Emmerdale‘s grooming plot continues as Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein) convinced boyfriend David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) to let her move in and look after his son Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) while he’s away on business – unaware he’s putting the teen in direct danger from the predatory teacher who has coerced him into a sexual relationship.
Thursday 21 March’s double helping of Dales drama saw yet another near-miss for the illicit couple who were almost caught in the act having sneaked upstairs in Tug Ghyll cottage by Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh).
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Thinking on our feet when David’s ex questioned Maya about the strange noises she could hear in the house, the calculating curly-haired blonde lied Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi) was having a secret rendezvous with a mystery man, and when Trace later spied Leyla chatting to her new fella Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) she leapt to the conclusion the brunette had seduced him behind her back.
Following a row between the women, guilt-ridden Jacob ‘confessed’ he was hiding out at Tug Ghyll alone to escape the stress of his upcoming exams putting everyone off the scent – yet again – about his fling with Maya, who quietly praised her victim for covering their tracks while reiterating he can never reveal their romance claiming nobody wouldn’t understand and she’d go to prison.
Why is David letting Maya move in with him and Jacob?
With David due at a week-long local business conference in Lancaster, manipulative Maya suggested she moved in to watch over Jakey while he was away which he readily agreed to, ironically thanking his girlfriend for being so good to his son with no clue as to her sinister agenda. “We’re going to have the best week,” she smiled to Jacob as an oblivious David warned the lad to be on his best behaviour…
Next week the pair enjoy being in domestic bliss alone at the house as Maya’s psychological grip on Jacob intensifies. How long before someone in the village clocks the true nature of their relationship and Maya faces consequences for her coercive actions, having targeted the impressionable boy since he was 15?
Clein has teased her character’s possible reaction if she’s exposed: “She’s going to probably try and deny it. I’ve not seen the scripts but I imagine it will be total panic. Maya will do everything she can to survive, but could throw Jacob under the bus or run away. I don’t think she will bravely face up to it.”
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