arguing over a horse race.  Turns out it was a horse called Lady Luck and she’s romped home so Darren goes off to find Seamus and give him the good news.

Patrick encounters Anna. Will gets protective. Patrick says something about medication. Anna is convinced Patrick used to beat her. Anna’s other husband/ Dodger’s other dad whose name I never knew so I can’t say I’ve forgotten it does a big The Family’s Here speech. I momentarily wonder if I’ve switched to Eastenders.

Brendan and Cheryl argue. Brendan wants to protect her for ever. He can’t let Seamus win. (Or Walker for that matter). Brendan sees it as past crimes catching up on him.  Cheryl says he can’t go to prison so Brendan tells her he killed nana. Cheryl at this stage seems too stunned to take this in. #StopCherylCryingIDon’tLikeIt

Patrick shouts at his lawyer like some kind of 1980s yuppy throwback. He knew where Anna was, mainly because it seems he had her locked up in a hospital. Darren wonders where Seamus is as he was just about to make his night. Oh his night’s been made Darren. Take the betting slip and run, run like Lady Luck.

Cheryl wonders if the police will believe about the abuse and so understand why they shot Seamus. Brendan tells Cheryl he’s going to meet the police and she’s not to follow him out.  I think it might be suicide by cop. Out at the top of the club steps Brendan confesses to assorted murders, all the glare of several helicopter floodlights on him. Cheryl realises a second too late what Brendan’s planning. Brendan shuts the door on her, pulls a gun on the police and his world goes black.

Brendan’s Last Week: Wednesday

Brendan replays Walker’s last words – there’s a parting gift that will tear the Bradys’ lives apart. He knows it’s not over, he’s pulled the pin out of a grenade.  I’m not sure if Walker meant an actual bomb, or just Seamus. The police don’t know Walker is dead, let alone that he’s left some kind of bomb, metaphysical or otherwise. I don’t know why I’m surprised. Hollyoaks Police rarely know anything, even when you tell them.

Brendan tells Ste that Seamus beat him up, then made it up to him ‘in his own special way’ and the light finally dawns on Ste. In fairness to Kieron Richardson and Emmett Scanlan who play Ste and Brendan, it’s well acted. It’s a bit hammy from Scanlan but convincing for all that. And as Brendan admits to Ste, the abuse is not a reason for him to hit people. He knows that not everyone who has been abused turns out like him.

Ste wants Brendan to tell Cheryl about the abuse, convinced that she’ll believe him. I doubt this. She didn’t believe Nate when Nate mentioned it to her. Then Ste says the fatal words ‘after today we get our happy ever after’.  Oh dear god no, don’t says things like that for pity’s sake, Ste. Now we know for sure that it’s all going to go belly up.

Creepy Will and his even creepier carer are back. Darren pokes his nose into Seamus’s business. Bad idea. Seamus confesses that him buying the pub depends on a bet. Darren points out that there are no sure fire bets, giving anyone watching this twice a nice example of retrospective irony.

Creepy Carer, confronted by Almost As Creepy Will says the agency know her as Elaine Brooks, her married name. Texas and Will fall for it. Seamus, rather drunk, has an appointment with Lady Luck. Darren hopes he doesn’t catch anything which is rather a slight on Lady Luck. Darren finds what might be Seamus’s betting slip.

Meanwhile, back at the Bradys’, Cheryl finds a gun which is why I always prefer to leave the ecosystem under my sofa entirely alone. No good ever came of tidying up under furniture. Presumably this is the gun used to kill Dumbbell. Then she turns on her laptop to find a recording of Brendan and Seamus and their therapy session with Walker. Ooops. I hate it when Cheryl cries and I can’t help but think that Walker in fact wanted to die, leaving this mess behind him.

Will and Texas have an engagement party and my creepometer breaks.

