Recovering drug addict Abi Franklin (Sally Carman) has fallen off the wagon in Coronation Street after she was injured in an accident and stole morphine to manage the pain.
Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne), who has battled his own demons with alcohol, is desperate to help her avoid temptation but risks his relationship with Carla Connor (Alison King) who is worried he may fall back into Abi’s arms as they were once lovers. Hands up who forgot Peter and Abi were ever a thing?
Admittedly it wasn’t for very long, and anyone Peter enjoys a dalliance with is usually just a distraction to pass the time while him and Carla are apart. Yes, it happened, but #Pabi never really caught fire – although Mr Barlow’s boat did.
In January 2019, Carla bought her ex a boat so he could fulfil his dream of sailing the high seas. Peter struck up an unexpected friendship with Abi, and a spark developed as she helped him repair the vessel to make it seaworthy.
Forced to swallow her jealousy as the pair began a whirlwind romance, conflicted Carla rejected Peter when he made it clear she was the one he really loved and pushed him back to smitten Abi.
The made-up mechanic thought they’d sail off into the sunset together when her new squeeze asked her to join him on his trip, only for him to change his mind and effectively end the fling when he decided the adventure should be a father/son bonding experience for him and Simon.
Heartbroken Abi hit the bottle and accused Peter of leading her on, and when an accidental fire broke out on the boat in February 2019 she was accused of staging a revenge arson attack. Of course she did nothing of the sort, a sleepwalking Roy Cropper knocking over a paraffin lamp was to blame, but Peter’s accusations smarted as you can imagine.
Carla tried to cover for Roy and was happy to let Abi take the rap, which didn’t go down well with Peter. The truth came out and the incident began Carla’s spiral into a psychological breakdown, as Roy and Peter pushed her away and mounting debts at the factory led to the roof disaster.
Ultimately, Peter and Carla ended up reunited as he stood by her during her breakdown. Luckily, there’s no bad feeling between him and Abi as they later put their ill-fated fling behind them and bonded over their shared substance abuse struggles.
Paranoid Carla will be wondering just how deep that bond goes next week, when she grows suspicious her man’s support of his mate could be masking residual romantic feelings. Despite his insistence he wants to help her stay off drugs, the bolshy brunette fears her fella’s eye could be wandering and warns him off getting too attached.
Perhaps Peter’s involvement with Abi reminds Carla of a dark time in her life she’d rather not revisit? The couple are already bruised from the revelation Ms Connor sold her body for a place in a squat during her breakdown, can they survive any more tension?