Thursday, October 30, 2014

Please Don't Feel Sorry for Jacqueline Jossa

There's a pity party being thrown right now on the Digital Spy Soaps forum about that tramp-stamped male whore TOWIE celebrity Dan Osborne, who was caught off-guard in an interview, for once, telling the truth.

Osborne was asked about his relationship with fellow celebrity fame whore actress Jacqueline Jossa, 


... and who replied, to the effect, that he didn't think she was "the one." All well and good, except that Jossa just happens to be the second woman within a year whom he's managed to impregnate.

Their relationship was of an on-off nature for the longest time, and during many of the "off" periors, Osborne was hard (pun intended) at work on (top of) his now ex-girlfriend, filling her with luurrve literally. Then there was the celebrated "off" period where he forsook the gurning girl Jossa to be with the now ex, who'd given birth to his son ...

... until he got bored with nappies and baby stuff enough to get back with Jossa and get her up the duff.

Can you follow that?

Thing is, it's the 21st Century, and women aren't ignorant about birth control methods, even if men are; and this pregnancy looks and smells like an attempt from the spoiled, entitled daughter of a white-collar criminal who embezzled taxpayers' money to pay for her expensive non-education to trap a man into a situation which, fifty years ago, would have resulted in a commitment of some sort.

If that's the case, that proves the stupidity of Jacqueline Jossa.

If it isn't the case, it still proves her stupidity. Did she think that her beauty and celebrity status would make her immune to falling pregnant by someone who's arguably the biggest male slut in Britain today? Surely, she knew his track record. Anyone who'd walk away from the mother of his child to get with another woman before that child could talk, would surely do the same again? Or maybe Jossa thought her fame would stop that, that he'd be content to bask in her shadow in the hopes that some of that so-called "fame" would rub off on him. If it didn't (and it wouldn't), he'd be off to the next unsuspecting ingenue.

And yet there are still people pitying this poor excuse of a bad role model for young women, even moreso because the trash she's lain with threw it all back in her face on her birthday, of all days.

Well, don't.

Because she knew exactly what she was doing. And she won't suffer. EastEnders will be there waiting for her when she drops the kid, and her over-solicitous mother, who lives vicariously through her daughter's fame, will, no doubt, be on hand to take over nannying duties, so Jacqueline will never have to sully her ceramic nails with babyshit and her surgically-enhanced boobs won't lose their shape, nor will her collagen-filled lips have to waste too much expenditure in baby kisses. She'll still be able to do the day job and trip the Z-List celebrity red carpet by night.

She won't know benefit cuts or housing problems. She'll be well provided until the next piece of beefcake comes along or until EastEnders gets a producer who realises the real lack of worth her non-talent envelopes. 

And then, I still wouldn't pity her.

You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas - and my sincerest apologies to dogs.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Return of the Native - Review:- 24.10.2014

Hand on heart, this is the first episode I have watched, in almost 30 years of watching EastEnders, where I've been angry with almost all of the characters until the end of the episode ... only to have me end the episode, broadly smiling at the duff-duff.

In fact, this is the only episode I've ever watched, in 30 years of watching EastEnders, where I've been immensely happy ... happy ... to see Nick Cotton.

Nick, with his last appearance, was in serious danger of becoming, if he hadn't already become, a cartoon villain. Let's face it, Nick's done almost everything bad there is to do, and - poor Charlie - his dad is a two-time murderer, unpunished, and he's about to marry a murderer, who, as yet, is still unpunished and as unrepentant about her crime as Nick has been and is about any of his; but maybe Charlie's done murder too. Who knows?

Nick is back this time, and it feels right. This is an intriguing storyline in which he figures, and it's proving more interesting than the murder investigation, which has dawdled into a morass of Branning-centred love angst - Max with the insipid Summerhayes, selfish Peter with even more selfish Lauren, posing prettily for the camera and failing in raising the audience's interest, and sulky Abi, scowling on the sidelines and waiting for someone sensible enough to smack her spoiled face.

More than anything, the Nick-Charlie-Ronnie storyline intrigues and interests me, simply because of the quirkiness of the characters involved. It's like a convention of psychopaths colliding amongst unsuspecting people.

It will all end in tears and tragedy, but this has totally outstripped the Lucy storyline, but it still might be intertwined with that, after all. I still haven't ruled out either Ronnie and/or Charlie from my suspects.

The rest of the episode was a welter of bad manners, selfishness, entitlement and emotional blackmail.

Spot the two stinkers (if you cannot guess, I'll reveal them at the end).

Oh, and more than anything, the majority of this episode was a testiment to the writing room's inability to create and sustain a strong, positive male character.

The Absolute Worst Parent in the World. Sonia. What an selfish, self-serving bitch! What kind of mother lays such an abysmal responsibility on the shoulders of her child. 

