Have we seen the last of Hunter Owen in EastEnders after shock arrest?

He's now been officially charged with Ray's murder

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EastEnders‘ Hunter Owen has been formally charged with murdering Ray Kelly and is almost certainly looking at a jail sentence – but could desperate mum Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite) have a plan up her sleeve to save her son?

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In the second part of a dramatic double bill of the BBC1 soap on Thursday 14 February at 8.30pm Hunter tried to keep his cool under police interrogation, remorselessly admitting full responsibility for killing Ray despite his mother’s insistence in the previous instalment she would take the blame and he should tell the cops it was all her.

Word reached the Square that DNA found on Ray’s corpse confirmed Hunter’s guilt, but Mel was still gunning for Judas Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) who tipped off the police after promising to help smuggle her and Hunter out of the country, and also seemed set on sacrificing her own freedom for her son’s by saying she bumped off Ray.

It was Jack’s brother Max Branning (Jake Wood) of all people who talked sense into Mel, giving her a harsh reality check and making her see there was nothing she could do for Hunter now other than support him from the outside – with evidence proving the twisted teen moved the body he’s unlikely to escape jail, and if Mel handed herself in she’d most likely get sent down too.

“Stay strong for your boy,” insisted Max, in a charged moment that almost felt like EastEnders were sewing the seeds for a potential frisson between him and Mel – Rainie’s jealousy at her husband bending over backwards to help the blonde fuelling our theory. Now that would be interesting…

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Could Hunter break out of prison?

A visit from the police confirmed to Mel that Hunter had confessed to everything and had now been officially charged with murder, but his efforts to keep his mother out of the frame have made the authorities suspicious she may well have been an accessory. Deciding not to take the rap, Mel pledged to stick by her son and secretly burnt all of Ray’s belongings – is she still holding out hope of somehow getting him off the hook?

With Winter having already been announced as leaving the cast, viewers will be wondering what Hunter’s final fate will be – and if, or when, we’ll be seeing him again.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com recently, Outhwaite said: “I feel very sad about not working with Charlie but I’ve still got stuff to do with him, he hasn’t gone yet. He’s got a very bright future and I’m excited for him.”

Is there a final twist in the tale for homicidal Hunter? Could he break out of prison and go on the run? Or track down Jack and take revenge by killing him?

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