Emmerdale airs return as major villager comes home after Heath Hope’s death

Lydia headed home (Picture: ITV)

In Thursday’s (January 4) episode of Emmerdale, Heath Hope’s (Sebastian Dowling) death from a car tragedy on New Year’s Eve continued to have an impact on all members of the village in various ways. Sam Dingle (played by James Hooton) found himself thinking about his wife Lydia (played by Karen Blick), who hasn’t been in the village since before Christmas.

After learning that her friend Kim Tate (Claire King), who was riding the horse that killed rapist Craig Reed (Ben Addis), had a greater role in the victim’s death than she had previously disclosed, Lydia decided to leave the scene.

This was the last straw for Lydia, who was already having trouble dealing with the fallout from the rape and her husband Sam’s brutal acts of hitting Craig against her desires. Lydia made the decision to spend Christmas at her mother’s house in order to give herself some space and time to process everything.

Despite her assurances to Sam and Samson (Sam Hall) that she loved them and would return, Sam in particular has found it difficult to adjust to her absence.

He felt her absence all the more now that Heath’s death had shook the community. He expressed his hope for Lydia’s return to Will Taylor (Dean Andrews) and said that she would have understood how to console Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) in light of his loss.

Heath was killed after a car crash (Picture: ITV)

He discovered Samson back at Wishing Well and offered to prepare him a lunch. After overindulging over Christmas, Samson wasn’t hungry, but it was Sam’s way of looking after him.

Heath’s kid was extremely valuable to him, as demonstrated by his death. Even though Samson declared he wouldn’t perish for a sandwich, he later recognised Sam was only being affectionate. He embraced him after calling him a “daft old beggar.”

At that point, Lydia entered. She grinned, saying, “Well, this is a nice surprise.”

Sam went to give her a quick embrace, but changed his mind and they shook hands instead. She hasn’t wanted him to touch her since the rape, and Lydia thereafter expressed gratitude that he had remembered.

She claimed that learning about Heath had made her recognise how much she missed her family.

Lydia grabbed for Sam’s hand as he said, “I’m so glad you’re back.” In the midst of all the grief over Heath, it was a very pleasant, joyful time. “At least some good comes out of it,” Sam remarked.

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