EastEnders: the 10 questions that the Lucy Beale murder flashback episode needs to answer

David Brown takes a look at the burning issues surrounding the soap's whodunnit

The final movements of EastEnders murder victim Lucy Beale are to be shown in a specially written flashback episode that will air as part of the BBC1 soap’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

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Former show stars including Hetti Bywater (Lucy), Jamie Lomas (Jake Stone) and Tanya Franks (Rainie Cross) will all return to help fill in the blanks and answer questions that have been left hanging ever since Ian’s daughter was killed off over Easter 2014.

But what are the big questions that need answering? Aside from who actually killed Lucy, of course, which will be revealed on 19 February 2015 as part of a live 30-minute birthday episode.

With magnifying glass in hand, we take a close look at the whys and wherefores of the murder investigation that is gripping soap fans across the country…

1) Where was Ian after he was with Rainie?
Actress Tanya Franks has said that we will find out if Ian really was with Rainie Cross on the night in question. Seeing as she blackmailed him later on, then there can be little doubt that they did encounter each other on Good Friday, but little has been revealed about Ian’s movements after he and Rainie had parted company…

2) What were Max and Abi doing on the night of the murder?
He claims he was at home but went out at one point for five minutes to walk the dog. She claims she was in the house all evening. But Max did recently say to Abi: “Look Abs, what happened on Good Friday stays between us, only us. We’ll just have to be careful, won’t we?” We need to see what exactly they were doing. It’s all very suspicious.

3) Why was Lauren really loitering outside the Beales’ house?
Lauren explained away the clip of her standing outside 45 Albert Square by saying that she was worried about Lucy but didn’t have the courage to knock on the door. Why was she so fearful? Surely the flashback needs to show the moment Lauren left Roxy’s party and hung around outside the Beales’ followed by her movements immediately afterwards? And was she really witnessed by Jane from the window of the Masood house – or is that a lie?

4) What was Peter doing when he went for a walk? And Whitney too?
Peter was raging after learning that Lucy was Ian’s favoured child. Did he encounter his sister and argue with her? We know he was her drug dealer, so did they meet up despite Lucy’s final text for cocaine having failed to send? And where was the bullied Whitney, who’d also chosen to go walking after opting not to go to Roxy’s party? She says she was nowhere near Walford Common, but then Lucy wasn’t murdered at that location.

5) What were Lucy’s movements after she returned to Walford with a drunk Jake Stone?
We know that Lucy came back to E20 in a cab with an incapacitated Jake Stone, but where did she go after this? And are there still question marks hanging over Jake? For instance, we still don’t know why Lucy’s missing earring was in his flat.

6) What happened after Jay and Ben’s robbery?
Ben and Jay were robbing a shop near Walford Common on the night of Lucy’s murder. But what occurred following that bout of criminality? Ben’s story (which he told to Ian) is that they found an abandoned bag containing Lucy’s phone and purse, which then Ben ordered Jay to bury at the allotments. But Ben has commented to Jay that he hasn’t told Ian everything. Maybe the flashback will fill in those gaps.

7) Will we see where Lucy was actually killed?
It was explained early on in the police investigation that there was very little blood found at the Common, meaning that Lucy was not killed in a mugging, but murdered elsewhere. Will we witness this chain of events and see what led to her body being dumped on the Common?

8) Will Danny Pennant be back?
Jake Stone, Rainie Cross and murder victim Lucy have all been confirmed for a reappearance, but when Gary Lucy left in February 2014, he said on Twitter that there was “more 2 come”. After Lucy was found dead, the police said that Danny had left for Marbella weeks ago, but is there more in the offing from Lucy’s ex-boyfriend?

9) Will we see that Lucy died of internal bleeding?
Lucy fell in the portakabin at the car lot and banged her head in the run-up to her death. The police have said that she died of a deliberate head injury, but could the car-lot fracas with Max have resulted in her demise? After all, a slow haemorrhage was what did for Emma Summerhayes. So could Max be inadvertently responsible for Lucy’s death? And Abi responsible for dispensing with the evidence when she helped clean up the blood stains?

10) And will we find out what led to Emma solving the crime?
Namely, all that gazing from building to building when she left the Vic in a panic. The B&B, the Beale house, Roxy’s house. What did it all mean? What had Emma worked out when she was studying the Square? Will the flashback put all that into context? We need answers, EastEnders! Answers!

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You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below: