Michelle Fowler’s mysterious fella Tom Bailey reappeared this week after going off the radar for a while.
We’d almost forgotten about the character originally known as ‘Nosebleed Man’ who met Michelle on the tube to work some months back when she gave him a tissue while he was having a nosebleed.
They kept bumping into each other on the district line until romance slowly started to blossom, but unbeknown to ‘Chelle there was a creepy side to the commuter as he was secretly following her and taking pictures of her on his phone without her knowledge. Nevertheless, his charming, slightly bumbling demeanour and sob story about a dead wife eventually won frosty Michelle over – despite the fact he’s clearly hiding something huge.
In tonight’s episode, viewers saw him sitting in the park in the middle of the day and sending a text to Ms Fowler reading ‘At work thinking of you. Fancy dinner later? My treat’ – when clearly he wasn’t at work… So why the pretence? Does he even have a job? Or does he literally hang around Albert Square hoping to bump into Michelle?
As they headed off for their date, our minds were cast back to some theories we had a while ago about Tom’s real identity and whether any of them could actually be true.
Don’t remember them? Here they are again…
He’s stalking Michelle because she looks like his dead wife
Details on Tom’s background are few and far between (probably deliberate) but we know he’s a widower. Losing his wife has obviously hit Tom hard, and he’s clearly struggling to move on with another woman, as is evident in his awkward exchanges with Michelle. Maybe she reminds him of his dead wife, and he started taking pictures of her as he found it strangely comforting – gripped by grief this has turned into full-on obsession. Does he plan to mould Michelle into becoming a clone of his deceased soulmate like James Stewart did to Kim Novak in Vertigo?
He’s secretly working for Michelle’s ex-husband
Communication has totally broken down between Michelle and ex Tim Andrews now the divorce has come through, and even though we’ve never met him it’s safe to assume he’s seething over in Florida still smarting from her betrayal with irritating teenager Preston Cooper. What if Tim is using Tom (if that even is his real name) to get close to Michelle to exact his revenge for wrecking their 20-year marriage and totally humiliating him?
He’s secretly working for Grant Mitchell
Someone else from ‘Chelle’s past with an axe to grind is a certain Mr Mitchell. Last year he finally learnt he was Mark Jnr’s biological father, a secret kept from him for 20 years. But Michelle has no idea Grant knows the truth, and despite Ian, Jane, Sharon, Martin and Phil all being in on it, no one’s seen fit to tell ‘Chelle the meathead Mitchell brother is up to speed on the huge lie she’s sat on for two decades. Perhaps it’s Grant, not Tim, who’s using Tom to get back at Michelle for doing something sneaky in her past?
He’s a creepy tube stalker serial killer
Anyone read Clare Mackintosh’s book I See You? It’s about a middle-aged divorcee targeted by a stalker tracking her every move on her daily tube commute. It would make a cracking slow burn soap storyline – could Tom’s freaky fixation with Ms Fowler signal the start of a long-running psychological thriller-style potboiler? We’ve not had a serial killer in Walford for a while…
He’s after a bit of industrial espionage
An inexplicable amount of time was devoted to Michelle’s job hunting and first day working at that clothes shop with the snooty manageress. Was it actually laying the groundwork for a gripping industrial espionage plot? Tom might be from a rival retail business looking for inside information on womens’ apparel, and has followed Michelle home from work and plans to make her his mole. That nosebleed was all a ruse to get her attention, he just wants to know what discounts her shop is doing in their end of season sale.
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