Ben Mitchell is traumatized by a horrific homophobic attack and is constantly on edge in his daily life.
When the character played by Max Bowden’s painful memories become too much to bear, he is overcome by a terrifying flashback.
After going through their fair share of adversity since their May 2021 wedding, Ben and his husband Callum Highway appear to have finally found their footing (Tony Clay).
The couple, however, were the victims of a homophobic attack in the streets of Walford earlier in January, and were targeted by Neil and his gang of right-wing thugs.
The two were determined to have a good time with their neighbors Eve (Heather Peace), Stacey (Lacey Turner), and Ash (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha), but the attack left Callum injured and Ben traumatized.
When Ben saw his husband being brutally beaten, he froze in place, and his trauma is bringing painful memories to the surface.
After breaking down in tears during the return of soap legend Pam Coker, Ben finally opens up to Callum in an upcoming episode of EastEnders (Lin Blakley).
In order to confront their traumatic past together, both characters promise to be present and understanding.
Stuart, on the other hand, has a terrifying flashback to the attack when he makes a joke at Ben’s expense.
Callum is at his side in a heartbeat, checking on him.
While the homophobic attack shocked viewers, it was especially painful for Ben because it brought back memories of his ex-boyfriend Paul Coker’s death (Jonny Labey).
In 2016, the latter was murdered in a similar attack, prompting Ben to return to the closet and stop living openly as a gay man.
Paul’s grandmother Pam even subtly supported this idea when she paid him a visit after hearing about the attack in a recent episode of EastEnders.
Pam admitted that she doubts Paul would be alive today if she hadn’t encouraged him to be so outspoken about his sexuality.
Meanwhile, Callum has been attempting to communicate with Ben, which has proven difficult.
Callum, however, took a stand after overhearing Ben’s conversation with Pam and chastised her for attempting to prevent his other half from living authentically.
Ben, on the other hand, made the heartbreaking decision to return to the closet.
Will Ben be able to recover from his ordeal?
Can Callum assist Ben in remaining true to himself?
To find out, tune in to BBC One.
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