Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's Day: The Resurrection - Review:- 01.01.2015

I am reading a biography of the woman - yes, the woman - who created they myth of Frankenstein's monster. If Mary Godwin Shelley were alive today, she'd be in the writing room of EastEnders.

Yes, it was a good episode. I was tempted to give it a 10, but gave it a 9 instead, owing mostly to Rita Simons's less than par performance at the hospital. Her uncle would have given her the boot and fired her.

It was a brilliant episode, but filled to the brim with Frankenstein's monsters.

Oh, and Ronnie and Shirley aren't really so different after all.

The Bride of Frankenstein.

Another New Year, another significant event in the tragic life of Walford's resident psychopathic diva. Another wedding for Ronnie, who now not only has the distinction of having been Dot's daughter-in-law and the mother of one of her grandchildren, she's now also her granddaughter-in-law and the mother of her great-grandchild.

The Mitchell Sisters are at once fascinating and horrible. They are fascinating regarding Ronnie's controlling obsession with her younger sister and how Roxy susses Ronnie's intentions from time to time, but stops short, always, of breaking the link. There are so many co-dependent relationships on the Square at the moment, and the Blisters, arguably, have the sickest of the lot, based entirely upon Ronnie's psychopathy. Now, however, the sister with whom she's obsessed becomes the annoying pest of a maid of honour, whilst Ronnie's newest obsession is her unborn child and the sperm donor who satisfies her sexually.

Ronnie's psychopathy has been running at an all-time high at the moment, which increases her arrogance and entitlement, but she doesn't reckon without Nick, the thorn in her side and an even bigger psychopath than she will ever be, and Phil, whom she's hit where it hurts the most.

The Cottons amuse me. With Nick around this time, as well as Yvonne, that triumvirate of him, Yvonne and Dot have evolved into a Gothic black comedy unit. The way they, including Charlie, played it straight-faced for Ronnie's benefit about Nick's disappearance ...

Dot: I should be used to that by now. One minute Nick's here, the next he's gone.

... only to welcome Nick with open arms as he had slunk into the kitchen by the back way. Yvonne doesn't like Ronnie, and Dot's opinion of her has changed as well.

I was wondering why Ronnie was so obsessed with getting Nick out of Walford. It has nothing to do with his fake death and secret existence, now known by Carol, Phil, Ian and Sharon as well as his family, and everything to do with the fact that Ronnie recognises him for what he is - a psychopath just like her. If you recall during the babyswap, that was a big part of the reason she was both fascinated and repelled by Michael Moon. Of course, she was afraid he might see his own resemblance in Tommy-James, but she knew him for what he was and she feared him.

After all, Walford only has room for one psychopath at a time, and Ronnie's got to be top of the heap.

The highlight of this storyline tonight was Phil cracking when he realised he was hit where it hurt the most, and this tied in with the swansong of the legend that was Dexter. Arguably, the most unpopular character in the history of the programme had the cheek to ask for an advance in wages now that he'd decided to decamp to Newcastle, innit? Of course, this laid the groundwork for Phil to discover what Ronnie had done, and we got a mention of the R and R as well - and here I thought Ronnie only cleaned out the Mitchell house; apparently, she wiped out the Arches and the R and R as well. Also interesting was when Ben and Jay reported the theft to Phil, their first suspect was Sharon, which Phil was quick to dispel.

The Ronnie-Phil confrontation was absolutely epic, filled with apt home truths on Phil's part and the usual wheedling, whining manipulations by Ronnie.

First, she tried the family connection, appealing to the fact that Peggy had mentioned Phil in her telegram and told Ronnie to ensure Phil looked after her.

Then she used her unborn baby as bait. Phil needed to understand that she took the money to get rid of Nick for the baby's sake.

None of that mattered. Contrast that to Phil's scepticism when she assured him that she had "done what she had to do" to get rid of Nick, which obviously meant that she didn't succeed, because Nick is still there. (I feel vindicated by the scene at the wedding where Ronnie was distracted by Nick appearing at the door. I called that one from the spoiler pictures. And of course Charlie wasn't fussed about that at all. He knew Nick was hanging around for the wedding.)

Phil reminded Ronnie that you don't give people like Nick money. They only keep coming back for more and more, and none of her arguments worked with him. The home truth of the night came from Phil:-

You know you're just like your old man. You think you can do whatever you want.

