EastEnders fans are outraged after the soap’s only lesbian character, Tina Carter, was suddenly murdered last night – but some are hopeful she could still be alive.
Tina was killed on Monday night’s episode (28 December) when she confronted Gray Atkinson about his past, with viewers watching on as Gray disposed of her body and covered his tracks.
Her death on EastEnders bore chilling similarities to that of Chantelle Atkins, who Gray murdered in September by pushing her down onto a knife poking up out of the dishwasher as she tried to leave him.
Tina, played by Luisa Bradshaw-White, first appeared on Albert Square on 18 November, 2013. She was followed by an abusive ex-girlfriend, Tosh Mackintosh (Rebecca Scroggs), and once shared a kiss with Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) – but at the time of her death, she was EastEnders‘ only lesbian resident.
EastEnders fans are incensed at Tina’s murder, which leaves the square bereft of lesbians, with one writing: “Disappointed in the lesbian trope! First abused and now murdered. Why can’t we get happy endings?!”
— MiaGenovese 🏳️🌈🇬🇧🇵🇸 (@MiaGenovese9) December 28, 2020
Few shows have long-running lesbian characters, and many soaps have been killing them off in recent years, with one person saying they are “bloody sick of it”.
“Corrie? Emmerdale, Last Tango and now EastEnders all killing off lesbian characters, it bloody makes my blood boil,” they wrote.
Another added: “RIP my lesbian queen.”
I’m bloody sick of it Claire, Corrie? Emmerdale, last Tango and now EastEnders all killing off lesbian characters, it bloody makes my blood boil 😡
— Bernie Clugston (@BernieClugston) December 28, 2020
absolutely heartbroken over our tina💔 rip my lesbian queen❤️ #EastEnders
— Brad🇪🇺| BLM (@bradhxmes) December 28, 2020
“One lesbian and you killed her,” another lamented.
But some fans are speculating that Tina may not be dead after all – with theories about strangulation marks abounding online.
Gray is shown killing Tina and wrapping her body in a shower curtain before disposing of it, and then speaking to two other characters to suggest that Tina has gone on the run as planned and would not be coming back.
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But two details have been picked up by fans: first, that the end credits on the show did not change to reflect Tina’s death, which they usually do when a character dies; and second, that there was no warning issued by EastEnders at the start of the show for her murder, which there was for Chantelle’s.
“Does Tina Carter get killed off on EastEnders? Question is she actually dead or did she escape and get out before grey hid the evidence,” one fan posited.
Another added: “I think the door is open for Tina Carter to return. When Gray goes to dump her body, he discovers she isn’t really dead and he warns her not to return, making her too scared to do so. I won’t believe she’s gone for good!”
— Amy Hardy My idols are inspirations (@Amyhard44849704) December 29, 2020
I think the door is open for #TinaCarter to return. When Gray goes to dump her body, he discovers she isn't really dead and he warns her not to return, making her too scared to do so. I won't believe she's gone for good! #Eastenders @bbceastenders @BLuisaW
— Jo (@jomangabey) December 29, 2020
— Alexander Gibb (@AlexanderPGibb) December 28, 2020
But it seemed for some EastEnders fans that the possibility of Tina being alive was more clinging on to hope than reality.
“Is it too much to hope and wish that once Gray is found out by Shirley or Whitney and he’s in court the prosecution bring forward a star witness…ENTER MISS TINA CARTER!!! I can hope, right? This can happen? Tell me it can happen,” one person queried.
Another simply said: “No way is Tina Carter dead I refuse to believe that.”
Is it too much to hope & wish that once Gray is found out by Shirley or Whitney and he’s in court the prosecution bring forward a star witness…ENTER MISS TINA CARTER!!!
— Brokenspell (@brokenspell77) December 28, 2020
No way is Tina Carter dead I refuse to believe that
— Maria (@mariaxoo__) December 28, 2020