Mercedes McQueen

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Mercedes McQueen
Mercedes McQueen.jpg
Hollyoaks character
Portrayed by Jennifer Metcalfe
Duration 2006–14
First appearance 19 June 2006
Last appearance 20 November 2014
Created by Bryan Kirkwood
Spin-off
appearances
Hollyoaks Later (2008, 2010–12)
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Barmaid (2006–11, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Hospital cleaner (2012)
Prostitute (2012)
Club manager (2013, 2014)
Cllub owner (2014)
Home 26 Leigh Road

Mercedes Maria Theresa Immaculata McQueen (previously Owen, Fisher and Browning) is a fictional character from the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, played by Jennifer Metcalfe. She debuted on-screen during the episode airing on 19 June 2006 as the first character to be introduced to the serial by series producer, Bryan Kirkwood. In 2008 Metcalfe feared that the character was to be axed but was later reassured by the series producer that she would not be. Metcalfe later stated her itention to stay with the serial. Mercedes is part of the McQueen family and is the longest serving McQueen on the serial. On 26 August 2014, it was revealed that Metcalfe had quit the show.[3] Mercedes departed the serial on 20 November 2014 which saw her be murdered.

Mercedes is described as a "savvy, ballsy girl that can't say no and is unapologetic about it". She is played as a having moments of happiness which she ruins for herself and as managing to justify "whatever she does that's bad". Throughout her time on the serial Mercedes storylines have centred on her relationships. These include her marriages to Russ Owen (Stuart Manning) and Malachy Fisher (Glen Wallace), the latter saw her involved in an HIV storyline, and an engagement to Riley Costello (Rob Norbury). She has also been central to several affairs which included Calvin Valentine (Ricky Whittle), her sister's husband, and Riley's father Carl (Paul Opacic). Following the revelation of her affair with Carl on her wedding day to Riley Mercedes was at the centre of a kidnapping storyline when she was held against her will by Riley's grandfather serial killer Silas Blissett (Jeff Rawle) before going into labour, giving birth to a boy as a result of the stress. Following her ordeal Mercedes briefly turned to prostitution. When Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton) grows close to Riley, Mercedes begins to stalk her. During the culmination of the plot, in "pure desperation" Mercedes stabs herself and Mitzeee is blamed. Mercedes friend, Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan), discovers Mercedes' stalking of Mitzeee and stabbing of herself. Lynsey is later murdered in a whodunit storyline with Mercedes becoming a suspect in her murder. It is later revealed Mercedes' partner Doctor Browning (Joseph Thompson) killed Lynsey to protect Mercedes and in October 2013, Mercedes, Cindy Cunningham (Stephanie Waring) and Lindsey Butterfield (Sophie Austin) attacked, murdered and covered up the murder of Browning.

Metcalfe has received numerous awards and nominations for her portrayal of Mercedes. Metcalfe has been praised by the British press for her performance in the role. The character has also been praised and criticised by the British press, for her numerous relationships and affairs, her appearance, her status as a "slapper" and her penchant for finding herself in "terrifying situations". On 20 November 2014 Mercedes was murdered by Freddie Roscoe after he stabbed her to death.

Character creation and casting[edit]

Mercedes was created by producer Bryan Kirkwood, as part of his rejuvenation of Hollyoaks in 2006, which included the creation of his "brainchild"[4] the McQueen family. She was the first character created by Kirkwood during his tenure as executive producer.[4] Jennifer Metcalfe, who had previously been considered for the role of Clare Devine (Gemma Bissix) before Mercedes was created,[5] successfully auditioned for the role.[4] Kirkwood credited Metcalfe with making the character her own and with bringing Mercedes to life.[4]

Metcalfe reported that she was "put forward for Hollyoaks" but had to audition eight times before she was offered the role.[6] She later revealed that when creating the part she took "inspiration" from several places, most prominently from Eva Longoria's role in Desperate Housewives as Gabrielle Solis.[7] In 2008, due to her character's HIV scare, Metcalfe feared she was to going to be fired from the serial and had to seek reassurance from the producer that her fears were unfounded.[8] In 2011 Metcalfe stated her plans to stay with the serial indefinitely, saying, "I never get bored or lose interest" with her storylines and scripts.[9] In 2012, Kirkwood said that due to Metcalfe being the first actress he cast in Hollyoaks he was "so chuffed that she's becoming a real star". He added that "telling stories for Mercedes is as exciting now as it was on day one".[10] In 2013, Metcalfe revealed to The Mirror that she was proud of portraying the character "everyone loves to hate".[11] In May 2013, Metcalfe signed a new contract keeping her on the soap for at least another year.[12]

Development[edit]

Characterisation[edit]

"Mercy used to be a tart with a heart, but I’m wondering if the girl’s got a heart any more! I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. She’s got badder as she’s got older. She vows to change every time she does something wrong, and it’s getting to the point now where no one’s buying it".

—Jennifer Metcalfe on how Mercedes has developed through her tenure (2012).[13]

Kirkwood branded Mercedes "a savvy, ballsy girl that can't say no and is unapologetic about it".[4] Metcalfe has described Mercedes as someone who "hates every woman in Hollyoaks" except her own sisters, and as someone who talks too much and has a "mouth like a foghorn". She went on to say that Mercedes "always looks after her family and would never do anything to deliberately hurt them. Mercedes' heart is definitely in the right place".[5] Metcalfe observed that Mercedes is "completely mad" and she "just does whatever she feels like doing at the time. She doesn't exactly think things through".[14] Metcalfe further explained that Mercedes did not "consider consequences", which led her to unintentionally "destroy everything".[15] She elaborated on this, saying that Mercedes never has a happy ending "because she can't. I don't think with Mercedes there is ever a happy ending. Just when something might go her way or something's going to go right for her, she destroys it".[16] She said that her character is "used to getting her own way" so she thought that despite her actions, "everything will turn out right in the end". She opined that Mercedes was at her best in this state, being "minxy and destructive".[15] Metcalfe described Mercedes in this way: "Whatever she does that's bad, she manages to justify in her head. She doesn't have much self-worth and she knows what she's like". Metcalfe also expressed the hope that Mercedes could be happy "free and single".[17] She explained that Mercedes was unable to remain happy, saying: "she has moments of happiness but ruins them herself". She went on to explain that due to Mercedes' first love having "messed her up", Mercedes behaved "the way she is where men are concerned".[18] She further explained that Mercedes believed she could change but was disappointed when she could not. Metcalfe said, "When she says that she's going to change, she actually means it; she just can't sustain it."[19]

A reporter for E4's official website described Mercedes saying "She's no angel but the Village would be far less entertaining without our Mercedes. This glamorous McQueen can't seem to keep herself out of trouble – more often than not due to her tendency to hop into bed with those she shouldn't!"[20] They later said Mercedes is invincible, as "no matter evils she perpetrates, somehow she still manages to come out smelling of roses".[21] Hollyoaks international broadcaster BBC America has described Mercedes stating: "Cocky, confident, and mean with a right hook, Mercedes McQueen isn't afraid of anyone, especially not a man. She knows what effects her assets have on the opposite sex, and she always gets what she wants".[22] What's on TV described her as the "man-eater of the McQueen clan" who will not "take any nonsense" and is not "shy when it comes to a scrap!"[23] Digital Spy described Mercedes as "known for her fiery temper and sharp tongue".[24] Mercedes has also been described as "mouthy",[25] a "minx",[26] a "bitchy maneater",[27] "feisty",[28] "troubled",[29] "gorgeous",[29] a "sultry siren"[30] and "spirited"[31] by various media sources.

Relationships[edit]

Russ Owen[edit]

Stuart Manning (pictured) as Russ.

Despite Mercedes' relationship with Russ Owen (Stuart Manning), she had sex with Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas) and feeling guilty, proposed to Russ which he accepted. Metcalfe felt Mercedes might again stray with "Warren hanging around on the sidelines" although she hoped Mercedes would remain faithful to Russ.[5] Mercedes and Russ marry despite the ceremony being interrupted by Louise Summers (Roxanne McKee). Looking back at the wedding, Metcalfe commented that the wedding "didn't go smoothly".[18] Warren was accused of attempting to murder Clare Devine (Gemma Bissix), but his innocence and her infidelity was established when it was revealed that they were together the night Clare was attacked. Metcalfe said that "although Mercedes knew she was taking a risk by sleeping with Warren, she genuinely thought she'd get away with it". She opined that after her and Russ' "honeymoon period"[32] ended, Mercedes felt guilty and considered "spilling the beans",[32] although Metcalfe was not sure she would tell the truth about her affair with Russ.

