The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find upsetting.
Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Pete Buchanan's fate has been revealed after his showdown with Toby Faroe in Hollyoaks.
A sneak peek at the rest of the week reveals that Pete survived a violent encounter with Toby, but the first-look episode certainly hinted that he is lucky to have made it out alive.
Cleo was understandably frantic as Pete approached her all alone in The Dog, but as she went to rush out, he stopped her by insisting he had come to apologise.
"I couldn't start again with talking to you. Atoning for what I'd done. I think you deserve that," Pete told her.
When Pete stopped short of describing the horror of what he'd done, Cleo confronted him with the truth that he'd raped her when she was 13 and manipulated her into believing it was love.
"You still see me as a weak little girl. That's the thing about little girls, they grow up," she explained. "Some a lot faster than others… I'm not a victim anymore. I'm not 13 years old anymore. I am real, I am strong and I am not your Cleopatra.
"You're just Pete Buchanan, a sad, lonely abuser."
Things took a dark turn when Toby walked in on the conversation, and Cleo ordered him to lock the door so Pete couldn't leave. She then gave Toby the password to her and Pete's secret email account from her teenage years, so he could see how she was groomed.
Pete later almost convinced Cleo and Toby to let him go when he promised he'd been "changed" by the prison chaplain and planned to start a new life with her.
But when he slipped up about where he'd be resettling, Toby and Cleo realisrf that he'd been lying about the whole story.
"You always did love a good story," Pete sneered before doing a runner.
After Toby chased Pete into the alley, the episode closed on an ominous note with a bloodstain on the Secret Garden book. However, new photos released from tomorrow's episode have revealed that Pete survived — albeit with some serious injuries.
Kai Owen has said that the beating must have come as a surprise since Pete completely underestimated Toby.
"He's not too concerned, intimidated – yes, but nothing he can't handle," the actor said.
The actor made it clear that Pete had come back to the village because he completely believed he could win Cleo around once again.
"He's a master manipulator, he's a nasty piece of work, and he's powerful," he admitted. "People like Pete can be very convincing, especially to vulnerable people. He knows exactly who to target."
While Owen is perhaps best known for playing the heroic Rhys in Torchwood, he has acknowledged that he is drawn to villainous roles like Pete.
"It's a very difficult role to play. I try to do the best I can, serve the story, and tell it truthfully," he explained.
Owen praised Hollyoaks for its latest mental health-themed episode, and especially for tackling an important issue like child sexual abuse in a primetime soap.
"Hollyoaks tackles these issues better than anyone else. If we can raise awareness and help someone speak out, we've done our job," he noted.
The circumstances of his return to Hollyoaks are very different from his previous visit to the show in 2018, since filming took place during the global pandemic,
"It's handled so brilliantly by everyone at [producers] Lime that you get used to it quickly and as ever are made to feel safe," he said.
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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