Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) has well and truly made her presence felt since rocking up in Emmerdale last year, and tonight, the manipulative schemer achieved a new level of villainy, as she claimed the life of Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger).
Leanna couldn’t have been more excited about the prospect of heading off on her travels and seeing the world.
With celebrations for her 18th birthday underway, the young woman returned home during Tuesday’s hour-long edition of the ITV soap to get herself ready, but spent much of the afternoon looking at the presents gifted to her from her nearest and dearest.
Among all the gifts was a rucksack, which Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) had parted with hours earlier. But little did she know that, inside, there were items that murderous Meena did not want prying eyes to see.
Meena, desperate to keep her secrets hidden, entered Leanna’s bedroom, uninvited, and demanded the rucksack be returned to her at once.
Leanna was a little spooked, but it all fell into place when she emptied the contents of the bag on the floor, to find the stolen Pride collection.
Much of tonight’s first episode saw Leanna, hot off the discovery, quizzing Meena, attempting to figure out just what it was that she hoped to gain in stealing such an item.
It didn’t take her long Ito work out that she was trying to frame Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant), realising that the young man’s suspicions about Meena were pretty much spot on.
Meena, evidently not a fan of not being in control, did her best to cover her tracks, claiming that she has a penchant for stealing things that belong to others. Her story was backed-up by the presence of a first-aid tin, which was also inside the rucksack, as it was filled with random bits and bobs.
Leanna’s interest was piqued, and she started to scower through the items in the box, leaving Meena incredibly concerned. Too close for comfort.
And with that, the young woman stumbled upon a newspaper clipping. The very same newspaper clipping that viewers saw only weeks ago, confirming that the death of Nadine Butler, who Meena claimed had taken her own life, died in suspicious circumstances.
Leanna didn’t think much of it at first, and quizzed Meena further on why she had such an item in her possession. Meena explained that this Nadine was her best friend. However, in her attempts to keep her cool, she inadvertently confirmed she had a role to play in her death!
You’d think that Meena would’ve been panicked about such a thing, but this wasn’t the case at all, as the dynamic between the two women had now shifted, with Meena back in control.
Leanna, meanwhile, bravely tried to keep her cool, but when the opportunity arose, she made a run for it, with Meena desperately giving chase.
Leanna ran like her life depended on it. Because in that moment, it did.
The two women ended up at the graveyard, with Leanna hiding behind a gravestone. She subsequently dashed for the exit, but ended up injuring her ankle in the process.
Meena therefore closed in on her victim, and a heated showdown ensued on the bridge, in what was evidently Emmerdale’s first non-socially distanced scene since the pandemic began last year.
The villain gripped Leanna and pushed her on to the bridge. Leanna, however, retaliated, taking a hold of Meena’s hair in her hands.
Meena, fed up of the struggle, then tossed Leanna off the side of the bridge.
Leanna fell to her death, as Meena leered over the bridge, seemingly admiring her handiwork.
Emmerdale continues Friday July 9 at 7pm on ITV, or catch the next episode right now on ITV Hub!
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