EastEnders fans were left outraged as they watched manipulative Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) trick new nemesis Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) into relapsing in her alcohol battle.
In scenes which aired on the BBC One soap on Tuesday (28 December), viewers witnessed evil Janine up to her usual tricks, as she decided to pay Linda a visit as she continued with her quest to steal Mick (Danny Dyer) from her.
And while viewers were thrilled to see Linda back on our screens for a rare appearance following actress Kellie’s maternity leave, they were left seriously unimpressed with what happened next.
Janine, who was pretending to be her alter-ego Judith Bernstein once she’d established Linda didn’t recognise her, introduced herself and began talking to Mick’s wife.
Slowly but surely, Linda began to trust Janine so she decided to take the opportunity to try to convince Linda into sharing a bottle of wine with her.
At first, Linda managed to resist temptation, but soon Janine was scheming further and encouraging her new love rival to open up to her – knowing that it would make her vulnerable and emotional.
Eventually her plan worked and Linda reached for the bottle, with Janine going out of her way to persuade her to move on from Mick once and for all.
Once she’d achieved her aim of making Linda fall off the wagon, Janine left and ironically told Linda to look after herself.
But Janine’s schemes didn’t go unnoticed with fans and, after the scene aired, they took to social media to blast the soap villain and say she’d crossed a line.
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One avid watcher wrote on Twitter: “I’ve never been one of those people who thinks everything Janine does is so fabulous, and I watched her grow up on screen. Yesterday was a bridge too far even for her.”
Another added: “It was great seeing Linda again on EastEnders but was heartbreaking seeing her drink. That Janine!”
While a third said: “Janine is SO evil. She single handedly destroyed Linda’s sobriety, her marriage and her family all in the span of one night.”
Others called for Linda to realise what Janine was up to sooner rather than later, saying they couldn’t wait to see her exact revenge.
One viewer theorised: “Genuinely can’t wait for Linda to come back and fight for her marriage and family and realise who Janine really is and what she did.”
“Say what you want about Linda but she has a heck of a temper, can’t wait for her to take Janine down.”
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