Tonights episode all about consent is perhaps one of the most poignant in the history of EastEnders.
The entire episode takes place in the Vic with every man and his wife having an opinion on Rubys awful ordeal. And therein lies the magic of the show and how each side of the debate is carefully raised.
The show is nothing short of spectacular, with the use of different cinematographic techniques such as one-shots to bring home the drama and heighten emotions. The episode highlights the many differing opinions on consent, from the polarised to the murky middle ground, and viewers wont be able to help but stop and think about their own stances even if they were sure as a rock before.
Its filled with moments that will knock the wind out of you with some incredible one liners that catch you off guard, and Louisa Lyttons acting will have you going through a roller coaster of emotions, ending the episode with a fire in your belly ready to stand beside her and fight.
The episode opens with the cheeriness of a bustling pub, with Patrick dancing and Kush getting the drinks in – a nod to the obliviousness of what Rubys going through as she walks in and spots Martin having a friendly drink with her rapists Matt and Ross.
By the end of the episode were left with the girl brave enough to stand up to almost an entire pub full of people calling her a liar and to fight her fight despite so many people telling her shes wrong.
Here are 10 huge moments from this special episode.
1. It raises the conversation about the affects of alcohol
Is it rape if she was drunk? Kush kicks off the conversation by saying the girl was drunk meaning Matt and Ross should be absolved of wrong doing, thankfully hes quickly shot down. But Martin later says the two have lost their lives because of one drunken night. No, alcohol does not make it all OK, and moments throughout the rest of the episode make that clear.
But Kat also raises an interesting point to throw at the other side of the argument. When Stacey tells her shes too drunk to take care of herself and that a man might take advantage, Kat carelessly replies: Thats their problem.
2. Ruby makes a point about male attitudes
Max says hes not a fan of rapists because he has daughters, which leaves Ruby incensed. Why does he only care because he has daughters? And why should a woman only be heard or be believed if a man is willing to listen? Why does a woman have to be connected to a man? Ruby questions. Shes a woman, a person. Max should care because it is wrong, not just because he might know someone who could go through it.
3. The brilliantly thought-provoking lines
The episode is filled with thought-provoking comment on both sides of the argument throughout. Kush asking whether being drunk and having responsibility is different for men and women, Staceys comment on her own husband arguing that hes a good guy, youre not a bad bloke, but youre not stopping them. Jack saying: If its a grey area you dont go near it. There are so many moments of incredible script that itll have you sitting up and paying attention to every single word.
4. It questions the face of a rapist
A common misconception is that rapists tend to be someone you dont know. Some stranger, an unknown, the intimidating guy in the hoodie, an aggressive drunk. But what if theyre one of your closest friends? A colleague? Someone you know from school? What would you do then? The episode raises the question as Martin struggles between his loyalty and his conscience. As Stacey succinctly puts it: Martin doesnt mind rapists as long as he knew them first.
Matt and Ross are his mates and hes known them for years, surely they wouldnt do something like this? Well Martin, they did.
5. The touching moment Linda, a rape survivor, lets Ruby know she knows
If this episode hasnt already got you feeling every emotion under the sun by this point, you might be feeling your lower lip wobble as Linda steals a moment with Ruby and you see two brave women face their trauma together as she tells her dont you cry another tear, they dont deserve it.
Linda also makes a hugely important point about the idea of someone crying rape. With everything Ruby has gone through to get her case to where it is, would she really have lied to begin with?
You know in your heart if what happened was right or wrong, Linda says. And if you were brave enough to tell someone and do everything you had to do to get it here, no one has the right to question it. Ruin their lives? Screw their lives.
6. It highlights the flippant attitudes towards consent
Max says he has strong opinions on consent because he has daughters, but later says you cant say anything to women anymore, what with sexual harassment and all that. Equally, Sharon seems to flip flop between sides of the debate, joking to Denise that thank goodness she didnt fit Phil up for rape. Ian says the police have better things to do with their time. And Kush of course saying that as Ruby was drunk it doesnt count, later telling Denise youre getting upset over nothing.
This. Is. not. OK.
7. It raises the question of male rape
There is a pretty poignant moment between Denise and Kush that might leave you questioning things. During the episode he on the other side of the debate, saying that Ruby was drunk and therefore it cant have been rape, but he sets up a conversation between him and Denise that questions what counts as male rape.
Dont have sex with someone whos not in a state to say yes or no, Denise says. So its different for the girl, Kush asks. The guys are meant to be sober enough to do the right thing but the girl is allowed to be drunk enough to not know what shes doing? Ive been drunk and had sex and didnt say Id been raped. If you can perform, its not rape, Denise replies.
8. Honey speaks for so many in her comment on being too nice
Honey has one of the most important and relatable moments in the episode too. Shes coy about talking about rape, but as she starts speaking she gives her thoughts on how women can get themselves in dangerous situations because they are being too nice. Sometimes you feel like you cant say no, she says, and thus raising a valid argument. While of course her opinion is immediately shot down, Denise hears her.
Silence isnt a yes, she says.
9. The unexpected opinions
In the last couple of years, weve come on leaps and bounds in supporting our own gender. While for decades, even centuries, women have been pitched against each other, now there is so much more support for one another rather than competition.
Not so in Walford, as some of the women seem to be struggling with being there for Ruby. Mel brushes it off by saying these things happen. Sonia tells Bex she isnt convinced because Matt and Ross are such nice guys.
Jack is perhaps a surprise ally, although as a former policeman its not entirely difficult to believe. And Patricks support doesnt go unnoticed. But the rest of the men seem to be leaning on the other side of the debate.
Staceys unwavering support is incredibly touching. Not for a minute does she question the validity of her friends story, even at the risk of her marriage.
10. How Ruby handles herself
The most wonderful thing about this episode is how it is all going on around Ruby while shes listening in. Shes hurt, shes angry, and she doesnt want to draw attention. But shes not afraid.
She shows one moment of vulnerability when she says to Linda: I dont want to ruin anyones lives, but she knows in reality that theyve done that themselves.
The key thing is, shes not scared. And importantly, though she has tears in her eyes, those tears take not one ounce away from her strength.
11. Louisa Lyttons acting
Louisa should be in line for recognition for this. She is brilliant throughout and tt doesnt look like shes acting for a second. Shes there, living the moment, reliving the torment, feeling the pain. I hope that at next years soap awards Louisa is there leading the nominations.
12. The ending
I wont give too much away about this bit because you truly need to watch. It has the same effect of the moment a few weeks ago when Ruby confronted Martin about him disbelieving her, where she told him his doubt would make her shout twice as loud to make damn sure she was heard.
You will be left with a fire in your belly and ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ruby in her quest to bring her rapists to justice.