During Russ' trial, Mercedes decided to go to the court to testify for him due to Nancy Hayton (Jessica Fox), who explained to Mercedes that her sister died because Justin Burton (Chris Fountain) was "too gutless to come forward and tell the truth". This encouraged Mercedes to "take a long, hard look at herself", and she realised that she was doing the same thing in the situation with Warren.[32] On her way to the court however, Mercedes was "all over the place". According to Metcalfe, everyone was shocked when Mercedes walked into the courtroom. She said that Mercedes was unsure of what she was going to tell the court, "but her alibi is vital to Warren's case - his fate lies in her hands".[32] Metcalfe said that even if Mercedes and Russ ended their relationship, which they did shortly after she confessed the truth, would not matter because she believed that it would not take Mercedes "long before she goes back to her old ways" because "that's just the type of person she is - Mercedes likes playing the field and having fun, and no man's going to change her"[32]

Tony Hutchinson[edit]

Nick Pickard (pictured) plays Tony.

Although Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard) was in a relationship with Mercedes' sister, Jacqui (Claire Cooper), he and Mercedes had sex. Metcalfe explained this was because Mercedes was intoxicated and unaware of her actions, "but she was also furious at Jacqui for giving her a slap".[33] Metcalfe explained that when Mercedes woke up, she was in disbelief about the events of the previous night and felt "appalled". She added that Mercedes did not fancy Tony and that they did not even like each other, which was why "neither of them can understand what happened between them".[33] Regarding Mercedes' feelings about hurting Jacqui, Metcalfe stated: "Mercedes hates herself for it. She feels incredibly guilty and ashamed of what she's done. It's surprising Jacqui doesn't guess something is wrong because Mercedes can't look her in the eye".[33]

Mercedes discovered she has fallen pregnant, which left her "totally devastated". Metcalfe expressed that Mercedes "felt bad enough about sleeping with Tony. Finding out she's pregnant is a nightmare". Mercedes informed Tony about the pregnancy, despite their dislike for each other, because she felt he had the right to know.[33] According to Metcalfe, Mercedes considered giving her baby to her sister, since Jacqui was unable to have children but wanted to become a mother, but did not tell Jacqui the baby's paternity.[33] Metcalfe also felt that Mercedes decided against giving Jacqui the baby because Mercedes was unable to "cope" with the baby's paternity, and would be more willing to give Jacqui the baby if Tony was not the father.[33] When asked if Mercedes would keep the baby herself, Metcalfe said, "She would if it was Russ' or maybe even the product of a one-night stand. But Tony's baby and all the baggage that comes with that? No thanks!" Mercedes decided to terminate the pregnancy.[33] When asked how she thought Jacqui would react if she found out that Tony was the father, Metcalfe said Jacqui would "go a bit psycho".[33] She also said that it would take a long time for Jacqui to forgive Mercedes if she discovered the truth.[33]

Malachy Fisher[edit]

Mercedes began a relationship with Malachy Fisher (Glen Wallace). He proposed marriage to her, but she refused. Mercedes has sex with a stranger; Metcalfe remarked, "Sex usually makes her forget about everything else that's going on. But afterwards she still can't stop thinking about Malachy, so she decides to go and see him to work out how she feels".[14] Mercedes subsequently accepted Malachy's proposal and they marry. Mercedes found that she did not contract HIV from Malachy, but a Hollyoaks source described the news as "bitter sweet" because it was possible that her husband could die and leave her on her own. The source expanded on this, saying that if Mercedes had contracted HIV then the pair "would be going through everything together".[34]

Ricky Whittle (pictured), who plays Calvin, expressed doubts with the storyline surrounding Mercedes and Calvin's affair, but felt the plot was "exciting".

Complications in Mercedes' relationship with Malachy occurred when she begins an affair with Calvin Valentine (Ricky Whittle) while working with him at The Loft. Metcalfe expressed that she had initial "reservations" about the storyline which she felt was "far-fetched", adding that once she had begun filming the scenes she thought the plot was "brilliant" even though she felt Mercedes would be perceived as a "bitch".[35] Whittle expressed similar doubts, saying he felt it was "a bit out of character" for Calvin, although he felt the plot was "exciting".[36] At first the pair did not like each other, but after spending time together, they realised that there was more to their personalities than they initially thought.[37] Whittle explained that the attraction between Mercedes and Calvin began "building", to the point that she and Malachy have "a massive row" and Calvin comforts her; Whittle stated that "the next thing you know they’re tearing each other’s clothes off".[37]

According to Metcalfe, Mercedes did not want to have an affair and was not "looking for someone else", stating, "Malachy's been working hard to provide for them and he hasn’t had a lot of time for her". Turning to Calvin, she confided in him and they kiss.[38] Whittle added that the affair had become more serious and their chemistry was "more than just physical".[37] Also according to Metcalfe, "Every three months Mercedes has to have an HIV test and, yes, it is making her resent Malachy a bit. She can’t help wondering what it would be like to be with someone like Calvin who isn't HIV positive",[38] even though she felt "guilty".[38] When Mercedes learned that she has to be retested for HIV, she feared that the test would be positive. Initially, she did not tell Malachy about it, but eventually "snaps" at him, telling him she "won't forgive him" if she has contracted HIV. The test was negative which was a "huge relief" for them.[38]

Malachy later witnessed Mercedes and Calvin kissing but did not interrupt them. Wallace felt this was because he truly loved Mercedes and had accepted that "his life is much better with Mercedes in it".[39] Whittle explained that Malachy tested Mercedes and Calvin because he wanted to discover if "what he saw was a one-off or more serious". The pair failed the test and Mercedes, fearing that Malachy knew the truth, told Calvin that they had to end their affair, "but they simply can't stay away from each other".[37] He added that the relationship could become more serious for Calvin as "he's in danger of really falling for her".[37] Mercedes began to develop feelings for Calvin who did not expect Mercedes to develop "such deep feelings" for him. When Calvin rejected Mercedes she informed Calvin's sister Sasha Valentine (Nathalie Emmanuel) that Calvin left Sasha's then boyfriend Warren to die in a fire; Sasha responded to the revelation by throwing Calvin out of their home. Not being able to "get past what happened with Warren",[40] Calvin and Carmel decide to end their relationship. Calvin confronted Mercedes, who "tells him that he's ruined her life and warns that she's going to do the same to him".[40]

Calvin and Carmel become reunited and plan to remarry. Metcalfe told a What's on TV reporter that Mercedes was unable to accept Calvin loved Carmel more than her because "in her head he doesn't. She can't think rationally about this. Her thing for Calvin is an obsession now".[41] Mercedes tried to prevent the wedding going forward, including by anonymously threatening Calvin and by cancelling the wedding plans.[41] Calvin discovered that Mercedes was behind the threats, and the pair go on to have a "day of passion"; Metcalfe explained that their relationship is "all about the sex".[41] Mercedes tried everything to convince Calvin not to go through with the wedding. As Metcalfe stated, "They talk, shout and cry and she tells him she loves him". Mercedes told Calvin, who "just sat there like a puppy, being manipulated by her",[41] that he should marry her instead, and he agreed and promised to tell Carmel. Mercedes later discovered that he has not told Carmel and she can not "believe he's chosen Carmel over her". Calvin was killed on his wedding day; Metcalfe revealed to What's on TV that Mercedes has "got it in her" to kill Calvin. She added that her character still loves Malachy,[41] but Malachy and Mercedes end their relationship. Mercedes' cousin Theresa (Jorgie Porter) was later found to have shot Calvin.

