EastEnders airs twists for Karen and Keanu Taylor in early BBC iPlayer release

Spoiler warning for the episode on Thursday 7th December 2023.

Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor and Lorraine Stanley as Karen Taylor in a composite promo image for EastEnders.
BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Spoiler warning for Thursday 7th December 2023 episode of EastEnders, released at 6am on BBC iPlayer and will air at 7.30pm on BBC One.

EastEnders aired emotional scenes on Thursday for kidnap stagers Keanu (Danny Walters) and Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley).

The BBC One soap had seen the previous episode end with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) exposing the Taylor family’s involvement in staging the kidnapping of Sharon Watts’s son Albie in the Queen Vic after the ransom money Phil provided was found beneath Karen’s bed.

In the latest episode, Sharon (Letitia Dean) is horrified by the revelation and an emotional and guilty Keanu pretends to be equally shocked and horrified, questioning his mother if it is true.

When Karen realises that Keanu is pinning it all on her and pretending he is innocent of Phil’s accusations, she takes the fall and admits she was responsible for Albie’s disappearance.

An enraged Sharon slapped Karen and Karen was dealt furious comments by other women present, including Phil’s wife Kat Mitchell (Jessie Wallace) and Sharon’s best friend Linda Carter (Kellie Bright).

Letitia Dean as a shocked Sharon Watts and Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell looking at Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor who looks down in EastEnders.
Letitia Dean as a shocked Sharon Watts and Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell looking at Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor who looks down in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Aware of what was happening Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) struggled to stay quiet, while Karen’s daughter Bernie Taylor (Clair Norris) was devastated by the revelations.

A panicked Karen fled the pub while Sharon was comforted by her friends and a distraught Keanu fled to the toilets and was followed by Phil who wanted assurance that Keanu was not involved.

A guilty Keanu then lied and swore on his life that he was not involved in Albie’s disappearance.

An enraged Phil then headed to the Taylor flat and barged his way in screaming for his money and baying for blood. Karen grabbed a baseball bat and said she would return the money, while Keanu persuaded Phil to let him handle it and the two departed.

Present for a discussion between Karen and Mitch, Bernie realised Keanu was in on the kidnapping and that Karen had taken the fall for him.

Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor leaning over a toilet sink with Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in the background for EastEnders.
Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters, left) makes a big lie to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden, right). BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

At Sharon’s house, Keanu begged Sharon to not report Karen and to let him resolve the situation and she agreed – for now.

However, Sharon tells Keanu that Karen will never see Albie again before heading upstairs to be with her son.

Then, Bernie arrives and confronts her brother Keanu and asks him if he was involved and learns it was his idea, devastating her. Keanu begs Bernie to stay quiet and keep his secret, reminding her that she’ll always have him by her side, but a disgusted Bernie questions “What makes you think I want you?” before leaving.

Outside on the Square, a furious Kat yells up at Mitch and Karen and confirms both are fired.

Inside the flat, Karen told Mitch that she has to protect Keanu and make him happy as she’s lost one child already – their daughter Chantelle.

Amid this discussion, Keanu turned up and told Karen that she needed to hand over the money but she said that she’d bring it to Phil herself.

Lorraine Stanley as Karen Taylor for EastEnders.
Will Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) really be driven out of Walford? BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Once again alone with Mitch, Karen recalled Keanu protecting his older sister Chantelle as a child, while Mitch recalled how he wasn’t there for Karen when Chantelle was born. Karen revealed she’ll be pleased if she manages to keep Keanu out of jail, unlike his father Shane. Telling Mitch she has no fight left, Karen reveals she needs to think about her future.

Returning to Sharon, Keanu then begged his fiancée to let Karen return the money and make it right but Sharon refused to back down.

Finally, in her bedroom, Karen decides to keep Phil’s money and leave Walford with the kids and asks Mitch to join her that very night.

Will Mitch go with Karen?

EastEnders confirmed earlier this year that actress Lorraine Stanley will be departing the soap after producers decided to write out Karen.

Will this be Karen’s exit?

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