Janine Butcher arrested after violent showdown in EastEnders exit
Actress Charlie Brooks bows out from the BBC One soap as Janine's scheming finally came to an end once more.
Janine Carter has been arrested as she made another exit from EastEnders on Boxing Day.
Actress Charlie Brooks bowed out from the role once again after her latest 18-month stint, having returned as Janine Butcher in September 2021.
Monday night's episode (26th December 2022) saw the aftermath of Christmas Day's shocking episode which saw Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) disappear into the sea to rescue his true love Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) after a car containing her and Janine plunged into the sea from a clifftop.
After having already saved his scheming pregnant wife Janine, Mick returned to the water to save Linda, who unbeknownst to him had emerged on the shore independently.
The Boxing Day episode picked up with Linda being treated by emergency services as no news had arrived on Mick being found, while Janine fled on foot and managed to be picked up by a passing driver.
Later, police returned a broken Linda to the Queen Vic where she faced Mick's mother Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) before pouring herself a drink of vodka - breaking her sobriety - and informing Shirley what had happened. Linda was convinced that Mick was dead but Shirley refused to believe it.
Meanwhile, Janine returned to the Square and walked into the Vic to be confronted by both Linda and Shirley and was convinced that Mick is dead. Janine claimed that she, Linda and Shirley should be in it together for the baby and Ollie. Shirley verbally tore into Janine and blamed her for what had happened to Mick, but Janine blamed Linda for their accident before she ordered them both to leave the pub as she herself is "Mrs Carter".
Shirley ordered Linda to call the police before slapping Janine but then began choking her against the pub bar. Janine implored Linda to help her for the sake of Mick's unborn baby but a grieving Linda said she didn't care. Linda only stopped Shirley from killing Janine when her son Ollie walked in and asked for Mick and why Shirley was crying.
After seeing Ollie back to bed, Linda ordered Janine to leave the Square and never come back or she would call the police and make sure that she went to prison for a long time. Linda then threw her out of the pub and locked her out. Shirley wanted to kill Janine but Linda said it would ruin their lives more - and doesn’t want to go through a trial and see Janine even more. The pair then discussed how to tell Ollie that Mick is gone. Shirley broke down in tears and the pair resolved to make it through this together.
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Afterwards, Janine headed over to Sonia Fowler’s house to tell her daughter Scarlett Butcher (Tabitha Byron) that Mick is dead and she blamed Linda for their crash. Scarlett ran off as Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) and Janine's brother Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) demanded more answers. Janine broke down in tears as Ricky comforted her but she blamed Linda for everything after Sonia showed more concern for Linda and Shirley over what had happened to Mick. Ricky grew worried as Janine became more and more irate. Sonia and Ricky promised to be there for Janine’s baby whatever happened, but Janine suggested that instead, they encouraged Scarlett to change her story about Janine framing Linda for drunk driving in order to protect Janine. Sonia and Ricky refused to make Scarlett lie for Janine and Ricky then threatened to call the police on his sister himself. Ricky then told Janine to leave as Linda had asked or he would call the police, but Janine tried to manipulate him, recalling their dead father Frank. Janine then went to speak with Scarlett.
Back at the Vic, Linda tucked Ollie into bed and he asked her to say goodnight to his dad for him. Linda couldn't tell him and later broke down in tears after leaving her son's room.
Back at Sonia's, Janine spoke with Scarlett and made clear that Mick probably wouldn't be coming back and tried to manipulate her daughter into changing her story about Linda's supposed drunk driving in order to protect Scarlett and her unborn sibling from going into care. Despite Janine’s attempts to manipulate her into lying to everyone, Scarlett refused to change her story and said that Mick wouldn’t want her to lie and also argued that no one would believe it. Janine then began blaming Scarlett for everything that happened and implored her to fix it, proclaiming how much she loved her.
On the roof of the Vic, Linda remained distraught and was convinced that Mick is dead when speaking to Shirley alone.
Inside Sonia's house, Janine then told Ricky and Sonia that she and Scarlett were staying united and would now correct the version of events surrounding what had happened. A solemn Ricky then revealed that he had already called the police and wouldn't let Janine use Scarlett to get out of what she had done. Janine proclaimed that she was leaving with Scarlett just as the police arrived. Scarlett refused to help her mum despite her protestations and the police arrested Janine for perverting the course of justice.
So, just as Shirley and Linda broke down as they began to accept that Mick wasn't coming back, a distraught Janine departed Walford in the back of a police car once again as the episode concluded.
The episode marks the end of Charlie Brooks' third full-time stint on the show, having played the role of Janine from 1999 until 2004 when Janine was arrested for the murder of Laura Beale, and then from 2008 until 2014 when the character left Walford after getting away with the murder of husband Michael Moon, and now after having returned since 2021.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday earlier this year, Brooks said: "I was only ever due back to EastEnders for a year, but when [exec producer] Chris Clenshaw presented me with his idea for the story, I couldn’t say no to staying a little longer."
She added: "I’ve had an amazing time, as I always do when I go back. But as always with Janine, she probably should not outstay her welcome — for everyone’s sake."
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- EastEnders’ Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright reflect on end of the Carters’ era
- Danny Dyer says his career was “on its f**king arse” before EastEnders
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