Sunday, September 18, 2016

EastEnders Review - Friday 16.09.2016

This was a very mediocre, very predictable, and in some ways very offensive episode.

Emotional Blackmail and the Friend You Can Never Trust. I hope, when all this ridiculous excuse for a storyline is finished, that Denise at least acknowledges what a totally untrustworthy gossip her so-called best mate, Carmel, is. But then, again, as I said, Denise showed a special kind of stupidity in confiding to a drunken Carmel of her plans to have the baby adopted. You would have thought she'd have learned from having sworn Carmel to secrecy about the pregnancy, itself, only to have her toddle right over to "Kushy" and tell him.

Carmel and Denise tonight were still proof of how this show is still all over the place and just as inconsistent as under DTC. Earlier this week, it was actually Carmel, who was talking good hard common sense about Denise's predicament with this baby. It was neither a crime nor a sin to consider abortion - and it wasn't too late, either. Now, she's out at the crack of dawn to reprimand Honey about the boxes outside The Minute Mart, and when she happens to spy Kim there, she doesn't let dust fall before she warns her that Denise is planning on having the baby adopted.

That's not someone who's genuinely alarmed and concerned about this fact - although, really, no one should be alarmed or concerned about this at all, because it's no one's business but Denise's; it's just some snide, little immature bitch of a woman who likes to stir shit amongst other people and when confronted, widen her eyes and protest that she was only trying to help Denise in her situation.

As more and more people begin to learn of Denise's pregnancy - vis-a-vis Whitney and Lee having run into her and Kim at the scan - so from the onset, Kim begins a campaign of sustained emotional blackmail, trying to make Denise feel guilty about deciding to give her baby up for adoption. Again, Denise's decision shows a special kind of stupidity.

She was always going to get that level of emotional blackmail from Kim over something like this. Remember the grief Robbie Jackson gave Sonia when she was sixteen and deciding to give Chloe/Rebecca up for adoption? Her reasons were twofold - that she wanted the child to have a better start in life than she had, in a situation with a loving mother and father; and so she could pursue her dream of going to nursing school. Yet Robbie persisted in nagging her about keeping the baby, reminding her that their mother "got by" having four children and no husband to sustain her. I also remember Sonia's powerful answer - that she didn't simply want to "get by." He even resorted to getting Carol to telephone her and ended with Carol slamming the phone down on Sonia.

Denise's reasons for not wanting to keep the baby are varied and are her own - and nothing to do with Kim. Kim plays the tired old sin line that anyone who gives a child up for adoption is betraying the child, giving away flesh and blood, failing family by sending a child off to be raised by strangers - ne'mind, that those "strangers" might be good, warm and loving people who would love the bones of that child as if he or she were their own.

Denise might use the rationale that she had raised her children, that they had gone and she was now entitled to a bit of "me" time, where she could pursue some interests of her own - like completing a GCSE course. (Someone as obtuse as Kim would only interpret that as giving up a child in order to get an education). But then, what has Kim ever accomplished in her life? Absolutely nothing. 

She's never achieved anything unless it was off the back of a man. Through Dexter, her ex, she got a restaurant, where he did most of the work; and through Vincent, she's got a nice home. Denise feels that at 47, it's not the time to be bringing a child into her life. She might also use the line of reasoning with Patrick that someone else would have far more to offer this child than she does, but the truth behind her reluctance to keep this child is simply because it's Phil Mitchell's child.

She hates Phil. And she's having the baby of a man she hates ... just as Libby was doing until she had an abortion. She could no longer have and raise that child - even though she also used the tempered argument that the baby didn't ask to be conceived and born - than Libby could have or would have done, but as long as she maintains this pregnancy in wait for having the child adopted, Kim is going to pursue her guilt tripping. This is sort of a kind of hypocrisy and payback for all the grief she gave Libby for the decision she made, but then, as she hissed at Kim - adoption and abortion are two different things.

But wait a minute ... it wasn't all that long ago that Denise had hunkered down to the idea of adopting and raising Jordan Johnson's son JJ. It broke her heart to give the child back to his mother, and then Libby rocked up, having an abortion, and Denise became the bully of all bullies in harassing her to keep the child. It was because of Libby's decision, after she left, that Denise threw herself a pity party at The Albert and drank herself silly enough with Phil Mitchell to crawl into bed with him.

