So now that my blood pressure and heart rate have returned to healthy levels, I feel better equipped to fully asses the big ‘Who killed Lucy’ reveal. The hour long 30th anniversary episode was exhilarating. A true landmark piece of television the likes of which we’re not treated to very often. What Dominic Treadwell-Collins and his team did so brilliantly was giving other characters and stories the chance to shine, the fact we were getting the long-awaited Lucy resolution was just the icing on the 30th Birthday cake. We had characters covering for Dot Branning after discovering she’d left rotten son Nick to,, well.. rot. The live segments saw Kim giving birth on the bathroom floor in the Vic, whilst landlord Mick attacked nemesis/brother/rapist Dean in the cellar. Another live segment featured a beautiful sweeping shot of the London skyline as Phil Mitchell waited for an unknown visitor. When Kathy stepped outside of the black vehicle, I was in utter shock. Truth be told I’m still not sure I’ve recovered. I’d expected the odd surprise but this was a bombshell! The best news is that Kathy’s back for a while, which means the start of yet another long-running story where viewers will discover Kathy has actually been in the time were we led to believe she was killed in a car crash abroad.
So that brings us to the whodunnit that the majority of the nation tuned in for. It was hard to believe that the murder took place last Easter, as we edged ever closer to unmasking the killer the butterflies in my stomach were in a frenzy. By the time Ian returned home to confront the killer I was beside myself. In the final stomach churning moments Ian demanded to know exactly what happened that night as his new wife Jane, walked slowly into shot. We had our killer! Or at least we thought, the trailer that ran after the credits urged viewers to return at 9.25 for a ‘killer twist’
I’d originally thought it was risky scheduling to place an episode of Death in Paradise in-between the double bill. Online the EastEnders accounts were constantly tweeting reminders of how crucial it was to watch both! The flashback episode was new territory for the soap. Any soap I believe. It was there to fill in any gaps, explain how Lucy blood had been found at Jake’s flat, Ian’s run-in with prostitute Rainie, and Peter collecting his sister’s cocaine. Then there was evil Ben returning to the square and stealing her purse and phone. The biggest surprise was Lucy’s confrontation with Denise. She’d overheard Denise’s plans to leave her dad, their subsequent argument saw Denise throw Lucy to the floor showing the dark side to her character.
As the time ticked by I glanced at the clock on our fireplace. We only had a few minutes left and we’d yet to see Ms. Beale meet her sticky end. That was when Jane, who was staying at the Masoods back in April got a phonecall. It was then I cottoned on to where the story was going. When Jane reached the Beale livingroom she was greeted by Lucy’s lifeless by the sofa. She checked for a pulse but it was a clear Lucy was dead. A shocked Jane turns to discover son Bobby, dressed his pajamas and clutching the musicbox. After as we gasped Bobby says ‘whatever she says, she stated it. She made everybody unhappy!’ It is then the true horror of her son’s actions hit home.
Now that we know that Jane is covering her for her son, and has known all along the true nature of Lucy’s death, were the clues there? Well, Jane took Bobby away when the news about his sister came through. She didn’t attend the funeral, but did sit outside as Ian buried his daughter. When Denise found Lucy’s phone and purse buried in the allotment Jane was quick to dispose of them. At the time the audience thought she was doing this to protect Ian’s brother Ben who was going to be implicated in the case, but now we know her true intentions.
There were bits to the story that the flashback episode didn’t answer for us. How did Jane get Lucy’s body to where it was found on the common? Why would she agree to marry Ian? Why bring Bobby back to Walford at all? Is it not possible that any of three people upstairs in the Beale household that night would’ve heard all the commotion downstairs? Why did EastEnders choose to not include Bobby on its list of suspects? He should have least been included on the trailer with the strapline ‘There’s a Killer amoungst them.’ Perhaps I’m just picking unnecessary holes in a story that has kept me guessing for ten months, and for that reason alone everyone involved should be patted on the back.
I also like the fact that we may have our killer, but the story isn’t over. Will Jane tell Ian the truth to save herself? If she does will Ian decide to protect Bobby to? If Jane decides to carry on her lie she’ll be going to prison. Does Bobby even realise he’s responsible for Lucy’s death? How did Emma Summerhayes discover the truth? I just hope we get those answers so we can can be given full closure after investing so much time in the story.
I can understand why some feel cheated/let down but I don’t at all. It was so brilliantly done I feel we need to just stand back and applaud all involved for pulling off one of the most exciting and tense hours of television for a long time!