Mercedes lied that she has contracted HIV from Malachy who ends his relationship with Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan) to reunite with Mercedes. When Malachy discovered her lies, he hit Mercedes, who felt, according to Metcalfe, that she "deserved it" because she was "awful" and "the lies she told were just disgusting. She doesn't resent Malachy for hitting her at all".[42] Mercedes reconciled with Malachy; Metcalfe explained that Mercedes still loved Malachy but was unable to stay away from other men.[42] She added that seeing Malachy with Lynsey helped Mercedes "realise" how much she loved him.[43] After Malachy is injured in an explosion, Metcalfe explained that Mercedes regretted her affair with Calvin and she "desperately" wanted the chance to "make things work" with Malachy. She added that if he died, Mercedes would find it difficult to live with her guilt. If Malachy were to die Mercedes would be "devastated" as he was "the only positive thing in her life. [...] She thinks that she's nothing without him".[43] Malachy died. Metcalfe felt that when Malachy shielded Mercedes from the explosion by throwing himself over her it "proves to her how much he loves her. She knows that's special and regrets she ever took him and his love granted".[43] Metcalfe felt that she and Wallace "had amazing storylines", opining that Malachy's death was the most emotional scene she had filmed while with the serial.[18]

Riley Costello[edit]

Mercedes' next relationship was with Riley Costello (Rob Norbury); their first romantic encounter occurred in the episodes following Malachy's death. Metcalfe believed that this behaviour was typical of Mercedes. Malachy had died and rather than "moping" about she chooses to get on with her life. Riley filled the role of giving Mercedes some attention "when she needs it most".[44] The serial introduced complications with Riley and Mercedes' relationship with the introduction of Riley's father Carl (Paul Opacic). Carl's disapproval of Mercedes created tension between them and she "hits a nerve" by jibing Carl. Metcalfe explained that Mercedes asked Carl what he would do if she stayed with Riley. In an effort to "wind him up", Mercedes suggested that she and Carl sleep together; Metcalfe stated that it was "obvious he's tempted",[44] and Mercedes and Carl start an affair. Opacic told a reporter from Inside Soap that Mercedes and Carl felt guilty about their tryst, but suggested that viewers keep watching to see if the two could "stay away from each other". He added that while Riley believed Mercedes was "the girl of his dreams", Carl believed that Mercedes was not "good enough" for his son.[45]

Jennifer Metcalfe (pictured) explained that Mercedes felt like her world "could collapse" if her affair with Riley's father was exposed.

Mercedes and Riley become engaged. Riley's brother Seth (Miles Higson) discovered that she and his father had an affair, so she lied about falling pregnant to prevent the truth from coming out. On the advice from her mother Myra (Nicole Barber-Lane), Mercedes planned to fake a miscarriage, but Mercedes' sister Jacqui discovered the affair and Mercedes' intention to fake a miscarriage. Jacqui was "disgusted" and threatened to expose the affair; Metcalfe commented that this left Mercedes feeling like her "world could collapse around her at any moment".[46] "On eggshells" after Jacqui's discovery, Mercedes believed Jacqui would expose the affair.[47] Metcalfe described Jacqui's attitude towards Mercedes, stating, "Jacqui knows what Mercedes is, she knows what she's like - but she resorts to judging her because she's just trying to support her".[48] Metcalfe explained that if Jacqui kept the affair secret Mercedes would be "relieved" that she still has Riley, and although she would not immediately think of Carl, Mercedes was worried that "they could end up in bed together again". Metcalfe went on to say that Mercedes "loves Riley" but "can't help fancying Carl", adding that for Mercedes "there's a difference between love and lust".[48]

The Daily Star announced that after lying about being pregnant for several weeks, Mercedes was to launch a "vicious" attack on Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton), saying she tried to make up for her "mistake" by "turning on the tears and apologising".[29] Metcalfe felt that Riley and Mercedes would "fall out big time" because of Mercedes' attack on Mitzeee.[47] Mercedes discovered she had actually become pregnant, but was unsure of the child's paternity. Metcalfe commented that the storyline had "got interesting" due to Mercedes' pregnancy.[28] During the storyline Metcalfe wore a prosthetic baby bump which she found "uncomfortable".[6]

During the fourth series of the late night spinoff show Hollyoaks Later, Mercedes' past was explored when she goes to Ibiza to celebrate her hen night. While there she was reunited with Johnny (Chris Coghill), her first love. Metcalfe said this caused a "real mix of emotions for Mercedes". She went on to elaborate that there was a lot her character wanted to say to Johnny but "at the same time she doesn't see the point. There's a lot of anger there. But there's also a lot of excitement for Mercedes as she sees him again, because he was the guy who won her heart for the first time. The storyline also explains why Mercedes is the way she is now".[49] Mercedes and Johnny kissed, which Metcalfe said was them just "getting lost in the moment" and was partly due to Mercedes having doubts about Riley's fidelity. She added that Mercedes and Johnny spend time "just talking and reliving the old times, especially how he won her over in the past".[49]

The storyline was concluded with a week's worth of episodes focusing on the pair's wedding and fallout. A trailer, which took over 15 hours to film, was produced to promote the episodes and featured several characters dressed in black and who could expose her affair with Carl, watching Mercedes go down the aisle. During the trailer Mercedes cried a black tear, done by the show's make-up artists putting black paint in Metcalfe's eye.[50] Norbury opined that Riley was caught up in planning the wedding, and that his feelings for Mercedes were "very strong", adding that Riley "loves her to bits and he thinks that she's everything".[51] In the lead up to the wedding it was shown that potential guests who could reveal the affair included Jacqui, Seth, Carl, Mercedes, Warren, Mitzeee and Doug Carter (PJ Brennan).[52]

On her wedding day to Riley Mercedes was the one who exposes the affair. Metcalfe said this was because when Mercedes looked into Riley's eyes she "couldn't help it" because of her love for him, and because Jacqui's entrance "just tipped her over the edge".[18] Metcalfe went on to say that she did not think Mercedes "thought about it" when revealing the affair, but if she had thought it through she would not have revealed the secret.[53] Metcalfe postulated that there would be "huge repercussions" from the events, explaining that her following storylines "all stem from the wedding".[54] Metcalfe added that she did not "fancy" the chances of a reunion for Mercedes and Riley although the actress would have liked one.[18] Metcalfe commented that she "loved" the storyline and with working with Norbury.[18]

Kidnap by Silas Blissett and prostitution[edit]

Jeff Rawle (pictured) played Mercedes' kidnapper, Silas Blissett.

On 16 October 2011 it was revealed that Mercedes' next storyline, following straight on from her wedding to Riley, would focus on her kidnapping by serial killer Silas Blissett (Jeff Rawle).[55] On Mercedes' wedding day Riley's grandfather Silas kidnapped her in a "shock storyline twist" after Mercedes revealed her affair with Carl.[56] Metcalfe had previously teased that Mercedes might have to watch her back around Silas in the future.[48] Silas planned to hold Mercedes until after she gave birth. According to Metcalfe in a Digital Spy interview, Mercedes felt "pure fear" throughout her ordeal and that she "thinks that she's going to die and she fears that her baby will die too".[56] Metcalfe opined that viewers would see Mercedes "go through different emotions" during her ordeal, explaining that she went from "begging", to "breaking down crying", to exhaustion.[56] She added that the storyline was "a little bit" dark, but did not reveal whether or not Mercedes would survive her kidnapping.[56] Metcalfe also stated that a special set was built in which the kidnapping scenes were filmed over five days.[56]

On 19 December 2011 it was announced by Digital Spy that Mercedes would put her difficult year behind her and Lynsey would become a source of support for Mercedes. It was revealed that Mercedes would be tempted when a "charming doctor arrives on the scene and shows her the benefits of 'selling her services'".[57] Mercedes began working as an escort; Metcalfe explaining, "Mercedes signs up with an escort agency to try to earn some quick cash. She reckons it's the only thing she'll ever be good at, but it's clear that she hasn't stopped to think it all through".[58]

While Mercedes is on an escorting job, Lynsey confronted her and tried to convince Mercedes not to go through with it. Metcalfe told an Inside Soap reporter that this left Mercedes "devastated" as she has "built up the courage to go through with it". Metcalfe went onto tease that things will get "darker" for her character.[58] Mercedes became depressed and her sister Jacqui decided to help her.[59] Mercedes attempted to seduce Jacqui's husband Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss), who told Jacqui. Cooper said Jacqui "knows what state of mind" Mercedes was in and "lays into" Mercedes, who revealed she has been working as a prostitute.[59] Cooper explained Jacqui's reaction is "pretty harsh" and that she thought Mercedes was a "promiscuous tart and a pathetic excuse for a woman" with "no morals". Cooper said Jacqui had "given Mercedes chance after chance, and feels that she doesn't deserve anything more".[59]

In another twist Mercedes discovered that Silas would not be put on trial and would instead be put in an institute for the insane. Metcalfe said this left her alter ego feeling "very let down" as a trial would be the opportunity for Mercedes to "tell the world about the terrible things Silas did and make sure that he got punished". She went on to say that Mercedes felt like Silas was "getting away with it".[15] Metcalfe explained that Mercedes feared that Silas would escape[60] and explained that Mercedes never recovered from her ordeal but did what she usually did: "put it in a box and tried to forget about it. If Mercedes dwelt on all the bad things she's been through, she'd go crazy. That box must be full now".[60]

