Emmerdale fans are anticipating the big reveal next week when viewers will finally find out just what happened to Maya Stepney before she disappeared. And as the fall-out of the big night out unravels this week, Leyla Harding is forced to tell David Metcalfe a lie about Maya's whereabouts in order to cover their tracks. While Tracy Shankley and Priya Sharma are struggling to cope following the sinister evening, Leyla tries to keep it together – but does she end up just making it worse?
Emmerdale's Leyla will spin a big lie to cover the truth about Maya
MORE: Emmerdale cast are lending their support to fired co-star Shila Iqbal
In Monday's episode, David believes that Maya has left him after she saw him kissing Tracy, and is adamant that she must have gone to stay with her mum. Not wanting David to find out the truth, or to know that Maya had been grooming his son Jacob Gallagher for months, Leyla spins him a new lie. Leyla has been the most calm following the trip to the woods, which has left many viewers wondering whether she knows more than meets the eye. As Jacob's mum, Leyla had the biggest motif to want to kill Maya, and she didn't seem as surprised as Tracy and Priya when Priya's scarf was found in the woods covered in blood.
Just what has happened to Maya?
Other theories that have been circulating on social media include the possibility that Maya escaped after the women drove her to the woods, and that she is in hiding. It has also been put out there that she could even be pregnant with Jacob's baby. Viewers are very much hoping that she is still alive, so that the schoolteacher can face punishment for her actions.
READ: The Emmerdale cast's guide to wedding guest style
Actress Louisa Klein, who plays Maya in the ITV soap, has previously spoken out about the challenges portraying the troubled character. "It has been tough, it's been a real challenge," she told Lorraine in March. "But it's exciting for me to play, even though I'm playing the baddie in this story I'm here to tell the story I'm here to get that word out there." Louisa also revealed that the story will soon reach an end - but there's still a lot more of the story to tell before that happens. She added: "I think it's really important as an actor to try and look at why she's doing this, you can judge very quickly and say it's a terrible thing, but I've tried to get some sense of understanding of why she's behaved the way she has and what's going on with her."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.