It was a dark Christmas Day in Walford when it looked like EastEnders had killed off Keanu Taylor, but a flashback episode a week later confirmed that Martin Fowler didn’t have it in him to be the Mitchells’ hitman for hire and had sneakily set Keanu free, making him vow to stay ‘dead’ and never return.
Martin and Keanu, along with fellow witness/co-conspirator Linda Carter, became locked in a tense secret that no one else could ever know. Except Martin then went and blabbed to Keanu’s mum Karen, and crumbling Linda started to let things slip with each swig of vino.
The truth about Keanu’s fate has become a knotty, tangled timebomb-in-the-making involving an increasing number of characters – and it’s getting complicated.
So allow RadioTimes.com to take stock and bring you up to speed with exactly who knows what, the crucial bits of info each character is missing, and how all these crossed wires could cause everybody to play their part in blowing the whole thing wide open…
She knows… The whole truth now. Linda Carter was quick to blab when drunk and told Sharon Keanu is not only alive, but that the Mitchells arranged to have him killed and that Martin Fowler is the world’s worst hitman. She’s also swiped the phone containing Keanu’s fake murder from the allotments and handed it to the cops, ensuring Phil and Ben were arrested.
She doesn’t know… Karen Taylor knows Linda Carter knows. If you know what we mean.
She better not… Hope Phil and Ben find out Keanu is on the run, and that she knew when she shopped them to the Old Bill.
Eastenders’ Lisa is involved in the dirty secret now…
She knows… Louise double-crossed Keanu and was in on Ben and Phil’s plan to have her lover killed by Martin.
She doesn’t know… Keanu is actually still alive – and neither does her daughter. The pair have scarpered to Portugal along with baby Peggy and Phil to escape the heat of the situation since Sharon shopped the Mitchells.
She better not… Plaster her trip to the Algarve all over social media, or the cops could catch up with wanted man Phil – and the finger will surely eventually point to Lou herself…
He knows… Everything – he’s alive (obviously), he struck a deal with Martin and Linda to walk free, he managed to say goodbye to his mum and persuade her to keep quiet, he’s on the run and that’s how it’s got to stay, or else Phil will find him and finish him off for real.
He doesn’t know… The true impact of his disappearance back in the Square, or what it will be like to be a dad to newborn daughter Peggy or his unborn bubba with cougar ex Sharon.
He better not… Show his face around E20 again or he’s properly brown bread, possibly along with Martin, Linda and Karen. Listen out for any mentions of the name ‘Adrian Swanson’, the fake ID in Keanu’s hooky passport Martin sorted for him – why would we need to know that little detail if it wasn’t going to be significant later? With EastEnders’ 35th anniversary looming, we’re predicting a surprise Keanu cameo. Now that would be a game-changer.
He knows… Everything Keanu does, making them the only two in this whole mess to be fully informed.
He doesn’t know… What he’s got himself into. Mr Fowler may have proved himself as a good guy after all and not gone the full Darth Vader and put a bullet in the pretty boy’s head, but that will surely come back to bite him. He’s also playing with fire by threatening Ben Mitchell about what he’s capable of when he’s not actually killed anyone, unlike Ben himself. Sharon swiped his burner phone from the allotments containing the footage of Keanus’ ‘murder’, which is obviously fake, but if the cops get wind of his involvement Mr Fowler will be in trouble. Can Sharon keep him out of it?
He better not… Tell anyone else. It didn’t take him long to cave and put Karen out of her misery, did it? That conscience could be his undoing. We predict he’ll blurt it out to caring ex Sonia next.
She knows… That Martin was forced by Ben and Louise Mitchell to kill Keanu as revenge for getting Sharon Mitchell up the duff, but he let him go. Thanks to her ingenious fake video murder plan, they’re home free. For now. Bet she regrets grabbing forty winks in the back of that van after her festive booze bender.
She doesn’t know… Guilt-ridden Martin told Karen her boy is still alive and he organised a sweet farewell scene in broad daylight in Stansted Airport. Just hours before, L begged her partner in crime to come clean to stressed mother Karen but Martin played the hard man act and refused, with Mrs Carter branding him a heartless monster unaware he was continuing to protect her from knowing too much.
She better not… Tell anyone else – she blabbed to Sharon, who’s made things all the more complicated by shopping Phil and Ben to the cops after finding Martin’s burner phone with the faked murder scene. We’re kind of praying for L to tell Mick, so he’d understand why she’s been hitting the bottle, but we don’t want Mr Carter to get embroiled in this whole mess.