Metcalfe told Katy Moon from Inside Soap that to forget about the situation Mercedes "wants to feel numb" and as a means of "escape" she called Doctor Browning (Joe Thompson),[15] which left her feeling "awful".[61] Metcalfe explained that Mercedes was in "self destruct mode" and she "hates herself" for having sex with Doctor Browning, although she does not take money this time.[60] Metcalfe justified Mercedes' actions by saying Mercedes was "looking for any distraction, any way to escape her demons".[61] Metcalfe told a journalist from The Sun's magazine TV Buzz that Mercedes believes Doctor Browning "will help her move on" with her ordeal.[62] Mercedes took a business man back to her hotel room where "things end badly"; she locked herself in the bathroom and refused to come out. As Metcalfe explained, Lynsey soon arrived to comfort her,[61] and came to her "rescue when she's at her lowest point. Lynsey can see how broken Mercedes is".[15] On the friendship, Metcalfe said that the "characters are like chalk and cheese, which I think works well",[13] while Hassan said the characters "have this kind of prickly friendship". She added that they have "a lot of things in common, but they’re very different people. It’s almost like they shouldn’t be friends, but opposites attract. Lynsey sees qualities in Mercy that she kind of wishes she had herself. Mercy’s very straight-talking, she’s quite ballsy and calls a spade a spade, and sometimes Lynsey wishes she had a bit of that gusto. So I think that’s what attracts her to Mercy".[13] Both Metcalfe and Hassan praised the friendship between Mercedes and Lynsey, with Metcalfe saying she "loved" the friendship and enjoyed seeing her persona "form a good bond with Lynsey"[19] while Hassan praised the chemistry between herself and Metcalfe.[63]

Riley was "furious" when he discovered Mercedes' escorting, and told her he did not want her around their son Bobby.[60] Regarding Mercedes' maternal feelings for Bobby, she stated, "Mercedes feels that when she's getting closer to Riley, she can bond a bit more with Bobby as well. But when Riley forgets her, she finds it a lot more difficult to cope with Bobby".[19] Mercedes explained that she did not sleep with Doctor Browning for money this time, which calmed Riley down. Metcalfe said that Mercedes was "very honest and open" with Riley and that they were "very natural together".[60] The actress said Riley had begun to "see that she's really damaged and has been affected by what's happened a lot more than she's letting on". Metcalfe added that Riley felt sorry for Mercedes after seeing the "vulnerable Mercedes, the one who doesn't hurt people".[15] Metcalfe said that Mercedes wanted Riley back, but if she could not, she wanted to prevent anyone else from getting the life Mercedes would have had if she had married Riley. She added that although Mercedes wanted Riley back she loved Malachy more, and believed that Malachy was the love of Mercedes' life.[15]

The actress said that if Mercedes discovered Riley's relationship with Lynsey she would "feel utterly betrayed".[15] To cause tension between the friends Mercedes discovered Riley's relationship with Lynsey. Metcalfe said that her character gets "such a shock" but because of Mercedes' close friendship with Lynsey she "might not react the way people expect".[60] Metcalfe went on to say that she felt her character's feelings for Riley have "gone beyond love... it's an obsession now". She explained that Mercedes' plan was "more destructive than winning him back", and that she was "playing a game. The old Mercedes will be back shortly".[60]

Stalking Mitzeee[edit]

Rachel Shenton (pictured) said Mitzeee "has no idea" Mercedes was her character's mystery stalker.

Mitzeee begins being stalked. Her portrayer Shenton said Mitzeee was unaware of who the stalker was and that "Mercedes hasn't even crossed her mind. She thinks it's a crazed fan".[64] The viewers learn that it was Mercedes. The stalking stopped but later was resumed when Mitzeee and Riley begin a relationship. Shenton explained that the stalker had a key to Mitzeee's flat and had been watching her every move, and said that "not only has the stalker come back, but they've come back on a whole new level".[65] Shenton added that at this point "Mitzeee definitely has no idea that it's Mercedes - in fact, Mercedes is probably the last person that she'd suspect. She actually thinks that it's Lynsey and accuses her, because it seems to make sense".[65]

When Mitzeee realised Mercedes was her stalker, Mercedes knocked Mitzeee out after Mitzeee tries to stab her. Mercedes realised that she will be blamed for stalking Mitzeee so she stabbed herself to convince people Mitzeee was mad. Metcalfe said the situation was born through "pure desperation". She said that "the thought of Mitzeee, Riley and Bobby as a family together was too much for her to take, and she just saw red. I don't think it's something that Mercedes thought about or planned - she wouldn't have even dreamed of doing it to herself. But at the time, she saw it as the only way out of the situation".[66] Shenton explained that Mitzeee was worried due to the stalker so she decided to take some antidepressants and drink wine, which as she states "isn't a great combination." Shenton revealed that Mercedes arrived to see Mitzee who "still has no idea who the stalker really is, but as they're talking, Mercedes says something that makes Mitzeee discover the truth - and she's totally shocked. Mitzeee is petrified and picks up a knife in the kitchen. The next thing you know, Mitzeee wakes up after being unconscious [...] The first thing she sees is Mercedes with a stab wound and there is blood everywhere. Mitzeee doesn't have a clue whether she could have stabbed Mercedes, or if someone else came into the flat and did it".[65]

According to Metcalfe, during Mercedes' hospitalisation and recuperation she "starts putting it on to get sympathy. She's determined to get what she wants". Metcalfe explained that Mercedes did not "feel guilt at all - she just wants Riley back and she'll do whatever it takes to get him". Metcalfe believed that it was easy for Mercedes to lie; "hence why she does it so much and so well!" Mercedes felt that she had to lie, and found it easy to cry if she needed to, "especially if it will benefit her".[66] Metcalfe was unsure whether the audience would start to hate her character because she believed that Mercedes was not hateful. She stated, "I hope I've done a good job and people still feel sorry for her". She said that "the viewers have still been feeling some sympathy for Mercedes. I was getting lots of tweets saying, 'I feel so sorry for Mercedes, she needs to get back with Riley' and 'Mitzeee is being a bitch'". Metcalfe said that she was surprised by the fans' strong reaction.[66] Hollyoaks executive producer Emma Smithwick also said that Mercedes "gets away with blue murder [...] and yet there's so much love for that character".[67] Smithwick told Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy that Mercedes would get her comeuppance for framing Mitzeee, saying: "there most definitely will be a comeuppance. With the stabbing, she did it so coolly and lied about it so easily - that can't last forever".[67] Smithwick explained that Mercedes is "driven by her insecurities. She thinks she loves Riley and will do what it takes to win him. That's what it's about...winning. Mitzeee crossed her - she is dispensable but Riley...well, Riley is the prize. Mercedes Fisher usually gets what she wants and men usually fall in line with her. I want to see what happens when they don't..."[67]

Relationship with Doctor Browning[edit]

Lynsey was found dead by Brendan Brady (Emmett J. Scanlan). The death sparked a "whodunit storyline" with Mercedes in the frame for her murder. Digital Spy explained her motives stating, "Mercedes has also become increasingly deranged in recent weeks and wanted to keep Lynsey quiet after she discovered the truth about her stalking of Mitzeee".[68] A promotional image featuring Mercedes was later released by Hollyoaks which confirmed Mercedes as an official suspect in the mystery.[69] Mercedes entered a relationship with Doctor Browning, who had previously paid her for sex, in an attempt to make Riley jealous. Smithwick told Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy that she "was nervous about the union of the dark soul mates, Mercy and Browning, but their chemistry is so watchable - that story is pretty dark".[70] Mercedes began to "fall for the charms" of Doctor Browning, believing she had "landed on her feet" when he invited her to a charity ball. Metcalfe commented that Mercedes began to think he could provide her with the WAG life style that she had always wanted. She added that Mercedes still had feelings for Riley and was "being very sneaky" in her attempts to win him back. She explained that Mercedes "still wants Riley back but, as we know, when she has everything she desires, she still craves a bit of danger".[71] Thompson elaborated on this, saying Mercedes "thinks she wants the quiet life with Riley, but Dr Browning offers an exciting alternative for her, he knows what makes her tick, and the two of them are excited by how dangerous the other is". On Doctor Browning's feelings for Mercedes, Thompson said: "he's fallen for her and will do whatever it takes to be with her. He thinks if he spends enough time with Mercy, he'll win her around".[72] When Doctor Browning witnessed Riley kiss Mercedes "it becomes a question of how much he can take" and he decided he must "make a quick move" to prevent them reuniting. To do this he takes Mercedes to a shooting range, Thompson explained that there she "realises there's an undeniable connection between them". He added that the couple are "kindred spirits" and Mercedes spending time with him made her rethink their relationship.[72] Thompson said "it seemed to be written in the stars that Mercedes and Riley will get back together - but Dr Browning won't let that happen" and to do this he threatened Riley.[72] Thompson claimed that due to Doctor Browning having incriminating evidence showing that Mercedes discharged herself at the time Lynsey was murdered it gives him "real power, she thinks she's in control, but she might just be underestimating Dr Browning..."[72] Metcalfe said that she feels Doctor Browning is Mercedes soul mate, explaining that "he gives as good as he gets and I think that's really good for my character".[73] On who Mercedes loves more out of Doctor Browning and Riley, Metcalfe said "it's Doctor Browning all the way for her, i think he really took her by storm and she absolutely adores him".[16] On 17 August 2012 during E4's first look episode it was revealed Doctor Browning had killed Lynsey. Hollyoaks '​ official website said Doctor Browning's motives in killing Lynsey were "presumably to protect Mercedes".[74]