Of course, Phil's nailed it with Ronnie. She can do whatever she wants and then she dumps the shit she leaves on the "family" she has behind her. Once again, Phil:-

This has got nothing to do with family. This is all about you!

And that's it in a nutsell about Ronnie. Because that's everything about a psychopath there is. The reason Phil does eventually go after Nick is nothing to do with Ronnie and everything to do with getting his money back.

As for Nick, who's as bad as Ronnie? Who's worse? Ronnie wanted Nick dead, and she wanted Phil to kill him? Pardon me, but who's one of two murderers in the Mitchell family? It ain't Phil. Nick, however, doesn't hesitate to "do what he has to do" when he overhears that Ronnie wants him dead. He acts first and cuts the brake cable on the Audi which Ronnie somehow seems to have acquired at a moment's notice.

The crash was a stupendous stunt - actually, Emma getting hit was one of the best collisions of that sort in recent times - better than Janine hitting Danielle or Janine hitting David. More in the type of Martin hitting Jamie, but no one bothered or even seemed to notice that Emma had been injured in the melee that followed.

The parts of this episode I enjoyed the least were the hospital scenes. As I don't like Ronnie, I really wasn't too fussed if she lived or died. Her plea for her life to be sacrificed for her child, whilst noble, was melodramatic to the extreme, which made the clinical death resuscitation scene the epitome of melodrama. On Roxy's and Charlie's parts in particular, I felt they overacted. 

Yes, I know Roxy is close to and co-dependent on her sister, and it would be tragic to lose a sister and a wife on the day of her wedding and in the process of giving birth. In Ronnie's case, it would be supremely ironic that she should die giving birth to a child after, as Roxy chokingly said, she'd lost other children. However, karma would have been served to the extreme had Ronnie died, because one year ago today, she was also stealing money from Phil and had ended the life of another man.

Oh, before I forget ... I hate, as much as Phil, how Ronnie constantly referred to that money as it not being Phil's. Phil took precisely 25k from Roxy, and Ronnie lifted 950k from Phil last New Year's Day, and besides, Ronnie's not even taking this money to return it to Roxy (who had it returned several years ago), but to use it to her own ends.

Ronnie was clinically dead for 10 minutes, the exact point where it might become possible for brain damage to set in. As the actress is on panto break at the moment and based on what the phyiscian was explaining to Phil, Roxy and Charlie, Ronnie had brain swelling and would have to undergo surgery, which means that she's going to be out of commission for a good while (at least until the panto break is over).

I would have rather she died, because she's due karma of this sort, but like the Bride of Frankenstein, she comes to life again. Maybe whatever brain damage might have occurred will have provided her with some much-needed empathy, but I doubt it.

Kudos to Steve McFadden, John Altman and Pauline McLynn. Their scenes were fantastic. Seeing Phil and Nick at loggerheads was pure Old Walford, and the fact that Yvonne manages to suss exactly what Nick had done, whilst Phil was too concerned over his money to notice Nick's crime accoutrements on the table shows you everything you wanted to know about what motivates Phil Mitchell.

Nick will leave town this time, but shamed by Yvonne for the danger in which he put his son and grandson. Ashley redux. Almost.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon Comes Home.

I knew it. I just knew it. 

For everyone who attributed selflessness and compassion to Shirley "helping" Nancy out in the pub in Tuesday's episode, they are deluded. Shirley picked the Carter's weakest link and took her advantage. Shirley's aim was clearly stated at the beginning of the episode - she had to get back in the Vic and allay any influence Linda might have over the remaining Carters - in other words, sow dissension amongst Nancy, Lee and Tina whilst Mick was away with Linda.

I keep reminding people of Shirley telling Linda that Linda's kids hated Linda and wanted her to leave. Now she's about to make her wish become a reality. Once again, she appeals to Nancy's insecurities, telling her that the pub needed all hands in now that Mick was away.

What a snide bitch!

I'm glad Nancy is still sceptical enough to be sarcastic.

Why don't you move Dean in and all?

Tina might be dim enough to believe Shirley's philanthropy, but at the moment Nancy is taking what she says with a grain of salt. However, by the end of the catastrophe that engulfed the Square, with the wounded being brought into the pub and Nancy and Lee stepping up to the plate, Shirley was buttering Nancy's bread.

