*Warning: this article contains spoilers for tonight's EastEnders episode, which is currently streaming on BBC iPlayer*


This article includes discussion of rape and sexual assault that some readers may find upsetting.

EastEnders has aired a shocking twist, as Freddie Slater (Bobby Brazier) may have killed stalker Theo Hawthorne (William Ellis) after catching him attempting to rape Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

After Stacey's plea for a Stalking Protection Order against Theo was denied, Stace was left broken as she and her family returned home. She felt stuck, not wanting to venture outside again, knowing that Theo was free to do what he liked.

Daughter Lily (Lillia Turner) took charge, insisting that she, her newborn daughter Charli and Stacey went for a walk to show Theo that Stacey wasn't scared.

But they soon bumped into Theo, who continued to claim that he and Stacey were a couple. Lily shouted in Theo's face, telling him that everyone knew what he was really like.

In the café, Stacey was blown away by Lily's support and wise words. But while Lily headed off to visit Kat Mitchell (Jessie Wallace), Stacey was accosted by Freddie.

Freddie was drunk, having just had an altercation with a woman and her boyfriend at Peggy's. Accused of groping the woman, Freddie insisted he had just bumped into her, and he was left disturbed that he could end up like his rapist father Graham Foster (Alex McSweeney).

When Freddie told Stacey about the incident in the club, she wondered if he had provoked the couple, and Freddie was fuming as he stormed off. Theo then approached Stacey in the dark and claimed he was the injured party!

Stacey warned Theo not to come anywhere near her again, and refused to be scared of him. At The Vic, Freddie confided in Eve Unwin (Heather Peace), and came to understand Stacey's reaction to him. Then they realised that Theo was behind Graham's message, and Freddie threw some angry words Theo's way.

Later, while alone at home, Stacey was terrified when Theo broke in and revealed his sinister plan, before pinning her to the floor and trying to rape her.

Meanwhile, Freddie was further upset when he tried and failed to make amends with former best mate Bobby Beale (Clay Milner Russell).

Arriving home to talk to Stacey, Freddie walked into the kitchen as she tried to fight Theo off. Freddie got Theo away from Stacey, but as a fight broke out, Theo lied that she had "led him on".

Bobby Brazier as an emotional Freddie Slater over Theo Hawthorne's body in EastEnders.
Bobby Brazier as an emotional Freddie Slater over Theo Hawthorne's body in EastEnders. BBC

Just hours after hearing those same words from Graham, Freddie was triggered by this phrase, and as he turned and saw an iron on the side, he used it to hit Theo, just as Theo was advancing towards Stacey once more.

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It was a chilling throwback to the moment Freddie's mum Little Mo hit her abuser husband, Trevor Morgan (Alex Ferns) with an iron in self-defence back in 2001.

Freddie dropped the iron and continued to hit Theo, going too far as a traumatised Stacey uttered: "What have you done?" Has Freddie murdered Theo?

Viewers who identify with Stacey's story can contact the National Stalking Helpline on 08088020300, or visit suzylamplugh.org. You can also visit Safeguarding Hub.

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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