EastEnders on Friday turned into The Stuart and Rainie Show as the loveable thug was forced into revealing the source of his doom and gloom to wife Rainie, in scenes that left some fans upset by the ‘super emotional moment’.
Earlier Stuart was counselled by Sonia to keep his cool and ‘get his facts straight’ when he suspected his best mate Mick Carter was having an affair with his wife. His response? He could do it that way or just ‘smack him in the face’ – which he did with a slap that sounded worryingly authentic.
A furious Rainie (Tanya Franks) raced to the Queen Vic and witnessed the scene play out, including Stuart’s accusation and after a confrontation stormed out of the pub.
Stuart followed her out and in a highly charged scene in the square, she was incredulous: “Mick? MICK? Why would I go for a pork chop when I’m living at home with a steak!”
Rainie demanded he tell her what was really going on and he finally revealed to her that he had breast cancer.
An EastEnders fan tweeted: “So glad Stuart has finally told Rainie but damnnnnnn, that was a super emotional moment”.
It was a reaction many seemed to have to the scene. Another viewer posted: “Absolutely heartbreaking scene between Stuart & Rainie tonight! And fantastic acting on both parts it really resonated with me since I had cancer! I commend both actors and the writer's for dealing with this storyline so expertly & with such sensitivity! Brilliant”.
Absolutely heartbreaking scene between Stuart & Rainie tonight! And fantastic acting on both parts it really resonated with me since I had cancer! I commend both actors and the writer's for dealing with this storyline so expertly & with such sensitivity! Brilliant👏#EastEndersJanuary 21, 2022
Ricky Champ, who plays Stuart, earned special mentions for his performance, with one fan writing: “Said it before and will say it again. The best actor to ever grace the walford set. We all know a Stuart and his portrayal is perfection”.
The consensus was that the scenes were ‘heartbreaking’.
Rainie & Stuart are breaking me 😢😢 #EastEndersJanuary 22, 2022
Where to Stuart and Rainie go from here – will his revelation bring them together or drive them apart?
Tanya told Digital Spy: “It was a definite shock but I think her first port of call was understanding and caring for him because Rainie knew that he must not have known how to tell her. So initially, yes, shock, but very quickly back to being there for him and consoling him. Her thoughts also went to them as a family, they've got a baby on the way. It's very much looking after the family unit.”
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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.