After a tense few weeks saw serial killer Stephen Reid finally meet his maker after being run over on Coronation Street, soap fans were finally given one bit of good news on Wednesday’s visit to the cobbles, when driver Peter Barlow was finally given the all clear by the police.
As regular viewers will know, Peter Barlow ploughed his car into the murderer as he held Jenny Connor hostage during super soap week, killing him instantly – with the character’s future hanging in the balance as he faced a potential murder charge himself.
However, in a welcome bit of news for fans of the cab driver, the police revealed they had no intention of pursuing charges against him, as he had been trying to save a life from potential harm, rather than maliciously mowing Stephen down.
While the news should have come as a welcome boon to Peter, he appeared to be anything but thrilled by the revelation, as he has wrestled with his guilt since the unfortunate incident and believes he should be punished for having taken a life.
With a prison exit now officially off the cards, fans are convinced a far more heartbreaking exit storyline may lie in store for Peter Barlow, when actor Chris Gascoyne bows out of the soap later this year.
“I wonder how Peter is going to exit then if he's not going to prison?” wrote one curious fan.
While several others predicted a massive relapse on the cards for Peter, who had previously battled with severe alcoholism and even received a liver transplant after damaging his own liver so significantly.
One fan theorised: “Peter’s exit will be a massive relapse perhaps?? Easy for the writers to send him off the wagon (he still blames himself in spite of the Police decision)."
A second fan agreed, as they added: "Peter not getting done for killing a serial killer. He's gonna leave the street going to rehab because he can't get over it. Audrey will drive him to drinking again."
A third fan weighed in and wrote: “I think the guilt will cause Peter to relapse and that will be his exit storyline.”
Prompting a fourth viewer to echo the sentiment by adding: “Peter's alcoholism mention. OMG please don't let him relapse again.”
However, one fan feared that a relapse may not be the ultimate end of the storyline, with one even convinced that Peter may take his own life.
They wrote: “Have the producers got Peter down to commit suicide, just wondering he's taken killing Stephen really badly.”
Although the full details of Peter’s exit storyline have not yet been revealed, actor Chris Gascoyne did tease that it wouldn’t necessarily be the ending fans may have predicted.
He said: “Peter is a man who is in deep conflict with himself. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how it happened, he has killed someone. It is impossible to imagine what that must feel like.
“Could you ever rest, could you sleep. He actually says “I have taken another human being out of this world forever, what kind of person does that? What does that make me?” And he is terrified.”
That terror will also soon start to weigh heavily on Peter’s mind as he begins to second guess his actions and the life changing ramifications they have on the people around him.
Touching on how Peter must be feeling, Chris said: “He is in hell and he is fighting through fear, but when he knows that Jenny is pretty adamant she would have been ok, that really starts to affect his mental state of mind.
“As we know Peter has been through a lot and there is no doubt that he will be tempted to drink which really would be a decision to kill the pain and kill himself through alcohol, he knows that.
"This is a real danger zone for him. He has taken a man’s life and even if he goes to prison he will have to live with that, he will always suffer. It will be interesting to see how he deals with his demons.”
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