Emmerdale fans 'confused' as special dinner party episode airs

Emmerdale viewers were left scratching their heads as the beloved soap switched up its format for a gripping special episode that aired on Tuesday 7 May.

The ITV favourite aired an intense dinner party episode that put the spotlight on Tom King (James Chase) and Belle Dingle's (Eden Taylor-Draper) tumultuous relationship, as well as Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) and Marlon Dingle's (Mark Charnock) strained romance.

In a harrowing turn of events, Tom's coercive control over Belle escalated into appalling physical violence, leaving audiences heartbroken for Belle's plight.

Meanwhile, tensions boiled over between Rhona and Marlon, with their relationship buckling under the strain of Gus's court case. A fiery row ensued, culminating in a dramatic departure for all the couples involved.

Marlon and Rhona got into a full-blown argument in front of their friends
Marlon and Rhona got into a full-blown argument in front of their friends -Credit:ITV/Mark Bruce

The episode reached a chilling climax when Tom confronted Belle about her deceit regarding her contraception, leading to a furious outburst and ultimately, physical assault on Belle, who was left shattered by his actions.

As the episode unfolded, perplexed fans flocked to social media to express their confusion over the narrative structure.

One viewer tweeted: "hold on help i tried rewinding the programme because i thought it was repeating itself but forgot it's from 2 different perspectives.... very confusing #Emmerdale." Another commented: "What's happening to #emmerdale? Have I missed something ? I thought @ITV replayed it from the start for a minute there. I'm confused..".

And a third said: "Just say the same dialogue twice that's how you spread an episode out."

Marlon and Rhona are at breaking point
Marlon and Rhona are at breaking point -Credit:ITV/Mark Bruce

Emmerdale producer, Laura Shaw, gave some insight into the special episode, saying: "The dinner party episode puts a sharp lens on the relationships of the gathered people and gives the audience a unique view into their lives."

Laura continued: "Stepping away from the usual Emmerdale format, it offers our viewers the chance to see how some relationships like Rhona and Marlon's can very publicly unravel and fall apart, whereas other relationships, like Tom and Belle's, can present in public as perfect and behind closed doors tell a very different, much darker story."

In the shocking scenes, Rhona and Marlon appear to end their relationship in front of their guests.

Viewers were horrified as Tom continued to torment Belle
Viewers were horrified as Tom continued to torment Belle -Credit:ITV/Mark Bruce

Mark said about the scenes: "He's horrible to her and she's horrible to him as well. They're both kind of stuck in their own corner and I think they both recognise their own unreasonableness but personal pride and ego won't let them come out of it.

“He said some things the day before which she brings up in front of everybody, which is embarrassing for him. It gets ugly, she gets more and more provoked, alcohol is involved and it just detonates the relationship.”

Zoe Henry, who portrays Rhona, added: "I can honestly see both sides, I really can. Rhona is bossy, Marlon is sensitive and has a tendency to overreact, both of them have good intentions but it's all got a bit messy and confused."