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Synopsis

Having spent the night in a B&B in Ramsgate, Mick and Dean set out to bring Shirley home - they tow the caravan away and head for Walford. They pull up on the Square, loud banging coming from the caravan.Dean opens the door and is punched in the face by the angry biker. Mick’s horrified - they thought he was Shirley. Nancy’s amused. The biker is Buster, an old mate of Shirley’s; he demands to be taken back to Ramsgate. Mick convinces him to have a drink first.

A figure on a motorbike pulls up on the Square. Inside the Vic, Buster explains he’s known Shirley forty years but Dean thinks he’s just another grubby fling. Shirley walks in. She berates Mick and Dean for their ridiculous stunt, revealing Buster was on overnight release from prison and is now a prisoner at large. Mick begs a reluctant Shirley to see Stan before she leaves again. Shirley claims she’s nothing to say, to Dean’s disgust. Babe arrives, covering her shock on seeing Buster. Out of earshot, Babe warns Shirley she’s playing with fire. Tina, Stan and Tosh arrive. Tina’s overjoyed Shirley’s back and hugs Buster.

Stan’s unimpressed to see Buster – he always was trouble. Shirley whisks Stan upstairs, warning Nancy to watch Dean and Buster. Babe tries to coax Dean away to help her in the kitchen, but he’s intent on questioning Buster about his past with Shirley. Buster admits he saw Kevin last at Carly’s christening. Upstairs, Shirley struggles to talk to Stan about cancer. Stan refuses any help. Emotional, Shirley fronts that Stan won’t need her hanging around. Stan covers his hurt that she’s not staying. Finding Nancy in the kitchen, Shirley’s alarmed Dean and Buster have been left alone and flies back downstairs to find them outside. Panicking, Shirley insists they get the caravan back to Ramsgate. As she and Buster turn to leave, Dean coldly remarks it’s been fun getting to know his dad. Buster looks to Dean in shock as Shirley reels, horrified.

When Mick phones, Linda’s unsettled to learn Dean went with him to Ramsgate after all. Linda picks up on the tension between Johnny, Lee and Nancy; she’s alarmed to spot Lee’s bloodied knuckles. Lee exits without a word. Nancy explains Lee attacked Ben and lashed out at her. Worried, Linda asks Nancy to find Lee, lying she has to buy Mick’s Christmas present. Nancy refuses. Linda tries to reschedule her clinic appointment but has no luck. Later, Linda finds a Lee alone in the park, who confesses this isn’t the first time he’s lost his temper – he attacked a man when he was boxing in the army and had to be dragged away. Lee fears one day he won’t be able to stop. Linda soothes they’ll get Lee help if he needs it and they can be angry together.

Lee wonders what Linda has to be angry about. Having missed her appointment, Linda urges Lee to make up with Nancy, revealing she made Mick watch Frozen when they last argued. Later, Lee makes peace with Johnny and teases him when he gets a text from Gianluca, but gets a frosty reception from Nancy when he tries to apologise. Back home, Linda calls the clinic to reschedule, quickly hanging up as Mick enters. Mick suspects the call was about his Christmas present and hits redial on Linda’s phone. Mick listens, then turns to Linda – why was she phoning a clinic?

After researching prostate cancer, Tina’s determined Stan adopts a healthier lifestyle and insists on seeing his consultant. Stan grumbles, but relents. Cora ignores Stan in the café, clocked by Dexter. Later, Tina barges into the consultant’s office, demanding Stan have treatment, promising they’ll pay whatever it takes. Tosh is irked when Tina volunteers their fertility treatment savings. The consultant regrets that with Stan’s prognosis they have limited options. Tina begs Stan to fight the cancer but Stan declares he has no fight left and thinks Tina doesn’t need him anymore. After advice from Dexter, Cora arrives at the Vic with a bottle of scotch for Stan - ‘Mrs Cross sends her best’.

When Phil questions Ben about his injuries, Ben claims he gave as good as he got in a fight with Lee. Phil’s proud. Johnny calls round to lend Ben a supportive ear, telling him coming out to his dad was the best thing he ever did. Ben fronts he doesn’t need to talk to Johnny when he’s got his girlfriend. Abi appears, to Johnny’s surprise, excited that Ben’s taking her to see Wicked.

Credits

Shirley Carter Linda Henry
Dean Wicks Matt Di Angelo
Mick Carter Danny Dyer
Linda Carter Kellie Bright
Johnny Carter Sam Strike
Nancy Carter Maddy Hill
Lee Carter Danny-Boy Hatchard
Stan Carter Timothy West
Tina Carter Luisa Bradshaw-White
Fiona 'Tosh' Mackintosh Rebecca Scroggs
Babe Smith Annette Badland
Phil Mitchell Steve McFadden
Ben Mitchell Harry Reid
Abi Branning Lorna Fitzgerald
Cora Cross Ann Mitchell
Dexter Hartman Khali Best
Buster Briggs Karl Howman
Dr Govinder Purewal Sartaj Garewal
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