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EastEnders Weekender (Dec. 9 – 13, 2013): Expect the Unexpected

EastEnders Weekender (Dec. 9 - 13, 2013): Ricky Butcher (SID OWEN), Bianca Butcher (PATSY PALMER) Photo: Adam Pensotti © BBC 2011The EastEnders Weekender is our re-cap, review and maybe a little rant about the previous week’s goings on around Albert Square. While we certainly hope that you’re keeping up to the minute on what’s happening in Walford by watching EastEnders every weeknight at 8pm ET, we know that’s not always possible and you have to catch up on the drama and intrigue online. Therefore, please be forewarned that the EastEnders Weekender contains big spoilers if you haven’t yet enjoyed the previous week’s episodes of EastEnders. Watch for a new EastEnders Weekender online each weekend.

EPISODES: 4331– 4335 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: DECEMBER 9 – 13, 2013
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Our first glimpse into the events in Albert Square may have been an image of Billy and Phil burying a bag of (incriminating) valuables, but this week there was far more being unearthed than hidden. From out-of-the-blue legal woes to surprising returns to the town, it was tough to predict what might come next.

Unfortunately for Phil, that principle applied to his ongoing investigation into the threats he’s still receiving. The blackmailer’s identity remained an infuriating mystery to both him and Shirley, and despite mounting efforts, the cunning couple were unable to narrow the field of suspects. In a misguided hunch, Phil confronted Lola, accusing her of being responsible and demanding that she hand over the now-infamous file. Of course, Lola had nothing to do with the plot to extort Phil, but his forceful questioning in the street was enough to send the teen mum-to-be tumbling down a flight of steps. Luckily for all involved, Lola was fine, despite an ominous visit from child services that left both her and Billy concerned that she may lose custody of her baby.

To add to their worries, no sooner had they returned from the hospital than Billy found himself wrongfully arrested – the goods he and Phil hid didn’t stay buried for long, and his fingerprints were all over them. Instead of taking the blame that was rightfully his, however, Phil let Billy take the fall, stoking a growing sense of familial tension between the two cousins. Rather than dwell on that, though, Shirley remained focused on getting to the bottom of the letters, and cooked up a plan to host a Christmas party to get Walford’s residents on Phil’s side – and to gather clues as to who the culprit might be.

Tempers flared when Phil accused Lola of being behind a string of threatening and mysterious texts.

Phil and Shirley’s plan to smoke out their blackmailer at a holiday party left them more confused than ever.

In the end, the gathering only stirred up more confusion when Phil found envelopes like the ones used for the messages in a bag belonging to Heather (of all people). And the Mitchells weren’t the only ones taking notice of Heather this week, as Rose’s son Andrew announced that he’d be staying in town for Christmas, and perhaps longer, much to his mother’s (and Heather’s) delight.

Her son’s sudden appearance wasn’t the only excitement in store for Rose this week, as she sat down with the romantically-strained trio of Jean, Denise and Kim for a tarot reading that left the three of them more confused than they had been before. Things seemed to make sense when Jean ran into a man who became strangely interested in her, leading her friends to believe that she was the one destined to find love after all. It wasn’t to be, however. When Kat finally asked the mysterious figure pointblank whether or not he intended to ask Jean out, he admitted that he was a claims fraud officer investigating a case against Jean.

Poor Jean insisted she had never filed for disability benefits, and we found out that it was in fact Mo who was making fraudulent claims in her name. In a move that should surprise no one, Mo spent the next few days trying to convince a humiliated Jean to take the fall for her, so that she can avoid jail time. Although there are probably a few people who wouldn’t shed a tear to see Mo carted off, Kat eventually convinced Jean to accept the blame to help the family.

Meanwhile, Zainab and Yusef announced their immediate marriage, shocking even their children with the speed at which they decided to move on to matrimony. Although they chose to have a private ceremony in their own home, it wasn’t long before the news spread, and there are surely a number of naysayers in the neighbourhood wondering what the rush is for. No one was more concerned than Denise, who interrupted the ceremony to give Zainab her candid (and accurate) take on the situation. Her reasoning fell on deaf ears, though, as Zainab seems to be too much under Yusef’s control to back out of the relationship, or their imminent move to Pakistan.

Yusef and Zainab wasted no time getting marries, stirring suspicions in both family and friends.

Ricky made a return to Walford this week, and found a sympathetic ear while catching up with Mandy.

And in perhaps the direst revelation of the week, the financially beleaguered Pat finally told Carol that she may be in danger of losing her house. It seemed like all of her avenues for assistance had turned out to be dead ends, but Ricky’s sudden return from Dubai looked like it might offer a solution. Pat’s hopes were dashed almost as soon as Ricky walked through the door however, as he explained that he had lost most of the money he made in Dubai thanks to an indecent exposure charge and subsequent fine. With things looking grim, Ricky went to visit Bianca in prison to explain what had happened, only to spark her notorious temper.

After that, it wasn’t surprising that Ricky took kindly to the idea of catching up with someone a little less critical (namely, Mandy). His old friend convinced him to relive their youth with the aid of some loud music and recreational substances, but it turned out that Ricky wasn’t able to handle the partying lifestyle quite as well as in the past, and ended up in the hospital after having trouble breathing. After returning from the hospital, Ricky shared some of his worries with Mandy, only to have her reassure him, verbally and otherwise, that he’s certainly not a failure in her eyes. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of their trip down memory lane, but it looks like the result could be the start of a romantic affair with consequences for them both.

– Kate Shepherd

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THIS WEEK’S POLL:

Which event 'round the Square was the most 'out-of-the-blue' moment last week?

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