A grieving Shabnam Masood is to make contact with her daughter Jade after growing increasingly concerned about the prospect of her living with Dean and Shirley.
Of the scene, in which Shabnam pays Jade a visit, actress Rakhee Thakrar says: “She’s almost drawn there by the force of her maternal instinct.
“Many bereaved parents will tell you that when their baby dies they are left with ’empty arms’, all these maternal feelings and sometimes there’s nowhere for those feelings to go.
“I think in that moment those feelings overpower Shabnam and take her to see her daughter and make sure she’s OK.”
An emotional and critically praised recent storyline on the BBC1 soap saw Shabnam give birth a stillborn son. And next week’s episodes will see Stacey grow worried for her friend’s welfare after spying a traumatised Shabs with Jade.
“Shabnam doesn’t want to even look at the truth of the fact that it’s too soon for her to take care of Jade. For her, she doesn’t want to walk away, as she doesn’t think it’s in Jade’s best interests to be with Shirley.
“But she’s very aware of how her actions will come across and so will get very defensive. In her mind she needs to protect her daughter.”
Thankfully, Shabnam finds the strength to have a heart to heart with Stacey and reassures her that she’s not trying to replace son Zaair.
“Stacey is one of the only people Shabnam can be truly open with. Shabnam lets out a complicated admission of her feelings. She’s angry that anyone would think that she would feel ‘better’ by having Jade back.
“It doesn’t work like that. They are two separate children who she loves deeply.”
And yet it seems that the stage is still set for a showdown with the Carter family, with Shabnam remaining resolute that Jade’s future shouldn’t lie with the girl’s biological father.
“This isn’t about a replacement for Shabnam. She’s very aware of what can go wrong in the world now and at this moment, that ‘wrong’ for her is Jade going into the hands of the Carters.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicate EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
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