Some worrying behaviour from Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) began to be displayed in EastEnders on Monday 4th May, causing concern for the character among viewers, and they won’t have to wait long for her actions to be explained.
As Whitney Dean returned home safe and sound after being kidnapped by stalker Leo King’s mum Michaela Turnbull, her relieved family lined up to greet her – only for Jean to accidentally call Whit ‘Stacey’, the name of her absent daughter.
While Jean is known for her eccentricities, Kush Kazemi’s troubled expression made it clear he thought this was more than a mere slip of the tongue and another example of Mrs Slater’s not-uncommon compulsion for getting muddled up, and on Tuesday 5th May he tries to get to the bottom of it.
Playing it down when Mr Kazemi asks if she’s okay, an increasingly-erratic Jean assures her niece’s fella there is nothing wrong and he’s reading too much into the incident. However, suspicious Kush then discovers Jean, who has lived with bipolar for many years and struggles with her mental health, has stopped taking her medication.
Knowing the serious implications this could have, Kush implores Jean to keep taking her prescription after she publicly loses her temper with Suki Panesar and Phil Mitchell.
Stubborn Jean refuses, leading Kush to take drastic measures to help her…
Poor old Jean has been through the wringer in the last year: battling cancer, finding romance with fellow patient Daniel Cook who she nursed up to his death, having an emotional reunion with troubled son Sean, and being abounded by daughter Stacey Fowler who was forced to flee Walford after assaulting Phil.
Why has she suddenly ditched the pills? Has all the recent trauma finally got on top of the stressed Slater? Whatever the reason, there are bound to be far-reaching, and potentially very dangerous, consequences. Is Jean heading for another breakdown? Could Kush end up making things worse as he takes action in Kat and Stacey’s absence?