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EastEnders fans rejoice as an old favourite makes a triumphant return!

EastEnders Albert Square sign
Viewers were delighted to see an old friend back (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders viewers were punching the air in triumph after Thursday's episode, when a character walked into the Vic they hadn't seen in a long time.

But this wasn't some blast from the past such as an old face from the Slaters or the Mitchells. 

Instead, this was Linda Carter – who has been struggling with alcohol and becoming increasingly alienated from her family – strutting into the Vic with a new look and her old attitude.

And fans were delighted to see 'their' Linda Carter back.

EastEnders Linda dressed up with Janine

Linda's hair speaks volumes (Image credit: ITV)

The episode began, however, with a defeated Linda planning to leave the Square.

Scheming Janine had offered Linda cash to get out of Walford good.

And after Mick turned down Linda's offer to give their marriage a second chance, defeated Linda decide to take the money and run.

She visited the Vic to apologise to her family for her recent behaviour, although Mick and Nancy didn't realise this was actually Linda saying her goodbyes.

Zack clocked realised something was up, and later caught Linda packing her stuff.

EastEnders

Zack made Linda see sense (Image credit: BBC)

Zack and Linda had a heart-to-heart, as he opened up about how his mother leaving when he was young had affected him – and how Nancy may never forgive Linda if she does the same to her family.

The chat gave Linda food for thought.  

Later, Janine was delighted to be having a cosy night in with Mick, Ollie and Scarlett, revelling in her new family life.

When, right on cue, in walked Linda...

EastEnders Linda and Janine

Janine has met her match behind the bar (Image credit: BBC)

With a killer outfit, her hair coiffured and her make-up on point, this was a Linda we  hadn't seen in quite a while.

And it was also a Linda who meant business.

Furious Janine asked for her money back, as Linda had gone back on their deal.

But Linda called her bluff – wondering how Mick would feel knowing that Janine had paid the mother of his kids to walk out on them.

EastEnders Linda and Janine

Linda won this face-off, but what's next? (Image credit: BBC)

"You listen to me," Linda snarled at Janine. "I'm staying. For good. Because there is nothing in this world that could make me leave my children. Not 50 grand, not alcoholism and certainly not you.

"Now," she then added with a triumphant smirk. "Have a lovely evening."

It was a classic EastEnders moment, and fans were delighted to see the old Linda back in business and looking so darn good.

"The hairdo. The Pink. Powerful Linda has returned," rejoiced one. While another added. "Queen Linda Carter is back!"

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Meanwhile, others were also excited at the prospect of a huge new feud on the Square, likening Janine and Linda to two sets off classic soap enemies – Dynasty's Krystle and Alexis and Walford's own Pat and Peggy!

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Pat Butcher and Peggy Mitchell

(Image credit: BBC)

Will Janine admit defeat? Or will she somehow manage to turn the tables on Linda?

EastEnders continues Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One

Steven is a writer, editor, and commentator with a passion for popular TV and soap operas. He spent 20 years as the editor of Inside Soap magazine, documenting every punch-up and pucker-up in the Street, the Square and the village. As a feature writer, he’s covered TV crime dramas, period dramas and even some real-life star dramas. He’s been seen as a talking head on more TV clip shows than he cares to remember, has a life-long passion for TV sci-fi – the older and creakier the better – and is a slight obsessive about any reality show featuring hotels.