Is Pat Phelan finally guilty of committing murder? The Coronation Street villain has, thus far, remained one step removed from actual homicide, having merely left luckless Michael Rodwell to die. But tonight’s double bill saw Phelan smash Andy Carver in the face with a laptop at the climax of a ferocious punch-up. All of which has left Corrie fans asking whether Pat is now a full-blown killer?
Well, there was blood on his cuff and dirt on his shoe – two pieces of evidence which suggest that Phelan has been out burying a body. Then there’s the fact that he had possession of Andy’s phone and sent a fake break-up text to Steph, who jetted off to Portugal none the wiser about what was happening back in Weatherfield.
But what of the victim himself? Oliver Farnworth, who played Andy, has now definitely exited the soap and has this to say about tonight’s showdown:
“Obviously Michael was Phelan’s first victim inadvertently, as far as the fact that he didn’t help him, he left him there! So Andy goes up against him to avenge Michael’s death and he does his best – he tries! But I feel honoured to be on the list of Phelan’s victims and one of his first.”
On his feelings about his final scenes, he adds: “It was bittersweet because as much as no one likes to leave any lovely job with amazing people, when the storylines were pitched to me I thought, ‘What a great challenge, what a way to go.’”
But note the way he only uses the term ‘victim’ and not ‘murder victim’. There’s a certain ambiguity that leaves Corrie with room to manoeuvre when its inevitably asked about Phelan getting his comeuppance, as must happen to all killers. “Ah, but is he actually a killer?” they can reply. Andy could just have been sent packing with a bruised face and the threat of more to come should he ever show his face again.
And – perhaps more importantly – it allows Coronation Street to keep hold of actor Connor McIntyre. Bad guys usually have a shelf life (think Richard Hillman, Frank Foster, Jez Quigley, Callum Logan), but keeping us guessing about Phelan’s actions means we – as fans – get to retain him on screen for longer. So if Andy really is dead, let’s hope we don’t uncover his corpse for a good while yet.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama on Coronation Street below.