Seamus and Brendan confront each other in the club. Seamus tells his son that he has driven Cheryl away by being a ‘filthy queer’. But Cheryl now knows what really happened with Brendan and there we have our bomb. Of course Seamus was beaten by his father too. As that cheery soul Larkin was wont to point out, man hands on misery to man. Seamus is now denying he abused Brendan and I can understand Brendan’s fear that no-one will believe him. Except he seems to find some conviction from somewhere, he knows what Seamus is.

Ellie joins the party late, looking rather odd. Except it turns out she’s Anna, Dodger and Will’s mother. Meanwhile Seamus is beating up Brendan. It’s not even 7pm people. So Cheryl shoots Seamus. Yes, I know. I really wasn’t expecting that. Roll on Thursday.

Brendan’s last dance: Tuesday

It’s the morning after the night before. Will and Texas are wedding planning. Wedding planning normally irritates me but in their case it’s worse. Will, always slightly jealous of his brother Dodger, has taken a turn for the creepy. Will lied to Texas about Dodger so that she’d have sex with him, she then found out the lie and pushed him whilst standing at the top of a flight of stairs. Oddly, he didn’t immediately tumble down them. Instead Will waited until she’d gone and then threw himself over the edge both literally and figuratively.

Will ended up in a wheelchair but forgave Texas. Everyone, including Texas, thinks she pushed him, since the shove occurred on the only stairs outside a nightclub in England not to have CCTV. I’d describe Texas as Dumb but that leaves little room for describing the Hollyoaks police force. Will, getting creepier by the microsecond, tricks Texas into being his girlfriend and then his fiancé.  The only person creepier than Will is his new mysterious carer.

The police are currently represented by Dumb and Dumber. Dumb tells the Bradys that Walker is on the run. Brendan says Walker will never stop, giving me visions of the Terminator.

Texas and Walker bump into each other at the graveyard. The creepy carer sticks her nose in with Leanne and invites her to Will’s special lunch. Even atheists offer a collective prayer that this isn’t a euphemism. Nate is either being very romantic or turning into a creepy stalker. You decide.

Brendan’s in a portacabin decorated with pictures of the Bradys. I have no idea, sorry. Could be Walker’s lair. Cheryl wants to stay and work with Seamus in the pub, despite the extraordinary death toll in Hollyoaks. Run Cheryl, run.

Walker talks to Texas. She recognises him. Bad move. Mind you, she has no sense of self preservation that woman. Texas passes on a message from Walker to Ste. Brendan must meet Walker by his dead brother’s grave or Ste’s kids will get hurt. By this point I’ve got a headache and I don’t think it’s going to go away anytime soon. Brendan torches the lair, or whatever it was. Will talks to the Carer about Dodger. She’s like a nanny who turns out to be a ghost in real life.

Brendan is at an appropriately snowy graveyard. Walker, or maybe someone else, tries to look threatening on a scooter. And then we have a car—bike chase in a graveyard. And I keep wondering how bad Walker must smell after months on the run.

Cheryl tells Seamus that she and Nate are moving back to Ireland. I know at least one person will die this week and I’m starting to wonder if it will be Nate.

Will is tracking Texas using GPS, tells her, and she thanks him. (I know, I know, I just can’t do anything about it). Will realises that Creepy Carer AKA Ellie Harper is a fake when he phones her agency. Since, as they say, it takes one to know one, his creepdar must work well. Unlike Texas who has all the survival instincts of a panda.

Brendan and Walker go mano-a-mano, Walker having ditched the scooter. Brendan spouts philosophy worthy of Eric Cantona. This is street fighting vs. crazy cop fighting on a very high bridge. Crazy is winning until Brendan kicks him under a train. Personally I wouldn’t put it past Walker to survive since whilst Brendan should be covered in blood, he just looks a bit shaky. I’m certain there’s a bomb somewhere, preferably somewhere under Nate. Roll on Wednesday and another sweet teatime episode of Death in Hollyoaks.