She knows… Almost everything – that Martin was meant to shoot her son dead but couldn’t, then let him go, and that Keanu’s now fled the country on a fake passport. More importantly, she knows she has to keep her mouth shut and only discuss it with Martin behind closed doors in charged two-hander scenes from now on. She also knows that Sharon knows her ex-lover is alive.
She doesn’t know… That Linda was there on Christmas Day and was in on the whole thing up to the point where Keanu fled into the night – at least that’s what we surmise, as nobody mentioned it at the airport.
She better not… Go back on her word and tell the rest of the Taylors their brother is alive and well. But the longer he remains missing, surely the temptation to alleviate his siblings’ fears will be too great? That way trouble lies… She also better not slip to Linda that she’s seen Keanu in the flesh, as that could shatter the uneasy Carter/Fowler alliance and arouse the Mitchells’ suspicion.
He knows… He ordered the man who crossed his clan to be killed in cold blood, calling in a favour from dogsbody Martin who had begged him to dispose of the van involved in the hit and run he wanted to to keep quiet.
He doesn’t know… Martin couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger and Keanu is actually alive, so convincing was his fall off that chair in the ‘murder’ video. Or that drunk Linda ended up in the wrong derelict warehouse at the wrong time and was drawn in. Or that the trio faked Keanu’s death and let him go on the run. Or that Karen also knows her son isn’t dead.
He better not… Goad Martin too much about doing his dirty work and embracing the dark side – Mr Fowler may not actually be be a killer but he’d happily dangle Phil’s cocky son off that railway bridge again given half a chance. Phil also won’t be happy if he learns his son bodged up getting rid of Keanu. He had one job… Currently Ben is under investigation on suspicion of Keanu’s murder, after Sharon got her talons on Martin’s phone containing the incriminating video.
She knows… She double crossed her philandering fiancee by letting him think all was forgiven for impregnating her stepmum at the same time she as she was expecting a tiny Taylor, conspiring with bad boy bruv Ben to deliver him on a platter to hitman Martin. Her transformation into Connie Corleone a la The Godfather Part III was quite possibly the most jaw-dropping ‘Enders Christmas twist in years.
She doesn’t know… Everything Ben is in the dark about: Keanu is alive and Martin, Karen and Linda all know. But Karen and Linda don’t know the other one knows. If you know what we mean.
She better not… Come back from Portugal, which is where she’s disappeared to with mum Lisa, daughter Peggy and dad Phil. Only Phil will return, as Lou and Lisa have left the show. But does that really mean the end of Louise’s involvement in this whole sorry saga?
He knows… Ben dealt with his Keanu ‘problem’ by hiring a hitman to do him in, with betrayed Louise’s assistance. No questions asked – until Lisa revealed that Louise had told her Martin was the one who finished him off.
He doesn’t know… Keanu is still breathing thanks to Linda’s drunken suggestion. He practically threw Karen across the Vic when she publicly accused him of murder before Martin’s confession, so what would he do to her if he knew she’d waved him off at the departure lounge? He also has no idea Sharon knows Keanu is alive, and that she gave the cops the phone footage of Keanu seemingly being killed just for LOLs (and to get Phil arrested).
He better not… Return from his Portugal hideout (he’s currently there with Lou, Lisa and baby Peggy) without a plan, because the cops are after him…
He knows… Fragile Louise told Lisa that Phil and Ben plotted to have Keanu killed after it was revealed he was a double Mitchell baby daddy.
He doesn’t know… Martin was involved, or that Keanu is actually still alive.
He better not… Ask Phil too many questions and end up embroiled in this whole mess. Easier said than done… Or press Sharon, who now knows everything.
He knows… Boyfriend Ben ordered Keanu to be killed for crossing the Mitchell clan, and filmed evidence of the murder was given to the cops by vengeful Sharon.
He doesn’t know… Keanu is alive and that Martin and Linda helped him to fake his death, before letting him go on the run. This means he doesn’t know Sharon or Karen know the truth.
He better not… Get too used to this ‘happy ever after’ him and Ben have got, after Phil’s son decided to stay behind and reunite with his ex instead of fleeing to Portugal with the rest of his criminal clan. Surely Keanu’s got to come back on a mission to get his own back – we have a horrible feeling Callum is going to be collateral damage…
Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers