Hollyoaks hottest love triangle comes to a head when Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalfe) is forced to choose once and for all between her husband Sylver McQueen (David Tag) and secret lover Liam Donovan (Jude Monk McGowan) on Monday 26th August (E4 showing) when the lusty landlady weighs up abandoning her domestic bliss for a new life in Morocco.
Maneating Mercy thought she'd found the one when she tied the knot with childhood sweetheart Sylver, but the temptation of bad boy gangster Mr Donovan has proven consistently hard to resist and their on/off affair has sizzled throughout the summer. Her conscience has been pricked by son Bobby busting their affair and lashing out at his cheating mum, but when it comes to the crunch which man will win her heart? And who do the cast think each of their alter egos would be better off with?
RadioTimes.com had a word with all three actors to see if they agreed…
"Who does Mercedes love? Depends what week it is!" - Jennifer Metcalfe
"Mercedes was pushed back to Liam after feeling neglected by Sylver," reveals Metcalfe. "She didn't feel like his top priority and Liam was showing a softer, gentler side so she was tempted by him again. As much as Sylver loves her, he doesn't understand the real Mercedes like Liam does."
For the actress, who has played many a romantic dilemma for her character in 13 years on the show, deciding which man to be with is not a straightforward choice. "I'm asked who she should be with and I always say it depends on where she's at, it's not as cut and dried as knowing who is 'the one'. She totally changes from one week to the next. Being with Liam full-time would be too volatile, but she's tried settling down and doing the family thing before which hasn't ended well.
"Mercedes needs to accept who she is first if she were to move forward with Sylver, inside she feels she doesn't deserve him because she's not as good a person as he is. I think he would accept her warts and all if she was honest with him. She's a troubled soul, having her son Bobby back in her life has been more challenging than she thought it would be."
Whatever decision Mercy makes, Metcalfe teases big consequences for all this bad behaviour in the coming months. "People will think she's being quite heartless and there is a big, dramatic climax to it all towards the end of the year with Mercedes in the centre. I'm really looking forward to that…"
"Sylver and Mercedes are the perfect match - apart from all the baggage!" - David Tag
After years of kissing frogs, Mercedes appeared to have found her Prince Charming in the form of gentle giant Sylvester - but her self-loathing has seen her spiral into bad behaviour that could ruin the least dysfunctional relationship she's ever had. "Mercy's own insecurities make her feel she is not good enough for him," agrees Tag. "They are well suited and are the perfect match, just with a lot of baggage on both sides that needs to be resolved."
Tag is well aware how many times Sylver can forgive his wild wife. If she does tell him she's been bedding his arch-enemy yet again, how would he react? And could he forgive her? "He usually reacts to being mistreated by getting angry and smashing things up so he could go for Liam, his temper is insane.
"Or it might go another way and he washes his hands of Mercedes and sleeps his way around the village! There is a kiss coming up with Grace Black but I could see him with Sienna Blake. I don't know what they'd talk about but the sex would be great!"
"It would be a shame if Sylver and Mercedes split," he ponders. "Considering all the hype and investment around them getting together as a couple. She has never been this settled before. Ultimately he could probably forgive her but it would take time. I don't think they will ever really call it a day."
"Liam thinks Mercedes is his redemption…" - Jude Monk McGowan
Dangerous, dodgy Mr Donovan is the polar opposite of sweet Sylver, and his tortured past and numerous demons made him and Mercedes hooking up inevitable. "In the first stage of their affair they used each other as a drug," muses McGowan. "Liam cottoned on to the fact he was properly falling for her and she nipped it in the bud.
"This time around he knows it's love and she's starting to feel they are kindred spirits. Liam desperately needs to be with Mercedes, he views her as a completion of his redemption, righting the perceived wrongs of his girlfriend Eva's death for which he blames himself.
"Liam rationalises the things he does for Mercedes, he loves her and there is a purity of intention. It's real. She is a balm to the pain he is overwhelmed by after what he's lost in his life, and the guilt of causing Grace's accident. It's been nice exploring them as a happy, caring couple, but I'm sceptical if either has the emotional arsenal to be able to commit."
McGowan reckons there's another member of the McQueen family he can see Liam growing closer to: "I love Diane Langton who plays Nana," he smiles. "I always enjoy discussing her admirable career. The few times Liam and Nana have had scenes together has been fun - I'd like a friendship to develop between them!"
Visit our dedicated Hollyoaks page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.