The net closes in for EastEnders' murderous mother and son Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite) and Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter) this week when the dead body of Ray Kelly, killed by Hunter on New Year's Day and buried in the woods with his mum's assistance, is dug up.


On Monday 11 February the pair are panicked by news reports of the gruesome discovery, and on Tuesday 12 February Mel is questioned by the police. Wanting to protect her killer son, Mel gives old flame Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) as her alibi for the night of her and Ray's ill-fated wedding that ended with him being shot by his stepson, and when the tough blonde is released she is forced to confess the whole gory story to a stunned Jack.

Begging for the former cop's help, Mel and Hunter prepare to flee the country on Thursday 14 February but the police are in pursuit and the trio are pulled over - has Jack betrayed his ex? Will they all end up in prison? And how will volatile Hunter react to the escape plan being foiled? Tamzin Outhwaite teases a dramatic week ahead in Walford…


How does Mel feel when a body is discovered in the woods?
I think Mel is in a blind panic, she has told so many lies to so many different people and I don’t think she knows who she’s told what! She is getting deeper and deeper in this web of deceit.

Does she feel time is running out?
Yes. She hasn't actually committed murder, but she was there and has covered it up for her son. If she explained it all, Mel thinks surely someone would understand. Everything is unravelling and she’s in the middle of a terrible spiral of deceit. Mel also doesn’t trust Hunter at the moment, she knows he's losing it as well and wants to keep tabs on him.

How does she cope under police interrogation?
She could be a lot calmer! When she is questioned she does that thing that a lot of guilty people do - she gets defensive and fights back. She does not become remorseful because she sees that as a sign of guilt, and so becomes more aggressive and defensive.


Why does Mel use Jack as her alibi?
Mel doesn't really have any friends on the Square and he has been the only person that actually kind of trusts her. Also, she thinks that Jack still loves her and maybe he would do this because he cares. Mel asks Jack for help to escape and tells him everything that’s happened, as he knows people who might be able to help her. I don’t think she properly trusts Jack because she is so paranoid, and since she's not even trusting her own son she has got no one.

How does Mel react when she realises the police are following her?
At that time she is at the height of paranoia. They pull over, and Jack tries to reassure Mel… and that's all I can say!

How far would Mel go to protect Hunter?
It's her son, it's her boy and her freedom. The love of a mother and son does run very deep, but I think at this stage, she is questioning everything.

We know Hunter is leaving, what can you tease about his exit?
Well what can I tell you? Does Hunter get killed? Does he go to prison? We know he is going, but I can't tell you anymore. I feel very sad about not working with Charlie but I've still got stuff to do with him, he hasn't gone yet. He's got a very bright future and I'm excited for him.


Will Mel get away with this?
Who knows. It could be seen as self-defence on her part, but can she get away with the aftermath? I think it’s going to have long term repercussions, it's not going to be over within a week.

What has the reaction been to Ray's murder storyline?
It's just been an outpouring of love. Mel getting her own back and sticking up for herself is something that they seem to be quite proud of. As a character she is more bitter, twisted and damaged than she used to be, but that doesn't mean she hasn't got hope. Maybe love will come along one day and bring her old self back out.

Could she and Jack rekindle?
I am not sure about that but anything is possible. I love working with Scott and I think Mel and Jack have a wonderful connection and could have quite a fun and light life. If they can put all of the darkness behind them, and they have both been through an awful lot, who knows…


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