EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders' Stacey Slater has finally learned the truth about creepy Theo Hawthorne in tonight's episode (September 4), and her problems are now only just beginning.
Viewers know that Theo has grown completely obsessed with Stacey in recent months, in what is fast becoming one of this year's biggest storylines.
On paper, this story has all the ingredients to make it a quintessential soapy plot. And there have been some unquestionably great moments along the way.
But there we have a slight problem with it nevertheless, and here's why.
Having initially been introduced as Freddie's teacher, Theo (who, let's not forget, had historically humiliated Freddie as a student) began tutoring Stacey's teenage daughter Lily for nothing – while insidiously infiltrating himself into every aspect of her life in the process.
In an apparent
glaringly obvious coincidence, Stacey's secret cam work took an unsettling turn not long after.
If we go right back to earlier in the year, Stacey began using the online platform to make some extra cash on the side. She eventually agreed to give it up when her family learned what she was up to, and the whole situation became more complex as a result.
Instead, Stacey opted to focus on one private client only as a means to keep on top of her mounting financial commitments. However, this decision came back to haunt her when it became clear he was someone who knew her personally.
On the back of this, the situation quickly intensified, with Stacey's stalker client (aka Theo) staging a number of creepy acts at her house in recent weeks.
But despite some initial uncertainty over Theo's motives in the nascent stages of the story, Stacey has not once since wondered if he could, first, be the man in question, and second, pose any threat to her or her family.
Having been on our screens since she was a teenager, savvy Stacey has cracked countless Walford mysteries in her time. Yet, all of a sudden, we are meant to believe that she's not once questioned the all-too-convenient timing of Theo's arrival in relation to her online stalker, or wondered why he is just miraculously on hand every single time she's been left unsettled.
With the exception of Martin, it appears that none of Stacey's loved ones were able to connect the dots either. Which seems very strange, and we just aren't all that convinced.
For a while, we held out hope that EastEnders could be playing us at our own game with this. Was Stacey maybe aware of Theo's intentions after all and was biding her time to expose him? But she wasn't.
When discussing if Stacey had ever suspected Theo as the culprit, Lacey Turner – who plays her – said: "No, absolutely not. If she did, she would have never let him near her family. Up until this point, Stacey has relied on Theo and seen him as a friend and almost a protector.
"He’s been tutoring Lily free of charge, and he’s been so supportive with Stacey and the stalker situation. That’s what makes it so hard for her because she has no idea who this person is that she’s let into her and her children’s lives for so many months."
And Lacey was right. Stacey still didn't twig, even when Theo was actually spelling it out to her in tonight's high-stakes scenes.
"I felt I could be myself when there was a screen between us", Theo said. "Sorry, that made it sound like I was chatting to lots of women. I wasn't, it was just one woman. I met this incredible woman online and before I knew it, we had the most intense bond that totally blew my mind."
To which Stacey replied, "Why aren't you with her tonight? She sounds amazing." It then still took a good few minutes for the penny to finally drop. Yes, really.
"At first, she just doesn’t believe it because she can’t imagine him to be capable of doing something like this", Lacey said, when discussing Stacey's reaction to Theo's true identity. "He has put on such an act in front on her for months and really supported her so he’s the last person she would ever suspect.
"It’s only when Stacey realises how deluded he is about their relationship that she starts to panic as she knows she’s in danger."
It hasn't been all bad though. Far from it, in fact.
Any story with Stacey at the centre is always guaranteed stellar performances from Lacey, and this story has been no exception.
William Ellis is also entirely believable as a deluded and really rather dangerous Theo, and his role in one of this year's biggest stories has made him a strong candidate for the show's Christmas death.
With the truth now out, the story will now shift into a very intriguing new chapter, as Theo leaves Stacey in no uncertain terms over his intentions. And we're genuinely excited to see where it goes next.
The fallout of Theo's reveal will continue to play out throughout the week, with a few more twists to come.
Life in the Slaters will also be looking very different moving forwards as well, as teenager Lily adapts to life as a new mum, and we have high hopes that the story is going to pick up the pace from here.
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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