Coronation Street has tonight aired the shocking climax to the Stephen Reid (Todd Boyce) storyline, with the character unexpectedly killed on the cobbles by a much-loved resident!
The episode came at the end of this year’s Super Soap Week, which has seen the true extent of Stephen’s numerous crimes over the past year finally uncovered by his friends and family.
As well as having the killings of Leo Thompkins (Joe Frost), Leo’s father Teddy (Grant Burgin), and Rufus Donahue (Steven Meo) under his belt, Stephen has stolen equity from his mother Audrey’s house, drugged Carla to make her believe she was having a mental breakdown, and now stolen £250,000 from the Underworld accounts as he planned his escape from Weatherfield.
Forced to return to the cobbles after he arrived at Liverpool airport to find his passport had been removed from his bag, partner Jenny (Sally Ann Matthews) was in firmly in Stephen’s sights.
Jenny admitted to Rita that she had taken Stephen’s passport to stop him fleeing the country, though Rita (Barbara Knox) was worried about what would happen when Stephen came looking…
In scenes that had viewers on the edge of their seats, Jenny later heard a noise from inside the boarded up Rovers Return whilst walking past with Rita. On seeing the back door was open, Jenny decided to investigate, promising to meet Rita at Roy’s Rolls shortly afterwards.
When Dylan (Liam McCheyne) and Mason (Luca Toolan) then hurried out, Jenny breathed a sigh of relief that it was only a bit of teenage hijinks. Despite being unceremoniously sacked and booted out by the pub’s new owners, Jenny still felt it her duty to head further inside and ensure there hadn’t been any damage.
When Sarah later showed up, having seen activity in the upstairs window, she and Jenny shared a dodgy bottle of leftover sherry as they lamented the Stephen issue. At this point Jenny had only thought Stephen was a conman, so it was a huge shock when Sarah then revealed that he had been responsible for the deaths of both of Jenny’s former boyfriends, Leo and Teddy.
Sarah had presumed she already knew, hence why she came to check on her after seeing her upstairs closing the curtains. Amongst the horror of learning the man she loved was a murderer, it was at that moment that Jenny’s blood ran cold… she hadn’t been upstairs…
As the two realised they had to make their escape, Sarah was the first to slip out the back of the bar, only for Stephen to whack her over the head with a bottle, knocking her out! Stephen was horrified when he realised who he’d hit…
“He feels terrible,” Todd Boyce exclusively told EverySoap at a press event last week. “He’s injured his beautiful, delicate niece. He loves Sarah so much, and to physically cause her harm, it just triggers more desperation. It’s the worst day possible. And yet, he thinks ‘Just give me the passport Jenny, you look after Sarah, but I can’t wait and stay for an ambulance’. It’s pretty awful!”
Jenny was in no hurry to bow to Stephen’s demands though, determined to get the truth out of him about his crimes, particularly the deaths of Leo, Teddy and Rufus.
Asked why he did it, Stephen told her that didn’t want to fail again. Coming back to Weatherfield was his last chance following his failure in Milan. At home, he was seen as a success by his family, particularly by Audrey (Sue Nicholls), and he was desperate not to lose that. He assured Jenny that amongst everything else, his love for her was genuine though.
As Stephen became more and more manic and grabbed Jenny to stop her raising the alarm, Sarah unexpectedly came to and whacked him over the head with a chair.
With Sean and Adam outside at the time, and hearing the commotion and screams coming from inside, everyone worked to try and get the boarding off the doors.
Adam and Michael headed round the back, and as they entered the bar, Stephen warned them that they had no idea what he was capable of, as he held a broken bottle to Jenny’s neck.
Stephen emerged onto the street with Jenny as his hostate, just as the Platts arrived.
Stephen was at his most desperate as he demanded David (Jack P Shepherd) bring his car around so he can make his escape (much to David’s annoyance – “Why does it have to be my car…?“). As he impatiently waited, he admitted everything he’d done as mum Audrey tried her best to reason with him, telling him that giving himself up was the only way forward.
When David finally returned with his car and parked it outside the medical centre, Stephen dragged Jenny over there as she protested, telling him to look at his mother and think whether she looks proud of him now.
As the two had a short, inaudible conversation, Stephen lowered the bottle and let Jenny go.
Asked if Stephen would really be capable of hurting Jenny, Todd hinted that there’s more to come.
“No… that’s a very interesting question,” he mused. “As if you watch the episodes after, it will be very significant as to what goes on. There’s an exchange between them, and it will be interesting to find out what that was about…”
Could there possibly be a flashback scene to show what happened in those final moments between them…?
As Jenny made her escape, Peter (Chris Gascoyne) appeared out of nowhere in his taxi, and knocked Stephen down!
With Stephen thrown through the air and landing on the road with a sickening thump, Audrey rushed over to him.
As a bloodied Stephen lay on the street, Audrey leant over him, assuring him that it will all be okay, but there was nothing that could be done as she then watched her beloved son die in front of her…
The arrival of the police and paramedics confirmed the end of Stephen Reid, as we saw him zipped up inside a body bag.
But what will become of Peter? In a flashforward to a police interview, it was well established that at the moment Peter ran Stephen down, he had already released Jenny and discarded the bottle. With Stephen therefore not posing an immediate threat, is Peter going to find himself charged with murder?
As the episode came to a close, we also saw a further twist which answered the question as to what’s happened to Tim Metcalfe (Joe Duttine). He was last seen being bundled into the boot of his taxi after being attacked by Stephen, apparently lifeless. Earlier in the episode we had seen a dog approach the taxi only for it to be called away by its owner.
But as we returned to the taxi under nightfall, Tim suddenly opened his eyes—he’s alive!
Tim’s certainly isn’t out of the woods (literally) just yet though. Will he be discovered in time, or will Stephen claim one final victim from beyond the grave?