Co-dependency is a byword in Walford. By that standard, alone, it's one of the sickest places on earth.
Starting from the top down, we've got Phil Mitchell and his cobbled-together mix. Phil misses his mother. Peggy couldn't do enough for Phil, even though he smacked her about and ruined her business countless times. Phil loved, yet loathed her. Now even his goddess Sharon has feet of clay and he's forced to spend his time in a celibate relationship with a bitter and twisted old beerhag, who can't let go of him as her obsession. Out of guilt, Phil will be tied to Shirley for the rest of his life. The same with Sharon. Any relationship he has with her will be overshadowed by the secret he carries regarding Dennis's death.
Then there was Max and Tanya, the ultimate in a co-dependent couple. They always came back for more. She mistook great sex for love, and Max knew she was easily manipulated.
Ian Beale fears being alone, so he veers from relationship to relationship, and they all end in tears.
Alfie and Kat, on the surface (thanks to Bryan Kirkwood) appear to be the natural successor to Max and Tanya, but they aren't. Alfie and Kat are an endgame couple. Her cheating really had stopped when they left Walford in 2005, and I believe it will stop again,once they are properly reunited.
But the absolute sickest co-dependency relationship of all is Ronnie and Roxy.
As one psychopath departeth, so we have another; but the plastic-faced bitch has always been a psychopath - manipulative, controlling, obsessive, arrogant, at times charming, cold, unable to empathise with anything or anyone and supremely entitled, she is a textbook case of psychopathy.
Her attitude toward Roxy is psycho-sexual. That's obvious. Ronnie is one step away from crossing the line and actually bedding Roxy. If DTC wanted to be really shocking and present something that is as true to life as it is twisted, he'd have Ronnie's psycho-sexual feelings made known to Roxy ... and have Roxy kill her in horror.
That's the way to end the worst aspect of the Mitchells - two retcons who are progeny of a retcon.
Ronnie is a bitch, and what we saw tonight from the Mitchell brigade was the family and their satellites at their worst.
I am the absolute biggest fan of Auntie Sal and the home truths she brings, but she was a disappointment to me tonight. First of all, she's no Mitchell, being Peggy's sister, and Peggy wasn't always a Mitchell. So whilst she's Phil's aunt, she's nothing to the Banger Sisters.
Secondly, she's proud of Ronnie for coming back to Walford? She deems Alfie a clown? When did she ever meet Alfie? When he had his first tenure at the pub, Sal wasn't seen for dust, and he's not been seen about this time, since Peggy left.
Sal doesn't mince words or suffer fools lightly; and she's more than made her feelings known about the incredible relationship that links Jack to Ronnie, Roxy and Sam Mitchell. She never approved of that, so why would she countenance a woman returning to the area where she kidnapped the son of a neighbour couple, dumped her dead baby in their baby's cot and made them believe for four months that their child was dead? And rather than deeming Alfie a clown, why didn't she remark about him being the father of the child Ronnie kidnapped?
Ronnie is no hero, and the Mitchells are not only hypocrites, but pure scum in thinking that she's something in which they could invest their pride. If Kat Moon had snatched a Mitchell baby, she and Alfie would have been set upon with baseball bats.
The only voice of sanity tonight seemed to be Shirley, who nicely told Ronnie to stuff it and at least act happy for Roxy's sake, never mind what she thought. This is TPTB setting Shirley up to be the new matriarch of something - I haven't quite figured out what, but I want her removed from the Mitchell sphere. That's making Heather's death and her so-called friendship with Shirley into something trivial - as trivial as they've made the babyswap. Still, I suppose since Heather was fat and over forty, she doesn't count as a real character in today's EastEnders.
I only hope - and I don't fear the demented one-celled fangirl Ronnie Brigade in saying this - but I hope that plastic-faced, noseless bitch eventually gets bitch-slapped all over that Square so much that someone bounces her plastic face like a basketball.
For all she was instrumental in bringing Ronnie back to Walford and even into the pub at one point, Kat knows what a hateful piece of skanky flesh she is.
Oh, and this isn't the first time Ronnie's pissed on Roxy's parade and made it all about her.
Remember Amy's christening?
Roxy is right on a primeval level: specifically, Ronnie cannot abide seeing Roxy happy or having something that she doesn't. No man is ever right for Roxy - Damien wasn't right for her (and Ronnie pretended to Roxy that he'd assaulted her); Sean wasn't right for Roxy, and Ronnie goaded him into hitting her. Now Alfie isn't right for Roxy. Even if Alfie didn't still love Kat, there would be something about him that Ronnie would hate - probably the fact that he thinks she's a Class A bitch and has front and disdain to return to face out the people she hurt.
As long as Ronnie's around, Roxy will never be more than a child in a woman's body. This Ibiza shit they keep referring to and the Island that's their escape route is getting old also, just like them. Ronnie will introduce Roxy and Amy to botox and they will live out their lives like the two walking corpse in Death Becomes Her, having no one but each other.
