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EastEnders Weekender (Jan. 13 – 17, 2014): Back to Reality

EastEnders Weekender (Jan. 13, -17, 2013) Janine Malloy (CHARLIE BROOKS), Morgan Jackson-King (DEVON HIGGS), Tiffany Dean (MAISIE SMITH), David Wicks (MICHAEL FRENCH), Carol Jackson (LINDSAY COULSON), Liam Butcher (JAMES FORDE) Photo: Adam Pensotti (c) 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: 4356– 4360 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: JANUARY 13 – JANUARY 17, 2014
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The residents of Walford often seem to lead their lives at an accelerated pace, so it was no surprise that many of them forgot their resolutions from last week as swiftly as they made them. Just as the community came together to bid farewell to Pat Evans, long-simmering resentments forced other characters to beat a retreat as well (albeit of a less permanent nature). In most cases, though, this week signaled a return to reality after several weeks of turmoil.

Never one to let sleeping dogs (or people) lie, Derek was vigilant in his countdown to David’s departure, providing helpful reminders to his rival in the last hours before Pat’s funeral. As David and Carol struggled to hide their relationship from their families, Derek’s vendetta continued to intensify. However, last week, it looked like an unlikely partnership between David and Michael Moon might finally put an end to Derek’s unsettling presence in the square, but unfortunately, their poorly planned setup wasn’t enough to get the eldest Branning locked up again.

And if Derek was unhappy at the beginning of the week, the revelation that his sister was once again romantically involved with his enemy was more than enough to put him over the edge. Carol’s plan to leave Walford with David threw her brother into a rage. In a move that shouldn’t have surprised anyone, Derek’s murderous threats were made in earnest, and the wake hadn’t even ended before he rounded up his brothers to settle the score for good. Luckily for David, not all of the Brannings felt so strongly about the matter, but although he managed to escape unscathed, he realized in the end that he couldn’t ask Carol to leave her family. Clearly conflicted, he drove away without her, and although she didn’t see it that way, it was probably for the best.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 17: Janine Malloy (CHARLIE BROOKS), Morgan Jackson-King (DEVON HIGGS), Tiffany Dean (MAISIE SMITH), David Wicks (MICHAEL FRENCH), Carol Jackson (LINDSAY COULSON), Liam Butcher (JAMES FORDE)

Pat’s family said goodbye during what might have been one of their last times all together.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 17: Bianca Butcher (PATSY PALMER), David Wicks (MICHAEL FRENCH), Ricky Butcher (SID OWEN), Whitney Dean (SHONA MCGARTY), Janine Malloy (CHARLIE BROOKS)

Pat’s funeral offered closure, and sparked the series of events leading to David’s departure.

Sadly, David’s departure set the tone for the rest of the week, as his daughter continued to have second thoughts about her own marriage. Ricky and Bianca were on thin ice leading up to the funeral, but it seemed as though the emotion of the day might bring the two of them back together. Ricky certainly seemed to think so, even as he attempted to hide the newfound knowledge of his daughter with Mandy. Ricky should know by now, though, that secrets aren’t really his thing, and the truth has a way of coming out sooner rather than later in Albert Square. No sooner had Bianca decided to forgive and try to forget than a chance run-in with Ian brought her up to speed on the extent of her husband’s past relationship with Mandy.

As you’d expect, there wasn’t much chance of the couple coming back from that revelation. After talking to Carol (herself more than a little bitter over David’s disappearance), Bianca finally ended things with Ricky once and for all. Unfortunately for Ricky, even a very ill-advised tattoo (clearly, commitment wasn’t the issue here) couldn’t sway her in her decision, and “Bianca Forever” is a tough phrase to alter. In the end, she decided to tell the kids that Ricky was leaving to work abroad – yet another thing with which his luck has been particularly poor. Of all the people that have left town lately, Ricky is definitely the one most in need of a change in fortunes.

Strangely enough, the story of Ricky and Mandy’s baby wasn’t enough to rattle Ian (maybe it had something to do with his fiancée’s honesty on the matter). He, however, wasn’t quite as transparent with his own family, and when Lucy arrived in time for Pat’s funeral, it became clear that Ian hadn’t told his daughter about the newest love of his life. For her part, Lucy was dismayed to meet the woman her father is engaged to, and seemed intent on throwing a wrench in their wedding plans. Taking advantage of Mandy’s insecurity about her age, Lucy cozied up to her and convinced her to buy pills for the two of them – only to steal them later and leave them for Ian to find. It’s a little surprising that Mandy didn’t see it coming, having pulled nearly every stunt in the book herself at one time or another, but in the end she won out. Lucy has her work cut out for her if she really wants the future Mrs. Beale out of the picture.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 17: Bianca Butcher (PATSY PALMER), Carol Jackson (LINDSAY COULSON)

Just as it seemed Bianca might forgive Ricky, Carol convinced her to move on.

EastEnders Weekender Jan. 17: Dr Hugh (JESSICA TOMCHAK), Max Branning (JAKE WOOD), Tanya Jessop (JO JOYNER), Lauren Branning (JACQUELINE JOSSA)

Max and Tanya tried to scare some sense into Lauren, but left the doctor feeling guilty.

Cora Cross was also busy this week, with a promotion to manager of the charity shop and the task of keeping a watchful eye on Tyler Moon. Presumably, raising Rainie sharpened her intuition, and Cora was one of the first people this week to notice that Lauren’s life was in dire need of some stability. It was still a surprise to the whole family, though, when Lauren followed up her split from Tyler with a drunken appearance at Pat’s funeral. After months of ignoring Abi and Cora’s concerns, Max and Tanya were finally confronted with the seriousness of their daughter’s drinking problem – one that will likely intensify following her decision to drop out of school.

Luckily, some things did go right this week. Jane hosted a charity event to raise funds for cancer research, and ran into an unexpected guest who had come to sample her bangers and mash. Although embarrassed to have one of the country’s top chefs (and her former tutor) sampling her food, he surprised her with an invitation to work with him as a sous chef at a new restaurant. Jane was hesitant, but Tanya took matters into her own hand when it seemed like her friend might pass up a great opportunity. After all, things have to be looking up for someone in Albert Square!

 – Kate Shepherd

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