There was death, deception, and derangement in Walford – even more than normal – as Stacey became convinced that her baby was the Son of God and Charlie Slater had his fare as a cabbie. Or rather, his ghost did.
Two episodes of EastEnders on Thursday night could only mean one thing. No not that the BBC was showing the FA Cup match between Exeter and Liverpool tomorrow – an extra dose of pain, misery and suffering, particularly for the Slaters.
They’d had a gratuitously grim few days even by their standards.
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Harrowing: There was death, deception, and derangement in Walford – even more than normal – as Stacey became convinced that her baby was the Son of God
First, Kat learnt from a nun (Sister June Whitfield) that more than 30 years ago when Kat was having Zoe, she had also given birth to a son. Kat’s muvver Viv had not only taken him away but given him away and never told her.
Then Kat discovered that her grandmuvver Big Fat Mo had helped Viv and so had been keeping it from Kat all this time (since she joined the series).
In the slanging match between Kat and BFM that resulted, Kat’s father Charlie Slater then had a heart attack (or as they say in Walford ‘an art attack’). When he croaked on the sofa in front of her, it meant that after thirty years of trying someone in EastEnders had finally been killed by arguing.
All over: Kat’s father Charlie Slater then had a heart attack (or as they say in Walford ‘an art attack’), when he croaked on the sofa in front of her
‘It was strangely peaceful,’ Sharon later told Alfie – a dubious claim because a) it wasn’t (it was a heart attack) and b) nothing in this show is ever ‘peaceful.’
Kat doesn’t even know that her ‘usband Alfie has a brain tumour. Quite WHY he hasn’t mentioned it wasn’t clear – apart from he is THAT irritating.
As for poor Stacey Slater, she was having an even worse time. Well, worse than Kat – not worse than Charlie.
‘It was strangely peaceful,’ Sharon later told Alfie – a dubious claim because a) it wasn’t (it was a heart attack) and b) nothing in this show is ever ‘peaceful’
It’s safe to say that the combination of discovering these traumatic developments about Kat bay-bay and Charlie’s death, combined with Stacey’s bi-polar condition, and the Postpartum Psychosis she had been suffering from since giving birth to Baby Arthur was not a good one.
Plus there was Stacey’s own discovery of a Long-Lost Relative (her half-bruvver Kyle) who had chipped up in Walford, claiming (slightly suspiciously) to be part of the family that Stacey’s Dad had secretly had when she was young.
Confused? You will be on…EastEnders.
We won’t even factor in that the poor girl was lumbered with Martin Fowler, who was gormlessly unaware Stacey had been lying to him about being Arthur’s father (rather than Kush who had just married her best friend Shabnam).
Anyway, Stacey had slowly, sadly, unravelled, fleeing the scene of Charlie’s death convinced that everyone was after Baby Arthur.
Well I say ‘everyone’ – Big Fat Mo (the child-snatcher) mostly, plus someone else.
‘I needed ‘elp to protect Arthur from The King,’ Stacey explained to Kyle matter-of-factly.
No, not ‘the King’ as in Elvis – that would be ridiculous: King Herod.
Stacey had gradually become convinced her baby was actually Jesus ever since he was born in a manger (it’s a long story).
‘He’s the Son of God, he’s here to save us all,’ she told Dot, matter-of-factly.
Dot then helpfully filled her in on Herod’s Horrible History in this regard – putting the fear of God in her (ironically).
Kyle had become the only person she trusted, unfortunately (given that he was clearly Not What He Seems).
This was mostly because they shared the same father (apparently), who she had started seeing and talking to – even though he had been dead for years.
‘I’m the only one who can hear him,’ she told Kyle confidently. ‘He tells me to protect Arthur. Why do you think we’re going to Yarmouth?!’
Not, as you might think for the traditional reasons (for a ride on the donkeys) but because ‘you can see the stars there’, according to Stacey.
‘Is she having one of her episodes?’ Mo asked Kat.
Everyone in the family was frankly.
Stacey had also bonded with Kyle over her feelings of strangeness and difference – from being bi-polar and how people had always treated her.
‘That’s exactly how I felt my whole life,’ Kyle empathised.
‘Really?!’ Stacey asked, looking and sounding more and like a Dickensian street urchin by the minute. ‘You’ve seen the darkness out there too?’
‘I’ve been to some pretty bleak places,’ he reflected glumly.
Whether any of them were worse than Walford he didn’t say.
For a while, things were fine (at least in Stacey’s fractured mind) – because Arthur had been baptised. Sadly, this was not by the vicar but Stacey who had ‘baptised’ him – in the kitchen self. ‘In the name of the father…’ she mumbled gamely.
Dot then (again helpfully) told her this didn’t count, sending her scarpering into the night.
A rumour that her father had never had a son saw her equilibrium spiralling further, and accusing Kyle of being not just a fraud but another evil force who was after Baby Arthur.
‘I know who you are. I know you’re the devil !’ she cried. ‘Don’t touch him ! You’re going to burn him!’
The poor thing jumped into a cab to get to safety, only to find it was being driven by Charlie/Charlie’s ghost. Talk about a bad night…
‘What’s happening?’ she frowned, even harder than usual. ‘I don’t understand. I’m confused.’
She wasn’t the only one.
‘I know you are,’ the spectre said, explaining ‘It’s your illness that’s talking. It’s not you.’
He told her ‘you need to go home, they’ll look after you’ but even this didn’t indicate a peaceful end to a harrowing night for Stace’ and a trouble night’s viewing for us.
An unlikely chance encounter with Shabnam doing some stargazing didn’t have the positive effect Shabz intended when she look up into the sky and suggested: ‘it makes you realise there are so many things that are out of our control. You’ve just got to go with it.’
Stacey interpreted even this in another way.
‘She’s right !’ she told Baby Arthur/Jesus. ‘We just have to go somewhere it will be easier for your daddy to see us.’
To her, gripped by her Postpartum Psychosis, this could only mean the roof of the Queen Vic.
This was where she ended up and where the night’s episodes finished – on top of the iconic pub with Stacey looking out over Walford, at the heavens, and cooing to her baby: ‘it’s OK. I’ve got you. We’re safe – away from all the scary people.’
‘Look up there !’ she pointed at a star. ‘God is watching. He’s coming for you. He’s coming.’
Somehow, given everything that was going on in her head and in Walford generally, it didn’t seem particularly encouraging.