EastEnders

EastEnders airs second exit for iconic character in early release – but will they be back?

A silhouette against the EastEnders title card.

EastEnders has aired another emotional exit for Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley), just days after she made a chaotic comeback to search for son Keanu (Danny Walters).

With Kathy Cotton (Gillian Taylforth) conspiring to cover up Keanu’s murder, she persuaded Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) to take back The Arches from Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) to settle Karen’s debt and get her out of Walford.

But just as Karen had agreed to leave again, she spotted Kathy and Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) together, and knew they were hiding something.

Telling daughter Bernie (Clair Norris) that Phil could “stick his deal,” Karen began another line of questioning on the whereabouts of her missing son, targeting The Six women who were with him on Christmas Day.Her first stop was Denise Fox’s (Diane Parish) home, but her detective husband Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) told Karen that Denise was unwell and restin

When Karen claimed that Keanu’s disappearance had Phil’s name written all over it, Jack warned her that without evidence, she should be careful who she accused.

Linda Carter’s (Kellie Bright) decision not to flee backfired on her when she was confronted by Karen at The Vic. After pouring herself another drink, Linda crumbled as Karen switched from angry to emotional.

As Karen continued to blame Sharon and Phil, she had no idea that she was talking to Keanu’s killer – but Linda was rescued by Kathy, who got both barrels from Karen.

Lorraine Stanley as Karen Taylor in sunglasses, with a top bun and big hoop earings and faux fur coat sat in the back of a black cab at night for EastEnders.
Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) left EastEnders once again. BBC

In the Square, Karen told Bernie that she knew Phil and Sharon had done something to Keanu. But Bernie insisted that Keanu would be fine, and urged her mum to stop chasing after him after all he had done.

But Karen hadn’t quite finished yet, as she warned a wavering Kat Mitchell (Jessie Wallace) not to trust Phil.

Karen then said a tearful farewell to Bernie after handing her some cash. Sunglasses at the ready, Karen hopped in a cab, returning to Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) and the kids abroad. But will she be back?

Will Karen Taylor return to EastEnders?

Karen stands firm as she stares Linda, behind the bar, down in EastEnders.
Linda might want to watch her back if Karen ever gets to the truth BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

For the time being, it seems not.

Last year it was confirmed that bosses were writing out Karen Taylor from the soap and she departed in December with most of her family.

However, the door does seem to be left open for a comeback even if no plans have been announced of a future return.

Karen is still vehemently convinced that Phil and Sharon are involved in Keanu’s absence, and we know that she’s half right.

Keanu’s death has seemingly been covered up in the long-term, but this is EastEnders and we can’t imagine his body staying buried.So when he is eventually unearthed from under the café, will Karen be back in a hurry, ready to battle with his killer?

While there has been no word from the BBC on Karen’s future, we think it’s likely that she will reappear when the time is right.

Killer Linda should watch her back, but there’s also the matter of new café owner Nish Panesar (Navin Chowdhry) and fellow villain Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo), with the latter possibly still in The Vic when the murder took place…

The Six need to be worried, as Keanu Taylor’s (played by Danny Walters) mum is on to their case on EastEnders.

In Wednesday’s gripping instalment (released on iPlayer on Tuesday, with FA Cup football pushing the episode back a day in the schedules), Karen (Lorraine Stanley) was shouting the odds about her boy across Albert Square, particularly in the cafe during one gruesome scene in which she stood on the exact spot her son was buried in.
To be fair to Karen, she just wanted to know where her son is, convinced something bad’s happened to him – a mother’s instinct is always right.The Six – sans Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) and Denise Fox (Diane Parish) – all reacted differently to Karen’s outburst, with Linda (Kellie Bright) panicking the most.Cool and calm Stacey (Lacey Turner) set about taking Karen to one side and spoke on her level as a mother about her anxieties.

She was backed up by Kathy (Gillian Taylforth), who warned her about making an enemy of Phil (Steve McFadden) – who’s still looking for his money she stole from him.Kathy wondered if it would be easier if Phil took back the mechanics to consider Keanu and Karen’s debt paid, which he got on board with.

Kathy and Stacey caught up with each other at the end of the day and shared how they’d convinced Karen to leave and have removed traces of Keanu from the Square.

Stacey pondered that this whole ordeal could be over soon – and it might have been, if Karen wasn’t stood to the side listening…

Will she connect the dots?

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