"You know I love you more than anything, so you have to stay with me and abandon your dreams because you're the only thing - sorry, fing - that's holding your dad and me together."

What a load of shite! So now she's put the responsibility of saving Sonia's marriage on Rebecca's shoulders. The kid is thirteen, FFS! Sonia isn't the least bit interested in her daughter's desires and ambitions. She couldn't even be bothered to read the letter from the music school offering Rebecca an audition in exchange for the possiblity of a scholarship.

I cannot believe the burden with which Sonia has lumbered Rebecca - the child is go forfeit her ambitions in order to save her parents' marriage, the implication being that if she doesn't, then the failure is down to her. But I shouldn't expect anything less than this sort of selfishness from Sonia, as both Bianca and Carol have exhibited this sort of behaviour at times, themselves. Remember Carol bullying Bianca into binning Ricky because David binned her?

And once again, Sonia's language is indirectly derogatory of the as yet unseen Martin. All Sonia's done since she cropped up has been to moan about the inadequacies of Martin, both as a man in his behaviour and as a person, in general. I'm not surprised that Martin's gone off that pill of a woman. He was unfaithful to her, but before that, Sonia left Martin - and left him with Rebecca - for Gnomi; and who the hell knows what Sonia's been up to since then. We do know she's snogged the imbecile Tina - Sonia's delicate sensibilities are offended because Martin burps at the table, but she can tolerate a thief, who swigs alcohol from the bottle and pukes in the gutter. We also know that she's going to try to snog Kush.


Maybe if she stopped being so hypocritical and so fucking self-righteous, looking down her nose at everyone, and stopped depending on her daughter to save her own marital bacon, things might right themselves. She's a pukewad of a bitch to lay a guilt trip like that on Rebecca. Poor kid.

She doesn't deserve her daughter, and she certainly doesn't deserve either Martin or the name of Fowler.

Alfie, Kat and Stacey. I wanted to bang all three of their heads together. Seriously. This is the most frustrating storyline in a long time. First of all, Alfie-haters, the Alfie and Kat split you want isn't going to happen. The pair are too ingrained in each other's psyche at the moment for them to exist as separate entities. They are, indeed, an endgame couple, and this reunion and marriage is one that isn't going to be blown asunder. 

As I said previously, the age of the yo-yo couple has past. The beginning of the end was when Tanya left, and the end of the end was Roxy's abortive wedding where Alfie reunited with Kat. Once upon a time, many years ago, when a couple broke up, that was it. One of the pair left Walford, and the other moved on. Until recently, we've had characters break up, make up and break up again. I don't think DTC is the type to go to the trouble of reuniting Kat and Alfie just to tear them apart again. Too much damage has been done to the couple by Kirkwood's epic fail of a venture.

But I wanted Alfie to tell Kat. He genuinely loves her, truly and deeply. He's also scared and ashamed of having failed her and is afraid of losing her. Squatting in the house isn't going to solve anything, because she's going to find out.

The marriage was a bit unreal - can it really happen that quickly? But something that Kat said in the previous episode heavily foreshadowed the future of the couple - about how they need each other, how the process of their lives has always been a big knockback, followed by a rise from the ashes, yet again. I know this story is unrealistic, that in normal circumstances, there would be avenues of hope and help open to these people; but I thought the intention of this producer was to bring these characters back to the bare basics and build them up again.

Alfie's desperation and hopelessness is palpable, and Shane Richie does a good job. So many people talk about Alfie's stupidity, but remember this: Alfie unjustly lost his livelihood at the connivance of Aleks and Tamwar. For everyone talking about Alfie's sense of entitlement, look at some of his fellow market traders - how many times have we seen Peter Beale swanning around the Square, anyplace but on the stall, mooning after Lauren. His byword is ~ I'll close early ~. Didn't Aleks the hard man want to rescind his stall in the wake of Lucy's death because he hadn't opened for such a long time, and wasn't it Alfie who jumped to Peter's defence? And what about Aleks, himself? He's the Market Inspector, yet when he's scared shitless by the sight of his wife and child on the Square, he stops work in the middle of the day, with no word to his own superiors, and swans off on a holiday for weeks with his squeeze and her kid. No one's talking about having his job.

TPTB were on a hiding to nothing when they moved the Moons from the Vic. On the surface, it appears that, apart from the birth of the twins, they didn't have a plan for them, knowing that Alfie never worked well as a character on the market stall. Keep them together, by all means - a split would make Kat as redundant and as hopeless as Bianca had become, clinging to Stacey to the point that it would bring her down also - and either develop their characters, giving them something to do, or send them off with a happy ending.

It simply astonishes me that there are three clothing stalls on that market within spitting distance of each other's - Kat's, vile Donna's and now Kush's.

