Eastenders murder a case of mistaken identity
Published 26/12/2015 | 20:02
The answer to which Walford resident would not survive Christmas was answered in grisly fashion as a tragic case of mistaken identity led to a St Stephen's Day murder in EastEnders.
On Christmas Day, viewers were left wondering who was the innocent man that Ronnie Mitchell, played by Samantha Womack, had sealed inside a vehicle headed for the car crusher instead of her ex-lover Vincent Hubbard, played by Richard Blackwood, as their feud reached fever pitch.
In the following episode, Vincent could be seen confronting Ronnie at The Arches where she admitted that her "goons" captured the person she had sent on an errand, leading him to believe the person on the way to the scrapyard was his mother Claudette.
In a tense moment - and with Ronnie, Roxy Mitchell and Jack Branning in hot pursuit - he arrived just in time to stop the car being crushed but opened the boot to find Arthur "Fatboy" Chubb dead inside.
It had been announced in October that Fatboy, played for five years by Ricky Norwood, would be written out of the series, but viewers were not expecting the shock twist that he was in boot after it appeared he was forced out of town by Vincent on Christmas Eve.
His death was a case of history repeating itself for Ronnie, who fans will remember covered up her murder of villainous Carl White in a car crusher in 2014.
As the plot thickened, Vincent told his mother that they were responsible for Fatboy's death because of the "stupid war we're waging with the Mitchells".
He then sought to end the retaliation by ignoring his mother's advice to tell Ronnie that Fatboy was dead.
Vincent told Ronnie, Roxy and Jack, who had not seen the body in the car: "They scammed you, you crushed an empty car... One of your goons to make you think they were going through with it, they planned to take your money and run."
In a heart-breaking scene, Vincent then went to see Dot Cotton (June Brown) to tell her Fatboy would not be coming back to her house.
"He's got a New Year's gig, some ski resort in Austria," he lied. "If it goes well, he might be staying, he said."
The other life that was hanging in the balance in the episode was Sharon Rickman's son Dennis, who had suffered a subdural haematoma as a result of Phil Mitchell's car crash.
But it remains to be seen whether the body count from the events of Christmas Day will rise further as the episode ended with Sharon (Letitia Dean) and Phil (Steve McFadden) waiting to see if Dennis would survive surgery to stem the bleed on his brain.
Back in Albert Square, with the cat out the bag, Ian (Adam Woodyatt) and Jane Beale (Laurie Brett) seemed to have reached a consensus on going to the police about son Bobby's murder of daughter Lucy.
But Ian's plan to send out-of-control Bobby to a tough boarding school was scuppered by a knock from the police at the door and the news that Ian's plan to take the blame for Phil's car crash had led to his arrest on suspicion of dangerous driving.
EastEnders airs on Monday December 28 at 8pm on BBC One