The 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: 4461 – 4465 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: JUNE 9 – 13, 2014
For all of their many faults, no one would ever accuse the residents of Walford of being boring. Even the most mundane activities are laced with the potential for intrigue or the suggestion of drama. But perhaps the most interesting thing about watching the lives around the square unfold is marking the parallels and meeting points that form between characters that have (and often want) little to do with one another. This week, those patterns were thrown into sharp focus as three women grappled with the meaning of motherhood and their own abilities to live up to the task of raising a child.
At the Mitchells’ the week started out with the continued search for the missing picture frame – the missing link in the case of Heather’s murder that could put Ben in jail for life. After inadvertently putting Shirley on its trail, Ben was forced to tell Phil that not only had he failed to dispose of the evidence, but he had also allowed it to fall into Jean Slater’s hands. After searching through the rubbish at the Moons’ and coming up with nothing, Ben and Jay believed that the frame had gone out with the garbage. Unfortunately for them, Jean had already earmarked it for the shelves of the charity shop, where anyone could (and probably will) find it.
Although she didn’t find the frame, Shirley still had plenty on her plate to upset her this week. Denise had some bittersweet news for her, letting her know that her daughter, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, had just had a baby. After some hesitation, Shirley tried to reconnect with her only to be hung up on. It was hardly the response that she needed, and one that sent her right back to her now-familiar place on the couch to wallow. Ben was quick to comfort Shirley, telling her that even if her own kids want nothing to do with her, he still considers her his mum and while it cheered her up a bit, we couldn’t help but wonder whether or not he’s just ingratiating himself.
While Shirl was lamenting the parenting (or lack thereof) she did in the past, Lola was starting to get anxious, as her own baby’s arrival grew closer. As she explained to her social worker, she was fed up with being pregnant and her curfew, but refused to acknowledge that anything in her life would change once she was really a mother. As if to prove the point, Lola was determined not to let her condition keep her from causing trouble around the square, and with Jay as an accomplice, she set out scamming and hassling people as she always had. More than anyone else, he seemed to understand that Lola’s acting out had more to with distracting herself from the changes ahead than staving off boredom and he promised to be there for her once the baby was born.
Too bad for Lola, not everyone in the neighbourhood was as sympathetic to her pregnant self as she’d hoped and her shenanigans were enough to get her taken away by the police yet again. Worried that one more misstep would land her behind bars, Billy was keen to keep Lola inside and out of harm’s way and, having had some time to reflect on the responsibilities of motherhood, Shirley offered to keep her out of trouble. However, Shirl’s tough love tactics backfired when she tried to lock Lola into a room in the flat and managed to lock herself in as well as her charge. Surprisingly, the misfire gave the two of them the chance to share their perspectives on what it means to be a good mother, with Lola offering scant memories of her absent mum and Shirley assuring her that she’ll do better. Still, as much as they may have come to understand one another, they were both relieved when Billy arrived home and let them out.
And of course, things were even more stressful at the hospital for new mother Janine, whose worry over the state of her premature baby was only made worse by the death of another infant in the ward. Little Scarlet was still in poor health and the pressure of waiting for her to grow stronger was weighing on both her and Michael. For his part, Michael was struggling to run both their businesses on his own, and his absence from their baby’s bedside had his wife frustrated and questioning his commitment to them both. He only made matters worse when he walked out on an infant CPR class, prompting Janine to do some investigation.
After his escape from the hospital, Michael went to Alfie to talk things over, but his cousin was in no mood to indulge him. His only real advice to the struggling new father was to avoid messing things up for himself (which we all know will be easier said than done for Michael). Back at the office, he did his best to take Alfie’s advice and reassure Janine that he was ready to commit to taking care of their family whatever it may take. At first, it seemed like Walford’s least-loved couple was on the same page once again, but as soon as she had moment away from Michael, Janine instructed Billy to change the combination on her safe – just to be sure. Luckily for baby Scarlet, while Janine may be apprehensive about trusting Michael, she finally seems ready for the challenges of motherhood, with or without a partner to support her.
Speaking of motherhood, back at The Vic, the trials of family life seemed to finally be getting to Kat Moon. As Alfie became increasingly wrapped up in the planning for the pub football team and less engaged with the running of their household, it wasn’t long before we saw Kat’s interest start to wander. It didn’t help that the advances of her mystery man had only increased in their frequency, and when the key to a flat was delivered to her at The Vic, she seemed uncertain of whether or not she should continue the affair. After days of standing on the fence however, she finally made the decision to meet him, whoever he is, at the new address. With football formations and strategies distracting Alfie for the time being, there’s no telling how long Kat’s activity will go unnoticed, but we’re willing to be that the results will be explosive when they finally come to light.
– Kate Shepherd
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