You did really well today. Your mum and dad would be proud of you.

The contumaceous old scrote! What she is doing is typically vile and pukeworthy and selfish to the core, and anyone not seeing this is deluding themselves. Shirley's game now is to get Linda out of the picture, to mark her up to Mick as a liar, reunite Mick with the brother he didn't know he had and set herself up as a matriarch and power figure at the Vic. She's toxic.

Bride of Uncle Fester. That would be Our Kim, who - it appears - has split with her husband, although she's still having his baby.

Not much about Kim has changed, except that she's going to be a mother - and that she expects Denise to support her and her child. It takes a lot to make Kim notice something other than herself, and it took seeing the bruises on Patrick's arms to twig that Denise was drinking, maybe a little too much, and to take stock of what Denise wasn't exaggerating when she said looking after Patrick got exasperating at times. What did come as a shock was finding out Denise got so exasperated at one time that she shook Patrick in frustration.

I like Kim's new hairstyle, and this time, it looks as if they are taking Tameka Empson in a more serious direction this time. Let's see the stuff of which she's made.

Emma and the Suspects. Sounds like a pop group, innit?

OK, just to make it clear who isn't a suspect: Aleks, Billy and Lola.

Aleks was ruled out right away, although from the onset, when Emma made the first phonecall and Aleks's phone went off, which surprised her, it almost seemed as if she really didn't know to whom she was speaking. That ruled Aleks out. 

When she made the second and longer phonecall to someone, the killer who was negotiating, it almost seemed as if she may have been talking to a man. After that conversation, in typical EastEnders' tradition, we saw a gaggle of people, all in the process of using their mobiles for some reason - as if having just received a call. Those people were:-

Les Coker
Whitney (first time we've seen her in a long time)

Later on, we got a tip to the Shaggerman saga, with Emma meeting someone we couldn't see in the park and talking about the crime with them, presumably the killer, who refused to go to the police station with her, but instead walked off. Emma's words were equally as cryptic.

This changes nothing. It's still murder.

Almost immediately we saw that scene, Billy and Lola were, effectively ruled out of the list of suspects, because they were seen, emerging from their flat on the way to the Albert for the Mitchell wedding, remarking about how empty the streets were on New Year's Day.

The list of suspects was further pared down after Emma was hit by Roxy's car, whilst texting the killer that she couldn't keep a secret. Dazed and confused ...

.. Emma allows herself to be ministered to by the Cokers, but she stumbles off to the cafe, where they and Max find her. Prior to her accident, however, she'd been going over the clip of Lauren at the Beales the night Lucy was killed. Going over that particular part again and again. She sees something that we obviously don't see, but what is it?

For me, the best scene of the night was Emma scrabbling about the street in front of the cafe in desperate search for the phone, sending the message to the killer that she couldn't keep the secret, screaming that she was going to the police, just as the message was sent, various people emerged from various places to see her be led off by Max as someone's phone pinged a message. 

And the final suspects are ...

Pam and Les Coker
Ben and Jay

Maybe Max, but Max certainly knows something, because what will probably be Emma's last words were mutterings about something not "being there." When Max asked what it was, Emma replied with a snarl ~You know.~

What was the something that wasn't there? A car? If it were a car, the most predominant cars featured on the street amongst those suspects were Max's Merc and Jane's Micra. I would say the Cokers and Denise are ruled out right away. I still think Abi is a red herring. Ben certainly helped move the body and later bullied Jay into dispensing with Lucy's purse and phone. Peter is ruled out, because we knew beforehand that the actor is leaving. This is going to be a surprise departure. 

I rule Ian out and Cindy.

Amongst that lot, I would say the chief suspects become Jane, Lee, Whitney, Lauren or possibly Max. Lauren wanted to sit it out with Max and Emma when she was brought back to the Brannings and was almost up for challenging her, but the reveal will be a live one, and the actress who plays Lauren will be well into her maternity leave by then. Max certainly knows something. Yesterday, I was convinced it was Lola or Abi. This morning, Max. I want it to be Jane, but I just don't know.

The Best News of the Night. Dexter's leaving. With no fanfare, no fuss and no job. Hoo-RAY!

Great episode. 

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