I feel immensely sorry for Kat, because of her insecurities in the wake of her injuries - which, actually, don't look that bad and look to be healable in the long run with not too much scarring. She'll be as annoyed at Alfie as Sharon was once with Grant for the same thing, but - like Sharon -she won't leave him. Alfie is at fault for the scam, but Mo has to bear some of the blame for having illegal flammable commercial goods on the premises.

As for Alfie's anger with Stacey, I can see this from both sides. Stacey cares about and loves Kat, but there Kat was again, tonight, whining about wanting Stacey to live in the house with them. Stop it. Just stop it. Even if this were all kosher, Stacey needs to remove herself from that dynamic and start fresh with her child, that's her first priority - Lily. If she stayed with the Slater-Moons, she'd only be sucked into their problems and dilemmas, and her presence would, inevitably, cause friction.

I'm not siding with Alfie, but his comment about Stacey destroying families has a ring of truth about it. In her last stint on the Square, one of the defining aspects of Stacey's character was, initially, her high moral code. She was extremely judgemental and called people out, even those in her own family, for failing to live up to her high moral standards. Remember, this is the girl who turned Danielle out onto the streets because Danielle got an abortion.

But Stacey's tragic flaw is, immediately after she assumes the moral high ground, she does something that defies her own moral code - i.e., sleeping with Max Branning and nagging him to leave his family. Stacey also broke up Janine's marriage to Ryan - goaded into doing that and being convinced that she was entitled to do so by none other than Kat, I believe.

There's a bit of foreshadowing here.

Stacey threatening to tell Kat the truth about the house if Alfie won't is really none of Stacey's business. As she reiterated to Mick, her prime concern in all this is a place to stay for her and Lily. She's not thinking at all about the repercussions of Kat knowing this thing and experiencing this stress at this stage in her recovery. It may even cause a health relapse for her in her fragile psychological state, but Stacey never thinks about the aftermath of these situations.

She's now about to get involved with Dean, a rapist, but there was a frisson between her and Mick, when he offered her a place in the Vic, had he room. In the middle of an emotional crisis with his wife, there Mick goes, putting someone else first. And the way he washed his hands of Alfie's predicament, after having tacitly and inevitably telling Alfie he "had to do what he had to do" was, at best, wishy-washy.

DTC has followed continuity to the core of late in a lot of things, so I wonder if he's going to keep a pattern going here, by having Stacey eventually fall from her moral high horse, in the wake of Dean's doings being revealed, only to get emotionally and romantically involved with Mick? 

As DTC has openly hinted that 2015 will be Stacey's year, is there a Stick I see on the horizon?

DexterShite. What a dickhead! He annoyed me, and then Nancy annoyed me even more. Is she playing Tambore?

At first, she was right to call out that entitled, narcissistic, little moron for his behaviour in the Masood household, especially sneaking beer into a home where drink isn't tolerated. Even more disrespectful to her, trying to get her to drink when he knows she cannot due to her medical condition. He acted like a smacked baby's bum. And then I approved the practical joke she and Kush played on him, aiming it at his conceit and self-importance by giving him the strongest curry possible. (What an oaf to drink from the pitcher of water as well!)

But then, when Tamwar offered his apt assessment of Dexter (line of the night):-

He has the emotional maturity of a toddler and the vocabulary of a plant.

... when he told Nancy that she could do better than Dexter, she asked him if he fancied her. When he demurred, she admitted that Dexter wasn't that bad and was last seen cuddling up to him.

Ava must have been as crap a mother as she was a teacher, because she taught this arsehole no manners and social skills whatsoever. She certainly didn't teach him compassion and understanding. He's a victim of the Little King Syndrome, raised to believe the sun shines out of his arse. I can't wait for him to go. 

Rude Masoods. If Shabnam is telling the truth about this money, then this is another smack in the face of male characters, in general. Masood's mother made a secret will, which excluded all of her sons from inheriting money, instead bestowing it all on Shabnam and Uncle Imzaman's daughter. So now she gives it back to Tamwar. At least, he's showing a moral backbone in hesitating to accept it. I wonder if she's lying.

When I think of the original Shabnam - how interactive and how perspicacious she was about other people and her surroundings, this girl is nothing of the sort; and whilst I realise that religion can change a person's outlook on life, it certainly doesn't cloud a person's perceptions to the point that they become so socially gauche as to be ignorant. A clued-up person would immediately have sussed, when Kush referred to his wife in the past tense, that he wasn't speaking of a broken marriage, but of a death. Speaking of a divorce, he'd have said "my ex-wife said". Instead, Shabnam, another one carving a rut on a moral high ground and gunning for a fall, not only assumes a divorce, but starts in on how she isn't surprised that his wife left him.

