In shocking scenes to close out EastEnders’ 35th anniversary week, Dennis Rickman Jr (Bleu Landau) has died.
After so much speculating, Denny has finally been revealed as the promised boat party casualty.
Poor Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) will have to mourn her son’s death as she welcomes a new baby boy into the world, 15 years after Dennis Rickman – Dennis Jr’s father – faced his own untimely demise.
As we continue to reel from the shock, here’s what we know about why it was actor Bleu Landau who ended up having his character killed off tonight.
Why is Bleu Landau leaving EastEnders?
On the subject of why Dennis was chosen to be the casualty of the week, producer Jon Sen said: ‘When we discussed this – and it’s true of any soap or drama – you want consequence.
‘That is the main thing that comes out of the death we are seeing. It is where it goes, it’s the people who are left behind and the story that it generates. It is very well thought out.
‘There is something almost Greek about this particular person as it could be argued that it’s been set up for quite some time.’
Dennis’ father, Dennis Rickman, was stabbed to death in the New Year’s Eve episode of EastEnders in 2005, when Sharon was just three months pregnant, so it certainly has a sense of history repeating itself.
Sen added: ‘We discussed it in depth and actually had a lot of arguments about it. The story conference room is a vibrant place.
‘We discussed lots of different options but we knew in our hearts that this was the story that would really power us through months and months and months of future stories which we are really excited about.’
As for the aftermath of Dennis’ death, show boss Kate Oats has teased that the consequences of Denny’s passing will be ‘severe’.
She said: ‘Much changed for some as obviously the consequences are going to be so severe. A disaster of this magnitude has a big impact and it has long-standing consequences – I think people are going to remember this for a long time to come.
‘The narratives drive on for months and months. In some cases, there will be consequences to this story in a year to come.’
Fans had already been fearing the worst for Dennis as the teen had previously been seen trapped in a room below deck on the party boat.
Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) was the one who locked him in there in the first place after rocking up to the boat to confront him over the dangerous Islamophobic abuse Bobby (Clay Milner Russell) faced as a result of Dennis’ online antics.
Even though Ian was able to get Dennis out of the room, Dennis still tragically drowned in the Thames.
Will the guilt Ian feels at having an admittedly unintentional hand in Denny’s death cause him to come clean to Sharon, and will his friend ever find it in her heart to forgive him?
EastEnders continues Monday at 8pm on BBC One.
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