Mercedes and Riley reunite but when she discovers Riley does not love her she kidnaps Bobby in revenge and blames it on a Mitzeee, who has recently escaped from prison. Metcalfe said Mercedes does not have "any regrets whatsoever. I think she does what she does at the time for a reason and she'll deal with the consequences later".[16] Mercedes is arrested when Myra reports her to the police. Riley is shortly after shot dead. Mercedes is put on trial for two counts of perverting the course of justice, one for the kidnap and one for stabbing herself. Digital Spy's Kilkelly reported that Mercedes lawyer Jim McGinn (Dan Tetsell) would advise Mercedes to blame Riley for the crimes as he can not defend himself. Mercedes reluctantly agrees and tells the courtroom that Riley stabbed her and was abusive towards her.[75] Metcalfe felt the scenes were "great to film", adding that "the writers came up with some brilliant material". However, she felt the scenes were "challenging" to film as Mercedes "completely breaks down and says how bad Riley was. From the audience's point of view, it's really going to be quite shocking". The actress added that Mercedes "does feel guilty about it, but only as guilty as Mercedes can ever feel. So she gets over it very quickly!"[75] During the trial Jim suggests that Riley killed Lynsey and that Doctor Browning is innocent. Doctor Browning appears at the trial to give evidence, which Metcalfe revealed is "a total surprise. I don't think she knows how she'll react until she actually sees him, and when she does they're back in that moment when he was dragged away from her. She really did fall for him hook, line and sinker".[75]

Storylines[edit]

Mercedes meets Russ Owen (Stuart Manning) and flirts with him, angering his girlfriend, Sophie Burton (Connie Powney). Mercedes develops feelings for Russ and they have sex. They begin a relationship after Sophie dies. Russ is diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection and wrongly accuses Mercedes of having an affair. She is angry with Russ and sleeps with Warren Fox (Jamie Lomas). Mercedes discovers that her mother, Myra (Nicole Barber-Lane), is the cause of infection and Russ apologieses to Mercedes. Mercedes sleeps with Warren once again and feeling guilty, proposes marriage to Russ. He agrees, revealing that he was also going to propose. On the night before their wedding, Mercedes becomes intoxicated and has sex with Warren for a third time. On the same night, someone attempts to murder Clare Cunningham (Gemma Bissix) and Warren is arrested. Warren tries to prove his innocence as he was with Mercedes, but she denies it. At the wedding, Louise Summers (Roxanne McKee) interrupts the proceedings and confronts Mercedes. Mercedes half sister, Tina (Leah Hackett), lies and gives her an alibi. Mercedes and Russ then marry and Warren is charged with Clare's attempted murder. Mercedes agrees to be a witness at Warren's trial and explains their affair, with Russ listening on. Russ then ends their relationship.

Mercedes has sex with Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard), the boyfriend of her sister, Jacqui (Claire Cooper). Mercedes discovers she is pregnant with Tony's child and plans to have an abortion. Jacqui discovers the affair and asks Mercedes if she can raise the child herself, as she is unable to have children. However, Mercedes has an abortion. Mercedes has a brief relationship with Rhys Ashworth (Andrew Moss) and is upset to learn that he is having an incestuous affair with his half sister, Beth Clement (Sinéad Moynihan). Mercedes and Darren Osborne (Ashley Taylor Dawson) make a bet: Darren has to have sex with Hannah Ashworth (Emma Rigby), and if he does Mercedes promises to have sex with him. Darren accompanies an intoxicated Hannah home and takes a photo of her with no top on. Mercedes refuses to believe Darren, but sends the photo of Hannah to Hannah's boyfriend, Danny Valentine (David Judge). Danny ends his relationship with Hannah and sleeps with Mercedes.

Mercedes begins a casual relationship with Malachy Fisher (Glen Wallace) and develops feelings for him. When Malachy is diagnosed HIV-positive, he avoids Mercedes and she has sex with his brother, Kris Fisher (Gerard McCarthy). Mercedes discovers that Malachy is HIV-positive and slaps him. She walks home alone and is kidnapped by her half-brother Niall Rafferty (Barry Sloane), along with the rest of her family, and takes them to an abandoned church. Niall causes an explosion, but Mercedes escapes. Malachy later comforts Mercedes and he proposes to her, but she refuses. Malachy then leaves for Belfast. After having sex with a stranger, Mercedes realises that she loves Malachy and travels to Belfast, where she accepts his proposal. Mercedes and Malachy marry. Mercedes learns that she has not contracted HIV from Malachy. Calvin Valentine (Ricky Whittle), the ex-husband of Mercedes half sister, Carmel (Gemma Merna), hires Mercedes as a barmaid at The Loft nightclub and they later kiss. Mercedes and Calvin have sex, unaware that Malachy has seen them. They begin an affair and Mercedes is jealous then Calvin reconciles with Carmel. Calvin and Carmel then plan to remarry. On the day of their wedding, Mercedes attempts to seduce Calvin, but he rejects her. Malachy's former girlfriend, Cheryl Brady (Bronagh Waugh), later reveals Calvin and Mercedes affair to Carmel. Malachy then ends his marriage to Mercedes.

Mercedes becomes jealous of Malachy and his new girlfriend, Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan). Mercedes lies to Lynsey and tells her that she is HIV-positive. Mercedes tells Malachy and they secretly plan to reconcile. Lynsey learns of this and discovers Mercedes lied. Lynsey tells Malachy, who punches Mercedes. Mercedes and Malachy reconcile. However, Malachy is badly injured in an explosion and Mercedes is forced to turn off his life support and he dies. Malachy's family are forced by Myra to invite Mercedes to his funeral despite discovering her infidelity. Mercedes gets into an argument with Billy Alexander (Richard Graham) at her aunt Kathleen McQueen (Alison Burrows)'s fundraising event, after she accuses him of touching her. Carmel apologizes for Mercedes's behaviour and agrees to have lunch with Billy. When Billy visits Carmel, Myra slaps him and reveals that he is the father of Mercedes and Jacqui. He tells Mercedes and Jacqui that he needs a kidney transplant and that they are the only likely donors. When Mercedes and Jacqui refuse to be donors, Kathleen tells Billy that he is the father of her daughter Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter), confirming that Theresa is actually Mercedes and Jacqui's half sister. Billy is later revealed to not be needing a kidney, and that it is actually Mercedes' half sister Emily Alexander (Elizabeth Henstridge). However, Mercedes isn't interested and declines to be a donor, although Jacqui later agrees to be a donor but is revealed not to be a match, and Billy and Emily leave.

Mercedes begins a relationship with Riley Costello (Rob Norbury). Riley's father, Carl (Paul Opacic), takes an instant dislike to Mercedes. This causes tension between Mercedes and Carl and they have sex. Carl and Mercedes begin an affair and Riley later proposes to Mercedes, which she accepts. Carl's son and Riley's brother, Seth (Miles Higson), discovers the affair and threatens to tell Riley. Mercedes tells Seth that he cannot reveal the affair because she is pregnant with Riley's child. She later tells Myra that she lied and is not pregnant. Myra tells Mercedes to fake a miscarriage, which Mercedes refuses. Mercedes attends an awards evening with Riley, where he becomes intoxicated. He accepts an award and attempts to get Mercedes onto the podium, but her high heel shoes becomes trapped in the step. As Riley pulls her, she loses her balance and falls to the ground. Myra then declares that Mercedes is having a miscarriage. Mercedes is taken to hospital, where she is told that she is in fact twelve weeks pregnant. She explains to Myra that she is unsure of the child's paternity. On her wedding day she reveals her affair to Riley. Riley's grandfather, Silas Blissett (Jeff Rawle), who is a serial killer, kidnaps Mercedes and holds her captive in a basement, planning to kill her when the baby, his great-grandchild, is born. Silas is then arrested for four murders, leaving Mercedes chained up, alone where she goes into labour. Lynsey asks Silas to tell them where Mercedes is and he refuses to tell her. She taunts him and he reveals where Mercedes is. Riley finds Mercedes, who is about to give birth. Mercedes gives birth to a boy, who is put in an incubator because of breathing difficulties. Mercedes is hurt when, after the birth, Riley declares he wants nothing more to do with Mercedes or the baby. However he later continues to visit Mercedes and the baby who Mercedes names Bobby. Mercedes returns to live with the McQueens and after Riley refuses to see Bobby, Mercedes agrees to do a paternity test. The results confirm that Riley is Bobby's biological father. Mercedes and Riley argue over Bobby until Riley is transferred to a football club in Leeds and Mercedes asks him to take Bobby with him.