The tone of her apology at her faux pas was really weird as well. And the judgemental remark she made to Johnny at the table was rude and out of order. Johnny doesn't drink that much at all, and he was just making a passing comment. Maybe Dean needs to step up and remind people how Shabnam used to stay out all night clubbing with Carly and Dawn and was up for the odd pole dance.

I like Kush.

Once again, Tamwar's attitude leaves a lot to be desired. His father makes a birthday curry; when he doesn't go to the Vic, his friends bring him a homemade birthday cake, and he sits there all the time, looking like he's caught in a small place with someone who's just farted. Tamwar seems, for some reason, to be filled with self-loathing, based on the remark he made to Shabnam tonight, about the ten grand giving him a uni degree, but he would still be himself. WTF?

I know the show isn't much on counselling, but this side of Tamwar didn't appear until after that fire, which is when he started to let everything slide - his marriage, his business, everything. In relation to life about him, it's still all about Tamwar the self-hater. I'm beginning to wonder if he deserves any friends or any attention that he gets. He's a very frustrating character to watch, and I feel sorry for Masood, huddled on the couch, worrying to Fatboy about whether or not his ungrateful son is enjoying himself. That's the thing about Tamwar. He can never tell anyone when he's grateful or appreciative of anything done for him, but he's quick to criticise when he's slighted in some way or when Masood's ideals don't live up to his high moral standard.

Ronnie and Charlie. Well, the encounter with the Moons was weird. Roxy's got over Alfie, and they've reconciled as friends. What's Ronnie's beef? She can't help it if her sister gets involved with the wrong men. I see she's taken off Archie's ring, in exchange for Charlie's. That's significant. Many will interpret that as leaving off her villanous side, but psychopaths assimilate well - sometimes too well, as may be in Charlie's case. Still, I'm enjoying their human side for the moment.

Best bit was the duff-duff. But when Charlie looked around, you knew that Nick was about. Maybe it was that whiff of fire and brimstone.

Speaking of smells, the big stinks were Sonia and Dexter.

The Disconcerting Episode - Review:- 23.10.2014

Was this a plodding episode? Quite frankly, yes, it was, and it highlighted a lot of the wrong things for the right reasons. I've always found Jeff Povey a bit of a plod, actually, as a writer, and he lived up to his episode tonight.

However, I thought this episode belonged to Shane Richie, who played an absolute blinder. And special mention to Samantha Womack, Declan Bennett and the wonderful Maddie Hill.

In Defence of Alfie. I know it's fashionable amongst some quarters to deride Alfie and wish him gone. I know several people who want the character axed, killed off or just vapourised. I ask them to think again. In fact, I ask them to think again and watch this episode, listening to the dialogue.

Kat and Alfie are an endgame couple, and anyone hating Alfie is buying into four years of lazy writing and Bryan Kirkwood pushing the character of Alfie Moon as the worst aspect of Shane Richie. The sad tragedy of EastEnders at the moment is that it has four of the strongest male leads, acting-wise, in the genre - Steve McFadden, Shane Richie, Jake Wood and Danny Dyer - and yet the writing for each of their characters is nothing short of pathetic, the worst being for Richie. 

Like Perry Fenwick, Richie always steps up to the plate and delivers, and he didn't fail tonight.

I know a lot of criticism has been thrown Alfie's way since he started the fire for insurance purposes, and he's been called a host of names, but it did my heart a good turn tonight to learn that the reason the insurance company isn't paying out has nothing to do with Alfie's dodgy claim and everything to do with Mo's dodgy hairspray, the amount of canisters constituting a commercial item; and everyone knows you're not allowed to operate a commercial venture from a private residence.

I really felt moved by Alfie's plight and his desperate efforts to find a solution. I kept hoping for some miracle to erupt and that he'd be blessed with the money for the deposit. I also understand Alfie's propensity to lash out when his back is against the wall. Was he wrong for yelling at Masood? Yes, but as people saw later, Masood understood perfectly why he did. And Alfie's pride is his biggest fault, which is where Kat comes in, foreshadowed by something Stacey, whose life experiences are moulding her into a likeable sage, in the manner of Michelle Fowler, who - upon occasion - could show uncommon good sense.

It was Stacey who pointed out to Alfie how good he and Kat were together, that they were a forever couple and had never let anything worse - and what is worse than infidelity - come between them? Stacey said something which Kat reiterated later - they get so far, they get knocked back and they rise again. The impetus of Kat's love and her desire to commit to Alfie, formally, might just be the impetus Alfie needs. He's certainly at his wit's end, as was evidenced by his reaction to the attitude of the council official. She was only doing her job and had to remain detached, but EastEnders certainly doesn't do council officials any favours in their depiction.

