*Warning: Contains spoilers for tonight's EastEnders episode (23rd May 2024), currently available on BBC iPlayer.*


It was the end of an era as Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) bid farewell to Walford in the latest edition of EastEnders, complete with the traditional Julia's Theme soundtrack courtesy of composer Simon May.

After learning that fiancé Zack Hudson (James Farrar) had slept with her best friend Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa), Whitney had a showdown with the pair and, with support from Callum Highway (Tony Clay), she ultimately decided to make a fresh start elsewhere with baby daughter Dolly and foster daughter Britney Wainwright (Lola Campbell).

Whit's stepmum Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) planned to join them, and was given a cold reception when she quit the café after stealing all the food!

But when Whitney told Zack she was moving away with their child, the news that Bianca was tagging along caused him to reveal that Bianca knew all about his cheating!

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Whitney Dean sits looking pensive in front of a big screen featuring her with Linda and Mick in EastEnders
Whitney made amends with Linda. BBC

In an emotional scene, Whitney confronted Bianca over her betrayal. Although she didn't entirely disown Bianca, Whit blocked her from coming along and explained that she still loved her, but could no longer trust her. Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) urged Whitney to call Bi when she was ready, and Whit agreed to do so.

A last chat with Lauren saw Whitney confirm that she didn't want a war between them, although it was clear that their bond was now broken. With Whitney planning to move in with her brother Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott), her niece Lily Slater (Lillia Turner) approached her to tell her how much she would miss her.

Meeting with Zack at their baby Peach's memorial tree, Whitney was able to part on good terms as Zack accepted her decision and she vowed to allow him a place in Dolly's life. With that, Whitney had tied up all loose ends, albeit leaving a bittersweet taste after all the recent drama.

Callum, along with Whitney's other friends Chelsea Fox (Zaraah Abrahams) and Felix Baker (Matthew Morrison), organised a leaving party at The Queen Vic, where Whitney was given a special slideshow filled with memories and family photos.

Whitney then offered Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) an apology for her past kiss with Mick (Danny Dyer), but Linda warmly told her it was all water under the bridge and wished her well.

In the market, Whitney was given a round of applause as she was walked to the bus stop with Dolly and Britney – with the latter sporting a hat similar to the one a teenage Whitney had worn during her own debut!

Riding out of Walford, Whitney declared that whatever came next, they could cope, just as she always had over the years. The episode marked star McGarty's final appearance as Whitney after 16 years in the role, and EastEnders certainly won't be the same without her.

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