But who was behind the attack? Eric? Bobby? Or someone else?
As it proves difficult for him to turn over a new leaf and put the online forum behind him, Eric quickly falls back into old habits by agreeing to help Mason access the site. And it's not long before Verity catches Eric on his phone and realises he lied to her.
Reading the hateful messages aloud, Verity tells Mason that if she ever sees him around her brother again, she’s telling his parents.
As Verity wonders whether prison is the best thing for her brother, he begs her not to give up on him.
Meanwhile, when Shaq tries to surprise her, he unintentionally upsets Verity by reminding her of her late father and Tony reassures him that he already makes her feel special and doesn’t need to pull out all the stops.
When Eric tells Verity the men’s first members are all the friends he’s got, she assures him people will love him if he lets his guard down. Secretly, she takes his phone and writes a comment on the forum telling them that she’s his sister and he won’t be coming on the forum again. As she opens a link regarding Maxine, she is shocked by what she sees.
Mason tells Eric about Verity hacking his account and he is forced to hide from Tony when he goes on a mission to retrieve his phone. Realising what Verity must have seen, he reassures the men on the forum he will silence her.
At Dee Valley Law, Verity is desperately trying to contact Maxine, but before she can get through to her, an unknown person attacks her.
All the while, Nadira helps Shaq plan a romantic proposal for Verity at the park, but a Christmas aerobics class forces them to change locations and Donna-Marie agrees to help by letting him do it at the gym.
As Shaq and Nadira wait for Verity’s arrival at the gym, the village is oblivious to Verity’s situation as the Christmas lights switch on is well underway, hosted by counsellor Tony Hutchinson.
John Paul meets Bobby at the light switch on and as Tony makes a heartfelt speech, his face drops when he sees Verity stumble into the village and Zoe runs into the gym to tell Shaq the news.
Inside the ambulance, Eric breaks down as he tells Verity that he will be a better brother. But was he responsible for the attack?
In emotional scenes, Eric and Tony embrace at the pub and Goldie suspects Bobby attacked Verity but Mercedes doesn’t want to hear it.
John Paul, however, is sceptical, but after speaking to James he's happy to hear that it happened during the nativity when Bobby was performing. And in flashback scenes, we see the truth behind the attack.
Meanwhile, Maxine finds a concerning voicemail from Verity telling her that she’s found out something about Eric and plays the voicemail in front of all the Hutchinsons at the pub. Later, Eric threatens Maxine to keep quiet.
But that doesn't stop her as later, Maxine reveals to Zoe that she’s stolen Eric’s computer and sent it to a hacker. And Zoe reminds her that she’s committing a crime and is better than that.
Later, Maxine stands up to Eric when he victim blames her again.
Hollyoaks continues Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4 with first look episodes available weekday mornings on All4 and weekday evenings at 7pm on E4