EastEnders: did Linda shoot Stuart? Prime suspect seen dumping gun in canal (Spoilers)

The Queen Vic landlady's strange behaviour aroused suspicion tonight

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Linda Carter has become an early prime suspect in the latest EastEnders whodunnit, having been witnessed by Keanu Taylor disposing of what appears to the gun used to shoot Stuart Highway. A bloodied Stuart was discovered this evening in the kitchen of the Queen Vic, having taken a gunshot to the abdomen. With the entire Carter clan acting covertly, it was left to the viewer to come up with their own theories as to who pulled the trigger. But it was Linda who aroused most suspicion thanks to an angsty demeanour, her vows to protect her family from harm and – ultimately – the fact that she was last seen driving out to the local canal, wiping the prints off a firearm and dumping it in the water.

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Husband Mick also seems concerned about his wife’s state of mind – in a shock scene, he attempted to smother an injured Stuart as he lay bleeding out on the floor, only to come to his senses as Stuart opened his eyes and realised what his former childhood friend was doing. In trying to end Stuart’s life, was Mick making a bid to protect his wife by ensuring that there wouldn’t be a witness to what he thinks she’s done? It certainly seems a likely hypothesis, though Mick could have been trying to cover up his own part in the crime. After all, it’s looking more unlikely that he was out walking Lady Di at the time of the shooting, what with the Carters’ dog being on the pub premises while the landlord was absent.

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There were, of course, other characters put in the frame tonight. Tina, for instance, appears not to have called the emergency services when she told her family that an ambulance was on the way. Shirley seems convinced of Dylan’s guilt, though no one has yet given her alibi for the cigarette break she was supposedly taking at the crucial time. And Whitney was glimpsed deleting text messages that seemed to incriminate her boyfriend Halfway. There’s also the possibility that Stuart could have turned the gun on himself in a last-ditch attempt to incriminate Mick and finally get his revenge on him. Let’s not forget that Mick has a scratch on his face thanks to a prior altercation with Stuart – a fight that wasn’t witnessed by anybody and could look very incriminatory should the police start asking difficult questions.

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All we do know for certain is that EastEnders intends to play out this attempted-murder mystery until well into the autumn, with a show source having told Inside Soap: “Fans at home won’t know at first who pulled the trigger, so they’ll be on the edge of their seats as they wait to learn who did it. There are so many questions – not only of who did the deed, but also the matter of whether the bullet was even meant for the person who took it.”

Added the show insider: “Could it have been a case of someone pulling the trigger in a blind panic. or even mistaken identity? As the weeks go on, we’ll see those affected by the shooting grow suspicious, and even begin to turn on each other. But just when it seems the police have finally got their man – or woman – have the true events of the night really been uncovered?” By the week’s end, investigating officers will have definitely made an arrest, but who exactly will find themselves in handcuffs?

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