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Shirley forces Phil to reveal his true feelings, but what are they? The Carters help Dean prepare the salon for its opening, but what are his true intentions? After some home truths, Ian's attempt at spontaneity doesn't go to plan.

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Phil's mind is on Sharon, who is still in hospital after her attack, so the last thing he needs is Shirley trying to speak to him after her confession - but when she does finally find him at home, all she asks is that he be honest with her as well. Dean seems to be bonding with his family as the Carters help him move into his new salon - unaware he has different plans for the business. A few kind words from Lola prompt Ian to whisk Denise off to a wedding fair in Kent - only for car trouble to ruin his moment of spontaneity.

About

After an anxious night in the hospital waiting room, a doctor tells Phil and Roxy they’ve stopped Sharon’s bleeding. Phil’s relieved that Sharon’s now conscious. Groggy, Sharon apologises for sending the bouncers home and worries about Johnny. DS Bain arrives to question Sharon. On the Square, Tina clocks Shirley furiously texting on her phone and teases it’s a man.

When Shirley overreacts, Tina snatches her phone and realises Shirley’s texting Phil. In hospital, Sharon struggles to answer DS Bain’s questions and Phil orders him to leave. Roxy’s perplexed – why isn’t Phil trying to find Sharon’s attackers? Sharon begs Phil not to get involved, pleading that she couldn’t bear it if he got hurt. Back on the Square, Shirley confronts Phil. Phil wearily reports Sharon’s through the worst and goes to head inside. Shirley protests it’s unfair of Phil to keep her hanging and refuses to spend her life someone else’s shadow. Phil admits he does cares for Shirley, but it’s the wrong time.

Shirley pleads Phil to say those three little words; she leans in for a kiss but Phil pulls away, leaving Shirley frustrated. Later, in the café, Tina probes Shirley about Phil, insisting it’s never too late. When Phil’s not at home, Shirley hotfoots it to the hospital. Phil brings Dennis to see Sharon. Sharon regrets putting the Albert before Phil and Dennis, and Phil blurts out ‘marry me’. Delighted, Sharon accepts. As Phil and Sharon kiss, Shirley slips silently from the doorway, tears pouring down her face.

Linda suggests visiting Sharon in hospital together but Johnny’s still annoyed and refuses. In hospital, Sharon’s stoic front crumbles and she sobs as Linda grips her hand. In the Vic, Mick sympathises with Johnny about Linda’s interfering but points out he did let Linda face Sharon alone – he can’t have it both ways. In hospital, Linda informs Sharon Johnny raised the alarm. Sharon recalls she sent the bouncers home after Johnny served them alcohol. Linda squirms when Sharon proudly informs the doctor her son raised the alarm.

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Later, shamefaced Johnny arrives and confesses to Sharon that he hid upstairs – Linda lied for him. Sharon insists Johnny still helped by phoning the police, and Linda never stopped talking about how proud she is of him. Later, there’s a thawing between mother and son when Johnny suggests watching Linda’s Friends box set together.

Dean hefts the last of his deliveries over to the salon. Linda warns him not to smash any mirrors and is certain a gypsy once cursed her. Mick tells Dean his kids are enjoying having him around. Dean finds Nancy, Tina and Johnny helping out at the salon, under Stan’s orders. Dean covertly takes a phone call, telling someone he’ll collect the van at 5pm. Dean can’t help but laugh when Nancy gives Tina a whacky hairstyle. Stan cracks open a bottle of bubbly and the family toast to Dean. Dean gets a text message and ushers everyone out, claiming he has to meet a supplier. Later, Dean pulls up in a van on Turpin Road, only to discover an empty salon and a grim-faced Stan waiting. Rumbled, Dean tells Stan he never wanted to return to Walford but needed the money, and thinks he’ll never fit in. Stan’s unsympathetic, scoffing that Dean knows he belongs with his family. Stan tells Dean he can find all of his equipment in a lock up in Stratford, leaving him with a choice to make. Later, Stan’s pleased when Dean arrives at the Vic in time for dinner.

As he and Lola collect Lexi, Peter probes if Ian got a receipt for Lucy’s funeral payment. Ian lies that he did. Ian’s moved when Lola brings him a homemade thank you card from Lexi and offers to babysit whenever they need. In the Minute mart, Shabnam teases Denise about feeling broody. Denise is surprised when Ian announces he’s taken the afternoon off so they can attend a wedding fair in Kent. Wary of Peter’s reaction, Denise suggests going another day but Peter insists he doesn’t mind.

When their car won’t start, Denise and Ian abandon the trip for a game of Scrabble. Ian recalls playing board games with Lucy on rainy days. They share a laugh as Denise makes up a word. When Ian suddenly wells up, Denise comforts him that he’s allowed to be happy. Lola’s pleasantly surprised when Ian agrees to a family meal at McKlunkey’s. As Ian’s fetching his coat, Peter rifles through his wallet, informing Lola Ian lied about paying Lucy’s funeral bill.

Credits

Roxy Mitchell Rita Simons
Shirley Carter Linda Henry
Stan Carter Timothy West
Ian Beale Adam Woodyatt
Denise Fox Diane Parish
Peter Beale Ben Hardy
Linda Carter Kellie Bright
Mick Carter Danny Dyer
Phil Mitchell Steve McFadden
Sharon Rickman Letitia Dean
Johnny Carter Sam Strike
Tina Carter Luisa Bradshaw-White
Dean Wicks Matt Di Angelo
Shabnam Masood Rakhee Thakrar
Dot Branning June Brown
Dennis Rickman Harry Hickles
Lola Pearce Danielle Harold
Reza Khan Pasha Beckarie
DS Bain Joe Tucker
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