Spoiler warning for the EastEnders episode airing on Thursday 31st August 2023, which was released on BBC iPlayer at 6am.


Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) made a big decision about where her priorities lie in EastEnders, as she vowed to stay in Walford for good.

Daughter Gina Knight (Francesca Henry) spiralled upon meeting Cindy, and the young woman was rushed to hospital after taking drugs. Cindy and Gina's father George (Colin Salmon) were by her side, but George was not happy with Cindy's presence.

He seemed torn as the night wore on, though, as Cindy reminisced about Gina's childhood and insisted that their girl would be okay. She was proved right as the doctor informed the pair that Gina would recover - but Cindy was horrified when George admitted that Gina had a drug problem.

As Cindy urged him to talk to her, George recounted Gina's history with substance abuse. Gina had entered treatment and improved but had since suffered a number of relapses.

George went on to blame Cindy for Gina's current situation, revealing that Gina had had to play mum to little sister Anna (Molly Rainford) from the age of 13.

Meanwhile, Kathy Cotton (Gillian Taylforth) forced her son Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) to choose between her and Cindy, and Ian chose Cindy, leaving Kathy devastated. Ian was taken in by pal Alfie Moon (Shane Richie), before getting a call from Cindy, and he rushed to the hospital to support her; though she was uneasy to also meet his son Bobby (Clay Milner Russell), who had killed her daughter Lucy.

There was relief all around when Gina woke up, but it transpired that she had taken crystal meth, and had come close to a cardiac arrest or stroke. George was broken to hear that Gina hadn't cared what she was taking at the time, she just wanted everything to stop.

Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Cotton in EastEnders.
Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Cotton in EastEnders. BBC

While Gina wanted nothing to do with her mum, Anna was in pieces, weighed down with guilt for sleeping with Freddie Slater (Bobby Brazier) while her sister was in a critical condition. Cindy offered her younger daughter a warm embrace, telling her how much she had missed her.

George witnessed the scene, and although momentarily moved, he ordered Cindy to leave. But when Cindy found out that jealous Ian had lied to her about Gina and Anna living in Walford, she returned to form and confronted him with fury. Cindy told Ian that if he wanted to make things up to her, he would find a way for them to stay near her girls.

So Ian headed back to see Kathy, explaining he was reclaiming his businesses. When she stood firm, banning Cindy from moving in, Ian insisted that she, her husband Rocky (Brian Conley) and Jasper the Parrot had to go! Meanwhile, Cindy had another encounter with George, making it clear that she was going nowhere.

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Colin Salmon as George Knight, Michelle Collins as Cindy Beale, Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale in EastEnders
Is a new love triangle forming on Albert Square? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Despite the tension, it was clear there was unfinished business between the pair that went far beyond Gina and Anna, as Cindy grasped George's hand.

But when George remained hostile and called her by her witness protection name, Rose, Cindy boldly declared: "Oh, and I'm not Rose any more. I'm Cindy." As she strode away confidently, will Cindy get what she wants - and is a love triangle brewing?

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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