EastEnders resolved the cliffhanger that saw Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) in danger after discovering Leo King’s (Tom Wells) true identity, as events took a surprising turn climaxing in an emotional showdown.
Whit was on a night away in a posh hotel with her boyfriend when she received a frantic phone call from little sister Tiff, who told her Leo was the secret son of Whitney’s childhood abuser Tony King and had orchestrated their ‘accidental’ meeting and entire relationship in order to clear his name and get revenge.
Refusing to let her leave, Leo lost it as he recalled how he never saw his dad after he walked out when he was a kid, then accused Whitney of lying about the grooming and sexual abuse she endured from his father, blaming her step-mum Bianca for making it up as she was jealous that Tony had dumped her.
Forced into recording a ‘confession’ that she lied, brave Whit turned the tables on volatile Leo and told him exactly what happened, and the impact it’s had on her life and relationships ever since.
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Crumbling at the eventual realisation that his late parent was guilty of the sick crimes all along, Leo fled, confused and horrified. By the time Tiff and Callum Highway got to the scene Whitney was calm and controlled, having stood her ground and faced her past.
Leo, meanwhile, was a gibbering wreck as we saw him free his mum Michaela Turnbull (Fiona Allen) from the car boot she’d presumably been locked in since Monday’s episode when she was knocked unconscious after threatening to scupper his plan.
Full of apologies that he’d been wrong about Tony, Leo’s pleas for forgiveness were ignored as terrified Micheala drove off, telling her son he was just like his father…
EastEnders are staying tight-lipped about whether this is the last we’ve seen of misguided Leo, who started to genuinely fall for Whitney as he got deeper into his con.
Earlier this year, and before Leo was introduced, show boss Jon Sen teased that Whitney would be at the centre of an 18-month long storyline in which the character “learns from everything she’s been through – where do we go with someone who has a tragic past and can never find happiness? This is a chapter in a much longer arc.”
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