Brendan’s last week in Hollyoaks: Monday

The story so far…

For those who can’t remember, got confused, or don’t watch Hollyoaks but are reading this anyway, Brendan and Walker are the anti-hero and the ultimate bad cop. Brendan, all round hard guy, sociopath, and moustachioed muscle man who’s probably quite nice really, seems to own about half the club that used to belong to Warren (don’t ask, it doesn’t matter). Walker was the undercover cop charged with getting close to him although he appears to have taken his job a bit too seriously and personally. Brendan sold Walker’s brother some drugs which left the brother in a persistent vegetative state and ultimately killed him, thus Walker wants revenge.

Walker has tried to get revenge before, which resulted in a prolonged chase around Southend (I think) with Joel’s dead stepdad in the boot, Brendan killing his nan, Mitzeee escaping from jail whilst handcuffed to a sex-starved nymphomaniac and an exploding house flinging Brendan beachwards. Then, when Walker tried to kill Ste, he shot Dumbbell the footballer instead (don’t ask, I don’t know). Walker then resurfaced and got some kind of hold over the new barman who I’ll call Kevin as it might be his name, although it probably isn’t. Kevin had to kill Mitzeee’s sister who looks so like her I could just call her Mitzeee but, oh no, hang on, she’s called Max. Possibly. Kevin drugged her instead of killing her. She escaped and seems to be about to seduce the new headmaster.

Anyway, Walker has Brendan’s dad at gun point which is odd because Brendan has previously tried to kill his dad and Walker isn’t daft. He must know Brendan would cheerfully murder his dad if he could get away with it. Perhaps Walker will get Brendan to shoot him.

Cheryl and Steve are in a car park somewhere. Nate’s being Nate. (Nate is the millionaire who drove a horse and cart around Southend, whenever I see him I think of chutney, no idea why).

Walker hits Brendan over the head, knocking him out. He wakes up to no Walker, handcuffed to his dad Seamus. Dad tells him ‘You dropped your guard when you turned around. Do you remember nothing of what I taught you?’ which is as about as direct a reference to male rape, paedophilia and incest as you can probably manage at 6:30 in the evening.

Walker’s off, locking up Cheryl and Steve with a terrifying efficiency often lacking in modern society. He puts them somewhere dark and cold where they’re running out of air. It’s possible this is my flat though I’ve not noticed them. Then he returns to play truth or dare with Seamus and Brendan.

This is therapy à la Walker. It’s direct but might be better than the therapy he’s had so far.  Ste still has a touching faith that Brendan will find them despite the fact that Ste’s face is covered in blood from the last time Brendan found him.

Aha. Walker is blaming Seamus. If Seamus hadn’t raped Brendan, Brendan would not have become a drug dealer. So Walker unties Brendan and gives him a piece of lead piping, having thoroughly wound him up. And we know Brendan basically has zero self control, so will he end up beating Seamus to death? At this point Hollyoaks’ background spooky muzak really starts to grate though not enough to stop me wondering just how dark early evening TV is allowed to be.

Faced with a pipe-wielding sociopathic son with a really odd moustache, Seamus denies it all but apologises for something and says he didn’t know how to stop.

Meanwhile Cheryl and Steve have a chance, as cold people have slower metabolisms.  Also, there’s piping in the wall. Just break the bloody piping and get some air in. Honestly, some people have no imagination. Then Nate arrives. If it were me I’d tell him to go away and send someone less irritating to the rescue. Cheryl and Ste get out. This is all going a bit too well.

Seamus loved Brendan. And knows he’s going to hell. Walker wants Brendan to choose between Seamus or Ste and Cheryl. Seamus agrees that if it will save Cheryl, Brendan can batter him to death (it’s 6.55 people, I don’t want nightmares). Brendan tackles Walker with a gun which is never a good sign. Presumably several neighbours were shot.

Everybody’s happy. Walker has a Messiah complex and several armed cops apparently fail to apprehend him as we have the final shots of cut cable ties and an unconscious/ dead police officer. And tomorrow, creepy Will gets involved. Sleep well.