I've always been a fan of Alfie and Kat together, and I deplored the damage done to them as a couple by Kirkwood and Newman's attention to detail regarding Kat's redemption whilst Alfie was left to the mercy of a lazy writing room with a distaste for Shane Richie.

I would ask people if Alfie left, if he were killed off or binned off by Kat, what would be left? A fortysomething single mum, with three small children, a dodgy grandmother doing scams and a market stall, competing against at least two other clothes stalls on the market. Another Bianca, wailing about feeding her kids. Kat is depending on Alfie again for moral support and emotional sustenance, but in a way she's never done before; yet Alfie needs to depend on her unconditional love for him. I hope they succeed, because the last thing the show needs now is another perpetual loser of a male character a la Billy Mitchell, spinning around in circles.

Go Away! Sonia and Dexter, whose scenes tonight were totally and utterly putrid.

The secret guitar lessons Rebecca was receiving from SuperCharlie, Jack of all Trades and Master of Many, came out of the blue. I wondered why she'd turned up on Dot's doorstep and wanted to see him. All I can say is Sonia must be a right old rag, and Rebecca knows it. No wonder Martin retreats to football as much as he can. I can buy she wants to protect her daughter, but using her shyness as a pithy excuse to deny her the opportunity to audition for a specialist music school also has a selfish, almost jealous, tinge to her attitude. Maybe she's jealous that Rebecca plays the guitar better than Sonia played the trumpet.

Am I wrong in thinking that she was close to, if not accusing Charlie of something untoward in his helping Rebecca?

I know it was none of her business, but I'm glad Ronnie stepped in and arranged that display in the pub. I would say Sonia's attitude resonated with her memory of living with a control freak of a parent.

I wish Sonia would just leave. I must admit, I can't see Martin sticking with her when he arrives, and Tina the Court Jester and her puking on shoes and pilfering is welcome to her.

The other dud was Dexter. It's not all about you, Dexter, and can't you see that Nancy is just not that into you? It's Tamwar's birthday and all you can think to do is badger Nancy about your non-performance in the back of someone else's car the other night, at the same time begging for more. Nancy, to her credit, was being as nice as she could be, without telling him to bog off. He's a bloody nuisance and the sooner he leaves, the better.

Ronnie and Charlie Sitting in a Tree. What can I say? I like them together. Far better than Ronnie and Jack. They had the lines of the night, containing a plethora of foreshadowing:-

Ronnie: This coming from the cop who's not a cop?
Charlie: I'm not the only one with secrets.

No, Charlie, you aren't, and if your real profession is your only secret, then Ronnie's secret is far, far worse than yours, but why do I feel that you are still hiding something major?

The Masoods. First of all, Mas shouldn't have shaved his beard.

Secondly, Tamwar baffles me. He knew that there was a party organised in the Vic for him, by his father and by his friends - Nancy and Johnny - yet his indifference was galling. I know he doesn't like the attention, but FFS, show some gratitude. Shabnam was just as bad, in her pithy disapproval of an event in the pub. She's worse than Zainab ever was - in fact, has she so totally immersed herself in faux morality that she's forgotten that, when she had another head, she used to drink - alcohol - in the pub? Kush needs to get her drunk and let her loose on the pole dancing. She can be such a stick that it means nothing to her that Tamwar at least has friends who care enough about him to organise a party and even to buy replacement presents for him when the one they ordered doesn't arrive, and she's nothing less than rude to them.

Don't get me wrong. I like the character, but when she gets on one of her "what-will-the-mosque-say" turns, I turn off to that attitude. Even Zainab ventured into the pub near the end of her tenure, and not everyone goes to the Vic to drink booze - cf: Phil and Lauren. What a moral stick.

Zainab got an indirect, but rather pejorative reference from Masood, but the question is: Where did Shabnam get that money?

Actually, the money gift was a bit low, keeping it secret that way, and it also gave the impression that she was trying to buy Tamwar's loyalty.

A Psychopathic Love Affair - Review:- 21.10.2014

There's only one word which springs to mind for me about tonight's episode: Weird.

That's it, just weird. Filler, yes. High on things happening? Welllllllll ... yes and no. The plot was so thick with holes and bad continuity, I couldn't figure out whether the majority of the piece was retconning, fairy tales or lies. Apart from that, there was the skewed morality bit that keeps seeping through, and the entire 30 minutes left me somewhat asunder. 

That doesn't mean it was bad, by any means, but it does raise some questions.

Ronnie's Lies, Dot's Fairy Tales and Is Nick a Bigamist? 

So now Charlie knows Ronnie is a murderer, and Ronnie knows Charlie is a bog cleaner. And now we know why Charlie lied about Nick's death. We know a lot of things about that, Carl's murder and Ronnie's kidnapping of Tommy, but the thing is, most of what was told was a pack of lies, or fairy tales or whatever you want to call it.

