Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street has revealed a significant curveball in Peter Barlow's exit plot.
However, Wednesday's (October 25) episode seemingly discounted this theory, as it was revealed police wouldn't take any further action against Peter over Stephen's death.
This came about after a Barlow family meeting where Peter confessed he was now having doubts about whether he'd been wrong to take the law into his own hands.
"In that split second, I appointed myself judge, jury and executioner, and I got it wrong. I killed a man," he admitted.
Their emotional discussion was interrupted by a visit from DS Swain to bring him down to the police precinct for more questioning. This time, Adam Barlow was by Peter's side to plead his case.
After leaving Peter to sweat it out in the interview room for a while, DS Swan came back to deliver some truly shocking news.
"Having considered the evidence, the CCTV and so forth, we've decided not to proceed," DS Swain announced.
The DS explained that they'd taken such a tough approach because they had to be absolutely sure Peter had no motive to want to kill Stephen.
"As far as we're concerned, you were purely motivated by a desire to protect [Jenny] from potentially lethal harm," DS Swain told a stunned Peter.
Peter asked if there would be a follow-up, but DS Swain told him he was free to go unless there was something he wanted to confess to.
"No, no," Adam insisted as he hurried Peter away.
While he was in the clear legally, Peter remained haunted by what he'd done and snapped at Tracy when she suggested it didn't matter why he'd killed Stephen.
"It matters to me," he shot back.
Peter found some support from Toyah Habeeb, who has had her own history of being wrongly accused of murder.
"Forget what you know now," Toyah told him. "You had no choice, Peter. You had to do something… I know it's easy to say it, but you have to find a way to live with what you did."
Peter returned home to assure his family that he was okay, yet his father Ken confided in Tracy that he saw right through it.
"He put a lot of effort into convincing us he's fine — too much effort for my liking. He's struggling," Ken said.
The impact of Peter's guilt will seemingly loom large in upcoming scenes, as Chris Gascoyne has previously confirmed that Stephen's death will be crucial to Peter leaving the cobbles.
"This is where Stephen's story ends, and mine picks up," the actor 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."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
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