EastEnders ramped up the drama tonight as The Vic came under attack from three men sporting balaclavas and wielding baseball bats.
The gang descended on the boozer after hours demanding money in the final few minutes of tonight’s episode.
They refused to accept Mick’s claim (Danny Dyer) that the day’s takings were no longer on the premises and – with a pointer from Lee (Danny Boy Hatchard) – headed for the stairs after attacking Johnny (Ted Reilly).
Upstairs, a heirloom necklace being yanked from around Linda’s (Kellie Bright) neck prompted violent resistance from Mick, but he was forced to back down when baby Ollie was snatched from Whitney’s (Shona McGarty) arms.
Two of the men made off with the money while the third threatened to harm Ollie as he slowly backed away from Mick and Linda. The straggling intruder eventually surrendered Ollie and made good his own escape.
The episode concluded with Mick vowing to find out the identity of the men and kill them.
His own son Lee is already being linked to the crime by fans of the saga who are pointing to Lee’s keenness for himself and Whitney to leave the Vic early as proof of his culpability. Lee also addressed one of the men as ‘mate’ only to be quickly shot down.
Troubled Lee has been struggling with mounting debt and workplace bullying in recent weeks. Viewers have already seen him revealed as the culprit who stole a pot of charity money from the Vic and pilfer one of his mother’s bracelets.
The events came totally out of the blue for fans and were a sharp contrast to the rest of the episode that saw the Queen Vic ladies’ darts team win their latest fixture before laughs aplenty at a Ladies’ Night for charity.
The Vic has come under attack on a few previous occasions including, in 2007, when Jase Dyer’s (Stephen Lord) dodgy associates arrived in Walford looking for him.