Let's start with Ronnie's confession. I don't know about you, but I got the distinct impression that she was projecting what Archie did to her when she was a child onto Carl, who was an obnoxious creep who was sleeping with Roxy, but who really didn't try to rape Ronnie in any way. The night before Ronnie killed him, he made a move on her and she brained him with a bottle of champers, then managed to move his unconscious body down the street to The Arches (one of the reasons why I think Ronnie killed Lucy - she was capable of moving her from the place where she was killed to the Common). When Ronnie did kill Carl, he tried to kiss her, forcibly, after literally telling her to piss off and stop following him, but after she pushed him away, her turned to say he was going, putting Phil's bag in the boot of the car he was taking ... and he rest is history. Here's the proof:-

You see, I didn't interpret that as a rape attempt. The night before, yes, when she clobbered him; but this was Carl cocking a snook at her and leaving with Phil's money, when she killed him and then coldly disposed of his body. Bad man? Most certainly, but it wasn't her place to sit as judge and jury and condemn him to death.

Basically, she's killed a man, she needs to atone for it, and she's told Charlie a story that's not entirely the truth. Oh, and she neglected to tell him that she drove the car, with his body in the boot, to a salvage company and watched as they craned the car and the corpse atop a pile of other rejects waiting to be crushed. No, the way Ronnie told that tale, it was presented as if she were the victim.

Then, there's Dot's fairy tale about poor, pitiful Ronnie, which, once again, had holes in it. It was the story of the babyswap, and once again, Ronnie is presented as the victim. Up to a point, up to the point where Ronnie found James dead, all was true; but Ronnie only went to the Vic that night because she heard Tommy crying, and she took him and left dead James in the cot, simply because she could. True, she was returning the kid when she saw Kat return and Jack at the same time, but Ronnie went out of her way during the next four months to conceal Tommy's identity. She lied and she deceived. No matter that she suddenly decided she couldn't live with the deception anymore, she did deceive - Jack, the Moons, everyone.

Instead of divorcing when she got out of prison, as Dot indicated, one of the first things Ronnie did when she went inside was to initiate divorce proceedings against Jack. They were finalised. She refused to see Jack, and the divorce was final the night he spent together with Roxy, when they were in the throes of a custody dispute over Amy. In fact, she refused to see Jack at all during her time inside ... until she got wind of the fact that he was marrying Sharon, then she couldn't see him quick enough.

Dot's wrong again about Jack not forgiving Ronnie. He did. In fact, she moved in with him again - even ordering a new bed for them. But then one day, she blithely told him she didn't want to have anymore kids with him, made him cry and he left. Just like that. But in Dot's mind, it's poor pitiful Ronnie, a special girl to her; but then, Dot doesn't know what Charlie knows, and Charlie doesn't know all of the story, himself.

So there's more deceit.

And, of course, in the midst of this, Ronnie does what she always does when she's faced with the hard, cold truth - she runs. Or she tries to run. And now we've got Charlie's story, which makes even less sense than Dot's fairy tale and Ronnie's lie.

He's a bog cleaner in a care home. People who work in that industry are paid minimum wage, so where's he got the money for the flash motor and the wad with which to pay Les Coker and the money with which to pay off Bianca's debt? Here's another quandry: I buy the fact that Nick was married to Yvonne and they had Charlie. I buy the fact that Charlie was probably Nick's first child. I buy the fact that Nick kept popping up and back into their lives throughout Charlie's childhood and adolescence. But did he divorce Yvonne? When we first met Ashley and Zoe, when Dot left Walford all those ages ago, Zoe was Nick's wife, and Nick returned to Walford later with an adolescent Ashley, who was killed, and nary a word at anytime of an older son or another wife. 

Of course, the last time Nick visited, there was a young daughter - Dottie/Kirsty - and a third wife, Sandy, who seems to be getting along very nicely without Nick's interference. So did Nick collect wives or was he a bigamist? Charlie also mentioned something about Nick knocking Yvonne about. Nick is many things - a punk, a drug addict (and probably a pusher), a petty thief and a murderer (twice over), but he never impressed me as being a wife beater.

The story being presented by Charlie is that Nick was in trouble with the police, so they'd arrange a convenient death, there'd be a body, a funeral and Nick would emerge as someone else. Bob's your uncle! Or Nick, as the case may be. That is, in itself, a crime, and cruel to Dot. That would also mean the woman who accompanied Charlie to inform Dot of Nick's "death" wasn't a real policewoman as we all suspected. This is, in and of itself, a major crime, and it involves not only Charlie, but Yvonne, Nick and Les Coker, especially if the body in question came from his funeral home.

