EastEnders’ Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) received a punch in the face from her young son Dennis Rickman (Bleu Landau) as she confronted him over fears he had been groomed by a drug dealing gang.
Thursday 11 April’s episode of the BBC1 soap picked up from protective parent Sharon lamping gang member Stix earlier this week telling him to leave her son alone, after Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith) dobbed in delinquent Denny had arranged to meet his dangerous mates and feared he was being lured into their criminal world, as she herself was.
But Tiff was forced to admit she was the one who originally introduced Dennis to the bad guys while she was under the spell of Evie Steele and the network of nasties who ran a 'county lines' operation grooming underage children to deliver drugs.
Sharon had a shouty showdown with Tiff accusing her of grooming innocent Dennis as relatives Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) tried to defend the tearaway teenage girl pointing out she too was a victim of the gang.
As insults were traded between the warring families, with mud thrown on both sides, Sharon retreated back home and opened up to husband Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) about how she blamed herself for taking her eye off the ball and not realising her son had got in with a bad crowd.
Later she warned Dennis against hanging out with the gang but the cocky lad criticised his mum's parenting and accused her of not caring, citing the fact she swanned off on holiday to Australia last year following his early brush with the gang which put him in grave danger.
What provoked Dennis into punching Sharon?
As the row escalated Dennis stormed off upstairs, but angry Sharon demanded he apologise for his attitude - which is when he turned round and punched her in the face…
What will the consequences of the shocking assault be? Will Sharon confide in anyone her own son beat her up? Is Denny going down the same destructive path as Tiff, who ended up on the run and raped after being manipulated by Evie?
Earlier this week original EastEnders cast member Dean celebrated filming her 2,000th episode of the soap, with a video posted on social media capturing the moment producers Kate Oates and Jon Sen surprised her on set to mark the occasion with flowers and words of congratulations.
Judging from this latest twist, it looks like Sharon will remain in the thick of the action in Walford for a good while yet…
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