EastEnders live week review: More hatches, matches and dispatches crowbarred in than ever

The show really belonged to Ian Beale

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The Independent Culture

We all knew there’d be fireworks at the end of Eastenders’ ‘Week of Revelations’, which rounded off with tonight’s all live episode.

We just didn’t know they’d be quite so literal. In fact the whole thing turned out quite amicable with the Beales, including stone cold killer Bobby (Eliot Carrington) though minus the understandably disgruntled Peter (Ben Hardy), engaging in a clammy, sobby group hug.

Despite the weirdly upbeat ending (stuff Lucy Beale, we’ve got 30 years of this programme to celebrate!) the show belonged to Ian Beale. Adam Woodyat’s ginger sadsack has been part of the public consciousness for the best part of Eastenders’ three decade run and tonight he excelled more than ever in a role that demanded he squeeze a Walford reservoir of tears out his soft, red face. He cried. He vomited. He blubbed and sniffed and grunted. Give the man an award. Or at least a hankie.

Tonight’s shenanigans kicked off exactly where we were left at the close of yesterday’s ‘non flashback’ episode, with Ian confronting his blushing bride. Only by now we were armed with the knowledge that the killer wasn’t the turquoise temptress Jane (Laurie Brett) but her son – innocent little Bobby, who we last saw doing a nice Winnie the Pooh recital as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Little did we know at the time that the little scamp was so handy with a jewellery box.

Ian, however, smelt a rat. If the whole Eastenders thing doesn’t work out for him then Woodyat could do a lot worse than ask the BBC to find him a nice crime drama to front. Through his blubbing face Ian pummelled the guilty Jane with questions until coming to the conclusion that she was covering for someone, and he knew who that someone might well be. Took Summerhayes MONTHS that. And she had Jane’s confession and everything. Nice work, Ian. Adam. Whatever your name is.

Ultimately they decided to brush the whole thing under the carpet (except Lucy’s twin Peter who’s stormed off somewhere). The only really hairy moment came when cherubic butcher Bobby couldn’t concentrate on his telly programme due to the Beale family’s arguing. Would the Albert Square assassin strike again? That jewellery box was still in the house…

Thankfully Bobby did nothing but finally provide Ian with the note that Lucy wrote before he offed her with an ornamental trinket holder. Cue more sobbing. Happily (or sadly depending on how cruel you are) the cast got through tonight’s episode without a visible slip up and special mention must be made for Eliot Carrington for more than holding his own amongst the senior actors during this tricky challenge, no mean feat when you’re 12.

So there we are then. It was Bobby. But the Beales aren’t telling (except Peter, maybe). It was quite some week, with more hatches, matches and dispatches crowbarred in than ever. 30 years old and, it seems, in rude health.