In the opening scene of tonight’s Emmerdale episode, Arthur Thomas (Alfie Clarke) revealed to Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) that Marshall (Max Fletcher) had been avoiding him at school. However, Marshall was only acting stiff; he actually wanted to speak to Arthur Thomas but was too afraid.
Laurel was aware of who to hold accountable: Marshall’s father.
Marshall’s father Colin (Mark Noble), the homophobic councillor who had opposed the school assembly about LGBTQ+ problems, interrupted Arthur and Marshall just as they were about to kiss after Marshall confessed he really liked Arthur.
Marshall later informed Arthur that they couldn’t be friends and that he thought being homosexual was “disgusting” and “wrong” as a result of Colin’s influence.
In tonight’s episode, Laurel recommended that Arthur text Marshall because she could tell that her son was hurting as a result of this and was missing his friend.
When Marshall consented to meet him in the Hide later after he apologised for blanking him at school, he was happy that he had done so. Arthur responded that Colin didn’t need to know when he said that his father had forbidden him from seeing him.
Marshall then apologised for informing Arthur that being gay was repulsive earlier. He claimed he was attempting to convey that he did not view Arthur in that manner. While acknowledging this, Arthur insisted that there was no reason why they couldn’t remain pals.
As friends? Marshall replied, “No, unfortunately, I can’t. He left Arthur to be consoled by Laurel after departing with a visibly distressed expression.
Marshall appears to be having difficulty being himself while residing with a father who is determined that his son will live according to his own bigoted views, in contrast to Arthur, who has been surrounded by love and support from his family ever since he came out as homosexual.
Will Arthur be able to assist Marshall in some way?