Sharon and Mel looking completely natural and nonchalant.
After everything Louise has been through – from being led to believe she had been raped by Keegan after unknowingly drinking alcohol, to ending her relationship with her perfect boyfriend, Travis, because she was insecure about her burn scars – seeing the way she allows Hunter to treat her is a little hard to swallow.
Hunter was introduced as a beloved childhood friend of Louise’s, but he has quickly become the clichéd jerk of a boyfriend. The entire Louise/Hunter storyline is frustrating; he constantly treats her with no respect and yet playing ‘hard to get’ is having exactly the effect Hunter intends, with Louise remaining besotted by him. Aside from anything else, this seems out of character for her, as she was not only careful to ensure that Travis treated her well, she showed awareness of what a healthy relationship should look like by seeing her best friend Bex’s love life over the last couple of years.
Of course, we do see Louise finally stand up to Hunter and inform him that she’s “the best he’s going to get” in Albert Square, she still falls for his plot to take her virginity on CCTV, while he makes faces at the camera for her father Phil to see when he watches it. (Can you say ‘perverted’? by the way?)
So, does this mean that Hunter doesn’t care for Louise at all? Is his relationship with her entirely a plot to take revenge on Phil for his father’s death, or does he have genuine feelings for her and getting at Phil is just a bonus? Either way, he seems rather sick and twisted and I, for one, hope that Louise kicks him into touch before too long.
If not the sole reason, irritating Phil is obviously one of Hunter’s motives in proceeding with his relationship with Louise, and he certainly appears to have succeeded when, in the aftermath of seeing Hunter’s sex tape, Phils begins a rampage through the club with a baseball bat to use on the fifteen year-old boy. A little farfetched, given that Phil would certainly go to jail for a very long time if any harm had come to Hunter at his (or the bat’s) hands, but it brought a welcome slice of drama to the less entertaining Billy/Honey/Jack love triangle that was developing. Billy got his estranged wife drunk in an attempt to win her back and actually seemed shocked when it backfired in the shape of her flirting with Jack (as if those two haven’t been flirting with each other for years now).
In less comedic news, it is incredibly sweet to see how much Bernadette cares about Ted in the aftermath of Joyce’s death. This is especially apparent with the arrival of Ted’s daughter Judith, whose only interest seems to be getting her mother’s funeral over with before rushing back to Nottingham and putting her father in a care home.
Despite the fact that Ted is only eighty years old, it seems downright absurd that she assumes he can’t look after himself, and this is only solidified when the Taylors stand up to her and effectively adopt Ted into their family.
Ted was already very much a grandfather figure to Bernadette, but Karen caring for him now truly makes him a part of their family (which is handy when they live just upstairs from him!). With the recent return of the Slater family, the Taylors plus Ted shows us a stark contrast; whilst Kat and Stacey are happy to let Mo get away with pretending Kat was dead and turning the whole Square against them, just because she’s ‘family’, Ted has eliminated his blood relative from his life for not having his best interests at heart, and chosen people who clearly care about him more.
All things considered, I have to say that my personal favourite moment of the week was a drunken Sharon getting a face full of dessert.