I don't know whether tonight's featured characters were just the usual self-made victims of victims of a bad attempt at sitcom humour.
Or victims of Branningapalooza. Yes, even they - the three bruvs and their Granny Goodwitch satellite - made an appearance.
Anyway, this is for the beleagured of Albert Square ...
Oh well ... Dot would appreciate the sentiment of the song.
Three cheers for Masood, who offered a brilliant assessment of Syed and, indeed, of all the poor, pitiful victims of Albert Square - tonight featuring (in addition to Syed and Zainab) poor pitiful Lola and poor pitiful misunderstood Slut Slutter.
I wanted to stand up and shout about Masood stopping Zainab (who's the source and influence of all of Syed's behaviour and immaturity) from interfering in Syed's dilemma with Amira about Yasmin.
Let's get something straight right now about the Syed-Amira-Yasmin dynamic. First, when Amira left Syed, after being totally humiliated by his confession, by being duped into a friendship with Christian and betrayed by them both, Syed didn't know she was pregnant. Yasmin was one year old before Syed even knew she existed.
Secondly, Christian had a massive problem with jealousy, both of Amira and of Yasmin, when he found out about her. He thought Syed's head would be turned again by Amira and that she would use Yasmin as a tool to get Syed back.
Thirdly, for all the Chryed apologists, Amira did not abandon Yasmin to Syed. Amira was adamant about Yasmin not being around Christian - not because of his sexuality - but because Christian was the catalyst in breaking up her marriage. He pretended to be her friend whilst sleeping with her husband. Amira's behaviour would have been no different if, instead of Christian, the homewrecker had been Roxy or Janine. I can totally understand her reluctance.
However, it appears as though Syed's and Amira's divorce included joint custody of Yasmin. We have to presume that she relented and allowed Yasmin to stay with her father and his partner - or we can assume (as per usual) that EastEnders' writers are all over the place with this one yet again and have just retconned the situation.
When Amira finally left Syed the second time, Yasmin stayed overnight and then Amira collected her, off-screen, the next day. Then it was weeks before Syed was asked to babysit Yasmin for a night. She was teething and Amira had been up several nights in a row with her. This was the infamous episode where Christian threw a hissy fit because he wanted to go clubbing with Syed.
We've seen Yasmin with the Chryeds a lot, but we have to assume that she spent an equal time with her father and also with her mother. She's been with them for the past few weeks because Amira's been on holiday. That doesn't make her a bad mother, and I can see no excuse for the hatred of Amira in the face of baseless apologies from the Chryed fans for two of the most selfish characters ever to appear in the programme.
Syed is particularly pathetic. He isn't complex or multi-faceted. His father sussed him completely tonight - he's a weak, selfish and self-centred mamma's boy who cannot accept responsibility for his own actions and rather than do that and make an adult decision about his daughter's best interests, he comes running to Mummy to kiss and make it better. Masood was right. This is Syed's call, and Amira wouldn't be so cruel as to deny her inlaws access to Yasmin nor would she deny such a thing to Syed.
I don't understand this weird dilemma that the writers have imposed on Syed, just to serve the purpose of his leaving line. All Amira had to say was she was getting married and Yasmin was going with her to Birmingham. FFS, she wasn't asking Syed's permission for her husband-to-be to adopt Yasmin; it just means that Syed would have to make more of an effort to stay in touch with his daughter.
In the end, he's decided she should go with her mother; but - Syed being Syed - I felt this was more him giving into the easiest situation to suit him, rather than doing any sort of formal organising with Amira. Yes, I know this is all plot-driven and hurried; but also, it's another cheap shot by the writers to make us feel sorry for Syed - when Syed's got more than enough pity for himself at the moment. What an utter drip.
At least Christian has come around to realise that Yasmin was really the only thing keeping the pair of them together for the past few weeks. He knows now what he should have realised two years ago - that Syed is duplitious, weak and cowardly. Christian even called him out on those traits on the day Syed married Amira.
Masood was the star tonight. And I'm glad he's fending Zainab's pathetic attempts to get back into his good books as well. Alfie should take some advice from him.
