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: 4635 – 4640 / VISIONTV AIRDATES: JANUARY 16 & 17, 2014
This week seemed like it might be the one when so many of Walford’s closely guarded secrets – from non-pregnancies to pill problems – might finally come to the fore. Alas, it wasn’t to be, but that didn’t stop the rest of the square’s residents from spinning their own webs in the meantime. The first was maybe the most surprising, as angelic Alice started to take an uncharacteristically underhanded approach to both her professional and personal lives. Though she did her best to inspire Michael to fight for his daughter, he seemed to have resigned himself to the fact that his cause was impossible, and she decided to take matters into her own hands.
After a failed date with Tamwar (a clueless initiative on Poppy and Fats’s parts), Alice dedicated even more of her energy to helping Michael see more of Scarlett, and saw a perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling when the nanny Janine hired had her back turned to the baby. Once the new nanny was sacked, Alice was in a perfect position to resume her old duties, and it wasn’t long before Janine asked her to come back at take care of Scarlett. She eagerly accepted the job, both because she cared about the baby, and in order to help Michael. As Alice herself said, she may have inherited more of Derek’s ends-justify-the-means attitude than anyone suspected, and there was no one who appreciated her craftiness more than Michael.
Around the way, Alfie and Roxy’s desire to expand their family caused the rift between Kat and her ex to widen. Though Kat tried to play it cool, it was clear that she thought they were moving too fast, and was more than a little put out by their decision. It was just another signal that Alfie was starting to seriously move on from their marriage, and while Kat was doing all right on her own, the reality of their break up was still hard for her accept. Things reached a pitch when Alfie took a shift off and left Roxy to run things on her own. As the crowd at The Vic got rowdier, Kat was forced to help Roxy avoid disaster, but her efforts didn’t meet with thanks from the new landlady.
As it turned out, Roxy needed more help than even Kat knew. After throwing out a disgruntled patron, Roxy was terrified when he returned and followed her upstairs, looking to rob the pub’s safe. Having seen him enter The Vic again, Kat’s suspicions started to run wild, and she returned as well to help. Her instincts proved to be correct, and when she got upstairs, it was just in time to defuse the would-be thief’s temper, and help Roxy out of a dangerous situation. Despite the incident, things remained cool between Alfie’s current and former flames, but eventually the two of them were able to put their differences aside, if only for the sake of their children.
But while Roxy was getting excited about trying for a baby, Kat was able to convince Kirsty that she had to come clean to Max about not being pregnant. But when she saw how excited he was about the prospect of having a baby, she lost her resolve. Max’s eagerness to be a father (again) kept her quiet, even though she knew it was only a matter of time before people started to notice that she didn’t exactly look to be in in the family way.
Meanwhile, Ian was finally starting to get his dream of opening a new restaurant off the ground, and with construction almost complete, he was starting to look for staff. Of course, Lucy was still afraid to give over control, and even though the venture had been spearheaded and financed by her father, she couldn’t help but butt in. Though you could sympathize with her to an extent – after all, it was she who was left to pick up the pieces after Ian’s breakdown – her lack of faith in her dad’s ability to get his life back on track was seriously frustrating, especially since Ian clearly needed to prove himself.
And, any understanding we might’ve had for Lucy’s controlling ways went out the window when she decided to use the hiring process for the restaurant as yet another opportunity to humiliate Lauren in front of Joey. Luckily for Lauren, not all of her friends wanted to see her fail, and Whitney pulled out of the running for the position to help her get back on her feet. After Ian had congratulated Lauren on her new job, she and the rest of her friends – Joey included – went to The Vic to celebrate, leaving a resentful Lucy to stew. It wasn’t long before Lauren managed to ruin a good thing, though. Feeling sorry because Joey still seemed more interested in Lucy, she threw herself at Tyler, alienating Whitney and the rest of her friends, and proving that Lucy could only be blamed for so much of her misfortune.
But though Lauren may have been prone to self-sympathy, one person who had no time to wallow was Lola. Never one to roll over in the face of a challenge, she was as fired up as ever after learning about Sharon’s addiction, but knew enough not to make a scene over it. With her final court date coming up, Lola was on edge and worried that the secret might come out even if she kept her mouth shut. As she tried to keep things quiet, the stress of it was enough to make her seem irrational during her social worker’s visit, something that didn’t reflect well on her.
When Lola finally confided what she knew to Billy, even he wasn’t completely convinced that Sharon’s situation was serious. He was more inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt, especially when she went to the trouble to organize a family dinner to get all of the Mitchells together. Lola wasn’t taken in by the gesture, and was ready to take Lexi to stay with her and Billy, when Trish, her social worker, arrived at the door to deliver some forms. Perhaps being a little too hospitable, Phil and Sharon invited her in to join the dinner, but the move proved to be a poor one when Shirley unexpectedly turned up the house only moments later.
Still, when Shirley’s rambling threatened to bring Sharon’s secret to light, Lola stepped in to save her, suggesting that Phil’s ex take her leave. Luckily for all involved, Trish was none the wiser to the troubles plaguing the family. But with the last hearing to determine Lexi’s custody coming up quickly, it was still unclear whether or not Lola could keep up the ruse long enough to get her daughter back home.
– Kate Shepherd
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