The net closes in on Coronation Street killer Pat Phelan next week when his crimes are uncovered and wife Eileen finally learns the truth about her husband’s homicidal side.
In the much-anticipated climax to the blockbuster plot, the Phelans are set to leave Weatherfield for a fresh start in the countryside with Pat keen to put distance between him and his multiple murders. Despite discovering he’d conned the community with the Calcutta Street flats scam, Eileen has forgiven her other half and is standing by her maligned man.
“Eileen has made the decision to stay with her husband so they plan to move away,” reveals Sue Cleaver, who plays the oblivious Mrs Phelan. “They go to view a cottage potentially for sale where they can discuss the future.”
While they escape to the country next Thursday, back in Weatherfield the concrete at the building site in which Phelan buried victims Andy Carver and Vinny Ashford is about to be dug up, hence Pat’s haste to exit. When Seb Franklin hears about this, he teams up with Gary Windass to dig it up themselves hoping to find the gun Phelan used to kill Luke Britton, convinced it’s hidden in the concrete.
Meanwhile, Phelan is twitchy on holiday and in Friday’s episode he frantically packs his passport and a few clothes ready to do a runner, worried about what’s happening on the building site. Confused Eileen finds him getting on a boat about to flee and climbs on board with a picnic so they can talk, but drops the hamper and her car keys into the sea and hurts her foot in the process.
Resisting the urge to leave her to her fate and make his getaway, Phelan comes to his wife’s aid. “He wants to help her get a taxi before he disappears and that’s his downfall in the end, the fact he has genuine feelings for Eileen,” continues Cleaver.
Over at Weatherfield Police station, Gary is being questioned as a murder suspect as two bodies have been unearthed from the concrete he cracked open with a sledgehammer. News spreads back to the cobbles about the gruesome double corpse discovery and terrified Tim Metcalfe calls Eileen knowing she’s in the middle of nowhere with Phelan – but he can’t get through…
“Eileen tells Pat to leave her alone but then she gets a signal on her phone and hears a message from Tim telling her about the bodies at the mill – and the fact she’s in danger.”
Frozen with fear, Eileen tries to encourage Phelan not to go and surreptitiously tries to call Tim back out of earshot as she heads towards a lighthouse. “The news that two bodies have been found and Phelan is behind the deaths comes as an absolute shock to Eileen,” reveals Cleaver. “It’s hard to take in. It rocks her world and she’s in a very vulnerable position because she’s on her own with him.”
Unbeknown to Eileen, her horrid hubby has followed her as she tries to get in touch with Tim, and menacingly grabs her phone just as Tim answers – Eileen shouts out their location but Pat throws the phone into the sea and an intense confrontation ensues.
“She’s terrified,” says Cleaver. “Eileen wants to get away as she confronts him about everything.” Calling him a killer, a liar and a rapist, Eileen threatens to chuck the boat keys in the water to stop him getting away. The couple tussle at the sea wall and the rusty railings start to crumble – will either of them survive the showdown?
“Phelan turns on her, it’s back against the wall time and she realises what he is truly capable of. He could kill her. Eileen is in a fight for her life!”
Expect Cleaver’s performance to have an extra layer of reality as Cleaver confesses weather conditions on the location shoot in rainy Whitehaven made physically trembling come pretty naturally. “It was brutal,” she recalls. “My face was grazed from the horizontal hail and sleet! I had two pairs of thermals, two jumpers, thick trousers and waterproofs, a padded fleece and two coats under my costume!
“On top of that it was hardcore emotionally, but it was great and really satisfying. We had a brilliant team and everybody worked so hard. This is the most challenging stuff I’ve had on the Street and the most exciting. I’ve loved it.”
Tune in on Good Friday to discover Phelan and Eileen’s fate…
You can watch our exclusive review show A Week in Weatherfield below.