Hollyoaks: your questions answered

So, it’s the week of Lynsey’s funeral (I know it’s normally spelled Lindsay but this is Hollyoaks) and with the whole Mercedes/ Bobby/ Mitzee/ Walker/ Silas plotline things are getting quite complicated. So here are some answers to the questions you’ve been searching on.

Well some of them, anyway. I can’t answer things like ‘what were the scriptwriters on’ or ‘they ate how much cheese and dreamt up what?’

Who killed Lynsey? And why?

The creepy doctor, the one with a mouth like a Nick Parker puppet. He was in love with Mercy and knew that Lynsey was on the verge of finding out that Mercy stalked herself, stabbed herself, and blamed Mitzee

How did Lynsey die?

Strangled with her very own scarf in Brendan’s flat. (It was the doctor, with the scarf, in the living room, now I come to think of it).

Who is Lynsey in Hollyoaks?

The childhood friend of Sheryl, strangled by the doctor. Please at least try to keep up.

Was Brendan married to Lynsey in Hollyoaks?

No. Now you’re just being silly. Although recently we found out that he did have a fling with her brother, so what do I know.

What does Brendan’s nan know?

Well not that much really given that she’s dead. But before death (it was Brendan, with his own bare hands, on the veranda) she confessed that she knew his father, her son, raped him. That was a particularly cheerful episode.

Is Brendan responsible for Lynsey’s death?

No, not really, though Sheryl still seems to be blaming him. He thought it might be to do with his gangland connections, but turns out that was just Joel and Theresa having a bit of a giggle with bullets and a Filofax. Don’t look at me, I don’t make this stuff up.

Who told the police about Lynsey’s murderer?

Jacqui. She just got suspicious of the doctor, his lying ways, and his really, really odd facial structure. Then she found Lynsey’s scarf in his office.

Did Ali kill Lynsey?

No. He’s not a murderer, that I know of. He is a serial cheat, philanderer and con merchant. Think of him as NFH, or Normal For Hollyoaks.

Who hilled Lunsey?

Say what? I’m going to put that down to dodgy autocorrect on someone’s mobile. Ditto ‘lincy hollocs’.

Does Mercedes get caught for Lynsey’s murder?

No, because she didn’t do it. Actually, scratch that. She didn’t murder Lynsey but this is Hollyoaks and a little thing like innocence never stopped them from locking anyone up. But no, she didn’t get caught anyway.

Where was Will?

Ah, now Will was being manipulated by mass murderer Silas (last seen boarding a bus in a fetching beige ensemble). Will was arrested and Texas was convinced it was him but turns out that actually he was just out stalking a random woman he met on the internet, at Silas’s instigation (both the stalking and the meeting).

Could Lynsey come back on Hollyoaks?

Doubt it. The scriptwriters are odd but this isn’t Dr Who and they’ve yet to do either resurrection or timey wimey stuff. I suppose she could haunt Brendan for a bit though.

Why did Joel murder his step dad?

Mainly because his stepdad was an abusive git, but also because Brendan egged him on. Actually Joel didn’t murder him so much as accidentally drop him off a lighthouse. Ok, so dangling someone from a lighthouse isn’t that clever in the first place but it was more manslaughter than murder. Honest.

Who shot Riley

Or Dumbbell, as I usually call him. It was Walker (Dafoe-alike). Walker was aiming for Ste, in order to get revenge on Brendan for the death of his brother. And this is why we shouldn’t give guns to cops. I’m not entirely sure where Walker is at the moment. Possibly on a bus with Silas.

Why did Mercedes kidnap Bobby?

Well. Mitzee was on the run and slept with Riley. Mercedes found out and decided to punish Riley so she kidnapped Bobby and demanded a ransom. It wasn’t the best thought out plan and she left Phoebe holding the baby. When Phoebe realised what was happening she told the McQueens what was going on. Mercy is now locked up somewhere, after Myra grassed her to the police. The McQueens are now going straight. Apart from Jacqui and Theresa who are shoplifting using Kathleen Angel as a cover and then selling on the loot.

