This article includes spoilers from the full boxset of this week's EastEnders on BBC iPlayer, which haven't yet aired on TV.


There was another big twist in Phil Mitchell's (Steve McFadden) storyline in this week's EastEnders, as the final episode of the week left a number of characters stunned.

With Phil having been sent to prison for his various crimes - including his involvement in the murder of Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood) - he was previously given a 'get out of jail' card by DCI Keeble (Alison Newman). But, Phil being a Mitchell, he couldn't bring himself to become a grass and decided to accept that his future would be behind bars.

This week, Phil was threatened by fellow inmate Craig, and attempted to get hold of a burner phone from another prisoner, Ravi. In return, Ravi required information on Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol), and Phil put in a call to son Ben (Max Bowden). But with Ben grateful for business partner Kheerat's friendship, he decided against stitching him up.

Phil was later beaten up by Craig, and Keeble paid him a visit to tell him, for about the hundredth time now, that her deal was still available. She explained that Phil should take the offer or risk leaving prison in a body bag; but Phil still wouldn't back down.

He is currently unaware that his sister Sam (Kim Medcalf) is plotting to bring down the family empire, and back in Albert Square she arranged for one of her dodgy associates to approach Phil's fiancée Kat Slater's (Jessie Wallace) son Tommy (Sonny Kendall), handing over a bullet as the latest in a long line of threats designed to get Kat to give up on being a Mitchell.

EastEnders,05-07-2022,6515,Ravi (AARON THIARA);Phil Mitchell (STEVE MCFADDEN),***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 28TH JUNE 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Phil was in danger this week. (BBC)

Meanwhile, Phil found a date painted on his cell wall with the abbreviation 'RIP'. He spoke to Ravi and offered to pay him a huge sum in return for back-up in the fight that could claim his life. After asking Kat to transfer money from their joint business, she agreed - but with Sam's manipulative words in her ear over Phil's poor treatment of her, Kat visited Phil to tell him their relationship was over.

The next piece of bad news wasn't far behind, as Keeble warned Phil that the help he had arranged wasn't coming - Ravi was now in solitary confinement. Yet again, she dangled her offer of freedom at a price, adding that all he had to do was send a signal on his burner phone and the cavalry would arrive.

Craig menacingly told Phil his time was almost up, and Phil's ex-wife Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) arrived, at which point Phil furtively passed her some letters for her and his loved ones.

"I ain't gonna see tomorrow," Phil revealed to Sharon, who begged him to fight and declared her love for him. Screaming, she was taken away by the guards; and she later called Phil's brother Grant (Ross Kemp), leaving him a desperate message.

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In his prison cell, Phil was resigned to his fate as he stared at a photo of his mum Peggy (Dame Barbara Windsor). "You'd better be waiting for me," he said, full of emotion. There was a tense cliffhanger as Craig and a group of inmates appeared and launched themselves forward.

In the last instalment of the week, Sharon called the prison and, as the screen cut to guards rushing to the cell and a body being taken away, she was given the news that Phil was dead. She sobbed for him, but tried to follow his instructions not to tell anyone until the launch of Peggy's bar was over. It wasn't long, though, before Sam found one of the letters and confronted Sharon.

EastEnders Sharon Watts
EastEnders' Sharon was devastated by Phil's 'death'. (BBC)

She was devastated over her brother's fate and questioned why he hadn't written her a letter too. Sam saw nephew Ben in The Vic and avoided telling him what was going on, adding that he would know soon enough.

At Peggy's, Kat spotted her own letter and tore it open, choking on her tears as she read his heartfelt words. But as the women privately mourned for Phil, Billy (Perry Fenwick) burst into the office, saying there was something they had to see...

The crowd of people in the club were frozen to the spot; but that was nothing compared to the look on Sam, Sharon and Kat's faces. Phil himself was stood before them all, grinning and asking whether the celebration was his welcome home party.

We should have known that EastEnders wouldn't really kill off the iconic Phil Mitchell! He's survived more near-death experiences than any other character in soapland, after all.

What's next for the hardman? You'll have to wait and see...

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