EastEnders’ Shirley Carter waded in on the family war against evil Stuart Highway, unleashing a savage attack when he taunted her sister Tina after she reported him for the terrifying kidnap ordeal he put her through 24 years ago.
Subjecting Stuart’s windpipe to a second strangulation in under a week, following Mick’s manhandling of his childhood friend on Monday, tonight’s episode (Thursday 26 July) saw an increasingly unstable Stu try and rubbish Tina’s claims of abuse by painting himself as the victim after she knocked him unconscious during a fight in the Arches and leaving him for dead.
Tina was arrested for assault and police dismissed her story of how Stuart had got her drunk, locked her in a car boot and tried to burn her death when they were younger due to a lack of evidence and witnesses. Confronting Mick at the police station, bitter Stuart blamed Mr Carter for this whole mess and insisted it was Tina’s word against his.
After an unsettling exchange with Keanu Taylor in the cafe, where he casually flipped a coin to determine whether he’d withdraw his statement against Tina and keep her out of jail, creepy Stuart stumbled into the Vic and taunted his victim.
The Carters put on a united front as the horrid Highway revealed his true colours, cruelly intimidating terrified Tina and playing with her emotions as he reiterated he could determine her fate with the toss of a coin.
Seeing red, Shirley flew at her sister’s sinister attacker and a brawl broke out across the Queen Vic bar, with Mick and Linda trying to stop it, before Stuart’s brother Highway entered and demanded to know what was going on – cutting the fisticuffs short before things got really out of hand.
The story continues next week when Dylan, another of Mick’s old mates from his Canning Town youth, comes forward admitting Stuart did the same to him as he did to Tina. The incident was reported to the police which should back up Tina’s statement, but will it be enough for Stuart to be punished? And whose side will Halfway take now he’s back, the Carters or his troubled big brother?
Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news