After a slower second episode, Jericho quickened the pace again tonight with new characters, shocking reveals and the future of the viaduct thrown into jeopardy.

The most dramatic moments were beautifully executed, jumping between two life-threatening moments with an emotive score — my heart was definitely in my throat at one point.

We also learned more about some of the characters that up until now, had merely lurked in the background.

Here's what we learned from the second episode:

Here comes the bride

Charles Blackwood's only facial expression seems to be a frown at this point, and we're only three weeks in. So serious. But then again he was awaiting the arrival of his bride-to-be, for a wedding that was 'business, nothing more'. Not sure Isabella is quite committed to that arrangement, but she put on a good show, even acknowledging that her uncle deemed them a 'pair of fools'. And they may well be, considering that later in the episode we learned that Isabella's uncle has moved the goalposts in regards to her inheritance. Charles must match her money - I have a feeling Isabella knew that before they said I do.

New girl in town

Jessica Gunning
Jessica Gunning

Well hello Holmfirth's own Jessica Gunning, who arrived in Jericho and immediately declared it a 'sh*thole'. Her character, Mabel, is the new prostitute in town - and one willing to undercut Lacy Polly and offer punters more 'fun'. But I don't think Lacy Polly has much to worry about - as Coates made clear, her age may not suit punters looking for someone a bit more... experienced. As he said: "I prefer someone with a little more schoolin'." I'm rather taken with Mabel already - and it's nice to see a local lass in Jericho.

Coates makes his mark — and reveals one of his own

Coates may be calm and cool on the surface, but you can bet he's paddling like mad underneath, swan of Jericho that he is. Now he's in charge and Bamford's beggared off, he wasted no time in putting his foot down and ensuring that Jericho is run exactly how he thinks it should be. But as we saw this week, his heavy-handedness can cause more harm than good - by banning the flour trader (even if he was charging too much) Coates made a nasty enemy, one that almost cost more lives. This is a man who is not afraid of a fight - and considering the branding he showed to an empathetic Lace Polly, one who's faced greater hardships than we can imagine.

Clarke Peters as Ralph Coates in new ITV series Jericho
Clarke Peters as Ralph Coates in new ITV series Jericho

George gets a job

After the turmoil of last week, George wants to prove himself and bring money home to his mother. His quick arithmatic earned him the role of grocer's clerk - but of course for brooding George, there's still plenty to fret about. His scenes with Coates showed the boss's softer side, passing on wisdom and preparing a food parcel for Jack's widow Hatty. I think George aspires to be the man of the house now - which would explain his scowl when Coates asked about Johnny, and his storming off when Johnny and Annie almost kissed. He's an observant kid - and while it's got him into trouble in the past, I think his growing relationship with Coates will lead to little George learning more than just grocer's skills.

Alma goes too far

I take back every word I said last week that encouraged the rivalry between Alma and Martha. In my defence, I didn't realise just how nasty Alma could be. Could she have been any more obvious in passing that cup over to Martha? When she was scrubbing the floor of the Capstick and declared herself 'stupid and jealous' I thought she was showing genuine remorse - but no, as soon as she learned of the fever it was all her mum's fault and we were back to bitter. Quite enjoyed how Annie saw straight through her, though - applause for chucking the fake pity bouquet into the stream.

Annie Quaintain, played by Jessica Raine, in episode 3 of Jericho.
Annie Quaintain, played by Jessica Raine, in episode 3 of Jericho.

Fever in Jericho

Poor Martha had more to worry about than being poisoned, poor thing, as a deadly strain of fever hit Jericho. Or 'Strangling Angel', as Lace Polly grimly put it. In a shanty town like Jericho, where everyone lives pressed up together in small shacks, an epidemic seemed likely. When Martha started rambling, confused, about her wedding day, and Annie said yes, she would ride through the town, I couldn't help but worry that it would be in a coffin, not a wedding dress.

Cut off

Scorned trader Moses Kemble (aka Shamless actor Sean Gilder, hello Paddy!) took revenge on Coates - and nearly cost Martha her life in the process. He scared me as Paddy and he scared me as Moses. Cutting off the village from supplies - and stopping anyone getting a doctor to Jericho - he simply waited by his cart fire with his hooded associate, waiting to attack any poor sod that stopped to investigate the blaze. Are there so few places to sell flour in Yorkshire that you'd literally kill to do it?

Pictured: HANS MATHESON as Johnny in Jericho,

Brotherly love

But vengeful Moses wasn't the biggest shock tonight, oh no, that was left to Johnny and Charles. When a doctor couldn't be summoned, Johnny agreed to take Martha to Blackwood house for help. Turns out he's more than familiar with the Blackwood estate - in fact, he flipping owns it. Charles was less than pleased to see his estranged brother, legally declared dead by him to help facilitate his inheritance of Blackwood house. Charles seemed angry that Johnny abandoned their dying father and turned his back on the Blackwoods - and Johnny suddenly looked quite guilty.

Hidden heroes

Let's hear it for Easter and Epiphany, who burst out of the background tonight to save the day for both Davy and Martha. The tension was ramped up as the episode flitted between two dramas - Epiphany saving Martha's life and Easter saving Davy's when he proved predictably useless with a shotgun. Epiphany is someone I want to learn more about - her relationship with Charles seems to go beyond housekeeper/employer, and she probably knows more about the Blackwoods than anyone else.

What did Johnny do?

As Bamford warned, the Prince has got a secret - and it was pretty much confirmed by the end of tonight's episode. Why did he leave his family? Why did his father leave him everything - and why does he want none of it? Even more intriguing was the fact that when Isabella spied him, she looked like she'd seen a ghost, and panicked even more when Charles confirmed he was back. Was Johnny the reason she jilted Charles at the altar? Why did he go to Africa? For all his swagger and swooning over Annie, Johnny needs to find some answers quick - Annie doesn't trust him and I can't see Charles letting his estranged brother stand in the way of his dream to finish the viaduct.

ITV drama Jericho

But will the viaduct project continue at all, now that Charles hasn't even 'a farthing'? Will Johnny try to reclaim what was left to him?

Will Johnny and Annie finally kiss or are we doomed to suffer through intense staring between them until the series finale?

Coates literally took the law into his own hands, freeing Moses to avoid a magistrate visiting Jericho - what is he trying to hide from the outside world?

As always, questions abound. But I feel like the show has found its stride again - what do you think will happen next week?

READ MORE: ITV's Jericho: 10 things we learned from episode two

READ MORE: ITV's Jericho: 10 things we learned from episode one