By Anna May @AnnaMayMight
First things first…the new Michelle has grown on me. I think mostly because her accent has settled down into a more subtle form of ‘cor blimey, guv’, than the annoyingly changeable ‘I’m trying my best to speak like Susan Tully, love me!’ chatter that Jenna Russell, who now plays her, seemed to be going for at first. For me, she’s become a character in her own right now and I’ve given up trying to place her as the old Michelle. Even the close relationships she’s rekindled with past friends and family are more believable.
Moving on, though, Michelle still has nutty Tom stalking her, to the point Sharon pulls the home phone from its socket, meaning he’ll have to use her mobile number if he wants to carry on being a dickhead, rather than annoy Phil with constant anonymous calls to the Mitchell residence at all hours of the day and getting Sharon out of bed…twice.
Poor Ben was so embarrassed when Phil shouted down the phone at the silent caller in front of his new boyfriend, Luke…and when Kathy asks Ben how it’s all going, he replies, "Oh, yeah, other than the fact that Luke now finks Dad's a total nutter!" BECAUSE HE IS, BEN! HE IS A NUTTER!
Next thing you know, Tom’s in a public phone box, unable to get through, with what can only be described as ‘grrrrr’ written all over his face. Not the angriest looking bloke, is he. Still, I’m sure the props department can come up with something. Maybe draw some cross eyebrows on him as things hot up, with a marker pen they keep stored in a box somewhere along with the fake pregnancy tests and the bag of stale bagels they aptly use for Linda’s massive bun. Waste not, want not…as they say.
So, did Tom use her mobile number? Of course he did. Not only did he call her anonymously, he went a step further and sent her a message while she was at the hospital visiting Jane and Stacey…asking her why she was at the hospital! Creepy, creepy, creepy!
Oh, yes, because Stacey’s in hospital now. Most mothers will know that pre-eclampsia is something to watch out for during pregnancy. Headaches, visual disturbances, raised blood pressure, the baby can suffer as a consequence and it can precede full-on eclampsia, if you’re not careful.
So, of course, after Social Services take her kids away (thanks for that, Carmel) and then decide she can have them back again, it turns out the headaches Stacey’s been complaining about are indeed a symptom of full-on eclampsia and, in true Eastenders style, she doesn’t even get the chance to finish slagging Carmel off for reporting her, before having a seizure mid-bollock.
Now she’s stuck in hospital, after having to deliver her baby girl eight weeks early…and Carmel’s on the outside, full of guilt and regretting everything.
Never mind, though, because fake boyfriend, Max, is back. But he’s not back for Carmel, is he. No, he is not…and, on the very day Jane has all her ‘tubes’ removed and is due to wake up at any moment, Ian decides to keep leaving her alone. In fact, as soon as Ian tells anyone about Jane’s imminent consciousness, they piss off elsewhere! I mean…come on, Ian! Your wife’s been unconscious for weeks…AND NOW SHE IS DUE TO WAKE UP AT ANY MOMENT! IAN! FFS!
Hang on, I forgot. Max needs an opportunity to be alone with Jane so he can threaten her when she wakes up, doesn’t he. Oh…now I see why Ian’s behaviour is SO RIDICULOUSLY UNBELIEVABLE! Geez!
More unbelievable, however, is Max’s very badly organized takeover of Walford. Wilmott-Brown and his posh mates are the top decision makers, I’m starting to get that…but how many times does Max have to keep going back to Jane to change his mind about what threats he’s making. One minute she has to lie to the Police and then move out of Walford with Ian. The next, she has to move out of Walford, but leave Ian there!
Just blow the hospital up and have done with it, Max. It’s been far too many minute since Albert Square’s last fatal disaster…and there’s a very real danger of residents living perfectly normal lives for at least another day if something bad doesn’t happen again soon!
Also, it seems Wilmott-Brown’s son, Luke, actually didn’t know Ben was Kathy’s son. So, when he finds out…and because he knows his dad’s plans involve Kathy and about their history together, he decides to break it off. But, AGAIN, he’s told to go and patch things up again, for the sake of the takeover plans. Just stop!
Eventually, when Ian does finally wander back in to see if his wife’s woken up yet, ‘cos…ya know…she nearly died and stuff, he tells her, “I thought I was gonna lose you.” Awww…don’t worry, Ian. Maybe next time, yeah? Because there WILL be a next time.
Stupidly, Jane simply does not believe Max will follow through with any of his threats. “You’re not that ruthless,” she tells him. Even after he grabs her arm and hurts her AND tells her he’s going to make her and everyone she loves suffer, she’s like…nah, still don’t believe you. I give up, I really do.
Although, there really is no stopping Jane, is there…and it doesn’t take long before she’s sitting up in bed, asking about Bobby and can’t believe Ian’s practically disowned him while she’s been unconscious. As ever, Jane cannot see a single fault in the murdering little bastard and argues, “He’s still a kid, Ian.” Luckily, Kathy’s on hand to add, “She’s right.” Shut up, the pair of you!
Plus…did you see the ‘disturbing’ video clip Max later uses to scare Jane with? You know…the one of dear little Bobby being woken up in the middle of the night by a horrid baddy man? Yes, it IS disturbing…BECAUSE HE LOOKS ABOUT 28 NOW! What’s going on, here! It’s like…any kid, who’s either born or just visits Albert Square, starts aging in cat years as soon as they step outside Walford!
Moving on, we have Patrick and Ted having a little heart-to-heart on the allotments. I’m sure Patrick was joking when he told Ted to pack up and take Joyce to Australia, regardless of the charges against them both. Nevertheless, Ted and Joyce later have a rather optimistic conversation, over a bottle of wine, about the possibility and how they could do it. Bizarrely, Ted chuckles merrily as he tells Joyce, "I doubt they're gonna come after us, love. They're not gonna bother with a couple of old codgers like us, are they? We're not a risk to anyone." Hello? Ted? You shot someone! Whatever the reasons were, THEY COULD HAVE DIED!
How fitting that, earlier in the episode, Joyce was reading a letter from their solicitor with Bucks Fizz’s ‘Land of Make Believe’ playing on the radio in the background. “Run for the sun, little one, you’re an outlaw once again.” Yes, I know, I take too much interest in EVERYthing that’s going on.
What else happens? Well…Johnny graduates, so the Carters celebrate in the Vic (obviously) and make the occasion as special for him as they can, by finding the nearest item of clothing to a graduation robe and basically dressing him up as Harry Potter.
Oh yeah…and Linda finally tells Mick about her cancer and he gets very angry that she hasn’t told him until now. So they nearly split up…again.
It looks like Keanu isn’t content with earning a few quid as a nude model at the local community centre anymore. No, he’s now going to make even more money as an escort. He’s keeping it a secret, though, as he seems a little embarrassed. So, where should he put his first ad card, eh? A few towns away? Hmmm? Oh…I know! IN THE BLOODY CAFÉ! He even asks Kathy what over forties women like. So SHE knows now!
Finally, let’s give it up for Keanu’s mum, Karen. That annoying bra strap of hers was very close to being hidden under a cardigan recently, but she saved the day by letting one arm of said cardigan also fall down, so we could all still see it. I’ve never felt so relieved in all my life. Yep, I know…