Ackley Bridge has thrown up another huge talking point in the heavily Sam-focused episode 4 (Tuesday, July 9th).
If series 3 of Ackley Bridge hadn't packed enough punch so far with the death of fan-favourite Missy, episode 4 has changed the game once again in a story focused mainly on Nas's (Amy-Leigh Hickman) girlfriend Sam Murgatroyd (Megan Parkinson).
The episode explores the relationship between the two students as well as Sam's family life, which let's be honest, leaves a lot to be desired. As the series' fourth episode comes to a close we see Sam calling the police on her mother Nadine (Natalie Gavin).
Fans of the show have been left somewhat taken aback by the events of episode 4 but Sam's actions were always inevitable in the context of the show. Here's why.
What happened in episode 4 of Ackley Bridge?
Episode 4 kicks-off with Nas and Sam shoplifting, quite overtly we must add, at the Ackley Bridge market. Unsurprisingly, the pair are caught and arrested for their actions, causing the pair to split up during the episode.
While Nas is crestfallen at the prospect of getting a criminal record, Sam's return home is treated like the homecoming of a hero by her mother Nadine.
In order to give Sam a bigger challenge, Nadine tasks her daughter to help burgle the house of one of Sam's teachers, Martin Evershed (Robert James-Collier).
After only just escaping from the burglary, Sam feels remorse for her actions and seeks out a chance to apologise to her teacher.
In the episode's final moments, we see Sam back at home with her mother before flashing blue lights appear through the window as the police arrive to take Nadine away for the burglary of Mr Evershed's house.
Why Sam called the police on her own mother
As we've seen ever since Sam was introduced in series 2 of Ackley Bridge, she's not exactly had the easiest of upbringings, no thanks to her mother Nadine.
Series 3 has brought that relationship into more focus than ever and has given the audience some truly gripping moments.
However, it was always inevitable that Sam would call the police for her mother's actions purely because of the nature of the show.
As we explored with the death of Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) after episode 2, because Ackley Bridge is set in a school and therefore aimed at a younger audience, it's meant to be at least a little bit educational.
Therefore, we've seen moments throughout the show that may relate to the experiences students may face while at school like the death of a friend as we mentioned with Missy.
What episode 4 is attempting to teach its audience is that you shouldn't have to put up with abuse, be it mental or physical, and feel scared in your own home and that calling the police is a way of putting an end to that.
While it may seem like an ordinary school-based drama at first glance, there are definitely key lessons to learn in Ackley Bridge.
What next for Ackley Bridge's Sam?
As we saw in episode 4, Sam's mother was arrested by police for the burglary on Mr Evershed's home and, as a result, Sam has been left without a proper carer.
Speculation is rife about what could happen next for the troubled student with many fans of the show believing that she could well be leaving the show.
It could make plenty of narrative sense for Sam to leave Ackley Bridge as her mother's arrest could force her to move away to live with relatives for example.
To find out for certain, we'll have to wait for the next episode to play out.
Series 3 of Channel 4's Ackley Bridge continues on Tuesday, July 16th at 8pm.
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