This could be Ronnie and Roxy in the Year Dot.
Who didn't expect the Hen Night to end with Roxy banning Ronnie from her wedding? Will that stop the Hard Woman of Walford? No.
I still like Shirley's retconned sister - how shallow of DTC to ditch the stereotypical sad, fat clown replacement for Heather for another lithe, younger lipstick lesbian, and - in doing so - completely retcon Shirley's background.
Kevin got a mention from Tina tonight, when Shirley mentioned that she and Denise shared an ex, but Tina must have been a very young child when Shirley and Kevin were an item. I'm still wondering how Shirley managed to raise Tina and Ratboy when she was married with three small children and an unenthusiastic mother at the least?
Poppy ... Just go.
The House of Fun.
Ian's idea of a stag party is children's games? Still, this shower was a lot more interesting than what went down at the R and R.
Line of the night go to Billy and Ian:-
Billy: Alfie, how does it feel to be part of the Mitchell family, one of the most revered families in the EastEnd for years?
Ian: Don't you mean "reviled?"
Once again, here are the Mitchells at their worst, embodied by Billy, the runt of the litter, whom the bigger Mitchells treat with contempt most of the time. So contemptuous are they of him that Phil wanted to remove Lexi, his granddaughter and Billy's great-granddaughter, from Billy' care.
Yet, whenever the occasion arises, Billy tries to out-Mitchell the Mitchells.
Another interesting aspect of the stag night was its make-up:- Alfie, Phil, Max, Ian, Masood, Ajay, Terry, Billy and Jake. Nine men with nineteen wives between them. I liked some of the subtle nuances displayed - like Jake turning down the shot round and Phil instantly recognising that Jake, too, was a recovering alcoholic, without making a big deal out of the proceedings. And Max putting in an appearance and apologising to Alfie for showing, cognizant of the fact that his niece is being held for the murder of Alfie's cousin, and Alfie insisting that Max stay.
There's a lot of hatred for Alfie Moon in some quarters, by people who can't think critically and have selective memories. Bryan Kirkwood turned Alfie into a bad impersonation of Shane Richie. Alfie is one of the few genuinely good people on the Square, and yet he's reviled, to use Billy's word.
The marital advice banter was interesting as well. Alfie was preoccupied by the fact that he's allowed the situation to snowball when he knows, deep down, that he still loves Kat, whilst Max was somber and reflecting on his past life, implying he'd never stray again.
Once again, we see Billy display the utmost hypocrisy. Billy dumped Little Mo and Honey dumped Billy. Billy talks about moving on, but - apart from Julie (whom Lola ran off) - he's not had a proper relationship since Honey,and he has virtually given up seeing his children in order to devote himself to a granddaughter he didn't know from Adam two years ago. Nice one, Billy.
And I was glad to see Ian reference himself as Alfie's best friend. I like their bromance.
The EndGame Couple.
I wasn't keen on Terry Spraggan before, and I'm still not keen on his kids, but he's beginning to grow on me as a character, and I actually found myself liking Bianca tonight as well.
I cannot abide Patsy Palmer as Bianca the Banshee or Bianca the Village Idiot, but in scenes like the one she had with Kat tonight, she shone. A bottle of wine and some popcorn and a trip down Memory Lane for Kat to review all her previous boyfriends and compare them to Alfie.
I'd actually forgotten she'd slept with Garry Hobbs. Andy Hunter. Ant Knee Trueman.
It was written all over her face that she loved Alfie, and for the first time, she admitted to someone that she cocked that relationship up. I thought it was quite poignant and very realistic that Bianca was the one to weep and shed copious tears. Real mates often do just that when their friend is trying to be brave.
Well, it was inevitable that Alfie would visit Kat, and their talk before their passionate kiss reminded me a lot of Tanya's last scene with Max. She was so ready to succumb to Alfie, yet she realised she had to step back and allow him to move on with Roxy.
The most heart-wrenching lines of the night?
Kat: You ain't my Alfie no more.
Alfie: I'll always be your Alfie.
You cannot help but want this couple to succeed.
Newsflash: In case you haven't realised it or have forgotten, ROXY IS STILL MARRIED TO SEAN SLATER. FACT.
But, once again, we bow to the altar of the great god Retcon.
Good episode. Guess that must have been Sunday night in Walford, eh?
Update: For the benefit of the utterly clueless and common senseless ilovenicnacs, one of the meanet and most passive-aggressive bullies on DS - Alfie is 48; Roxy is 36. That's TWELVE years' age difference - the same difference between Tiffany and Grant Mitchell. "Grandad" is a term of affection. Kathy Beale, eleven year older than her husband Phil Mitchell used to call him "Grandad" as well.
Update II: For the benefit of lotty27, Thanksgiving is the LAST Thursday in November. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.