EastEnders: Old enough to be your mother

“Don’t ask me to work in your restaurant,” Kathy told Ian towards the end of last night’s episode. “I worked in the caff and a bus crashed into it. I worked in the chippy and a car crashed into it…”

It did, as well. Kathy had the grazes on her face to prove it, but luckily the deep fat fryer stayed intact otherwise it could have been a lot worse.

Kush sustained a dislocated shoulder, and when Denise finally decided to kiss him, she inevitably chose the dislocated side to go in from, although she’d been at the other side of the bed for the rest of the evening. This made him wince. But not as much as Carmel is going to make them both wince when she finds out her best mate and her number one son are an item. 

Meanwhile, the driver of the car, an inebriated and pilled-up Michelle, was being prepped for theatre to get her spleen sorted out. This left her brother Martin and boyfriend Preston (who isn’t from Preston) to snarl at each other in the waiting room. Martin said he had more dibs on caring about her, what with him being her brother and knowing him since she was Susan Tully and he was Jon Peyton-Price and/or James Alexandrou. Preston said that all Martin had done for Michelle was to visit her in America and treat her like she was his mother. It was perhaps unwise to bring in the word “mother” at this stage, as people keep pointing out to Preston that Michelle’s son Mark is older than he is. And that Michelle is technically old enough to be his granny. “But I love her,” Preston bleats back, unconvincingly given that he’s usually still warm from an encounter with Bex when he says it.

So. A car crashes into the chippy and no-one dies (yet – Michelle is still being operated on as we speak). But someone did die, and it was sad. Linda Marlowe has done a lovely job of portraying Sylvie Carter. Scenes with Sylvie have been very touching, as her family (especially Tina) struggled to look after her. I liked that there wasn’t an attempt to whitewash what a terrible mother Sylvie had been – Shirley certainly made sure we knew that Sylvie had been selfish and cruel. But we also saw that she had charm and there was something lovable about her. Her vulnerability was painful to watch, particularly a scene a while back when Babe abandoned her by the canal.

Her death was unexpected, while everyone’s attention was on the aftermath of the car crash and the fallout of the Michelle/Preston revelations. She decided to run herself a bath, and balanced the CD player that Tina had thoughtfully supplied with a long extension lead in a previous episode on the side of the bath. A short while later, the fusebox tripped in the Vic, and it was curtains for Sylvie. The howl of anguish from Tina, who had really loved her and tried to do her best for her, was heartbreaking.

Earlier, Sylvie asked Tina to brush her hair. “I love you, mum,” she said to her daughter. “You’re my mum,” Tina pointed out. “I love you anyway,” said Sylvie.

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