All because she was lonely and wanted a child in her life. 

Well, be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

At least, Patrick wasn't playing judge and jury in this situation. He counselled her that whatever she decided to do, he'd stand by her decision.

The real shock story comes from Kim, but not about her brilliant idea to adopt and raise Denise's child. There's another strand of hypocrisy in Kim's and Vincent's dynamic regarding this. Kim pointed it out to a reluctant Vincent. Vincent presented his decision to father a child with Donna as a fait accompli, something that wasn't open to discussion with his wife and never considering the repercussions such a decision would have on her and their child, because of Donna's needs and the demands on his time for any child the two of them might have. Yet Kim never considered discussing this plan of action of hers with Vincent.

Instead, she fixed a romantic dinner for two and hoped to spring this decision on him when he was sufficiently softened by wine or sex not to argue with her delusions. Of course, there's another reason why Vincent wants no part of this set-up, and that's because he was present at The Albert that night when Denise and Phil were drinking - she stole a bottle of whiskey from under the bar, when he refused to serve either of them - and Vincent saw her leave with Phil. The moment she mentioned to Patrick, Kim and Vincent that she was drunk when the baby was conceived, Vincent knew exactly who the father was.

But the shocker wasn't Kim's decision to adopt Denise's child, it was how utterly emasculated Vincent has become. He was adamant that he was having none of this malarkey, yet he allowed himself to be dragged along to Denise's house with Kim (and where was Pearl, pray tell?) and said nothing when Kim stuck her oar into Denise's predicament, pressing the adoption line for herself; and he said, absolutely nothing. Not a word. When Denise, herself, pressed him, he actually could have put his hands up and swore off any involvement, but he tacitly allowed Kim to go on and on about this situation, still saying nothing.

I honestly think Denise simply wants to have the baby, put the child up for adoption, and then get on with her life. Kim hit a grain of truth when she tactlessly remarked to Vincent that the baby would spend a lifetime in foster homes - bi-racial children aren't high in demand, unfortunately, amongst people wanting to adopt; but Vincent was right to put her in her place by reminding her that Claudette was a foster parent, and whilst she's a murderer, she probably was a good foster mother, even if that doesn't make sense in the actual world.

One thing that Kim mentioned tonight about Denise making the decision to have the baby adopted, and then realising after four days or even four years that she'd made a mistake. She was right to remind her that once you have a child adopted, that's it. You have no rights - and Kim said that. That was spelled out explicitly to Sonia fifteen years ago - once you sign the adoption papers, that's it. You have no more rights over the child. In fact, adoption records are closed, so you don't even know where your child has gone.

And this is why adoption records are closed. Adoption always takes the interests and rights of the child into first consideration, and the last thing Social Services want is a birth parent making things difficult for the birth parents and for the child.

The Parents-to-Be and the Interfering Mother. Whitney and Lee were sweet, and it was quite moving seeing them see the first pictures of their baby in the scan, but I find it hard to invest in this story, especially as Lee is leaving. Him bringing her breakfast in bed, their talking about their child being a mini-me boy for Lee or a mini-me girl for Whitney was nice, as was the scene at the hospital.

What wasn't so nice was Linda, automatically assuming that her place in all of this was with Lee and Whitney, even thinking she was going to take them to the scan and be there during the event - just as Elaine had been there for Lee's scan, and Nancy's and Johnny's. I liked that Whitney was honest enough with Lee to say that she found his family a bit full-on at the moment. 

Too right. Once again, I don't think the Carters are SOC's favourite people. Linda was shown as being pushy and aggressive, and already Whitney is having words with her; but it's not wrong for Whitney to want a space of her own for her own core family - herself, Lee and their child. But Lee grew up in an multi-generational household. Until they were in their late thirties, his parents lived with his grandmother, Elaine. This is the set-up he's used to - living with his parents and his elderly aunt, and he's satisfied to bring his girlfriend and child into that environment. I wonder if this will be part and parcel of whatever split there is between Lee and Whitney.

The Darts' Match. Geraldine from The Feathers was really Rodney's Cassandra. They cheated. And Babe found out. Cassandra/Geraldine should be very afraid. 

No comments:

Post a Comment