“I know you killed Lucy.”
And so ended another year in Walford. One episode later and poor Emma Summerhayes – having confronted her suspect in the park over a nice cup of tea – was fighting for her life. One more episode later and she’s shuffled off to Plot Device heaven.
Not because of some nefarious (Miranda-style turn to camera “nefarious”) meddling from the culprit but because of a runaway Mitchell sister careening through the market.
And what an episode it was. Marriage, death, birth, resurrection… and that was just Ronnie.
More importantly, the show whittled the suspects down to just 14 characters when the dazed detective fired off a text saying she couldn’t keep the secret any longer. And somewhere among the crowd of on-lookers a phone beeped.
J’accuse! But who?
Cindy? Jane? Ian? Peter? Denise? Max? Abi? Lauren? Whitney? Lee? Ben? Jay? The Cokers?
I’m going to use my powers of observation and my own flair for the dramatic to use everything we’ve already been told, plus where the show is heading to work out who did it.
In just one simple blog post.
Let’s start with the assumption that it definitely is one of those fourteen presented to us in that scene – although it is possible that someone else, someone off screen received the text from Emma and that Denise or one of the others was simply getting a text from O2 telling them to pay their bill.
First – is there anyone we can rule out?
The Cokers were in the frame very early on after a supposed ‘leak’ from the BBC script department claiming it was creepy Les wanting a boost for business. As motives go, it’s a touch daft, akin to Tesco breaking into your house and smashing your eggs on the off chance that you’ll choose one of their stores to get some replacements.
I think they’ve been tossed into the frame to muddy the waters a little, but more on them later.
Emma seemed to know the person she spoke to on the phone well, introducing herself simply as Emma. She also didn’t go straight to the police either, suggesting she wanted to give the person a chance to explain/deny/defend.
So, that rules out Whitney, Lee, Les, Ben and Jay. Ben and Jay particularly have had barely anything to do with Emma, she owes them nothing, and it would be quite arrogant of her to expect them to know who she is just from ‘It’s Emma.’ (Ignoring the fact that in real life she likely wouldn’t have their mobile numbers because in Walford everyone has everyone’s number).
She did have a small bonding session with Pam a few short weeks ago, so there IS a personal connection there, but I think investigating Pam will lead us to the how and why, not the who. Again, more later.
What about Jane and Cindy? Well, they both disappeared shortly after Emma arrived in Walford with Jane only recently arriving back. There is a connection there, but not as big a one as with the others. Let’s put them on pause for a moment.
So, we’re left with Ian, Denise, Peter, Max, Abi and Lauren. Poetically, from the point of view of someone plotting a long running story, it makes sense for the killer to be one of these six.
I’m crossing Lauren off the list straight away. The actress has gone on maternity leave and recorded her final scenes prior to Christmas and the big reveal week has several live elements. Her final scenes will likely air in that week, but being due in or around February, it is unlikely she will come back for it. You certainly couldn’t count on it from a production point of view.
But the Lauren situation gives us another clue. Why does she leave Walford? Does she elope with Peter after a nice tidy resolution to her best friend’s murder? Or does she run away after being betrayed by someone close to her?
I think it’s likely they leave together, see later for more, but what if they don’t?
What breaks Lauren and Peter up if she leaves Walford without him? Suspicion? Betrayal? If the person responsible is Ian or Denise, it wouldn’t really come between Lauren and Peter – but if it was Peter himself, Max or Abi, it would cause a great deal of tension.
But what about Pam?
There was recently a catch-up video – the story so far on the EastEnders website.
It shows lots of bits and pieces from April onwards, but the clip that stands out the most is Pam and Les in the market.
“What have you done? Everyone will find out. Everyone will know.”
The reason this stands out is because it doesn’t actually pertain to the Lucy storyline at all. It is instead a reference to Pam having euthanised her own child.
Is it’s inclusion a mistake, or is it a clue to how Lucy died. Did a loving parent stop their child from suffering?
I’m ruling out Ian. The man definitely would have had a breakdown by now if he’d killed his own daughter. Lucy’s mum is dead, but there are three representations of the mother figure in her life: Cindy, Jane and Denise.
Cindy bears her birth mother’s name.
Jane is the woman who bought her up during her early teenage years, the closest thing Lucy had to a mum.
Denise was the mother figure in the family at the time of Lucy’s death.
At this stage, for the first time since April, I’m ruling Denise out for the simple reason that she appears first in the ‘There’s a Killer Amongst Them’ trailer. One of the clues to Archie’s murderer was that Stacey appeared first in the trailer when he died.
The current man in charge was part of that production team, and I think he’d play with us, not by doing the same thing, but by giving us a bit of misdirection and a big clue at the same time. So let’s look at the trailer:
Denise pulling up the floorboard
Max throwing out some bin bags
Lauren washing a bloodied top
Peter digging in the allotment
Jane cleaning broken glass out of the back of her car
Ian pouring sugar into tea
6 of the 14 suspects. The first one to appear is one of the mother figures – a subtle clue that it’s one of them?
All of the elements have been seen or represent something already seen in the show:
Jane hid Lucy’s phone to protect Ben under the floorboard
Denise dug up the allotment and found Lucy’s phone
Abi helped Max clean up blood from the Car Lot
David and Max burnt/threw out Max’s computer
The sugar in the tea represents Lucy’s cocaine habit.
But what about Jane and the car? A mother figure clearing up some mess?
Does the car have any significance?
The Previously on video focuses on Jane’s car. Denise watches her drive away, but looks where she drives away from – it’s parked just outside the Beale’s, next to Ian’s car.
The video Lee gave Emma of Fat Boy in the Square shows Lauren approaching the Beale’s. Ian’s car can be seen, but you should be able to see Jane’s as well. But it’s not there.
If Jane took the car somewhere, how on Earth did she see Lauren walk away from the house? And how did Jane see it from the Masood’s? A house that is set further forward from the Beale’s. She wouldn’t have been able to see the front of the Beale’s from Masood’s house.
Assuming then that Jane didn’t see Lauren walk away from the house… In the absence of Tanya, heavily mentioned in the scene, Jane was very quick to step in as a mother figure and protect Lauren from suspicion. Not only does it demonstrate her maternal side, but it also protects Jane, because it places her at the Masood’s that evening. A fact which Emma has sussed isn’t true.
So was Jane protecting someone else? Is there anyone else Jane would protect? Peter and Bobby, definitely.
Could one of them have killed her by accident, and then Jane helped them cover it up by placing her on the Common?
If it was Peter, and Jane is covering for him it makes for a very odd scene with the two of them the day after Lucy’s death in which they talk about the burger restaurant and making lots of money, no hint of tension between them.
So do we rule out Jane? Or do we rule out Peter?
Peter makes a tempting choice as the murderer – there’s something quite tragic about a twin accidentally killing his sister, and his behavior the following day can be seen as denial, rather than ignorance.
It would also have a massive impact on the future of the Beale’s, the show’s original family – but would it tear them apart beyond hope?
Let’s think for a moment about Max, and flip the mother figure theory on it’s head. What if it’s a father protecting his daughter?
Max had a line to Abi that whatever happened on Good Friday stays between them. Both of them were acting shifty the following day, with Max getting defensive when Lauren asked if he’d heard from Lucy. He also hid from Ian when Beale came a-calling (moments before he found out his daughter)
Still, it was a few weeks later before Max found out it was Abi that was blackmailing him over his affair, and they had quite the argument about Ian and Lucy with Max proclaiming ‘the man’s daughter has just been murdered’. If it WAS Abi, would Max be so blunt? And would they really stage an argument like that just for Jay’s benefit, the only witness?
I think it’s a red herring.
I can’t help but go back to Jane and Peter. It ties in with the promise that the resolution to this would be so sad.
So why were they acting so normal around each other the following day? My theory is that Jane witnessed Peter and Lucy arguing, it got physical and Lucy fell down, hitting her head, or he hit her with something.
Importantly, though, she got up again. She and Peter argued some more and then Peter walks away. Jane rushes up to Lucy and Lucy collapses and dies in Jane’s arms. Close to the common, Jane lays her body down there, staging it as a murder or a mugging to protect Peter.
In the meantime, Ben and Jay find Lucy’s bag on the ground where she collapsed. They take the phone and purse and leave the bag. Jane goes back for the bag and plants it with the body, before heading back to Walford.
She sticks around long enough for the body to be found, but trying to comfort Ian, she ends up sleeping with him. Unable to bear the guilt, she flees.
She comes back to Walford months later, and wanting to help fix the family, she asks Ian to marry her. Not through love, but a desire to go back to how things used to be.
Then, on the day of the wedding, perhaps under pressure from Carol or Max, assuming they’re now gonna pick up the investigation where Emma left off, Jane stops the wedding and confesses everything to Ian.
Ian agrees that he’ll never tell the truth, but he and Jane don’t marry. Peter and Lauren leave Walford together, neither of them ever knowing that Peter was responsible for his twin sister’s death.
At least, that is, until years later, when Peter comes back, with a new head and the past comes back to haunt him. Because in Walford, secrets don’t stay secret forever…