Emmerdale has confirmed that Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) is alive. A dramatic flashback on Tuesday 7th May revealed what happened to the manipulative teacher after her grooming of pupil Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) was discovered – not only did she survive a violent encounter with the teen's vengeful mum Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi) it transpires Jacob himself saved Maya and has been secretly harbouring her.
Fans have been waiting to discover the fate of evil Maya since the 'Big Night Out' on Thursday 25th April ended with Leyla, along with Jacob's step-mums Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) and Priya Kotecha (Fiona Wade), driving off with Miss Stepney having learnt she was having an inappropriate relationship with the vulnerable schoolboy.
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Maya has not been seen since, and the trio have been talking furtively in hushed tones about what went on, and on Monday 6th May Leyla told Jacob that Maya was dead.
But the second of Tuesday 7th May's episodes went back in time to the girls confronting Maya. Initially she tried to play the victim and blame Jacob for being obsessed with her, but panicking as she realised the game was well and truly up she opened the car door and jumped out of the moving vehicle as it sped down a country road.
Priya screeched to a halt and the three friends frantically searched for their hostage, seeing her attempt to escape as a clear admission of guilt that she had taken advantage of Jacob. They eventually found her in the woods and a showdown ensued in which the girls pieced it all together and worked out Maya was behind Jakey's strange behaviour over the last few months.
Turning the tables, Maya shifted the blame onto the three step-mothers accusing them of neglecting Jacob. She then appeared to lose consciousness from the injuries caused by leaping from the car – but it was all a ruse to get away and she fled into the night.
Will Jacob tell Leyla he rescued Maya?
Leyla caught up with her nemesis and during an epic physical fight Maya twisted the metaphorical knife, menacingly gloating about how she had successfully groomed Leyla's son, ending up with a rock to the head as the protective mother flipped, sending the predatory blonde rolling down into a ditch where she lay unconscious.
Finding Tracy and Priya, panicking Leyla lied that Maya had escaped and urged them to drive back to the village and keep quiet about the events of the evening.
As the girls left, viewers saw Maya woken by her ringing phone which lay next to her and taking a call from Jacob, who had not gone to Portugal to stay with family as everyone believed… Cut to a bathroom some time later in an unnamed location, and Jacob saved his lover who had filled him in on Leyla's attempt to kill her. Brainwashed Jacob promised to keep her safe from the villagers, with the end game seemingly being that they run away together so she can avoid an arrest, which means he's known Maya's whereabouts all this time.
Now that we know the facts, several questions need answering – will Jacob tell Leyla what he knows? Where exactly is Maya hiding? Will Maya seek revenge on Leyla, potentially risking prison in the process? Or is Jacob playing Maya and perhaps luring her to her doom having realised what she's done to him? Prepare for more to be revealed as Emmerdale continues it's Big Night Out flashbacks all week at 7pm on ITV…
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