EastEnders‘ Bex Fowler (Jasmine Armfield) has been saved from a dangerous life on the streets by Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) and returned unharmed to Albert Square on Thursday 30th May.
The tormented teenager impulsively ran away from home earlier this week having spiralled into emotional despair thanks to her unrequited crush on older man Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami) and exam stress that pushed her to dabbling with prescription drugs.
Stuart was accused of being involved in her disappearance as parents Martin Fowler (James Bye) and Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) grew increasingly frantic with worry for their daughter’s safety. Reformed baddie Stu, who had become a shoulder to cry on for housemate Bex, protested his innocence after nemesis Rainie Branning (Tanya Franks) set him up to make him look guilty to the locals, but she regretted her meddling when the harassed Highway got a punch from Martin.
Guiltily admitting to Stuart she knew he wasn’t to blame, remorseful Rainie then accompanied him when he got a hunch about where Bex might be. Dashing to the dodgy end of town they found the terrified teen in the grip of paranoia, having taken more ADHD medication for her anxiety issues.
Recognising a friendly face, sobbing Bex fell into protective Stuart’s arms and he delivered her safely back to the relieved family who sheepishly realised they had majorly misjudged Mr Highway.
Why does Martin hate Kush?
As Sonia escorted emotional Bex back home relations between Martin and Kush collapsed, with the furious Fowler father having learned his best mate and his daughter shared a kiss a while back, and that the strapping clothes stall holder knew about the extent of Bex’s involvement with drugs and said nothing.
Blaming Kush for driving fragile Bex to flee in the first place, Martin warned his friend to stay away – setting the scene for a bitter battle between the men over custody of little Arthur, Kush’s son with Martin’s missus Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner).
Kush has already expressed to lover Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) his wish to fight for joint custody of his boy and when Stacey discovers his plan on Monday 3rd June, and gets the added shock cousin Kat has known for weeks and kept quiet, the co-parents have a shouty showdown as a tug of love war begins. The resentment over Kush’s handling of the Bex situation fuels the feud which erupts as Kat sides with her boyfriend against stunned Stacey and Martin, tearing the Slaters apart.
Meanwhile, there could be more positive consequences of Bex’s breakdown for Stuart – after months of being a pariah and trying to put his violent past with the Carters behind him, could his heroic rescue of Miss Fowler finally see him accepted by the community… including Mick?
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