Speaking of which, Shaggerman (AKA Derek - like Ben, Derek's inherited the mantle of being all things to everyone) is back and sending Slut Slutter text messages, whilst she's trying to "make an effort" with Alfie - in other words, to keep him off the scent of the fact that she's lied to him in telling him the truth - something that really isn't so difficult for another eternal victim (Kat) to do. This explained the appearance of the Branning brothers tonight, with Derek and Alfie having the most dialogue.
Look, Luddites, use your grey matter: Jack is horny for Sharon. He would never dip his wick in a greaseblob like Kat. Max is already married to some Eastern European illegal immigrant and probably has a kid with her, plus - he's planning on marrying Tanya as well. Go figure that one. Hey, maybe Max's big secret is that he's turned Mormon. After all, Tanya's like a poor white version of Ann Romney.
Shaggerman is so Derek. Not that anyone cares, but we would like for Alfie to kick Kat's cheating, slutty ass out when he does twig what a bitch she's been.
And speaking of someone who does love Alfie, I see TPTB don't know what to do with Roxy at the moment, so it looks as though they are pushing her in the direction of Michael. Again. She's living at Fatboy's house at the moment, with her child - by the way, has anyone remembered that Amy turns four this month? Has anyone remembered that Oscar Branning turns five? Fatboy keeps that music at a deafening level, which can't be healthy for Amy and which he should surely realise. Yet again, another plot device to get Roxy with Michael, with whom she had absolutely no chemistry at all the first time around; but that seems to be EastEnders' ethos at the moment: take two people with no sexual chemistry at all and make them a couple, then force them on the viewers - Lauren and Joey (who are totally unlikeable as well), Roxy and Michael, Kim and Ray (Ray actually has more chemistry with Denise), Jack and Sharon ... just what are these people trying to prove?
Oh, and Scarlett was "upstairs with Auntie Jean?" That can only bode bad for Janine when she comes back from
I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here wherever she is. I can so see Jean starting a hate campaign against wicked evil Janine for "abandoning" her child.
Phil and Sharon were relegated to the B List tonight. Funny, how they only rate an A-List attention rating wheneve Jack the Joke is involved. Tonight, however, we've got much of the same old same old Mitchell fare - how Billy is eventually and inevitably relegated to the periphery of things whenever he's got something or access to something that Phil wants.
Tonight Phil held out money for a present for Lexie, and Lola almost bit it out of his hand, but was stopped by Billy; in the end, however, Phil prevailed, with a visit to the parenting class by him and Sharon, along with Lola. Now Lola, like Jay did, after the gift of boxing gloves, is eating out of Phil's hand. Notice how comfortable Sharon looked throughout the whole of those scenes - as if she belongs with Phil, which she does.
Kim's non-story. Common sense. You're fridge goes on the blink, you go down to the local Currys or Argos or even a local retailer and you buy a fridge. In two days, maybe even the same day, you have an appliance. Instead, Kim resorts to lamebrain tactics - hiding binbags full of dodgy food around the street, watching her guests get sick, using the cafe and coolbags to deflect attention. Surely, she's got enough nous to know, in a catering industry, that something like this won't work and will eventually burst her stupid little bubble. She is totally totally unfunny and, even unfunnier, she's such a token and stereotypical character, it's insulting. Ray is also, which is unfortunate, because he started out being such a nice guy. Diane Parrish certainly deserves better.
Tonight's episode was a real loser. And next week is the beginning of Branning Autumn leading up to Branning Christmas, and in the new year, we have a biracial Branning teen arriving. I thought no new characters were being added on Lorraine Newman's watch. I guess that doesn't apply to the Brannings and their satellites.
Update: Almost forgot that instant matriarch Cora. She spoke gibberish tonight. I don't buy Lola as a mother. She'll be the feckless, confrontational sort that Bianca's become, a child who has never grown up, confronting any sort of authority which challenges her child for misbehaving. Where a person gives birth doesn't determine the type of parent they'll be. Bianca and Kat gave birth in the Vic, Zainab on the floor of Masala Masood and Tanya in her living room without even removing her tights. All are abysmal parents. And Cora's last staple of advice worked so well for Lola, didn't it? Something about banging on the door of Social Services? And where, pray tell, did that land Lexie? I know she's popular - hell, vaslav37 even wants to suckle her; but I wouldn't bat an eyelid if that old bat Cora left the show - Ann Mitchell or no.