After months of speculation about the real reason Cindy Beale left behind the Knight family, the truth was finally revealed to viewers on Tuesday night’s visit to Walford.
As regular viewers will know, Walford icon Cindy was revealed to have gone into witness protection in 1998, which led to her faking her death and leaving behind her estranged husband Ian Beale and her children.
While she was presumed dead, Cindy adopted a new identity as Rose Knight and built a whole new life for herself in sun soaked Spain.
It was while living in the European country, that Cindy fell in love with George Knight and the couple went on to have two children together, Gina and Anna Knight.
However, in 2014 after a row with George, Cindy packed up her belongings and left her new family behind without so much as a goodbye, with several fans theorising that it was her daughter Lucy’s death back in Walford that prompted her departure.
This theory was finally confirmed on Tuesday night, when Cindy came face to face with George in Walford, and through a series of flashback scenes, the truth finally came to light.
In the flashback, fans saw Cindy enjoying life in Marbella with her family in 2014, before she received a horrifying phone call from her police handler Mary confirming the death of her daughter Lucy.
Following the heartbreaking news, viewers then saw a frantic Cindy rushing upstairs and packing her bags while also emptying the safe.
George came home and confronted her, begging her to tell him what was going on, but a shocked Cindy couldn't do so and left, with him warning her not to come back.
The episode then cut forwards to scenes of Cindy in Walford on the night of Lucy’s murder, when she was bludgeoned to death by her younger half-brother, Bobby Beale.
In painful scenes, grieving dad Ian was seen heading towards The Queen Vic to break the news to his son Peter that his twin sister Lucy had died, in a direct echo of scenes that had aired almost ten years ago.
However in a surprising plot twist, it was revealed that Cindy had been present that night and watched the agonising moment from afar, having initially believed that her role in witness protection was why Lucy had lost her life.
Cindy desperately wanted to reconnect with her family, but was warned against doing so by her handler Mary, who then encouraged her to leave while the rest of her relatives grieved the loss of her daughter.
Mary claimed she could be doing more harm than good and could endanger the Beales and the Knights by being back in Walford – something which prompted her to begrudgingly cut ties with both sets of her relatives as she vanished into obscurity once again.
As the episode continued to unfold, the real truth about Lucy’s death later came to light, with Cindy even making the bold decision to try and leave witness protection to support her surviving children – however she was unable to do so.
After the revelations came to light, George realised that Cindy hadn’t simply abandoned the family on a whim, and at the conclusion of the emotional episode, she was finally reunited with her daughters Anna and Gina for the first time in nine long years.
EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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