Mercedes has sex with Doctor Paul Browning (Joe Thompson) who assumes she is a prostitute and pays her afterwards. Mercedes becomes a cleaner in a hospital along with Lynsey. Mercedes meets Doctor Browning at the hospital and he asks to keep seeing and paying Mercedes which she agrees to. Mercedes convinces Lynsey to help a patient who is DNR. Lynsey is blamed for the incident and Mercedes discovers Doctor Browning had not put the patient's DNR request into their file. Mercedes discovers Doctor Browning is married and threatens him, telling him she will tell his wife of their relationship should he report Lynsey. Mercedes joins an escorting website. She is contacted by a client and arranges to meet him at a hotel. Lynsey finds Mercedes and stops her going ahead with it. Mercedes becomes depressed and Jacqui meets Riley, telling him if Mercedes were to see Bobby then she would feel better. Riley later arrives back in Hollyoaks village asking Mercedes to sign legal documents so he will have full custody of Bobby.

Mercedes and Riley agree to attend mediation, but Mercedes does not turn up as she gets drunk. Mercedes sees an online news article showing a picture of Riley and Mitzeee together and considers running away with Bobby, but instead attends Bobby's christening service. She witnesses Riley and Mitzeee kissing in the car park and later confronts them. Riley tells her that it was only a kiss. Mercedes begins stalking Mitzeee who leaves the village temporarily. Mercedes learns Silas will not be put to trial and will be put in an institute for the insane. Mercedes tells people she is fine but begins having nightmares of her time imprisoned by Silas. Mercedes meets up with Doctor Browning and has sex with him. Mercedes begins escorting again and while meeting a client, locks herself in the bathroom. Lynsey arrives and comforts Mercedes.

Mitzeee and Riley begin a relationship. Mercedes continues to stalk Mitzeee. Mitzeee accuses Lynsey of being her stalker. Mitzeee becomes axious after noticing her stalker has been in the flat. Mercedes and Lynsey go to visit Mitzeee and after Mitzeee threatens them with a knife Lynsey leaves to find Riley. Mitzeee realises Mercedes is her stalker and they fight. Mitzeee drops the knife and Mercedes hits her over the head with a bottle, rendering her unconscious. Mercedes sees Lynsey and Riley returning to the flat and feeling desperate, stabs herself in the stomach in an attempt to turn Riley against Mitzeee. In hospital Mercedes tells Riley and her family that Mitzeee stabbed her. Lynsey discovers that Mercedes is Mitzeee's stalker. Mercedes discharges herself from hospital to speak to Lynsey. However, Lynsey is found dead in her flat, having been murdered. Mercedes enters into a relationship with Doctor Browning to make Riely jealous. Jacqui calls Mercedes and tells her she has found Lynsey's scarf in Doctor Browning's drawer. He then confesses to killing Lynsey to protect Mercedes. She tries to run, but he kidnaps her and drives out of the village. Mercedes agrees to run away with him, but the police find them and arrest Doctor Browning.

Mercedes reunites with Riley and they agree to marry. Mitzeee escapes from a psychiatric hospital, she confronts Mercedes and threatens her with a knife. Carl returns and attempts to persuade Riley not to marry Mercedes. Mercedes hears a conversation between Riley and Carl in which Riley admits that he does not love Mercedes and that he recently had sex with Mitzeee. Angered, Mercedes kidnaps Bobby in an attempt to punish Riley. Mercedes accuses Mitzeee of kidnapping Bobby. Mercedes convinces Phoebe Jackson (Mandip Gill) to look after Bobby. Mercedes sends a letter to Riley asking for half a million pounds ransom money. When dropping off the ransom money, Riley sees Mercedes and accuses her of kidnapping Bobby. Realising Mercedes has kidnapped Bobby, Phoebe tells Riley. Mercedes takes Bobby to the rooftop of a building, threatening to throw herself and Bobby off. Mercedes gives Riley Bobby and she agrees to leave with the ransom money. They return to the McQueen household where Mercedes' involvement in the kidnap is revealed by Phoebe. Myra reveals Mercedes' stabbing of herself and calls the police who arrest Mercedes. Riley is shot and killed by Simon Walker (Neil Newbon). In prison Mercedes shows further signs of mental illness, denying to herself that Riley has died. Mercedes is later taken to a psychiatric hospital. Doctor Browning pleads innocent in his trial. When Myra visits Mercedes, Mercedes appears distressed and asks Myra to help her. Myra contacts lawyer Jim. At the trial, Jim suggests Riley was abusive towards Mercedes and stabbed her. He also suggests that Lynsey knew of this so Riley killed her. Mercedes backs up the claims and tells the courtroom that Riley had threatened to kill her so she kidnapped Bobby to protect him from Riley. The jury give a not guilty verdict for both charges of perverting the course of justice and Mercedes is released. Myra tells Mercedes she can not come home and instead tells her to move in to Jacqui's old flat that has recently been flooded.

After discharging Mercedes from hospital, Lynsey is found dead and Browning confirms her time of death. He forges Mercedes' discharge papers so it appears as though she left hospital after Lynsey's murder. He moves into the flat next door to Riley to be closer to Mercedes. He blackmails Mercedes with the papers and tells her that she can make Riley jealous if they pretend to be in a relationship. His wife, Helen Browning visits Mercedes and warns her that Browning will ruin her life. She has a black eye and Mercedes uses this to give Riley the impression that Browning has been hitting her. Doctor Browning says Mercedes is lying and she leaves him. Browning finds Mercedes and they share their secrets about bad deeds. He tells her that he loves her no matter what she has done and they become closer. When Mercedes finds out the truth about Browning killing Lynsey, Browning kidnaps her and drives off. He suggests that they go abroad and Mercedes agrees, but the police arrive and arrest him. Mercedes is shocked when Browning is released, blaming Lynsey's murder on Riley. Browning surprises Mercedes on Christmas Eve and spends Christmas with Mercedes' family. Mercedes is thrown out by her family and Browning proposes marriage to her which she accepts. Myra makes up with Mercedes after Browning leads her to believe she has cancer. Mercedes is nearly raped by Browning's boss Davies after Browning offers Mercedes up to him for sex in exchange for his job being saved following the situation with Myra, but she is saved by Browning and he proposes to her.

Mercedes and Browning travel to Las Vegas. There she meets up with Clare Devine (Gemma Bissix), who tells her that Browning tried to seduce her. They concoct a plan to extort money from Browning. Mercedes is helped by Clare to fake her disappearance and blackmail him for ransom money. When Mercedes realizes that Clare has been lying she decides to stop the scheme. However Clare knocks Mercedes unconscious and takes her hostage. Clare manages to take Doctor Browning prisoner and locks both Mercedes and him in in a cage. She threatens them with two vicious dogs and Jacqui finds the ransom money. Clare is then sent to prison. Mercedes helps Jacqui fake her death, after she steals from criminal Trevor Royle (Greg Wood) and uncovers Trudy Ryan (Daniella Westbrook)'s human trafficking circle. Mercedes stays with Jacqui, who has fled to Alicante, for a few days, before returning to the village. Myra discovers Browning is a murderer and attempts to end his relationship with Mercedes, starting up a hate campaign between the pair. Mercedes and her siblings are horrified when they learn Myra was killed by Browning, and Mercedes fights with him in The Loft over this and him attempting to kill Cindy Cunningham (Stephanie Waring). Mercedes is nearly killed by Browning, but she is saved by the police and shouts verbal abuse as Browning is arrested. John Paul later reveals to the family that Myra faked her death to escape Browning and Trevor Royle's clutches. Determined to get over the tragedy that has befallen her, Mercedes takes up Clare's offer, after she is released from prison and makes amends with her, of a 30th birthday party at The Loft, unaware that Clare is secretly planning to blow the club up with Mercedes inside to get her revenge. However, Sinead O'Connor (Stephanie Davis) believes the bag containing the bomb has money and takes it to Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson)'s leaving party, causing a huge explosion at the block of flats when Clare detonates the bomb. Mercedes is furious and confronts Clare in the street, and a fight breaks out between the two women. Mercedes pushes Clare into the road and she is run over by a car and killed instantly.

