Rhona gets a shock when her rapist husband Pierce reappears in her home, reveals Emmerdale’s Jonathan Wrather

Pierce returns to Emmerdale – because Paddy begs him to! To be fair, Paddy doesn’t know Pierce raped Rhona; he just thinks Rhona could use his support because of her drugs relapse. So that’s why Rhona finds Pierce in her home.

“He’s been lying low,” Jonathan Wrather tells Soaplife. “He’s probably been trying to work out how he can spin things so he doesn’t come off as the bad guy…”

What happens when Paddy gets in touch with Pierce?
Paddy [Dominic Brunt]
calls Pierce out of the blue and they meet. He says ‘Look, Rhona’s in a bad way, you need to come back, she needs you’. Pierce doesn’t give anything away, because he doesn’t know what Paddy knows. It transpires that he knows nothing about the rape, so that’s a plus for Pierce. He discovers that Rhona has been in rehab.”

Does he have a plan?
“Well, he has form for manipulating situations; you saw that with the whole sex tape thing. Certainly, the whole drug thing with Rhona [Zoe Henry] could be something in his favour. It might help him wriggle his way around his current predicament.”

Do you think he intends to try and win back Rhona?
“It is likely that he knows that isn’t going to happen, but we’ve seen with Pierce that he has a capacity to be almost delusional.”

Does he accept that he raped her?
“No. We’ve already seen him say to her ‘I couldn’t help myself, you brought this on yourself’. He is one of those people who thinks that if he says it, then there is an element of truth to it. He has this capacity to be able to switch off from reality.”

Are there more skeletons in his closet?
“His mother Martha [Elaine Claxton] is harbouring some secret and she is coming back. It could be something very big that he has done in the past. There were hints that he had a tough childhood and was obviously very jealous of his sisters.”

What does Pierce actually want from Rhona?
“I think, ultimately, he probably wants perpetual control over Rhona. It is like a power trip. He needs to have someone to control in order to exist somehow.”

Will Pierce get his comeuppance?
“There is scope to do some interesting things with the story. I actually don’t know what the outcome will be, so we’ll have to see.”

Emmerdale, ITV