For weeks now, Bethany Platt has been at the centre of one of Coronation Street’s most gruelling storylines ever, as she has been groomed by her ‘fiance’ Nathan Curtis and abused by other men in Nathan’s sex ring.
But this week’s episodes are set to shift the focus onto another victim, underage Lara, who is found by David Platt when he goes looking for his niece.
Bethany has gone missing after Nathan’s ‘sex parties’ were discovered and he was arrested on child exploitation charges.
As the family has no idea where Bethany has gone, or whether she is safe, David enlists the help of Shona and the pair head off on a desperate search to find her.
While they’re looking for her, they come across Lara, another victim of Nathan and his friends’, who is now away from the gang and living on the streets.
You might remember Lara – she was previously introduced to Corrie viewers when Bethany accused her of stealing her necklace after seeing her emerge from a room with one of Nathan’s crew.
Now though we’ll get to hear Lara’s story – adding more weight to the accusations against Nathan.
The development comes after Friday’s harrowing episodes which saw Bethany being gang-raped by a group of men.
It followed her being groomed by Nathan, and despite her family’s pleas, still vowing to stay with him, putting her engagement back on at the end of the episodes.
Opinions on the storyline have been mixed, with many praising the amazing performances from actor Lucy Fallon but complaints being made about showing the plot at primetime.
The Lara twist looks set to be part of the conclusion of the plot, which will eventually see Nathan pay and 16 year-old Bethany stand up to him.
It can’t come a moment too soon – mainly so that we can start watching Corrie without hearing our heart hammering in our chest and needing a stiff gin afterwards again.