Mercedes is shocked when the driver of the car gets out and is revealed as Browning, who has escaped from prison. He holds Mercedes prisoner and forces her into the car, driving off and leaving Clare's body in the road. He takes her to the empty McQueen house and attempts to kill her, but Cindy and Lindsey Butterfield (Sophie Austin) arrive and Mercedes batters Browning with a shovel, killing him. The three women panic and put Browning's body into bin liners, stashing it in the attic of the McQueen home. When they discover that the attic is going to have new insulation a few weeks later, the three women scramble to dispose of the body and enlist the help of Freddie Roscoe (Charlie Clapham) to hide the body. Mercedes and the others place Browning's body in his car and push it off a cliff, making it appear that Browning had committed suicide after escaping prison. Cindy however panics and alerts the police to the car crash scene. Police officer Sam Lomax (Lizzie Roper) discovers that Mercedes, Cindy and Lindsey were involved in Browning's murder and brings them in for questioning. When they all confess, she lets them go, explaining that she has had to make some decisions to get rid of bad people, and the three women are set free, and Sam disposes of the evidence.

Mercedes enjoys a fling with Freddie, and the pair get into a feud with Grace Black (Tamara Wall) and Trevor over The Loft, which they work in and run. Mercedes discovers that Freddie killed Grace's father Fraser Black (Jesse Birdsall) for his mistreatment of his mother, Sandy Roscoe (Gillian Taylforth). She forms strong friendships with Cindy and Lindsey, whom she bonded with over Browning's death, and helps Cindy's daughter Holly Cunningham (Amanda Clapham) when she suspects Cindy has had a mental breakdown. Mercedes also helps Theresa, who is serving a prison sentence for Calvin's murder after his brother Sonny Valentine (Aaron Fontaine) had tricked Carmel into reporting Theresa to the police, to escape by forcing a pregnant Theresa to fake labour. Mercedes enters the hospital dressed as a doctor and helps Theresa escape, but Sonny tracks them down. Myra, who has returned from Spain, knocks Sonny unconscious and the trio try to escape, but the police catch them and Theresa is returned to prison. Mercedes supports John Paul when he reveals that he was raped by one of his students, Finn O'Connor (Keith Rice) and Mercedes starts a feud with Finn's stepmother Diane O'Connor (Alex Fletcher), who protests Finn's innocence. Mercedes, Myra, Nana and Carmel publicly embarrass Diane and support John Paul in court at Finn's trial, when Finn protests his innocence and lies, claiming that John Paul molested him, but Finn is found guilty for the rape and sent to prison.

Mercedes is devastated when Carmel is killed in a train crash, whilst the family are attending their cousin Porsche McQueen (Twinnie Lee Moore)'s wedding to Lockie Campbell (Nick Rhys). Mercedes is enraged when Theresa is given support and attention in the aftermath of Carmel's death by Myra, claiming that Theresa ruined Carmel's life. Myra continues to defend Theresa, and Mercedes gives Myra an ultimatum: her or Theresa. The McQueens arrive home from the hospital without Mercedes, revealing that Myra chose Theresa. Mercedes comes home the following day, demanding that Myra and her grandmother Nana McQueen (Diane Langton) throw Theresa out of the house. She attempts to attack Myra in frustration, and Nana orders Mercedes' to leave instead. John Paul pays Mercedes to leave the village for a few days, until Myra has come to terms with her loss. Mercedes attempts to seduce Freddie in her turmoil, but he turns her down. Mercedes goes to The Loft to drown her sorrows over the recent tragedy and Freddie tries to apologize to her. They get into an argument and after Freddie brings up her past prostitution, she vows to ruin his life. Mercedes drunkenly tells Grace that Freddie killed her father, and not Sam, whom he had framed for Fraser's murder after her death in a car crash. Grace plots revenge on Freddie and pepper sprays him, before handcuffing him to a pillar in the club. Mercedes comes across the scene, and Grace tells Freddie that Mercedes is the one who told her Freddie killed Fraser. Freddie then berates Mercedes for trying to seduce him and mentions Carmel's death, which infuriates her. Grace forces Mercedes to leave Freddie at her mercy, and as she goes, Freddie begs her to save him. Mercedes ignores him and leaves him with Grace, and exits the club. Freddie is then saved by Trevor.

Mercedes arrives back at the McQueen house when Carmel's body is brought home, and begins preparing her body for the after life with Myra, Nana and Porsche. However, Nana discovers that Carmel's ring has disappeared from her finger since her body arrived at the house, and accuses Mercedes of stealing from her dead sister. Mercedes is outraged and denies this, before fleeing the house, but not before insisting she would never steal from Carmel and that she always felt inferior to her, as she was the 'good' sister out of the siblings. The following day, Mercedes catches Lindsey and Freddie kissing whilst Lindsey was in hospital, recovering from giving birth. She threatens to reveal the truth to Freddie's brother and Lindsey's fiance Joe Roscoe (Ayden Callaghan) unless Freddie buys her share of The Loft so she can move to Alicante. Mercedes then tries to make Grace meet Freddie's price for her share of the club, before taking a bottle of champagne. She gets drunk and travels to Carmel's funeral, hurling abuse at Myra, Theresa, Phoebe and even Carmel herself. Myra tells Mercedes that she wishes it was Mercedes who died and not Carmel. Mercedes says they will never see her again, leaves the church and returns home. Whilst she waits for Freddie or Grace to deliver her money so she can catch her flight to Alicante, an unknown assailant enters the house and stabs Mercedes to death. The killer cleans up Mercedes' blood and drags her body away, leaving the McQueens unaware of her fate. Nana concludes Mercedes probably left for Alicante, and it is later revealed that Freddie is Mercedes's killer. A police investigation is launched into her disappearance when blood is found splattered up the worktops of the McQueen kitchen, and Freddie is arrested for Mercedes' murder, much to the devastation of the McQueens.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Mercedes was selected as one of the "top 100 British soap characters" by industry experts for a poll run by What's on TV entitled "Who is Soap's Greatest Legend?", in which readers regularly vote for their favourite character.[77] In her book Soap Stars, Debbie Foy featured Metcalfe and described Mercedes as "having a dangerous streak and is always causing trouble or has a scam on the go, she enjoys taking risks and usually seems to get what she wants".[78] Virgin Media listed Mercedes' wedding to Russ amongst their list of "Soap's biggest wedding day disasters" before adding that "McQueen weddings are full of drama, and Russ and Mercedes' big day was no exception".[79] Virgin Media later profiled some of Hollyoaks' "hottest females" in their opinion, and stated about Mercedes, "As one of the hottest ladies in Hollyoaks, with curves to die for, Mercedes has had more men than hot dinners. And now Malachy's met his maker, we're sure it won't be long till Mercedes earns yet another notch on her bedpost".[80] The Liverpool Echo described Mercedes' desire to marry saying, "Mercedes has finally got what she's wanted for so long - a great big gleaming rock on her finger. Not that it matters who gave it to her, of course".[81] Anthony D. Langford from AfterElton praised Mercedes, saying he loved the character and had these affections "Because frankly, she scares the bejeezus out of me. This is one tough chick [...] As hard edged as she is, it's obvious she loves her brother dearly, and heaven help anyone who hurts a member of her family".[82]

Inside Soap '​s Sarah praised Metcalfe's performances as "love cheat Mercedes", calling them "stellar".[83] On the character, a journalist from the Liverpool Echo said that "she's got herself in to some ridiculous situations in the past, but mark Mercedes' words, she will not be pushed around".[84] A writer for the Liverpool Daily Post commented that "say what you like about Mercedes, but she's good at getting what she wants".[85] The Wirral News '​s Laura Cox called Mercedes' pairing with Riley "Hollyoaks '​ favourite on-off couple" before dubbing the storyline "dramatic". She added that the storyline "kept viewers on tenterhooks".[86]

