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EastEnders Weekender (Feb. 3 – 7, 2014): The Calm Before the Storm

EastEnders Weekender: (Feb. 3 - 7, 2014) Ray Dixon (CHUCKY VENN), Kim Fox (TAMEKA EMPSON), Sinclair Photo: © BBC 2012The 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: 4371– 4375 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: FEBRUARY 3 – 7, 2014
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After days of non-stop action in Walford, this week was a chance for most characters to catch their breath, and even saw some old issues resolved. However, the peace may not last long, and while there was little turmoil spilling out onto the streets, the foundations for conflicts in the near future were laid, and it’s only a matter of time before tensions boil over once again.

Things picked up where they left off last week for Roxy and Jack, who seemed to have reached a tenuous stalemate in their ongoing battle for their daughter’s custody. Immediately suspicious, Bianca and Carol didn’t think much of their increasingly amicable meetings, and Michael was equally unimpressed with Roxy’s willingness to make up. Perhaps the most incredulous, however, was relationship expert Derek Branning, who found it difficult to accept that his brother was going soft on the Mitchell out to take his daughter (having conveniently forgotten that Jack had very recently done the same thing).

As it turned out, it was the player with the most tangential involvement in the matter who ended up having the greatest impact, when Michael revealed to Roxy that Jack had forged her signature on Amy’s new passport application. Feeling betrayed, Roxy wrestled with the idea of using the forgery claim against Jack – something she knew could put him behind bars – with Shirley cautioning her against the strategy. Convinced that Jack had been playing her in the days leading up to their day in court, Roxy threw down the gauntlet during the trial. She finally showed her hand during a recess, and assured him that she was willing to take Jack down if it was necessary to get Amy back.

Understandably, Jack wasn’t willing to test her word, and was forced to drop the case. Back at Bianca’s, Derek suggested that the defeated father make a run for it with Amy, but thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. Still, there was plenty of hostility when the Mitchells arrived en masse to collect Amy, but instead of gloating, Roxy assured a distraught Jack that she still wanted him to be a part of their daughter’s life.

EastEnders Weekender, Feb. 7: Roxy Mitchell (RITA SIMONS), Jack Branning (SCOTT MASLEN) Photo: Kieron McCarron ©BBC 2011

The gloves came off in court this week, and Roxy pulled no punches as she fought Jack for custody of their daughter.

EastEnders Weekender, Feb. 7: Lucy Beale (HETTI BYWATER), Mandy (NICOLA STAPLETON) Photo: Matt Frost ©BBC 2011

Mandy tried to mend things with Lucy with a heart-to-heart chat, but her young rival was having none of it.

With Amy once again living with Roxy, it wasn’t long before Derek began sowing seeds of doubt in Jack’s mind, suggesting that Roxy had already dumped their daughter on someone else (which was, of course, completely false). Unfortunately for all involved, Jack’s subsequent outburst at Roxy’s door likely set him back in his attempts to see more of Amy, and it may be a while until we see more progress made between those two warring parents.

And, despite the fast approach of Valentine’s Day, Jack and Roxy weren’t the only pair charting rough waters this week. With Lucy and Mandy still butting heads, Ian was forced to deal with their competitive attitudes rather than focusing on his upcoming wedding. Mandy tried to finally break the ice with his daughter with a heartfelt explanation of her past, but Lucy wasn’t interested in hearing, or empathizing with, anyone’s past but her own. In an attempt to catch Mandy in a lie and end the engagement once and for all, she stole a number from her phone, suspecting that she was seeing someone else. With Lucy already plotting a meeting between “Mandy” and “L”, we’ll have to wait and see if the mysterious figure is really as incriminating as she thinks.

Always busy, Lucy was also stirring the pot at the Brannings’ raising Cora’s eyebrows with her “pajamas”, and pestering Max and Tanya about their Valentine’s Day plans. The encounter, however brief, prompted Cora to ask Tanya about some of the fears that had been plaguing her relationship with Max, which, it seemed, is still on shaky ground. After dispensing some motherly advice on the tricky situation Cora also had time to pull some strings on the side. Keen to have Patrick move into Dot’s, she managed to convince Fats to “spread his wings” by moving out of the house and freeing up space, a change that both he and Dot agreed was for the best.

There was some romance in the air, though, as Dot busied herself with the planning of Heather’s wedding. Despite Ian’s pleas, Andrew and Heather refused to change the date of their nuptials, and Heather even went so far as so ask Patrick to give her away. Amid all the excitement, Shirley couldn’t help but feel left out, not realizing that Heather intended to ask her to be her maid of honour. When she finally got around to it, Shirley was happy to accept, before revealing the fact that Phil still refused to see her.

EastEnders Weekender, Feb. 7: Tanya Jessop (JO JOYNER), Cora Cross (ANN MITCHELL) Photo: Kieron McCarron ©BBC 2012

Cora rightly guessed how scared Tanya is of never feeling like a woman again, and offered support.

EastEnders Weekender, Feb. 7: Ian Beale (ADAM WOODYATT), Heather Trott (CHERYL FERGISON), Andrew Cotton (RICKY GROVER) Photo: Adam Pensotti ©BBC 2011

Ian did his best to convince Heather and Andrew to change their wedding date, but neither of them would budge.

Feeling bad for her best friend, Heather agreed to go out with Shirley the next night (which just happened to be Valentine’s Day), accidentally throwing a wrench in her fiancé’s carefully laid plans for the evening. Andrew’s startlingly over-the-top reaction was enough to scare both Heather and Rose, and when his mother followed him out of the house, she hinted that his temper may have landed him in hot water in the past – something that could spell trouble for his bride-to-be.

Rattled, Heather decided to spend Valentine’s Day with the apologetic Andrew and, luckily for her, Shirley was far more understanding. Andrew eventually came around, though, and told Heather she should spend time with her friend, on the single condition that she’d arrive home before midnight. As you might expect, the two old friends managed were out a lot later than that for their girls’ night, and we can only hope that Andrew doesn’t lose it again on poor Heather.

Finally, the week ended, fittingly enough, with the Valentine’s Day party at the R&R, as Albert Square’s younger set attempted to both celebrate and, in some cases, forget the Hallmark holiday. Never one to miss a chance to cause trouble, Lucy convinced Fat Boy to announce his surprise gift to Whitney (a trip for two to Paris) in the middle of his DJ set, but made to muddy the waters by telling Tyler that he intended to propose to his girlfriend. Just as Lucy had planned, Tyler panicked and told Whitney that he still had feelings for her and, when she blew him off, made a pass at his brother’s new girlfriend, Amira. As a result, Lucy outdid herself by managing to ruin several peoples’ nights – not bad for a Beale. We’ll have to wait until next week to see how much of the damage she caused will be permanent.

 – Kate Shepherd

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THIS WEEK’S POLL:

It wasn't the most romantic Valentine's Day in Walford. Which couple do you think fared worst?

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