There are a few key ingredients needed to create a memorable, and indeed spectacular, episode in a television soap. The right characters need to be involved; any strays simply weaken the fabric. The directing, the movement, the sound, they all need to be perfect and appropriate. Excelling in the realms of acting needs to take place, and emotions need to be high. 'EastEnders' this week has provided the exact amount this week in order to make Barbara Windsor's departure one to remember.
When the news broke that Windsor was leaving the show, I like many others was devastated. How could the show function without this much loved matriarch?! I'd well prepared myself for her final scenes, knowing they were going to be unbearable. As a Pyrophobic, watching the beloved Queen Vic pub burn was never going to be easy, but as it slowly disappeared yesterday, I couldn't take my eye off of the screen. A lot of work had clearly gone into those scenes in particular, and it was not an easy set to film I'm sure. However, the atmosphere on screen was beautiful. The entire Square helping one another and working as one; when Zainab helped Syed, I felt the back of my eyes prick - could this be the start of their reunite?
With little Lily upstairs, there was panic that she and Stacey would not make it out alive but luckily lovely Ryan came to their rescue - Walford's own hero. I was naturally pleased with this action, and feel it added to the character greatly. However, even the relief at the end when I realised everybody was safe was not enough to stop me from breaking down.
From the very beginning of Friday's episode, I struggled to hold it together. Seeing Peggy bid farewell to all was heartbreaking from this side of the screen - I cannot begin to imagine what it would have been like to film those beautiful scenes. The golden moment was when Peggy bravely went back into the destroyed Vic, allowing the production to really shine through. The audio clips from Vic scenes previous filled us all with memories galore from the Queen Vic - a sure sign that this building is more than just that.
After her sorrowful goodbyes, we see Peggy looking up at the Vic one last time, her eyes filled with tears, before slowly leaving the Square without looking back. As 'Peggy's Theme' fills our living rooms with its beautifully heart aching sound, tears roll down cheeks and hearts ache as we wave goodbye to one of the most amazing 'EastEnders' characters of all time.
Both episodes at the end of this week were heavenly. I do feel that the final scene in the Vic should have been at the end, just before Peggy left, but other than that it was perfect. The acting was splendid all round, but Barbara especially gave a fantastic final performance as Peggy. I do not recall being so upset watching the show, not since we said goodbye to Dennis, New Year 2005. As it stands, this is the last we shall see of the Square's favourite Landlady, but who knows what tomorrow will bring!