The following article contains discussion of sexual assault that some readers may find upsetting.
Hollyoaks spoilers follow.
Hollyoaks villain Ali Shahzad has returned for a new Maalik family twist.
Ali is in jail awaiting trial for raping Misbah, but he continues to play mind games with the Maalik family even from behind bars.
Tuesday's first-look episode saw Shaq in conflict with half-brother Imran over whether to delete the text from Ali that he'd recently sent to Misbah. Shaq had resorted to nicking Misbah's phone to intercept the message.
Imran argued that it's best to delete the text to prevent Misbah from any more trauma, while Shaq felt it should be left to Misbah to decide for herself.
Shaq felt he needed to confront Ali, leading to a tense conversation as he paid his father a visit at the jail. Ali guilted Shaq for intercepting his text, telling his son he was following in his footsteps by "taking control".
"I knew the apple hadn't fallen far from the tree," Ali taunted as he brought up Ali moving in on Verity.
Shaq shot down any comparison: "You think I'm anything like you? You're evil."
Ali continued playing with Shaq's mind, calling him "my sort of man" for "doing whatever he wants" with women. Shaq later met up with Verity to insist he'd told Misbah the truth about Ali's text, but one call to her mobile revealed he still had it.
When Verity argued Shaq was taking away Misbah's rightful choice, he snapped back: "My family, my decision! Do you understand?"
Verity was horrified by Shaq's reaction, explaining to him his behaviour reminded her of her "controlling" father Edward. She said she had "no intention" of getting involved with a controlling man again.
Shaq was left weighing his options, though in the end, he went through with his original plan and threw away Misbah's phone so she wouldn't see the text.
A post-credits scene saw Shaq returning home and revealing to Imran what he'd done. Shaq had kept the SIM card in case the messages were traced, but ordered Imran to "bin it" because he felt wrong about the whole thing.
Hollyoaks airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4. Selected omnibus episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, 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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