I think that’s about it for now. After the funeral, there’s a wedding . In Hollyoaks that does not bode well, but does provide comic fodder.

Hollyoaks: Lynsey’s Murder part deux

So, Silas is now out, having faked a fit and then coshed the blackmailing doctor. I don’t know who was responsible, whether it was the police or the prison guards. Silas was left in the care of Tweedledum and Tweedledee, who didn’t think to handcuff him to the bed, so it’s not really surprising that he got out. I couldn’t help but think of Hannibal Lecter and the lengths he had to go to to get out of a gimp mask and a cage. Silas had it easy, meaning we have a mass murderer on the loose in the wake of the murder of Lynsey.

Here are the suspects:

The Tashtastic Brendan: first to find the strangled body of Lynsey, dead in his flat. She’d been looking for a holiday in Portugal, a seemingly innocent activity. There was no build up or warning and even Brendan managed to walk past her corpse whilst talking to her, so it’s fair to say her murder was a bit of a surprise. No-one other than the police think The Tashtastic One did it, so he probably didn’t.

The Tash’s mobster enemies: Now this is tricky. I’d rather not say that Hollyoaks is beyond my understanding, but really it is beyond my understanding. So, The Tashmeister sent Son of Warren to do some dodgy drugs deal. SoW was stabbed by dodgy drugs dealers and nearly died. The Moustache, in a revenge attack, put one of them in a coma. The comatose mobster then died (I told you, Chester’s suburbs are dangerous). So the mobsters are seeking revenge against Brendan and may have killed Lynsey, mistaking her for Sheryl. Easy mistake to make if you’re purblind and drug addled, one of them being a petite brunette, the other a statuesque blonde.

Silas: actually in jail at the time. May have astral planed out to commit murder. I’ve been trying to work out who he reminds me of and then I realised. It’s as if someone didn’t like the John Major they had in grey, sent him back, and got another one in beige. No matter what colour the things Silas wears actually are, they all develop a beige aura. Now I think of it, perhaps he didn’t astral plane. Perhaps someone got hold of the John Major Spitting Image puppet, spray painted it in Landlord Beige and clothed it in cast offs from Lakeland. Then they could have put that in prison, the guards wouldn’t have noticed, and they could have sprung Silas.

Will aka Dopey: arrested by the police, currently out on bail. Decided he was going to make money by writing a book about Silas. Was manipulated by the Beige Ninja. Will is apparently the intelligent one in his family. This worries me. No idea where he was when Lynsey was killed, wandering the streets somewhere with no CCTV and no google streetmap cameras apparently. I don’t know where this is, but I’d quite like to know for future reference.

Brendan’s psychopathic friend: So apparently Dafoe-alike knew Australian Ally in a previous life. Lynsey found out. Just possible the Dafoe-esque one strangled her. If you’re a betting person, a good outsider.

Mercedes: Currently 3 to 1 on. Got let of hospital in time to kill Lynsey, though the doctor covered up this information for her. I’m not sure why he bothered since Hollyoaks police think 2 + 2 = pi. Given that she was in hospital for stabbing herself and then framing Mitzeee she’s highly qualified. Also, if found guilty she’d get to spend more time with her mother who’s in jail for growing pot. Except Myra didn’t grow the pot, her nephew did. I think. My head hurts.

Ally aka that one from Neighbours. Provided one of my favourite comic moments when Mr Tashmagoria stood next to him and just said ‘Jesus, you’re huge’. Could be him. Repeatedly tells stories about how his sister was raped and he got there too late to save her/ he was a doctor in Iraq and got there too late to save someone/ World War III was about to break out and he got there too late to stop it/ vampires killed his favourite werewolf and he got there too late. Ach. It probably wasn’t him. He’d only have got there too late.

