Emmerdale airs terrifying scenes next week as gun-toting gangster Max wreaks his revenge against Billy Fletcher and his family, leading to a hostage situation at Tall Trees cottage.
Max becomes hell-bent on getting payback after Billy ruins another one of his criminal jobs, working with the police to thwart his plans to rob a van.
The tense storyline sees Max lie in wait at Billy's home, before threatening his family with a gun. Show bosses have confirmed that someone will be shot in the chaos that follows, but who?
1. Billy Fletcher
Billy is the villager who seems to be in the most precarious position in next week's violent showdown. Max comes back to the village with the sole aim of taking revenge against him and isn't pleased when he's nowhere to be seen at Tall Trees.
After revealing his presence to the rest of the family, Max forces Jessie to call Billy and get him to the cottage ASAP. Once Billy does put in an appearance, he quickly finds himself in an edge-of-your-seat scuffle with Max over the gun. Could Max take this opportunity to pull the trigger?
As a villainous guest character with an obvious shelf life, Max is undoubtedly the most disposable person who's involved in next week's heated scenes. Since we know that the dramatic situation involves him and Billy fighting for control of the gun, it seems just as possible that Max could end up injured from his own weapon.
Vengeful Max doesn't seem willing to let his vendetta against Billy go in a hurry, but the writers will surely have to bring his storyline to an end soon. So, could the scuffle even end in Max's death, leaving Billy to face the possibility of going back to prison?
3. Jessie Dingle
We've already seen Ellis and Marlon take trips to the hospital after violent incidents recently, so perhaps the soap gods have decided that it's Jessie's turn to join the club.
Jessie spends most of her time defending Billy come what may, even though he hasn't always deserved her unwavering support. After refusing to hear a bad word said against him, it'd certainly be a cruel twist of fate if she ended up injured as a direct result of one of his feuds.
Plus, we haven't failed to notice that the writers are rapidly running out of excuses to explain why school headteacher Jessie is never at work, so an extended hospital stay may prove useful to the writers in that department too...
4. Ellis Chapman
Ellis isn't initially at Tall Trees when Max sneaks in, but when Billy receives a panicked voicemail from Jessie to alert him to what's going on, Ellis joins his brother to face their dangerous enemy together.
This puts Ellis firmly in the firing line alongside the rest of his family, although we do have our doubts about the likelihood of Emmerdale putting him in another "life-on-the-line" situation just two months after his stabbing on the Big Night Out. Hasn't he suffered enough?
5. Marlon Dingle
Woolpack chef Marlon probably isn't the first person you'd hope to have by your side in a crisis, but he does have history when it comes to terrifying hostage situations. He was closely involved in Cameron Murray's shock siege at the pub in 2013, so perhaps he's learned a thing or two from the experience.
With his daughter April in the house as the scary situation unfolds, Marlon will want to be on the front foot and could even make his own grab for the gun, putting himself in danger.
Much like Ellis, our only doubt is that Marlon has already been injured very recently. It was only last week that he was hit over the head with a rolling pin in his own home, so the writers may well decide to keep him conscious for this particular drama.
6. April Windsor
Emmerdale's gun showdown has particularly high stakes because 9-year-old April is in the house to witness her family's life-or-death showdown with Max.
Having April as a victim may be too dark even for Emmerdale, but the show knows it can rely on Amelia Flanagan for impressive performances after she won the British Soap Award for Best Young Performer in 2015, so who knows?
7. Aaron Dingle
Is any Emmerdale list complete with Aaron? Clearly we think not. His inclusion isn't as random as it may seem, though. The show has made a point of developing a friendship between Aaron and Ellis in recent episodes and there's plenty of unfinished business between him and Billy too.
The popular character is with the two brothers at the village's football match just before they get called back to the cottage, so it's possible that he follows them back to help out.
It'd also be classic soap for the unlucky victim to be someone who's not immediately obvious from the spoilers.
Emmerdale currently airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with extra episodes at 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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