I want to know what Nick's done that's so terrible he has to change identities and fake a death. More important, was Charlie's shaggy dog story about Nick showing up from time to time and Charlie loving him because he was his dad. This was a bonding exercise with Ronnie, because then, all of a sudden, it became Bad Dads Week, and Ronnie's on a relation course of identifying with Charlie because both their fathers were and are psychopaths - like both of them, I'd imagine.

I feel sorry for the child involved. Name it Damien and be done with it.

Carter Cocktails. 

The Beales and Brannings always gave us the dinner parties from hell, so leave it to the Carters to give us the Cocktail Party from Hell, featuring a matchmaking attempt with Dean and Stacey. Mick meant well, but he still cannot see or fathom that Linda's greatest unease surfaces around Dean. And Linda continues to frustrate by saying nothing.

Mick and Linda seem to make a habit of leaving the bar to Johnny, Nancy, Tracey, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, regularly, for a quick nip upstairs - for a family meal, a bit of afternoon delight or an impromptu cocktail party. Now this was weird, but interesting - because whilst Dean was playing mind games with Linda, still trying to psychologically manipulate her into thinking their sex had been consensual, Stacey was giving Mick what for in the kitchen about his knowing about Alfie's scheme. Stacey's on a moral high horse, and a lot of the Alfie-Haters will side with her, but Mick makes a good point. Alfie didn't mean for anything to happen the way it did, and what good would it do to have him imprisoned for that fire? How would Kat and the kids cope? And besides, Stacey isn't so clean - remember she provided an alibi for Chrissie Watts the night Den was killed, amongst other things.

I'm not so certain that there won't be something between Mick and Stacey sometime in the future, but one thing I did notice was the difference in Dean when he's around Linda and when he's around Stacey. Around Linda, the creepiness aspect comes to the fore, but if you forget everything that happened between him and Linda, he and Stacey make a good pairing, which is unfortunate, considering what's about to happen in his future. At the moment for me, this storyline is the one which is holding my interest.

Another Fine Mess.

 Who's not surprised that the insurance isn't going to pay out? Denise was last seen drinking two glasses of champers to everyone else's one at Sharon's wedding reception. Now Alfie's drunk, which is totally out of character. Phil best get that AA chapter started quickly. 

The New Eye Candy - Review:- 20.10.2014

Nice, little watchable filler episode. Very Sharon Marshall, who's one of the better dialoguists in the writing room. And nicely paced, with the easing off a bit of the aftermath of Linda's rape, the introduction of a new character, the picking up of the Moon storyline and the continuation of Charlie and Ronnie. There was very little to dislike, actually.

An EastEnders' Tradition.

 Pretty girl has an altercation with the new hunk on the block in his standard vehicle. Steve Owen splashes Mel. Jack Branning almost runs over Ronnie. Now we have Kush honking Shabnam out of the way and an exchange of words. Yes, yes, yes ... who didn't see this coming a mile off. Kush is so going to be Shabnam's squeeze. The snarky comments, his assessment of her as a harpy, eating crow with her dad and brother, the ritual of buying humble pie, and Shabnam's assessment of him to Tamwar as a "loser", whilst her words don't match the doey-eyed look with which she followed him out the door.

First impressions? He's easy on the eye, the right age dynamic and an experienced television actor. I liked him. He's got a link to the Square - mentioning Martin, who's just around the corner, himself - and there was the vague mention of parents, so his family can be extended in the future if he proves a hit.

He's street suss and seems to fit the market, and I liked the banter he had with Alfie and Mo. Cute line:-

Alfie: This is my grandmother-in-law. You may have seen her face on the Welsh flag.

He's certainly got the measure of Donna as well, and it's nice to have good continuation in that money talks with Aleks, ditching Donna's extra pitch because Kush paid over the odds.

I always felt Kush was going to be stating the bleeding obvious in being a romantic interest for Shabnam, but I also think this storyline is going to bring out whatever it is that's been being pitched as her "secret" since the time she returned.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. 

Well, obviously, Nancy didn't have fun with Dexter in the back of the punter's car in the Arches. Either she had too much class to endure a rendezvous like that or he wasn't much in the pleasure market or both - probably both, with a heavy emphasis on the latter. Maybe in the cold light of day she realised that Dexter was pretty much a jerk. She'd find a lot of company in that opinion. 

I loved the way she kept rejecting his phone calls, and I'd be willing to bet she's more than just attracted to Tamwar as a friend, the way she was surreptitiously eyeing him in the same manner as which Shabnam was eyeing Kush. I think Nancy's just afraid of maybe getting involved with someone she regards as a friend, thinking they might lose that special rapport in a different sort of relationship.

Tamwar is hard going, however, with his constant depressing outlook on the world. He is Walford's Eeyore, but even that attitude gets to be a bit much. I remember early Tamwar, with his dry wit, so maybe a Nancy association can bring some of that back.

