Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saint Christian the Catalyst

Awwww ... The end of Chryed is near, and even as I type, I can hear scores of Chryed fans and shippers crying into their lattes, or engaged in fierce apologies for the inappropriate behaviours of their best boys throughout the years. 

Here's a song by which they can drown their sorrows. Something cheesy, the sort of thing Syed might play for Christian or Christian might play for Syed:-

Yes, a couple of days ago, there was a fierce debate raging about Chryed on Digital Spy, most notably between the commentator MissLola, who's new to the game but who makes a lot of salient points, and KatrinaK, head cheerleader and shipper-apologist for all things Chryed, amongst a couple of others who came up with such silly suggestions as how it was impossible for Syed to ever be with Amira, so Yasmin was, really, a miracle who deserved to live full-time with Chryed.

Well, before I begin anything, there are oodles of gay people who live heterosexual lives for years before admitting their sexuality. Some even marry and have children. Tony Richardson (father of Joely and the late Natasha) was married to Vanessa Redgrave for years. Redgrave's own father was a gay man who fathered three children. Paul O'Grady has a daughter - yes, from a relationship with a woman.

But more than anything as I read that thread, I was astounded at the almost saintly status in which Christian is held - is it his name? - when, really, Syed and Christian are as bad as one another and almost deserve one another.

People are quick to point out, and EastEnders should be commended for its continuity in that respect, that Syed arrived a shady, deceitful, lying, dishonest and weak individual - one of a score of whom (and the only male) who refused to accept responsibility for his actions. He'd been banished from the family fold, after he'd embezzled from their business and risked it all in dodgy investments. His father (yes, Syed has daddy issues) agreed to take the blame for his wrongs, telling Zainab the Pure that he had gambled the money away; but the price Syed would have to pay is to go away.

He returned on a lie, luring Zainab to a luxury penthouse flat in Canary Wharf with tales of his success. It was Mas who found out he was lying - house-sitting for a mate, who was probably a passing one-night-stand.

And Syed is leaving, much the same way he arrived - having embezzled from his brother and ruined the family business, he's lied and cheated again, and bankrupted his family. Still, it's all Mas's fault, you know. Not only that, he's cheated on his husband-to-be the night before the wedding and lied to him on his wedding day.

Same old same old. And Christian's the injured party?

But, I would remind some people, that Christian is no saint.

Christian arrived on the Square in very sinister circumstances. If you'll recall, Jane received an invitation to his wedding (to another man) after years of no contact. She reluctantly let Ian arrange a dinner between the two couples, where Christian, whose fiance was an older man, acted like a class A prat. Afterward, Jane told Ian the story of how Christian had come onto David, her first husband, and she and Christian had fallen out over that.

But from the getgo, Christian proved that, if anything else - for better or for worse (usually, the latter) - Christian acted as the catylist in getting other people to face home truths about themselves. By his second appearance, he and Jane had made up, so they went clubbing. During the course of the evening, Christian admitted that he and his fella had split, and he admitted that he was only with him for the older guy's money, which prompted Jane to confess that she was with Ian only out of gratitude, guilt and financial security, confessing that Grant Mitchell was miles better in bed than Ian could ever be.

From that point, he settled in with the Beale family, where he regularly undermined Ian's parenting of the twins, encouraging Lucy to snark and sarcasm and openly ridiculing Ian in front of his children. For a time, this resulted in Ian handing Lucy over to Christian as his responsibility, but when Christian couldn't handle her, she went back to Ian.

For the longest time, Christian engaged in a series of one-night stands, which accorded him the label of being one of the biggest sluts in Walford (second only to Jack). He was the harbinger for Steven Beale to admit his homosexuality and was caught leering at Darren Miller's teenage friends at one of Max Branning's parties.

Then he met Syed.

Syed had had a couple of one night stands with guys, but now he was back in his family's strict Muslim home, he had repressed his sexuality and was moving ahead with plans to marry Amira.

This is where the dark side of Christian came into play. Syed cheated on Amira with Christian, before and after they were married. During that time, Christian pretended to be Amira's friend. He even helped her plan her wedding, and he revealed his involvement with Syed in the cruelest way (inadvertantly aided by Lucy Beale).

Does Christian love Syed? Yes, but I think whilst Syed is fond of Christian, he doesn't love him enough to settle down. Chryed was the union of two very selfish people - a gay Max and Tanya.

What Christian wanted, he wanted, and he'd get by any means. One year into their relationship, after an afternoon watching Amy watch DVDs, Christian decides he wants a child. Syed, unaware that he's already a father, balks at this, but Christian barrels ahead, even enlisting Roxy as a would-be surrogate mother.

When that fell through, Syed acquiesced to adoption, but only after they'd got engaged. And then Amira returned with Yasmin, and Christian went into a tailspin. Who can forget that scene in the Vic, when Christian rifles through Amira's handbag looking for a picture of Yasmin? Or that Christian robbed Yasmin's DNA to try to prove she wasn't Syed's daughter? Or, worst of all, Christian issued an ultimatum to Syed, that he had to choose between Christian or Yasmin.

Loads of people criticised Amira for the contempt in which she held Christian when she returned, and he was unbearably rude to her; but he did break up her marriage, whilst pretending friendship and he had, effectively, destroyed her life or what life she had within her culture and community. The blame would have lain with Amira in that respect, as she explained.

So now, the same situation has reared its head again, and once again, within hours of Syed's wedding. Cast your mind back to 2010 and late 2009. Syed and Christian were having an affair in the days before Syed's wedding and afterwards. Now Syed's recently married again, and days before his vows, he's attracted to and sleeping with another man - a man who knows Syed's type and his inclinations far better than Christian. And, as Christian did with Amira, Danny Vincent repaid karma to Christian by outing Syed's infidelity in the same manner.

Syed cheated on Amira with Christian and on Christian with Danny. In this last instance, Christian has been the innocent party, but it was not always thus. Christian hasn't been the nicest of characters, and this time, karma bit him squarely on his muscly ass.

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