The game was finally over for Emmerdale’s resident psychopath Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) after a dramatic week of terrifying twists.
With a permanent sassy smile on her face, Meena went on a killing spree during 2021. She claimed the lives of Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger), Andrea Tate (Anna Nightingale) and Ben Tucker (Simon Lennon).
She also attempted to bump off love rival Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins), big sister Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) and amateur detective Vinny Dingle (Bradley Johnson).
After a spell on the run, Meena returned to wreak revenge on ex-beau Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) and new wife Dawn (Olivia Bromley) at a remote viaduct, playing a sick game for her own amusement.
She then shot Leyla Cavanagh (Roxy Shahidi) before cheerfully revealing an earlier attack on Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton).
The character was at her animated best. She sang, danced and skipped her way around the village, relishing every moment and delivering countless wicked wisecracks. “Are you drowning in your own fluids, babe?” Meena asked a spluttering Leyla.
“If you are, can you do it quieter? Ruining the vibe a bit!”
With manipulative Meena, Emmerdale strayed as close to the edge as a pre-watershed drama ever could. Sandhu was as compelling as ever in the role which will surely cement her as a household name for years to come.
There was a standout performance from Bromley in the first half of the week, as Dawn fearlessly challenged Meena’s sick threats.
The mother’s anguished roar of “what did you say?” as the killer hinted she had harmed Dawn's young son Lucas gave us an unforgettably powerful cliffhanger during Tuesday’s tense instalment.
Meena herself came close to death when Liam (Jonny McPherson) pushed her off the bridge in a breathtaking parallel to the brutal murder of his beloved Leanna. Liam’s anger and grief was brilliantly balanced by McPherson, who has been one of Emmerdale’s biggest rising stars over the last 12 months.
Read more: Next week on Emmerdale
Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) covered for Liam, adamant that her sinister sibling wouldn't ruin any more lives. A bold move, even if it was a daft idea to go for a solo walk while homicidal Meena was on the loose!
It was touch and go throughout the week, but there were no fatalities, and Meena lived to smirk another day. Even after being taken into police custody, she continued her cocky conduct.
There was only a slight detour in demeanour when detectives revealed the evidence of Ben’s blood on one of her gloves, at which point she shamelessly broke down in crocodile tears and told them that particular event was an unfortunate accident.
Now we move on to the next stage in the story. There is currently nothing linking Meena to her other crimes — except there is, because her trinket box is still buried at the allotment. It’s about time someone unearthed her creepy souvenirs and exposed the true depths of her depravity.
As much as we’ll miss Meena ruling the Dales with her despicable deeds, she simply had to lose her freedom. Keep her going forever and there would soon be no villagers left!
Her final ruthless chapter, though, was an Emmerdale triumph that had us on the edge of our seats. Meena may not be as "indestructible" as she thought, but she will go down in soap history as an iconic villain.
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