The Blackmailing Doctor: a latecomer to the party but I have my suspicions. Has a weird thing about Mercedes. Knew she didn’t like Lynsey. Didn’t really like Lynsey himself. Supposedly on shift when it happened. A good outside bet, with shortening odds.

So the escapee, a veritable rampage in pale taupe, went straight round to see Texas. The police, unlike practically everybody else, were unable to work out that was where he would go. Texas cried a lot. Silas turned the air around him a fetching shade of pale magenta. He tied Texas to a chair (really, is this early evening viewing? In my day it was Blue Peter and you were grateful for it). Dodgy came round and banged on the door, and then left, apparently unable to work out that Texas might just be in trouble. Seems Dopey really is the bright one in the family. I predict a career in the police for Dodgy.

Then Silas donned a hat in fetching straw colour and left Texas to be rescued by the Gay American. Darren, never the brightest bulb, told a journalist that Dumbbell the footballer really has been going out with cousin Mitzeee thereby picking up a plot thread the scriptwriters seemed to have forgotten.

Will finally confessed to Nancy Drew, who’s proving not to be as wooden as I first thought, where he was when Lynsey was killed. Proving that he really is Dumbo, Will was acting on the instructions of the Camel-coloured Assassin and using the Biscuit Hitman of Hollyoaks’s best stalking tips to entice a woman to meet him. Turns out, Will’s sole witness on the day of Lynsey’s murder is a woman who caught him videoing her. Fair play to the scriptwriters. Now Will’s only hope of redemption is to find the girl he was stalking and have her act as witness for him to prove he isn’t a mad, murdering stalker.

Hollyoaks, and the murder of Lindsay Nolan

For those not in the know, Hollyoaks is an early evening soap opera. The broadcasters, Channel 4, appear to be under the impression that its core audience is students aged 16-21. In reality, I suspect its core audience is disgruntled people in their early middle age who turned on a bit too early for the news one day and then got stuck there, trying to spot the difference between the shiny, pretty, plastic people and wondering how on earth Hollyoaks College manages to provide both a GCSE in hairdressing, and postgraduate media studies. As one of those 40-somethings who inadvertently (honest guv) started watching it at some point in my 30s, I can vouch for the fact that you end up sitting there thinking ‘well university wasn’t like that in my day, you know’.

What viewers very, very quickly realise is that Hollyoaks bears absolutely no resemblance to any kind of reality with which normal(ish) people might be familiar. It is situated in a shiny, glossy universe which perhaps overlays our own, existing simultaneously in a space–time continuum that is both parallel and utterly unreachable. But do not be fooled by the glossiness, for it comes at a high price indeed.

I sometimes stop watching Hollyoaks for months at a time and during one of my recent hiatuses a serial killer, Silas, emerged, and went around strangling young brunettes. Apparently he managed to strangle his own daughter, mistaking her for someone else, and it comforts me to know that sometimes even the characters have problems identifying each other. By my reckoning he is at least the second serial killer in the show’s history, the other one being that bloke who coshed people over the head. (A word of warning, not only do I sometimes have problems identifying the cast, I often cannot remember the names of those I can identify. So I will use handy nicknames with some frequency). Cosher almost managed to kill Stephanie, a bubbly blonde who was left with epilepsy for the rest of her life. That wasn’t all that long, as she died of cancer a few years later. In the meantime she married Max, who was killed by a speeding driver on their wedding day. Max did manage to rescue his brother Tom, a boy who should never really call anyone ‘mother’ as they all seem to die as soon as he does. The death toll in Hollyoaks seems to be akin to that of 14th century England during a particularly nasty outbreak of Black Death.

