EastEnders has hinted Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter) could become Walford's next serial killer in Friday 4 January's episode when it was revealed Mel Owen's (Tamzin Outhwaite) murderous son has secretly kept hold of the gun he used to bump off cheating stepdad Ray Kelly (Sean Mahon) - could the tormented teen be planning another kill?
Mel went into protective parent mode after Hunter saved her life by shooting Ray dead during a violent showdown in the woods. The Owens have now buried Ray's body and plan to flee Walford as police investigate the cruel Kelly's mysterious disappearance, Mel is determined to cover up her son's crime but doesn't realise he still has the firearm used to kill Ray and believes he's disposed of it - so why is he lying?
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What does Hunter have planned next? Is he getting trigger happy and planning on pointing the pistol at another victim? And if so, who's potentially in the firing line?
Up until he had to rescue her from riled Ray's clutches, Hunter hero-worshipped his stepfather thanks to his sinister psychological manipulation. What if the trauma of killing him has made the teen feel guilty to the point where he regrets pulling the trigger and wants to punish Mel for trying to destroy Ray in the first place? If the pair manage to escape and go on the run, will he murder his own mother?
There's big beef with Mr Mitchell who Hunter holds responsible for the death of his dad Steve 17 years ago, who Phil failed to save from a burning car as he swiped baby Louise to safety who his enemy had kidnapped. Crossing the line into cold-blooded killing might reignite Hunter's hatred for the hard man and he could finally settle that score.
Talking of feuds with fierce fellas, Hunter had a very complicated relationship with Jack when he was dating Mel, even punching himself in the face and claiming the buff Branning did it to keep him away from his mother. The ex-cop is already sniffing around having caught Hunter and Mel returning from a late-night 'drive'. We don't think he bought their cover story, and if he gets too close to the truth he could end up taking a bullet.
Ray's other wives had to endure a slap in the face from Mel to make their plan look authentic in front of the wedding guests, but twisted Hunter may end up blaming them for this whole mess and track them down to get his own back by of eliminating anyone who might arouse suspicion that Mel was planning on doing something very bad to the bigamist.
The two tough teens were arch rivals for a while, and we can see Hunter getting a God complex and wanting to take down anybody who's ever given him grief. The Baker boy's recent cruel treatment of Louise won't go down well…
Talking of Lou, we can imagine a tragic, dramatic scenario in which tormented Hunter tries to kill either Phil or Keegan as he deals with unresolved grudges only for his childhood friend (remember they grew up together when Lisa Fowler lived with Mel in Portugal when the kids were little) to get caught in the crossfire as the gun goes off.
It looked for a shocking moment in tonight's episode that Hunter was about to turn the gun on himself as he held it up to his face, smiling ambiguously - when the sound of a gunshot was heard as Mel smashed a glass we thought something terrible had happened in the kitchen, but luckily it appears it was just an enigmatic sound effect to connote Mrs Owen's inner turmoil. However, Hunter should be careful when handling loaded weapons… And might murderous guilt end up pushing him into taking his own life?
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