*Contains spoilers* He’s a little weasel, that Ian Beale, isn’t he? “Snivelling” is practically his middle name. Whether he’s sneaking off for sordid little assignations with Ronnie and Roxie’s mother or parading a prostitute around to try and pretend he’s got himself a high-quality girlfriend, he really is a pathetic specimen.
And yet… I can’t dislike him. Maybe it’s because sometimes you get a glimpse that he really does have a good heart – he genuinely loves Jane, and he thought he was doing the right thing and supporting Lucy over her abortion, and he did his best to protect Ben from the thuggery of Phil Mitchell. Sometimes he’s really sweet. And sometimes he’s cynical and snappy and conniving, and I quite like that, as well (in a fictional character, you understand). Even his attempt to divide the house down the middle was a bit limp, featuring as it did just a strip of masking tape down the middle of the dining table. Has he not seen Steptoe and Son?
I like Jane, too. What’s not to like about Jane? She’s genuine, kind, loving, a loyal friend. In a neighbourhood packed full of murderers, thugs, philanderers, the deluded and Janine, Jane is about the nearest thing Walford has to a normal person.
The Beales have been a family at war ever since I resumed watching the show at the start of 2010. They have more ups and downs than the lift at Walford East tube station (or is it an escalator? Have we ever seen it?). Currently it’s all looking a bit terminal, what with Jane picking men up in the pub, Ian picking women up from an agency (how sad, when Heather is available, too).
This week, in an attempt to escape the depressing reality of her disintegrating marriage, Jane tells Masood that they should run away together. Of course this isn’t possible, as no-one would get their post if Masood wasn’t there, and anyway, he loves Zainab, for reasons best known to himself. Despite being all shouty and intolerant and that, Zainab is a bit of a man-magnet, and as well as Masood she also has Slimy Dr Yusuf after her (he is after her, isn’t he? Or is he just after splitting the Masoods up because he’s slimy?). When Yusuf spots Jane and Masood having a cosy, yet regretful, cuddle, it’s just ammunition for more marriage meddling.
Posted by PLA (more EastEnders here)