Perhaps Peter Barlow should attend CA (Carla Anonymous), rather than AA? We left him last week with Leanne convinced he was out tearing it up to try and forget the tram crash – but all the while he was in bed cuddling (only cuddling, we're informed, mind you) Carla. Peter knows he's got some decisions to make. He unpeels himself from her and goes home to tell Leanne that it's all over.
But when he arrives back at the Street, expecting a rocket, he discovers Leanne is plain delighted to see him. She blames herself for putting him under pressure – and Peter doesn't let her off the hook. He tells her she'll always face losing him because he's an alcoholic and they should split up now.
Carla slams the phone down on him. But he sneaks round to her flat (under the guise of an AA meeting) and explains he loves her but can't bring himself to destroy Leanne and Simon's lives. Obviously the way to protect them is to continue in a loveless sham marriage while sleeping with a local widow. That'll make their lives fine and dandy.
Carla's forced to agree to the plan because during an extremely realistic meeting with her solicitor about the upcoming rape trial, Carla discovers Frank is alleging she was unfaithful while she was with him (is that a defence? Seems odd). The solicitor advises her that if there's anything he can use to taint her character she needs to speak up now. She doesn't. And so, the pair decide the only way to proceed is a secret illicit affair. This seems like the perfect plan and in Soapland people always get away with affairs and cheating. Particularly around Christmas time.
Also this week: Tracy breaks down as Steve and Becky get closer. As she investigates the couple's business dealings, she feels a pain in her stomach and has to be rushed to hospital...
How do you know when Cain Dingle is lying? His lips move. It's slightly ridiculous how untrustworthy Cain Dingle is. If you asked Cain his name, he'd tell you it was Charity, just because. In fact, it's not slightly ridiculous, it's wholly ludicrous. You can't even trust Cain to tell the police who attempted to kill him.
Cain is in a critical condition at the start of the week. While he's lying in a coma, John Barton is arrested for the attack, after the police find out about Cain's affair with Moira – and the fact John hurt his hand punching Cain.
Some time after this mini-confession session, Cain stirs and awakes from his coma. Still badly injured, he can't move but when Chas asks Cain if he remembered who attacked him he nods slowly.
Cain tells the police the identity of his attacker and insists to daughter Debbie that he’s telling the truth - but as soon as she turns her back, a smile spreads across his face. He's lying. Of course he is.
Also this week: Laurel confesses to Nicola that she had an affair with Marlon. Nicola tells her she can't stay with Ashley out of duty.
Pat and the Butcher clan are in trouble – she's defaulted on her loan payments and so stands the chance of losing her house. But never mind, if there's anyone who can be relied upon to come up trumps, it's Ricky. He's back from Dubai and his bonus will be enough to save them. Well, it would be – if he hadn't lost it.
Terrified to tell anyone at his ‘Welcome Home’ party, Pat can see straight away that he's messed up. Really though, it wouldn't take Sherlock Holmes to work it out. But Bianca, of course, greets him as if he's the second coming – but when she finds out the truth, she goes ballistic.
The pair kiss on the allotment, and it becomes apparent that in among the vegetables, Ricky is going to do some serious seed sowing. The next day the whole Butcher clan head to Clacton and Ricky's guilt almost gets the better of him. Fortunately, he doesn't blurt all his woes out – that sort of thing is best kept for ruining Christmas.
Also this week: Phil blames Heather for the anonymous notes – but then blame shifts to Jack Branning and a war begins...