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Monday, 26 May 2014


Since when has Phil Mitchell been a neighbourhood do-gooder and emotional roller-coaster mechanic? 

In the EastEnders omnibus that I just devoured, he went from telling Max that he wasn't welcome at any of a long list of businesses and hangouts on the Square (he delivered this news with Alfie hanging behind him like an awkward henchman) to later trying to fix Shirley's dreadful family relationships via a session with a cut-throat razor (the scraping put my teeth on edge; I once saw Phil described as a pink Weetabix, and the sound of his face being shaved really reflected that texture). 

The best part, though, was his facial expression when he witnessed Shirley drunkenly apologising to her "baby boy" (on his advice, only it wasn't the boy he was expecting it to be). It was a semi-gormless, cogs-turning face, betraying a flicker of surprise as he mentally pruned Shirley's family tree. Or added a branch. Or trained it up a trellis. This metaphor isn't working, I'll move on. 

Other highlights from last week's episodes included Tamwar pocketing a card from the floral tributes at Lucy's funeral which said "Rot in hell". I sense some sleuthing ahead. Similarly, we saw the policewoman whose name I have forgotten also mentally plotting some sleuthing when she witnessed the public unveiling of Max as Lucy's lover. We didn't get to see Max being questioned about this. I'm quite glad about that really. There's only so much cringe I can take.

Elsewhere, I did enjoy Denise's rather blasé approach to breaking the news to Dean that Pat has gone to the great pineapple ice bucket in the sky, and nobody had bothered to let him know. No wonder he cut his finger on that razor later: delayed shock.

Best of all though, was Max's optimistic placement of a chocolate cake on the kitchen table in the hope it would be the talisman which brought his disgusted daughters back to him. The cake lay untouched as the hands on his pastel kitchen clock whirled round (some nice editing there). I'd feel sorry for him if he wasn't such a complete git. 

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