EastEnders‘ Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) finally revealed the shocking secret to mum Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) that he killed his late father.
The bombshell was delivered in dramatic scenes shown on Thursday 2nd May, as cancer-stricken Jean deteriorated from a nasty cut on her leg incurred during mother/son bonding time at a remote country cottage intended as a chance for the pair to reconnect after Sean returned to Walford for the first time in 10 years.
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Following a fractious reunion earlier in the week when Sean kidnapped late wife Roxy’s daughter Amy, clashed with old enemies Jack Branning and Ruby Allen, and caused a scene at Jean’s chemotherapy appointment, it was suggested time away from the Square was needed.
Opening up about his tumultuous marriage to Roxy and his regret at almost killing her and Amy by driving them into a frozen lake all those years ago, traumatised at discovering Jack was the girl’s biological father, edgy Sean seemed to have something on his mind as sought to make amends for his volatile past.
Realising her hair was falling out due to her treatment, brave Jean asked Sean to shave it all off, bringing the pair closer as the reality of her illness set in and trust was regained between the twosome.
Events took a worrying turn when a deep wound on Jean’s leg caused by falling over a wooden fence while out walking continued to bleed and appeared to become infected, and with her immune system low Sean realised he had to call an ambulance – only there was no signal.
With Jean drifting into unconsciousness, anxious Sean bit the bullet and unburdened himself… “This isn’t how I wanted to do this,” he began nervously, explaining he had been wanting to offload what he was about to reveal for years. “I killed dad.” Confused Jean pointed out her late husband Brian died of a brain haemorrhage, but Sean believes it was caused by the punch he gave him during a row shortly before his death, when Sean was just 16 years old. News of Jean’s diagnosis forced Sean to come clean, wanting her to know the truth in case she succumbed to her condition.
Sean then fled the cottage, promising to return, so he get a strong enough signal to call 999, and the episode ended with Jean telling her son she loved him before passing out…
Who else knows Sean Slater killed his dad?
Long-term fans may recall the only other person Sean told this sad secret to was ex-lover Tanya Branning back in 2008, recounting the same story about the punch he’s convinced led to the haemorrhage. Unable to cope with the guilt and believing he was to blame for the tragedy that tore his family apart, teenage Sean did a runner to join the army and lost contact with Jean and little sister Stacey for seven years.
The responsibility felt for his dad’s demise is undoubtedly the key to Sean’s unstable state of mind and propensity for violent outbursts, so will he get closure having told Jean the truth at last? Or could it tip him over the edge? EastEnders revealed earlier this week Sean has contemplated taking his own life in his years off screen, and the show has worked with the Samaritans to portray the impact of his confession will have on the character’s mental health leading to an epic, intense climax.
Kate Oates, BBC Head of Continuing Drama who devised Kazinsky’s comeback storyline, said: “Sean’s return gives us a unique opportunity to explore two different aspects of mental health: on the one hand, the results of a long-term and untreated depression, and on the other, a person who has had a lifetime of trying to understand the delicate balance of their own mental health – and is coming out winning.”
The plot continues on Friday 3rd May when Sean manages to reach Stacey and urges her to call an ambulance, but as paramedics get to the scene Sean has disappeared…
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