Horrible Pat Phelan will abandon Michael Rodwell to his fate when he suffers chest pains and falls down the steps at the builders’ yard.
The shock moment comes just as Michael is confronting Phelan about both his plans to steal Jason’s tools and his interest in Eileen.
Says Les Dennis about Michael’s suspicions: “Michael has an instinct about Phelan. He’s watching him all the time. But Jason and Eileen can’t understand what he’s on about.
“Michael’s been in prison, so he has an instinct for wrong ‘uns. He puts two and two together and he thinks that Phelan is bad through and through.”
When Michael collapses in agony, Phelan seems content to let his adversary die, only bothering to show fake concern when Jason finds him motionless at the bottom of the stairs.
And yet, once Phelan has roused himself to ring for an ambulance, he’s soon being thanked by a concerned Eileen for coming to Michael’s rescue!
Events then take another turn at the hospital when Michael comes round and voices his worries about Phelan’s intentions, only for Pat to then claim that he was merely having Jason’s tools polished as a favour.
“Phelan is so devious and plausible that it’s not surprising Eileen can’t see through his lies. But Michael feels helpless lying there in hospital. He feels emasculated,” adds Dennis.
Eileen will be seen telling Michael that he needs to rein in his paranoia. But things come to a head when – by next Friday – he takes a swing for Phelan with his crutch and falls to the floor, all of which leaves Eileen ending her relationship with Michael.
“Eileen’s very cross and she tells Michael it’s over. And once again Phelan seems to be the saint here and Michael is the idiot.”
But as Michael drowns his sorrows at the Rovers, Phelan will be putting a comforting arm around Eileen’s shoulder and telling her that Michael is right – he does have feelings for her! But will Eileen succumb to his charms? And will Michael ever succeed in getting the better of Phelan?
“I don’t know if he can. Not at the moment it seems,” says Dennis. “I’m going off to do a play soon and we’ve joked that maybe Michael could come back as a trained ninja!”
In that case, we’re already looking forward to Michael vs Phelan – round two!
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