Coronation Street power couple Carla Connor (Alison King) and Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) were both temporarily absent from our screens recently as the blockbuster factory roof collapse plot saw both characters hit rock bottom and disappear from the cobbles.
Believing she was responsible for the accident that killed Rana Habeeb, guilt-ridden Carla’s mental health spiralled and she disappeared after suffering a breakdown, spotted intermittently hiding out in a dingy squat on the rough housing estate where she grew up, then in a hotel dodging ex-lover Robert Preston.
Devastated she could be dead and he couldn’t save her, recovering alcoholic Peter fell spectacularly off the wagon for the first time in over four years as he hit the bottle, despite doctors having previously warned another drink could kill him.
Remorseful Peter then checked himself into a private rehab clinic, waved off by concerned dad Ken Barlow (William Roache) and son Simon Barlow (Alex Bain).
What happens when Peter comes back to Corrie?
On Monday 13th May, Roy Cropper (David Neilson) returned from a short break in Portsmouth to find an anxious Carla waiting for him in his flat. Alarmed by her physical and psychological state, Roy reeled as fragile Carla exhibited signs of extreme paranoia, talking about Rana and late brother Aidan as if they were still alive.
Roy had broken Carla admitted to hospital, but she feels Mr Cropper has betrayed her by alerting others to her presence having asked him to secretly harbour her. Desperately asking for Peter, on Wednesday 15th May Mr Barlow comes to the hospital, despite Ken not wanting to jeopardise his son’s recovery from his recent relapse.
As medical staff put troubled Carla on antipsychotic medication, Peter announces he is moving Carla into the Barlow house – but Ken refuses and begs him to return to the clinic, pointing out he’s not well enough to look after Mrs Connor due to his own problems.
Carla is still mistrustful of Roy, so on Friday 17th May the cafe owner ends up temporarily moving in with Ken so Peter can live with Carla in the Roy’s Rolls flat and keep an eye on her.
Is Peter really well enough to look after Carla? Or are both damaged souls unwittingly putting themselves in even more danger? When will the truth about who deliberately sabotaged the Underworld roof finally emerge – and will it exonerate either of them?