The EastEnders Weekender is our re-cap, review and maybe a little rant about the previous week’s goings on around Albert Square. 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 and catch up on episodes you’ve missed online anytime.
EPISODES: 4539 – 4544 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: SEPTEMBER 26 & 27, 2014
The holiday season was descending upon Walford this week, and while many of the square’s residents attempted to cast a festive glow over the neighbourhood, it was harder for some to get into the spirit than others. Cora was listless after Ava walked out on her last week, and refused to take calls from anyone – including Patrick. Poppy was only able to get through to her when she told her that Lauren had been in an accident, and her worried reaction prompted Tanya to shift her attention from her lovesick daughter to her distraught mother. Though Tanya and Cora weren’t on speaking terms, they were able to put their differences aside to discuss Lauren’s wellbeing – something that seemed to be at risk.
For her part, Lauren was desperate to mend her relationship with Joey and, much to Tanya’s horror, seemed to think that coming clean to the police would make things right. She got her chance when two officers came to question her further about the accident, but when it came down to it, she didn’t change her official statement. Instead, the police picked Joey up and took him to the station, making Lauren worry that he might be charged with dangerous driving. When she confronted him with her plan to admit that she’d been driving the night of the accident, he told her that it wouldn’t change anything between them.
While Tanya was doing her best to get Lauren’s mind off of Joey, he was staying with Cora across the square, and the arrangement didn’t sit well with Derek. Though he tried to force the situation so that Joey would have to move in with him, Cora was just as stubborn as he was and refused to turn him out. When Lauren went to visit her grandmother, Cora told her why she and Tanya were at odds, but Lauren couldn’t help but sympathize with Tanya for wanting to meet her sister. Luckily, Cora came to understand that for herself, in her own time, and finally went to Ava’s school to tell her that her father had been important to her. She also took the brief visit as a chance to give her a letter, hopefully to explain her feelings further.
Things were no less chaotic at The Vic, as Kat’s former fling continued to hound her with unwanted mail and messages, no matter how hard she tried to get him to stop. He continued to pester her, but rather than give in to his invitations, Kat went to the flat they’d once used to rendezvous and left an emphatic message expressing her disinterest. However, he was nothing if not persistent, and when an anonymous donor paid for a ticket for Alfie to go to Germany (to purchase Christmas supplies for The Vic, or course), it was clear to Kat that the trip was only a ploy get her husband out of town.
Rather than be left alone in Walford with her admirer (or can we start considering him a stalker at this point?), Kat booked tickets for herself and Tommy to go with Alfie. Unfortunately, he put the brakes on the plan, worrying that if they left town again, Phil would pull The Vic out from under them permanently. As Kat suspected, as soon as her husband was gone, more mysterious gifts started to make their way into the house. But even after turning down the mystery man multiple times, Kat still didn’t waver, and refused to answer the door when he came calling again. Still, the more she tried to keep his advances hidden, the more Alfie started to suspect that something was going on.
Meanwhile, the Mitchells didn’t have much reason to feel festive as they learned that Ben would be in prison for the next four years. Both Phil and Jay blamed themselves for not seeing how dangerous Ben was long before he acted out, and no sooner had Phil started to reconcile himself to their new reality, then Shirley made an unexpected return to the square. Phil was sure that she wouldn’t be staying in Walford long, but unfortunately for him, she had other plans. When Shirley caught wind of his plot to get Lexi out of state care, she went to Sharon to get the whole story, and made it clear that she had no intention of standing idly by while he destroyed the life of another child.
Things took an even more dramatic turn when Denise let slip to Shirley that Ben was the father of Lola’s baby, and the whole arrangement started to look far more suspicious to her. Out in the street, she accused Phil of trying to steal Sharon away from Jack, and Lexi away from Lola, but everyone else seemed to think that she was being paranoid. The next day, Jack, already uneasy about the fake engagement, told Phil that he should tread carefully with social services, lest they discover that everything on his custody application was a lie.
When social services came for an unexpected visit, Phil assumed that they’d received a tip, and rather than try to cover things up, he told them that he and Sharon had called off their ‘engagement’. But that wasn’t enough for Shirley, who took it upon herself to convince Lola that the bout of honesty would cost her custody of her daughter. With Lola in tears, Sharon was left to try and piece things back together, and couldn’t understand why Shirley was allowing her own bitterness to ruin their chances of getting Lexi back. At this point, it doesn’t seem like Shirley needs much of an excuse to wreak havoc in Phil’s life. We can only hope that no one else ends up as collateral damage on her quest for revenge.
– Kate Shepherd
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