Robert (played by Ryan Hawley) and Aaron (Danny Miller) are on the cusp of securing a deal with surrogate Natalie to carry their baby on Emmerdale after the couple only get to see Robert’s son Seb on an occasional basis after Rebecca White (Emily Hall) left the village last year.
The couple have already faced some hurdles with their plans when Aaron’s grandmother Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter) spun a web of lies about Robert and Aaron to make the pair seem more appealing to Natalie on the ITV soap.
However, the surrogate will have another meeting with the budding fathers next week after her conversation with Faith as another setback occurs when Natalie learns Aaron has spent time behind bars, making her even more sceptical.
Though, if Natalie eventually agrees to the couple’s proposal to be their surrogate, Robert and Aaron could face yet another setback as a ghost from Robert’s past emerges from beyond the grave in the form of his later uncle Joe Sugden (Frazer Hines).
In the years before Robert became a pivotal character in the Dales, his father Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) and Joe owned Emmerdale farm with a tragic plane crash beginning the sequence of events leading to his uncle’s departure from the village.
Jack persuaded Joe to leave Yorkshire to begin a new life abroad in Spain where the character was killed off-screen when he was involved in a fatal car crash over 20 years ago.
However, although Joe was killed off, former Emmerdale star Frazer Hines told The Mirror he would like his character to return to the soap in a sensational plot which sees the former farm owner rise from the dead.
Frazer told the publication: “The fans always want me back. They say, ‘Why don’t you come back for six months as a guest?’ And I would do that.”
There were plans to bring Joe back after his initial departure to Spain, but Frazer didn’t want to make a comeback at the time, leading to his character’s eventual death off-screen.
“18 months [after Joe’s exit], I met the producer and he said, ‘We are thinking of bringing you back in six months’ time’.”
After declining the offer due to prior work commitments, Frazer explained how producers said they would kill Joe off, to which the actor told them he didn’t want an off-screen demise for his character.
However, if he were to return to the village, Joe’s reappearance could be justified as Frazer explained: “Fans say, ‘Because it was the Spanish police investigating, it might not have been your body.’”
If this were to be the case, Joe could return to the village to face Robert and seek revenge on his brother’s son for what happened to him in Spain.
It’s possible the former farm owner could’ve experienced some trauma in Spain and blames his brother for encouraging him to leave the village.
Though, with Jack having died on the soap some years ago and Robert’s brother Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) also having left the Dales, it seems the budding father could be the only one left to be target for his uncle’s revenge plan.
However, if Joe does return, would he really put his nephew’s chance at being a father in jeopardy and how exactly would he enact his revenge if he were to rise from the dead?
Elsewhere in the village, Aaron’s young sister Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele) is the only villager to know about Maya Stepney’s (Louisa Clein) illicit affair with teenager Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant).
Liv has been blackmailing the school teacher over her illegal relationship with the teenager, demanding Maya pay up £5,000 or she will expose her as a child abuser.
Though, Maya’s manipulation of the young villager will begin to crumble before her very eyes when another Dales resident discovers her secret during the soaps Big Night Out episodes.
Who will the villager be and how exactly will Maya get her comeuppance over her grooming ordeal of Jacob?
Emmerdale continues tonight at 7pm on ITV.