Alice's song? Michael's song? Alfie's song?
For the record (again), it's mete to remember that one of Janine's defining characteristics is her abandonment issue. That's why Whitney inadvertantly kicked in Janine's maternal feelings toward Scarlett. Janine was effectively abandoned time and again by Frank and/or various members of her family. When Scarlett was born and she was hormonally vulnerable, Michael spent the better part of his time undermining her self-esteem and convincing her that she was totally unfit to be a mother, that she was an awful mother and that Scarlett was better off without her.
Now, Michael was controlling the situation from beyond the grave, and Whitney's remarks about Scarlett needing her mother kicked in the self-preservation instinct, both for her and for Scarlett. This is all about saving herself in order to be there for Scarlett.
The latest spoilers say that Joey the MonkeyBoy sleeps with Janine on the day of Michael's funeral. Joey is attempting to finagle the truth out of Janine, but considering the fact that both Alice and Joey are history before Janine departs, I'd say she gets away with this.
At the end of the day, the Branning siblings are low-rent characters who are easily forgotten.
Alice is going to prison, and Joey is going.
No Rest for the Wicked.
Apart from the ending, this was another strong episode.
It seems that Michael Moon, in death, is causing scores of people sleepless nights - Alice in her prison cell, Joey staring at late- night television, Alfie staring onto the Square, and Janine's nightmare.
Alfie's scene was played out against a picture we've never seen before of him, Tyler, Annannee, Michael and Eddie. One wonders if Alfie's made contact with Michael's brothers and his father?
Janine's having nightmares, however, or hallucinations about Pat, standing in judgement over her, something Pat rarely did. Is Janine having a crisis of conscience? Because Pat didn't display much conscience when she framed Janine for Laura Beale's accident. She blatantly lied to the police, and that's called "perverting the course of justice."
It took sleeping with Frank one more time to convince her, on the even of Janine's trial, to withdraw her testimony and her statement, rendering Janine innocent of all charges.
Charlie Brooks played a blinder tonight. If anyone had any doubt about what a complex character Janine was, this episode dispelled those doubts. Fueled by depressants and alcohol, her sleeping mind traveled back to her childhood and one of Pat's rants about how "evil" Janine was, and yes, Pat did say these things ... to a child.
Janine was lost in a welter of complicated emotions. Yes, she did care about MIchael; after all, she married him. He was the father of her child, but the fact remains that he seriously fucked with her mind. Remember Michael punched down. She was grieving, she was frightened and she was, obviously, conflicted about her guilt.
The best scenes of the night were those she and MIchael French played out. I was glad to see David, son of Pat and victim of many of Pat's infamous rants, take charge of comforting Janine, and just witness Janine's trust issues coming into play - even afraid to succumb to David's comforting cuddle. So ingrained is the belief that whoever shows her kindness will undoubtedly abandon/betray her. This has happened so much in her past - June dying, Frank and Clare passing her from pillar to post, Pat giving up on her from time to time, Ricky leaving her, Ryan cheating on her and Michael undermining her. Even Billy has taken advantage of Janine.
And remember the famous scene of Jean touching the stomach of the very pregnant Janine and telling her that he child would be unloved.
Oh, and Carol is a Class A cow.
She didn't know Alice existed past last year, and she hardly went out of her way to fuss over her, especially in the wake of Derek's death. If it weren't for Janine, she and her brood would be festering in some high-rise council flat on a sink estate, yet she treats Janine with entitled disdain and like a piece of shit.
As far as Carol knows, Janine has witnessed the violent death of her husband; she's also been attacked in the melee. She's in shock and can't be expected to stay in the crime scene house. At the moment, the closest thing to a relative she has is David Beale Wicks ... well, technically, Phil Mitchell is her stepbrother also, but he didn't put himself out to offer to take her in. Besides, Carol's grandchildren are Janine's nieces and nephews.
And Carol is whingeing about how long Janine is staying, because her niece has been charged with the murder of Janine's husband. She's confessed to stabbing him, to plotting to murder Janine and take her child from her. She was sleeping and besotted with Janine's husband. To all intents and purposes, Alice isn't all that clean. OK, I can buy Carol being conflicted about Janine and the insipid Alice, but spot on for David in pointing out that everything is and aways has been about Carol.
