2013-2014: Arrival in Emmerdale
Finn came to the village with James and Pete after his father, James, lost their farm in December 2013. He, his brothers and father stayed with his aunt Moira Barton and her husband Cain Dingle before moving into Dale View with his mother and brothers.
Finn has recently finished a three-year Economics degree at university. In January 2014, he started work as a cleaner at The Grange, but instantly took a dislike to the job. After initially trying to get the sack, he began to develop a relationship with Val and Eric and got used to working there, but aimed to save to move to Japan for a career in teaching.
In late May 2014 he dates a man called Simon. They meet in the pub when Finn said at the bus stop. Whilst in the pub, the two kiss. Finn tells him he would love to go with Simon but he couldn't. In Simon's car, they kiss again.
2014-2015: Finding his mother and family problems
Having no memory of his mother, Emma Barton, due to her leaving when he was a baby, Finn admitted that he had unanswered questions on his birthday in June 2014 when he and Victoria found videos of him and his brothers as kids. Showing the videos at Finn's birthday party, Finn and his guests were horrified to discover the footage switching to an argument between James and Emma about James's feelings for Moira Dingle. Realising there were more skeletons in the closet, Finn realised that Moira and James' night together meant he has another brother - Adam Barton. Later, after drowning his sorrows with a bottle of vodka, Finn frets that he can't go home to Pete acting like everything's normal when it's not. He panics that he doesn't know who he is and that his mum is the only person that can help him see sense, which makes him sick.
In late July 2014 he dates a bloke called Brad. Whilst Finn goes to the bathroom, Brad spikes his drink and drives him to a barn, before leaving Finn in the car with the engine running. Pete and Cain find Finn and rush him to hospital. Cain phones James and he comes to the hospital with Moira, Chas, Victoria and the Barton boys. Ross thinks Finn tried to kill himself and tells James he will never forgive him if his little brother, who he deeply cares for, doesn't wake up. With James by his side, Finn wakes up and James tells Finn that everything will be all right. Finn tells his father and brothers that he and Brad were at the pub and then went back to the B&B. Finn apologises to his family and James tells him that traces of a common date rape drug were found in his system. Finn panics, fearing that Brad raped him and frets about why he is in hospital, only knowing about the carbon monoxide poisoning. James tells him that the car he was found in was stolen. Later Finn is examined and he asks Victoria to stay with him. Trying to take Finn's mind off the check-up, she tells him to think of 5 of the worst things Val said at the Grange. Later, the doctor tells Finn that he wasn't raped and is allowed home the next day. Ross discovers that Gary North ordered Brad to put Finn in hospital. Finn tells Ross that Brad locked him in a barn and tried to kill him, Finn panics that people will think he tried to kill himself and Brad might come back and finish him off until he learns that Ross is responsible. This hurts Finn and frightens him when he finds out that the police have stopped searching for Brad.
In early August 2014, Pete finds Finn looking at a missing person's website. Upset, he looks at a chat page for news about his missing mother and Eric suggests he talk to James about his mother. Later that month, he tells Victoria that his mum sent him a message on Finding Family but is angry when he finds out that Victoria told James that he was looking for his mother. He initially wants to delete the profile that he set up to find his mother but eventually leaves it.
Later, Megan Macey blackmails Finn to give her Charity's room key. Megan starts video recording on her phone, but when they get in the room they a box on the bed with a cat in it, thinking it belongs to Charity.
In September 2014, whilst going to a fancy dress do with Victoria, Jimmy catches him in the street wearing braces, cool shades and a bow tie. Jimmy offers to buy them for £25 but Finn wants £50. Later that month, he and Aaron Livesy spend the night together. The next morning, he tells Aaron that Eric will kill him if he's late for work. Victoria accuses Aaron of having a go at her the night before jumping into bed with Finn. When Ross tells Finn he needs to leave the village, he's angry to find out that Aaron slept with him. He confronts Aaron about his night with Finn. Finn pines for Aaron but Aaron is only interested in using him to make Robert Sugden jealous. Finn resents this and moves on. Both single and miserable, Finn and Victoria make a deal to get married if they are both single when they turn thirty.
