EastEnders‘ Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) almost took his own life on Friday 3rd May, but was brought back from the brink of suicide by mum Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) in emotional scenes at the climax of a dramatic week that saw the tortured ex-soldier return to Walford for the first time in over a decade.
As paramedics arrived at the remote country cottage where mother and son were staying to treat ailing Jean’s wound from a cut on her leg, Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner) showed up having had a worrying call from Sean, and panicked when her brother was nowhere to be found.
Viewers saw troubled Sean hiding out in the barn and take a rifle, obsessively listening to a voicemail from dead wife Roxy Mitchell clearly planning to shoot himself. Jean and Stacey found their fragile relative and realised what he was about to do, and tearful Sean confessed to his sister what he’d told his mother in the previous episode wanting to make his peace in light of her cancer diagnosis – that he blamed himself for dad Brian’s death as he punched him during a row shortly before he collapsed from a brain haemorrhage.
The guilt drove Sean to run away at the age of 16 and join the army, leaving his younger sibling to cope with their mum’s bipolar alone. The traumatised trio never got over the cracks in the family caused by Brian’s death, for which Sean always felt responsible.
Jean dished out some tough love to her distressed son, telling him it was not his fault and how Brian betrayed them all as he had a secret wife and three children, and was far from the hero Sean thought he was.
Forgiving Sean and urging him to forgive himself, Jean reminded her son of how much he had to live for and he eventually handed her the rifle, breaking down in his mother’s arms as years of self-destruction and damage came pouring out.
Will Sean appear in any more episodes?
EastEnders announced they had worked with the Samaritans on the mental health aspect of Sean’s return storyline when it was revealed the character had contemplated taking his own life during his wilderness years off screen.
Kazinsky has carved out a successful career in the US since leaving the BBC soap in 2008, and his much-hyped return was always intended to be brief, but RadioTimes.com can confirm Sean will appear again in Monday’s episode as his character’s epic comeback draws to a close.
As to whether he’ll return for another stint one day, Kazinsky says: “I don’t know. I thought I’d never come back, yet here I am and I’ve enjoyed every single second. I’m not sure what more there would be for Sean, but as long as Stacey and the Slaters are there, there’s always a reason for him to return but you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Never say never…”
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