When Carol is happy and everything is going her way, the world benefits from her good graces; when things aren't the way she reckons they should be, the world suffers.
Carol's and Bianca's attitudes to Janine are one of the many reasons why she's developed into such a prickly independent character as she is. Another snide remark of hers came when she couldn't understand why David was even being compassionate towards Janine, never having given a toss about her before.
The last time David and Janine were under the same roof for any length of time, David was a grown man in his thirties and Janine was a young adolescent. Of course, he never paid her much attention - he was too busy chasing, respectively, Sam Mitchell and Cindy Beale. Yet, it seems David has grown up, something, he remarks, that Carol cannot accept. This is the Branning ethos - they are Neanderthals, they never learn from their mistakes and they don't evolve.
Carol will happily stay in Janine's house, paying nominal rent and falling behind regularly with it, and still treat Janine as if she were worse than rancid shit. Carol and Bianca are the entitlement queens of Walford.
As Whitney inadvertantly kicked in Janine's self-preservation and maternal instincts, David, inadvertantly, kicked in another aspect of Janine's survival instinct - reminding her of her own belief that she, and only she, is her own best counsel and friend. He responded exactly the way Pat would have twenty years ago and elicted the same sort of response from Janine - she needs no one when people consistently let her down.
MonkeyBoy goes to see Alice. Fair enough. That's his right. He hears her story, and her belief that she stabbed Michael, trying to protect Janine. She wants to know what Janine said in her statement. Well, that's not something that's going to be disclosed to her at this point in the investigation.
Further, she begs Joey to go see Janine and to get her to say Alice was protecting her.
Errr ... pardon, but isn't that witness-tampering? And isn't that against the law? All Janinen would have to do is ring the police and tell them that Alice's brother had been around where she was staying, shouting the odds and telling, telling her to go see Alice and to tell the police Alice was defending her. Joey reckons this is manslaughter and she's looking at bail,
But it doesn't end there ... Janine actually does go to see Alice. Another no-no. Would this actually be permitted? She's the witness to the event, which is why she didn't have to have a solictor present when giving her statement. Witnesses are strictly kept from perpetrators, precisely in the event that the perp or his associates will try to influence the witness.
I realise that this was done for dramatic purposes, much like those films about Elizabeth I where she meets and talks with Mary, Queen of Scots, when the two never ever met; and it certainly was an effective scene, where Alice comes to realise the actual consequences of her actions - by hooking up with a man who fully intended that she should end up exactly where she is now, and betraying a woman, who's ensured that she's there exactly for that betrayal.
Janine totally puzzled Alice by turning on the sort of manipulation she could only have learned from the Master, himself - that things happened so fast, that Alice was in denial about having stabbed Michael twice, that when the mind has had an enormous shock, it shuts down completely so that we conveniently forget that which we don't want to remember. It was a master class, and Alice deserved it.
What's It All About, Alfie?
I guess this is Roxy's song.
Yeah, what's it all about? Poor Roxy, she can't do right for doing wrong. Alfie's grieving, in his own way, and she can't understand this.
I thought this was all a little unjust because, once again, Alfie is upbraided by Kat for "blaming" other people for his problems and troubles.
Excuse me, but this was rich, coming from the woman who has used the perpetual "dirty girl" excuse as a rationale for infidelity and who has never taken responsibiity for anything in her life.
Neither she nor Roxy understand that a part of grief manifestation is anger - people are alive and your loved one is dead, and life ain't fair.
But this filler was all part and parcel of Roxy's growing insecurity and jealousy in seeing exactly how Kat "gets" Alfie and she doesn't.
The Return of the Village Idiot.
Has anyone missed Bianca? Because I haven't and it seems she's returned, having found dosh someplace, because she's sporting a new wardrobe and has bought the kids some presents.
I guess her sugar daddy is the BaldRick happy chappy character of Terry.
Tel's movin' in.
Really, Bianca? Like, how old are you and how long have you known this man? He could be a serial killer ... Remember the last time you moved a bloke in after a few weeks ... Tony King, anyone?
This is what I mean by the Brannings never evolving, never moving on or learning from their mistakes.
White trash, the lot of them.
Once again, a good episode, but last night's was better.