Lauren Branning is to turn detective next week when she tries to track down a client who wanted to see her on the day that Lucy died.
After finding the email, Lauren immediately worries that Lucy went to meet the person in question in her place. But when the police don’t appear to take this new-found evidence seriously, Lauren decides to take matters into her own hands and arranges a meeting.
“Lauren realises that she might have found a crucial clue about Lucy’s death,” says actress Jacqueline Jossa. “Her first thoughts are: ‘this message was meant for me, it was addressed to me, so why did Lucy go and meet them?’ The police don’t seem to to take any notice, but she feels like she owes it to Lucy to find out.”
But is Lauren putting herself in danger by pursuing this lead? “Well, she’s arranged for the meeting to be in a public place and she’s told Peter about it. So it’s not like she’s doing it completely on her own. She’s trying to do it the right way.”
The trouble is that Peter is not so keen for Lauren to interfere in the police investigation. He arrives at the cafe where Lauren has arranged the meeting and tries to put a stop to it all, but the pair end up rowing and Peter leaves. Later, Lauren feels a presence and assumes Peter has returned – but then comes face to face with the mystery person, who it turns out isn’t a stranger at all…
“When Lauren realises she knows the person, it’s like, wow, OK. Straight away, she accuses them and 100 per cent thinks that they’re the murderer,” says Jossa. “Lauren feels like she needs to get away and panics. She doesn’t know what to do.”
EastEnders are keeping the identity of the mystery emailer a secret, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to viewers who have recently been dealing not only with the Lucy whodunnit but also the revelation that – prior to her death – she’d been having an affair with Lauren’s dad Max.
“When I got the script and saw that Lucy was having an affair with Max, I was like, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’,” laughs Jossa. “Everywhere I go people keep saying that my dad has been sleeping with my best mate. It’s awkward when people are shouting that out in the street. But I’m not surprised by his actions – Max is a dirty dog.”
But how would Lauren react were she to find out? “She would be shocked. Unless, secretly, she has known all along. The twist could be that Lauren has known the whole time and kept it a secret. I thought that she could be the murderer, but who knows?”
In the meantime though, Lauren is finding a source of support in Peter, with whom she’s been growing a lot closer recently. So is she developing feelings for him? “He’s always been a very loyal, close friend who has been there for Lauren no matter what. I think feelings are developing, but I don’t know if they are necessarily true feelings or if the grief is bringing them closer together.”
Recently, Jossa has been filming Lucy’s funeral scenes, the aftermath of which will see Lauren “spending more time with Peter”. But is Jossa still keeping in touch with Hetti Bywater, the actress whose time as Lucy came to such a dramatic end?
“Yes, I saw her recently for her leaving drinks. She’s still watching the show and she’s looking out for Ben Hardy’s performance. I’m excited to see what she does next. Hetti thinks Lauren killed Lucy, but really she hasn’t a clue. For the whole time before Lucy died, she thought it was Lauren, but she hasn’t read the scripts after. A lot has happened since she left!”