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After the dramatic conclusion to Gray Atkins’ storyline, EastEnders fans are praising the show. Gray has murdered three people: Chantelle, Tina Carter, and Kush Kazemi, and has been abusive to his wives Chantelle and Chelsea.
Gray’s reign of terror has come to an end after he managed to kidnap his son Jordan in the hospital shortly after Chelsea gave birth to him.
When Karen Taylor confronted him, he admitted to killing her daughter Chantelle and later confessed to killing Kush as well. It all came to a head when he was confronted by the cops on a bridge.
The EastEnders villain was apprehended and escorted through the Square after attempting to flee the cops by jumping off the bridge, but not before reminding Karen that he was the last person Chantelle saw before she died.
And the episode was a huge hit with the audience. “EastEnders really subverted my expectations the other night,” one user wrote on the Digital Spy forum. Gray appeared to be on the verge of being killed off several times during the episode, which is the tired, lazy way soaps write their villains out. Consider Coronation Street: nearly every major villain they’ve had – Alan Bradley, Richard Hillman, Tony Gordon, Frank Foster, John Stape, Pat Phelan, Geoff Metcalfe, and so on – has died at the end of the storyline.
Other soaps can be just as bad in this regard. When it was revealed that Gray had been apprehended and was being led away by police, I almost felt like clapping. That’s how it ended because that’s what the majority of people on here seemed to want. The serial killer storyline could have been fantastic to watch, but it was mostly dull and uninteresting; however, I thought the endings – particularly the last episode with the confrontations and the surprise ending – were excellent. For the first time in three or four years, it felt like old EastEnders.”
Others quickly agreed, with one writing, “They did the right thing in having Gray arrested,” and another writing, “A huge sigh of relief to see Gray not fall to his death, as we need to see justice done.” The comparisons to Coronation Street are based on the show’s habit of concluding villain storylines with their deaths.
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Alan Bradley, for example, was killed in 1989 by a tram and Tony Gordon was burned alive in 2010. They had long storylines of mischief and murder that ended brutally and abruptly, along with John Stape and Frank Foster. Corrie even killed off villains who resembled Gray. Gray abused Chantelle and emotionally abused his third wife Yasmeen, and Geoff Metcalfe abused his first wife Philippa. Rather than being arrested, Geoff died when he fell from a burning building.
Richard Hillman, on the other hand, met a similarly dreadful end. Before his downfall, he, like Gray, went on a murder spree. He kidnapped his wife and family, just like Gray did Jordan, after murdering ex-wife Patricia, attempting to murder Emily Bishop, and killing Maxine Peacock. When it all came to a head, Richard drowned rather than being arrested.
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