What did you miss?
On EastEnders tonight it was revealed that Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) covered up the bombshell that her young son Albie was in fact fathered by her ex-husband Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), and not her lover-turned-fiancé, Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) as she previously believed.
Sharon was told that Albie has a genetic condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, which could cause health problems later in life.
While the consultant assured Sharon that such issues may not come up, and that Albie could be monitored, she and Keanu agreed to have blood tests, as they would both need to carry the gene for Albie to have inherited the condition.
Keanu was out of the loop after arriving late, so when they heard that he didn’t actually carry the gene, he was unaware of the consequences.
Alone with the doctor, Sharon had it confirmed that Keanu could not possibly be Albie’s biological father; and she now knew that it could only be Phil.
What else happened on EastEnders?
Sharon explained she had done a home DNA test while pregnant which had indicated Keanu as the father, but this was dismissed by the consultant. Her half-brother Zack Hudson (James Farrar) suggested that the truth may do more harm than good for both Albie and Keanu.
Still, Sharon intended to tell Phil everything — but he grew irritated with her preamble and she changed her mind, pretending to Keanu that all was well.
But while this leaves Sharon’s impending nuptials doomed as both bride and groom shield the other from mind-blowing secrets, what exactly happened between her, Phil and Keanu in the first place?
How, why and when?
Sharon felt bored and neglected by husband Phil, so in 2018 she started an affair with Keanu. She was stunned to find out he was only 19 and ended their dalliance, but found she couldn’t resist Keanu — until her stepdaughter Louise Mitchell (Tilly Keeper) suspected the pair. Sharon convinced Louise that Keanu was giving her fitness lessons, and ended the affair.
After a trip abroad, Sharon discovered that Keanu was in a relationship with Louise. But when Keanu and Louise broke up and he tried his luck with Sharon once more, she persuaded the clueless Phil to send Keanu on a job in Spain. Keanu was attacked, and his mum Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) threatened to expose the truth to Phil unless Sharon helped him. But after Keanu was rescued by Phil, he couldn’t forgive Sharon.
Sharon was jealous when Keanu reunited with Louise, who fell pregnant. Keanu and Sharon gave into temptation again, before she ended it so he could prioritise his unborn baby. But matters were complicated further when Sharon learned she, too, was pregnant - and she had no idea if Phil or Keanu was the daddy.
Phil uncovered the affair and the fact that Keanu was the father - or so we all thought. A confrontation spelled the end of Sharon and Phil’s marriage; and Louise, Phil and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) ordered Keanu’s murder.
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Luckily for Keanu, amateur hit-man Martin Fowler (James Bye) couldn’t bring himself to kill him, and Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) helped fake Keanu’s murder so Keanu could flee.
Keanu returned to kidnap Ben’s now-husband Callum Highway (Tony Clay) for ransom money, just as Sharon gave birth to a baby boy. Keanu and a seething Phil had a fight on board the boat party on the Thames, resulting in a crash that claimed the life of Sharon’s eldest child Denny Rickman (Bleu Landau).
Shamed, Keanu left Walford, while Callum was saved and Sharon named her baby Albie. Keanu made a comeback in 2022, and he and Sharon embarked on an 'on again, off again' relationship. But trouble now looms from every angle…
What’s next for Sharon?
Star Letitia Dean warns that for Sharon: “The stakes are so high as she could stand to lose Keanu if she admits the truth. Sharon feels like the family plans she has worked so hard to rebuild are all about to come tumbling down.”
Little does Sharon know that Keanu has betrayed her in the worst way, having let her believe Albie was in serious danger.
Keanu’s behaviour has been despicable and he’s certainly a strong contender for the dead body confirmed for this festive season, with the murder of a male character seemingly occurring on Sharon and Keanu’s wedding day.
Beyond this mystery, though, the dilemma over revealing Phil’s parentage is clear for Sharon. “[Phil] doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to parenting so she’s worried about the influence he could have on Albie," says Dean.
"Family is everything to Phil. So, Sharon knows that once this secret is out, there is no turning back.”
EastEnders airs on BBC One Monday to Thursdays, and streams on iPlayer.
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