Eastenders’ viewing figures have been suffering of late, and it’s not that hard to see why. There is just far too much violence, too much talk about money and not enough light-heartedness.
There is yet more money talk on Monday, when Jean asks Michael to invest the Queen Vic’s £10,000 VAT money for her. Ten thousand? That means that the pub must have taken £50,000 in three months. How on Earth has it managed to do that, with takings of roughly a tenner a day? Michael is reluctant to take it but eventually agrees, and on Friday, nipping off to Paris with Janine, denies that he ever had it when Jean is desperate to retrieve it.
On Tuesday, Phil gives Lucy money to help her find Ian, and Zainab pays £1 for two china cats worth £200. On Thursday, Lucy searches Ian’s online banking accounts and discovers that his credit card has been used in Rochester (alas, not the New York one), while Zainab whinges to Masood about the price of a new sofa and Michael gives Janine the £500 registration fee to put her unborn baby on the waiting list for a preparatory school (that would be ‘preparatory’ for a life of cheating, lying, debauchery and killing, presumably).
On Friday, Sasha is discovered booking theatre tickets with Kim’s credit card, while Derek bumps up customers’ monthly payments. You see what I mean? Money, money, money. It may be the thing that makes the world go around, but it is the kiss of death to soap. Having it, not having it, winning it, losing it... The financial crisis in Greece is as nothing compared to that of Walford.
So, where has Ian gone? Has he had a nervous breakdown? Has Alan Sugar summoned him to run his business empire? Has he just gone in search of a new mac? And what, or who, will Lucy find when she arrives in Rochester on Thursday?