Recently I have started watching again and, joy of joys, Silas is back. Well sort of. He is directing operations from jail, like some kind of poundshop Hannibal Lecter. One of his victims, who conveniently survived, was Mercedes. I can identify Mercedes fairly easily as she often wears leopard skin and on occasion reminds me of Kenny Everett singing ‘Do you think I’m sexy’ whilst dressed as Rod Stewart and having his derriere bicycle-pumped to astonishing proportions, such is the impossibility of her hip to waist ratio. Mercedes was briefly married to Silas’s grandson (I think, details are hazy), a footballer I’ll call Dumbbell for now. However she slept with Dumbbell’s father, a plot device which never fails to fascinate soap opera script writers. Thus ended her marriage. Dumbbell, apparently as obsessive as his grandfather, then had a series of brunette girlfriends. One of these was Mitzeee, his cousin (Oh OK, SECOND cousin) and another was Lindsay Nolan. I can remember Lindsay because A. She had an Oirish accent and B. she’s dead.

Mercedes, somewhat unhinged by being locked up by a serial killer/ sleeping with her husband’s father/ generally being a McQueen, started to stalk Mitzeee. She attacked Mitzeee and then stabbed herself, blaming Mitzeee. The police believed her rather half-baked, or indeed entirely unbaked story. The police in Hollyoaks distress me. Lindsay found out about Mercedes stalking activities. Lindsay was found dead. We do not yet know if these two things are connected but the dodgy doctor who discharged Mercedes in time for her to be the moidererer is now blackmailing her. (The scriptwriters are spectacularly misogynist.)

So, the suspects for Lindsay’s murder would seem to be:

Brendan: AKA The Moustache and variants thereof. Brendan is the local Mobster de Jour and is gloriously psychopathic. Hollyoaks scriptwriters may be as androgynist as they are misogynist, now I think of it. You would have to hate mankind to give one of them a moustache like that. Anyway, Brendan didn’t do it, unless he’s got an alternative supernatural personality like Ric in Vampire Diaries, which, now I think of it, is possible. He is a police suspect but generally in Hollyoaks the police point the finger of blame at whoever is least likely to have done it, up to and including Percy the Pig. And anyway Brendan thinks of Lindsay as a sister (though in Hollyoaks, that could mean anything).

Poundshop Willem Dafoe: AKA that friend of Brendan’s whose name I can’t remember, looks a bit like Willem Dafoe, if you squint. And are drunk. Utter psycho, could be him.

Mercedes: High on the list of suspects, almost certainly her. So almost certainly that it probably isn’t, as I suspect she’s the one Hollyoaks producers want us to think did it, so we are surprised when we find out that Dafoe-alike dunnit.

Ali: or that one from Neighbours. Yes, in ‘What fresh hell is this?’ news, not only are the casts of Eastenders, the Bill and Hollyoaks on a permanent* merry-go-round, now the Australian soap stars are coming over here just to confuse us utterly, so that when we wake up mid snooze whilst watching soaps, we can no longer even tell which country the soap is set in. Anyway, Ali appears to think he’s actually Gladstone in disguise and goes around visiting strip clubs to rescue fallen women. Possibly. Or something. Really, the maze of subplots in Hollyoaks is beyond control or human understanding.

* Ok, in the case of The Bill, not really permanent at all.

The plot continues, or unravels, or meanders. As the week goes on, Mercedes gets her claws into Dumbbell. Normally he pretty much hates her but he feels sorry for her because his cousin stabbed her so moves her into his flat, well Mitzeee’s flat, as you do. Much to Mercedes annoyance the Moustache and his sister, the magnificent Sheryl, have also moved in with Dumbbell. At this stage it is important not to ask how you fit so many people into what would appear to the untrained eye to be a two-bedroom flat. Mercedes is looking daggers at them, which is a step up from her normal behaviour of stalk n’ stab. If they die too, it will at least narrow down the number of suspects.

In the meantime we learn not to leave the Gay American to break bad news. He tends to say things like ‘it’s Lindsey, she’s dead’. I suppose what it lacks in subtlety or empathy it makes up for in accuracy. The plot, or at least something, thickens as it becomes apparent that it was really Sheryl the murderer was after. Not sure how this was worked out, something to do with the Moustache’s criminal underworld connections and a pink filofax.

