Homeless George (Steven Roberts) was recently given a place to stay by Callum (Laurie Duncan) after life on the streets became too dangerous for him to handle. However, the rest of his friends are still unaware of his troubles.
The situation changes dramatically next week as George finds himself back in the clutches of evil human trafficker Deena (Sian Breckin), who held him captive last month.
With George nowhere to be found, Callum is finally forced to tell everyone the truth - sparking a desperate search for the troubled teenager.
Digital Spy recently chatted to Scarlett Bowman, who plays Maddie, to hear how her character and the rest of the sixth formers react to the sinister situation.
How does Maddie feel when she discovers George's secret?
"Maddie is very upset, but she's also a little bit angry that she wasn't told about it sooner. She starts to question why she was kept in the dark, especially as Callum was so involved in the whole situation.
"It's really hard for Maddie that the two people she's closest to had this big secret. But then she starts to understand a bit more and you'll see her try to help. It's a really tough time for the whole sixth form group, though."
"Maddie gets involved in the search for George, so you'll see her leave Hollyoaks to look for him. It's a united front amongst the sixth formers, as it's such a crazy and serious situation. It's also Maddie who decides to get the police involved.
"Everyone's really confused about why George didn't confide in them, so all the secrecy is hard to deal with. So even though everyone is banding together to help, Maddie is harbouring a lot of angst towards Callum. She's upset and offended that her boyfriend didn't tell her the truth."
Was it nice to get involved in a meaty storyline for the show?
"I loved that, as it's what everyone wants. What you crave is to get involved in a really big, meaty storyline like this. Whenever there's a story involving one of the sixth formers, then the rest of us get brought in eventually, because we're all part of the same web. I really enjoyed going out on location and shooting Maddie and Callum's hunt for their best friend."
"Honestly, no! Initially I thought they were, because they're so different and opposites attract. But they could actually be too different. Also, Maddie just brings problem after problem, because she's got so many issues and that just complicates things even more. At the end of the day, Callum is quite a young boy and he just doesn't understand what's wrong with her."
Why is Maddie so territorial when it comes to her friendships?
"It's a good question! I think it's because in her family, she's the middle sister, so she feels quite displaced at home. Once she's found someone who she's really close to, she becomes afraid of them leaving her or abandoning her, so she tries to make everybody want to be her friend.
"When Maddie's got her group, she doesn't want anyone else coming in. On top of that, she's particularly like that towards Ruby, because Ruby is very confident with boys and her sexuality, whereas Maddie isn't like that at all."
Is it fun to play a character who has a mean side?
"It can be! Sometimes after a while I think, 'No, not again!' (Laughs) But it is fun, and it's good to play a character who gets a reaction out of people."
"Yeah, I try to. When you're playing a character who's being mean to someone, you do have to try to justify it somehow. But Maddie does take things to the extreme, which you will see!"
Could Ruby and Maddie ever be friends?
"Never say never. I think with Maddie, it's just a case of her getting to know someone. But if she doesn't know somebody very well, she refuses to give them the benefit of the doubt, sets her boundaries and ends up appearing quite the bitch."
What do you hope the future has in store for Maddie?
"I'd like to see Maddie at home or with a family member, so the audience can get a better idea of where she's coming from. I think it would help to explain why she is the way she is, and maybe girls could identify with her a bit more."
How are you finding your time on the show in general?
"I'm loving it. It's very busy but it's a lot of fun. We all get on really, really well here and tend to form bonds quite quickly. I spend a lot of time with Lucy Dixon (Tilly), Steven Roberts (George) and Mandip Gill (Phoebe), but I get on well with everyone."
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Hollyoaks airs weekdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4 with a first look screening at 7pm on E4. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad