Fans of EastEnders were disturbed and in some cases disgusted by Friday’s doof-doof closing scene as it appeared to show the body of Tina Carter (Luisa Bradshaw-White) under the floorboards of the Argee Bhajee.
Tina has been missing from Walford for a year but her sister Shirley (Linda Henry) has never given up hope that she would return to Albert Square.
But the grisly fact is, she’s never actually left the square and has been sequestered beneath the floor of the closed restaurant all this time. Her killer, Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith), got a strong dose of smelling salts on Friday's episode when he was told a gas explosion at the restaurant was about to be investigated. The shock on his face was palpable.
EastEnders viewers posted their horror at the realisation Tina is dead, one tweeting: “that shot of tina under the floorboards gotta be the most disturbing thing i’ve seen on ee in a while”.
Another summed up what many people had hoped – “Was anyone else preparing for Tina to be alive and being held captive in there?”
Was anyone else preparing for Tina to be alive and being held captive in there? #EastEndersFebruary 4, 2022
Gray turned on Tina when she became suspicious that he had killed his wife, Chantelle, which was a spot-on intuition. But she hadn’t realised his potential to become a serial killer.
Some viewers were disturbed by the producers’ attention to detail – in particular Tina’s skeletal hand!
I can’t stop thinking about EastEnders showing us Tina’s skeleton hand pic.twitter.com/X1b5aILyKZFebruary 4, 2022
Was it an appropriate scene to be screening at 8pm on a Friday night? Many thought not. “Why did we need to see Rats over Tina skeleton? Its disgusting & just goes to show how low and disgusting this show has gone,” posted one viewer.
Shirley Carter is a force of nature and when she discovers the truth there will be a reckoning.
As Friday’s episode concluded, Shirley said forlornly: “I know Tina is out there somewhere, she probably doesn’t want to be found. I just hope she decides to come home soon.”
When Shirley discovers the truth, Gray will pay a heavy price.
“I'm here for Shirley getting revenge when the truth comes out eek! Its gonna go downn!!” as one viewer posted.
What an ending omg I had chills! Gray is so close to being exposed and will Tina's body be found? I'm here for Shirley getting revenge when the truth comes out eek! Its gonna go downn!! #Eastenders xxFebruary 5, 2022
Of course, some in the audience were just grateful the storyline was reaching a conclusion. The wildly unpopular Gray has been living on borrowed time, as soap code means he must eventually be punished and atone for his crimes.
One viewer tweeted: “So Grey buried Tina in the floorboards of the Argee Bhajee and the explosion prompted an investigation which is going to uncover her body, which means this storyline is finally coming to an end soon... THANK GOD”.
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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