EastEnders viewers were not happy with Ben Mitchell’s (Max Bowden) dark storyline during last night’s episode (Wednesday, April. 13), which saw him attack a man and fans are now fearing writers have ‘ruined’ his character.
Last night’s dramatic EastEnders episode saw Ben continue to struggle with his PTSD after the homophobic attack that happened to him and his husband Callum Highway (Tony Clay) last year.
Recently, Ben and Callum’s relationship spiraled after Callum was asked to be the face of a new LGBTQ+ poster campaign at work.
However, Ben didn’t want Callum to accept the offer because he thought that the exposure would lead them to be attacked, so when Callum received an important call about the campaign, Ben pretended to be him and rejected the offer.
When Callum found out what he had done, it was revealed that Ben was still suffering from PTSD from the attack.
Now, the couple aren’t on speaking terms and Ben has been finding other outlets to express his complicated emotions.
The aftermath of the incident saw Ben chatting to the new Albert bar manager Lewis (Aidan O'Callaghan) about their experiences of being gay.
Ben had recently seen Lewis being hassled by a group of men and it was clear the abuse had been playing on Ben’s mind.
But when Lewis told Ben that you can’t let the bigots get to you, Ben was surprised and asked him: “So, what? It doesn’t get to you sometimes, no?”
Lewis said that although he struggles to not fight back some days, he pointed out that there would be no point as “It’d only come back to me.”
Later on, Ben was drinking alone at The Queen Vic, and he was soon batting off a concerned Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean).
When she left, it soon became clear why Ben was really there as he was closely watching the man who had thrown homophobic abuse at Lewis.
It wasn’t long before Ben was viciously attacking the man down an alleyway and Sharon heard the commotion, catching Ben red-handed.
She called the police and Callum showed up at the crime scene, saying: “This is the fourth attack in as many months.”
However, Sharon lied to Callum about what had happened and a furious Sharon was soon trying to get to the bottom of what happened.
Things took a turn for the worst when Sharon mentioned Paul Coker’s (Jonny Labey) attack, which resulted in Ben screaming at her.
Ben attempted to storm off, but Sharon was adamant that she wanted to know the truth otherwise she would go to the police.
“He deserved it,” Ben fumed, “He’s a gay-hating scumbag, just like the man that killed Paul. Shouting at people on the streets for trying to live their life. So, yeah, he deserved it. They all did.”
It soon became apparent that this wasn’t Ben’s only victim and that he was the culprit for all four of the attacks.
Sharon told Ben that he needed help and what he was doing was wrong, but Ben refused to listen, saying that he wasn’t going to stop.
She warned him that he would end up in prison just like his dad if he carried on and would never be released. Will Ben end up in prison? Or can he seek help before it's too late?
Fans on social media were disappointed with the dark turn of Ben’s storyline and are concerned that his character has been ‘ruined’…
They’ve ruined Ben as a character, it’s hard to see any way back for him after this… 😲 Him being the serial attacker of Walford is not the one 😩 #EastEndersApril 13, 2022
Not sure I like this thug Ben storyline?! Would be nice to for him to seek advice/help without attacking folk. #Ballum whole relationship has be dramatic since they got together! #EastEndersApril 14, 2022
This Ben storyline is really turning dark... Annoyed that Ben won't just get therapy... But I love Sharon's involvement in all this... I like that she is still involved in the Mitchell drama even though she doesn't actually have to be. #EastEndersApril 14, 2022
Hate this new ben storyline cal needs to find out and ben needs help he isn’t well #eastendersApril 13, 2022
EastEnders continues tonight at 7:30pm on BBC One.
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Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.
You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.