Eastenders: Inferno hilarity at the Queen Vic

Tonight’s episode of Eastenders was hot stuff, was it not? Yes, as expected, Walford’s loudest woman and her baldy-headed crackhead son provided all the action and hammy acting for half an hour of quality entertainment unmatched by any other channel.

In Peggy’s case, I’m not sure there was even any dialogue, just endless shrieking. Still, when faced with Stacey’s admission that she killed Archie (yawn, so last year), she managed to slip in her catchphrase: “GET OUT OF MY PUB!” I never tire of hearing that line, and this time Barbara Windsor delivered it with a guttural growl that was a new twist on an old classic.

While Peggy’s off being irritating, local dimwit Billy is persuaded by Dangerously Addicted Phil to open up the boarded up, locked living room door. No, it doesn’t make a lick of sense. But on the positive side, we got to see Steve McFadden re-enact that scene from The Shining. “Here’s Johnny!”

Continuing with his repertoire of impressions, Phil then does a passable Incredible Hulk in the kitchen, smashing open a jar of coins. PHIL MAD! PHIL SMASH!

Now, considering Phil’s been a junkie for all of five minutes, it’s quite hard to take this whole storyline seriously. So we watch it for giggles, don’t we? And to be fair to Steve McFadden, it’s his best rampage as Phil in his entire career. I’m serious. Dripping with sweat, three days’ worth of stubble and looking like utter crap, he spits and snarls his way through his lines, then staggers off to pour more booze down his throat.

And that scene between Peggy and Phil at the bottom of the stairs. With the lit match? Common sense would have suggested that Peggy simply blew the match out. But no, she opted to piss him off further, leading to the burning down of the Queen Vic.

In other news – Dot Cotton completely disregarding the smoking ban with not one, but two cigarettes. One for each hand. June Brown is a total legend, and I was convinced for a split second that she would be the source of the fire! Sadly not.

You know what the worst bit was? Peggy didn’t die. There you had Stacey trapped in the toilets, Peggy running around like a headless chicken, Phil locked himself in the basement and a baby upstairs. By the end of the episode, only Phil appears to be dead, pinned to the bar when a large shelf above the bar collapsed on him. Stacey and the baby rescued, and I don’t know how Peggy escaped.

Certainly, our living room slipped into a silent depression when Peggy failed to get burned to a crisp. We love Babs Windsor as much as everybody else, but her awful, joyless matriarch has definitely outstayed her welcome.

By the end of the episode, I was unclear as to which Mitchell was the most deranged. Cold Turkey Phil or In Love With My Bar Peggy? It’s hard to tell. What did you think – did you enjoy tonight’s Eastenders, and how did you feel about Peggy surviving?

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