Throughout this Mercedes is acting (if acting is the right word) as if she’s got the words ‘I strangled Lindsay’ written in indelible marker pen across her forehead. Every time she follows anyone anywhere, which is quite often, I feel like we’re getting to that point in a horror movie where the screachy music starts and you sit there thinking ‘no don’t, don’t walk down there. Don’t do that’. ‘Lindsay were me best friend’, she tells Dumbbell, a statement which can be roughly translated as ‘I strangled her because she slept with the father of my baybee’.

Texas, apparently the sister of India, one of the murder victims, has to visit Silas in prison in order to prevent another murder. I stop trying to keep up and instead contemplate place names. You’d think the scriptwriters ran out of ideas and decided to press ‘I feel lucky’ on google maps when finding new character names.

Silas tells Texas there will be a murder at 2pm, which there isn’t (though in fairness I don’t think he specified a day or date and with a broad prediction like that, I expect he’ll be right at some point). Silas has been killing time (as well as all those girls) and believes he can astral plane. He may have been joking at that point but to be honest I was losing the will to live and couldn’t tell. This is quickly becoming the world’s most boring faux-comic mass murderer plotline. Turns out, whether he can astral plane or not, Silas can just bore people to death by being unfascinatingly unhinged. Also, Silas thought Texas and the Gay American would make a cute couple and I lose confidence in the ability of manipulative criminal masterminds if their gaydar turns out to be that inadequate.

Anyway, to add to the joy, we have another suspect in Dodgy’s brother, can’t remember his name, have always thought of him as Dopey the Dwarf, or, possibly, Dopey’s younger brother. Though currently he is looking Dodgy, rather than Dopey, so I’m getting even more confused. Dodgy, in the meantime, continues to look like an unfortunate cross between a ridiculously good looking man and a gerbil. To be honest, I’m finding it difficult to care. It’s not easy to empathise during a serial killer storyline. And I suspect Dopey is a red herring anyway. Saying that, there was a nice Lassie Come Home moment as Dodgy realised he was going to have to chose between his brother and his girlfriend.

Turns out Dopey really is Dopey and has been visiting Silas. Silas is playing tricks. Nope, still bored. The police charge Dopey with murdering Lindsay, so it can’t be him. The magnificent Sheryl says they must have had DNA evidence. For the best friend of a murder victim, this shows an amazing optimism.

The police in Hollyoaks really need to be shipped out to Las Vegas and swapped over with the CSI team. This would liven up both shows no end, as a small village near Chester would finally get to find out what glossy overly made up over-egged scientific evidence actually is, whilst the folks of Las Vegas could be randomly locked up for anything, regardless of evidence. I’m not sure which would work better as a method of law enforcement, but it would make fun viewing. Well, more fun than what’s going on in Hollyoaks right now.

I wake up slightly as it seems the actor who plays Dopey is not a bad actor. It is unfortunate then that his Nancy Drew sidekick, a blonde I have failed to register previously, is marginally more wooden than my desk. Still, apparently she is determined to prove his innocence. In a normal world this wouldn’t be difficult. In Hollyoaks I suspect it’s impossible.

At the end of each episode there is the inevitable Channel Four helpline announcement. Yes, it’s true. If you live in a village in which people have a tendency to stab themselves before murdering people, there is a helpline just for you.

In the end it seems to me that the problem with Hollyoaks is the shear incredibility of the plots and the lack of any subtlety whatsoever. Nothing that Silas does, for all the lisping overacting, nods to Lecter, and perpetual reminders that he strangles young women, comes close to making him as creepy as Troy in Neighbours. Every time I see Troy sawing wood, I’m reminded of Tom Waits singing ‘what’s he building in there?’ It looks like ordinary house renovations but you just know that he’s planning something massively more evil and unhinged than anything a Hollyoaks script writer could devise, self-mutilating murderesses who sleep with their partner’s fathers not withstanding.