In January 2015 Finn, helped by Harriet Finch, tracks down his mother, Emma Barton. At first, things are awkward but a bond soon forms between them and he desperately tries to convince his family to accept her. Pete refuses but Ross is slightly more open. It is revealed that Emma suffered post-natal depression after Ross was born and later had Finn, which tipped her over the edge. She became paranoid about Moira and James and this led to her attempting to suffocate Ross with a pillow, witnessed by Pete. Emma left and returned once but Pete told her that she wasn't welcome. After hearing this, Ross and Finn turn against Emma but forgave her and allowed her to move into Andy Sugden's old house.
In February 2015, Val is rushed to hospital due to not taking proper care of her HIV. Her nurse, Darren Thompson, is interested in Finn, and they begin dating. Val is alarmed to learn he is HIV-positive and goes to great lengths to scare him away, including sending him nasty text messages and smashing up his car. She eventually sorts things out but Finn finds Darren clingy and suffocating and goes to great lengths to make Darren dump him. When Darren eventually admits that he was looking for a reason to dump him as he wanted to reunite with his ex, Finn is mortified and regrets how he has behaved.
As the months pass, Finn is consumed by family problems. He regrets bringing Emma into his life after learning that she tried to kill Ross when he was a toddler and discovers multiple instances of her obsessive meddling in James' life and relationship with Chastity Dingle. He also learns of Ross's affair with Debbie Dingle, only keeping the secret to protect Pete from heartbreak. He tells Ross that he is no longer his brother and the family was better off without him. However, Pete finds out on his and Debbie's wedding day when a recording of Debbie confessing that she loves Ross is played. Shortly afterwards, a helicopter crashes into the village hall. Finn is pulled free from the wreckage but Val is killed, devastating Finn. In a video she recorded during her bout with pneumonia, Val calls Finn her favourite and jokes that she wants him to tattoo her name over his heart with her ashes mixed in the ink. He helps her sister Diane Sugden carry out her final wishes. Emma becomes concerned when Ross goes missing and Finn helps her search morgues and hospitals for him. Ross later shows up and reveals that Pete attacked him and left him for dead. At first the family shun Pete, but Finn tries to reach out to his brother.
In October 2015, Finn is given an interesting bet by Jimmy King, who proposes that if Finn can perform any dare he or his sister-in-law Bernice Blackstock have given him, then he will pay him £100. Jimmy formulates almost unthinkable dares for Finn, thinking he will easily earn the £100 from Finn in order to fix his own financial problems. However, Finn, undertaking dares such as wearing a dress, waxing his thighs, and drinking a blended English breakfast, appears to show no mercy to these challenges, making Jimmy nervous. Jimmy's final dare was for Finn to re-enact a performance of his daughter's favourite film, Frozen. Bernice's daughter suggests they double the bet to £200 and both parties agree. When Finn performs the 2013 film Frozen, Jimmy informs him he has lost the bet as his daughter's favourite film was in fact the 2007 film. Finn tells Jimmy that he has been conned, but Jimmy stands firm and Finn produces his money.
In April 2016 Finn saw Charity's son Noah playing with a superhero figurine, which he recognized was rare and worth quite a bit of money. Charity mentioned that she had quite a few of them and they saw the opportunity to make some money, with Finn selling them online. Finn, however, was unaware that the figurines were stolen. When Finn's plan to sell them at a comic con event fell through, he decides to sell them in the local hall. Finn is arrested later that day for selling stolen goods.
2016-2017: James' death and demise
In October 2016, James dies in hospital following a confrontation with Emma when she pushed him off a bridge onto a motorway causing a massive pileup. Finn is devastated by the loss of his dad.
In 2017, Emma tells Finn the truth about James' death. When Finn threatens to tell Ross and Pete, Emma locks him in the church cupboard, but is later freed by Diane. Finn goes to Moira's farm and wanders through the forest, looking for her, but when Emma walked into a tree, she accidentally shot Finn, unaware that this has just occurred. The next day, a wounded Finn runs into the middle of the road and taken to hospital by Cain and Harriet. Finn later suffers a cardiac arrest, leading to his death.
"Can I help you?" - First line
"My beautiful, beautiful nerd brother. I need a wee right now, right, for I shall return and we shall talk more of this, okay? A lot more" - To Robert Sugden when realising they have a mutual love of Death Note manga
"Out of all the ways to go... it was very Val, wasn't it? She could never just walk past a mirror." - Commenting on Val Pollard's accidental death.
"What the hell are you doing?!" - In reaction to being sprayed by Victoria Sugden with a canister of paint.
"... and of the son..." - Final line in a dream to Emma Barton