EastEnders icon is arrested and framed as she returns

Jacqueline Jossa returns as her EastEnders character Lauren Branning
Quite the start to 2024! (Picture: BBC)

This article contains spoilers from an episode of EastEnders that hasn’t aired on BBC One yet, but is available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) has been arrested for possession of drugs during her returning episode of EastEnders.

In the first instalment of the year for the BBC One soap, we joined Lauren at a house party in France.

After confronting a couple of drunk men, Lauren started interacting with her cousin Penny (Kitty Castledine).

Penny is Jack’s (Scott Maslen) daughter and has spent the majority of her life in France. During a chat with Lauren, Penny wasted no time in confirming that she still doesn’t have a good relationship with her dad – but Lauren tried to say that her Uncle Jack isn’t as bad as she thinks.

Lauren wasn’t really in the mood to party as it became apparent there was something – or rather someone – on her mind.

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The iconic character told Penny that even though she spoiled son Louie over Christmas, he still keeps talking about Peter (Thomas Law), his dad.

It was obvious Lauren was missing Peter a lot and back in Walford, the feelings were reciprocated, as we saw Peter looking at a picture of Lauren and Louie on his phone.

Lauren glaring at Penny in EastEnders
Lauren and Penny were at a New Year party in France (Picture: BBC)

As the party continued, Penny looked troubled when a French lady arrived looking for her.

During their tense conversations, we learnt that Penny had been working with the woman and was apprehensive about completing another job for her.

The lady didn’t care that Penny nearly got caught on her previous job, and made it clear she wasn’t someone to get on the wrong side of.

Penny Branning at a party with Lauren in EastEnders
Penny is Jack Branning’s daughter (Picture: BBC)

As midnight drew close, Penny found Lauren with Louie and confirmed she’d like to leave France with them.

The next morning, as Penny, Lauren and Louie arrived at the station, a sniffer dog approached Lauren’s bag.

With no choice, Lauren had her bag searched by a police officer, who then found some drugs inside.

Of course, Lauren was stunned and tried to point out that a mistake had been made – but it wasn’t enough.

With Penny and Louie now on their own, will Lauren make the train in time?

And who has tried to frame her?

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