Emmerdale couple leave the village to mark fresh start

Ruby and Caleb confront Ethan outside the pub in Emmerdale

It’s been a difficult few months (Picture: ITV)

Ruby Fox-Miligan (Beth Cordingly) came home to find husband Caleb (William Ash) packing in the second of Monday (July 8)’s visits to Emmerdale. But it wasn’t his own belongings he was packing – it was their son Nicky (Lewis Cope)’s.

Nicky left the village with his boyfriend Suni (Brahmdeo Shannon Ramana) the previous week. After discovering that Ruby had been the one who deliberately ran over Ethan Anderson (Emile John) shortly before his death, Nicky had had enough of his parents’ behaviour. Nicky was particularly upset by Caleb, as he felt his father was always disappointed in him and never showed him love.

Caleb’s actions in this episode seemed at first to confirm that as to Ruby’s eyes it looked like he was trying to remove all trace of their son now he’d gone off travelling. Caleb said this couldn’t have been further from the truth, and poignantly described how he couldn’t stand having Nicky’s possessions where he could see them all the time because it was just a reminder of how he’d failed his son.

‘Everything he did made me proud,’ he told his wife. ‘I just didn’t know how to tell him.’ He said this was because when he was a child there’d been nobody to tell him they were proud of him.

Caleb was brought up in the care system after Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter), his mum, gave birth to him in prison. All he had from her was a photograph and his birth certificate.

A flashback episode on Boxing Day 2022 filled in what had happened in Caleb’s youth – including an attempt he made to become part of the Dingle family by tracking Cain (Jeff Hordley) down. But Cain eventually told Caleb to leave as he’d just found out that Chas (Lucy Pargeter) was pregnant. This was devastating for Caleb as he’d missed out on the chance of being adopted by a nice family because he wanted to get to know Cain.

Later we also discovered that Caleb’s father was Frank Tate (Norman Bowler), although he’d never met him. His arrival in the village was also to get revenge on Kim Tate (Claire King) for her part in Frank’s death.

Caleb and Ruby try and support Charles, who is with them in Mill Cottage in Emmerdale

Charles finally learnt what happened to his son during the hit and run (Picture: ITV)

So Caleb had a very messed up and sad childhood and his life didn’t turn around properly until he met Ruby. We’ve previously seen the fierce bond between Ruby and Caleb, and that she gave up a relationship with her own family to be with him. In this episode Caleb said that Ruby had been a life-line for him: ‘I didn’t know what love was until I met you,’ he told her.

Ruby’s heart was melted by these words. She’d previously been in a fury with him, blaming him for her beloved son leaving the village, but now she gave him an affectionate hug.

‘We need each other,’ Caleb said. Ruby agreed, and said that they also needed a re-set away from the village. They both agreed that Bali sounded like a nice place for a bit of a break.

Caleb thought that after the holiday he could set about finding Nicky and bringing him home, but Ruby didn’t agree. She said their son was a grown man who could make his own decisions – including whether or when he would return to visit them. ‘He does know we love him,’ she insisted.

There’s a lot more to come from Ruby and Caleb as Emmerdale’s new boss Sophie Roper has teased.

‘We’re going to see a bit of a blast from their past come back and really give us more about this complicated relationship between husband and wife and the complicated family dynamics we have there,’ she told us.

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