Something a bit off, however, in Nancy's talk with Mick - Nancy said that when Mick and Linda were her age, they had two kids and didn't listen to anyone. Eh? Nancy is 21. By the time Mick and Linda were Nancy's age, they had three children and were still playing house out of Elaine's pub. They may not have listened to Elaine all the time, but living in her house, she certainly called the shots.

You go, Nancy. Ditch Dexter. Maybe he'll leave. Twerp.

The Carter Conundrum Continues ... And Stacey. How much do I love Stacey? Bet you'd never have thought to hear me say that, right? She's the best thing about EastEnders these days. The closest transformation to which I can liken her is the transformation of Tiffany Raymond Mitchell from flutey material girl to the sweet young woman she became eventually. Stacey was the lychpin for two older, leading ladies tonight - Linda and Kat - dealing with their major problems in a very mature way.

She was spot on in encouraging Kat, putting whatever suspicions she had of Alfie behind her to reassure Kat that Alfie still loved her, no matter what she looked like, that his love went deeper than that. (Actually, I didn't think Kat's scars looked that bad. It's early days, and they looked the sort which, in time, would heal to next to nothing. As things stand, a bit of slap, cleverly applied, and her hair styled in a certain way, would detract from them). 

And Stacey came into her own with Linda, bonding over reminiscing about hair-dressing and raising little girls. The advice Stacey gave Linda was prescient also - you put your traumas behind you and move on, try to be happy. Boy, that's something the old Stacey would never have said, but this is NuStacey, accepting responsibility for what she'd done and moving onto try to make a happy life for her daughter. Contrast that with Ronnie's overt reluctance to confess a killing to Charlie (see below).


Stacey to Linda about Mick:- Boy, you really have got Mr Perfect there, ain't ya?

Who'd have known that Stacey had a predilection for hair-dressing from the time she was a child? Last time around, she was a keen dress designer and dressmaker, according to Jean. And another revelation - that Dot had apprenticed to be a hairdresser in her youth!

I'm liking the new, mature Stacey at the moment, showing soupcons of Tiffany Mitchell and Michelle Fowler in her personality. It was good to see her bonding with Nancy as well.

Mick, meanwhile, still doesn't know why Linda is unhappy, and Linda still won't say, yet there are still situations where she's inevitably finding herself face-to-face with Dean. I know this is meant to be drawn out, but TPTB don't want to risk drawing it out that much that it loses its edge. The interesting thing about this storyline is that the rapist is not someone introduced for that sole purpose, i.e., like Frank Foster on Corrie, but he's a well-known and established character with whom we all are familiar. I do think Dean knows very well what he's done, and I still think he's spooked out by his encounter with Elaine, as opposed to his mind games with Linda.

New Moons

Thus, begins the new chapter in Alfie's and Kat's lives. It seems that Alfie's been manning Kat's stall, and I do hope their luck changes this time around. Alfie and Kat are a couple who deserve to stay together. The constant yo-yoing of certain couples is both a bore and a parody. I know it's fashionable to hate Alfie at the moment, but on his day, Shane Richie is one of the stronger actors in the programme. When you consider a line-up of Richie, Steve McFadden, Danny Dyer and Jake Wood - when all are used correctly - there's no beating that faction of EastEnders' cast. If you remove Alfie from the Alfie-Kat equation, you are left with a single mother, over forty, with three young kids, ekeing out a living on a market stall. In short, you have another Bianca at her worst. Kat and Alfie are an endgame couple. I think the actors realise this, and the show should as well. The reason Alfie has been made unpopular is down to a lazy and somewhat ignorant writers' room. Sharon Marshall gets the character. Go with the flow.

The Mitchells Cotton On. It just dawned on me tonight that Ronnie still thinks Charlie is a policeman, which would make this the second policeman with whom she's had a child. Little does she know, however, that she's confessed murder to a bog-cleaner. Yet tonight, we got a glimpse of the NuMitchells, with Phil and Sharon at the helm. Phil is right to remember Carl. We all should remember Carl, because when his death comes to light, again, and it will, Phil, Sharon and Roxy are all heavily involved in the cover-up. as well as Shirley, who also knows the score there.

It's almost funny watching the Mitchells freak out over the fact that Ronnie the Murderer is seeing a policeman who's really a bog-cleaner. Still, I like Ronnie and Charlie together, although I know it's a calm before a storm that's bound to implode. The scenes with Dot were nice as well. Here's food for thought: Ronnie married Jack, which made her Dot's step-daughter-in-law, and now she's marrying Charlie, which will make her Dot's granddaughter-in-law.

Ronnie told Charlie she'd killed a man. She didn't tell him about having killed a woman, but then I suspect Charlie might know a bit about that also. Anyway, that's my theory, as they still remain my prime suspects.

Good episode.