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EastEnders Weekender (June 16 – 20, 2014): The Usual Suspects

EastEnders Weekender June 16 - 20, 2014: Lola Pearce (DANIELLE HAROLD), Billy Mitchell (PERRY FENWICK), Cora Cross (ANN MITCHELL) Photo - Kieron McCarron 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: 4466 – 4470 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: JUNE 16– 20, 2014

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It probably goes without saying that Walford is a neighbourhood that thrives on tradition and doesn’t always respond well to change, especially when it’s imposed from the outside. As much as its residents thrive on drama, it generally comes in familiar forms. Births, deaths, marriages, betrayals; the neighbourhood’s most engrossing events are those that arise simply from warring personalities brushing up against one another. The arrival of an international sporting event (the Olympics, the ultimate social disrupter) may have thrown things out of balance and ruffled a few feathers. But while some might have been distracted by the upcoming opening ceremonies, the real excitement was right where it always is: in the square.

Although no one from Albert Square will be representing England at the Games, Billy Mitchell was ready for a brief moment of glory as the Olympic torch relay made its way to the city. Thoroughly wrapped up in his own hype, it was easy to forgive Billy for relishing his newfound notoriety, and for his panicked reaction when he and the pub football team ended up stranded on the tube less than an hour before his leg in the relay. Although Billy (mercifully) made it back to Walford in time for the passing of the torch, he was confused and disappointed when Lola was nowhere to be seen.

EastEnders Weekender June 20: Billy Mitchell (PERRY FENWICK) Photo: ©BBC 2012

Billy finally got his moment in the sun during his leg in the Olympic torch relay.

EastEnders Weekender June 20: Lola (DANIELLE HAROLD), Ben Mitchell (JOSHUA PASCOE), Jay Mitchell (Jamie Borthwick) Photo: Kieron McCarron ©BBC 2012

Ben and Jay weren’t the most helpful pair when Lola went into labour at McClunkey’s.

For once, there was a good reason behind his granddaughter’s absence. After faking it too many times to count, Lola’s water finally broke, and Ben and Jay’s best efforts weren’t enough to get her to a hospital. Fortunately, the preeminently practical Cora Cross was around to take charge, putting aside her recent run-ins with the disrespectful teen to help her deliver the baby in McClunkey’s. Despite the motley assembly of ‘helpers’ in the kebab shop, it was her granddad that Lola really needed during the improvised delivery, and after his successful torch run, Billy sprinted to her side. All in all, it was a pretty proud week for the Mitchells, and although Lola couldn’t help but worry about the possibility of little Lexi being taken from her, we have at least as much faith in her abilities as a mother as we do in Janine’s (and maybe even more).

As Cora’s role as an emergency midwife proved, one tradition still going strong in Albert Square is that of its able and wily women taking control of all manner of situations. Before getting caught up in Lola’s moment of need, Ms. Cross and her willing accomplice Patrick continued to run a nice racket at the charity shop, poaching the best second hand items from grieving widows and leaving the rest to the Moons. Their ruse took on a life of its own, however, as people around the square (including Tanya) began to believe that the elderly pair are actually in a romantic relationship. While Patrick didn’t seem too put off by the rumours, Cora was (somewhat suspiciously) defensive about it, so much so that we weren’t surprised when it turned out that she indeed had feelings for Patrick, and that they happened to be mutual.

That didn’t stop a dinner with her family, during which Tanya brought up her mother’s new relationship, from becoming very awkward, very quickly. Feeling that she overstepped the mark, Tanya tried to make it to up to her mother by replacing the favourite bracelet she recently lost. However, while looking through Cora’s photographs for a picture of it, she found something of far greater concern – the birth certificate of a sister Cora never told her about.

EastEnders Weekender June 20: Cora Cross (ANN MITCHELL), Tanya Cross (JO JOYNER) Photo: Adam Pensotti ©BBC 2012

Tanya questions her mother about the older sister she never knew she had.

EastEnders Weekender June 20: Lucy Beale (HETTI BYWATER), Joey Branning (DAVID WITTS), Derek Branning (JAMIE FOREMAN) Photo: Adam Pensotti ©BBC 2012

He may seem like a white knight to Lucy, but Joey’s as much a Branning as his father.

After hounding her mother for answers, Tanya finally learned that her older sister had died soon after birth, but though the airing of the truth may have been a therapeutic exercise for some, it only stoked Cora’s anger towards her daughter, as she mistook her concern and curiosity for judgment. Although the ensuing argument left both women seething, their ill feelings didn’t last long, and it was nice to see at least one mother-daughter dynamic remain healthy.

One young woman who was far less forgiving of her remaining parent was Lucy Beale, as collections agents started to sniff around their house in search of payment. Despite Tanya’s attempts to help, it looked as though Ian’s disappearance may have put his family in irreversibly dire straights, and Lucy was at a loss as to how to pay off their sizable debts. As if on cue, the troublesome Joey Branning made another appearance, and we’re starting to get the feeling that he could prove to be just as disruptive as the Olympics. Even as he (ostensibly) tries to make life easier for Lucy, we’re starting to already see that however much he might despise his father, Joey isn’t all that different. Accepting help from him could come at a steep price (a lesson that Derek seems to be learning gradually), and Lucy might do well to keep a close eye on her would-be savior.

But while Lucy was busy keeping her family’s businesses afloat, her friends were working to feed the homeless. The biggest shock of the week came, without a doubt, during Lauren’s shift at the shelter – not because she was actually wrangled into serving the community at all, but because it led her straight to the AWOL Ian Beale. Although bedraggled and unshaven, there was no mistaking her unlucky neighbour, and we can’t wait to see how she and Lucy deal with his sudden, and not completely welcome, reemergence.

– Kate Shepherd

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THIS WEEK’S POLL:

Do you think Janine will make a good mother, in spite of herself?

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