EastEnders fans are used to seeing shocks and melodramatic plot twists in the closing seconds of each episode. But this evening’s visit to Walford gave viewers something that is usually in short supply: happiness.
The BBC1 soap may be renowned for its downbeat tone, but scenes just shown gave Callum (Tony Clay) a rare moment of triumph as he came out to his homophobic dad Jonno (Richard Graham) before finding the confidence to kiss on-off-on-again love interest Ben (Max Bowden) in front of everyone.
Even Whitney (Shona McGarty), whose wedding to Callum was recently derailed when she discovered the truth about his sexuality, couldn’t help but be moved.
Just 24 hours earlier, it was all looking very different, with a heartbroken Callum having seen Ben kissing another man on a night out at the Prince Albert. As it turned out, though, Ben had publicly strayed in order to shield Callum from the inevitable hurt he believed he’d cause him, having being been warned off by an over-protective Stuart.
Tuesday’s episode then saw Lola offer some advice to Callum, all of which led to him seeking out Ben at the Queen Vic and declaring that he’d like them to go on another date. However, Callum was taken aback when Ben asked him for a kiss in front of the regular pub-goers in order to prove that he was ready for them to be together.
But an unforeseen complication came in the form of Jonno who turned up on the scene demanding to know why Callum’s nuptials had been cancelled. After coming out, Callum was subject to a tirade of anti-gay abuse from Jonno, whose rant was thankfully cut short by hard man Phil, who punched the bigot to the ground.
In the wake of the showdown, Jonno was left a pariah, while Callum emerged from his ordeal with new-found fortitude and gave Ben the kiss he’d asked for. “All right, I’ll go on a date with you,” said Ben, to which Callum playfully replied, “After that kiss, who says I want to? I’ll drop you a text and we’ll go from there.”
As Callum walked off with his head held high, #Ballum devotees will surely have been left delighted that, for once, all seemed to be going well for their favourite on-screen couple. We’ll find out whether such contentment lasts when EastEnders returns to BBC1 on Thursday at 7.30pm.
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