Thu 22/10/99, BBC1

Mystery Bag

While all manner of heroes and villains drift in and out of Phil's hospital ward, Irene irons for toy-boy Troy. She's trying her best to resist poor woman... but with Terry back to his old chauvinist attitude I doubt she'll resist much longer... and neither may Dr Fred Fonseca who has just asked flat-mate Mick McFarlane to a halloween party in Brighton. Are we going to see his secret nature at last? Meanwhile Teresa visits an increasingly panicky Matthew in prison while Jackie (whose little black worm-like eyebrows are seriously distracting me) complains to Steve that she can't take much more of the treatment she's getting from everyone for helping to get him off the murder charge. I can't take much more of her petted lip... But it's the farcical scenes around Phil's hospital bed that are taking centre stage. First the police, then the loan-sharks and then half of Walford turn up... But when a bag of money is mysteriously delivered, Phil jumps to the only plausible conclusion - Grant is still alive... ****

(12/10/99) An explosive start to this episode with Grant and Phil trying to find Jamie in the burning remains of the arches. Grant's busy shouting Jamie's dead while of course all the time the lad is having a swift coffee in the amazingly busy cafe. (Amazing since everyone seems to be gawping at the explosion - maybe a busload of hearing-impaired tourists had just stopped over for tea?) It's not Grant's day (again). At a family dinner in the Vic (with arguments and bitter recriminations on the menu as always) Peggy announces that she's selling the pub. Grant wants Phil to sort out the loan-shark problems but Phil is more interested in driving Kathy to the airport. Suddenly realising they want to start again she asks him to go to South Africa with her. He says yes but then delays his date of departure because he needs to help Grant. Annoyed, Kathy then tells him she slept with Grant two weeks ago... ****

Jamie's Dead!

Matthew Hears the Verdict

(8/10/99) We could see it coming couldn't we? Poor pathetic Matthew convicted of manslaughter while over-emotional (for the jury) but charismatic Steve gets off with it. We'll be having a newspaper campaign soon no doubt... It was a surprise to see Steve's sister testify for him so well - I was sure she was going to turn against him instead. Still with the Mitchells about to self-combust we need a hard man like Steve to keep the place from going too soft... Meanwhile Troy can't be trying to tell Irene that he fancies her, can he? Oh, please! After Grant and Gianni falling for Louise my stomach will turn if we have another May-September relationship. Next we'll have Martin fall for Dot Cotton! ****

(5/10/99) Eastenders is on a special four-programme week as the trial of Steve Owen and Matthew Rose for the murder of Saskia gets underway at last. Of course in terms of British justice this court date just six months after the crime is quick but for soap fans this has been a long time coming. So far things are not going well for either defendant - Goody two-shoes Sarah had to admit that Matthew tricked her into sleeping with him while Saskia's sister's evidence that Steve escorted her on a wild-goose chase to Scotland to identify an amnesiac after he had already buried the body hardly looks good. Meanwhile life goes on in the square with Troy attracting Sarah's attention, Peggy and Frank considering selling the Queen Vic and Ian giving Mel a partnership in the business as a wedding gift (much to mum's dismay). However it is the potentially explosive Mitchell brothers, who are being forced to take desperate measures to pay off loan-sharks, who look most likely to steal the limelight from the trial's verdict... ****

The Mitchell Brothers Get Nasty


(28/9/99) At last Barry does something right! Poor Natalie finally confessed in this soap that she didn't like the engagement ring that he had bought. Sulking again it took Pauline to sort the lad out, and with a romantic dinner at Guseppe's he finally presented a ring that didn't resemble a dried-up full English breakfast... Meanwhile some of the best moments are the constant bickering between Terry and Irene in the shop. I love and hate this pair... Another romantic dinner, this time between Kathy and Phil brought together by Peggy under of course false pretences, didn't go so well. Maybe it was the alarming way Phil seemed to be getting redder by the minute (too much sun today?) or maybe it was because she had just spent the night with brother Grant. Whatever. Kathy refused Phil's offer of reconciliation. Mind you with everyone sleeping with everyone's brothers, mothers and sons, Kathy shouldn't feel too ashamed. I'm just glad nobody seems to keep dogs on the square anymore, or Grant would be sleeping with them too... ****
Audience: 16.60m (1st) BARB

(20/9/99) Poor Kath! Hardly through the door of Baby Beale's house and Grant's around to give the famous sorry speech. Does even he believe he means it? After all he's sworn vengeance on his step-dad and the Di Marcos and is being generally nasty to everyone else in sight... Elsewhere the number one UK soap is living up to its other name, Offenders, by showing us more scenes of Steve and Matthew waiting on remand for their trial. What confuses me is that since they will be giving evidence against each other would they really be in the same wing of prison? No matter - Steve's sister has arrived to sort things out and she looks like a complete nutter - let's hope she's causing havoc in Albert Square shortly... ****
Audience: 15.83m (2nd) BARB


[Emmerdale - Equinox - The Essential Guide to the Weather - Eurotrash]

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