Liam Donovan's dartboard of doom in Hollyoaks is getting increasingly crowded, as the deranged gangster notches up more enemies by the day and plots his revenge as he aims arrows at their pictures.
As teased in the recent leap year trailer, the dastardly Donovan is set to gather everyone who's crossed him at the Dog for what he's dubbing 'the devil's dinner party' to get his own back. With his naughty list now longer than Santa's, it's a good time to remind ourselves exactly why he's got it in for these particular people so we can understand his murky motives. If you get an invite to this soirée, be ready to politely decline…
James Nightingale & Grace Black
Hooking up with snobby lawyer James came as a surprise to both boys last year, and no sooner had they become partners in business and pleasure Liam learnt it was Mr Nightingale who shot Mercedes McQueen, a crime half the village were accused of. James teamed up with Liam's big sister, Grace, to take down the bad girl and being a good sibling/boyfriend he agreed to keep the secret.
However, James then dumped him for old flame John Paul McQueen, and the trailer suggest Liam will learn brother Jesse Donovan drank himself to death over the burden of discovering Grace and James's shooting secret. The trigger-happy twosome are basically responsible for Jesse's tragic demise, and it appears to be what pushes Liam over the edge in arranging his menacing meal.
Oh, and three years ago Grace also shot and killed Liam's ex lover Eva Falco, who was pregnant with his baby, in retaliation for her shooting Grace's BFF Esther Bloom - everyone's insisting they're over that, but we suspect there could be residual beef between brother and sister that's been bubbling away.
Liam and Mercy have a whole lot of horrible history. Their toxic on/off affair saw him get her hooked on cocaine to steal her away from nice guy Sylver McQueen, but when she ultimately chose her hunky hubby over him it really smarted. Then learning Mercedes had secretly aborted a baby that may have been his gave him an early favourite for shooting her.
Beneath the bravado Liam truly loves Mercedes, and has never come to terms with the fact she's just not that into him. Hence his decision to inflict as much pain as possible on her, and the cracking moment in the trailer where he exposes Grace and James as her shooter's to Mrs McQueen's stunned face.
Barmaid Max was the last person to see Jesse alive at his wedding reception and was serving drinks to him all night, unaware the groom was drowning his sorrows having learnt his sister had tried to bump off the local landlady. Not wanting to start married life in a family of crims, while also torn over his loyalty to keeping Grace's secret, nice guy Jesse collapsed and died from alcohol poisoning on the way home.
Liam blames Maxine for plying his brother with booze, hence her presence on the dartboard, and he's already been making her life a misery by pretending to help her out of debt while subtly coercing her into selling her body to his 'business clients'. And did we mention she was also married his other dead brother Adam and was implicated in the murder of his dad Glenn?
The inevitable clash of alpha males is really kicking in on screen, with Foxy defending Mercedes against Liam as he tries to shut down her suspicions that Grace was the shooter. Liam sent a message of intimidation to Merce by trashing the pub, and in return Warren, as the publican's guard dog, sent his thugs to the Loft to teach his rival a lesson.
While Warren is not officially invited to the devil's dinner party, the trailer shows him sneaking into the Dog while the unlucky lot are being held hostage, following a number of clips of Foxy and Liam at odds in the build-up.
John Paul McQueen & Sylver McQueen
Mercy's brother JP and husband Sylver should also watch their backs as Liam will lure them both to the Dog as collateral to stop the main offenders trying to outsmart him. John Paul is now dating James, and Mercy chose Sylver over Liam, so these two are merely guilty by association. Imagine what Liam would've saved on his catering bill if he hadn't bothered roping them in?
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