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EastEnders cast praised for haunting Jean Slater scenes

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The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders cast members Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner have been praised for haunting Jean Slater mental health scenes.

The ongoing storyline surrounding Jean's manic episode reached a crescendo in Thursday's episode (April 28) with powerful scenes where Jean despaired over the realisation that she truly has become unwell once again.

Viewers were full of praise for Wright and Turner – who play Jean and Stacey Slater respectively – for scenes that dealt with mental health in an unflinching manner not often seen on television.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: EastEnders' Rainie Highway to make a shock discovery about Stuart

"Gillian Wright is such an amazing actor. Her dealing with Bipolar disorder in EastEnders really shows her skills as an actor," one viewer wrote.

Another concurred: "Gillian Wright deserves an award and way more recognition for her portrayal of Jean in EastEnders. I'm not a massive soap fan but she is brilliant!"

Both actresses received lots of recognition for the episode, with a viewer sharing: "Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner are just knocking it out the park tonight. Heartbreaking and compelling viewing."

Leading up to the episode, Stacey had been trying to convince her mum to accept help for weeks, but Jean rejected her and even filed harassment charges while Stacey was still on probation.

Jean remained convinced that she would be getting married even though Harvey told her they needed to slow things down in the wake of Aaron's prison injuries.

Billy alerted Stacey to the strange sight of Jean wandering around the Square in her wedding dress, muttering about how she'd be getting married that day anyway.

After speaking with Harvey, Stacey and Martin raced to Southend – where Jean had been trying to convince Harvey to move with her prior to him calling off the wedding.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: EastEnders' Dotty Cotton to confront Bernie Taylor over her secret

Jean was wandering around a local funfair, delighted to see on-lookers filming her lavish wedding dress. Stacey and Martin finally arrived just in time to find Jean in a funhouse – where she was convinced she'd be marrying her late boyfriend Daniel in the afterlife.

Stacey called out to her mum as Jean rushed away to the sea, begging her to accept that she needs help. The truth now finally dawned on Jean but the pain was too great and she turned back to walk into the ocean current anyway.

Thankfully, Stacey was able to get to Jean just in time, saving her from being swept up in the current as she was being pulled under. Jean shrieked in terror as she realised how close she'd come to death.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

At the shoreline, Martin was waiting with two paramedics – Jean will get the help she needs.

EastEnders airs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One and streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage.

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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