Jaci Stephen of the Daily Mail felt that Mercedes was one of "the two sexiest people in Hollyoaks", that infidelity is part of her "family's standards",[87] that "Mercedes all but has the word 'slapper' tattooed on her forehead and looks as guilty as the Pope in a brothel"[88] and that it was unfortunate that Mercedes would not "disappear into the sunset at 100mph".[89] Stephen commented that there were not "many occasions when Mercedes fails to get her kit off for at least one of the lads [...] This time, Carl's the victim/lucky recipient (depending on your viewpoint) when he sets out to prove that Mercedes is a slut. Blimey. With her track record, how much proof does anyone need?"[90] Stephen commented on Mercedes and Jacqui saying that if they "started charging for sex - they'd never worry about money again. It would be a busman's holiday for them. They could even make it a family business - slappersRus.com".[91] Stephen questioned whether Mercedes would "get her perfect wedding" and then answered, "Expect gunmen/bombs/fights/ murders. Get her to the church on time, but make sure there’s a getaway car waiting, too".[92] When Mercedes was kidnapped, Stephen said that Mercedes was "very unlucky with being centre-siege". Stephen added that "Still, she's been in more terrifying situations – actually, she's only been in terrifying situations. Any chance of her just enjoying a double espresso once in a while?"[93] Stephen's colleague Caroline Fitton commented on Mercedes' doubts about whether she could bring Bobby up alone saying it was "entirely understandable" due to Mercedes being unable to restrain from regularly "changing clothes, cosmetics, jobs or men – let alone children".[94] Stephen felt that due to Mercedes' recent behaviour she would have to chloroform her new boyfriend, adding that to Mercedes a "bloke's a bloke, conscious or unconscious".[95]

Regarding the feud between Mercedes and Mitzeee, All About Soap columnist Laura Morgan commented that it was shocking that she felt sorry for Mercedes. She explained that even though Mercedes was "a nasty cow" because of the feud she was a "woman teetering on the verge of a massive meltdown". Upon Mercedes telling Riley she has no need to be angry with Silas not sitting trial Morgan said she could tell Mercedes had been "knocked her for six", adding that Mercedes could not "hide anything from us". The journalist added that "Mercedes did what Mercedes does best and decided a randy hook-up [...] was just what she needed to get her mind off Silas. After slapping on the war paint and selecting her sluttiest outfit, minxy Merc headed to a grotty hotel". She went on to explain that "Mercedes knows she’s sinking. She pretty much admitted it when the doc asked her if she hated him and she replied, “I guess I hate myself a little more...” So why doesn’t she get some help before she totally and utterly loses the plot? [...] we’re missing our tart-with-a-heart Mercedes. We want to see her flirting her way around the village again, but without her finger firmly on the self-destruct button..."[96]

Stephen also commented on the feud, opining that while "Mercedes and Mitzeee are hardly Dynasty's Alexis and Krystle, they are enjoying quite a good spat".[97] After Mercedes' stalking of Mitzeee, Stephen went on to say: "No one could deny that Mercedes has had one heck of an exciting life. Siege victim, kidnap victim, depressive, stalker..." Stephen urged Mercedes to realise that "there are other guys in the world apart from Riley. True, you've had them all, but you could simply start going round the circuit again". She added that Mercedes does not have much to lose in her life.[98] After her stalking of Mitzeee, Mercedes went on to stab herself, on this Carena Crawford of All About Soap said the episode itself was a "huge shocker" due to Mercedes' actions. Crawford added that when Mercedes realises she will be blamed for knocking Mitzeee unconscious she sees the knife and "mad Mercedes came up with the perfect plan and we winced as she plunged the blade into her own stomach, knowing everyone would think Mitzeee did it! So now manipulative Mercedes has the upper hand over her rival [...] After all, who’d suspect anyone of stabbing themselves – very few people are warped enough to do that".[99]

Stephen of the Daily Mail pondered whether Mercedes sleeps, saying "I can’t imagine her taking a rest from thinking about blokes long enough to enjoy a trip to the Land of Nod". She added that Mercedes confiding secrets in Doctor Browning "served only to bring them closer. Usually, half a lager is all it takes to induce such a closeness, so I suppose we can call it progress".[100]

Langford from AfterElton praised Mercedes' part in Lynsey's murder storyline, saying he was "loving" Metcalfe as "scheming Mercedes". He commented that he did not believe Mercedes killed Lynsey because "as crazy as Mercedes is, I don’t think she’s a killer, but watching her benefit from Lynsey’s murder by worming her way back into Riley’s life has been delicious to watch".[101] Langford said that he was "loving the dysfunctional affair between Mercedes and the bad Dr. Browning. Their scenes are hot and they are so suited for each other. The games they play with each other are a hoot".[102] He later added that Mercedes and Doctor Browning have "blistering" chemistry, saying that he is perfect for a "twisted girl like Mercedes. I loved their scenes — they were hot, hot, hot. I really thought they made a delicious and fun couple. But now it’s all ruined with Browning being a killer".[103] Morgan of All About Soap felt that Doctor Browning's act of killing of Lynsey "was a crime of passion, but there’s no way Mercy is worth killing for".[104] Morgan later questioned why Mitzeee did not "just finish the job?!" when she threatened Mercedes with a knife.[105]

After Riley proposed to Mercedes, Crawford commented that she does not "believe she really loves him. We still think this was all about winning for her". Crawford added that she is "really hoping Mercedes is found out soon before Riley says his vows. Little Bobby needs a stable mother, not mental Mercy".[106] Stephen of the Daily Mail later questioned whether Mercedes will "bag Riley before she gets her bus pass at 60?" She added that Mercedes accusation that Mitzeee has kidnapped Bobby "is relative small fry" in comparison to her other recent misdemeanours.[107] Morgan of All About Soap said that "the end of tonight’s episode was the moment fans had been patiently waited for – evil Mercedes was being carted off down the cop shop". She added that Riley "come perilously close to pushing Mercedes over that rooftop, but that wouldn’t have been a bad thing, right?"[108] Following Mercedes' trial, Crawford opined that she could not "quite believe she managed it, but she was cleared of all charges – will the mixed-up McQueen ever get her comeuppance? We’ll give Mercy her dues: she gave an outstanding performance in court – even we were left wondering if Riley had actually abused her – so a non-the-wiser jury had no chance against the wily woman". She added that "someone needs to stand up to merciless Mercy".[109] Stephen felt that Myra deciding whether to give Mercedes another chance would be difficult as she would have to "manage to keep up with the many personalities the show has given the girl? Short of turning her into a gay dwarf, there can’t be many transformations left".[110]

Many fans of the show were outraged when Mercedes was murdered by Freddie Roscoe in November 2014, just a week after her sister Carmel died in a train crash. However, Jennifer Metcalfe stated that: 'Mercedes's departure is totally shrouded in mystery. Running up to the week where she exits, she has really annoyed pretty much everyone in the village, so it's 'who's done it?'. The story line was billed as a complete mystery, as the viewers don't completely know what happened between Mercedes and her killer on the night at the McQueen house, or whether or not she was actually dead.

Accolades[edit]

During her time on the serial Metcalfe has been nominated for a variety of awards for her portrayal of Mercedes. Metcalfe was nominated for "Sexiest Female" at the 2007 British Soap Awards.[111] She was soon after nominated for "Best Bitch" and "Sexiest Female" at the 2007 Inside Soap Awards.[112] In 2008, at the British Soap Awards and the Digital Spy Soap Awards Metcalfe was nominated in the "Sexiest Female" category.[113][114] Later that year, at the Inside Soap Awards, she was nominated for "Best Bitch" and "Sexiest Female", the same year Niall terrorising the McQueen family was nominated for "Best Storyline".[115] At the 2009 British Soap Awards Metcalfe was nominated for "Best Actress" and "Sexiest Female" at the same time that Niall's revenge on the McQueens was nominated for "Best Storyline" and the church explosion in which Mercedes was involved was nominated for "Spectacular Scene".[116] At the 2009 Inside Soap Awards Metcalfe was nominated for "Sexiest Female" and the conclusion to Niall's revenge was nominated for "Best Storyline"; the McQueen family also won the award for "Best Family" that year.[117][118]

At the 2010 All About Soap Bubble Awards Mercedes and Calvin were nominated for the "Fatal Attraction" award in the category of "Most sizzling couple".[119] At the 2010 Inside Soap Awards Metcalfe was again nominated for the "Sexiest Female" award; she was also nominated for "Sexiest Female" and "Best Actress" at the British Soap Awards ceremony.[120][121] In 2011 Metcalfe was nominated in the category of "Sexiest Female" at the British Soap Awards and for "Best Actress" and "Sexiest Female" at the Inside Soap Awards.[122][123] At the 2011 TRIC Awards Metcalfe was nominated for "TV Soap Personality" for her portrayal of Mercedes.[124] In 2012 Metcalfe was nominated for "Best Actress" at the TV Choice Awards,[125] "Sexiest Female" and "Best Actress" at the British Soap Awards,[126] and "Best Actress", "Best Bitch" and "Sexiest Female" at the Inside Soap Awards.[127]

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