This article includes a discussion of rape and domestic abuse that some readers may find upsetting.
EastEnders fans have been left shaken after tonight's dramatic episode (3rd October) ended with Freddie Slater (Bobby Brazier) attacking Theo Hawthorne (William Ellis) until he was unconscious.
Theo has been stalking Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) for months, and tonight he broke into her home and attempted to rape her. When Freddie arrived, he stopped Theo - but as the men threw a few punches back and forth, Freddie saw red when Theo claimed Stacey led him on!
Freddie laid eyes on an iron which Stacey had been using earlier that evening and used it to clobber Theo when the latter lunged for Stace again.
Many viewers will have recognised Freddie's choice of weapon from a memorable EastEnders storyline which saw his mother, Little Mo (Kacey Ainsworth), hit her abusive husband Trevor Morgan (Alex Ferns) with an iron to stop him from hurting her.
Those who remember the harrowing plot were quick to comment on social media platform Twitter, which was recently rebranded as X.
Back to the present, the most pressing concern is whether Theo is dead, meaning that Freddie could be going to prison for murder. And while they wait to find out, fans have been very vocal in their shock over what they've just witnessed.
We too may need a while to recover after such violent scenes, but with award-winning star Brazier now starring in Strictly Come Dancing, the question is, will Freddie's temporary exit see him sent behind bars?
We've also been hoping for a Little Mo return for some time, and this has never been ruled out; although of course, the much-missed Ainsworth is currently starring in ITV's Grantchester.
But with so much of Freddie's screentime lately involving Little Mo's backstory - as he confronted his biological father, rapist Graham Foster (Alex McSweeney) - we can't help but hope Mo will be back at some point! In the meantime, what will become of Freddie - and will Theo survive?
Theo has been on the list of potential murder victims for EastEnders' Christmas whodunnit, in which Stacey is heavily involved. But just how long will he be remaining in Walford after tonight's terrifying instalment?
If in need of support, visit the website for Rape Crisis and also contact by calling Rape Crisis's 23/7 support line on 0808 500 2222.
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EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.
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