Hollyoaks broke brave new ground with Ste Hay’s grooming and radicalisation by far right extremists, and now explores the complicated path to de-radicalisation.
Trapped with the monstrous Stuart and Jonny and their twisted ideology, Ste is desperate to escape and return to his old life, but his creepy captors are watching him like a hawk in Hollyoaks.
Help comes from some unlikely sources this week – Azim, Sami Maalik’s half-brother, shares his past experience over the garden fence of trying and failing to save a friend from a similar fate to Ste and pledges his support, while Sid, teenage son of group leader Stuart, starts to show signs he might not be as comfortable with his father’s crusade as was first thought.
Prevent, the government counter-terrorism organisation, also get involved and explain to Ste – and the audience – the extrication process. Stuart and Jonny have already displayed how low they’re prepared to sink to keep their claws into Ste and preserve their agenda, but their next move is perhaps their most shocking yet. You won’t see it coming, and neither will Ste.
A lasting impact from the far right’s attack on the village is Yazz losing her hearing in the bomb blast, and the pocket rocket teen’s struggle to adjust is also back on the agenda. She finds a friend in rehabilitated rapist Finn, who is still the only person not won over by Dr Edward Hutchinson’s suave charm (full marks to the casting department for bringing Joe McGann in, he’s clearly having a ball).
And with the dust settled from stunt week, Mandy, Darren and Luke attempt to co-parent DJ without killing each other. That kid could teach all three of them a lot about mature behaviour, and he’s only seven months old.
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