I’ve mainly chosen this episode to continue to continue today’s trend of topless Emmett, but for its short duration it’s a moving episode. After being beaten in prison, Brendan looks at photos of his sons and cries.

In The Flesh: First Clip of Simon during Luke Newberry interview

From 1:35 onwards Luke Newberry (Kieren) talks about Simon’s impact on Kieren’s life as a PDS sufferer with a brand new clip at 2:37!

How does Simon impact on Kieren’s life?

Well Simon coming along is a bit of a gear changer for Kieren, because he turns up with a very extreme opinion of and belief of what it is to be a PDS sufferer and it’s the polar opposite of Kieren’s. Kieren is very much about putting my mousse on, putting my lens in and I just put my head down and get on with it and try and fit in with everyone else and be normal and adhere to the rules. Simon comes in and just completely turns that on its head, I don’t wear mousse, I don’t wear the lenses, why should I, this is me, this is who I am, and for Kieren that’s quite scary but also quite intriguing. Kieren realizes that yes he’s moved on, yes he’s developed but he’s still got quite a way to go and is that the way that he wants to go? What’s right or wrong?

We’ve had three new directors this year and they’ve all brought something different to the show which Jonny Campbell directed last year and brilliantly, and left it in a brilliant place so it was more about them taking what was there and building upon that, without trying to make it something it’s not.

Two episodes in one. Cockney gangster Danny Houston shows what he’s truly capable of when he reveals to Brendan that he was responsible for the death of Brendan’s ex-lover. Amazing scene in the Relish diner between Danny and Brendan. Later on Danny proves he means his threats when he makes it clear he knows Brendan’s weakness. Danny (RIP!) was a great little villain! 

In the aftermath of Lynsey’s funeral (you know the one, where Brendan and Lynsey’s brother got down and dirty on the murder couch) emotions and tensions are running high. Eoghan continues on his bitter whinging even after a night in Brendan’s lair(!) and Cheryl finds out the truth leading to a great scene where Brendan snaps at her and later reluctantly agrees to attend family counselling. Ste becomes Brendan’s official cheerleader and things are on the right and sizzling track between them until damn it - yep you’ve guessed it - Doug arrives and ruins the fun!

Today marks exactly a year since Brendan’s last episode and because I’m seeing a lot of melancholy and reminiscing I thought I’d go for a happy Flashback Friday! Brendan babysits the kids, earning their approval and some serious boyfriend points from Ste. I mean sure, in the same episode Walker arrives and it’s all downhill from there but this is the happiest I can offer! “Daddy Brendan” even trended on Twitter when it aired. Brendan even sings - what more could you want?

Chosen for purely selfish reasons this is one of my favourite Brendan episodes of all time where we got to see a really vulnerable side to him, which at the time was pretty rare. Features another famous tea scene with Amy and one of the best Ste and Brendan kisses as Brendan forces himself to say goodbye to Ste.

This episode took the Brendan and Mitzeee friendship to a new place as she ran to him for help confused and distraught about Mercedes. The scene in the car where Brendan hands Mitzeee over to the police instead of helping her run away from her accused crimes is really powerful. This was the beginning of a huge week for Brendan, Lynsey was murdered just days later.

I got asked this week when Declan found out Brendan was gay - this episode right here! This episode starts a whole chain of events related to the evil Silas. Rae accidentally outs Brendan (although really, she should have figured out Declan was about) sending him into a fury and he publicly threatens to kill her. Standard Brendan move normally, however this ends up making Brendan the prime suspect when she’s found murdered. You all know what happened then! But this episode also has a very lovely and understated scene between Brendan and Declan that’s definitely worth rewatching. 

"I used to wanna be superman…" begins Brendan’s opening monologue to Hollyoaks Later and with the news this week of Emmett appearing in comic book movie Guardians of the Galaxy I thought it was an appropriate choice. This first episode of Hollyoaks Later kicks off a cinematic looking series where Brendan’s darkness and the root of his trauma is fully revealed. Worth a rewatch alone if only for the brilliant opening sequence (and the black humour of his Stupid Cupid dance).

As it’s Valentine’s Day I thought it was only fair to choose something especially lovely and romantic, so of course it’s the very heart-melting episode where Brendan and Ste bake bread together and Brendan promises him “the future he deserves”. In true Stendan style the blissful happiness is short lived with Walker and Kevin plotting to ruin Brendan (sob) but still, it was perfect while it lasted. Happy Day of Lurrrve!

This is a real classic episode where we first ever heard the term “Britzeee”. Mitzeee gets hassled by a photography (Joey “The Snaps” Benton) leaving Brendan and Warren to sort it in their own special way. Mitzeee’s  blackmail doesn’t last long and she sees the similarities between her and Brendan. A new friendship, and probably the closest friend he will ever have, is formed. Great funny moments as well as some great touching scenes.

A very Happy Birthday to the lovely Emmett J Scanlan. Thank you to all the fans worldwide who took part sending thoughtful messages, art, animations, banners and photos!

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