Emmerdale finally revealed the fate of abusive Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) on Thursday 21stJune when the twisted teacher was sentenced to 12 months in prison for inappropriate contact via text message with pupil Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant).
Vulnerable teenager Jacob was groomed while still underage into a sexual relationship by his predatory professor, although they didn’t sleep together until he turned 16.
Calculating Maya coerced her pupil into becoming obsessed with her and the pair almost fled the country together, before evidence of the racy texts forced Miss Stepney to face legal consequences.
Now she’s gone to prison, but brainwashed victim Jacob’s continued belief they were genuinely in love means he has not reported their affair as abusive, so she is yet to be punished for the full extent of her sick crimes.
Maya’s sentencing doesn’t mean the end of the storyline, though – the fallout will affect the community for a long time to come, and we think there is much more mileage in one of 2019’s most compelling plots. Could any of these predictions as to what the next chapter will be come true?
Maya gets pregnant?
Maya was dating Jacob’s dad David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) throughout the sinister grooming and they even got engaged. What if she discovered she was pregnant in prison and returns to the village after her release with either a bump or a baby in tow in a shock ‘Who’s the daddy?’ development?
As Faith Dingle pointed out, if Maya behaves she could be out in as little as three months – perhaps ready to drop a baby bombshell…
Speculation still hangs over Maya’s recent assault, which she claims was carried out by a ‘random woman’ seeking vengeance for her abuse of Jacob on behalf of the scandalised community. But the attack happened off screen and viewers never saw the assailant’s face, sparking theories Jacob’s aunt Alicia Gallagher (Natalie Anderson) was responsible.
Did she secretly fly over from Portugal to dish out some vigilante justice for the boy she raised as her own? Could Anderson be poised for a surprise comeback four years after she left?
Maya escapes from prison and kidnaps Jacob?
Maya’s original plan was for the forbidden lovers to flee the UK and start afresh overseas. As she is still convinced she’s done nothing wrong, what if she staged an audacious prison break, abducted blinkered Jakey and followed through with their ploy to go on the run and sail off in to the sunset? There could be a dramatic chase to save him…
Jacob tries to kill David?
Maya’s mind games have left Jacob with serious emotional issues and he still blames David for stopping him and Maya being together by calling the police. After the verdict he punched his adopted dad and declared he was dead to him, and we’re wondering where this violent, volatile streak might lead. What if Jacob got so full of rage towards David he tried to murder him?
Liv makes Jacob realise the truth?
Sensible Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele) is Jacob’s only friend, and had her strings pulled by poisonous Maya when she discovered the forbidden fling and threatened to expose them.
Steele recently told RadioTimes.com her character plays a key part in Jacob’s journey going forward: “Jake will be closed up about the whole situation for a while and the only person who can get through to him is Liv. They were friends before this happened, she’s not a parental figure and I think he finds it easier to open up to her than anyone else.
“You’ll see them continue to be friends and Liv work through it with Jacob at his own pace. What he’s gone through is a bigger thing than she imagined, but he will speak about it when he’s ready.”
Dr Cavanagh knows more than he’s letting on?
Is it just us or does it feel as if Maya’s failed marriage to local GP Dr Liam Cavanagh has never been fully explored? As current girlfriend Bernice Thomas investigates enigmatic Liam’s shady past, might this unearth some clues about Maya’s life pre-village?
And what’s the real reason Liam’s spiky daughter Leanna hated her ex-stepmum so much? Does she have past evidence of Maya’s nasty nature she could take to the cops to ensure she gets sent down for longer?