Yes, it’s been 25 years of misery for the residents of Albert Square, and tonight we’re celebrating with the live episode. Is it uncharitable for us to hope somebody forgets their lines, falls over their feet, or (possibly the best result) Owen claws his way out of his shallow grave at the middle of the Square and rampages around in zombie form, biting the necks of the regulars in the Queen Vic?
Hell, Ronnie would probably still sleep with him in the hopes of getting knocked up.
In addition to the excitement of a live episode, there’s the conclusion to the big whodunnit: Who Killed Archie Mitchell?
It begins with accusations flying left right and center. Roxy blames Ronnie for killing their toxic father. Phil interrogates Lucy Beale, while Jack tries to convince Bradley to run like hell out of Walford. Janine j’accuses Peggy for framing her. Arghhh! Whodunnit?
Samantha Janus gets the line of the night as Ronnie: “Yeah, I topped him. Now I’m off to dance on his grave.” Meanwhile, in the Queen Vic cellar, Babs Windsor is overacting her little heart out. Funnily enough, for a half hour episode, the plot meanders quite a bit, but most of the action centered around Ronnie’s revelation of sexual abuse at Archie’s hands, and Bradley’s escape from Walford.
Of course, tonight was also Bradley’s exit from the soap – he’s on the verge of being apprehended by the old Bill. So, like the amateur crim that he is, Bradley heads for the nearest roof, with a couple of coppers on his tail. Sadly, the big dope falls from the roof as Max, Jack and Stacey watch in horror. They even went to great lengths to give Charlie Clements (who plays Bradley Branning) a gory pool of blood around his head.
And as an anguished Stacey and Max are held out of the way, Stacey reveals that she is Archie’s killer. Well, at least she’ll be able to plead insanity!
Congrats to the EastEnders team on a very dramatic episode. The action was ridiculously fast-pased, and all the cast rose to the occassion, especially the central characters – Steve McFadden’s wrecking of Ian Beale’s living room was fantastic. That old feud between Beale and Mitchell still has legs, doesn’t it?
The only point of failure for me was that video tape that Ian Beale and Dot sat through – home video with all those unlikely angles? Come on! And seguing from scene to scene like that – it was a pretty crass way to mark the 25th Anniversary. To be honest, it really took away from the drama.
But what an exit for Charlie Clements, who was the first character to ‘die’ live on EastEnders. That’ll be a soap exit we’ll be talking about for years to come!