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EastEnders Weekender (Jan. 6 – 10, 2014): New Year’s Resolutions

EastEnders Weekender (Jan. 6 - 10, 2014): David Wicks (MICHAEL FRENCH), Carol Jackson (LINDSAY COULSON) 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: 4351– 4355 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: JANUARY 6 – JANUARY 10, 2014
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After a bleak start to the year, Walford’s residents could be forgiven for being a little more subdued than usual. Although there were no blow-ups or dramatic departures, the last few days saw many characters picking up the pieces, regaining their footing, and steadying themselves for what’s ahead – both good, and bad.

For once, we saw the week’s events starting with someone – other than Ben – slipping accusatory flyers under people’s doors, and it took all of five seconds to deduce who it might be. True to her promises last week, Denise wasn’t ready to drop her fight against Phil, even though the police didn’t seem interested in, or able to, charge him with anything. When the square’s accused murderer found a few of the leaflets, Shirley stepped in with some poignant words for Denise, and for a minute it looked like she may have put an end to the ongoing feud.

Unfortunately for the much-maligned Phil, the effect of Shirley’s uncharacteristically sympathetic encounter wasn’t enough to get Denise off the warpath for long. No sooner had the waters calmed, then Patrick came across an incriminating letter that backed up Denise’s claims. Although his initial instinct was to throw it away, a terse run-in with Phil made him think twice – proof that the Mitchells’ abrasive head of household doesn’t do himself any favours by antagonizing his neighbours. Instead of letting him off the hook, Patrick passed the letter on to Denise who, after an unhinged confrontation with Phil at his garage, took the letter to the authorities.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 10 - Bianca Butcher (PATSY PALMER), David Wicks (MICHAEL FRENCH), Carol Jackson (LINDSAY COULSON) Photo: Adam Pensotti ©BBC 2011

The truth about Ricky’s liaison came out, sparking parental outrage in Bianca’s corner.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 10 - David Wicks (MICHAEL FRENCH), Carol Jackson (LINDSAY COULSON), Derek Branning (JAMIE FOREMAN) Photo: Adam Pensotti ©BBC 2011

Derek used any opportunity to wind David up, with hopes of scaring him out of town.

But where did the letter in question come from? At the Butchers’, Monday marked the beginning of their attempts to set affairs in order for Pat’s funeral – including the significant task of going through the late matriarch’s extensive (and lively) wardrobe. Even after her passing, Pat’s unmistakable influence was felt throughout the household, particularly as Bianca and David started to take stock of her veritable treasure trove of outlandish earrings and jewelry. Upstairs, however, Janine and Ricky made a far more troubling discovery amid their stepmother’s tropically-hued blouses, where instead of old love notes, they found a letter from their father confessing to his role in the car lot fire that killed a young homeless man – and implicating Phil in the process.

Needless to say, Ricky was not the man to trust with the keeping of the letter. Instead of heeding Janine’s advice (which, admittedly, shouldn’t be anyone’s first instinct), Ricky kept it on him just a little too long, and before he realized it was gone, it had already made its way into the hands of someone far less willing to forget its contents.

Speaking of Ricky, the bewildered elder Butcher couldn’t catch a break this week. Apart from losing the letter from his father, he was still in hot water with Bianca, an unenviable position by anyone’s standards. And, as if Bianca’s barbs and insults weren’t enough, she finally told Carol and David about their situation, and her parents were startlingly quick on the offensive. David wasted no time in telling Ricky to get out of the house, but with the children still reeling from the loss of their grandmother, it looked like he might get a pass, at least until the funeral. It may be a stretch to see him as a pallbearer next week, though, despite Carol’s plans.

While the family was caught up in the chaos of planning the funeral, Whitney took it upon herself to fulfill a very different task. Fed up with Bianca avoiding Morgan’s inquiries about his father, she set out to find him for herself. Although he didn’t turn out to be Barack Obama (as Bianca had jokingly claimed), the discovery of Ray Dixon, and his meeting with the son he’d never known he had, was a bright moment in an otherwise gloomy week.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 10 - Ray Dixon (CHUCKY VENN) Photo: Adam Pensotti ©BBC 2011

After having his identity hidden for years, Morgan finally met his father, Ray Dixon.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 10 - Aaron (ROBERT CURTIS), Warren (SEAN BROWNE), Jane Beale (LAURIE BRETT), Christian Clarke (JOHN PARTRIDGE) Photo: Matt Frost ©BBC 2011

Jane and Christian’s New Year’s resolutions led them to a yawn-inducing dinner.

Meanwhile, the brother and sister team of Jane and Christian resolved to live life to the fullest, and although their first attempts found them alone at The Vic, they ran into a pair of good-looking men to join them before things got too depressing. The match seemed promising, until a run-in with Syed showed that there still might be lingering interest between the two of them (despite Christian’s brusque manner). However, after weeks of being overshadowed by Yusef’s scheming, Amira was back to her manipulative ways, and wasn’t about to let them reconcile without a fight. In the end, though, Syed was able to persuade her to allow their divorce to proceed, meaning that the long-suffering Christian may be back in the picture for good.

And back in the Branning corner, the always charming Derek was focusing all his energy on provoking David into a speedy exit from Walford. Starting with a typically low blow, he detailed his last confrontation with the ailing Pat, and reiterated his threats to come after David if he stays in town longer than the funeral. Always keen to make an ally through a mutual enemy, Michael was quick to pick up on the animosity between the two, and approached David, pitching a ploy to get the eldest Branning out of the picture (and behind bars). With time winding down on their unsteady truce, David, resolved to settle down in Walford, finally bit – but could his role in Derek’s potential downfall undo the progress that he’s made with Carol?

– Kate Shepherd

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THIS WEEK’S POLL:

Walford saw some glimpses of optimism after a difficult holiday season. What do you think was the most positive moment this week?

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