EastEnders‘ returnee Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) shares a sneaky kiss with Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) on Friday 12 April, despite Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) making it clear he doesn’t want his baby mama revisiting her romance with his brother. Could the secret smooch tear the family apart? And why is Ben so against the idea of Lola and Jay becoming a couple again?
Ben and Lola recently returned to Albert Square after Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) summoned her son home fearing his dad Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) was in a fix. Claiming he wants to reconnect with his estranged clan and help Phil out of the mess he’s in with gangster Danny Hardcastle (Paul Usher), Ben is hiding the real reason him and Lola have come back.
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On Monday 8 April, Phil confides in his eldest he is broke and Ben assures him they can rebuild the Mitchell empire together as father and son – which Lola seems surprised by. Is this at odds with the agenda Ben is hiding from the family?
Meanwhile, Lola is hurt that ex-boyfriend Jay has been ignoring her since she made her surprise reappearance, preoccupied by his rocky relationship with Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton), but considering the pair were set to make a new life together in Newcastle four years ago only for Lo to finish with him over the phone and start dating someone else, is it any wonder he’s gone a bit cool?
What will Ben do if he knows Lola has betrayed him with Jay?
“As far as Jay’s concerned the thing with Lola has been and gone,” says Borthwick. “She dumped over the phone through his mate and now he’s really into Ruby. All of a sudden Lola comes back like a whirlwind and some of those old feelings creep back up again for Jay.”
“Jay has always been Lola’s love from when she first came to Walford all those years ago,” confides Harold. “It’s nice to play that dynamic again, it becomes a ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ kind of thing, which it kind of always was.”
As to Ben’s reasons for wanting to keep the pair apart, Bowden insists he’s just looking out for them. “It’s based on Ben’s love for Jay and the way it ended before with Jay getting hurt by Lola. Ben worries they will hurt each other and the struggle between them becomes too much.”
Clearly there’s more going on beneath the surface, and viewers will soon know what Ben and Lola are hiding, but the attraction between Lo and Jay can’t be contained and after Mr Brown initially says he wants them to be just good friends, when the childhood sweethearts reconnect over a drink in E20 the old spark leads to an illicit kiss…
Ben fumes knowing the pair are spending time together, despite his warning to Lola she stay away. What does he have over her, and how will he react if he finds out they’ve been locking lips? With the new-look, recast Ben promised to have a harder, broodier edge, could Lola and Jay be in danger from his wrath if they disobey him?
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