STEPHEN Reid's downfall begins this week and his evil deeds are finally coming to light.
Coronation Street viewers are expecting the worst but hoping for the best as Super Soap Week begins. Here's what could happen.
1. New death rocks the cobbles
Plans are being made for Tim and Sally's wedding anniversary but Stephen Reid's comeuppance is due to shake things up for the lovebirds.
As regular viewers of the ITV soap will remember, Tim (portrayed by Joe Duttine) and Sally were married a first time in 2015 but she found out he was still married to Charlie Wood, whom he had wed in Las Vegas in 2004.
The pair tied the knot once again in 2020 and have more or less been going strong ever since.
However, there's trouble in the air next week when Tim is distracted from Sally’s plans for their wedding anniversary.
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It all begins when a passing mention from Brian Packham (Peter Gunn) of Stephen’s interest in the canal dredging project gets the cogs whirring.
Later on, Tim decides to go on his own mission, despite the risk of having to face his wife's wrath.
This leads a furious Sally to assume that Tim has gone to the county match with Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell).
Soon enough, she confronts Kevin about Tim and their match but the mechanic tells her that the cabbie never attended the event with him and Kirk Sutherland.
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Sally begins to panic and Elaine Jones (Paula Wilcox) doesn't make things any better as she reports the Platts believe Stephen murdered anybody who got in his way.
She begins to feel sick when she realises that Tim was one such person.
The Underworld machinery supervisor and local politician will most probably find out she is right to worry.
On the canal towpath, after his conversation with Brian, Tim finds a discarded boat hook and starts poking about in the water.
He's horrified when a corpse’s hand floats to the surface – Teddy Thompkins' body is found.
Fleeing back to his cab, Tim dials 999 and reports finding a dead body.
But the phone cuts out and before he can call back, Tim’s aghast when Stephen climbs into the back seat of the cab.
As Stephen tries to strangle him with a tie, Tim makes a bid for freedom but trips on his shoelace.
He tries to clamber up to his feet but he’s knocked unconscious by Stephen with a brick.
Later on, as Sally is left seething in the belief Tim has made no effort for their anniversary, Tim is fighting for his life in the boot of his car which is being doused in petrol by Stephen.
With snaps of actor Joe Duttine on the set of the Manchester-based drama in hand, viewers have grown firmly convinced his on-screen alter ego is set to be Stephen's fourth and final victim.
For several weeks, many soap fans speculated Carla Connor could be the one to be killed off.
But this week, Tim is more likely to meet a tragic demise ahead of Stephen's exit on October 13, 2023.
How will it play out?
2. Serial killer gets ultimate justice
While many viewers of the long-running show may be hopeful to see Stephen get carted away by the police, one theory could suggest his punishment may be more radical than a prison sentence.
A frustrated Carla Connor (Alison King) is correctly convinced Stephen dosed her up on LSD but without evidence the police can’t prove it.
When she finds a print out of one way tickets to Thailand in the office printer, she convinces DS Swain that Stephen is a flight risk.
Ignoring Swain’s insistence that she tell no one Carla explains to Jenny Connor (Sally Ann Matthews) that the police are investigating Stephen and implores her not to go to Thailand with him, as she could be running off with a murderer.
After attacking Tim and leaving him for dead, Stephen arrives back on the cobbles smoothly bypassing Jenny and heads straight for a shower to wash away all traces of blood and fuel before calling the airline to confirm his flight for the following day.
Stephen then tricks an oblivious Michael into enabling him to transfer the full balance of Underworld’s account into a bogus one he has set up.
Carla is shocked when she gets a notification of the transfer.
The Platt family are stunned when Sarah (Tina O'Brien) breaks the news of Stephen defrauding Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) and drugging Carla.
Stephen leaves his flat but he is attacked by a furious Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne).
Audrey arrives and sends the cabbie packing much to Stephen’s relief.
But he's met with another shock when his mother accuses him of stealing her house, after finding out what he had been up to.
DS Swain learns that Stephen brought forward his flight from Manchester to Bangkok and hurries to the airport to intercept him.
With DS Swain on his tail, one could suggest that the copper will have a deadly confrontation with the serial killer, eventually killing him off when he decides to claim yet another life to save himself.
But what if one vengeful resident gets to Stephen before DS Swain?
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3. Shock exit
As mentioned above, Peter Barlow is eager to get back at Stephen after finding out he drugged his wife Carla.
And with Chris Gascoyne set to leave the cobbles after more than two decades, viewers are wondering if he could be involved in Stephen's last scenes.
While DS Swain may try to get to Stephen before he can leave for Thailand, one could suppose the cabbie may find a shortcut to get to the criminal.
One final confrontation between both men could occur with Peter coming out of the fight as the surprise winner.
However, this would mean that Stephen could die and the showdown may lead to Peter fleeing Weatherfield or getting arrested for his murder.
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Coronation Street airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8pm on ITV.
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