Coronation Street fans have been left fearing for the sanity of Carla Connor (Alison King) after the beleaguered factory boss was pushed to the brink after receiving threatening messages from the now very-much-dead Rana Habeeb.
Carla was left disturbed and distraught during Monday’s double bill when communications starting arriving on her phone from Rana, the first reading “you destroy everything you touch” and the second threatening, “you are going to pay”.
With her grip on her sanity now very much slipping, Carla was then seen putting in a clandestine call to her persecutor, begging for forgiveness and telling them that she was sorry. But who exactly has it in for her? And is Carla now heading for a breakdown?
Certainly, there’s no shortage of Corrie regulars who currently have a vendetta against Carla. Both Rana’s late partner Kate and bereaved brother Imran wish her ill, while the likes of Robert and Nick also have an axe to grind. So might it be one of these potential suspects?
What happens next to Carla?
Wednesday’s double bill of Coronation Street become increasingly emotional as she leaves another voicemail for ‘Rana’, asking her to ring back.
Peter, meanwhile apologises to Kate for blaming her for sending the messages and requests her help identifying the real culprit. Kate agrees, but only to discover who’s sullying Rana’s memory, and enlists the help of Alya to find out which of Rana’s friends may have had access to her account.
But Carla’s paranoia is growing by the second: first she covers the webcam on her laptop, fearing that she’s being spied on. Then Peter is left bewildered by her erratic behaviour, especially when she starts to worry that she’s being brainwashed.
By Friday, Peter is left with more worries when Carla is seen scribbling the words “watching” and “murder” on a crossword before throwing her tea down the sink, convinced that she’s being poisoned.
As her paranoia grows, Carla leaves the house barefoot and when Peter heads out to find her, he locates her staring at the remains of the factory.
Realising she’s seriously ill, Peter takes Carla to the medical centre, but after Toyah says that she needs to call a mental health specialist, Carla panics and makes her escape via a window.
Having summoned the police, Peter finds himself having to report Carla as a missing person.
Will Carla have a breakdown?
Show boss Iain MacLeod has already revealed that Carla’s mental health breakdown will be the focus of a special standalone episode of Coronation Street.
“We’re doing something a little bit stylised, like the Ashley story I did at Emmerdale, but it won’t be quite as extreme as that. It’s a standalone episode that will be both mental heath focused and Carla focused. It will also be the reveal to the audience of who is behind the factory roof collapsing.
“I’d hesitate to put a diagnosis on what it is affecting Carla, but the factory collapse has lots of unexpected offshoots into areas that give our amazing cast a chance to show off their acting chops.”
Speaking about the tone of the episode, MacLeod added: “We’re inside Carla’s head, but I’m still unsure about how far we explore what’s real and what’s not real.
“Other soaps have gone right off the deep end of that to very good effect, but Corrie is a different beast and I think you mess with the parameters of Corrie’s genre to your peril. We’ll be careful with it.
“The touchstone for me was Gary Windass’s PTSD meltdown around the time of the tram crash. It was more exaggerated things that were happening rather than hallucinatory.”