I'm a soaps expert and here's why I can't stand Emmerdale's Liam Cavanagh | The Sun
FROM unlawful schemers to blood-thirsty serial killers, many terrible characters have walked the Dales.
However, it's about time we call out Emmerdale's wolf in sheep's clothing – Dr Liam Cavanagh, played by Jonny McPherson.
In recent months, many ITV viewers have made their aversion for Chas Dingle clear following her affair with Al Chapman.
How I wish the same dedication would be given to the villain in disguise that is Liam.
Before he would become an official familiar face in Yorkshire, Dr Insufferable was a mere background character.
For three years, from 2014 to 2017, we would only see him through the scope of his profession as he helped residents in the likes of Priya Sharma (Fiona Wade) and Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper).
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It wasn't until the breakdown of his marriage to his second wife Maya that fans got to know the real Liam.
Liam learned his former other half was having an affair with Emmerdale shopkeeper David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden).
As we've been strongly reminded through Paddy Kirk, it's hard not to feel for somebody whose heart has been broken.
And when Liam taunted David about his estranged wife Tracy (Amy Walsh) aborting their baby, I understood the pain and anger his actions stemmed from – despite how vile I felt his behaviour was.
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This was also despite the fact Liam was going against the medical secrecy he has to abide by, thus making his actions massively unethical.
I allowed myself to be understanding of Liam when he threw Maya out of their house.
I understood when he embarked on his own affair with Samantha Giles' Bernice Blackstock.
I also felt for Liam when he tried to convince Bernice to leave her then-boyfriend Daz Spencer (Mark Jordon), when he was tired of being kept a secret.
But Leyla Harding's (Roxy Shahidi) arrival in his life made me realise that the GP everyone had come to know, trust and respect needed to be knocked down a few pegs, in spite of sporadic heroic actions.
Seemingly never learning from his past, Liam kissed Leyla when Bernice left for Australia and showed how much of a hypocrite he could really be by keeping the wedding planner in the dark.
Again, this could be relatively understandable and accepted.
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Yet what gives Liam the right to use his trauma as an excuse for being a genuinely terrible person instead of getting the help he needs?
Eighteen-year-old Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger) was sometimes called out for her entitled attitude but how else could she have turned out with Liam as her father?
Children are often said to be a reflection of their parents so I am less than surprised.
And when the teen died on her birthday, pushed off a bridge by sinister nurse Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu), Liam spiralled even more until my sympathy completely ran out.
Following Leanna's murder, Leyla was the primary victim of his mournful anger.
According to him, and before Meena was exposed, there was only one way Leanna could have fallen off the bridge and it was all Leyla's fault.
Again, Liam decided to strip her of any safety by kicking her out of their home – but not before he blamed her for Leanna's death because she'd gifted the latter with heels.
The term "disgusting" doesn't even begin to describe it for me.
And over the months, Liam became increasingly cruel with his own wife.
As a GP, Liam should be aware that addiction is first and foremost a disease one needs help to overcome.
Much like any other health professionals, we've seen Liam be present for his patients and giving them the information and help they deserved.
But once he's out of his office, Liam forgets the values of his own industry, failing to show his own wife the same empathy.
I still remember how much I was seething when Leyla woke up from her overdose in hospital earlier this year and realised Liam wouldn't be by her bedside.
To make matters worse, Liam thought it'd also be a great idea to cheat on Leyla with his ex Bernice before putting an end to his marriage with her, complaining about all the tragedy they'd been put through.
As if he didn't share at least 50% of the responsibility.
As if Leyla wasn't also suffering after returning home from a long stint in rehab, doing her best to fight her demons.
But there's more – with their marriage over, Liam is set to enjoy the single life during Christmas, bonding with many residents over copious amounts of food.
A reunion with Bernice is also likely to be looming according to spoilers.
Meanwhile, Leyla will be alone with her Christmas meal for one.
And when he's not treating his partners like property he can easily discard or manipulate, Liam turns to other residents in the village.
This was most notably the case following Meena Jutla's return to the Dales after trying to escape justice.
Acting out of grief is understandable but blackmailing an innocent Wendy Posner (Susan Cookson) over her testifying at the serial killer's trial was too far.
He didn't even shy away from lying to the police alongside his co-worker, Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) after he tried to kill Meena in the same way his daughter had died.
And let's not forget how he brutally attacked a teenaged Jacob Gallagher when he believed he had convinced Leanna to sleep with him.
Liam may acknowledge when he's out of control, as he did after cheating on Leyla with Bernice, calling himself a "dreadful person."
But what good is acknowledgement if it isn't paired with change?
He may be a GP his patients can trust but the man he is behind closed doors and away from his practice is a far cry from what we could expect.
How far does he have to go before finally changing or, better yet, being thrown out (or killed off) of the Dales?
Will Emmerdale's own Jekyll and Hyde get a wake-up call?
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One thing is certain – it takes a lot more than a white coat and a GP license to be a good person.
Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.
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