Although we all anticipated that Cindy Beale’s (Michelle Collins) return to EastEnders would rock Albert Square, we didn’t anticipate her to rip the Beale family apart so swiftly.
The viewers weren’t surprised when Kathy Beale’s (Gillian Taylforth) first meeting turned into a fierce catfight because it had long been known how much she hated her daughter-in-law.
After two years of no communication, Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) finally met his mother, and the reaction was, to put it mildly, chilly.
To Ian’s dismay, Kathy didn’t take long to express her thoughts about his connection with Cindy.
Before pointing out that Cindy is trouble with a capital T, she chastised him for not telling Bobby (son of Clay Milner Russell) that she would be returning.
Despite Ian’s best efforts to reassure her that everything would be well, Kathy wouldn’t have it and declared that she would never want to see Cindy again. She later added that as long as Ian remained with her, the same also applied to him.
When Ian realized that she was offering him an option between his mother, who had reared him, or his ex-wife, who had attempted to have him killed, he made his decision right away.
When Ian packed up his luggage and went, declaring that he had chosen Cindy, Kathy was left in utter disbelief, but things were only about to get worse for the Beale matriarch.
Cindy realized that her girls needed her to stay after seeing daughter Gina Knight (Francesca Henry) in the hospital, and she told Ian that she intended to make Albert Square their permanent residence.
Ian returned to the lion’s lair, where Kathy was less than glad to see him, determined to keep her happy.
His family was terrified as he described the latest development before revealing that he would be regaining control of his enterprises and that his first step would be to pull the chip store from the market.
In order to restore her money, which she was forced to give to Jo Cotton (Vicki Michelle), who had threatened to expose her husband Rocky’s (Brian Conley) bigamy, Kathy had decided to sell the chippy.
Thomas Law’s portrayal of Peter Beale claimed that Ian couldn’t do that, but when he disclosed that they would need a place to reside, he had further surprises in store.
When Kathy flatly refused to house Cindy, Ian reminded her that the home truly belonged to him and that if she still felt that way, she had till the next day to leave.
Bobby and Peter were allowed to remain, but he told them that they had to decide whether they supported or opposed Cindy.
Kathy was frightened by Ian’s ambition to pit the family against one another and yelled at him angrily, “I hope it was all worth it,” as she expressed her hope.
Bobby immediately sided with his grandmother and hurriedly followed her up the stairs.
Will Ian regret his choice now that his family is split up, or will Cindy turn out to be worth it after all?